Forza Horizon 5 Store ScreenshotSource: Xbox Game Studios | Microsoft Store

Open world games encapsulate a wide variety of titles from different genres, with each game placing importance on their expansive worlds and how players are able to explore them. Forza Horizon 5 is one such game, and Playground Games is poised to deliver their largest, most diverse, and most detailed open world yet with the next entry in its Forza Horizon franchise. If what we've seen so far of Forza Horizon 5's incredible-looking map can be applied across the board, Forza Horizon 5 is already in the running to join our list of best Xbox racing games.

Here's everything you need to know about the map and location for Forza Horizon 5.

The Festival returns

Forza Horizon 5 Key Art

Forza Horizon 5 (Preorder)

An epic adventure

Forza Horizon 5 is the latest project from Playground Games and continues the epic Forza Horizon adventure with a new roster of amazing cars and a brand-new location to explore: Mexico. Forza Horizon 5 launches on Xbox and PC later this year, and it's already available to preorder.

What is Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 Store ScreenshotSource: Xbox Game Studios | Microsoft Store

Open-world racing games are difficult to pull off successfully, and no developer has mastered the genre like Playground Games with its exceptional Forza Horizon franchise. Forza Horizon titles are semi-simulation arcade racers with a focus on incredible visuals, beautiful and detailed worlds, and accessible gameplay that can satisfy veteran racers and newcomers alike. The next entry in this legendary series is none other than Forza Horizon 5.

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Forza Horizon 4 was practically perfect, but Playground looks to have considered community feedback and improved upon Forza Horizon 5's predecessor in practically every way. Forza Horizon 5 will feature the largest and most diverse world yet, more customization and accessibility for cars and players, and so much more. The Forza Horizon 5 car list is set to be the series' biggest yet, as well.

We continue to round up the latest on Forza Horizon 5, while our Forza Horizon 5 buying guide rounds up the details on FH5's different editions and how to preorder. We also previewed Forza Horizon 5, and discovered this racing game has what it takes actually to deliver on all its ambitious promises.

Forza Horizon 5 releases on Nov. 9, 2021, for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Forza Horizon 5 is even going to be available through Xbox Game Pass starting on day one.

Where is the location for Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 Store ScreenshotSource: Microsoft

Forza Horizon games have always emphasized their expansive open worlds, making them as interesting as possible for the players racing through them. The decision for where a Forza Horizon game will be placed concludes early in development, and affects practically every aspect of the game, including the car list, soundtrack, story, characters, and the world-building details that make Forza Horizon games more authentic and real-feeling than many other titles.

For Forza Horizon 5, Playground Games wanted to build their largest and most diverse open world yet, which is why Forza Horizon 5 is located in Mexico. Initial rumors and community chatter suggested Forza Horizon 5 may arrive in either Mexico or Japan, but the more prevalent rumors prevailed and FH5 was confirmed to be heading back to North America, this time in Mexico.

Many in the community initially lamented this decision as an apparent "downgrade" from the possibilities contained within Japan, especially as many assumed Mexico to be primarily desert, but Forza Horizon 5 is shirking all of these expectations. Mexico is a massive country, containing a myriad of different regions and ecosystems, and is the perfect locale for Playground to build its most varied world ever. Forza Horizon 5's rendition of Mexico will feature 11 distinct biomes, the highest point in any Forza Horizon game so far, dynamic and localized weather, the return of seasons, and feature several real-world locations, including cities and even ancient ruins.

This is in stark contrast to Forza Horizon 4, which was set in the United Kingdom. While incredible in its own right, FH4's open world came under fire from players for being too uniform. Despite featuring gorgeous British hamlets, rolling countrysides and fields, and plenty of natural landmarks, Forza Horizon 4 simply lacked variety when compared to its predecessor, which was exasperated by weather and seasons that applied to the entire map at once. With FH5, Playground refuses to repeat the same mistakes.

Everything we've seen of Forza Horizon 5's open world looks breathtakingly beautiful, highlighted by the visual upgrades FH5 enjoys and offers a ton of environments to tear through in a race, leisurely explore, or anything in between. In fact, we went on a road trip through Forza Horizon 5 and immediately fell in love with its absolutely incredible world.

You can see many of the environments featured in FH5 below.

Every Forza Horizon location

No two Forza Horizon games are alike, with Playground Games slowly exploring more locations across the globe with every iteration. Forza Horizon 5 ups the ante by being larger, more detailed, and more diverse than any Forza Horizon title that came before it, but that doesn't mean the older games are meaningless. For reference, here's where every Forza Horizon game so far has been located.

  • Forza Horizon: Colorado
  • Forza Horizon 2: Southern Europe
  • Forza Horizon 3: Australia
  • Forza Horizon 4: United Kingdom
  • Forza Horizon 5: Mexico

Real-world locations in Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 Biome Screenshot Urban CitySource: Xbox Game Studios

Forza Horizon 5's map is based on Mexico, but it's obviously not a one-to-one representation, and as such, Playground has condensed, renamed, and moved things around to design the perfect car-based sandbox. Many of the locations you can explore in Forza Horizon 5 sport generic Spanish names, even if they lose nothing in detail or authentic Hispanic representation. Still, there are several real-world locations that have been translated in Forza Horizon 5's rendition of Mexico.


Guanajuato is one of the more infamous cities in Mexico, and certainly earns a place on the shortlist for "world's most beautiful cities." Characterized by bright, vivid architecture and colors, and winding, maze-like roads and tunnels, Guanajuato is a dream come true for car fanatics and drift experts. Playground captured the vast landscape of alternating colors and twisting, intricate network of streets and adapted it to Forza Horizon 5 to build a massive urban sandbox for players to race around.

Guanajuato was built long before cars existed, and therefore is paradoxically extremely fun to race around. From what we've seen of Guanajuato in Forza Horizon 5, it looks true to life and should be one of the most memorable locations in all of Forza Horizon 5.

Ancient ruins

Beyond the vibrant and deep modern Mexican culture that dominates the country is a smattering of ancient ruins from civilizations long gone. Instead of overlooking these incredible archaeological marvels, Playground has brought several of these ruins into Forza Horizon 5 as locations players can actually visit and race through. We've actually seen one of these ruins in gameplay footage of Forza Horizon 5, and even translated through a video exploring the ruins looks to be an almost haunting experience (aside from the high-speed racing and performance vehicles).

Forza Horizon 5 will feature four ancient ruins that we know of, mostly centering around the extinct Mayan civilization that once dominated the country long before Mexico ever existed. This includes Ek Balam (the Mayan temple we've seen in trailers), Tulum, Uxmal, and the Mesoamerican city Teotihuacán (famed for its "Avenue of the Dead" that runs through the entire city).

Towns & settlements

Guanajuato has already been confirmed to be the largest urban city in Forza Horizon 5, but Playground has taken it one step further by including other towns and settlements in their version of Mexico. These towns are much smaller in size, but still remain faithful to their real-world counterparts all the way down to the fine details, and can be great places for players to discover beautiful murals from one of the seven artists featured in FH5.

One of the towns we've seen is Mulegé, a wonderful little town featuring Mexico's iconic multicolored architecture, and will include at least one intense street race that weaves around the town and through neighborhoods. Playground Games delivers award-winning open-worlds with their attention to detail, and some of Mexico's greatest stories come from places like Mulegé.

What is the full map for Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 Full Map ScreenshotSource: Xbox Game Studios | Twitter

For weeks after Forza Horizon 5's initial reveal, players were left to scrounge for details and scraps of information from trailers, streams, and social media teasers. Finally, during Let's Go! Episode 5, Playground showed off the full Forza Horizon 5 map in all of its entirety, which you can see above. If you want to see the map in greater detail, you can select it to zoom in.

FH5's map is expectantly massive and features a number of noticeably different regions across the map. The map that Playground chose to show off is Forza Horizon 5 during Summer in the Wet Season, so the map will presumably change to reflect the world, depending on the season. On the map, you can see many of Forza Horizon 5's roads and locations, including the towering volcano that dominated the map, and the exciting stadium that may be home to many EventLab creations from players.

Barn Finds

Forza Horizon 5 Preview ScreenshotSource: Xbox Game Studios

We knew that Forza Horizon 5 would once again feature the infamous Barn Finds for players to discover scattered all around the map, and we believe (thanks to the Forza Horizon 5 Achievements list), that there are 14 in total to unlock. Thankfully, we're keeping track of every Forza Horizon 5 Barn Find location and how to unlock them, making it easy for players who might be struggling to find them all.

Player houses

Forza Horizon 5 Preview ScreenshotSource: Xbox Game Studios

Just like with Barn Finds, player houses are returning in FH5, and we know how many there are because of Forza Horizon 5's Achievements. There are seven player houses for players to buy or otherwise obtain, with each effectively being another Festival Site to access your garage, customize your cars and character, and more. We're monitoring all the Forza Horizon 5 player houses we find, including where they're located and how you can pick them up for yourself.

What is Horizon Adventure in Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 Horizon Adventure Map ScreenshotSource: Xbox Game Studios | Twitter

During Forza Horizon 5's Let's Go! Episode 7 stream, we learned a ton about how the campaign in FH5 is going to work. Everything players will set out to accomplish will revolve around their Horizon Adventure, a multi-faceted journey that features thousands of potential paths to reach the end, and each one is just as valid as the others.

Alongside all of this tasty information, Playground showed off the Horizon Adventure map. This is a stylized, more cartoonish version of the Forza Horizon 5 map that splits the game into various regions, one for each Horizon Festival site, with landmarks, cute references and jokes, and clues hidden all over the map. While the main FH5 map will help players navigate this large and beautiful world, the Horizon Adventure map will help players navigate their own personal journey through the game.

You can see most of the Horizon Festival sites that correspond to the Horizon Adventure map below.

How big is the map for Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 Map Size Comparison ImageSource: @DonJoewonSong | Twitter

Playground Games has made some lofty claims about Forza Horizon 5's map, mostly to drive home that it's larger and features manifold regions and locations over Forza Horizon 4. Everything we've seen of FH5 so far only further confirms these claims, but some of you may desire more concrete proof. Fortunately, thanks to @DonJoewonSong via Twitter, we have a side-by-side comparison of Forza Horizon 5 versus Forza Horizon 4.

Of course, this is a rough estimation based on information we know about both games, so it may not be exact. Still, this should provide a great visual representation of how much bigger FH5 is over its predecessor. If you want the numbers, FH4's map comes in at approximately 71km squared, while FH5 expands upon that with approximately 107km squared. The difference is noticeable, and should give players plenty to do in Forza Horizon 5 when it releases.

Will the world change over time in Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 Biome Screenshot VolcanoSource: Xbox Game Studios

Forza Horizon games have always featured beautiful worlds, but they often feel very stale or unmoving. With Forza Horizon 4, Playground Games introduced seasons, which drastically altered the world over time. Even here, though, the seasons became predictable and stale after a while. So is Playground upping their game in Forza Horizon 5, and will the world continue to change over time? The answer is yes, and for multiple reasons.

  • Seasons are much more diverse. Rather than blanket changes to the map, Forza Horizon 5's seasons will alter the map to varying degrees depending on your location. This means snow on the volcano mountainside in winter, while the tropical coast remains warm. This means some areas of the map may only be available during certain seasons, and will be flooded in others. There are 11 different biomes and four different seasons, and they'll all interact with one another in different ways.
  • Dynamic weather events. Forza Horizon 5 will also feature dynamic weather events, such as sandstorms and tropical storms, which will periodically appear and dramatically change the landscape. These weather events are dependent on the environment and season, so they won't always appear in the same place.
  • The Festival Playlist evolves the world. Arguably the most important change, Forza Horizon 5's Festival Playlist will actually alter the world over time. As revealed during FH5's Let's Go! Episode 9 stream, while Series 1 will kick off on an unaltered FH5 map, Series 2 a month later will introduce festive Holiday-themed items like snowmen, decorations, and more. As the Festival Playlist continues, Playground will persist in changing and updating the world.
    • These changes can be both temporary changes (like seasonal events) or permanent additions to FH5's world, and will evolve as the community evolves

The Festival returns

Forza Horizon 5 Key Art

Forza Horizon 5 (Preorder)

An epic adventure

Forza Horizon 5 is the latest project from Playground Games and continues the epic Forza Horizon adventure with a new roster of amazing cars and a brand-new location to explore: Mexico. Forza Horizon 5 launches on Xbox and PC later this year, and it's already available to preorder.

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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

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Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. Forza Horizon 5 will be available through Xbox Game Pass day one, including on consoles, PC, and the cloud.

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