Forza Horizon 5 Beginner’s Guide: Five Tips To Get You Up To Speed

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It’s time to get back in the driver’s seat as Forza Horizon 5 has arrived. Destined to be one of the biggest games of the year, Forza Horizon 5 gives players another sprawling landscape to explore behind the wheels of over 500 vehicles at launch, and with more to come in the months ahead. This year’s game takes you to Mexico, where you’ll drift through narrow cityscapes, launch yourself over massive dunes, and splash through shoreline checkpoints on some of the world’s finest beaches. After dozens of hours with the game, we’ve written this Forza Horizon 5 beginner’s guide to get you in the fast lane with Xbox’s new racer.

Grab Your Rewards From The Accolades Menu

Your new favorite car may be waiting for you in this menu.
Your new favorite car may be waiting for you in this menu.

Like before, Forza Horizon 5 gives out rewards so often that it’s sometimes easy to lose track of everything you’ve earned. A lot of your earnings, such as new vehicles and dialogue options for Forza Link, the in-game quick chat feature, are doled out via the game’s Accolades menu when you’re paused. Accolades are like additional in-game achievements that unlock main story missions in Horizon Adventure, but while you grab those numerical Accolades themselves automatically upon earning them, you’ll need to manually check up on what else you’ve earned alongside them.

Even after dozens of hours of playtime, I recently discovered I’d left some new cars and other rewards in the Accolades menu. These are literally free cars, and if you’re trying to unlock every car in Forza Horizon 5, plenty will be delivered via this reward system, so don’t fall asleep at the wheel. Look for the yellow icon, as shown above, that denotes when you’ve got unclaimed rewards. Grab your free stuff whenever Forza is offering them–that goes for Wheelspins and Barn Finds, too.

Invest In The Buenas Vistas Player House Early

Of all the Player Houses in the game, this one is the most important.
Of all the Player Houses in the game, this one is the most important.

While we’ve already got a full guide on where to find all Forza Horizon 5 Player Houses, it’s important to call extra attention to one Player House in particular. Buenas Vistas, which is located in the southwestern corner of the massive open world, is a pricey but super valuable house due to its unique perk. Once purchased for two million credits, you’ll unlock the ability to fast-travel to any road on the map. Without this feature, you can merely fast-travel to Festival Sites and Player Houses, but you may find the further you get into the game, the more you’ll want to get right into the action wherever it is on your map.

It may seem blasphemous to fast-travel so much in a racing game, especially a great one like this, but when you’re 50 hours deep and the new events are fewer and farther between, it’s very helpful to be able to jump around the map much faster. If you’re going for the achievement to drive on all 578 roads in the game, this is the best way to clear that missing mileage.

Begin Each Horizon Adventure Before You Continue Any One Path

You'll get more out of the game if you start each unique series as soon as possible.
You’ll get more out of the game if you start each unique series as soon as possible.

After an extended introduction, you’ll be given the keys to the city and left to progress however you’d like. However, you should prioritize six races, in particular, to get the most out of your open world. In the Horizon Adventure screen, you’ll see there are six major racing disciplines in Forza Horizon 5: mainstage, road racing, dirt racing, cross-country racing, PR stunts, and street racing. Whenever you earn enough Accolades to play a new Horizon Adventure chapter, you should make it the first order of business to play the introductions to each of these disciplines.

Once you do, you’ll not only reveal more Player Houses, but more importantly, you’ll unlock the open world’s full potential by decorating the map with dozens more of each kind of activity. So before you commit to playing every dirt race, for example, make sure you’ve already seen through at least the first instance of every other discipline. That way, you’ll quickly unlock the full spectrum of activities to do in virtual Mexico.

Spend Your Car Voucher Wisely

Any one car can be yours for free with the Welcome Pack.
Any one car can be yours for free with the Welcome Pack.

Those who are playing the Forza Horizon 5 Premium Edition (or those on Game Pass who elect to purchase the add-on) have access to the Welcome Pack, which includes a few nice bonuses to get you going right away in the lengthy game. Among those extra goodies is a single car voucher. With it, you can unlock any one car totally for free, no matter its cost. Therefore, you should spend it wisely.

I used mine on the McLaren Speedtail because I love McLarens and the supercar would’ve otherwise cost me over two million credits. Whatever manufacturer you favor, consider grabbing its most expensive car. You only get one free car voucher, and while the game will reward you with other free cars throughout the game, rarely, if ever, will you have the opportunity to drive off the lot with the game’s most expensive cars free of charge. You can spend the voucher in the Autoshow or from the portfolio of cars in the pause menu.

Photograph Cars At The Start Of Every Race

Everybody say
Everybody say “cheese!”

Accolades aren’t exactly in short supply in the rewards assembly line that is Forza Horizon 5, but every little bit helps. One quick and easy way to earn Accolades is to use Horizon Promo, which you can access after you buy the Lugar Tranquilo Player House on the shores of the east coast beaches. With Horizon Promo, you’ll earn Accolades for every 25 cars you photograph for the first time. The best time to do this is at the start of every solo race against AI opponents.

Once the race begins, simply press up on the D-pad to enter photo mode and pull the camera back to include every vehicle in one shot. You’ll know you haven’t photographed a particular car yet if it has a camera icon above it. Simply snap a quick picture–you need not even save the pic–and you’ll tally more cars toward the end goal of photographing every car in the game. It’ll take a while no matter what, but this way is certainly the best way to get lots of cars crossed off your list in a hurry.


Mark Delaney on Google+

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