How to tune cars in Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5

How to tune cars in Forza Horizon 5

Our guide tells you how to get the maximum out of each car with tuning in Forza Horizon 5!

Photo credit: Playground Games / Microsoft

Forza Horizon offers a broad range of possibilities to make your favourite car even better. With tuning, you can extract the maximum out of every vehicle in the open world racing game. Our guide teaches you the basics of tuning in Forza Horizon 5.

But be aware, this guide might not give you the perfect settings. Tuning is a question of individual preferences and driving style. Also, it always depends on the car you tweak and to which events to want to take it. Use our explanations as a starter to understand what effect the different tunes have to a car. From there on, it is up to you to try things out and find the tuning setup that fits you best.

Get the upgrades, then the tune

First of all, let us make clear that there are two ways to work on your car in Forza Horizon 5, upgrades and tuning. Getting upgrades means buying new car parts like differentials or springs to apply to your vehicle. They mostly have an immediate impact on the stats and behaviour of your car. Getting upgrades is the first thing you have to do as it unlocks the ability to tune that respective part of the car.

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Tyre pressure

Tyres are one of the most crucial points of every setup and the only car part you can tune without having to buy upgrades.

Lower tyre pressures are going to give you more grip, which is especially useful for races in the narrow villages of Mexico. Also, your tyres will gain heat more easily, meaning they will be at the optimal race temperature quicker. Tyres that become too hot are going to lose grip and wear out faster. But since races are not very long in Forza Horizon 5, this factor is negligible. A bigger downside of lower pressure is a reduced responsiveness of the car, meaning it reacts more slowly to your inputs.

Never set the tyre pressures too far apart from each other. Photo credit: Microsoft.

Higher tyre pressure will bring back that responsiveness. Also, harder tyres allow for a higher top speed, making this option a good choice for drag races. Forza Horizon 5 lets you tweak front and rear tyre pressure separately. However, we recommend that you don’t set these values too far apart from each other. The bigger the difference in tyre pressure, the harder your vehicle becomes to handle.

Gearing

Gearing settings manage the balance between top speed and acceleration on your car. While it is possible to manage this balance for every gear, the most important setting in this section is the final drive. By setting up this part correctly, you can create a perfect balance between speed and acceleration for almost every car.

The graphic in the bottom right-hand corner makes it easy to find the perfect final drive tune. Photo credit: OverTake/Microsoft.

Change the bar of the final drive so that all gears appear in the graphic in the bottom right-hand corner. Your last gear should end up exactly on the red line in the top right-hand corner. From this pre-set, you can also have a look at each individual gear to take things to the maximum.

Alignment – Camber and Toe

Camber and toe affect the position and orientation of your tyres. Camber decides whether the top of your tyres point towards or away from the car, while toe angle determines the same for the front of your tyres.

A negative camber angle, meaning the tyres will point towards your car, reduces understeer in corners at the cost of top speed. Positive camber (tyres pointing away from your car) reduces oversteer, however it also makes it easier for you to unsettle your car.

Toe pointing in towards your car makes the car more stable at the cost of turn-in responsiveness. Toe out has the opposite effect. Both high camber and toe values cause excessive tyre wear, which is why you should not set them too high.

Antiroll bars

Antiroll bars grant extra stability in corners by balancing understeer versus oversteer. While each car has its own behavioural patterns which require separate settings, there are some rules of thumb that apply to almost every vehicle.

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The stiffer the rear anti-roll bar is compared to the front, the more oversteer you are going to face. Therefore, we advise you to set front stiffness only about 10 percent lower than the rear. Do not set the antiroll bars too high or you could see some of your wheels in the air in some corners. Also, off-road setups usually require softer bars than street setups.

Springs and ride height

Springs build the bridge between the wheels and the bodywork of the car. They are made to absorb bumps in the road and make sure your tyres always remain in contact with the track by transferring the car’s weight under both braking and acceleration.

Making the rear a bit stiffer than the front will help you to prevent understeer. However, be aware that stiffer springs increase the chance of locking up your tyres under heavy braking. The softer you go, the more bumps they are able to absorb, which is especially useful for off-road racing. But softer springs also reduce the responsiveness of your car.

For street races, we would generally advise you to set the ride height as close to the minimum as possible without the underside of your car scraping the asphalt. This improves top speed as well as cornering stability. Off-roaders want to do the exact opposite so as not to destroy their entire underbody on the bumpier surfaces.

Aero settings

By upgrading to front and rear wings, you also have the chance to work on the aerodynamics of your car. The more you use your wings to help you with cornering, the more downforce you’ll generate, resulting in better traction through the corners at the cost of top speed and acceleration.

Brake balance and pressure

Brake balance determines how much braking force is applied to the front or rear of your car. Setting these values too close to the extremes will cause heavy understeer or oversteer. As such, we believe it is best to keep them close to the centre point.

Brake pressure is a bit more variable. More pressure means your brakes are going to respond more sensitively to your input. But be careful not to add too much or your tyres are going to lock up in every braking zone. Street racers generally like to have a bit more brake pressure than off-roaders.

Differential

Finally, we round out our tuning setup with the differential. This car part controls whether the wheels on an axis spin at the same or at different speeds. The more the differential is locked, the more the tyres are forced to adhere to the same rotation speed.

Balancing the differential requires time and a good feel for your car. Generally speaking, locking the differential leads to better acceleration out of corners. However, a locked differential also causes understeer on corner entry.

The balance of the differential determines how much power is sent to the front or rear axle. For most cars in Forza Horizon 5, it is recommended to shift the balance towards the rear. However, sending too much power there can end in massive oversteer and your car becoming inrecibly difficult to handle in the traction zones.

Conclusion

Tuning is ultimately a matter of personal prefrence, and Forza Horizon 5 allows you to adapt every little detail on the car to your needs. Our base explanations create the foundation. However, only by trying out new settings and monitoring the behaviour of your car will you be able to achieve the perfect setup. Once you’ve found it, you’ll hopefully win every race in Forza Horizon 5.

What is your best advice for tuning in Forza Horizon 5? Send us a tweet @overtake_gg or tell us in the comments down below!

Maik Jahn
born and raised close to the Nürburgring.