Forza Motorsport 5 Car Tuning Guide

By   /   Nov 28, 2013

Forza Motorsports 5 is out on Microsoft’s brand-spanking-new video game console; the Xbox One. It’s one of the launch titles for the system and as there aren’t a whole lot of games out for the console yet many players will be getting into the racing simulator for the very first time.

Forza Motorsport 5 Car Tuning

Forza is not an easy game to master.

Anyone can get into it and race and even do a bit of upgrading, but the real thing about the game, which allows you to compete competitively and bring out that last 10% of power and efficiency is the tuning section.

Head over to the Tuning and Upgrades tile on the main menu and press X to see a screen that will completely mystify you. This guide will attempt to alleviate that problem.

Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is one of the most important factors when it comes to car tuning. Having good tires will help you get the best out of your engine and will transfer that power more efficiently onto the track.

Tire pressure can affect the grip of a car on the road, responsiveness, and wear. As such, it’s important to adjust both front and back tires separately.

Generally, you want to have 32 PSI on your tires but being between 30-34 degrees is just fine. However, it’s best for you to give it a test run and heat up the tires to race temperatures to get a more accurate reading.

When you do the test run make sure to pay attention to the tire temperatures and take note of which side of the tires are hotter.

If the edges are hotter than the center, then you need to increase the pressure by a bit. Vice versa if the center is hotter than the edge.

Gearing

Gearing has to do with the gear system of the car. The settings that you see here can be changed to give you more acceleration or top speed You can change the Final Drive gear ratios, or you can change the gear rations of each gear individually.

You should be looking at the handy stats given to you on the left. These update every time you make a change in the gear ratios.

The main gist of things is that if you increase the gear ratios, then you’ll lower your top speed, but increase your acceleration. Move the slider to the right and you’ll see the ‘0 to 100mph’ stat get lower, move it to the right, and you’ll see an increase in highest possible speed.

These settings are mostly dependent on the kind of racer you are and what kind of track you’ll be on. If it’s a mostly straight track where you can expect to hit top speed, then you’d probably want to set the gear ratio a bit to the left of the median mark.

If it’s a twisty-turny kind of track where you probably won’t even be in the sixth gear for long periods, then you’ll definitely want the boost to acceleration that a high ratio (moving slider to the right) will give you.

Alignment

Alignment basically affects your car’s grip, by changing how the car’s tires are tilted. There are three settings in this section, called Camber, Toe and Front Caster, and we’ll be talking about them in detail.

Camber

Camber is basically the tilt of the tires along a horizontal axis. You can either have negative Camber, in which the tops of the tires are leaning inwards, or you have have positive camber, in which the tops of the tires are leaning outwards.

Camber affects the car’s grip and it’s settings change whether your car is better at cornering or driving in a straight line.

When your tires are set in negative camber (the tops are closer) then the car will have increased grip while cornering and will also have reduced understeer. However, this setting will reduce the grip of the car while traveling in a straight line.

When your car is set in positive Camber (the tops are further apart), you will have reduced oversteer. It will also increase your grip in a straight line but will make the vehicle more unstable while cornering. You can tune camber by running a couple of test laps and taking note of the camber of the wheels on turns and straight runs.

For the most part you need to tune the camber settings so that they’re as close to 0 as possible or slightly less. On turns you’ll notice that one side will usually be positive and the other will be negative.

For tuning use this instruction; For left turns, your right tire should be at 0 degrees or less, while for right turns, your left tire should be at 0 degrees or less.

Toe

Like Camber, Toe is the angle of the tires, but this time, it’s around the vertical axis. Your tires can have either ‘inner’ or ‘outer’ Toe. When your tires have inner Toe then the front of your tires are angled inwards. This setting increases the tendency of the car to travel in a straight line and resist turning. If you have outer Toe, then your car will naturally attempt to enter a turn.

Here is a list of the settings that you can have and their effects:

Front Toe + Rear Toe 0
Better Corner Entry Any Car.

Front Toe – Rear Toe 0
Reduce Steer Sensitivity Bad Corner Entry.

Front Toe 0 Rear Toe +
Under steer tendencies but Better Corner Exit in any Car and stability under braking.

Front Toe 0 Rear Toe –
Slow Corner Exit.

Front Toe + Rear Toe +
Provides stability under braking and creates over steer tendencies in cornering.

Front Toe + Rear Toe –
Amazing Handling on any car but can cause under steer.

Front Toe – Rear Toe +
Amazing Handling on any car but can cause over steer.

Front Toe – Rear Toe –
Oval track.

Front Caster

Caster is the angle at which the steering pivot axis is tilted forward or backward from vertical, as seen from the side. In an actual car, there will be ball joints connect your wheels and steering column.

The angle between the joint and the steering is referred to as the caster angle. Adjusting this caster angle modifies the straight line stability of the car.

If you’ve got a positive caster, you’ll have better straights but slightly difficult turns. Vice versa for low caster.

Remember that, as you drive, the negative caster increases since the suspension system and tires move through steering lock. This way, you can increase the caster a little, and still have negative caster for extra stability when turning.

Anti-Roll Bars

The Anti-Roll bars settings contribute to the stability of the vehicle. They are able to restrict the unnecessary movement and sway of the body of the car while cornering. This system ties the right and left sides of the suspension system together and makes the car more level by preventing it from swaying more towards one side than the other.

If you decrease the front anti-roll stiffness, you will find an overall reduction in understeer.

Doing the opposite will increase the understeer. However keep in mind that too much stiffness can cause the inside of the tires to lift off the ground during a hard turn. The balance of front and rear anti-roll stiffness affects the balance between understeer and oversteer.

Springs

In this tab you can change up the stiffness of the springs that make up the suspension system of the car. It also controls how the car’s weight is transferred under acceleration braking and cornering. Basically this setting affects the amount of understeer and oversteer that you go through.

If you have a low stiffness, they will absorb bumps and shocks better, but will reduce the responsiveness of the vehicle. If you stiffen the springs of your rear tires, you’ll increase the overall oversteer. Softening the springs instead will increase understeer.

Ride height is another setting you can change here. This setting can change your center of gravity, and affect stability.

Generally, you want to have a low center of gravity, but you don’t want to bottom out and lose control. Therefore, you should test it out on a couple of maps and figure out how low can you go.

Damping

In the Damping tab you can change the rebound stiffness and bump stiffness settings to be either soft or hard. Tuning these settings can improve handling by increasing and decreasing grip. It essentially controls the suspension’s rate of travel in two directions.

Rebound damping controls the rate of extension as the suspension rebounds away from the wheel wells. Increasing the front bump damping stiffness will increase transitional understeer of the car.

However, keep in mind that too much bump damping will cause problems on rough surfaces. Decreasing the stiffness of the damping in the front tires will increase the transitional oversteer.

Increasing the front bump damping stiffness will increase transitional understeer of the car. However, keep in mind that too much bump damping will cause problems on rough surfaces. Decreasing the stiffness of the damping in the front tires will increase the transitional oversteer.

Downforce

Downforce is a product of lift and drag which is created by the flow of air over and underneath the car. In airplanes, lift is created because the air that travels over the top of the wing goes faster than the air traveling under the wings. This creates a kind of vacuum which allows it to fly.

The converse must happen to race cars. The worst thing that can happen during a race is that the car takes off, since it will usually result in a crash. As such we need to create downforce that makes the car stick to the ground.

A delicate balance must be struck, as too much downforce will slow down the car due to drag.

Brake

The brakes on a car are among the most important component.

The brake bias of the car is the balance of power between the front and rear brakes. If there is a bias of 65/35, then that means that the front brakes are getting 65% of the power. This setting is important when you want to adjust how you corner.

If your brakes are biased towards the front, the car will be tighter while entering a turn. Having the opposite and setting your brakes to be biased towards the rear will cause the car to be looser when entering a turn.

We recommend a forward brake bias of 65-70%. This is because whenever you brake the car, you’ll be transferring the weight forward, to the front tires. This causes the rear tires to lock up, since there is less weight on them for the moment.

The brake pressure setting is what controls your stopping power. Everyone has their own style when it comes to this, but broadly speaking, you’ll be doing one of these:

  • On Demand: This is when you’re pulling the trigger all the way back.
  • On Power: This is when you’re pulling the trigger all the way back, but with acceleration.
  • Off Throttle Down Shift Half Brake: This is when you pull the trigger back halfway.

When you’re going On Demand, you want a bit less brake pressure and you want the tires to skid only when the trigger is fully pulled. For this, start at 100% and reduce 5% at every run until you hit the sweet spot.

When going On Power you’ll be doing the same thing as in On Demand. The only difference is that you want to get into a race-brake situation where you are locking the front tires and burning the rear ones.

Off Throttle, squeezing the brakes coming out of the corner is similar to squeezing the throttle, you will learn it over time and becomes second nature before long.

Differential

Differential systems are needed because of the inherent difference in rotations that a car’s wheels go through when taking a turn. Because of the width of the car, the outer wheels will always need to rotate more and travel further than the inner wheels.

Differential allows the tires on either sides to travel at different rates. There are two settings to change here; Acceleration and Deceleration.

Acceleration controls at what point the differential locks while on gas. Having a higher percentage of acceleration will prevent each wheel from slipping, which allows you to harness more power when exiting a corner.

Deceleration controls at what point the differential locks when you let off the gas, normally when entering a corner. If you have a high rate here, the car will be more stable. However, it can also cause understeer and makes your car less agile.

That’s about it. Don’t forget to share your tunes and tuning tips for different situations by commenting below!

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