Forza Horizon 5 rolls out a new hotfix update with online improvements and fixes

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

What you need to know

  • Forza Horizon 5 is an excellent and well-received open-world racing game from Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios.
  • The game has suffered from a variety of online multiplayer issues since launch, which Playground has been continually working on.
  • The latest iteration of these efforts is the Dec. 14, 2021 hotfix update, which is rolling out now to all FH5 players.
  • The hotfix includes several key fixes for online matchmaking, convoys, traffic cars, and overall game stability.

One of the year's biggest games is Forza Horizon 5, a critically-acclaimed open-world racing title from the talented team at Playground Games. While the game is beloved and relatively polished overall, its various online portions have come under fire from the FH5 community for instability, frequent bugs, and other issues preventing a great multiplayer experience. The latest effort from Playground to fix these issues is the newly released Dec. 14, 2021 hotfix update for Forza Horizon 5, which is rolling out now on all platforms.

This update is relatively minor, but still includes several important fixes targeting the areas players have expressed frustration, including online matchmaking, convoys, and traffic cars. There are also improvements to stability and crashes, which worsened after the Dec. 3, 2021 patch update earlier this month. The Dec. 7, 2021 hotfix did fix the most critical flaw of that larger patch update, but this hotfix aims to resolve even more.

The hotfix update is now available for Forza Horizon 5 across Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and PC. On Xbox Series X, the update came out to ~850Mb, but may vary in size on other platforms. It's recommended that you install this hotfix as soon as possible if you've been experiencing any issues in FH5's online multiplayer.

It's also worth mentioning that Playground Games has once again communicated its knowledge about the ongoing issues many players are having completing several Festival Playlist challenges and objectives through the in-game Messages Center, and are working on a solution for the affected players. It's not clear what this solution looks like, yet, but something is in the works.

In case you missed it, the Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist just kicked of Series 2 with new challenges and cars to celebrate the holidays.

In our Forza Horizon 5 review, we concluded that FH5 is already one of the best Xbox racing games you can play, and this will only become more true over time. FH5 hasn't been free of bugs and issues, but Playground Games has been transparent about working on the various problems. If you want to learn more about what this open-world racer entails, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to Forza Horizon 5.

The full changelog for the Forza Horizon 5 Dec. 14, 2021 hotfix update includes:

Bug fixes

Game stability

  • Various stability fixes
  • Server stability improvements


  • Network improvements
  • Convoy matchmaking improvements
  • Fixed an issue with convoy members disappearing
  • Fixed an issue with players trying to join another players server


  • Fixed an issue with Direct Storage Issues on Series X|S


  • Freeroam car traffic improvements
Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

  • And they still did nothing to fix the broken challenges, meaning the Min Meet Max achievement will be unobtainable yet again. You saying that Playground Games is being transparent just gives away your bias, they refuse to even acknowledge the seasonal issues let alone do anything to fix them. No way does this game deserve the praise it's been given, it's just good looking garbage.
  • They absolutely have acknowledged them; they're listed as Known Issues and are being tracked. These things take time, and we're going into the holidays. Playground Games is run by people, and they deserve breaks and credit for what they've accomplished, even if it's not perfect (something they've been open to admitting). It's fine to be frustrated, but why does that have to override all the good things about the game?
  • Oh, poor things deserve a break. What about the people whose money they took for a buggy mess of a AAA game who can't play it properly on THEIR well deserved breaks? If that is truly their concern, they should either wait until after the holidays to release a game, or, I don't know, actually TEST it properly so it's not broken when it is released. Making excuses for them will just continue to ensure developers release broken garbage and take however long they feel like it to fix the problems. We as consumers should ALL be fed up and vocal about it.
  • Players are having problems 100% completing the Festival Playlist and some Accolades. These issues are frustrating for those who desire 100% completion, but are frankly not that dire. Those fixes will come, as Playground has stated repeatedly (and again in the in-game Message Center with this hotfix). The more serious issues are those related to online, something that is extremely difficult to test before release and affects many online games. Playground is working on improvements constantly. Feedback and criticism is important, but so is being aware that it takes time to act on said feedback and criticism. Calling a game "broken garbage" undermines the work of hundreds of people because of issues that every game in the history of forever is bound to have. Millions of other people and I are still having a blast with FH5 even with the issues. If the problems they've clearly communicated on and are working to resolve are too much for you, submit your feedback and go play something else.
  • And you - as a journalist covering the game industry - not even mentioning these problems and then when they are brought up as concerns being dismissive about them, are not doing a service to your readers and helping them make informed decisions about where to spend their time and money. So are you doing your job to inform the masses, or to be a corporate shill for all Microsoft game studios?
  • The way you're blowing this out of proportion is the best argument for what he's saying.
  • There will NEVER be bug free software. Ever. End of story. The sooner you realize this the better. They could work on the game for 20 years and there will still be bugs. Software is immensely complex and a game like this has literally millions of lines of code. A few broken accolades are not going to ruin your life. If it does, then it is time to reevaluate your life choices.
  • I'm not seeing this. Time to get into the Hope and Disappointment cycle again.
    At least it's often.