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How to use Groove Music in Forza Horizon 3

One of the most memorable aspects of all Forza titles are the soundtracks that accompany them. With a majority of your playtime accompanied by a playlist of preloaded tracks, recent games have attempted to offer a range of genres across their radio stations.

Forza Horizon 3 drops a new radio station into the mix, integrating Microsoft's own music streaming service, Groove Music. Through this integration, players are able to access their Groove Music playlists with the added benefits of in-game post processing effects.

But if you've started up the game, you'll have noticed that the Groove Music is locked from the outset. Here's how to unlock the Groove Music and import your favourite playlists into Forza Horizon 3.

How to unlock the Groove Music station

Upon starting Forza Horizon 3, you'll come to realize that all of the game's radio stations are initially locked. As a part of the career progression system, players can unlock new radio stations of their choosing by signing new deals.

While there are eight built-in radio stations to choose from, Groove Music will remain locked during the early hours of the career mode. This integration is automatically unlocked after signing deals with any six radio stations of your choosing.

Getting started with Groove Music

If you're yet to use Groove Music, you'll need to create a playlist before using the service in Forza Horizon 3. For those that wish to access music from the Groove Music library, a Groove Music Pass is required. Although a 14-day trial is available for those new to the service, a monthly payment of $9.99 is required once the trial expires.

While Groove Music is centered around its subscription service, it also supports personal music file streaming via Microsoft's cloud storage service, OneDrive. Using this feature, any songs hosted on your personal OneDrive cloud storage can be easily streamed through Groove Music. Taking advantage of OneDrive streaming doesn't require a paid subscription and seamlessly integrates into the rest of the Groove Music library.

To set up a Groove Music playlist, we recommend using the official application available across Xbox One, Windows 10 and most leading mobile platforms. For more information on Groove and creating playlists, make sure to check out our in-depth guide!

How to select a Groove Music playlist

Congratulations – you've finally unlocked the Groove Music station! However, before you get your own tunes on the road, you'll have to configure the playlist used by Forza Horizon 3. This can be chosen on the fly, via the game's pause menu.

Here's how to select your Groove Music playlist for use in-game.

  1. While in-game, press the Menu button.
  2. Select Settings on the pause menu that appears.
  3. Navigate to Audio.
  4. Scroll down to the Groove Music Playlist option.
  5. Use the left thumbstick to select your playlist.

After selecting your playlist, you should be good to go. Make sure to select the Groove Music radio station while in-game and your music will start streaming!

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Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Games 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.

26 Comments
  • I'm confused a bit. Does this mean that I can listen to my own music in-game, or do I have to pay $10/month for the opportunity to listen to my music? This crap si why I never bothered with OneDrive and Groove over the Internet. There's really no reason I shouldn't be able to just plug my Lumia 950 into my XB1 and play music from there on the console, and even transfer it for use in-game. They're just locking out the basic functionalities of the prior generation to sell the service, it sounds like.
  • I've never understand Groove with personal music. I've uploaded a bunch of songs into the Music folder on Onedrive and I can access it on my phone, so I was hoping it would be the same for this game. If not, there's always the option of using the background music and turning off in-game music.
  • I never bothtered. Why pay for OneDrive storage and a mobile data plan to stream music I can store locally for much less. MS clearly isn't a fan of that, and the inability to play/store local music on XB1 is proof. Shoot, did they ever give the streaming route FLAC support?
  • @ Keith Wallace If your going to bash a company for their practices then at least get the details right. OneDrive is a FREE service which allows for 5GB of storage (15 for those "grandfathered" in) which is more than enough to stream most music libraries. You have the choice of paying for more storage but the fee is not mandatory. Local music can be played via Groove on any mobile device that allows for storage. It does not affect your mobile data plan.  Your music library can be played on XB1 via the Groove app using your online network. You know, the network that is already providing online access to your XB1. Flies encoded with FLAC will stream via the Groove app. Your complaints have absolutely no merit so one can safely assume that you are just trolling and/or ignorant.      
  • Haha, you tell me to get facts straight, then bluster through without any fact-checking of your own. My music library is around 60 GB, not even CLOSE to enough for that free 15 GB. I actually do have enough storage on OneDrive to cover my library, but that's beside the point I was making, that taking away local media management on consoles is clearly a cash grab and irritating. I asked about FLAC because it wasn't supported in the past, and I never saw mention of a change there. That you can only come with insults tells me to just stop, though. You're not worth words if that's your manner of discussion.
  • @ Keith Wallace "bluster through without any fact-checking of your own." Which facts  are you referring to, exactly? Everything that I mentioned regarding OneDrive, Groove and the Xbox One is true. My statements are all accurate including the one in which I accused you of being ignorant and/or a troll. Ignorant: (adjective) lacking knowledge or awareness of the situation troll: (noun) a person who sows discord with the intent of provocation. If you're not a troll then your ignorant as demonstrated by your initial comment and your own admission in the follow-up. Also, if you have 60GB of music then you are an outlier as the average music library is less than 3000 songs (source: Apple). I'm sure that all of your 60GB of music was ripped from your personal CDs or purchased from legitimate sources, right? I mean, you wouldn't want to be a hypocrite and accuse MS of ripping people off with a "cash grab*" when you stole most of your music... Why do you think that this FREE service is a cash grab? You can still play your personal music files on Xbox as you always could. They just changed the way music is stored. On the Xbox One it's stored online on OneDrive and played on the FREE version of Groove. On the original Xbox 360 it was stored on the HD (a tedious process of ripping individual CDs) or on an external USB drive and played via the audio app. You said "why pay for OneDrive" yet you followed that up with "I actually do have enough storage on OneDrive to cover my library" so it's safe to assume that all of that OneDrive storage was free. So, tell me again what are you complaing about? "You're not worth the words". LOL, that's one way to get out of confronting the truth. 
  • 60gb is a very small amount of music if encoded in Flac, so probably not stolen as you put it. Apples average of 3000 is based on people using low quality audio rips.  60gb for me would only be a portion of my unstolen collection.
  • He was actually right because he said you can buy more but it's not mandatory. I don't agree with some of the stuff Microsoft does but I highly doubt you can plug a phone into a ps4 and listen to music that way. It is us the consumers fault of why businesses do what they do
  • PS4 doesn't support MP3 I believe.
  • U do know u can play music off usb drive via app right?????
  • Bashing? I'll give you some real bashing.  The way they snuck this thing into a game, where people are not suspecting that hitting ANY button will cost you money is PURE $hit. There soesn't seem to be any way to cancel.  Now I've got to sit on the phone with some poor customer service smuck, which will probably take an hour.  My son hit the yes button without reading it.  There is nothing on the subscriptions tab in his MS account, so there is no way to cancel.  This is pure $hit.
  • It works and you don't have to pay, just make sure that the file types of the songs you are uploading are MP3 or M4A other types I have found will not play. Examples being AAC and WAV etcetera.
  • I'll have to look into it. Sucks that they have to be MP3, though. I rip all of my CDs as FLAC files. Yet another example of the inconsistent junk within MS--support FLAC on one platforms, but not others. I kinda get not diong it for mobile streaming, as FLAC is a LOT chunkier and can eat through data, but the game's obviously not being played off of cellular data, so I should be able to pull it from my 150-Mbps line. Still, I do have a lot of MP3 stuff from the past I could try it on...maybe later (my XB1S is unplugged in favor of my PS4P right now).
  • You can just listen to your own music that's on your onedrive. You don't have to pay anything fella.
  • You can stream music between devices over Groove/Onedrive without monthly fee, but adding 40 million songs to your library for an extra $10 is optional.
  • Thanks for the tip. Next one... how do I get my Halo Warthog?
  • I got a message in my XBL inbox from their automated system with a code for it.
  • Reading is fundamental!
  • Its all set but upon loading the station nothing is playing. Weird
  • Appears it doesnt like teh first 5 tracks in my playlist. Could really do with a shuffle
  • This is pretty cool. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I know exaclty how Groove works, but I am confused about how to unlock it from the article. Does simply having one playlist allow it to be unlocked in game?
  • To unlock it you must unlock all the other radio stations first than Groove Station will automatically unlock
  • The Groove station is fine in career mode, but doesn't seem to appear as a choice in online adventures. Is it just me, or is that just how it is?
  • Yep. You have to listen to the same crappy music you didn't want to in the first place in online mode. Funny how they didn't mention that. Bye bye groove.
  • I tested this with a playlist of five songs from my OneDrive (this is the important part) and it still told me I needed a subscription. This articles says I shouldn't need a subscription in this case. What's going on here?