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Forza Horizon 5 targets 4K 30 FPS on Xbox Series X, optional 60 FPS mode

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

What you need to know

  • Microsoft unveiled Forza Horizon 5 at its E3 2021 press conference, headed to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PCs.
  • The upcoming title will target 4K resolution at 30 FPS on Xbox Series X and 1080p at 30 FPS on Xbox Series S, with an optional 60 FPS mode sacrificing visuals.
  • Forza Horizon 5 launches on November 9, 2021, with preorders now live.

Update June 15 (10:30 a.m. ET): Playground Games has provided additional context on the Forza Horizon 5's 60 FPS mode, with plans to support 4K resolution on Xbox Series X, and 1080p on Xbox Series S.

Microsoft unveiled Forza Horizon 5 at its latest E3 2021 showcase, bringing its virtual car festival to Mexico for a cross-country adventure spanning all types of terrain. The open-world automotive sandbox returns on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC this November, with significant improvements throughout its world, as the largest map in the series to date. Microsoft has also set performance expectations on its latest consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Forza Horizon 5 will target 4K resolution at 30 frames-per-second (FPS) on Microsoft's best Xbox console, Xbox Series X, according to a post on the official Forza Motorsport website. Xbox Series S will offer comparable performance at a lesser resolution, targeting 1080p at 60 FPS out of the box. Microsoft also plans to offer an optional 60 FPS mode, downscaling visuals to pursue a higher framerate across these devices. The game will also support ray tracing on Xbox Series consoles at launch, although limited to the "Forzavista" mode for viewing vehicles.

Xbox Series X|S enabled us to provide players the most technologically advanced Forza Horizon experience yet. The power of this Xbox Series consoles has enabled us to deliver incredible realism and immersion with a world rendered in higher detail and with extreme draw distances. Forza Horizon 5 runs at 4K 30 FPS on Xbox Series X, and 1080p 30 FPS on Xbox Series S. For players that prefer to optimize for framerate, we are providing a performance mode option that will run at 60 FPS.

For comparison, Forza Horizon 4 saw Xbox Series X|S optimizations retroactively added with a post-launch update, achieving 4K resolution at 60 FPS on Xbox Series X, and 1080p at 60 FPS on Xbox Series S.

Creative director on Forza Horizon 5 at Playground Games, Mike Brown, has provided additional context on planned performance modes for the title on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The optional 60 FPS modes will target 4K resolution on Xbox Series X, while still retaining 1080p on Xbox Series S.

It remains unclear how Forza Horizon 5 will different between these available modes, whether scaling back world detail, or implementing dynamic resolution scaling to maintain a consistent framerate.

Update June 15 (10:30 a.m. ET) — Forza Horizon 5 60 FPS mode detailed

Creative director on Forza Horizon 5 at Playground Games, Mike Brown, has provided additional context on planned performance modes for the title on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The optional 60 FPS modes will target 4K resolution on Xbox Series X, while still retaining 1080p on Xbox Series S.

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It remains unclear how Forza Horizon 5 will differ between these available modes, whether scaling back world detail or implementing dynamic resolution scaling to maintain a consistent framerate.

The latest entry in the Forza Horizon series is also headed to Xbox One, unlike the upcoming soft reboot of the Forza Motorsport series, built from the ground up for next-generation systems. Its Xbox One release will make the game immeasurably more accessible, with the short supply of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles expected to continue throughout 2021. However, Microsoft is yet to confirm how Forza Horizon 5 will run on Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X, compared to its predecessor, Forza Horizon 4.

The primary advancement with Forza Horizon 5 appears to hinge on new systems, including improved visual fidelity, extended draw distances, extreme weather effects, and an overall bolstered open world. We already know an extensive list of Forza Horizon 5 cars so far too, with more to be announced over the months ahead.

Forza Horizon 5 launches November 9, 2021, on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC, with preorders now live starting at $60 for the standard edition.

Matt Brown is 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.

19 Comments
  • Hopefully that is just the lowest target.
  • They are trying to go really beautiful though!!!! So I think to hit that but no lower. The 60fps mode would still look nice for sure! Choose that for great gameplay when trying to compete hard!
  • Oof to the Series S version, I knew 1080p30fps and sub-FHD at 60fps was going to be the norm, just wished Microsoft was more honest with this console, saying that it was targeting 1440p from the start was very misleading. Honestly, the Series S was a poorly made console, if MS just decided to increase the clockspeed by ~40%, make it bigger with a bigger cooler and added 2gb of RAM (and truly unified it) and kept it at the same price, the console would be much better. I know it would make MS lose more money, but if Sony can make the PS5 DE at 100$+ loss, then MS could for sure lose a bit more money.
  • It's a balancing act and Xbox got just right imo. The Series S is 1440P capable, it depends on the games and devs if they want to fully target it at the cost of visuals. Also, making a loss on a mass production console is not sustainable. Xbox needs to continue to make profits to fund games. I'd rather have more games to play then a slightly better low cost console.
  • MS *is* being honest. The console delivers what they promise, which is 1440/60, for the *majority* of new games.
    Some games will deliver lower rendering resolution because of different resource use, some will exceed it.
    Some already have. More important: this gaming generation is reducing the importance of render resolution because of the more sophisticated rendering and scaling tools available. To a large extent using high render resolution is a brute force waste of resources that won't necessarily provide a more pleasing experience. Not every game is a fast moving twitch shooter that actually benefits from 120fps. And not everybody is going to have a TV that can show the difference.
    (I have an SX, my sister has an SS, and hooked up to the same TV they are indistinguishable. Main difference is I have a lot of Disk games and she doesn't.) 4K/30 sounds disappointing until you watch the actual in-engine output. Horizon looks fine.
    Ditto for (upscaled) 1080 output.
    Not everything is resolution or framerate based.
    And for the SS price is key. It's not for the hardcore but the target market for SS is bigger than for the SX or PS5. Wait a bit to see if folks bite. You might want to consider the *purpose* of the console and the target market of the box. The SX is meant to be a technology showcase to appeal to the high end but the SS is meant to be a high volume entry level Gamepass appliance to bring in new people to XBOX. It is doubtful MS is losing anything on tbe SS and as soon as tbe chip shortage gets sorted out it'll see some pretty aggressive price cuts. (Remember the reports of it hitting $199? Give it another year.) The thing is comparable to a OneX in base performance (see: ME LEGENDARY) but offers entry to the newer games that won't run on it at the lowest possible price. The SS is designed to bring the current gen games to the low end, not appeal to those willing to go to $500, because the big money in consoles is in the games, not tbe boxes.
    And the biggest money is in subscriptions. Yesterday's E3 wasn't all Gamepass all the time by accident.
    MS didn't talk hardware or cloud for a reason. The same reason they made sure to highlight everything from shooters and RPGS to platformers and family games. They are pushing GAMECLOUD for all its worth because it is the road to 200M subscribers. And nobody is going to sell 200m consoles, even at $199. But streaming on TVs? That is achievable. People need to start taking MS at their word: they said new Bethesda games would be exclusive and they are. They said they want to expand tbe market and they are. And the people they want to bring in won't care they're getting upscaled 1080 as long as they get STARFIELD, HALO, FLIGHT SIMULATOR, and yes, PARTY ANIMALS. Don't sleep on that one. Just like SEA OF THIEVES, PARTY ANIMALS may fly undercover but bring in a lot of people. New generation, new rules.
    Its no longer just about the box and the specs.
  • I will argue that Microsoft mislead consumers saying that the Series S is 1440p machine, sure alot of games now are 1440p30fps, but those were cross-gen games and even then alot didn't hit 1440p. I thing I agree with everything else you wrote though, apart from the huge price drop of the Series S and how vast the market is for the Series S, the Series S is the easiest console to get your hands on, so the market at least for now is smaller, but I agree that native resolution is indeed a waste of resources, Unreal Engine 5 is targeting 1080p30fps at very high settings on XSX/PS5 and relies on upscaling to get the final image, however upscaling starts to break more and more the lower the base resolution you go for, so let's see how it goes. Upscaling now can be awesome, the consensus about what mode to play Ratchet & Clank is the Performance RT mode that targets 1440p instead of 4K, because it's barely noticeable.
    And I have 0 problems with the game targeting 4K/30fps
  • I would agree if games like this achieved 1080p60fps or 1440p30fps on Series S, but they are way bellow this, there's a huge likelihood that this game will target 720p on the 60fps mode, that's waaaaaaay below 1440p, you can't call it a 1440p machine at that point. Selling at a loss looks to be something sustainable, Sony is doing it and they are making amazing games so I don't see why Microsoft that just spent 7 billion in acquiring Bethesda couldn't do it. And the Series S with these small changes would be much faster, a 50% increase in GPU power and 50% increase in memory bandwidth would go a long way to achieve 1440p while the Series X achieves 4K.
  • Dude, wait for the game to come out before assuming things. Lol....
  • I hope you realize that not all 1080 content is created equally. 1080 for Blu ray movies, when they have CGI, will look as real as can be. Yes, pre-rendered, but they can really push visuals. Now that GPUs for gaming are becoming really powerful, what this will look like will far exceed "1080" that say, the 360 S console, did... I think back to the movie Avatar from 2009 where it was pretty much all CGI, and if scenic stuff for Forza gets that close I'm fine with it.
  • That's true, that doesn't mean that Microsoft the 1440p marketing wasn't BS. Also my comment was supposed to be a response to another comment.
  • Do you own a Series S? I can say that mine is a great little machine and perfect for a 1080p TV. It is an HD gaming machine and that is it. Who the hell has a 1440p TV? No one fyi as it is only a PC format anyway. It is a very close comparison between the Series S and the One X. Although the Series S has way better load times and a smaller footprint.
  • And yet, ironically, everyone claims the PS4 Pro isn't a 4K machine because every game doesn't hit 4K.
  • This is probably going to sound harsh but anyone who chooses 30 frames over 60 frames in a racing game needs their head examined. It's probably also worth mentioning that "targeting" something doesn't mean they're going to meet it. In any case, 60fps mode all the way for me, I don't even care if it's only 1080p to achieve that, smooth beats pretty in racing titles.
  • Looks like I'll be playing this on PC instead. No thank you to anything below 60fps and no thank to you anything under 1440p.
  • I play FH3 and FH4 at 1440p/60fps on a 1070 Ti and rarely have any problems
  • I'll take 60fps 1440 or 1800 over 30fps 4k any day of the week!
  • They should have done locked 4k at solid 30fps
  • Horizon series was always about the visuals. Maybe with AMD Fidelity FX they'll be able to push for 4K 60 fps in the future?
  • Please don't play this game on ANY Xbox One, OG, S, or X. You will have a terrible time. If the Series X, with it's 12 teraflop RDNA 2 graphics and Zen 2 CPU can only achieve 4k 30fps, last generation will be 900p barely maintaining 30 fps.