Turn 10 has taken the opportunity of August’s Forza Monthly stream to show off the redeveloped multiplayers modes of Forza Motorsport ahead of its launch in October.
The game’s creative director Chris Esaki once again appeared on the show to talk about the various multiplayer options in the reboot title, from Rivals through to the new Featured Multiplayer events which replace the hoppers and leagues from previous games.
Esaki also covered the refreshed Forza Race Regulations system, and discussed how the multiplayer works with the car upgrade and tuning system previously covered.
Forza Motorsport: Featured Multiplayer
Featured Multiplayer comprises the scheduled multiplayer system, with two sets of events called “Spec” and “Open”.
Spec Events are, just as they sound, heavily restricted races that lock cars down to a single, set “spec” build to keep the vehicles equal. This means that, whether you have only just acquired a car or you’ve had it long enough to build it up with all the available parts, everyone’s vehicle will be built to the same standard tune. There’ll be various events based on car categories, and sometimes one-make races.
The Open Events are more free, with entry limited only to car class. Players will be able to bring whatever vehicle they want so long as it meets the car class restrictions, and these rotate on a weekly basis.
In both cases, the Featured Multiplayer races may include a strategic element, such as fuel use and tire wear or tire compound requirements, meaning that pitting may sometimes be necessary.
A third set of events, the Qualifier Series, is intended for players who are dipping their toes into online multiplayer, and is only there to allow you to get used to regulations and calculate an initial driver rating.
Whichever type of race you enter there’ll be open practice and qualifying sessions before the race itself. You’ll have a set number of laps to post a qualifying time, which will determine your place on the grid for that specific race, and there’s a “Skip Lap” feature to allow you to restart — at the expense of losing a lap from your count — if you make a mistake.
With the wide range of events available, there should be at least one race available to join at any time, and it appears that there’ll be a new race of each type every half hour.
It’s important to note that spectate mode won’t be part of the game at launch, as T10 wants to ensure every spot in every race is available for racing.
Forza Motorsport: Forza Race Regulations
Esaki comments that this system, used in Featured Multiplayer, has been completely overhauled from previous titles. As with the AI, machine-learning is used to allow it to identify nearly 5,000 different types of incident and award penalties — or not — accordingly, including disqualification if necessary.
With new ways to spot incidents, from corner cuts through to full-on, deliberate spearing of opponents, T10 has redrawn the track limits on every legacy circuit and removed the now-superfluous artificial tire barriers intended to prevent corner cuts.
Forza Race Regulations (FRR) also feeds into your driver ratings, with frequency, type, and severity of incidents used to calculate your Safety Rating and generating a grading from F up to A, and S for the cleanest drivers. Players with a history of poor standards will be kept in their own, separate pool for matchmaking.
There’s also a Skill Rating, which is shown as a score from 1000 to 5000, and uses a new version of Microsoft’s “TrueSkill” ranking system which is used across multiple first-party titles.
As every Featured Race will have an impact on your ratings, T10 has elected not to allow AI to take up vacant grid slots in online multiplayer in order to prevent your ratings being impacted by non-human players.
Forza Motorsport: Private Multiplayer
Of course players can create their own online multiplayer races, allowing for independent leagues, race series, championships, and just ad hoc events.
There’s several different game modes available here, with the host able to set myriad different options to customize the race to suit or select froma number of presets.
That includes race length — by lap count or time — car class and type selection, track selection with full time of day, weather, temperature, and surface evolution. There’s also options for custom FRR rules, types of damage, assists, collisions and ghosting, pit requirements, and grid ordering.
Naturally Private Multiplayer events don’t affect your driver ratings — skill or safety — regardless of what you get up to. However in all cases you can earn CarXP for your multiplayer racing, unless you borrow a car — should you not own an appropriate vehicle — for the event.
Forza Motorsport: Rivals and Local Multiplayer
At launch, Forza Motorsport will not support local splitscreen multiplayer, with Esaki citing the game’s graphical fidelity as being a deciding factor in trying to render everything twice on the same console. Although unsaid, we expect the Xbox Series S to be the limitation here.
Players who don’t have access to online multiplayer, which will require an Xbox Game Pass Core subscription, can still participate in Rivals.
For those not familiar with Rivals from previous FM titles, this allows you to compete head to head with other players’s ghosts in setting the fastest possible time around the selected car and track combinations — and car tuning will be part of the feature. You’ll also be able to see how you’re performing with the Track Mastery system detailed previously.
With Forza Motorsport set to launch on October 10 there’s only one more opportunity for T10 to detail the title in a Forza Monthly event, and we’re expecting wheel support to feature in September’s edition.