Forza Motorsport: Features, game engine & everything we know

Chris Studley
Xbox Game Studios

The eighth installment of the Forza Motorsport franchise is a highly anticipated release that’s riding high on the back of Horizon 5’s excellent reception. This is everything we know about the upcoming racing title so far, including the latest announcements.

As regular players of the popular racing game will know already, there are two main Forza franchises: Horizon and Motorsport. Forza Horizon is the open-world adventure with an arcade twist, while Motorsport is the simulation for hardcore racing fans.

Article continues after ad

While Playground Games develops the Horizon games, Turn 10 Studios lead the charge on the Motorsport front. The latest installment of the franchise, Forza Motorsport, is a reboot of sorts, the game is not titled ‘Forza Motorsport 8’ as many expected and marks the debut of the track-based side of the franchise on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Thanks to the update at the Summer Game Fest and the in-depth Forza Monthly that followed, we know a lot about the Forza Motorsport reboot, and it’s looking to be quite the entry.

Article continues after ad

Forza Motorsport gameplayMicrosoft
Previous Forza Motorsport games have taken drivers all around the world.

Is there a Forza Motorsport release date?

During the Xbox Showcase on June 11, Turn 10 Studios confirmed that Forza Motorsport will be released on October 10, 2023.

Initially, the studio confirmed that Motorsport would launch in Spring 2023. However, during Xbox’s Developer Direct on January 25, Microsoft confirmed that the title would instead launch later in the year.

The game reportedly will require 132.1 GB of hard drive space for Xbox players, so make sure you have plenty of space available for the predownload.

Forza Motorsport trailer

Several trailers for the upcoming Motorsport title have been released since its initial announcement in July 2021. The most recent appearance at Summer Game Fest 2023 featured in-game footage giving players an idea of how incredible the game’s visuals will be.

Article continues after ad

Forza Motorsport will utilize full ray tracing and dynamic time that results in some incredible graphics. Both of these features were shown off during an older reveal at Summer Game Fest 2022.

You can check out all the trailers below:

Forza Motorsport platforms

Forza Motorsport will be available on Xbox Series X, Series S, and PC. As usual with Forza, the new reboot will not be available on PlayStation or Nintendo.

With the racing series being a first-party Xbox title it is extremely unlikely to ever appear on competing consoles.

Article continues after ad

Xbox Series S and X Forza

Forza Motorsport: New Features

A range of new features and overhauls to the career were announced during a Forza Monthly uploaded on June 13. This developer stream revealed that the team had prioritized making each individual car feel more meaningful, offering a big shift away from Forza Motorsport 7’s car collection model.

Career mode overhaul

Forza Motorsport will see the career mode brought back to its roots. Players will start out in slow cars and gradually work their way up to faster vehicles over time. This is similar to how the franchise’s progression used to work in older entries.

Article continues after ad

The career itself will be broken up into tours that limit what cars you can enter. Restrictions include your car’s discipline, type, nationality, and performance index class.

Each tour is made up of five different cups and each cup consists of five different races. This means around 25 races for each tour giving players plenty to work through. Developer Turn 10 Studios has confirmed that more tours will be coming post-launch with new cars and tracks being added directly into them.

Article continues after ad

Car levels and unlocking upgrades

Forza Motorsport completely changes how the franchise’s progression and iconic car customization works. Gone are the days of buying a car and upgrading it using credits with car levels taking its place.

The ability to equip parts is now unlocked by leveling up your car, with each car reaching up to level 50. You earn XP on a car every time you partake in practice or finish a race in it. Additional XP is earned for clean and fast racing. This adds an RPG-like aspect to Forza in a way that is rarely seen in racing games.

Article continues after ad

However, parts aren’t purchased with car XP. For that, you’ll need Car Points which are earned alongside XP for completing various goals and races. Car Points are specific to each car and are the only way to purchase unlocks and new parts.

More impactful upgrades will be locked behind higher levels. For example, changing your drivetrain or performing an engine swap will require your car to be higher level than installing a new air exhaust. Fully leveling a car is believed to take a couple of hours.

Article continues after ad
Forza Monthly showcase of new car level mechanic.Turn 10 Studios
Car levels bring RPG-like elements to Forza Motorsport.

Custom starting grid

A key change in Forza Motorsport revolves around the difficulty settings and how payouts are determined. In previous installments, the event payout was decided by what assists you had disabled. However, that is no longer the case.

Instead, players are now given the opportunity to choose where they start on the grid. The further back you choose the better the payout, assuming you’re fast enough to hit your goal. Based on what we know so far it does appear as though qualifying is being added.

Article continues after ad

Next-gen graphics

It has been confirmed that Forza Motorsport will feature ray tracing, as confirmed by creative director Chris Esaki. He has also stated that players will be able to enjoy impressive visuals across all tracks, games, and environments in the upcoming Forza Motorsport game.

In addition to this, Turn 10 studio architect Chris Tector gave us an insight into how Forza Motorsport will take advantage of the Xbox Series X hardware during an interview with Engadget:

With the wheels, we no longer have to compromise with those approximations, because they would always end up with this really flat lighting, or there wouldn’t be enough light interaction between the wheel and the brake discs and the fender. It’s a big, complicated, tight space in there, and now, we’re able to actually get a very realistic look to that wheel.”

Article continues after ad

Prior to the inclusion of onboard ray tracing in the next-gen consoles, Tector said that developers used to mimic lighting effects instead of implementing them fully, utilizing tools such as cube maps and static textures.

Gameplay Screenshot

AI overhaul

Forza Motorsport will feature an evolved “Drivatar” system that uses machine learning to master every possible car and track combination.

Per the official website, “The computer drives each track 26,000 times to achieve the fastest line through every layout! Just like actual players, the AI also uses a lot more of the track – pushing out to the track limits and even onto the curbs.”

Article continues after ad

And these new AI will make mistakes, similar to how human drivers do. It’ll now be possible to see AI drivers brake too late, go wide, or even steer off track. AI difficulty can be scaled between 1-8, with 8 considered as “unbeatable.”

What resolution will Forza Motorsport run at?

Turn 10 studios promised that players can expect the new iteration of the series to run at a smooth 4k/60 FPS on Xbox Series X and 1080p/60 FPS on Xbox Series S.

However, the PC version will be locked to just 60 FPS in multiplayer. As per the official website, “framerates are locked to 60FPS to ensure a consistent and competitive online racing experience for all players across a variety of PC hardware configurations and the Xbox Series X|S consoles.” In single-player, PC players can access unlocked framerates.

Article continues after ad

In the Gamescom 2023 reveal, it was confirmed that Forza Motorsport has been optimized “to look and play great across a wide range of PCs, taking advantage of cutting-edge PC hardware and technologies with real-time ray tracing on-track and maximum performance enabled by NVIDIA DLSS 2 and AMD FSR 2.2.”

New Forza Motorsport cars and tracks

Forza Motorsport will launch with 20 “completely rebuilt” tracks, as well as 5 “never-before-seen” tracks.

  • Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
  • Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
  • Eaglerock Speedway
  • Grand Oak Raceway
  • Hakone Circuit
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit
  • Laguna Seca Raceway
  • Le Mans – Circuit International de la Sarthe
  • Maple Valley
  • Mugello Circuit
  • Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • Nürburgring GP
  • Road America
  • Silverstone Circuit
  • Suzuka Circuit
  • Virginia International Raceway

Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca was an obvious inclusion as this is where the majority of the release trailer is ‘filmed.’ Maple Valley Raceway has also been seen in a number of playtests before being announced for the upcoming Forza Motorsport game.

Article continues after ad

Over 500 cars, per the Forza team, will be available to collect at launch. The Cadillac V-Series.R and the Corvette E-Ray were among the new cars confirmed for Forza Motorsport on June 11, 2023. You can read our ongoing list of confirmed cars for the new Forza Motorsport here.

The Laguna Seca circuit has been confirmed for the upcoming game.

What do we know about Forza Motorsport gameplay?

Features such as dynamic track and tire temperatures have been circulating the rumor mill. This means that tracks will get gradually ‘rubberized’ lap-by-lap as cars pass over and deposit sticky rubber from their tires. This in turn will increase the grip of the track on the racing line.

Article continues after ad

In a world-first for the Forza Motorsport series of games, rallying and off-road races are set to be included. SUVs and off-road vehicles are also meant to play a pivotal part in this area of the game. Race sizes are also set to be increased, which would make NASCAR significantly more realistic.

Do we know anything about Forza Motorsport online multiplayer?

Details on the multiplayer for the new Motorsport are slim, but you can expect more information to arrive soon.

Given the importance of having an in-depth online mode in modern racing games, there will be pressure on Turn 10 to deliver on this front.

Article continues after ad
Forza Motorsport Laguna Seca ActionYouTube: Xbox
Chriz Ezaki did confirm in January that a new online mode will be added for Forza Motorsport. But as we mentioned earlier, details are scarce at this point.

That’s everything we know about the eighth Forza Motorsport game so far! Be sure to check out our other release hubs for more upcoming games below:

The Elder Scrolls 6 | GTA 6 | Spider-Man 2 | KOTR Remake | Wonder WomanAvatar Frontiers of Pandora | Dragon Age 4 | Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom