Forza Motorsport Difficulty Explained: Which Difficulty Should You Choose?

Choose where to start and build yourself up from there!

by J.R. Waugh
Forza Motorsport Difficulty
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Forza Motorsport is one of the most accessible entries in the Forza franchise for new and returning players alike. With its presence on Game Pass as an additional incentive for everybody to try, it can be an exciting experience for racing enthusiasts, while still intimidating for others. One of the clearest cases of this can be its multifaceted difficulty system, but don’t let that drive you away. This is our guide on difficulty options in Forza Motorsport, and which one you should choose.

Forza Motorsport Difficulties Explained

There are 2 main types of difficulty in Forza Motorsport: Drivatar Difficulty, and Ruleset Bonus. You can access these from the game’s main menu by hitting ‘Menu’ on the gamepad or ‘V’ on the keyboard.

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The Drivatar Difficulty pushes better lap times for AI, meaning you have to perform better to exceed them. You get a bonus for placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a race, with the corresponding difficulties netting you the following bonuses:

Drivatar Difficulty Bonuses

  • Level 1: +0% Credits
  • Level 2: +12% Credits
  • Level 3: +23% Credits
  • Level 4: +34% Credits
  • Level 5: +41% Credits
  • Level 6: +44% Credits
  • Level 7: +47% Credits
  • Level 8: +50% Credits

Related: Forza Motorsport: How to Access Photo Mode

Meanwhile, Ruleset Bonus isn’t strictly about AI settings, but rather improving the simulated experience. The more realistic the experience, the higher the difficulty, and the higher the bonuses. These consist of the lowest setting, Club Rules, which only has cosmetic damage, and you incur minimal penalties for collisions or other errors while still having Rewind. Sport Rules adds tire damage and increases penalties slightly, and Expert Rules simulates all forms of vehicle damage, takes full penalties, and removes the Rewind feature.

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Penalties are largely related to things like illegal passes, at-fault collisions, and more, and the game will remind you when they happen. These can result in added lap times, so drive carefully!

Ruleset Bonuses

  • Club Rules:
    • Cosmetic Damage Only
    • Rewind ON
    • Limited Penalties
    • +2% Credits
  • Sport Rules:
    • Simulated Fuel & Tires
    • Rewind ON
    • Moderate Penalties
    • +6% Credits
  • Expert Rules:
    • Simulated Damage, Fuel & Tires
    • Rewind OFF
    • Full Penalties
    • +10% Credits

These bonuses go directly toward getting your next car and you should choose carefully. If you have trouble placing on the podium with higher difficulties, lower it a couple of notches, or see if you can tweak your car a bit more. Finally, other features that are similar to difficulty settings in Forza Motorsport like Manual Transmission settings are other ways to raise the challenge but be excellent ways to enhance the experience.

Forza Motorsport Difficulty Recommendation for Beginners

I’d recommend starting at Drivatar Difficulty 1, but keeping Sport Rules for one simple reason: the Rewind feature. It’s obviously unrealistic for driving sim purists, but when you’re learning on the track, being able to tap ‘Y’ on your gamepad or ‘R’ on the keyboard for a mulligan at tricky segments of a track can be great for practice. This way, you can get some moderate bonuses if you place well, while still being able to improve and not feel too challenged.

- This article was updated on October 10th, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a Staff Writer with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. is streaming his favorite RPGs and other forgotten gems.