Forza Motorsport Single-Player Mode Revealed: Car Leveling, Car Points, Online Saves, & More

The core single-player mode of Forza Motorsport has been revealed in a special Forza Monthly stream, with the studio’s creative Chris Esaki explaining the all-new approach: “level, build, dominate”.

As a whole, the solo mode is named “Builders Cup” and, curious absence of an apostrophe aside, it is all about building your cars up to make them faster around the track. However it works in a way that’s perhaps a little different than was anticipated.

Forza Motorsport: Builders Cup

The mode is centered on a series of “Tours of Motorsport” events (and we see what they did there), which are curated events based around certain makes, models, types, or eras of cars. These are not fixed events either, with Esaki noting that new events would be formed from new car and track content as it’s added to the game.

It appears that each challenge needs to be unlocked by completing the previous one, and each “Tour” is capped off with a single “Reward Showcase” event, which we didn’t get to see in the video. However the other challenges all have several Featured Race events which see you hit the track against the AI.

Each race will be against up to 23 AI opponents, and indeed every race both offline and online will feature a maximum grid of 24 cars.

You’ll also be able to take part in “Open Practice” free run and custom races called “Challenge the Grid”, which allow you to set the race rules as you like to see how you’d finish in the real thing.

Although several different cars are eligible for many of the events, the gameplay loop is intended that you stick with one vehicle and learn to love it as you build it into the best car you can as you advance to further races in each challenge section.

That slow-to-fast progression is also part of the larger Builders Cup arc. Each Tour will see you advance into faster and faster cars, as well as each race within the challenges themselves.

Forza Motorsport: Car Leveling, Car Points

Leaning into the “CarPG” aspect, players will level each car individually. When you buy the car, for in-game credits, you’ll be at level one for that vehicle and over time you’ll be able to increase that to a maximum of level 50.

As you advance through the levels, you’ll unlock tuning parts for the car. Each car unlocks the same parts at the same level, although it’s not clear what levels all of the various parts unlock at right now. The video did show intercoolers and engine aspiration swaps unlocking at level 20, so we’re assuming that the more extreme the part the higher level you’ll need to be.

Furthermore, you’ll need to earn Car Points to purchase those parts for your car — they’re not available for credits. You gain Car Points as you level up a car, which allows you to do so, but if you buy a second example of the same car you’ll need to start from scratch again.

That does mean that you’re not going to be able to just pick up a car and tune it as you wish; each individual instance of a car in the game is treated as its own “character”.

As for how you level the cars up: drive them. Any time you drive the cars in any mode — including multiplayer — you’ll earn Car XP. A “Car Mastery” system also gives you XP boosts for driving corners and sectors well, and changing the difficulty of any race or event, which includes AI capability and assists like Rewind, can also earn you XP at differing rates.

Notably there’s also player levels, but it remains to be seen what the purpose of this will be in the game.

Forza Motorsport: Online Saves, New AI, Microtransactions

Along with the video, Esaki took part in a Q&A session in which he discussed other details adjacent to the single-player mode.

An important one for many players is online saving. While FM will be playable offline — Esaki specifically noting Free Play would be available any time — any game progress through the Builders Cup will require an active internet connection. Game saves will be stored on the FM servers and not locally, to “support the integrity of the overall game experience”.

The subject of microtransactions also came up in the session, with Esaki confirming that there would be no cash-for-currency MTXs in the game. Of course there’s a car pass, welcome pack, and race day car pack available at extra cost over the base game — all included in the Premium version — and a VIP membership which includes cars, vanity items, and a permanent credit multiplier.

Esaki also made plenty of mentions of the game’s new AI, described as a “machine learning AI” which is capable of driving as fast as the fastest players around. That’s been a hot topic recently in Gran Turismo of course, so we’d be interested to learn more about that in the future — but Esaki says it generates immersive races “without any cheats, without any hacks, there’s no rubber banding”.

We’ll find out more about various modes and features in Forza Motorsport in the coming months, ahead of the game’s launch on October 10. It’ll be available on Xbox Series S/X, PC via Steam, and through Xbox Game Pass on day one.

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