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Ever found yourself asking how to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4? Let A Tribe Called Cars fill you in on everything from downforce and camber to gear ratios and damping.

Anyone without a degree in automotive engineering will probably find the Forza Horizon 4 tuning menu to be a daunting place. I certainly did (and sometimes still do). Having scoured the Internet and spent a lot of time trying everything out though, I have come up with a guide that will hopefully change that.

The thing with tuning is that you need to know what you are tuning for. For my guide, the ultimate aim is to lap Horizon 4’s 24.6-mile Goliath as fast as possible. This scenario will allow me to explain how to rectify issues such as oversteer and taking off over jumps, but it will work for other road races.

My current best at X-class level is 7:17.250 in the Maserati MC12 FE, which is the example car I will be using for this guide. But there is still room for improvement, in terms of the tuning and my driving.

So I will, therefore, keep updating this article with my progress and make a video of the final tune in action once I can break 7:15. The record is said to be around 6:50 with rewinds and 7:02 without, but I have yet to see either lap verified.

Obviously if you are out to make the fastest drag racer, then some areas of my guide will be pointless. What I would say is you should check out the McLaren F1 GT. For me though, Goliath is a genuinely fun circuit and learning how to master it has become my end-game.

Before we get into the nitty gritty (I hope you’re sitting comfortably), feel free to download and install my current MC12 FE setup, known as Goliath Killer. Gamertag: The Gr1ffy. V3.0 is rear-wheel drive, but I will be adding an all-wheel drive version that is easier to drive in the near future.

Oh, and feel free to check out my guide on how to make money fast in Forza Horizon 4. You will be able to afford that Mazzy a lot faster!

1) To AWD or RWD: That is the question

The first major decision for a lot of cars is whether to go with all-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). If your car has the option to swap, it will be under the ‘Conversion’ part of the Custom Upgrades menu. Front-wheel drive (FWD) exists, but not at a supercar or hypercar level as far as I am aware.

In Forza Horizon 4, AWD is really useful for short races because it allows you to launch off the line and overtake the pack in no time, such is the sheer level of acceleration. Given that the Unbeatable AI ignores physics, this is really helpful.

But in Goliath, there is no need to worry about getting the best start. For one thing, I count my second rolling lap time, not from a standing start, and secondly you have a long time to catch up. Plus the AI crashes a lot, sometimes even freezes, and once you get fast there is only a seven second or so difference between standing and rolling lap times.

As for RWD, your car should be lighter and therefore potentially better at cornering, not to mention much less prone to oversteer (where the back of the car skids out). You should be able to make it go faster, too, thanks to improved acceleration and a higher top speed, but it will be more prone to wheelspin at low to mid speeds.

Another important choice is the engine. Also under conversion, there may be at least one option you can swap too. As you can see a total horsepower and torque figure without actually purchasing anything, try out the stock engine fully upgraded and then the other engine or engines. In Goliath, I have found most horsepower wins over the extra weight gain.

Twin turbos usually generate the most power compared to a supercharger. If you do add a turbo or two, be sure to upgrade any relevant parts that have now become an option elsewhere in the upgrade menu. Miss something out and you will have less power than is possible.

With a decent X-Class car (more on this in a second) and without crashing, you should end up first in one lap and quite far ahead. This, of course, assumes you know the circuit. This brings me neatly to my next point.

2) Setting up Goliath

Forza Horizon 4 World Record Goliath lap attempt in the Maserati MC12 FE.

To get good at Goliath (or any road race) and ensure your tuning is improving your car, make a custom blueprint. I typically do two or three laps, start in the morning during the summer and set to Anything Goes.

I choose summer because it means no rain and it is warmer, which means your tyres reach their peak operating temperature faster while having a slightly higher tyre pressure.

If you set the time late in the day or more than two laps, you will end up racing through the night, which will slow you down but it is good for practice. A two lap race with these settings will give you around 200,000cr and 40,000 influence. Not too bad for something you can do in 15 minutes when you are really fast.

3) The Correct Difficulty Settings

For achieving the best lap times and getting a feel for your car, switch off traction control (TCS) and stability control. Avoid using ‘assisted’ braking as this will murder your lap times, but ABS on can actually help as it prevents the wheels from locking up and requires less skill.

Steering to normal or simulation is up to you, go with whichever you prefer (the latter will give you more money at the end of each race). You want the one you find most natural.

In terms of driving view, this is also your decision though I find being behind the car helps slow things down, which is good at 260mph plus. Goliath is an unforgiving course and so getting the wrong line can ruin a lap.

Keep Rewind on because although getting a very fast clean lap is the dream (for me anyway), you can easily have another go at a section to learn what works and what doesn’t. It will also help you see how fast your current setup can take a corner, which is vital when making small tweaks to your setup.

Damage MUST be set to cosmetic or off. Damage will slow your car down after a relatively short time, it will kill your maximum grip, slow you down and generally ruin your lap times. So it makes no sense if you want to set a personal best.

Though I typically dislike using the driving line, having it set to ‘Braking Only’ is really useful because it helps keep you from crashing and it can help lock every corner into your memory.

4) Tips for Driving Faster

Maserati MC12 FE in Forza Horizon 4.

Exactly how you need to drive to maximise your lap time depends on the car itself. AWD is more forgiving if you lift off the throttle mid-corner, whereas doing that in a RWD car could mean losing grip and ending up facing backwards.

General tips include avoiding braking into a corner, although some cars and setups can suit trail-braking as it is known (this is typically best for FWD cars).

You should also start wide before a corner, then take the inside line and accelerate out back towards the edge of the road. This shortens the corner, which means you are shortening the circuit and therefore can reduce the time it takes to get round.

There are, however, times when you should take a different line, which is why racing drivers are thinking at least one corner ahead. For instance, there is a section in Goliath before you reach the mountain pass that you need to a little differently, depending on your car.

While you can take the first left as the hill crests at full speed, it may mean you are too far to the right to then take the optimum line for a long straight, which means you hot a lower top speed on a reasonably long straight. Usually, it is the corners before these lengthy stretches that can really make a big difference to your overall time, especially as Goliath has multiple flat-out sections.

For RWD cars, I have found using below 50 for the balance between accuracy for steering sensitivity helps me from sending the car into a slide or spin. I have yet to find a decent enough steering wheel configuration to come close to being as fast as a controller, but that will be something I research in a future video. The dream is to set a very fast lap time with a wheel, too.

5) The Super Useful Tuning User-Interface

For some reason the tuning user-interface (UI) can only be viewed if you go into settings, HUD and Interface and then enable it. I set it to down on the D-Pad (sorry, Anna), but you can choose whatever.

Do this and your speedometer and other displays are replaced by various tuning-specific meters. Using left and right on the D-Pad, you can scroll between tyre temperature, camber angle, suspension travel, G-force and a whole lot more.

We will get to why this is useful later, but you should know that it is there. One useful benefit is that you can get a rough idea of what tweaks have been made to a setup you download from the likes of DJS, which is useful because they are locked and therefore impossible to adjust.

The only problem with the tuning user-interface is that it removes your speedometer, making it harder to drive Goliath, but it still provides valuable information and some info only requires you to steer into a corner as hard as possible.

6) The Best Cars for Goliath

From what I have seen, the Maserati MC12 FE is the fastest around Goliath. I am still trying to get my Ultima 1020 and McLaren F1 GT to be as quick. But how easy you find a car to drive, its top speed, level of downforce and other factors may mean you are faster in something else.

If you are unsure what to choose and the MC12 FE is too expensive, I would delve into one of the following cars:

Lotus Esprit GT1, McLaren F1 GTR, Maserati MC12 FE, Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione FE, McLaren Senna, Ferrari F50 Competizione, Ultima 1020, Radical RXC Turbo, Nissan GT-R LM FE, Koenigsegg Agera RS. All of these can be extremely fast and will be a good place to learn Goliath, although some such as the Alfa will be a lot slower.

For maximum success, you want a car with a high top speed and strong cornering ability. The MC12 FE does so well because it can take most of the all-important high speed corners in its stride and without needing too much downforce, all while hitting 260mph+ in three areas.

7) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Tyre pressures

Tyre (or tire if you prefer) pressure is essential because the correct temperature provides the most grip. If your rear tyres are getting too hot, for instance, you will lose traction at the rear more easily, which is a bad thing at high speeds and can reduce your ability to exit a corner fast.

Too much tyre pressure can mean your tyres never reach peak heat and therefore you will have less grip and corner more slowly. Too little pressure and you lose turning ability at the front and the extra friction will mean they may get too hot and be less grippy for more of the time.

The best way to test this out is to bring up the tuning interface while driving along, having entered the Goliath road race. Select the tyre temperature section. Then drive as close to what you normally would and see what happens in a variety of situations.

Tyres that are blue mean they are too cold, while yellow means they are too hot and red is a no-no. Find the point where your tyres stick to being no colour at all for as much of the race as possible. In the Maserati MC12 FE in summer, that appears to be around 32PSI at the front and 33PSI at the rear when using my RWD setup.

In the spring, autumn and winter the lower ambient temperatures and weather will likely mean the PSI figure needs to be reduced, but too much and you can affect handling. As the game tells you, changing 2 PSI can make a big difference. Generally, 31-33 is accepted as good.

8) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Gearing

Gear ratios can be a pain to get right. For starters, you want to find a balance between speed and acceleration that fits with the situation. Close gears make more sense for drag racing (but not always) as there is no for a high top speed.

In Goliath, however, top speed matters. In the MC12 FE, I have found it is best to use fourth gear as your highest, as this reduces the amount of time you need to shift gear, provides maximum acceleration on the straights and you can hit 269mph.

There is a reading on the left that shows you 0-60mph and 0-100mph. These are useful, although you will soon end up with a peak time based on all your components and settings. At this point, you can then start tweaking for more top speed.

I make 1st top out at about 80mph, then second takes me to around 130mph. 3rd goes well into 220mph and fourth reaches the maximum. I find the top speed of my car is 270.8mph, regardless of how wide the gears are, so at this point I start dialling back the speed to improve acceleration.

What I am currently looking into is my ratio of 2nd gear. There are points in Goliath where my 2nd is too slow for the corner and 3rd sees the revs too low for peak acceleration out of the corner. But the sheer torque and horsepower of the MC12 FE means it is less of an issue.

Basically, you want to keep every gear or the number of gears it needs to max out on the little graph on the right. Play around with each gear until it sounds right to your ear and see how fast you actually get to the top speed, as opposed to what the numbers tell you.

An easy way to cheat is to download someone else’s setting and write down where you redline in each gear, then apply that to your own setup. Be aware that some cars such as the McLaren F1 GT prefer to use five gears instead of four, it depends on when your car has full torque and horsepower (the power band, as it is known).

I find a really high top speed is important in Goliath, but not to the detriment of acceleration because you can only make up so much time for slow corner exit speeds.

9) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Alignment

Camber is the angle the suspension leans, which by extension means the tyre leans. The idea here is that you want as much of the tyre to be flat when cornering as possible because that means you are creating the largest surface area to grip when cornering.

Using the trusty tuning interface, find the setting that shows you camber degrees then drive any corner as fast as possible. Watch what happens to the outside right tyre in a left-hand corner and the opposite for a right-hand corner.

If the number goes into negative figures of, say, minus 1, then you should adjust the camber positively by 1. Doing so should you see your camber go into positive figures or very close to when cornering at maximum G-forces. The closer the figure is, the better.

Bear in mind that Caster (see below) and Toe-In (also below) can affect these figures as you go along so if you change either of those, make sure to re-test your camber and see what figures you are getting.

Generally, a bit of negative camber is a good thing but it can depend on the car and what amount of understeer and oversteer you are experiencing.

Toe-in is the setting that adjusts the amount the front and rear tyres face in or face out. This can help with turning, but too much can have adverse effects. I generally avoid touching this much, but this is something that is worth a look.

10) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Antiroll bars

If you install the rollcage, which usually adds weight, you can tweak stiffness to help undo or create understeer and oversteer. Though some cars may be able to get away without one, saving weight, antiroll bars generally help a car deal with lumps and bumps so drive the car with and without before you make a decision.

For a specific starting point, see Damping below.

11) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Springs

Generally Forza sets this figure too low and the relationship between the front and rear setting can change the character of a car. Using the formula below in Damping, you can get a good starting place based on the weight distribution of your car.

Ride height should be set as low as possible, although you want to avoid bottoming out so going up one notch can help, depending on your other suspension settings.

12) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Damping

We are going to use a formula (thanks, HokiHoshi), which applies to Damping, Springs and Antiroll bars. It’s like Maths class all over again! To give yourself a decent base setting from which to work from, you subtract the minimum setting from the maximum, then multiply that answer by the weight balance and then add the minimum value.

So, for example, in the MC12 FE RWD with the 6.5-litre V12 (the race one is slower and has fewer horsepower) the weight balance is 40 per cent over the front and that means 60 per cent is at the rear.

So you would take the maximum value and then minus the minimum value and then take that total and multiply by the front weight balance. In this case, 40 per cent so enter 0.4. Then add the minimum value to your total and set that as your figure or as close as you can get.

(Maximum value – minimum value) x front weight balance + minimum value

For the rear value, you use exactly the same formula except you multiply by the inverse figure, which in this case is 60 per cent. So multiply by 0.6 instead of 0.4 and then add the minimum value.

This gives you a good starting tune based on the weight distribution of your car, but it is only a basis. Rarely will your car be at peak if you leave this as is.

Bump Stiffness, meanwhile, is calculated by using 50 to 75 per cent of rebound stiffness, as suggested by the game. Test out the two extremes and then see how the car feels. 60 per cent is a decent happy medium, but it will depend on the car.

13) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Aero

Aero is short for aerodynamics and it is to do with how air passes over the car. Low drag resistance means a higher top speed at the expense of air pushing the car down towards the floor, which helps with stability and cornering speed.

To change this stuff, you need to apply the Forza front and rears splitter and rear wing. Then you can either dial it all the way back as low as it will go or the opposite. I find starting low, driving Goliath, and then dialling it up makes it easy to see how much of an effect it has and at what point you reach the maximum.

In the MC12 FE, I find somewhere around halfway for front downforce works well as you can take corners at 10mph or more faster, which adds up fast on a 24.6-mile circuit. The rear is just under halfway. Too much rear downforce reduces front-end steering and this car in its standard settings likes to understeer enough as it is.

Some cars such as the Ultima 1020 have a lower top speed but the sheer cornering speed can mean it makes up a lot of time. Try to avoid undoing too much of a car’s strength if it has a noticeable one.

14) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Brake

The brakes are quite important in a car and so it makes sense to have a setting for them. Here, you can change the balance between the front and rear.

Like on a bicycle, the front wheels provide the most braking power but setting the balance too far forward can increase understeer and harm cornering. Setting it a little towards the rear undoes this but too much will affect how fast your car brakes.

The pressure setting lets you choose how much pressure is applied. Adjusting it beyond 100 per cent means you get full lock earler than when you fully apply the brakes so it may actually harm your braking power, especially if the wheels lock when ABS is set to off.

15) How to tune a car in Forza Horizon 4: Differential

If your car has the Race Differential upgrade (and it probably should), you can adjust front and rear acceleration and deceleration values and the balance of the power between the front and back.

A differential controls the torque being sent to the front and rear axles. The per cent value governs when the differential locks, allowing you to govern how much faster one wheel spins than the other.

For acceleration, this governs when the differential locks when you are on the throttle. Deceleration, meanwhile, governs when you lift off the throttle and/or brake.

Having it high helps maintain grip but too much and you will find understeer is more of a problem. Too low and you may see your wheels spin and you get unwanted levels of oversteer.

The center setting governs how much power is sent to the back versus the front. In an all-wheel drive car, setting it more towards the rear can reduce understeer at the expense of low-speed acceleration. Because you are basically making the car behave in RWD fashion.

In the Maserati MC12 FE, I have increased the acceleration setting to increase oversteer. This works for both RWD and AWD vehicles. For FWD and AWD, reducing the front acceleration value can counteract understeer.

These settings can really help with entry and exit speeds so experiment a bit at a section of track you know very well and see how the car feels and how fast you can go.

16) Goliath Shortcuts

Based on my own experience, I would suggest the fastest lap times use the roundabout trick, which allows you to go straight across at around 190mph in the MC12 FE, saving a lot of time, but then I have seen a 7:12 that avoid doing this. Plus the chance of losing control in a RWD car here is great.

You can also cut some of the corners in the section just after the water crossing. Apart from that, Goliath is largely fenced in and so taking other shortcuts would probably work out slower. Plus you have the issue of getting through every checkpoint unless you want to lose a lot of time being sent back.

If you have any tuning tips, get in touch or leave a comment. I will be updating this article as I go along, with screenshots and a video to follow soon, so maybe give it a bookmark.

About The Author

Editor-in-Chief

Ben Griffin is a motoring journalist and founder of the website and YouTube channel, A Tribe Called Cars. He is also a contributor at DriveTribe.

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