In this post, we are going to take an introductory look at some of the settings in Forza Horizon 5 [PEGI 3] that are related to controls and motor accessibility, such as driving assists, and controls remapping, as well as features new to Forza Horizon such as an Offline Game Speed feature, an Auto-Steering assist and a new ‘Tourist’ difficulty level option. We looked at the Xbox Series S and X console versions of the game for this post.
The settings can be accessed by pressing the X button when you first load the game. They can also be accessed by pausing the game at any point.
*Update December 2021* – a standalone video showing these settings can now be found on the site, here: https://gameaccess.info/forza-horizon-5–motor-accessibility-video/
Video showing the location in the menu of settings described in this post:
In the Difficulty menu you can find settings related to the skill of your opponents, and driving assists that allow players to customise their gameplay experience and how their vehicles handle. Below we will go through a few of these. Please see the video above which navigate through the full list of settings found in this menu (0:00-0:50).
Drivatar Difficulty – Setting Description: ‘Adjust the Skill of your game-controlled opponents.’ There are nine options from Tourist to Unbeatable. Tourist mode is a new difficulty setting for Forza Horizon that slows down the group of Drivatar opponents in races when you fall behind, allowing you to catch up and rejoin them, at which point they will speed up again. In this mode, more room between vehicles is also left for weaving between them.
Driving Assists Preset – Setting Description: ‘Automatically adjusts the driving assists below to create a gameplay experience that matches the difficulty level you choose.’ There are four options, from Easy to Ultimate, or a custom preset can be created with following options able to be customised:
Braking – Setting Description: ‘Assisted braking will detect if you are approaching a corner and attempt to slow you down. ABS required the driver to apply the brakes but helps alter brake pressure to maintain maximum braking force at the threshold of brake lock up.’ There are three options: Assisted, Anti-Lock On and Anti-Lock Off. Assisted braking is applied when there is a driving line set, such as in a race or when a waypoint is set in the open world.
Steering – Setting Description: ‘Assisted and Auto-Steering will use Forza’s artificial intelligence to guide your steering along your navigation route. Standard steering gives you full control but dampens some physical effects to make driving easier.’ There are four options to choose from: Auto-Steering, Assisted, Standard and Simulation. Auto-Steering is new to Forza Horizon and allows you to drive without steering when there is a driving line set, such as in a race or when a waypoint is set in the open world.
Video showing the Auto-Steer assist in use along with Assisted braking. RT (held and released) for Gas is the only input used in this clip:
Rewind – Setting Description: ‘Rewind allows you to reverse time to a point of your choosing to drive a section over again.’ This setting has an On or Off option and the Y button is used to apply it in-game by default. This feature is briefly shown at the beginning of the video showing the Offline Game Speed setting below.
The Accessibility menu includes many settings related to visuals in the game (see video above for these, from 0:50). It also includes a setting to adjust the game speed when playing in Offline games modes.
Offline Game Speed – Another new setting for Forza Horizon, this allows adjustment from 100% down to 40% speed, reducing the speed of your car and others to be able to allow more time to react and apply your controls.
Video showing rewind feature and examples of how the Offline Game Speed setting affects gameplay:
In the Controls menu, you can change the input mapping of your controls. There are 14 layout presets for a gamepad. These can also be custom mapped, including swapping individual analog stick directions (left, right, up, down) for button or trigger inputs and vice versa. The video at the top briefly shows these (1:10-1:44)
Advanced Controls Menu:
In the Advanced Controls menu you can find options (see from 1:44 in video at top of post) to switch certain controls over, rather than remapping them, and also adjust many settings related to the sensitivity and deadzones of controls such as for steering, accelerating and braking. You can also turn vibration on or off or adjust its intensity.
We hope this introductory look at the settings related to controls and the motor accessibility of the game has been useful. A post and video by Playground Games with more information on Forza Horizon 5’s accessibility can be found on the Xbox News site: https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/11/04/gaming-for-everyone-the-accessibility-features-of-forza-horizon-5/
For more video examples of how developers have improved the motor accessibility of their games, please visit https://specialeffectdevkit.info/