Consider this Tips For Noobs, From a Noob. Because despite being level 52 at the moment, I’m still very much a noob at the competitive side of the game. Racing against the AI is very misleading to your actual skill at driving in the game.
Practice! This is a Duh, Captain Obvious! thing to say, but it’s extremely important. Get accustomed to the way your favorite cars handle under your favorite tune setups, learn the track layouts and how they flow for your car. And it’s important to practice with your controller of choice, be it the gamepad, the Wireless Speed Wheel or one of the more expensive and hardcore steering wheel and pedal setups. Fine, smooth control makes a difference. I’m still working on slowing down. Seems silly, but I have a real problem getting a grip (pun intended) on how effective (or not) my brakes are, and I either overestimate and end up getting way too slow or more often I underestimate the brakes and go careening off the track and into last place. Practice, practice, practice!
Handling! This goes along with practicing in your cars, but while some cars may be faster on the few straight stretches of road, generally speak, races are won and lost in the turns in Forza. Get or create a tune setup for your car that handles well in the turns for your preferred driving style. There are a lot of drift fans out there, and it’s damn impressive to watch but for me, drifting is counterintuitive so I tend to go for grip tunes. The sports cars I had a chance to drive in my youth all hugged the road and could corner like a sonuvabitch, and that’s how I want my Forza cars to drive, not handle like they’re hovercraft.
Credits! If you’re into saving credits as much as possible, here’s a handful of tips. For the car collectors among you, Gamespot put together a list of recommended cars to get while leveling up, in terms of which one is most expensive if you were buying it. Choose the most expensive car as your reward, so you end up spending less credits buying the others. Also, related to the handling paragraph above, most of the default tunes for the cars seem to me rather loose and borderline drifty. There are tons of free tune setups in the auction house but loading them can be costly buying the upgrades they’re built for. Go ahead and drive the car (or any car from that manufacturer) a few times to get your Affinity to level 4 so that manufacturer upgrades are free. Some tunes will use custom upgrades, so you’ll still end up spending credits but much less than if your Affinity were under 4.
Cars! Rather than release new tracks as DLC, traditionally Turn 10 has only released new cars for both Forza 3 and Forza 4. (There are codes that come with the game to download a couple free custom tracks, I’m not counting those because from what I can tell – again, I’m still a noob – they’re only used situationally, not something you race online or in the campaign with. Could be mistaken on that, though.) While I enjoy getting new cars as much as the next guy, I personally don’t see the DLC worth my money because when I look at the list of cars, I would never want to drive a lot of them. I don’t like old beaters and stuff like that, totally not into that scene. However, each DLC pack does offer one of its cars as a free download! You still have to buy it in-game with credits, of course but you’re not spending real money in the form of Microsoft Points to acquire the cars. The free cars are:
- 2011 Volkswagen Scirocco R from the November Speed Pack
- 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3 from the December IGN Pack
- 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe from the January Jalopnik Pack
- Hyundai Veloster Bonus Pack offers the 2013 Veloster Turbo and the 2011 Rhys Miller Racing Veloster, plus adds a Veloster to the Autovista part of the game – the first-ever DLC Autovista addition.
Etiquette! As hardcore as the Forza community can seem at times, generally speaking they also expect some level of professionalism in your driving; some etiquette. Problem for me is, I also enjoy “racing combat” games like Blur and Split/Second where smashing your opponents is part of the gameplay. I behave similarly racing the AI in single-player, I’ll go full-bore into a turn and slam into an AI car to slow me down rather than using my brakes. Online, however, that can get you a bad reputation. Not only will they downvote your Gamertag reputation, they will trash you on the community forums and post their replays online for everyone to see your poor behavior in action.