Compete in Featured Multiplayer or relax with your friends in Private Lobbies. This is how we’re approaching multiplayer in Forza Motorsport.
Today on Forza Monthly we introduced you to our online racing modes in Forza Motorsport: The new Featured Multiplayer experience, Private Multiplayer, and Rivals. Our multiplayer feature set delivers clean and competitive racing and provides a robust foundation for you to set up the racing you and your friends want.
For the next delivery in the Forza franchise, we have invested more in the multiplayer experience than in any other aspect of the game.
One of the biggest things we’ve added to multiplayer in Forza Motorsport is a live, real-world time-based mode of pre-defined live events we call Featured Multiplayer. It’s designed to have the feel of a real-world race weekend, with races scheduled to begin at specific real-world times. This new online racing mode consolidates the Hoppers and Leagues modes from previous games.
Featured Multiplayer has spec events for different car divisions like GT cars, LMP1 cars and Touring cars, open class and spotlight events, as well as a qualifier series for our new players. Each event has an entry cut-off and official start time , running live on our servers, and before entering , you will see the track layout, number of laps, time-of-day, weather, and temperature.
We intend for Featured Multiplayer to bring a sense of anticipation and spectacle, just as we see for real life racing events. And as racing weekends tend to have, there will be an Open Practice stage and Qualifying rounds for races in Featured Multiplayer:
Make the most out of your prep time here in Open Practice: get to know the car track combo and dial in your tire compound selection and fuel load.
You will have anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes or more to get your practice laps in and Qualify depending upon when you joined the event.
At any time before the Featured Race you can jump into the Qualify session. You will have a limited number of laps to put in your best lap. Your best time will determine your starting position at the beginning of the Featured Race.
You can join an event anytime during Open Practice or Qualifying, up to 5 minutes prior to the Featured Race, and then entry for that event closes for new participants. When you join an event, you start in Open Practice with up to 23 other players.
Skip Lap will also be available in Featured Multiplayer in both the Open Practice and Qualifying phases of a scheduled event. In essence, when you think you messed up a lap, you can use Skip Lap to start it all over again. You can access this feature from the start menu.
Using Skip Lap during Qualifying will make your current lap void and you will have to start over with reduced number of laps you have to attempt your best time.
We’ll generally have at least one event available to join in each series in Featured Multiplayer at any time with new events starting roughly every 30 minutes. Parameters for each event will be varied, with different tracks, weather, and time of day, and rotate through multiple series.
There are two different types of events in Featured Multiplayer – Spec Series and Open Series.
Spec racing is fully homologated to ensure an even playing field. That means all the cars racing are identical and have been tuned by us to provide the fairest and most competitive experience possible.
You can still earn CarXP from Spec Series events to level up your car later, however for these events you will not be at a disadvantage if your car is Level 1 and an opponent car is at Level 50 – if you’re playing in the Spec series, they will be set to a pre-defined build and tune to keep a completely even challenge.
Open Series is where you can bring any car that meets the class restrictions. This series is about bringing your mild to wild creations to the competition and you’ll never know what is going to be on the track with you. The Open Series will be rotating through the various car classes on a weekly basis.
Featured Multiplayer also includes a variety of pitting features, adding in the element of managing your tire compounds and fuel loads for optimal performance. In shorter races there is no need to pit, however in longer races it may be necessary to change tires or refuel, and we’ll even have some races that require it.
While you’re racing, we want to make sure our players are having a fun and fair experience, so we’ve massively overhauled Forza Race Regulations. FRR has evolved immensely since Forza Motorsport 7 thanks to machine learning. It now identifies track cutting, purposeful collisions and all-around dirty driving, going from being able to identify hundreds of potential infractions in Forza Motorport 7 to thousands in the new Forza Motorsport. Players will receive penalties and race disqualifications based on the severity of incidents.
Matchmaking in Featured Multiplayer uses both your Driver and Safety Rating to pair you with similar players. Driver Ratings are skill-based, while Safety Ratings are influenced by on-track behavior. With Safety Ratings, players are graded for clean racing from S to F, and it means clean, skilled racers play together, while racers with a history of unsportsmanlike conduct are kept isolated in their own pool.
For more custom races, compete in Private Multiplayer and choose from a variety of game modes like Circuit Race, Timed Race, Multi-Class and Meetups. The host can customize the race length, the car class and track selection, as well as the race rules.
Event rule presets are where you can choose the kind of racing you want to prioritize, from a relaxed race with limited penalties and no race strategy, to a competitive event with strict penalties, required pit-stops, and simulated damage.
Organizers can use Private Lobbies to host authentic endurance races with race strategy, Forza Race Regulations, 24-hour dynamic time-of-day with weather, track temperatures, and rubbering in, all of which can be customized. Other options include collisions on/off, ghosted back markers, disabled ghost effect, cosmetic or simulated damage, grid ordering, roll off delay, and so on. Assist overrides can be enabled to dial in the specific gameplay for your race.
Private Multiplayer lobbies are not affected by Safety Ratings or by Driver Ratings; in the same way, matches in lobbies do not affect your overall Safety and Driver Ratings.
Upgraded Cars in Multiplayer
We want players to feel more of a sense of pride of ownership or accomplishment in Forza Motorsport when they show up for a race with a specific car. So that's why we have our car upgrade system built into the entire game – you earn progression on your car when you play Builders Cup, Free Play, Rivals, and multiplayer. We also think this introduces an element that is like how real-life racing works – you spend time in research and development making your car better for the upcoming race.
We want you to have fun with this system, empower your fellow community members, and engage their creativity. For example, if your team is preparing for an upcoming league race organized by a community group, you can host a Private Meetup where everyone tries out specific cars and builds them together.
To assist with this, we’ve reduced the credit cost of acquiring cars – the most expensive car now is now in the hundreds of thousands instead of millions of credits as it was in Forza Motorsport 7.
We know this is a big change from how Forza Motorsport has been in the past, but we think it will bring more elements of real-world racing into the game experience overall and make it more impressive and noteworthy when someone shows up to a non-spec multiplayer race with a fully upgraded car.
Rivals in Forza Motorsport is where you’re invited to really push yourself and the car to shave off every possible millisecond on a selected car and track combination.
Time Attack will be available at launch, where you can build a car to the best of your chosen PI class and attempt to set the fastest possible time. Just like Builders Cup, the cars you bring into Time Attack are always levelling up.