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Forza Horizon 5 PC mod offers in-game ray tracing

Shortly after the game officially launched, PC modders discovered how to enable ray-traced reflections on player cars during gameplay.


You certainly won’t find anyone willing to accuse Forza Horizon 5 of being a shoddy-looking game. Less than a week following the game’s launch, it has already toppled previous series records for sales and active players and its lush visuals have surely played a part in its wider adoption by the game-playing public. While the Xbox Series X and PC versions of the game do offer some limited ray-traced reflection effects in the ForzaVista garage mode, the effect is disabled for actual gameplay. Thanks to the PC modding community, Forza Horizon 5 players can now enable ray-traced reflections onto player cars.

The mod was first mentioned earlier this week by Digital Foundry, who authored the showcase video embedded below. The method for enabling these reflections on the PC version of Forza Horizon 5 was discovered by Digital Foundry Patreon supporter Frosticles. This simple mod makes use of CheatEngine (CE) software to edit memory values within the game once it is up and running. The author has made CE tables available for both the Windows Store and Steam versions of the game.

Potential users of the mod should understand that CheatEngine does not offer cheats or exploits itself, but its ability to alter core game files makes it an easy target for cheat detection tools across various multiplayer games. It should only be used at your own risk and if the app is left open on your PC, it could trigger bans from other gaming services or launchers.

In the case of this Forza Horizon 5 mod, CheatEngine is only used to alter the game files to change a few strings to enable the ray-traced reflections. This implementation does come with a few caveats. The reflections only work on the player car and make use of the existing cube-mapped reflections on the car for shading information. The effects are disabled when using in-car views and don’t seem to affect rear-view or side mirrors. Performance remains strong for NVIDIA GPU users (though the mod works with AMD cards as well).

Now with proof that the game can be played smoothly with ray-traced reflections, maybe Playground games will be willing to offer a patch in the future to enable this functionality officially. In the meantime, we expect lots of you to be spending more time than ever in Forza’s lovely Photo Mode.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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