With the addition of brand-new esports features and
all-around improvements to the core experience, the February Update for Forza
Motorsport 7 is a substantial release. Not to mention the cars featured in the Dell Gaming
Car Pack, such as the staggeringly-beautiful 2018 Bugatti Chiron and the
recent motorsport racing legend that is the 2017 Aston Martin Racing V12
The February Content Update has arrived a
little early into Forza Motorsport 7. Originally announced to debut on
Monday, February 19th – Turn 10 has decided to release its latest Forza
Motorsport 7 Content Update and Car Pack a few days earlier than expected. It was
a nice surprise, with the update releasing on Thursday, February 15th instead –
giving us the weekend ahead to enjoy all the new features and cars included in
In terms of what’s new and changed, the Forza Motorsport 7
February Content Update is stuffed with new features, improvements, and bug
fixes – resulting in a much more polished and refined experience as a result.
From the all-new ‘Spectate’ and ‘Seed the Grid’ features to UI enhancements in
the Forza Driver’s Cup, there’s a ton of polished newness awaiting fans this
month in Forza Motorsport 7.
One of the most requested features from Forza fans for Forza
Motorsport 7 is Spectate. Not only is Forza Motorsport 7 designed to offer an
incredible on-track racing experience, but it’s also built to be a great spectator
sport as well – and that’s where this new feature comes into play. Turn 10 has
rebuilt Spectate from the ground up for Forza Motorsport 7 with a big emphasis
placed on “performance.”
This means viewers engaging with live races in Forza
Motorsport 7 will notice dramatically improved car movement when spectating
races. That means no stuttering or jittering cars. Live spectating now also
features the same motion quality as found when watching Saved Replays. Turn 10
has even “dramatically improved” the car positioning feature. Instead of the
older predictive position system – which Turn 10 even admits was “error-prone,”
the new Spectate mode offers “completely accurate” car positions.
After testing the new Spectate mode for some time, it’s safe
to assume it’s a big visual upgrade over what we had in Forza Motorsport 7 as
car models and environments now look exceptionally-well detailed and far more
alive, just like in actual gameplay. Despite the lack of ticker and info panels
offering race positions and other useful statistics – both of which should be
added in upcoming esports updates, the new Spectate mode feels fresh, new, and
modern; and the increased visuals paired with the reworked camera angles here
also make for an excellent viewing experience as well.
Overall, this increased fidelity eliminates car jittering
and phantom collisions when spectating live races, resulting in a dramatically
improved viewing experience. We can also expect the mode to be improved upon
further in future updates with new features and refinements. Spectate mode can
be enjoyed in Multiplayer Hoppers, Forza Racing Leagues, and of course, Private
Lobbies. Look out for the feature to be utilized in the Forza Racing Championship
2018 Pre-Season Invitational on March 24th.
Forza Motorsport 7 has also introduced its own manual grid
ordering feature known as ‘Seed the Grid,’ allowing lobby hosts to set the race
grid order as they see fit. Before a race begins, the host of a private online
lobby can adjust the ‘Grid Order’ selection under the ‘Race Start’ options in ‘Advanced
Rules’ located in the ‘Race Setup’ menu to manually reorder the race grid.
Once the race launch countdown concludes, the lobby host can
freely move any player anywhere on the grid in a visually-pleasing interface,
and new UI elements have been added to highlight additional information on
player positioning. It works well, and it also looks very nice. Spectating
players will automatically be pushed to the back of the grid, regardless of
where they are placed. Once satisfied with the grid, the lobby host can choose
to begin the race whenever they are ready.
In addition to the new Spectate and Seed the Grid features,
Turn 10 has improved the multiplayer loading and performance in Forza
Motorsport 7. With some new “behind-the-scenes improvements,” the game now
loads in cars as soon as the player gets onto the track. This results in
quicker loading into the track and onto the race itself.
Overall, Spectate and Seed the Grid are excellent additions
to Forza Motorsport 7 and the multiplayer performance improvements are also highly-welcomed.
Turn 10 says these features are “the start of our commitment both to Forza
Motorsport 7 and esports,” teasing that racing fans can look forward to additional
features in the months ahead.
The Forza Driver’s Cup has received some welcomed changes in
this month’s Forza Motorsport 7 content update. The UI, specifically has received
some changes to improve clarity for ‘Elite Difficulty’ status in the Forza
For example, when navigating through any of the six
championships available in the campaign mode, the division will now state
whether you are racing towards ‘Elite’ status or not. It will also accurately
state how many Series and Showcases you have completed within that division.
The enhanced UI also shows how many Series Points you have earned and how far
you are from earning ‘Elite’ status in each relevant division.
The biggest change to the Forza Driver’s Cup, however, is that
you no longer need to finish first place in each race event within a series to
earn the tick to show series completion. Previously, events in which you didn’t
place first would show a coloured progress box instead of the tick to mark its
completion. Considering you never needed to finish each race in first to unlock
all prizes within the Forza Driver’s Cup, it was an odd design decision by Turn
10 to have it this way. Now it’s much clearer and more understandable to
players as a result.
Furthermore, this means completing a series within the Forza
Driver’s Cup will only require you to finish it by beating all the events it
includes. This makes the Series Points structure much more interesting and
should lead to more competitive single-player racing as you can challenge
yourself further with increased AI difficulty without the worry of campaign
progress. It’s a nice change overall, and it makes the Forza Driver’s Cup feel more
like a championship – where your Series Points at the end are far more important
than finishing first in every single race event.
Turn 10 Studios has also made a couple of improvements to
Forzavista and car models in the February Content Update for Forza Motorsport
7. The ‘implode/explode’ animation has been fixed for several cars, including
the 1956 Ford F-100, 1975 Fiat X1/9, and others.
The Forzavista UI prompts have also been updated, with logos
appearing clearer and crisper when outputting on a 4K display. Some of these
prompts have also had some slight design tweaks as well.
There have also been new manufacturer colours added for the 2019
Hyundai Veloster Turbo, and the aftermarket wing has been reduced in size
for the 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale. In addition, the brake lights for the 2017
BMW #24 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM will now shatter when Simulation Damage is
Turn 10 has also updated the Free Play experience in Forza Motorsport
7 to offer additional information on your competitors before the race begins. The
new ‘Starting Grid’ menu will show each of the Drivatars that will be present
in your race, including their Gamertags and Car Collector Tier, as well as the
car they’ll be driving in the race, its class and PI rating. It’s worth noting
that the new ‘Starting Grid’ interface will only show additional Drivatars listed
on it once you have loaded onto the track and selected how many AI racers will
be in the event.
Whilst you can’t modify the grid order in Free Play – that’s
exclusive to Private Lobbies, you can use Mods to increase your starting
position if you so wish. You can also adjust the Drivatar difficulty to make
racers easier or harder, depending on your preference. Free Play also includes
dedicated options for Test Drive and any of the homologated car divisions in
Forza Motorsport 7 can be enjoyed in this mode. You can also configure Free
Play events to your liking with the ‘Advanced Rules,’ ‘Car Restrictions,’ and ‘Weather
Settings’ options under the ‘Race Setup’ menu as found in Private Lobbies.
In addition to the above features and improvements, the February
Content Update for Forza Motorsport 7 introduces a host of new fixes and refinements
to the overall gameplay experience, including “numerous UI, localization, and
behind-the-scenes improvements” that are not listed in the official patch notes from Turn 10.
These all add up to result in a better Forza Motorsport 7
experience with improved performance and smoother UI navigation overall. The
full patch notes for the February Content Update in Forza Motorsport 7 can be
Overall, the February Content Update is the biggest and best
one yet for Forza Motorsport 7, but there is more to come. Turn 10 will add additional
esports features and more
content in the future, so check back on FullThrottle regularly for all the
latest news and updates.
In the meantime, don’t miss the cars featured in the
Gaming Car Pack available today for $7 or at no additional cost for Car
Pass holders. It introduces the staggeringly-beautiful and awe-inspiring 2018
Bugatti Chiron, which has become one of the most-requested cars from the Forza
community in recent years. There’s also new race cars, with the 2016 Audi #17
Rotek Racing TTRS – a Pikes Peak Hillclimb record holder, and of course, the 2017
Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3, which has contributed to the racing heritage
of Aston Martin.
Looking ahead, the Forza Racing Championship
is back in March with a Pre-Season Invitational event in Seattle, Washington.
Turn 10 has handpicked 20 of the best and most elite drivers in Forza Motorsport
to compete at the event on March 24th before the regular season commences in
April. The competitive racing doesn’t stop there, however, and will continue
leading up to October this year where the Forza World Championship finals will
be held in London. As a result, 2018 promises to be an unmissable year for
Forza fans, and the best one yet for the franchise’s competitive racers.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.