At its launch, Forza Horizon 5 came with an absolutely gigantic car roster consisting of nearly 600 vehicles. They span all sorts of types, like off-road monsters, hot rods, hatchbacks, hypercars, and everything in between. With such a huge, varied roster, the performance differences from vehicle to vehicle can vary greatly. Luckily, Forza Horizon 5 offers car tuning.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself rocketing at 200+ mph down the highway in a Pagani, and other times you’ll creep up to 80mph in an old VW Beetle. The discrepancy in experiences can make some players wary of the seemingly “jalopy” cars. But, here’s the neat thing about Forza Horizon — any car can be a supercar. You just need to tune it right.
What are car tunes?
Well, here’s what they’re not. They’re not the jams that come out of the radio, and it’s also not a wordplay on the word cartoons. Car tuning is the process of making adjustments to specific parameters of a car’s parts. Or, in layman’s terms, it makes the parts of a car better, thus equaling better performance and more “vrooms.”
By tuning up a car, even a simplistic vehicle that nearly blows a gasket to get up to 60mph will be able to run rocket off of a Danger Sign jump like a bullet. Even better, it’ll actually start allowing you to win some races.
Forza Horizon 5, like its predecessors, is a very forgiving experience. Even if you come dead last in a race, that’ll still net you some Credits and XP (and now, Accolades). But, of course, you don’t want to sit there and never place in the Top 3. Especially when it comes to races and other events that do require you to come in first, like Seasonal Championships. Then, winning really is the only option. This is where car tunes really come in clutch.
Proceed with caution
The thing about car tunes is that they’re arguably one of the most complex operations in Forza Horizon 5. Jumping into the tuning menu will introduce you to all sorts of values and terms that are mostly only familiar to actual car enthusiasts. Thus, it can definitely be a daunting task for newcomers. Making a bad tune will only result in your car performing inefficiently, likely causing it to become very hard to control.
Before you even get to tuning, depending on what kind of car it is, you’ll likely need to first upgrade its parts. This operation is far easier. Forza Horizon 5 allows you to simply “Auto Upgrade” all of a car’s parts at once, raising it from one class to another. Or, you can select what you want individually by shopping around in each of the categories.
Either way you look at it, tuning is a very technical and mostly hands-on process. The key to making a good tune is to, well, fine-tune each value to be properly balanced and then testing it out to verify its efficiency. Looking at it this way as a newcomer, you may either be really intrigued or find this all to be too intimidating. Thankfully, you don’t have to learn how to tune in order to take full advantage of it. Thus, this finally leads to what this guide was setting up to all along: community-made tunes.
Like taking your car to a quality auto mechanic shop, the community has your back when it comes to churning out master tunes. Whatever car you’re trying to spruce up, you’ll find a great tune for it. Considering the already massive and ever-growing player base of Forza Horizon 5, you’ll never not find a good tune.
Let the experts handle it
Simply navigate to the Community Tunes tab and scroll through the list of options. Creators will label the tune according to what its purpose is. For example, many of the weekly seasonal events call for using a car of a specific category and performance class. So, once you select the car you want, you can then find a tune that suits that specific use. In this instance, they’ll often be labeled something like “Seasonal” or “[Event Name] Winner.”
Here’s an example of a tune for the 1973 Ford Escort RS1600 that’s been shown throughout this guide:
As you can see, the stock version of the Escort is a D class, the lowest performance class in the game. But, this first tune bumps it all the way up to a very capable S1 monster. All of its stats are boosted across the board, gearing it towards rally races. While it would’ve struggled to get to 60mph in almost ten seconds, it can now get there in under three. Not to mention its now capable of going nearly 100mph faster than before.
But, what if you want a tune that specifically makes a car fast and lightweight for jumping challenges? Or one that’s oriented towards drifting? To discover a more specific tune, you just need to type in a keyword using the search function, or punch in the share code from a creator. You may find such a code in a YouTube video, or on site like Reddit. But, you’ll likely get what you need right there on the first batch of search results. Also be mindful of the popularity of a tune, which is displayed in the left info pane. A really popular tune will have more stars.
To really see if a tune is the right fit, pay attention to the stats in the “Performance” section (located in the center of above image) and see if they match what you want. The categories are pretty explanatory, and the new markers at the bottom right further specify what the tune is geared towards (rally, street, etc.). You’ll also see comparisons of how much the tune changes the performance and characteristics of your car compared to its current version. Once you find the tune, select it and install it. The game will then find and show you the price of all the parts it’ll need to complete the upgrade, then you just have to hit “Buy” and viola — the tune is downloaded, installed and completed for you all in a matter of seconds. Chances are it may even change some cosmetic parts of your car too. Throw on a new paint job or custom design and you’ll have a mean, upgraded machine on your hands.
For more information about Forza Horizon 5, be sure to keep looking at our Guides & Features hub.