Driving around Britain can be a hazardous business. Icy roads that can spin you into a ditch in a flash. Boy racers who’ll glady cut in front of you with nary a hint of a signal. Oh, and daring forest dashes against teams of ultra aggressive motocross riders. Alright, maybe that one is just a Forza Horizon 4 problem.
Playground Games has made some significant tweaks to the template laid down in Forza Horizon 3 with its UK-based sandbox successor. It’s alright to feel a little confused or overwhelmed, then – and hey, our Forza Horizon 4 beginner’s guide is here to clear things up. Below, we’ll guide you through the changes to car perks, give you tips for staying in races, and tell you how to fast-travel around the game’s compressed version of Britain like a pro.
We’ll also show you every Barn Find in the game, and if you scroll down, you’ll soon know the exact location of these unlockable classic cars. So break out the antifreeze, get your windscreen wiper fluid refilled, and bring a spare pair of sunnies as we help you master Forza Horizon 4 and its ever-changing seasons.
They say a picture is worth somewhere in the region of 999 and 1001 words, so in that spirit, here’s an image showing off every Barn Find in the game. Drive to these rusty old sheds and you’ll be rewarded with the classic cars they house. Just to note, you need to buy certain in-game properties to unlock select barns.
Spin to win
Don’t forget to use your free Wheelspins, racers. It can be easy to overlook Forza Horizon 4’s magic slot machine. Every time you level up, the game rewards you with a free Wheelspin, and each one spits out a combination of new cars, credits, and cosmetic items for your driver – the game is obsessed with flashy hats.
Trouble is, Horizon 4 rarely prompts you to use your Wheelspins, and if you’re not paying attention, you can soon find yourself with a ton of them. If you don’t use your spins regularly, you’re potentially missing out on millions of credits that could be used on new cars or property.
As a rule of thumb, make sure to check out the Wheelspin section on the Horizon Life tab of the options menu every hour or so. While those spins may only end up spitting out a new pair of knit trainers or a chainmail skirt – yes, apparently that’s an actual thing – for your hipster racer, alternatively, you could get lucky and unlock the likes of the supremely speedy Superlight R500. Always. Be. Spinning.
Unlike Horizon 3, there aren’t multiple festival sites you can fast-travel between. In fact, there’s only one proper site, and that’s squirrelled away at the bottom of the map, just south of Derwent Reservoir. If you want to cut down on those 10km slogs between events, you’re going to have to invest in property to unlock fast-travel.
There are around ten homes you can buy across Horizon 4’s Britain, and each one can be instantly travelled to once purchased – though, you’ll have to cough up a measly 10,000 credits every time you want to visit them. Properties range from cosy countryside cottages to Edinburgh freakin’ Castle. As the latter costs a ludicrous 15m credits, you’ll have to set your sights on more humble abodes when first starting out.
The Gables estate is gifted to you shortly after completing one of the game’s early stunt driver missions, so at least you can always fast-travel to the Uffington White Horse region. If you’re looking for other reasonable properties, Sunflower Meadows only costs 200,000 credits, and will set you up with a base near Ambleside. The beachside Thatch Corner, found near Astmoor, is also fairly wallet-friendly, and can be bought for 500,000 credits, which you should have earned after a couple of hours with the game.
Gas in the rank
Here’s a tip for all you worrywarts out there: don’t overly sweat your car’s rank when entering solo events. Having an S1 rank dream machine like the BMW M4 GTS is certainly handy for PvP races, but when it comes to racing the AI in single-player events, ratings aren’t as important as you’d think.
If you dig the adorable BMW Isetta 300 Export – and why the hell wouldn’t you? – don’t let its crappy 3.2 speed rating, or the fact that it struggles to get past 37 mph on hills put you off. To give you a sporting chance in most events, Horizon 4 throws in cars of a similar standard to the vehicle you’re driving. That means if you go in with the arthritic Isetta, you’ll be racing against other Isettas and cars with comparably crummy stats. Thanks to this system, you can actually have a lot of success with D rank motors in certain events.
So, if you love that slowpoke Datsun 510 sitting in your virtual garage, drive safe in the knowledge you’ll probably be racing against other dinky Datsuns. After all, not every car can be a Pagani Zonda.
Skill perks are now specific to every vehicle you own. Unlike Horizon 3, these perks no longer cover all your cars, so instead, you must individually purchase them for each ride you own.
If you find yourself using a small clutch of cars regularly make sure to splurge any available perk points on these go-to motors. Perks can be spent by visiting the Car Mastery panel found under the Cars tab from the main menu. Different vehicles have different perks, but in general, most have skills linked to boosting your car’s drift scores, increasing your influence points when you drive in that specific car, or even dishing out a free Wheelspin should you spend enough perks on a vehicle.
If you fail to use your perks, you’ll be throwing away an easy resource for boosting trick, influence, and drift points, which all lead to more credits. So show your car some love and treat it to some perks, eh?
Quit outta luck
Don’t quit too early. No really, don’t. Horizon 4 deploys some fairly subtle rubber banding to give you a fighting chance in races, even on higher difficulties. While the AI will often leave you for dust at the beginning of events, try not to get disheartened. As long as you keep to your racing lines and don’t totally screw up cornering – remember, there’s no shame in using the Rewind button – you’ll often find you can catch up to the leading three racers by the final lap.
Resist the urge to quit or restart an event even if you’re toiling away in eighth or ninth after the first lap. If you drive sensibly and keep up with the middle pack, you’ll be amazed how often you’ll cut leads that at first seemed insurmountable. Rubber banding isn’t usually something to celebrate, but in this case, at least it keeps you in a race right up until the final stages.