The honeymoon period for Forza Horizon 5 seems to be officially over.
Fans are still frustrated with the online experience even after the patch. We've criticised the lack of NPC traffic because freeroam feels like a ghost town. Now many are angry about the leaderboards.
PR Stunt leaderboards ruined
Progressively, the leaderboards for the PR Stunts across the map have become useless. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, enough players have discovered glitches or mechanisms to cheat the game that there's now no way to challenge at the top through legitimate means.
It's frustrating for players who are looking to have the best experience without searching out glitches. In the end, no one really gains from this behaviour. It might be a vanity metric, to see your name near the top for a Speed Zone, Speed Trap, Danger Sign or Drift Zone leaderboard, but it means a lot to a player to achieve a record in a game. This joy is impossible now without finding a way to cheat.
At the end of the day, it means little to have a top time on a PR Stunt leaderboard. But there is a part of the game where the misbehaviour is having more of an effect on the experiences of others.
Rivals leaderboards are a more serious problem
With some cars unlockable through accolades, plenty of players are looking to get all of these bonus vehicles without resorting to the auction house. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the TVR Sagaris, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X GSR, the E34 BMW M5, and the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 are all accolade rewards for achieving top 5% times in Rivals.
Because of the volume of cheating in this game, these top 5% times are increasingly unachievable. It's bad news for people enjoying the game as intended.
What the developers need to do
What we'd like to see is the team behind Forza offer bounties to players who report glitches. Whether this is real-world rewards or simply in-game, a token of appreciation is what's needed here. Maybe they could add some in-game flare or exclusive liveries, but the key thing is showing their gratitude towards the players who are willing to put the community first.
It may be hard for them to specifically remove the times or scores of cheats from leaderboards, so why not wipe them when these glitches have been patched? Otherwise these times will sit there like they did in Forza Horizon 4, frankly just looking ridiculous.
Whatever the solution, it would be nice to hear from the Forza team on how they're progressing with fixing the many problems with Forza Horizon 5 as it stands.