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A racing Corvette on the grid in Forza Motorsport.
Image via Turn 10 Studios

10 Forza Motorsport tips to help you dominate the grid

Surge through the grid with these tips.

The six-year wait for a new entry in the Forza Motorsport series has come to an end, and you’ll be forgiven if you require some help in your return to the track.

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A lot has changed since Forza Motorsport 7, and the majority of players will likely have dipped into the Forza Horizon series in the meantime, which is an entirely different type of racing game—so the tips and tricks you used there may not be applicable.

Forza Motorsport‘s upgraded physics and graphics may take some getting used to, as will new features like Practice and Challenge the Grid, but we’re here to help with a selection of tips that can help you dominate the grid.

Work your way up

The difficulty settings available in Forza Motorsport, showing Club Rules, Sport Rules, and Expert Rules.
Keep on moving. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Forza Motorsport has a vast amount of customization when it comes to levels of difficulty and the Driving Assists that are made available to you, but I’d advise starting off at a base level and gradually increasing the challenge.

Sport Rules in the difficulty are a good middle ground, providing simulated fuel and tire wear, but any damage is only cosmetic and the rewind is available to use. If you have some experience with racing games or the Forza Motorsport series, it’s the perfect starting point.

It’s useful for even experienced players as it will help you settle into the new gameplay enhancements such as the track “rubbering in” over the course of a session, and it’s easy enough to tweak the settings whenever you want for a harder, or easier, challenge.

Pay attention to AI

The AI in Forza Motorsport is significantly better than they have been previously and you can learn a lot from watching how they act around the track. Take note of their braking points and where they enter a corner, then try it out for yourself.

I’ve found that you can brake later into a corner than the AI does without surging off the track or hitting a wall, which can provide a bit of an advantage, but the AI is much more ruthless in Forza Motorsport and will punish you for any mistake you make.

If I’m not leading a race and can see an AI car in front of me, I always make sure to keep tabs on exactly what they’re doing and when—and it’s particularly useful in Practice sessions as you can try it out for yourself without the risk of a race-ending mistake.

Don’t be too aggressive

Cars on the track at the start of a race in Forza Motorsport, with headlights glaring and specs of rain on the camera.
Don’t push too hard. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

In previous Forza Motorsport entries, you could easily bully your way through the pack to lead a race, while braking very, very late was still viable. The biggest thing, however, was that it was pretty easy to chase down any AI opponent regardless of any mistakes you made.

That is not the case anymore in Forza Motorsport and the AI will not hesitate to build a significant advantage, nor will they dive out of the way or slam the brakes on if you get too close to them. On occasion, they will push back—I’ve had several races end because I’ve been too aggressive entering a corner and have been spun out by an AI opponent.

Instead, be patient when you are making your move and ensure there is sufficient space for you to get through.

Keep upgrading your car

Forza Motorsport’s new “Car-PG” mechanics ensure that your work is never done, as each level you increase unlocks more customization options that improve your car. However, you won’t be the only driver on the grid making changes.

Throughout the course of a series in Career Mode, the AI will also be improving their car, so there is no rest for the wicked. If you neglect to add better parts to your car, you will get left behind, and you will struggle.

While you can save any Car Points you’ve earned and use them on other vehicles, I highly recommend jumping into the Upgrade menu after every race you’ve completed and spending those points.

Don’t skip Practice

A Toyota Supra in Forza Motorsport during a Practice session after completing a Segment.
Completing Practice provides experience. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Practice sessions are new to Forza Motorsport and are a highly valuable tool regardless of whether it’s your first time at a particular circuit or your 100th. No matter how experienced you are, you should never skip out on a session.

The new feature presents the perfect time to try out any new upgrades or a Tuning set-up on your car, while it’s also a valuable opportunity to be a bit braver when approaching a corner and seeing just how late you can brake, or whether there is a better racing line to take.

Most important, however, is the experience you will earn for completing objectives and navigating laps through Practice, which can provide more Car Points to spend and increase the level of your car.

Test yourself

The biggest change to Forza Motorsport in the latest edition is it’s now not only about winning. Previously, your goal was to win various racing series, even dominate them, with in-game achievements for Forza Motorsport 7 even instructing you to do exactly that.

A series reset has led to changes, however, and you’ll now receive bonus Credits for any Podium finish. While you are rewarded for doing well, you’re not punished for doing badly. In order to unlock more racing series to complete, you have to finish them—and it doesn’t matter if you come first or last.

This welcome change gives you the opportunity to test yourself by gradually increasing the difficulty levels and assists, without fear of punishment or being locked out of content. There’s no reason to be afraid of losing.

Watch your Segment Score

Cars racing side by side on track in Forza Motorsport.
Master your corners. Image via Turn 10 Studios.

Segment Scores in Forza Motorsport are a new way of tracking how well you are doing in specific areas of a track and they provide valuable insight into where you are excelling and where you can do better.

Scores are provided from 1.0 to a perfect 10, with full decimals in between, so you’ll have a precise picture after every sequence of corners. As such, it’s a great way to keep track of how well you are doing, and improving those scores is a surefire way of closing down any opponent ahead of you.

While the notifications are small, shown in the top-right corner, and don’t provide a distraction, it’s always great to take a quick glance and receive assurances that you’re doing well, or motivation to improve.

Change your fuel strategy

Before the start of any race, you’ll be able to change your fuel and tire strategy for the event—and it’s always worth visiting this screen to make changes as it can provide a boost against rival drivers.

The AI will regularly run with a full fuel tank, even if the race is only four laps, and your car will be able to achieve faster lap times with a lighter load. While this is only a few hundredths of a second, it’s enough to make a big difference.

Similarly, changing your tires makes a difference. I’ve never seen the AI go for the soft compound tire, even if the race is short, so it’s another change that can be done to provide an advantage.

Use the curbs

A Porsche and a Corvette battle on track in Forza Motorsport.
Curbs can be a great tool. Image via Turn 10 Studios

Though you need to be careful not to ride the curbs too much in Forza Motorsport, they are a valuable tool that you can use—particularly if you have no driving line set in your settings and are running blind in that regard.

You’ll notice that curbs on the inside of corners are more prominent, with the same the case for the exit of corners. If you use them as a buffer when cornering, you’ll find the best driving line you can through them.

Essentially, you can use the curbs as a guide to where you should be on a specific part of the track, so it acts as a driving line in itself.

Upgrade your tires

The majority of cars you will drive in Forza Motorsport do not start with race tires equipped and it’s definitely worth prioritizing this upgrade as it can make a monumental difference up against your rivals.

The ability to change tire compound on a car is not usually unlocked until around level 12 of the car, so you’ll have to do a bit of driving first before switching them out, but once you unlock them, it’s worth ensuring you get that upgrade—even if it means removing a previous upgrade.

Rivals will often have race tires already, giving them a significant advantage, but you can narrow the gap by making the same change as soon as you can—and switching to a soft compound in a short race can make a huge difference.

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Image of Josh Challies
Josh Challies
Staff Writer. Professional writer since 2014. Pokemon, Marvel, Star Wars and overall geek. Previously wrote for Yahoo Sport, Stats Perform and online news publications.