Windows 10 owners, all 300 million of them, can now take Forza Motorsport 6: Apex for a spin. The free spin-off from the Xbox One racing simulator hit the Windows Store Thursday and gives Turn 10 Studios a chance to warm up its tires on a new platform.
Forza 6: Apex is technically in open beta for the new and is completely free-to-play now and when it officially launches in the coming months. Today’s release is intended to give the developer a chance to test the game on the varied PC configurations used by gamers and get feedback to improve the game.
Turn 10 has already laid out its plans on future upgrades to the game. This includes wheel support, the ability to disable Vsync, and an in-app framerate counter.
“For the first time, the Forza Motorsport series has arrived on DirectX 12-enabled Windows 10 PCs, bringing with it the legendary authenticity and wheel-to-wheel action that Forza fans have come to expect,” Turn 10’s Brian Ekberg wrote on the game’s website. “Using Turn 10’s proprietary ForzaTech engine, Forza Motorsport 6: Apex brings amazing cars and tracks to life at resolutions up to 4K. In the game players will play through a curated tour of Forza Motorsport’s best content and test their driving skills in ‘Spotlight Series’ events which will be updated on a regular basis.”
Note that Apex is a single-player experience and the closest to multiplayer it gets is using the cloud-based “Drivatars.” It does come with 63 cars, 20 track configurations, and 12 different events in the “Showcase Tour” career mode.
The livery editor from the Xbox version of Forza 6 is also missing from Apex. Turn 10 does plan to provide a curated selection of livery designs created by the game’s community.
The addition of micro-transactions to support Apex will undoubtedly be one of the more controversial items. Players can earn points from racing in-game to unlock cars and other items or use real world cash to get ahead.
You’ll need a solid gaming PC to play Forza 6: Apex. Turn 10 recommends at least an Nvidia GeForce 970 or Radeon R9 290x paired with an Intel Core i7-3820 processor to achieve 1080p and 60 fps. Those shooting for 4K resolutions will need a GeForce GTX 980TI or Radeon Fury X, Intel Core i7 6700k, plus a SSD hard drive.
Turn 10 Studios is aware of several issues with Apex. In the interests of transparency, it shared the following known issues with the game in the Forza support forum.
Some graphics cards may not have supported drivers available
Some cards may not have supported drivers released that meet the game’s minimum driver version. If you have the latest driver version available from your graphics card manufacturer but are still blocked from launching the game with an “AP301” error, you can attempt to bypass this block by holding “Page Up” while selecting the Quit button. Be advised that bypassing this pop-up may result in game instability and / or poor performance.
Crashes can occur after repeated races on low memory machines
Some machines at the minimum memory specification (2 GB of video memory + 8 GB of system memory) may encounter a crash loading into events. This most often occurs after 5 to 7 consecutive races.
Low Memory warnings can occur with default settings
In some hardware scenarios near / at minimum requirements, players may experience low memory warnings with default settings.
V-Sync cannot be disabled
There is currently no option to disable V-sync, which would allow tearing and smoother framerates on some systems. This feature is targeted for an update soon after launch.
Hybrid GPU laptops may experience tearing
Laptops equipped with both an integrated GPU and a dedicated GPU may experience significant screen tearing / corruption when playing the game in full screen.
Unable to disable anisotropic filtering
The Anisotropic filtering option currently has no “off” setting.
Unable to manually disable MSAA
The MSAA custom setting currently has a lower limit of 2x, with no option to disable anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing is disabled by default as part of the “Low” dynamic quality setting.
Dynamic render quality may be set incorrectly
Some machines may be placed in a dynamic render quality setting that isn’t optimal for their system capabilities. These settings will be profiled and optimized throughout the beta period.
Fury X + 16 GB machines unable to select “Ultra”
Machines equipped with an AMD Fury X that also have 16 GB of system memory will be unable to select “Ultra” dynamic render quality with 4K resolution. To work around this issue:
1) Ensure the system display resolution is set to 4K (3840 x 2160 – requires 4k monitor / display adapter)
2) Launch the game and go to fullscreen model (Alt-Enter)
3) Go to Options->Video
4) Set “Dynamic Render Quality” to “Ultra”
5) Set “Force Resolution” to “Off”
Racing wheels are not supported
Race wheels are not yet supported in Forza Motorsport 6: Apex. Adding wheel support will be a focus of the development team during the beta period.
Some controllers may not function as intended
Some third party game controllers may not have full functionality in Forza Motorsport 6: Apex. Recommended controllers include the Xbox One Controller and Xbox 360 Controller.
Multi-monitor scenarios are not supported
Forza Motorsport 6: Apex currently only supports full screen in single screen scenarios at 16:9 and 16:10 aspect ratios.
Car Bowling pins don’t count after rewind
In the Raptor Bowling event, any pins knocked over and subsequently reset by use of rewind will no longer count towards a player’s bowling score if knocked over again.
Drivatar Badges flicker during race
During some tracks / races, Drivatar names and badges will flicker in and out of view.
Intro video audio is out of sync
The audio that introduces the Ford GT on Rio is out of sync with the video it accompanies by up to a few seconds.
Some badges may appear locked after unlocking
After unlocking during post-race, some badges may appear locked when the user returns to the Badges Menu.
Saved photos cannot be shared
There is currently no way to share a photo once it has been saved. Photos can only be shared by selecting “Save and share” when they are first captured.
Restarting races can cause the track to disappear
When restarting races in some select locations, the track can fail to stream / load. Exiting and re-launching the race should resolve the issue.
Closed Spotlight events still retain “New” tag
When Spotlight events close that the player has never played, they retain the “New” tag and are counted in the available medals total for the Spotlight Series.
Cars unlocked on car select don’t refresh
When unlocking a car from the car select screen, either via Forza HUB unlock or paid early unlock, the player must leave and re-enter the car select screen to see the car properly unlock.
Photomode dropping resolution
Entering photomode can occasionally result in a drop in resolution.