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Forza Horizon 5 modes: Quality versus Performance, and what the difference is

Forza Horizon 5 Performance Mode
Forza Horizon 5 Performance Mode (Image credit: Windows Central)

Playground Games' Forza Horizon 5 is promising a vast world in Mexico for players to explore. It's also available on the most platforms Playground Games has ever developed, coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. While the PC version can of course be customized with a variety of settings based on player hardware, Xbox Series X|S players have a simple choice to make: Quality or Performance mode?

Quality, as you might expect, focuses on the visual aspects of the game, while performance provides a smoother gameplay experience with an increased framerate. Either way, you'll be playing one of the best Xbox games for racing fans available, but what are the differences, and which one should you choose?

Here are a few shots showing you how Forza Horizon 5 looks on Xbox Series X in Performance mode (click or tap the screenshots to enlarge them):

Forza Horizon 5 Performance Mode (Image credit: Windows Central)

Forza Horizon 5 Performance Mode (Image credit: Windows Central)

Forza Horizon 5 Performance Mode (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

Now, here are a few shots that have been taken in Quality mode (click or tap the screenshots to enlarge them):

Forza Horizon 5 Quality Mode (Image credit: Windows Central)

Forza Horizon 5 Quality Mode (Image credit: Windows Central)

Forza Horizon 5 Quality Mode (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

On Xbox Series X, Quality mode delivers a 4K 30 FPS image, while Performance mode opts for 4K 60 FPS. With that said, the image is better in Quality mode due to every effect being dialed up as high as possible, with no visible pop-in. In Performance mode, the LOD (level of detail) isn't quite as high, with some effects being reduced in quality, meaning it's not quite as good of an image. Quality mode on also allows you to check out ray tracing on the vehicles, but only in the Forza Vista model viewer mode, not during regular gameplay.

It's a similar story on Xbox Series S, just with different resolutions. Xbox Series S Quality Mode turns in a 1440p 30 FPS image with several settings dialed up, while the Performance mode runs at 1080p 60 FPS, sacrificing visual detail for smoother gameplay.

Essentially, you need to decide whether you want a super-smooth gameplay experience or the absolute best image quality possible. No matter what mode you're playing in on Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, Forza Horizon 5 loads far quicker than on Xbox One thanks to the ultra-fast internal SSD. There are a few editions of Forza Horizon 5 available for purchase, with different benefits and add-ons depending on what version you grab.

Forza Horizon 5 launches Nov. 9, 2021 for the Standard Edition, Deluxe Edition, and on Xbox Game Pass, including Xbox Cloud Gaming. Anyone who buys the Premium Edition of the game gets early access on Nov. 5, 2021. There's also a bundle available for purchase that allows Game Pass subscribers to get early access.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

2 Comments
  • If you really want readers to see the difference between performance and quality mode it would be a good idea to share the SAME screen captures between modes. Having completely different shots between performance and quality mode makes it hard to see the actual difference between the two.
  • Right? What they did makes no sense!