Forza Horizon 4 PC Graphics Tweaks

In this Forza Horizon 4 PC Graphics Tweaks guide, we’ll explain all the graphics and performance related settings available in Forza Horizon 4 PC and what are the optimum settings to get the best performance and graphics tweaks at the same time.

Forza Horizon 4 PC Graphics Tweaks

After dominating the driving simulation games across Xbox consoles, Forza Horizon 4 is making its way to Microsoft Windows as well.

This is not the first time that we’re seeing a game from the Forza franchise running on a Windows PC, but this is definitely the first time for a well-optimized driving simulation game.

Forza Horizon 3, while being one of the best driving simulation games of its era wasn’t the best of optimized games for a Windows PC.

For this latest title in the franchise, Playground Games have definitely improved their shortcomings making Forza Horizon 4 one of the best driving simulation games to play on a Windows PC.

Configuring the Settings

Playground Games knew their users while developing the game for Windows, hence they’ve given you plenty of settings to tweak around depending on your liking, and depending on your computer.

Below we’ll be explaining all the important settings you need to be aware of and how to get the best graphics and the best performance at the same time.

Anisotropic Filtering
Keeping this setting on ultra or on low does not have any significant effect on the performance of the game.

However, you’ll see quite a significant effect on the graphics when you lower this setting.

Therefore, best to keep this setting on ultra to get the maximum out of your gameplay experience.

If you’ve changed the setting to low or medium and you do not see any change in the graphics while changing it back to ultra, then it’s not your graphic card that’s at fault, but this is actually a bug in the game.     

Environment Texture Quality 
Again, changing this setting from ultra to low won’t have any significant difference in terms of performance.

However only opt for the ultra setting if your graphic card has 4 gigs of VRAM available. Else, setting it to high will also give you respectable visuals.

Night Shadows
Night shadows are visible on cars around you under car headlights. You can notice these graphical details at night only.

However, they have a significant role in the performance of the game.

Keep the setting turned on if you’re running a high-end PC, however, even if you turn it off it won’t have a significant visible difference.

Shadow Quality 
Shadow Quality has 6 presets, extreme being the highest one and off being the lowest one.

The only major performance change is observed when this setting is turned off.

However, this immensely drops the graphic quality and the performance increase is not worth it.

This setting, however, does not have an effect on car shadows unless you decide to turn this setting off.

It is recommended to keep this setting on ultra.

SSAO Quality 
Keeping this setting off decreases the graphic quality of the game significantly.

However, keeping the setting on medium or high does not have any significant change on either visuals or performance.

Therefore, if you’re planning on keeping the setting on medium, rather keep it on high.

This setting sharpens the edges around the objects in the game including the cars.

Therefore, keep this setting a little higher even if you have to compromise the performance a little bit for a more crisp image.

Reflection Quality
This setting alters all of the reflections that you see during the gameplay, especially the ones on the car bodies.

As you start lowering this setting, you’ll see the quality of the image reflected decreases along with the refresh rate of the changing image.

There is a minuscule difference between extreme and ultra settings. The changes start to appear when you drop the setting to high or below.

Lowering this setting will improve the performance of the game significantly; however it is still suggested that you keep this setting on ultra.

Windshield Reflection Quality/ Mirror Quality 
There is no significant change in the performance or visuals of the game when these settings are tweaked unless they are turned off.

However, the refresh rate of the reflected image in the mirrors decreases if the Mirror Quality setting is dropped below high.

Given a little effect on the performance, it’s suggested you keep both of these settings on ultra if not extreme.

SSR Quality 
This setting deals with the reflections you see on the water bodies in the game.

Noticeable changes in performance are observed when this setting is tweaked.

If you want to squeeze the maximum performance while playing with respectable graphics, we suggest you opt for medium or high resolution.

Setting it to ultra will give you a better gameplay experience, but you’ll be losing a lot of performance as well.

Also, while going at greater speeds, you won’t even care what kind of reflection is being shown off from the puddle on the ground.

However, whatever you decide to stick with, do not turn this setting off as owing to a bug, you’ll experience a performance drop rather than a performance increase.

Lens Effects 
Keeping this setting on ultra or off won’t have a significant difference in the performance.

One of the most visible effects that you’ll notice after turning it off is that the water droplets won’t form up on your screen when it’s raining.

Hence, keeping this setting on or off is solely a personal preference.

Motion Blur/ Motion Blur Quality 
You’ll only observe a major performance increase by turning both of these settings off but it will degrade the visuals quite a lot.

Therefore, it is suggested that you keep them on, and if you’re keeping them on, better set them to ultra to get the best gameplay experience.

World Car Level of Detail 
This, in my opinion, is the most important visual setting in the game. This setting affects the details and quality of the car that you’re driving as well as your opponents’ cars.

Moving from extreme to ultra will only deteriorate your opponents’ cars’ graphics, whereas going below high will also make your own car look ugly.

Therefore, it’s better to keep it on ultra if not extreme even if you have to experience a performance drop as the car happens to be the center of attention during your entire gameplay.

Shader Quality 
There are no noticeable effects of this setting on the graphics of the game.

But, at the same time, there aren’t any performance changes either so let this setting sit at high if not ultra.

MSAA
This setting smoothens the edges of the cars and other objects, however, this comes at a huge performance loss.

Therefore, keep this setting at 4x if you’re running the game at 1080p or 1440p.

If you’re running the game in 4k, then you’ll have to keep this setting to 2x to prevent your GPU from burning up.

FXAA
This works along with MSAA to give you smoother and better-looking edges.

There isn’t a lot of performance increase if you keep this setting off, therefore it is suggested that you keep it on.

Static Geometry Quality 
No difference is seen in the visuals as well as the performance after messing around with this setting.

Dynamic Geometry Quality
This setting targets the visibility of objects other than the vehicle you’re driving such as the plants in the background or the crowd cheering you.

Even though the performance sacrifice is great, but keep this setting on high or ultra.  

Deformable Terrain Quality 
The changes in this setting are more noticeable off-road as the vehicle leaves the tracks behind it.

There is more depth to the tracks on higher settings. Since the effects are highly visible, keep the setting to high or ultra.

You’ll enjoy the game more while driving on sand or snow.

Conclusion
This game has to be one of the best, if not the best optimized game you can currently play on a PC.

You can play on the highest settings on the most basic PC and still manage to get more than 60 FPS.

However, do make sure that your Windows PC is running at least a fourth-generation Core-i3 processor, Nvidia GeForce 650Ti or AMD Radeon R7 250X, 2 gigs of VRAM, and 8 gigs of RAM.