Min-maxing Forza Horizon 4 for fun and profit

There's a lot of things to do in Forza Horizon 4, but eventually you will complete all events, smash everything there is to smash, and 3-star everything there is to 3-star. So what do you do then? Replay the LaRacer missions? Well, maybe not. Maybe you start thinking about ways of getting a lot of money and influence with as little effort as possible.

I have a decent strategy that I'd thought I'd share. It's probably not 100% optimal, but it's really easy and requires basically no skill. The rewards are pretty good: for 30 minutes of "work", you'll get around 500k CR (with VIP bonus) and 150k influence. As a bonus, you'll also get around 80-100 skill points. And it's not nearly as tedious and annoying as buying and unlocking the skill perks on an endless series of Porsche 911's.

So, how does it work?

Prerequisites

To follow this strategy, you'll need the following things:

  1. One 1997 Lotus Elise GT1.
  2. A wad of cash to upgrade the living daylights out of it.
  3. Around 50 skill points to put into it.
  4. The Elmsdon on Sea Sprint road racing event.

The Lotus is a barn find, so you should automatically get it eventually by just progressing through the game. I'm not sure when the Elmsdon on Sea Sprint event unlocks, but again, simply progressing through the game (specifically the road racing events) will unlock it eventually.

Here it is on the map, for reference:

Car setup

The first thing we want to do is make our car fast. It's already pretty fast out of the box, but it can go even faster yet. We'll want to turn this thing into an X-class monster. The faster we can make it go, the shorter this whole thing will take. It should look something like this:

Simply chucking in all of the best available parts will do the trick. There's no tuning needed here.

Note that RWD could make it even faster still, but the difference in top speed is minor and I've found that doing so makes it harder to drive around the highway. Did I mention we'd be driving around the highway? Yeah, we'll mostly be doing straight lines for this little trick, so don't worry about the fact that this Lotus cannot really go around corners anymore in its current state.

Next, we'll want to go through our Lotus' car mastery tree and unlock a bunch of perks. Specifically, these ones:

Not all of them are strictly needed, but hey, might as well unlock those wheelspins while we're here.

Most of the perks are for getting skill points faster. There's a perk that increases the rate at which the multiplier builds up, as well as perks that increase the amount of points we get from skill combos, speed skills, and clean racing skills. Which are incidentally exacly the kinds of skills we'll be getting a lot of in the event we'll be racing.

Then there are the two most important perks: the ones that increase the amount of influence we'll obtain. First there is the road-racer perk, which increases road racing event influence by 20% for the next 10 races you do. Then on top of that we have the head-turner perk, which increases event finish influence by 30%. That's a lot of influence.

Anyway, that's it as far as car setup is concerned. Let's move on to the event.

Event setup

Although the Elmsdon on Sea Sprint is the basis for our event, we won't actually be driving it. We're only here because its finish line is conveniently at the start of the highway. We'll be driving a custom event instead. So, when starting the event, select "Solo" and then "Custom events". From there, search for one of the many custom events who's titles very subtly hint at some kind of money and influence farming...

You'll want to pick one that's set on a summer afternoon and has 10 laps.

Before starting the event, make sure to turn the difficulty settings way up. Something like this should be good:

The race is still extremely easy like this, but you'll get a lot more money. Also, don't worry about those so-called "unbeatable" drivatars. You'll soon learn that they won't be a problem.

Now that all of this setup is finally out of the way, it's time to drive.

Racing time

Alright, so here's what one of these custom events should look like:

It's just a big sprint up and down the highway. But there's a trick. The only checkpoints are placed at either ends of the route. This means the most efficient path between them will be just flooring it down the highway in a straight line. But that's not what the racing line suggests. The racing line takes the off-ramp a few times and does some other inefficient things. Drivatars, like the good little automatons they are, will follow said racing line. In this particular case, their mindless obedience provides them with an enormous handicap against the player. You'll easily lap all of them at least once, and probably twice.

For the race itself, I suggest turning off the radio unless you like listening to the same track repeated for 10 minutes before Horizon radio mercifully moves on to the next one. Your own music or a nice podcast works much better.

The race should take just a little over 30 minutes. You'll net over 500k credits, a little under 150k influence, and between 80 and 100 skill points, depending on your luck. This comes down to about 16k CR and 4,5k influence per minute. You'll obviously level up a bunch of times, which translates into wheelspins, which translate into even more credits and cars...

Is this the spirit of the game? Perhaps not. But then again, if the game feels like it can shovel a bunch of crappy cosmetic rewards down my throat with each wheelspin, then maybe I feel like getting these wheelspins a bit faster.

Now then... hold RT to win! Go!