Drivatar difficulty and behavior discussion

This situation will be much worse tomorrow, as the next season after that is an entire season dedicated to off-road racing. And at least one of them will involve the one particular class I hate the most: buggies.


It’s really hilarious how quickly the one in the forefront just rockets himself off the starting line, and turns into a slow zombie like the rest of the pack once you surpass him.


The biggest failing of the AI is they are so inconsistent, you can’t set an appropriate level of challenge for your particular skill level, nor can you learn how to get better at racing, either.

A general rule of thumb for most difficulty settings in games is they are designed to allow players to choose a level of difficulty that provides a challenge, but doesn’t take the fun out of playing the game.

Forza AI violates this basic rule… More so in FH5, than any other game in the entire franchise (The AI in FH5 is the worst AI I have seen in my many decades of playing various racing games from sims to arcade classics like NFS).

In FH5, it’s impossible to choose an appropriate difficulty level because there are no nuances to them. They’re all extremes rather than a gradual increase of difficulty like other racing games have.

“Average” difficulty and below is far too easy for most racing game veterans while the simple jump to “Above Average” introduces all of the problems being discussed in this thread where the AI is physically operating on another level compared to the player and simply get boosts to grip, downforce and raw horse power in order to present a “challenge”.

If you continue up the difficulty chain from “Highly Skilled” all the way to “Unbeatable”, it’s just more extremes where the AI openly cheats and doesn’t even try and hide it. Not only does it kill immersion, it invalidates racing against them because if they’re operating on a completely different level than the player, what’s the point?

We all know AI will never equal the skill or unpredictability of competing against live players. But at least, the AI in other games adheres to the same basic rules the player has to. Not so in FH5. This is why the very question of “Why race them?” is so important because not even the illusion of fair play exists compared to other games.

FYI, I know “Unbeatable” and all the difficulty levels can be beaten. But the underlying question we should also be asking is “Is how you beat them really that fun?” Meaning, downloading tunes that abuse physics glitches in the engine, or maybe restarting a race 10 times or more until RNG gives you a tiny window to exploit their blatantly overpowered boosts?

Playing the game this way may be “fun” for a very small percentage of players, but for the vast majority, I am going to go out on a limb and make the bold claim it’s probably not. I’ll back up this claim by citing this entire thread and others like it on Reddit, and other forums because it’s large enough to represent a sizeable portion of the player base who just want to be fairly challenged in a game while still having fun… And this is where the AI currently fails in all regards.


The most infuriating part is when you’re doing an endurance race like The Goliath and you’ve been out ahead of the pack a good 10 minutes, about to cross the finish line, but at the very last moment the blatant rubber banding kicks in and a car just rockets past you to win the race.

This has made me want to rage quit the game and never look back.

Not even other arcade racers like NFS, The Crew, etc. have this much blatant rubber banding to the point it can ruin the game. But the devs just don’t seem to care because I’m sure they’ve got more “pressing” issues to deal with, right or wrong. SMH


Is it true that they didn’t create new AI for this game and that AI cars in addition to strange PI builds adhere to FH4’s physics? I have seen it mentioned a few times.

That’s why I avoided those types of races, the racing experience was infuriating enough when it was about 2-to-3-minute sprints.

What bothers me the most is the fact that it’s been wildly inconsistent from the start and in part even in FH4, it surely must have been evident during development but seemingly wasn’t addressed, simply ignored or pushed indefinitely into the future.

I called it quits and uninstalled with the Rami’s update, not because I was bored, just being fed up with the constant jumping-through-hoops-to-get-a-fair-shake.

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The real tragedy is Forza Horizon does everything else well to create an open world arcade racing experience unlike any other, IMO.

I know the series has its diehard critics who think the series has drifted - pun intended - Too far from racing with the Wheelspins and other additions, but I’m not here to argue or validate those opinions in this discussion.

When Forza Horizon works… It works.

The car physics, the graphics, the atmosphere, the sound design, the music… It all comes together and presents a generally fun & engaging driving experience.

However, when it doesn’t work… Namely, the AI, physics glitches, etc… It really works against itself because it does everything else so well. No other racing series has done what the Horizon series has set out to do.

Open world racers like Drive Club, The Crew, Test Drive Unlimited and the Midnight Club series have come close, but have never achieved the popularity and staying power of the Horizon franchise due to not just Xbox’s reach, but because of the unique vision and execution of Horizon and the Motorsport series through the decades… Everything except the terrible AI that desperately needs adjusting.

The AI doesn’t even need replacing. A few speed and aggression limiters, dialing back the rubber banding and other physics safeguards could make the AI more fair and balanced to race against, the main thing most of us are asking for.

However, even “small” tweaks like these need to be tested thoroughly and continually monitored until the AI more accurately reflects a nuanced and tiered difficulty system instead of one with wildly inconsistent and extreme difficulty spikes it’s currently operating with.


It doesn’t hurt to totally replace the Ai. Ai programming is fun anyway.

I don’t care about how good people are or aren’t this is still a single player game, and for me the programmers have taken away the fun and enjoyment of FH4 (my first introduction to the series).

I am quitting the game, I hate the mechanics. The game is a grind for me. I want a relaxing game a pleasure to play and when as AI goes flying past me because I brake, it says something.

The programmers have created for ME a boring uninteresting map. cut copy past cactuses , sand and one city. YAWN!

and then god help if you smash into a wall in a tunnel you’ll find you can’t go forward.

I would like the enjoymeny of FH4 and if you want a challenge up the difficulty.

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While I enjoy a more low-key experience of cruising and racing stock spec cars around the map, buying the escapist party game antics is a lot easier when the fundamental racing part is done right. In its current state it feels like a less prioritized section of the game and the AI stands out as a real bummer of an oversight.


One of the most enjoyable parts of FH4 for me was aimlessly driving about Edinburgh in my priced 488 Pista. Wouldn’t mind seeing a city focused expansion or maybe a new Forza offshoot, maybe a “Forza Metropolis”. :smile:

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35 years gaming, and I just know very few games with great AI. Repeat: very very very few:

All Nascar Racing games from Papyrus;
All Grand Prix games from Geoff Crammond;
A-10 Cuba!;
Su-27 Flanker;
Lock-On Modern Air Combat;

Honorable mentions to:
Interstate 76;
Chuck Yeager Air Combat;
Forza Motorsport 4.

Grid 2019 and Wreckfest have pretty solid AI. Both can be a little too aggressive at times but it’s not bad and there’s no blatant rubber banding. Neither game has freight train AI on rails.

They are the sort of things I thought would improve as technology advances but it seems to be getting worse with each generation.

All the bulk of the advancements seem to be used for now is graphics, graphics and graphics so they can fool gullible people pre-release.

I haven’t garnered any excitement for FM yet for that very reason, I already know it looks incredible and will have very solid core gameplay, but every new Forza whether FM/FH always does, I’ve not seen anything yet that indicates the things I didn’t like about FM7 will be any different this time.


Feels the same to me.

Most games it doesn’t take long to twig to the AI and it becomes easy to predict their behavior and game it. Shooters, racers, whatever. It’s been like that since PacMan lol. Say what you want about FH5 aggressive AI at least it’s a bit less predictable and harder to game. Doesn’t make the game better but it does break the mold of predictability.


I truly wish this was true but it hasn’t been since FH3.

It’s a forced multiplayer game with single player tacked on as an afterthought.


Welcome @Sharkpicasso.
I would say FH3, 2 or 1 are far more enjoyable for that than FH4.
They’re still playable on a OneS if you can get a copy.
Also ramming tends to be less.
worst part of FH5 is the rammers…

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While I can’t say I haven’t found myself wondering aimlessly from time to time in-game, I still don’t think Horizon maps have been ideal for this. Though the maps have gotten bigger with each release, they’re still not big enough to get lost in, and it is way too easy to blast across the map in a straight line. Also, notable landmarks are way too close to each other, so they feel less special. Test Drive Unlimited 1 and 2 were masters at this because landmarks were spread out, there were tons of roads unused by events, and you were mostly confined to defined roads (though SUVs and cars with rallying heritage did give you license to explore off the beaten path more, making going genuinely off-road more exciting).

You’ve lost a bit of credibility with this one…While FM4’s AI were fast (Rossi), they generally ignored that you existed and would regularly run into you.

I feel the themed zone diversity gives a general sense of smallness because of the fairly obvious separations between desert, jungle, canyon etc. highlights their limited scope. Nor does the hurried pace of zooming across all terrains to complete time-limited challenges help with the sense of scale and in-your-own-pacedness.

It’s true you rarely feel far away from it all and on your own. TDU2 had a stronger random excursion and sightseeing game. More “purposeless” nature areas could better help to sell the world as natural and unstaged.

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