Five settings to change before you start

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A red and white jeep goes through the woods in Forza Horizon 5 on Xbox Series X.

Screenshot: Microsoft / Kotaku

Some of you start to play Forza Horizon 5, a big and beautiful Xbox racing game, today. Like most big, beautiful games, there is an impressive suite of options spread across a ton of submenus. Adjusting a handful of them makes the game more enjoyable from the jump. Just try to quell your disbelief in the motion blur in the menus. (Hey, you have to go fast everywhere!)

First, some HUD tweaks

It’s worth shouting from the top of the mountains, or from the top of that volcano in the center of the game map: Forza Horizon 5 is probably the best looking console game around. On the other hand, it also has a cluttered head-up display. In the HUD and Gameplay submenu, there are three items you could live without:

  • Skills. There is a skill point system in Forza Horizon 5, which allows you to slowly unlock negligible upgrades for your vehicles. But the calculations don’t make much sense, your score appears in the center of the screen and you will still earn points even if you don’t see the pop-ups. (Obviously, turn it back on during the few objectives that are explicitly about accumulating skill points.)
  • Anne. Forza Horizon 5 has an in-game AI assistant called Anna, which is supposed to be a lot like a Siri GPS. I have played for several dozen hours and not once have I found Anna useful. All the information you can get, you can get it just as easily, and with more freedom of choice, from the map.
  • Forza link. This multiplayer feature called Silicon Valley allows you to use the D-pad to communicate rudimentary phrases to your fellow gamers: lines like “Good game!” “,” At the finish line! Or my most used, “Oh no!” If you’re planning on going solo, you don’t need to. And if you’re connecting in a convoy, you should probably use a mic anyway.

You can also deactivate opinion– which show notifications whenever you gain XP or discover a new route – if you really want a blank screen. Personally, I kept them, because you win a prize with each level, and I, a bundle of impatience coiled up in the form of a human, loved knowing that these prizes were coming.

Subtitle Text Size

Forza Horizon 5 doesn’t violate this game designer’s deadly sin as blatantly as other great games. (I would look directly at the years 2019 The outer worlds… was able to read its default subtitles.) But that’s not great. By default, the captions are set to size 18. Somewhere between 20 and 23 (a change you can make in the Accessibility submenu) worked best for me. For reference, I played the game on 43 and 50 inch TVs.

Course of action

The hallmark of Forza Horizon is the driving line, a navigation overlay that shows you exactly where you need to drive to get the most out of your route. It also appears in color coded terms dictating how fast you need to go, with blue meaning fast, yellow meaning slow, and red basically meaning you have to stop on a dime. This feature is enabled by default.

See. It is Forza. If you don’t slow down, you’re going as fast as you can. Having a blue line on the road is just redundant. In the Difficulty submenu, you can configure the driving line to show only when you need to brake, so it is useful when needed without unnecessarily cluttering your screen.

Graphic mode

Like so many next-gen console games these days, Forza Horizon 5 offers the ability to switch between two graphics presets: quality and performance. On Xbox Series X, the former displays crisp 4K graphics for a stable 30fps locked frame rate; the second throws things up to 60 fps but at the expense of fidelity. At the choice of the dealer, of course. But then again, it’s probably the best looking game on Xbox right now. Is this framerate boost really worth it for loyalty?

Stability control

Progress in Forza Horizon 5 is based on the risk / reward ratio. Speed ​​up the challenge and you will earn more credits, the in-game currency used to buy new cars and new cosmetics. There is an impressive array of difficulty settings beyond the standard easy-medium-hard scale, from different transmissions and steering modes to various forms of brakes. (All of this can be found in the Difficulty submenu.) I have found that turning off stability control is the easiest way to earn a 10% credit bonus.

Stability control, in short, tempers any potential exhaustion in tight corners. But if you drive a good car and understand how it works and feels, you will be able to take the corners very well. What about those times when you get it wrong? Hey, you still have the rewind button.


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