Forza Horizon 5: top tuner talks us through off-road tips and tricks

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It's Forza Horizon 5 full release day! Everyone is excited about racing in the Mexican landscape. But most cars are pretty poor out of the box. How can you make them something worth racing?

EDITOR'S PICK: LOGITECH G923 RACING WHEEL

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Here's a look with one of YouTube's best tuners, ConnerSpeed6!

Tuning in Forza Horizon 5

Tuning in Forza Horizon 5 is a little bit of a dark art. You want to have the fastest car possible but keep to a certain Performance Index and make sure your car is in the correct class. How do you know which upgrades bring you the best value? Let's take a look with a quick off-road build.

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It doesn't matter what you spend on a car, most will need some modification to be good racers!

One way to find out is to go through all of the tuning options and note down how much the PI changes for each upgrade. This is a bit of a long and thankless task! Another way is to just use tunings created by other players. But then you can't change them to suit your tastes or a particular route. Let's learn some tuning secrets!

Front, rear, or all wheel drive?

Here's the simple answer to the drivetrain layout question. Unless you have a specific reason to keep the car's default layout, all wheel drive is still the way to go in Forza Horizon 5.

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All wheel drive grip is still the king in Forza Horizon 5

Drifters might want rear wheel drive for particular builds. In C or D class racing, there might be cars that need to stick with front wheel drive to keep the PI low enough. But for pretty much every race build, you'll want to convert your car to all wheel drive still.

Tuning basics

Let's talk tyres. As every racing fan knows, your contact with the ground is one of the most important factors. There's no point in having a thousand horsepower if you can't transmit that to the road! For this off-road racer, we'll go for the rally tyres.

Sometimes tyre choice can be counter-intuitive, particularly for your PR Stunt builds. The incredible Koenigsegg Jesko tuning by Don Joewong Song uses offroad tyres but achieves some of the highest highway top speeds in the game! But generally, we'll be best off using the tyres that intuitively seem to be the appropriate choice.

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Tyre performance makes a big difference in Forza Horizon 5

Once we've selected tyres, we'll want to unlock as many of the tweaking options as we can while keeping the car in the correct performance class. Change your transmission for the race one. Don't throw the ten-speed gearbox at the car for the sake of it! For most classes and race types, there's little to be gained with having all those gears.

We'll also want to upgrade the brakes, suspension, and differential to unlock those tuning options. These are the basic upgrades you'll do on most of your racing builds.

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Aiming for the right PI

Some upgrades have a big PI cost, others barely change the performance index of your car. Your job now is to identify the combination that gets you the best power and grip for the least PI, keeping it within about ten or so either side of your target. Upgrade your engine to the one with the most power but keeping it nearest your target PI. We can then make the little tweaks to the weight of the car and things like that to best use our PI budget.

For example, wider front tyres have a big PI cost, but widening the rear tyres barely makes a difference. So let's leave the front tyres as-is. You'll find it's a similar story with engine upgrades. You can gain horsepower by changing the pistons, intake, and other options. But some of these don't gain a lot of horsepower while using a lot of PI.

Once you've made these changes, you can use the wheel choices and weight adjustment options to raise or reduce your PI just right for the class you intend to race the car in.

Making the final tweaks

We could write many articles about getting your tyre pressures and gear ratios just so. But you'll be best off watching Conner explain his process and how to understand your telemetry! Here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O5W9TLLa1Y

The last thing to do is take your car to a race! Make sure to give yourself a pat on the back for winning in a build you created.