Forza Horizon 4 was praised as one of the best-looking games ever to hit the Xbox One upon its release. Even now, over two years later, fans are still making the most of its gorgeous graphics thanks to the in-built photo mode, so here’s our guide to getting the best out of FH4’s photo mode.
Forza Horizon 4 seems to be unstoppable. Just over two years after its release date, the game still pulls in players by the million and has a massive online fanbase. With its open-world nature, players are able to pick from the hundreds of cars in-game, tune them to their liking, and explore a miniaturized version of England.
Naturally, this led to some stunning in-game scenery. With faithful recreations of The White Horse, Edinburgh, and other iconic English landmarks, Horizon 4 is one of the prettiest racing games ever seen. Forza even runs a monthly photo competition over on their Forza Community Boards for it.
Thankfully, Playground Games have capitalized on this and included the fan-favorite Photo Mode in Forza Horizon 4. While it can be overwhelming to first-time users, we’ve brought together an ultimate guide to creating digital artworks with Photo Mode.
Camera Settings for Forza Horizon 4 Photo Mode
To access photo mode in Forza Horizon, players can press the up arrow on the D-pad at any time while driving.
This will bring up a number of settings that can be tweaked, from exposure to shutter speed, aperture, and color modes. Casual photographers can choose from a number of presets, but those that enjoy ‘Forzatography’ will want to adjust their own settings manually.
The default settings are very ‘flat’ and unrealistic, but with some basic changes, it is possible to make Forza Horizon photos look shockingly realistic.
This can be modified depending on the situation you’re ‘photographing’ – moving cars will require a higher shutter speed number to show motion, while static cars are unaffected by this slider.
Used to control the ‘falloff’ of the image, the Aperture setting can be played around with to get the desired depth-of-field to the image, to blur or show as much of the background as you wish. For a realistic look, we find setting the aperture around 10-20% gives a good result.
Exposure, Contrast, and Color
These are perhaps the most personal sliders. Exposure controls how bright the image is, while the contrast and color sliders are pretty self-explanatory.
By default, the image has not enough contrast and too much color. We’ve found a contrast setting of around 45-60 is good for realism, along with a color setting of 45-50, depending on the atmosphere being created.
The other settings are less important. Focus Mode depends on your shooting style, and the best thing to do is experiment to find your own preference. Bokeh Shape controls the shape of highlights in the image, while Sepia, Vignette, and Temperature are all used to control the ‘warmth’ and drama in the image.
Photography tips in Forza Horizon 4
Once you’ve got your settings nailed, you then have to apply them to your photography.
While style is a very individual thing, we have a number of tips and tricks for making your photos look more realistic.
Choosing your zoom setting is a big part of the overall aesthetic of the photos. For a realistic look, zooming to 1.5x gives a good result, with a look similar to that given by a real-world 50mm lens. For shooting dramatic scenes or emphasizing speed/movement, zooming out to .5x will add more action to your images.
Know your vehicle
Knowing about the car you’re shooting is another big help when it comes to making realistic images in Forza Horizon 4. For example, the Ferrari F40 has a louvered deck lid, which is see-through to show off the engine. Picking out key little details such as this will help your ‘photos’ stand out.
Think about the light
Just as with real-world photography, in-game photography requires the right light in Forza Horizon. With the day/night cycle constantly shifting, what might make a dull image during the day may look amazing at night.
Best photo locations Forza Horizon 4
Location, Location, Location. While it’s a cliché, it is also true. The car may be amazing, but if the location doesn’t work, the image won’t be as good as you might hope.
Thankfully, taking photographs in Forza is much easier than finding locations in the real world. Here’s a list of top photo locations in Forza Horizon 4:
- Arthurs Seat
- Edinburgh City Centre (great for night shots too)
- Ambleside Village
- The Standing Stones at Astmoor
- The Railyard, north of Lakehurst Forest
- Greendale Airstrip
- Broadway Village (excellent for Classic Cars)
- The neon tunnel at Horizon Festival
How to take interior photos in Forza Horizon 4
Annoyingly, unless your vehicle is a convertible, there’s no way of accessing the interior during gameplay.
However, it is possible to do so via ForzaVista. Once you’ve ‘got in’ the car of your choice, simply press X to access Forza Vista while in the showroom, then you can open the doors of the vehicle.
Not only can you open doors but on some models the engine bay is fully accessible too. For example, on the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, players can open the hood and see the engine in all its glory, ideal for photographing.
So, that’s everything you need to know to capture the best photographs in Forza Horizon 4! Make sure you toy around with all the different settings, as well as try out a bunch of different locations, so you can find exactly what works for you, and you might even stumble on some absolute gems.