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Forza Horizon 5 on Xbox Series X|S and PC: Release date, rumors, location, and everything we know

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Forza Horizon 4Source: Xbox Game Studios

Forza Horizon is the open-world counterpart to the legendary Xbox Forza racing franchise. While the next game in the franchise, Forza Horizon 5, hasn’t been officially announced yet, we know that it’s coming and that it’s bound to set the bar for arcade-like racing games for years to come. We’re collecting everything we know about the anticipated sequel to 2018’s hugely popular Forza Horizon 4 in one place so you can make sure you’re prepared for whatever Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios are cooking up next for Forza Horizon.

Here’s everything you need to know about Forza Horizon 5 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC.

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What is Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 5 will be the follow-up game to Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 4 from 2018. Like all the other Forza Horizon games, Forza Horizon 5 will probably be an open-world racing game with gorgeous visuals, accessible driving mechanics, and a massive roster of high-quality licensed vehicles from dozens of manufacturers all centered around the fabled Forza Horizon festival. Forza Horizon 5 will likely come to Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Xbox Game Pass, but older Xbox One consoles may be left out for this release.

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Forza Horizon 5 will also be the more arcade-like open-world counterpart to the highly-anticipated eighth Forza Motorsport. Not a ton is known about Forza Horizon 5 at this point, but there is a bit we can glean from rumors, speculation, and the power of precedent from previous Forza Horizon games.

Where is the location for Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 4Source: Xbox Game Studios

One of the biggest questions fans have is where Forza Horizon 5 will be located. As you probably guessed, we don’t have any concrete information on this. However, we do have a few compelling leaks that may give us an idea, one of which may even show us an early look at the map players will be able to explore. Here’s what we know about where Forza Horizon 5 will be located.

For reference, here is where the other Forza Horizon games were located:

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

Japan

If this leak is accurate, Forza Horizon 5 will take the series to Asia for the first time and explore a region of Japan.

These map leaks hail from Reddit after the original posts from the leaker were supposedly deleted on Reddit and Discord. The validity of these leaks isn’t certain (they were allegedly taken during a Microsoft Developer conference in early 2020), so absolutely take this with a hefty grain of salt. However, it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility to think Forza Horizon 5 will head to Japan, which feels like a genuine location for the Forza Horizon festival.

If Forza Horizon 5 is set in Japan, it would also mark the series’ debut in Asia. With its varied landscapes and gorgeous vistas, Japan would pair wonderfully with the Forza Horizon series, and Forza fans have been asking for this for a long time. This map would be a decent step up in size from the Forza Horizon 4 map, as well. However, it’s also possible Forza Horizon could wait to head to Japan for a proper next-gen update (we don’t know for certain how big of a jump Forza Horizon 5 will be) like with Forza Motorsport.

Mexico

If this leak is accurate, Forza Horizon 5 will return to North America once again, this time exploring the varied landscapes of Mexico.

We recently explored new rumors that Forza Horizon 5 is heading to Mexico that were started by a tease from our own Jez Corden. While many fans may wish for Forza Horizon 5 to head to Japan, the rumors that we’ve heard from trusted sources (and have been corroborated by several noted industry insiders like Jeff Grubb) indicate that Forza Horizon 5 may be set in Mexico instead. Of course, just like with the aforementioned Japan leak, there’s no official confirmation from Playground Games and all of this should be taken with a grain of salt.

If Forza Horizon 5 is set in Mexico, however, there’s a lot of potential. Wide, open areas and varied biomes and landscapes make Mexico a suitable candidate for the Forza Horizon festival, and there are a large number of Xbox fans in Mexico that would likely be extremely happy about the decision. On the other hand, the Xbox brand doesn’t have a ton of clout in Japan, where Nintendo and Sony have traditionally dominated mindshare. While the maps that show a section of Japan certainly look credible, there’s an equally likely chance that Forza Horizon 5 will instead be set in Mexico.

What are the features of Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 4Source: Xbox Game Studios

Every entry in the Forza Horizon series continues to evolve the franchise with new features, different ways to play, and more. Forza Horizon 4, in particular, added brand-new seasons that dramatically altered the appearance and driving mechanics of the game, and gave players complete control over the Forza Horizon festival with customizable races, events, and more.

It’s unclear what we’re going to see be improved in Forza Horizon 5. It’s almost certain we’ll see Forza’s innovative Drivatar NPCs make a return, and players should expect to be placed in charge of the Forza Horizon festival yet again. Hopefully, we also see a return of seasons and possible even more dynamic weather, improvements to customizable races and events, and new content for online multiplayer.

One thing I’d love to see in Forza Horizon 5 is an evolution to its impressive vehicle customization system, which hasn’t been dramatically changed for several titles. Being able to customize your car to make it look exactly how you want is a big part of Forza (and many other racing games), so it’d be great to see some improvements here.

With Forza Horizon 5 taking longer to reach players than previous Forza Horizon games, Playground Games likely has some significant changes planned for the series.

Will Xbox Series X|S get Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 4Source: Xbox Game Studios

The Xbox Series X|S consoles are officially here and bring with them powerful gaming hardware, modern gaming technologies, and innovative features. Forza games have always been visual showcases for the platforms they release on, and Forza Horizon 5 will be no different. Forza Horizon 4 still looks incredible and has been Optimized for Xbox Series X|S, but Forza Horizon 5 may push the bar even higher by launching on Xbox Series X and S.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Forza Horizon 5 is practically guaranteed to look stunning on Xbox and PC. In order to take full advantage of what Xbox Series X|S and modern gaming PCs offer, Forza Horizon 5 may not come to older Xbox One consoles. Even if it does arrive on Xbox One consoles, Forza Horizon 5 will likely feel right at home on Xbox Series X|S as the first Forza Horizon game to launch on next-gen consoles.

I expect Forza Horizon 5 to boast real-time ray tracing features, high FPS modes (possibly up to 120 FPS!), speedy load times, 3D audio, Quick Resume, Smart Delivery, and more. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long before we see Forza Horizon 5 for ourselves and can dive into everything the next racer from Playground Games will offer.

When is the release date for Forza Horizon 5?

Forza Horizon 4Source: Xbox Game Studios

When Forza Horizon 5 will release is probably the biggest question circulating among Forza fans. Unfortunately, like with most Forza Horizon 5 information, we simply don’t know the release date for Forza Horizon 5. That being said, we can make some educated guesses based on industry rumors and teases.

Ever since the debut of the Forza Horizon series in 2012, a new Forza Horizon has arrived every two years, in between every entry to the even longer-running Forza Motorsport series. If this held true for Forza Horizon 5, it would’ve been a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S consoles at the end of 2020. However, it seems that Forza Horizon 5 will take a lot longer to arrive for players, just like the follow-up to 2017’s Forza Motorsport 7 (which should’ve released in 2019 based on precedent).

Forza Horizon 5 will hopefully launch at some point in 2021 (likely near the Holidays), but there’s also reason to believe it may take even longer. Here’s a break down of the two possible release windows for Forza Horizon 5.

2021 and the Holidays

Many industry insiders have speculated that Forza Horizon 5 is still on track for a reveal and even release in 2021. Hopefully, this is true, as Forza Horizon 5 would make an excellent Xbox console exclusive for 2021.

Jeff Grubb not-so-subtly hinted on Twitter that he believes Forza Horizon 5 is on track to release at some point in 2021 (likely in Fall 2021 or the holidays). This has been corroborated by other sources and community members, which we went over in our breakdown of recent Forza Horizon 5 rumors. This includes a tease from Xbox community member Klobrille, who suggested on ResetEra that Forza Horizon 5 could make an appearance at Summer 2021’s E3 games conference alongside other Xbox titles.

With multiple insiders agreeing that Forza Horizon 5 is still on track to release in 2021, this rumor has a lot of traction. Of course, you should still hesitate to believe it fully as Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios have yet to confirm anything for themselves.

2022 and beyond

Forza Horizon 5 clearly stands a pretty good chance of at least revealing itself at some point in 2021 (possibly during the summer E3 conference), and could even release in time for the Holidays. However, that date isn’t set in stone.

For one, Forza Motorsport isn’t guaranteed to launch in 2021, and the Forza Horizon series has historically launched the year after the most recent Forza Motorsport game. Secondly, Forza Motorsport has been announced with an expected (but not confirmed) release window of 2021-22, while nothing has been officially revealed about Forza Horizon 5.

Forza Horizon 4 is still getting regular support with new updates, features, and cars. Most recently, the Forza Horizon 4 Series 34 update was announced at the beginning of April 2021. Playground Games shows no signs of shelving the popular Forza Horizon 4, which continues to gain new players on Xbox and PC.

Finally, the ongoing global pandemic has made 2021’s video game landscape one of constant delays and setbacks for video games, which means that Forza Horizon 5 may end up being in development longer than it would have before the industry was forced to adapt.

All of this leads makes it easy to believe that Forza Horizon 5 isn’t arriving for a while. Forza Horizon 5 could potentially not arrive until sometime in 2022, or maybe even longer! Of course, Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios could shirk expectations and launch Forza Horizon 5 around the same time or even before Forza Motorsport, and we could still see the game sometime this year.

It’s possible that Forza Horizon 5 isn’t receiving the same “overhaul” that Forza Motorsport is, and instead will be another iterative update to the successful Forza Horizon formula (in the same vein as Forza Horizon 4).

We’ll simply have to wait for official announcements or confirmations to know for certain when Forza Horizon 5 will release.

A catalog of games


Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

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. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

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