Forza Horizon 4 has been out for a week now, longer if you bought the Ultimate Edition with early access, and fans and critics seem to agree that it’s one of the best that the series has produced. No, that’s not just because it’s based in the UK, though it might have swayed opinion somewhat. Come on, it’s not often we get to race a hypercar around Scotland and the Lake District, so we’re going to enjoy that.
With a new game comes a new progression system, new barn finds, new showcase events and the all important new seasons which alter the environment in considerable ways. There’s a lot of extra fluff to take in for a game that is ostensibly all about the pure thrill of driving, but luckily we’re on hand to give you some tips to succeed in Forza Horizon 4.
1. All Roads lead to Rome, or Edinburgh at least
We’ll get this out of the way first as it runs somewhat counter to our other suggestions, but Forza Horizon 4 is fueled by player agency, as your progression is completely in your hands. Once you’ve earned enough influence to reach Player Level 20, the game takes the reins off and allows you to do your own thing within the Horizon festival, and it’s here where your choice matters.
Aside from the vague goal of reaching level 200 and becoming the biggest Horizon superstar in the land, you’re given no direction or indication of what to do, allowing you to earn influence however you want. Though the rest of these tips will suggest what to do or how to make progress, the biggest one we can suggest is finding a discipline or race type that you enjoy and sticking with it. No matter what you choose, you’ll be rewarded, so you may as well have fun doing it.
2. (Car) Dora The Explorer
Now that we’ve told you to basically do what you want, here’s what you should be doing. One of the primary focuses in the Forza Horizon games has always been exploration, whether that be to find bonus boards, discover roads or track down a pesky barn find. All three gameplay features make a return in Forza Horizon 4, and they’re more important than ever.
Most of the boards in the world grant bonus influence of up to 5,000, while each barn finds yields 3,000 influence and every road found adds even more. You can even find beauty spots across the map that’ll net you yet more influence. Side note: I wish finding a new landmark would give me more social media followers as well, but that’s neither here nor there.
The point is, in Forza Horizon 4 it pays to take the scenic route; to stop using fast travel and to travel to your destination, fast. If your next race or event is on the other side of the map, think of that as an opportunity to see parts of the game you haven’t seen yet, even if you’ll only see them as a 200mph blur.
3. Homes Under The Hubcaps
First off, ten points to your assigned house if you got the joke. A bit of British Daytime TV humour for you there. A new feature introduced in Forza Horizon 4 is the ability to buy houses and property using your saved up Credits. You’re then able to use these houses to access your garage, auction and the storefront.
Though it sounds like an unnecessary addition to the game, they do serve a good purpose. For starters, there’s only so many times you can make the trip back to the Festival site in order to upgrade your car or buy a new one. Secondly, buying a house usually nets you some free wheelspins, which can be used to earn more credits and exclusive cars, so they’re a worthwhile investment, if you’ve got the cash anyway.
4. Blue Paints & Blueprints
Despite being a racing game, Forza Horizon 4 absolutely rewards creativity, whether that be in car designs, tuning set-ups or outlandish races. Though you may wish to focus on just the racing aspect of the game, which is fair enough, it’s worth looking into these creative aspects of the game even if you’re not the most artistic or mechanically minded soul playing the game.
Every like or download on a piece of content gives the creator influence and rewards at certain tiers. Though making the Predator out of simple shapes and putting him on the side of a Veyron might not be possible for most people, the blueprint system easily allows you to create race types that are both memorable and will be downloaded by thousands of players. Just make sure you give the race a funny name. I’ve already dibsed “Arthur’s Toilet Seat”.
Also, bonus tip: when you reach level 20, the in-game seasons change week by week, but you can use the blueprint system to create races in certain seasons with different weather conditions. If it’s the middle of winter and you’re jonesing to bust out your Lambo, the blueprints feature is your friend.
5. Parallel Perking
Making a return in Forza Horizon 4 is the perk system, though it’s been expanded upon massively here. Instead of using the points you’ve earned from your skill combos to earn permanent upgrades, you instead use the points to upgrade each car individually. Again, it feeds back into the idea that you’re the one in control of your own personal progress.
As you might have guessed, each spent skill point leads to more influence for you, but the first perk for each car also grants a small boost to your influencer numbers, so it’s worth gaming the perk system for more of that sweet, sweet influence. Upgrade a car to maximum that can easily build combos and use that to earn points to spend on other cars.
6. We’ll Do It Live
Forza Horizon 4 sees the series making an even bigger push towards online play, with most events allowing you to play with other players, whether that be as a team or against each other. You can also join convoys of up to six players and explore the UK, or race against other teams in adventures, and the rewards are worth it. Just the co-op events alone grant you a huge amount of additional influence, so grab a friend and drive together.
Even if you’re driving alone, you can still get involved with other online activities like the #FORZATHON Live Events that pop up in free roam every so often. They’re a collection of PR stunt events that, you guessed it, give you more chances to earn influence, usually on stunts you haven’t unlocked yet. They also give you Forzathon points, which can be used on cars and wheelspins, leading to more cars, credits and, ultimately, influence.