Forza Horizon 5 Drifting: A beginner's guide

We all love sliding round a bend kicking up plumes of tyre smoke, but Forza Horizon 5 drifting is trickier than you'd imagine.

That's why we are here to help you nail the drift zones in freeroam and make the most out of your garages. The slopes of the volcano were clearly designed to encourage you to get sideways through the switchbacks! But drift tuning is a tricky art.

Here's a quick guide to the basics.

Why tune your own drift car?

The main reason you want to create your own drift tuning is that you can tweak it to your liking. If you use someone else's tuning, it will be locked and you'll be unable to make the small changes that can get your car perfect for a particular drift zone.

You'll also find that a lot of drift tunings are created for beginners, with the gearing set up to stay in the one gear for the whole run or the brakes set up with ABS in mind. If you're driving without these assists, you'll likely find tuners such as KenBlocksSohn aren't creating the sorts of builds that suit you.

Picking the right car

For this guide, we're going to go rear-wheel drive and keep horsepower comparatively low. It's easy enough to spin all the wheels on an all-wheel drive car with enough power and torque, but that’s not what this guide is about.

fh5 car selection nissan
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Nissan have some great options for drift builds in Forza Horizon 5

So let's filter our car collection to rear-wheel drive cars (you can do this in your garage by pressing the button allocated to Filter, which is Y on the Xbox) and then look through for something around the B class.

We'll also want a front-engined car here, which tend to have a better weight distribution for getting the rear loose but keeping it under control.

fh5 nissan silvia spec r forzavista
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This is the car I'll be using through this guide

I've picked the 2000 Nissan Silvia Spec-R, which is a popular car for this sort of build. We'll then need to go to the Festival and into the Custom Upgrade menu. We’ll also check in the Settings that we have turned off Traction Control, Stability Control, ABS, and we’ll select Manual with Clutch gears.

Which upgrades do we want to apply?

We’ll leave the engine as-is for the time being and perhaps increase the power later. Looking at the Platform and Handling options, we'll buy the Drift Springs and Dampers. Next, we'll go into the Drivetrain options and add the Drift Differential and the Race Transmission. These are essential to unlock the tuning options we'll need.

We'll also add the Drift Tyres and increase the front and rear Track Width. Moving the wheels outwards will give us extra stability.

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Drift tyres are the rubber of choice for drift builds, unsurprisingly

All done, we’ve spent 17,550 credits on parts for this car. If you want to spend further credits on cosmetic options, such as wheels and bodywork, go for it!

Making adjustments

Let’s take the car for a spin and see how it feels initially. You'll see that it’s hard to make the car slide in this configuration. The car also wants to pull itself straight when you go hard into a corner. Let's fix this.

We'll go into the tuning menu and firstly max out the air pressure in the rear tyres. We'll also shorten the gears a tad, initially by increasing the final drive ratio. I've put it to 3.75. We'll also change the differential settings, putting Acceleration to 100% and Deceleration to 70%. Running the car around the festival site, it's already clear that it feels better. In second or third gear we can comfortably control the car and produce a lot of wheelspin and smoke from the rears.

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Smooth slides are what we're after

I did a few loops of the Giro Encorvado drift zone at the main festival site. We're not quite getting the angles we'd like just yet, so I've stiffened the springs and damping about 20% on each. Now I'm starting to consistently get a three-star score, but it would be nice to do even more. I'm trying to avoid using the handbrake here, switching from second to third gear as the corner opens out and touching the clutch to unsettle the car.

Going further

At this point, I'm starting to feel like more power is going to make up for my slightly unrefined technique. Back in the festival garage, I select the Race Turbo for just 5,400 credits. This will require adjusting the gearing again. I put the final drive ratio back down to 3.60 and have another run. This is the point where it starts to become a matter of your own preference. I wasn't very happy with the turbo with this engine, so I switched the engine out for the much flatter response of the 2.6L 4 rotor. Another adjustment to the gearing and again I was back to consistently getting decent scores at the Giro Encorvado.

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Personal best? Mission accomplished!

The last adjustment I made to this build was to try wider wheels. With the additional power, I was starting to spin out if I didn't have the throttle just right mid-corner. The solution to this is to increase the contact patch. Straight away I nailed another new personal best at this drift zone. In third gear, I made the two corners of the Giro Encorvado into one continuous slide, maintaining a decent angle. I'm sure we can do better, but that's the fun of Forza Horizon!

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