Forza Horizon 5 crashing: How to fix on PC and official workarounds

Forza Horizon 5 Preview Screenshot
Forza Horizon 5 Preview Screenshot (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Horizon 5 is the latest open-world racer from Playground Games, bringing its virtual motoring celebration and hundreds of vehicles to the roads of Mexico. The title looks to join the best Xbox racing games of all time, allowing players to test drive hundreds of cars while equally accessible to anyone with a taste for modern motoring. The title made its formal debut on Nov. 9, 2021, on Xbox consoles and PC, also included with Xbox Game Pass.

While the latest entry has launched in a relatively polished state, we're still rounding up the outstanding bugs and launch issues you might face in Forza Horizon 5. Reports of frequent crashes are among the most common problems through launch, especially for those playing on PC. Playground Games has acknowledged the issue, chalking up hard crashes to various external factors while providing a list of potential workarounds. Here's what you need to know about Forza Horizon 5 crashing, common causes, plus the best fixes so far to get back on those virtual roads.

Forza Horizon 5 Preview Screenshot

Source: Xbox Game Studios (Image credit: Source: Xbox Game Studios)

Some PC players may encounter unexpected crashes when playing Forza Horizon 5 via the Microsoft Store and Steam. PC issues are naturally more widespread than Xbox consoles, with a large market for various hardware configurations, software conflicts, and more. The Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions run in a restrictive operating system across just a handful of devices, providing a higher chance of a smoother out-of-box experience.

Forza Horizon 5 players commonly report crashes during the game's opening minutes during the opening driving sequence. It's the first time Forza Horizon 5 flexes the whole open world in action and serves as the initial opportunity for crashes to occur. Crashes may also occur during the initial loading screen when first booting the game.

Playground Games has identified the root causes of many crash scenarios, including some troubleshooting steps to address common issues. We've rounded up the best workarounds for Forza Horizon 5 crashes for those on Windows 10 and Windows 11 PCs.

Check your PC meets the requirements

Those experiencing issues with the PC version should ensure their system lines up with the Forza Horizon 5 system requirements. Playground Games has provided three tiers of hardware, spanning minimum, recommended, and ideal specifications, detailing CPU, GPU, and RAM requirements to meet these thresholds.

Those with PC components that fall below minimum specifications are likely unable to experience Forza Horizon 5, which may introduce crashes when booted on the system. Those who surpass the minimum specification may also benefit from lowering various graphics settings to accommodate your PC hardware.

It also never hurts to install the latest available version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 while also updating any associated drivers. While Forza Horizon 5 only requires the Windows 10 Nov. 2019 (1909) update on paper, we recommend updating your PC for an optimal gameplay experience.

Switch to an admin account

Playground Games also recommends users play Forza Horizon 5 with an administrator account, alleviating various restrictions on the title, leading to crashes. We have a dedicated guide on changing your user account type in Windows 10, should you need to gain administrator privileges to play Forza Horizon 5 on your PC.

Check for antivirus and other software conflicts

Some of the reported issues with Forza Horizon 5 can be traced back to additional software on your PC, which may conflict with your game installation. Antivirus software, firewalls, and various third-party apps can trigger Forza Horizon 5 to crash, and in some cases, even prevent the game from opening entirely.

Common programs include Discord, one of the top communication tools among PC gaming crowds, plus streaming software like OBS and Xsplit. Discord users have reported consistent issues when using the program's screen share function, with many crashes tied back to screen-recording software. The issue appears to affect both Steam and Microsoft Store versions of the game through the launch window.

Playground Games has outlined several popular virus checkers which can prevent Forza Horizon 5 from opening. They're regularly among the usual culprits impacting the latest game releases, impacting how various PC games can run on your system. Disabling these antivirus packages may improve your experience with the game.

  • Avast
  • Avira
  • Bitdefender Firewall
  • Comodo Antivirus
  • Emisoft Anti-Malware
  • Sophos
  • Trend Micro Maximum Security

Various third-party apps are also among potential causes for Forza Horizon 5 crashes, including popular utilities like MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision, and Logitech G Hub. Popular apps like Discord, Xsplit, and OBS join the list, which may impact stability when open alongside Forza Horizon 5.

  • A-Volute Sound studio
  • Discord
  • EVGA Precision
  • Logitech G Hub
  • MacType
  • MSI Afterburner/Riva Tuner Statistics Server
  • Nahimic Audio
  • OBS
  • Sonic Audio
  • Wallpaper Engine
  • Warsaw Banking App
  • Xsplit

Disable Game Mode in Windows 10 / Windows 11

Windows 10 and Windows 11 offer a dedicated "Game Mode," a global setting designed to improve how certain games run on your system. It's especially beneficial to lower-end PCs without processing power to spare, throttling background apps to prioritize your gaming experience.

Playground Games also recommends disabling Game Mode in Windows 10 and Windows 11 when playing Forza Horizon 5. It's far from a guaranteed fix but eliminates another component that could cause the title to crash on some systems.

Reset Forza Horizon 5 via Windows 10 / Windows 11 settings

Those who downloaded Forza Horizon 5 via the Microsoft Store, including Xbox Game Pass licenses, may also find success through "resetting" the game via your PC settings. Windows 10 and Windows 11 feature the ability to reset apps downloaded from their integrated marketplaces, potentially reducing crashes in some PC scenarios. The following steps will reset your Forza Horizon 5 installation in the event of crashing upon startup.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Windows 10 / Windows 11 PC.
  2. Select the Apps tile.
  3. Navigate to the Apps & features tab. Locate Forza Horizon 5 from the list of installed apps.
  4. Click Forza Horizon 5.
  5. Select Advanced options. Navigate to the reset subheading.
  6. Select the Reset tile.
  7. Select Reset to reset the app.

You can now open Forza Horizon 5 to test whether the reset has reduced the frequency of crashes.

These workarounds represent just some of the official troubleshooting steps provided by Playground Games following the launch of Forza Horizon 5. While only a subset of players, these crashing issues continue to impact a growing number of players following the game's release. The official Forza Support hub provides further documentation directly from the studio, with formal fixes likely to follow after launch.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.