Forza Horizon 5 Season Change: Arctic Explorers

Winter hits Mexico this week, as Forza Horizon 5’s latest playlist rolls into its third week.

Series 21, or “Explore the Horizon”, is a four-week celebration of all things rough. Or at least in terms of road surfaces.

It brings in a number of unique challenges and variations on existing events, all designed around exploration. That includes a new theme to the Photo Challenges, requiring you to take wildlife snaps at new campsite locations, as well as new Collectibles along a similar style.

Probably the biggest new type of challenge is the Pathfinder. This is a similar event to Trailblazers, but instead of trying to find the fastest, straightest line across the terrain, you’ll be ambling down routes on the road less traveled to explore some different areas of the map. They’ll underpin the Treasure Hunt this Series, along with new Accolades associated to the task.

In fact there’s plenty more new Accolades, including the traditional one for collecting all four of the new vehicles this series — all of which are pickups. You can also win two further new cars by simply playing the game this month.

Further Accolades come in using the new Photomode functions, which give new abilities to set time of day, weather, steering angle, and avatar location.

There’s also some new “Overlanding” modifications, which allow for 16 of the game’s toughest trucks — including all four that are new this series — to transform into all-terrain camper vans.

Series 21: Explore the Horizon

As all four of the brand-new cars come for hitting the 20 point target in each Season, the two rewards for the Series overall aren’t new to the game. However both are cars you can’t buy through normal means, so it’s a good chance to pick them up if you’ve previously missed out.

That starts with the 80-point car, which is China’s most popular compact MPV: the Wuling Sunshine.

This car and its derivatives — including an EV model — regularly tops China’s top-ten sales figures each month, which might make it the most unknown most-popular car in the world given the 1.4-billion strong domestic market.

It won’t pull up any stumps with an 84hp, 1.5-liter internal combustion engine, but a few choice upgrades available only in FH5 will make it a madcap pocket rocket.

At 160 points, which comes into view this week, you’ll earn the considerably faster Audi RS7.

Audi’s halo ICE sports coupe, the RS7 sports a twin-turbocharged, four-liter V8 which powers all four wheels through the famous quattro AWD system. That means it makes all the right noises and can slap 592hp down to the road in any weather Mexico can throw at you.

Series 21 Winter/Dry Season Rewards

The third of the four new-to-series trucks is available this week, as a 20-point reward just like its siblings.

Reach the target and you’ll pick up the Chevrolet K10 “Customized” ’72, another workhorse beast like the F-150 from last week.

This AWD pick-up packs a 350 Chevrolet Small Block V8, good for a modest 175hp, making it perfect as an all-purpose truck for traipsing around Mexico.

Horizon being Horizon though, you can tune the truck up to be much more, and it’s one of the cars capable of receiving the new Overlanding modifications for dragging out into the middle of nowhere and camping beneath the stars.

Hit 40 points and you’ll pick up a rare semi-fictional vehicle in the shape of the Hot Wheels Rip Rod.

Originally a diecast car, Hot Wheels built a Rip Rod for SEMA, which combined a tube-frame chassis with a turbocharged one-liter Ford EcoBoost engine. Light and surprisingly powerful, the Rip Rod is a pretty potent car when tuned.

The Winter Season will run through to 1430UTC on Thursday June 15, with Series 21 continuing for one more week until the same time on Thursday June 22.

Series 21 Winter Playlist: Forzathon Events

While off-roading is the theme for the month, the star car for the Forzathon Weekly is one that wouldn’t get too far in the mud before getting stuck. Own and drive the BMW X5M to get Designed for Driving underway.

Throw enough upgrades at the tallest M car to move it into S1 Class (801-900PI) and win any Street Race with it, before heading to any Speed Zones to earn three stars in total. Finally earn a Kangaroo Skill — earning two Air Skills, for a safe landing after getting airborne, back-to-back — to complete the event.

You’ll win five Playlist points and 80 Forzathon Points — the latter of which is doubled if you own the La Casa Solariega player house — for completion.

Weekly Challenge: Designed for Driving

  • Car: BMW X5M ’11
    • Chapter 1: Own and drive the BMW X5M ’11
    • Chapter 2: Win a Street Race in the BMW X5M ’11
    • Chapter 3: Earn three Stars from Speed Zones in the BMW X5M ’11
    • Chapter 4: Earn a Kangaroo Skill in the BMW X5M ’11
  • Reward: 5 points, 80FP

The usual seven Daily challenges unlock at the rate of one per day, at 1430UTC, and you’ll have a full seven days to complete each one even if that rolls over into next season.

Firstly there’s a challenge involving the new photomode controls. You’ll need to set any parameters however you wish, then save them as a pre-set; this requires you to press the “view” button on the controller and then save the settings. If you haven’t already acquired it, the Artistic Vision Accolade will drop at the same time as you complete Shutterbug.

On Friday you’ll need to reach the highest point in Mexico to become a Car-tographer. That’s at the volcano (even if the floating Hot Wheels island is higher), although the caldera itself isn’t enough; you’ll need to climb the hill between the caldera and the telescope.

Win any Cross Country event from Saturday, even the ones on the Playlist, to prove We Don’t Need Roads.

Be part of the Creative Community next, by playing any EventLab event created by another player. We have a number of recommendations in our dedicated Share Your Creations thread.

Head Through the Trees next and earn a Lumberjack Skill in Gran Pantano. This is actually a tricky skill; you’ll need to smash tree branches lying on the floor pretty hard, and they’re tough to see until you’re on top of them. Just weave between the big trees in the area and you’ll likely pick it up soon enough.

The next challenge requires Suspension of Disbelief as you leap over 500 feet (152.4m) in any Classic Rally Car.

Finally there’s an easy one: just take a photo in Playa Tranquila, to the north-east of the map, to earn Beauty Spot. You might like to play around with the photomode controls too and pick up some of the new Accolades.

Daily Challenges

  • June 8 – Shutterbug: Save a new photo pre-set
  • June 9 – Car-tographer: Reach the highest point in Mexico
  • June 10 – We Don’t Need Roads: Win a Cross Country racing event
  • June 11 – Creative Community: Play any EventLab event created by another player
  • June 12 – Through the Trees: Earn a Lumberjack Skill in Gran Pantano
  • June 13 – Suspension of Disbelief: Jump over 500ft (152.4m) in any Classic Rally car
  • June 14 – Beauty Spot: Take a photo in Playa Tranquila

Series 21 Winter Playlist: Season Events

It’s the smallest solo offering we’ve seen in a long while this week, with just five events available.

That starts with an EventLab, How The West Was Raced. The event, for A Class (701-800PI) cars from any offroad category, is a colonial-era themed course laid out around the braided section of the river near Atlantes de Tula. There’s three points and a Plymouth Cuda for completing the event.

The PR Stunts remain as open-to-all events, with the only limitation being a vehicle sitting anywhere up to the top of S2 Class (901-998PI). Each awards a Super Wheelspin.

This week they’re the temporary Festival Descend Trailblazer, which should be a breeze even with the above three-star 28-second time limit, and the El Gancho Speed Zone. That might be a tricky one, as it’s short and on a dirt road with a tight hairpin, and the 82mph target is high enough to be in the top 15% (discounting the 2,000 obviously bogus speeds on the leaderboard).

There’s just two Seasonal Championships again, each consisting of three-race events against Highly Skilled AI. You’ll receive five points, alongside each event’s bonus rewards, for topping the championship scoring.

Ramble Scramble is a Dirt Racing Series event for A Class (701-800PI) cars with all-wheel drive, and awards a 2014 Jeep Cherokee for victory. Tropic Like It’s Hot uses the Cross Country Series courses, with any C Class (501-600PI) Pickups & 4x4s car eligible, with a Subaru WRX ’05 for the win.

EventLab: How the West Was Raced

  • Car: A Class, Off-Road-Capable
  • Location: Atlantes de Tula
  • Challenge: Finish the race
  • Reward: 3 points, Plymouth Cuda

Speed Zone: El Gancho

  • Car: S2 Class, Anything Goes
  • Location: Rio de la Selva
  • Challenge: 82mph
  • Reward: 2 points, Super Wheelspin

Trailblazer: Festival Descend

  • Car: S2 Class, Anything Goes
  • Location: Gran Caldera
  • Challenge: 28s
  • Reward: 2 points, Super Wheelspin

Seasonal Championship: Ramble Scramble

  • Car: A Class, AWD
  • Location: Gran Caldera
  • Challenge: Win the Championship
  • Reward: 5 points, Jeep Cherokee ’14

Seasonal Championship: Tropic Like It’s Hot

  • Car: C Class, Pickups & 4x4s
  • Location: Ek’Balam
  • Challenge: Win the Championship
  • Reward: 5 points, Subaru WRX ’05

There’s two multiplayer events on the Playlist too, and you’ll need an Xbox Live subscription in order to access the event on console — or play for free on PC.

Horizon Tour rejoins the fray this week. You can access the event through the Playlist menu or visit any of the three Tour locations on the main map, Hot Wheels, or Rally Adventure to get it started — and you only need select a car appropriate to the current event hopper, which changes every two minutes.

It’s a three-race team championship event with a team of up to six players against a team of six “Highly Skilled” AI.

Each player on each team only scores points by finishing ahead of rivals, with 100 points for each opponent you beat — there’s nothing for beating a team mate — and 50 points to the overall race winner as a tie-breaker. That means that helping your fellow humans by not smacking into them, or by holding up the AI, is the best route to victory and the three Playlist points on offer.

With the Tour you’ll also need to drive from the end of one event to the start of the next. You don’t get anything for doing that, but if you’re first you can do showoff donuts until the others arrive…

The Trial is a very similar format, but without the overlanding, with the AI boosted to “Unbeatable” difficulty, and the event becomes a best-of-three; if you have a reasonably aware set of team-mates you can win in two races.

It’s a Road Racing series event for A Class (701-800PI) Super Saloons, so pretty much in the grip vs. speed sweet spot where team-mates aren’t going too fast for their abilities.

Take the overall win as a unit and you’ll score ten points for the Playlist and the Ford Bronco R #2069.

Horizon Tour: Co-op Championships

  • Car: Any
  • Location: Any Horizon Tour
  • Challenge: Win the Championship
  • Reward: 3 points

The Trial: Bucking Broncos

  • Car: A Class, Super Saloons
  • Location: Mulege
  • Challenge: Win the Championship
  • Reward: 10 points, Ford Bronco R #2069

Series 21 Winter Playlist: Challenges

It’s another busy week on the Challenges front, with four more events that include the new-format Treasure Hunt, new Collectibles, and the special Photo Challenge.

You’ll need access to online multiplayer for Horizon Open, but you’ll only need to complete any Cross Country Racing event within Open Custom Racing for the challenge. That will earn you two points and a Farid Rueda’s Lion Relaxed Fit Tee clothing item.

For the #StreetDog Photo Challenge you’ll again need to hunt out a camp site and photograph wildlife.

It’s actually quite tricky to find the location, as “Lago Blanco” is written on the map in transparent white font laid over white sand, but look to the south-west corner of the volcano near the Baja California Trail race marker.

The camp site is in fact right by that marker — given away by the yellow balloon above it, and you only need to take a snap there to earn two points and a Predator Howl car horn.

For the Collectibles event you’ll need to travel just across the way to the Baja Circuit. There’s some cardboard cutout armadillos to the north-east of the track — again, somewhat blending into the desert.

They are in fact really hard to find, but if you focus on the dirt road that runs across the north of the track you should find enough to smash ten and earn your three points and the Farid Rueda Lion Race Gloves.

That leaves the Treasure Hunt, in its Series-long “Pathfinder” event. You’ll need to complete three such challenges, which send you along a path between two sets of green balloons (marked by red balloons) that show the start (two balloons) and finish (three balloons) points, to “find” the chest.

Selecting the first, Cordillera Trail, in your Accolades will mark the start point, but you’re on your own after that. Well, unless someone puts a handy guide together that tells you that the start points are right by the Lucha de Carreteras map marker near Playa Tranquila (although it runs the opposite direction to the suggested instructions) and near the dirt road loop south-east of Ek’Balam.

Complete all three to make the Treasure Chest appear — which this week is near the final route’s finish zone, next to barn right by the Flood, Sweat, and Gears Showcase start point — then smash it to score three points and a 250,000cr bonus.

Collectibles: Car-madillos

  • Cars: Any
  • Location: Baja Circuit
  • Challenge: Smash 10 Armadillo cutouts near Baja Circuit
  • Reward: 3 points, Farid Rueda Lion Race Gloves

Photo Challenge: #StreetDog

  • Cars: Any
  • Location: Lago Blanco
  • Challenge: Photograph the wildlife near the camera equipment south-east of Lago Blanco
  • Reward: 2 points, Predator Howl horn

Treasure Hunt: Finders Keepers Pathfinder Challenge

  • Cars: Any
  • Location: Cordillera Trail Pathfinder
  • Challenge: Complete the three Pathfinder trails, smash the Treasure Chest
  • Reward: 3 points, 250,000cr

Horizon Open: Country Roads Take Me Home

  • Cars: Any
  • Location: Horizon Open Custom Cross Country
  • Challenge: Complete a Cross Country event in Horizon Open Custom Racing
  • Reward: 2 points, Farid Rueda Lion Relaxed Fit Tee

The Forza Monthly challenges for this Series are both Forza EV events. As usual, there’s no limit on when in the Series you complete them, as they award one point to each Season regardless of when you do so.

In each case you’ll need to set a clean lap of the course in order to get the points. That can be tricky in EVs given the way they pick up speed and their weight, meaning you tend to arrive at solid objects a lot sooner than you think and require a lot more braking time.

You’ll be driving the new Cupra Tavascan at the compact Emerald Circuit in the eponymous Cupra Tavascan Concept event, while Ek’Balam Cross Country Circuit is a run out for the four-ton Hummer EV around the tight offroad course which involves some sharp turns in the temple near the end.

Forza EV: Cupra Tavascan Concept

  • Cars: Cupra Tavascan Concept (provided)
  • Location: Palacio Azul, Emerald Circuit
  • Challenge: Post a Clean Lap
  • Reward: 4 points (1 added to each season)

Forza EV: Ek’Balam Cross Country Circuit

  • Cars: Hummer EV
  • Location: Ek’Balam, Ek’Balam Cross Country Circuit
  • Challenge: Post a Clean Lap
  • Reward: 4 points (1 added to each season)

Series 21 Winter Bonus DLC Events

The two expansion packs each offers a pair of bonus events, consisting of a Seasonal Championship and a PR Stunt in each location. You don’t need the points for 100% completion, but it’s a nice bonus if other events are tricky to pass.

Each of the PR Stunts requires any car up to S2 Class (901-998PI), and this week both are Danger Signs — offering two points and a Super Wheelspin.

Although the distances are similar, the Forest Escape Danger Sign in Hot Wheels is a lot less tricky at 350m. The Palm Forest Danger Sign in Rally Adventure is a decent leap at 340m considering the short run-up, though the landing zone is deceptively safe.

The Seasonal Championships match those on the main map, with five points on offer for each of the three-race events against Highly Skilled AI.

You’ll be racing D Class (≤500PI) Buggies in the Letting Off Steam event in Rally Adventure, which offers a Steam Boat Horn for victory. The Chosen One in Hot Wheels is an event for A Class (701-800PI) Rally Monsters, awarding the “I Have The High Ground” Forza LINK message.

Hot Wheels Danger Sign: Forest Escape

  • Car: S2 Class
  • Location: Hot Wheels Forest Falls
  • Challenge: 350m
  • Reward: 2 points, Super Wheelspin

Hot Wheels Seasonal Championship: The Chosen One

  • Car: A Class, Rally Monsters
  • Location: Hot Wheels Ice Cauldron
  • Challenge: Win the Championship
  • Reward: 5 points, “I Have The High Ground” Forza LINK

Rally Adventure Danger Sign: Palm Forest

  • Car: S2 Class
  • Location: Sierra Nueva Epitaph Radio Tower
  • Challenge: 340m
  • Reward: 2 points, Super Wheelspin

Rally Adventure Seasonal Championship: Letting Off Steam

  • Car: D Class, Buggies
  • Location: Sierra Nueva, Orogrande
  • Challenge: Win the Championship
  • Reward: 5 points, Steam Boat Horn

Series 21 Winter Forzathon Shop

Classic performance cars head up the Forzathon Shop this week, with two old-school racers in two very different disciplines. Leading the way is the 1995 Porsche 911 GT2, which is actually two cars in one in Forza Horizon 5.

The first is the GT2 itself, probably the ultimate develoment of the 993-generation car (as the GT1 was just a prototype with 993 headlights) and a homolgation model for GT2 racing.

Alongside a 420hp version of the air-cooled, twin-turbo, 3.6-liter flat six, the GT2 sported rather obvious aerodynamic aids and a lightweight construction. It also came with a unique suspension setup, ready to be raced once you’d stripped out the road-friendly interior.

Hiding in the 911 GT2’s skill tree though is the Hoonigan RWB 911, and since this car can only be unlocked this way it might be worth spending the 400FP — though the GT2 is also available for 550,000cr in the Autoshow.

In the second slot is the 1977 Ford Escort RS1800, in #4 Group 4 rally guise. The rear-wheel drive Ford took overall victory in three WRC events — including its home RAC Rally in the UK — in ’77.

It was essentially the same car that gave Bjorn Waldegard the first drivers’ title in 1979, one point ahead of Hannu Mikkola in the same car. You can pick it up for 300FP, although the 300,000cr Autoshow price looks more attractive.

Other store items this week include the What’s Inside emote and the Horizon Raptors Cap for 75FP each. The Wheelspin (60FP) and a Super Wheelspin (150FP) occupy their regular spots.

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