There's definitely something funny going on with the lighting model

I’m on an Xbox One, using a properly calibrated native 1080p TV, no HDR, no enhancements enabled.

At night I was doing the Nostalgic Drag Racers career event at COTAS night - the headlights looked very dim as if only the parking lights were on even though headlight beams were illuminating the track. Next race was at Lime Rock and then Road Atlanta where it daytime or late afternoon I think. Definitely not evening. The headlights looked bright - as bright as they need to be at night.

I also noticed that in low contrast conditions, the brake lights look extremely bright - almost whitish/orange - on many cars. I was surprised to see the Impala next to me with brake lights glowing bright orange as it hit the brakes.

Surely I cannot be the only one picking up these visual anomalies. Are you HDR guys seeing this too? Drive in the Dubai tunnel with different cars, hit the brakes, and they look bright neon orange instead of bright red. Drive out of the tunnel and they look somewhat okay. This was an issue in Horizon 3 as well. Is it the exact same lighting engine with all associated bugs carried over to FM7?


One of the first things i said when i got this game is… what’s up with the lighting?

I had specific paintjobs for cars i made and found MASSIVE variation - say you paint a car one shade of blue, depending on the circumstance it can look about 30 different shades, it really is all over the place. And you’re right about the headlights, they’re super-bright. I was playing the other day and i was wondering, is HDR on by default or something and making us non-HDR users have a dodgy looking experience?

So yeah i dont know but i totally agree, there’s something very odd about the lighting in this game. It also looks noticeably darker in most situations, like the saturation is right down, it looks kinda more realistic but less lively. I personally liked the look of FM5 and FM6 more than this one.


One the one hand, I appreciate the photorealistic look of FM7, but on the other, the saturation balance has somehow gone awry - as I said, you go into a tunnel and suddenly the brake lights will look bright neon orange on many cars when you brake. Or go to a low contrast setting and the headlights and brake lights look completely off: the brake lights are really bright while the headlights are not! Also, you do a race where everybody’s headlights are on, but your car will only have the brake lights on, not the headlights.

Some strange stuff happening for sure.

The Shadows seem messed up too, there is either a gap/aren’t position correctly or are too faint. The Chevy SS (sorry if I offended anyone) NASCAR I’m messing about with on photo mode right now, it looks fine from the right side on the cut through at Maple Valley short. On the left side it looks as though the car has been cropped and placed on a different image.

A lot of concrete walls appear to be translucent too and don’t look like they are lit by the same light source as other track side objects.

I was gonna mention the shadows. Literally the only graphical thing that bugs the ever living [Mod Edit - Abbreviated profanity, profanity and profanity that is disguised but still alludes to the words are not permitted - D] out of me. I can’t really tell what’s going on with them, but it seems like a static shadow under the car that doesn’t move at all, creating unrealistic lighting when the sun is at different angles. Also seems like there’s 2 shadows: one for the car in general (static one that is unrealistic) and another that is VERY dim (borderline unrealistically dim). Combined with 7’s dim/saturated lighting just makes it all feel cheesy and poorly done/rushed. Once you notice it (and especially if you drive in chase view most of the time), you will not be able to unsee it.

Also, headlights are dumb. I know this has been beat to death and thensome, but was it really THAT hard and taxing on the system to have headlights on in tunnels? [Mod Edit - Abbreviated profanity, profanity and profanity that is disguised but still alludes to the words are not permitted - D]

Maybe they went back to Forza 3/4’s graphics engine? lol

Non HDR guy here and for me it was also one of the first things I noticed, that wrong with the game. I really hope this issue (among many others) gets resolved with the first big patch.

Cars look to bright also (minimal reflections/dept on the paint).

I’ve been really struggling with some of the night races, headlights seem fairly useless and I find it really hard to see the brake lights on other cars. And in the tunnel on Dubai, the other cars just vanish in the darkness as do the walls of the tunnel.

I thought it might be just thst my TV is crappy and old

Yes, on the Dubai, and Rio and Bernese Alps tunnels the cars look really opaque, however if you pause the game and go to photo mode you will notice that the cars do pick up the reflections, although switching the headlights there does nothing, they do not seem to project light.
As for improving visibility in night races you may wish to use the video calibration in the console settings.

Hmmm I find this thread quite interesting. Though I agree some aspect of the lighting model seem buggy, for the most part, I think this is the most realistic and best looking lighting model we’ve had. As for the headlights being too dim, I live in rural Ireland and trust me on the back roads you can’t see a thing at night so I think it’s pretty realistic that way. The lights definitely need to come on in the tunnels though and they do look kinda dumb being on in broad daylight imo. I’m using the standard XBOne so no HDR for me until the One X comes out, could that be the problem? Shadows do look a bit off though, especially on the paint of the cars and next to the tires on the tarmac. The trees also don’t cast anything really.

I don`t think HDR or no-HDR is the issue, even though it might make a bit of a difference and probably mitigate the problem.
Either way, the lighting is supposed to be fine with or without HDR.

Imo the issue is that Forza 7 lighting is kinda built from several individual blocks, and at times Turn10 didnt get the mix right. Theres the pre-rendered lightmaps Forza always used, the cloud-shadows imported from Horizon, and some kind of dynamic Ambience or Global Illumination. (Plus dynamic headlights on night races)
Imo the ambient light tends to be set a bit too low and the clouds are not translucient enough, both together often simply making everything too dark.

I agree it looks more realistic than previous Forza titles in general, - as long as the balance between those lighting systems is right. But sometimes it really falls apart imo.

I doubt well get active headlights in tunnels (would be very cool though) ... but hopefully Turn10 will at least adjust the lighting there. Its silly anyway … the tunnels are filled with light sources, they just don`t light anything.

guys go into your display settings on the xbox one and change the RGB setting to standard if RGB is what you currently have. Standard provide more shadow detail on some sets but sacrifices saturation.
RGB on mine looks better but often way too dark in some circumstances. Standard mode is easier to play with but in my opinion does not look as good overall.

Lighting and colors appear more realistic with XBox set to RGB mode but unless your set supports it fully then black crush will occur.

Pick your poison…

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Uhm, I am on PC :wink:
Kidding aside, nah … the lighting issues are lighting issues, its not a settings thing. At times sky and environment dont line up at all, you can have a bright sky and still have the environment look like it`s almost night.

Thats what happens when rgb mode is enabled on your xbox and your display/tv doesn’t fully support the entire colour range.
Give standard a go and see if it helps.

I appreciate you are trying to help, but like I said, I am not playing it on xbox. :wink: (I used to have one though, so I do know what settings you are refering to)

Nothing to add really, can just reiterate that I am talking about bad lighting, not brightness/color/contrast etc. settings.
It mostly comes from overdone cloud-shadows and inaccurate ambience/GI.

Whether or not this is less of an issue on a HDR screen, I don`t know, but I doubt HDR magically makes wrong lighting go away. :confused:

What display/model are you using…?

HDR ruin the game on standard monitor.


The game was optimized for HDR displays (and the HDR support is quite weak in itself). You simply don’t get proper picture on an SDR display anymore.

A Sony KDL 46W905 … works well with the about 150 games in my steam library, with Horizon 3, with Forza Apex … Trust me, I am talking about lighting :wink: