I am absolutely loving Forza Motorsport. I have been working my way toward getting all the achievements and testing it out to see how different it is from Gran Turismo 7, which I played a decent amount last year and in the run-up to Forza Motorsport’s launch. I’ll say it right now – I freaking love Forza. But I am just a novice in the sim racing community. I’m proud of my one-minute 39-second lap on Maple Valley, even though it’s nowhere close to what the pros are clocking, but I have the sim racing bug and I cannot stop playing.
However, one thing I’ve noticed is that the community is divided on its opinion of the game. One glance at Twitter (sorry, X) and you’ll either find videos and posts from fans talking about how Forza Motorsport is either a terrible game, or the best thing since sliced bread. More than one Reddit user asked if they were playing a different game from everyone else.
One criticism that frequently appears in the sim racing community is about the default controls, which I agree are frankly bizarre.There’s simply not enough nuance – which is crucial for a game like Forza – and almost every creator I’ve watched agrees that the default option is severely lacking.
Furthermore, I’m struggling to find the sweet spot when trying out my own settings and almost every creator has had very different advice for the best set-up too. That said, there are a few commonalities. The general consensus is that 900 is the best setting for sensitivity on the Moza and Fanatec base, but the in-game settings are where things are wildly different. Kierth, a popular Forza YouTuber, recommends setting Vibration to 100, Force Feedback to 200, and Road Feel to 0. But pro racing site Sim Racing Setups recommends Vibration should be set to 50, Force Feedback to 150, and Road Feel to 105. And Hoki Hoshi says something different again – Vibration set to 60, Force Feedback to 100, and Road Feel to 130. We also spoke with Super GT who still doesn’t know where the best numbers fall, but said Pneumatic also needed tweaking. I’m left not knowing who to believe, so much so I’m sticking with my own setup for the time being, even if I’m still a way off that lap record.
This isn’t the fault of the wheel manufacturers or anyone recommending set-ups, but with developer Turn 10 itself. The out-of-the box advanced wheel settings have been universally criticized. I too think they’re bad. I’ve played around with a ton of different settings and still haven’t found something that feels exactly right (for what it’s worth I’ve currently settled on Vibration 20, Force Feedback 130 and Road Feel 150).
Elsewhere, I’ve also seen a bunch of admittedly hilarious clips showing the physics doing some really weird stuff. Don Joewon Song – a huge Forza fan who has a YouTube channel with 703k subscribers – shared a video showing how engine swaps currently break the game. That, frankly, is unacceptable. Sim racing YouTube channel Random Callsign claims Forza Motorsport is “A Disaster in Almost Every Way”, a claim supported by another YouTuber, Shinyodd . But on the flipside Fail Race says Forza’s Touring Car Racing is awesome and Don Joewon Song has also been praising its visuals, even going so far as to make a beautiful showcase of how graphically impressive Forza Motorsport can be. Even Forza Clips, which has been posting about both the good and bad aspects of the game, has a video showing off just how amazing the crashes can be.
Opinions vary wildly, then. IGN scored Forza Motorsport a 8/10 and I largely agree with all of Luke’s criticisms. The campaign is too grindy and leveling up cars is a silly mechanic that makes no sense. Also, Turn 10’s design philosophy – ‘You’ve got to go slow to go fast’ – really falls flat when you can hop online and drive pre-built top-of-the-line cars while the campaign makes you slog through 50 levels of driving before you can even do an engine swap.
Ultimately, I’m here having a good time though. I’ve loved listening to what everyone is saying, both the good and the bad, because I hope Turn 10 is listening too and that at some point the problems will be fixed. Even some of Forza’s harshest critics have said there’s a solid foundation at its core, but its problems get in the way. If I’m having this much fun now, I’m excited for what it’ll be like in the coming weeks and months. That said, I’m curious to see how Forza Motorsport is regarded by the community once the dust settles, because right now it could go either way.
If you’re playing Forza Motorsport I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.