Forza Horizon 4: What developers should learn from Super 7 and High Stakes

Forza Horizon 4 series 37 brought with it the much anticipated Super 7 High Stakes feature.

We can look at Super 7 as a hint towards Horizon Arcade in Forza Horizon 5. So, let's take a closer look now!

What is Super 7 and High Stakes?

Super 7 and Super 7 High Stakes are a series of user-created challenges. Players earn prizes including wheelspins, clothing, credits, and sometimes cars. High Stakes encourages you to keep on playing Super 7 challenges, as the prizes increase but with the risk that if you fail, you lose them all.

FH4 High Stakes
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Forza Horizon 4 Super 7: Win prizes for completing user challenges

Super 7 challenges test a wide range of skills. Creators are free to choose how to design their challenges. For example, reaching a set speed within a time limit, to making jumps while keeping under a damage limit.

Playing through Super 7 unlocks the Austin 7 at level 5 and the Triumph TR7 at level 7. The first run through High Stakes bags the rare Quack Wellies and a backstage pass.

The problems with Super 7

The trouble with gamers is that we can have a weird sense of humour. An awful lot of Super 7 challenge cards are just designed to annoy the person playing.

This is especially a problem when playing High Stakes. You only have three "burns" to swap a challenge for a different one.

FH4 Volvo Iron Knight
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The Volvo Iron Knight comes up in quite a few Super 7 challenge cards

Most of these challenges are pretty straightforward to beat. The difficulty is these "troll challenges" take one attempt to find out what the twist is and then a second to beat it. This is a frustrating experience for the player as it often results in having to start over with High Stakes.

Beating Super 7

We do have a great tip if you're playing the regular Super 7 and keen to gain all the rewards.

On the challenges screen, go to "New challenges" and pick ones that have never been played before. These always give you the maximum influence regardless of how long they take to complete.

Challenges which have been played already give you influence related to how long the challenge is, so people have made easy but long routes all around Great Britain to maximise influence. Avoid these though and stick to those never played and you'll level up in a fraction of the time!

You can recognise new, unplayed challenges because they don't have the controller icon in the corner of the challenge card.

Fixing Super 7 and High Stakes

How can Super 7 be fixed? Forza Horizon 5 will feature a new mode based on user created challenges. With the experience of Forza Horizon 4 and the Super 7 mode, will the developers change how challenges are ranked and chosen?

FH4 Merc Hammer Coupe
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The default action if you're just quickly thumbing A to get through to the next challenge is to like the challenge card you've just completed. Changing this default action and adding more granularity in the feedback might give the developers at Playground Games a bit more of an idea of just how the experience of playing through these challenge cars is.

Adding a couple more options and making the default reaction "no feedback" is my suggestion. I'd include "Hard but good" and "Too easy" as reaction options. We could also use a way of expressing when a card is just designed to annoy.

Developers can then use that data to present challenges you'd enjoy more. Maybe you don't hate troll challenges like I and many others do. You could see more of them! I'd like more tough-but-sensible challenges, personally.

Playground Games have been gathering data on how we play Super 7. I'm sure they do look at challenges which are always failed on the first attempt but beaten second time around. If I could work on this feature, I would prioritise challenges which are more consistent in your chances of winning from attempt to attempt.

Horizon Arcade

Forza Horizon 5 will have a new Arcade mode, which will feature user-created challenges.

We've only seen the briefest of clips, but we hope this feature will improve upon the Super 7 experience. Just tweaking the algorithm that suggests challenges would reduce the incentive to create troll challenges.

Ultimately, players will shape the Arcade experience and so if we want to see fun events, it's on us to create them!

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