The March Update for Forza Motorsport 7 debuts on Tuesday, March 12th on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC with a host of new drift-focused features and the first beta phase of Forza Race Regulations, developer Turn 10 Studios announced on the latest edition of its Forza Monthly broadcast show live from Seattle, WA.
Typically, Forza Motorsport 7 receives a new Spotlight Car with each new update, and this month is no different. However, instead of just the one, this time there’s three to look forward to, and whilst they may share many similarities – their unique quirks certainly make them all worthy additions to your in-game Car Collection that are undoubtedly "Ready to Rock."
In addition to the 2018 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5, drifters can look forward to sliding sideways in Vaughn Gittin Jr’s RTR #25 and teammate Chelsea DeNofa’s RTR #88 from Formula Drift. Both cars can also be acquired in Forza Horizon 4 with the Series 7 Update. For more details, be sure to read their official desciptions below courtesy of Turn 10 Studios!
The Ford Mustang has always been a legend but, when the team at RTR got their hands on this one, they created something truly awesome. This pony car has got the look and the guts to go racing, drifting, or just cruise. Take a good look at the custom wide body kit with side skirts, chin spoiler, rear diffuser, those RTR hood vents, and you can see this vehicle means business. The real treat is under the hood where you will find a 460 horsepower Coyote V8 putting power through a 10-speed paddle-shifted transmission. It’s the perfect balance of performance and looks and will serve you well wherever you see fit.
One of the American drifting greats and 2010 Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is known for his aggressive style and billowing smoky driving. He’s so aggressive that you will often see his Monster Energy liveried Mustang on three or even two wheels on entry. You have to credit the driver for this no-holds-barred, go-for-it action, but the car deserves some credit as well. After all, when you put massive horsepower from a naturally-aspirated Roush-Yates V8 with a 9,000 RPM redline in this stripped down, full-on drift car, any Forza lover can give it their all. This is the car that made history drifting the entire Nürburgring Nordschleife. It’s one greatness-enabling machine you need to experience.
Chelsea DeNofa has been making a name for himself in many forms of racing. He got his start in the world of drifting before he even had a driver’s license. Since then he has raced as an SCCA pro where he honed his incredible driving skills before diving head first into the world of drifting. Now considered among the top drivers in Formula Drift, he joined the RTR Drift Team in 2017. In his BC Racing livery Mustang that shares the same specs with Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s RTR Mustang, Denofa has been blowing minds with his precise and exciting drifts. With 1,000 horsepower, BC Racing coilovers, a custom IRS, and 4-speed dog box transmission, it’s now your chance to melt tires and make a name for your own drifting aspirations.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Complimenting these new additions are a set of drift-focused features and improvements, headlined by the introduction of a Drift Cockpit Camera with head-tracking. Not only does this allow drifters to see more easily where they’re going on the track, but it also enables them to easily follow other players when tandem drifting. It’s a great alterative over your car looking straight ahead, which has always been the case in the Forza franchise – and it’ll certainly make taking corners easier and more immersive, too.
This option feature delivers a more professional, realistic drifting experience as the camera matches where it thinks you would be looking in the real-world, allowing for a good field-of-view with smooth movement across the screen. Not only can the feature be toggled on or off, but it even has its own configurable values, too – and these include Sensitivity, Look Speed and Range.
Sensitivity: This impacts the amount of drift angle required for movement. When set higher, there’s less angle required for the camera to move, whilst a lower setting needs more angle for the effect to come into play.
Look Speed: This is a more subtle option that’s been designed with controller users in mind. It adjusts the speed of camera movement but requires more attention to see the differences. If you’d prefer the camera to move around the screen at a faster or slower pace, then feel free to adjust this slider to your preference.
Range: This determines the range of how far the driver’s head can move using the Drift Cockpit Camera. For example, when maxed out, you’ll be able to look at most 45-degrees in any direction. The lower the value this is set to, the more that range moves in.
By default, the Drift Cockpit Camera is turned off and must be manually enabled by the player in HUD settings, like the simulation-style motion camera effects already present in the game. Turn 10 has also created a default value for each of the tweakable cockpit head movement settings based on its own internal testing and results. However, to go alongside the Drift Cockpit Camera and its tweakable options, the March Update for Forza Motorsport 7 also features a series of improvements to force-feedback that will most certainly benefit drifters.
Turn 10 has focused on its wheel users to a significant degree over the last few months. Not only has it introduced a rebuilt force-feedback model, but the developer has continued to update and improve the system based on feedback from the community. This month, it receives further additions that go together with the drift features added this month. These include new options to fine-tune Dynamic Damper Behaviour and Load Sensitivity.
Dynamic Damper Behaviour: The difference between how the wheels of your car feel when in and out of grip. Controls how much damper decreases to preserve detail when tires are slipping. Lowering this value will produce a more constant damper behaviour to your wheel. Some players prefer a linear damper, and this slider allows them to scale between the current dynamic damper and a fixed linear damper. The existing damper scale still scales the damper as it did before.
Load Sensitivity: Adjusts the tire forces that are received when you hit a bump. The current force-feedback system in Forza Motorsport 7 is based on acual wheel loads, some of which occur at a higher frequency. The game filters these very high freqency loads and buckets them as "Road Feed," whilst medium frequency loads are bucketed as "Align Torque." This new Tire Load tuning setting allows players to filter out the medium freqency load for a smoother force-feedback experience. For example, when maxed out at 100, it’ll feel like stumpy speed bumps, whilst when closer to 0, it’s like smooth flat ones. The latter is ideal for drifting, as it makes the wheel rotate more smoothly and feel nicer to use.
Turn 10 has also added a per car Steering Wheel Tuning option to the Upgrades menu in Forza Motorsport 7, allowing players to tune specific force-feedback options for cars individually, including overall steering lock with soft locking and steering force. Since every car in the game is different and unique in terms of how it feels and handles, it allows players to configure their wheel around each one.
There’s also a new Wheel Telemetry system that can be viewed during races, which displays on-screen what’s happening with the springs and dampers of your car, allowing you to react to your wheel’s movement and adjust accordingly. This new panel can be located under the Telemetry menu and shows the current steering wheel torque in graph form. Since the game sends force-feedback for torque, damper, and spring to the wheel separately, the game cannot display the actual level of torque saturation for the wheel. Torque is displayed as it is sent to the wheel, a normalized scaled between 0 and 1, with 1 being the maximum. Values for Spring and Damper are normalized to the default setting.
With more players using the wheel on Forza Motorsport 7 than ever before combined with a renewed investment in drifting, the developer felt that it needed the new head motion effect as the locked view in cockpit simply didn’t deliver the best experience. With further improvements to force-feedback and more configurability than ever before, there’s even more of a reason to drift sideways using the steering wheel.
The first phase of Forza Race Regulations arrives into Forza Motorsport 7 with the March Update in the form of a beta-style, invite-only private Multiplayer Hopper that’s exclusive to both Turn 10 staffers and select prominent advocates in the community in an effort to gather early feedback. This is a limited release for the adjudication feature and focuses on a curated number of tracks with track-cutting detection and penalties enabled.
Forza Race Regulations is being rolled out through iterative launches using data received from the community. It’ll expand into a public beta in April with the release of next month’s content update for Forza Motorsport 7. This isn’t a one and done scenario for Turn 10, but rather it’s only the beginning of a wider game-level, genre-defining feature for the Forza franchise that will evolve and improve overtime with future updates and releases.
This month’s beta Hopper for Forza Race Regulations focuses on a curated line-up of tracks using S Class cars on Monza, Road Atlanta, Mugello Full, Sebring Full, VIR. Whilst live adjudication will take place during races, the penalties handed out won’t affect final race placement just yet. For now, you’ll see how the penalty is being assessed based on your actions, including the penalty time applied to your driver. Other noticeable changes in this Hopper is the removal of tire barriers that discouraged track cuts, as well as the introduction of a new audio effect for when you drive outside the track limits and a penalty is applied.
Turn 10 says it still has some UI work to do for the adjudication feature, as seen with the debug-style penalty text info that appears on-screen with relevant info. Once the April Update releases and Forza Race Regulations enters Open Beta, these new HUD elements will be updated so the UI is better fitted onto the screen with flashier elements. This beta-style Hopper is the first step towards the ongoing effort of making Forza Race Regulations a core part of the online racing experience in Forza 7. Whilst the team are getting closer to release, there’s still lots more work to be done as feedback is gathered from players and the playtest process officially begins.
In addition to the new drift-focused features and the initial, beta-scale rollout of Forza Race Regulations, developer Turn 10 has also fixed some issues introduced into Forza Motorsport 7 with recent content updates that were reported from the community. These include an update to collisions since the introduction of the Collision Assist. Due to how deep and complex the physics are in the ForzaTech engine, it takes the team hundreds of hours to test any changes it makes to its various systems to ensure it doesn’t break any aspects of the game. However, one issue that was introduced with the updated collisions system caused issues for the endurance racing community – and it’s being addressed this month with the release of the March Update.
If two cars got really close together in tight racing at speed, sometimes they would almost get stuck together, as if they were magnetic. The team at Turn 10 watched replays and spoke with the community but couldn’t initially reproduce it internally, and spent hours trying to replicate the issue, and when they finally got it to happen, they could immediately feel it as the issue unfolded. There’s now a fix to rectify this in the March Update that will encourage close, tight competitive racing once more, which is great news for the endurance community.
As explained by Turn 10, the friction between two cars used a fixed coefficient before the collision model was revamped. The new "soft" collisions introduced into Forza Motorsport 7 last December meant that friciton sustained over a longer period. With the March Update, the team has lowered the peak friction and added a scale to the friction coefficient based on the interpenetration of the soft collisions. This means that light bumps between vehicles will have less friction and large-magnitude collisions, where cars “squish” into one another, have higher friction. The amount of time that cars can be “squished” together has also been adjusted.
Furthermore, in an effort to prevent players from using the Collision Assist to push other cars around the track, the effect now bleeds off overtime during contact. Players will also notice that the Track Limit Lines settings option can be found under the Assists menu, but it can still be located via the HUD options as before. Meanwhile, the notorious pit lane bug that was also missed in testing for last month’s update is now fixed with this release.
Turn 10 has also unlocked a bunch of exclusive Driver Gear outfits in Forza Motorsport 7 with this update that were previously locked to special in-game events or by meeting specific criteria. The initiative of unlocking content and making it easier to earn begun with the ability to purchase several exclusive cars using in-game credits in the July Content Update, and this now expands to Driver Gear suits. Lookout for these exclusive outfits on the Race Shop, which replaced the retired Prize Crates functionality last November.
The Forza Motorsport 7 March Update will be available for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC from 5pm GMT (10am Pacific, 1pm EDT) on Tuesday, March 12th, accompanied by an all-new Bounty Hunter Rivals Drift event that will see you taking on professional Formula Drift drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr and Chelsea DeNofa in their Mustang RTRs on Dubai Mountain Circuit. You can find the complete patch notes for this release over on the official Forza Support website.
But there it is – the Forza Motorsport 7 March Update. Whether you’re racing competitively in the first beta-style Multiplayer Hopper featuring Forza Race Regulations or drifting sideways in the 2018 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5 whilst taking advantage of the newly-added Drift Cockpit Camera and the improvements made to force-feedback, the March Update for Forza Motorsport 7 further showcases the team’s vision for the future of the franchise.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.