We spoke to Forza expert HokiHoshi to find out how to perform the perfect drift in Forza Horizon 4.
Photo credit: Reddit / Eroomnibroc
Drifting is one of the toughest challenges in Forza Horizon 4. It requires a lot of practice as well as a good car setup. The perfect drift is about finding the right balance between throttle, brake and countersteering.
Rob aka HokiHoshi has played the Forza games since he was a child. But with the release of Forza Horizon 3, he finally fell in love with the franchise. Today, he is a successful YouTuber and well-known for his tutorials on Forza. We spoke to the content creator about what makes a great drift.
Choosing the right car
Before you go out in the streets, you need to choose your car. If you want to get into drifting, you should consider purchasing the Formula Drift Cars DLC. “I find those are definitely the easiest to learn in,” recommends HokiHoshi.
However, these cars are not only great for beginners. “Even for advanced players the FD cars are still a top choice due to that high steering angle which allows you to push so much more drift angle than you can in most other cars.”
If those cars are not quite your style, Forza Horizon 4 still offers you plenty of options to choose from: “Just look for anything lightweight, front-engined and rear wheel drive. Drifting in Horizon is a lot more about the build and tune than it is about the specific car choice. You can get anything to slide with the right setup,” HokiHoshi explains.
Adjusting for drifts
Our Forza expert elaborates there are some essential upgrades to make your car ready for drifting. For starters, go for the drift suspension which gives you more steering angle than any other setup. Also, the pro advices to pick up the two-way differential as “this allows you to set your diff lock rate in tuning at or near 100% which is very important for kicking the rear end out and controlling the drift.”
It is also highly recommended to turn off traction control, stability control, and ABS for a better drifting experience. From there, you can adjust the car to whatever suits you best.
If you are aiming to drift with a more powerful car, you might need to change some of the adjustments. “On lower powered cars you’ll want stiff suspension to help the car slide – but the more power you add, the softer you want everything to be.”
Speaking of powerful cars, HokiHoshi says “there is no reason not to max upgrade the car for people going for all out-score builds. Max power, weight reduction, transmission upgrades and an aggressive alignment tune.”
But always make sure your car is ready for the power you apply: “Just make sure you get some wide race tires to match all the power you’ll be adding. A lot of beginners think the trick to drifting is low grip, so they will keep the stock, skinny tires and up the PSI to max. And then they wonder why they keep spinning out. High end drifting is all about grip, so picking a tire compound to match your power level is key.“
Many players also suggest to not select the automatic clutch. It could hamper your drift as soon as you open the throttle while sliding.
Much like choosing a car, adjusting it is a lot about personal preferences. Every racer will tune their car differently. Trying out what feels best for you and fits your driving style is essential for the perfect drift.
Entering the drift
Let’s get to serious business now. The beginning of the drift is the first key point. But how should you enter the drift?
“The easiest way is definitely the handbrake entry. Use the handbrake while simultaneously turning in towards the corner, keep the handbrake held while you countersteer and set your angle, then release the handbrake when it’s time to start adding power.” This entry is perfect for inexperienced drifters argues HokiHoshi: “I think this method is a lot easier to grasp because it’s so much more forgiving on timing, which is crucial for drifting, but something beginners often struggle with.”
However, using the handbrake is not the only option you have. What is the best entry in the Forza expert’s opinion? “That depends on the corner and your personal style. Some people really enjoy smooth weight shifting, or you can clutch kick and flick the wheel for a really aggressive entry. Personally, I like to use weight shift and foot-braking on most of my drifts. It’s smooth but fast.”
How to countersteer
Now that you know how to enter the drift, it is time to learn how to keep it going. As you entered the drift you will notice that your car constantly wants to spin out. Therefore, you need to keep it on track by steering in the opposite direction you are going. That means, if you drift around a right-hander, steer to the left.
Countersteering is the biggest timing aspect of drifting as HokiHoshi explains: “One of the biggest mistakes I see new drifters make is what I call ‘reaction countersteer’. This means that the driver does not react enough or at all until they notice the car is already starting to spin out. This is almost always too late though. They will just continue to spin or overcorrect and spin themselves the opposite direction.”
Don’t be disappointed if your first tries are not too successful. “Countersteering can be frustrating to learn because I feel there is no good way to teach it. It really all comes down to trial and error and practice. Once you understand what the car is going to do and how much angle you will have when you initiate your drift – you start to learn how much countersteer you need to apply and you do it almost pre-emptively.”
In the end, countersteering can also only be effective if it is aligned well with other inputs. “Countersteer comes down to being good at predicting how much angle your entry will give you, and then making minor adjustments along with your handbrake, gas and footbrake to keep you sliding around the corner.”
The interaction of throttle and brake
“Countersteering is only one part of how you control and angle your car in a drift,” HokiHoshi explains. He then adds a extremely interesting fact: “One of the first things you should hear when learning to drift is that you control your steering with your feet, not your hands.”
In fact, drifting is about the interaction of the wheel and the pedals as the Forza expert explains: “In a ‘perfect’ drift, you want to set your angle with your steering wheel, and then keep and control it with the gas and brake pedal.”
Always have an eye on the corner you are going around the find out how to adjust your controls. “More gas adds speed, angle and lengthens the curve of your drift, while braking will narrow the curve of your drift and, of course, slow you down.”
Really, drifting can only be mastered with lots of practice: “It’s all about learning the line and understanding when you might be coming in too hot and need to scrub speed. Or if you need to add power to carry yourself around the corner or extend the drift.”
Learning this technique in Forza Horizon 4 requires much time. HokiHoshi suggests that watching other drivers can significantly improve your gameplay: “If you are struggling, watch other people! Timing is the biggest beginner struggle with drifting. If you can, watch other players in Forza or even real-life drivers. It can really help you understand when you should be doing certain things in the car.”
Besides driving, preparing the car is essential for drifting. “Do not neglect any aspect of the customizing or tuning just because it’s a drift build. Every little thing from bump stiffness to gearing can play a big role in how your car slides.”
In the end, there is no clear guide on how to drift in Forza Horizon 4. Therefore, you should enjoy the experience. “Make sure you’re having fun. That’s the number one key of drifting,” adds HokiHoshi. Make sure to try out various cars, builds and techniques to find the combination you are comfortable with. In the end our drifting expert summarizes: “It is all about finding your own style. There’s not just one way around a corner when it comes to drifting!”