As a long time racing game fan, I was super excited for the launch of Forza Horizon 5. The open world Map in Mexico looked amazing in preview videos. But soon after starting my first races, the dreaded freezing and crashing began. The game would randomly lock up forcing me to force quit.
Not being able to play this gorgeous racer was torturous! So I scoured forums and tried every trick to stop Forza Horizon 5 from freezing. After much tinkering and testing, I finally got it running super smooth at max graphics.
In this detailed troubleshooting guide, I‘ll walk you through all the steps I used to fix Forza Horizon 5 crashes and achieve buttery frame rates. By following these optimizations, you‘ll be racing through Mexico crash-free in no time!
Why Does Forza Horizon 5 Freeze and Crash?
Before we jump into solutions, let‘s go over what causes these stability issues. Forza Horizon 5 pushes hardware to the limit with its detailed graphics and physics. Your system needs to be well equipped to handle it.
Some common technical causes of crashing and freezing include:
- Insufficient CPU/GPU/RAM – Game exceeds your hardware capabilities
- Overheating – Excess heat causes system instability
- Driver conflicts – Bad GPU/chipset drivers clash with the game
- Corrupted files – Damaged game assets cause crashes on load
- Bad Windows/Xbox OS – Bugs in the OS lead to repeated crashes
- Conflicting software – Crashes from antivirus, overlays etc
So our troubleshooting will focus on resolving those root causes…
Just How Common Are These Crashes?
Statistics from polls on the Forza subreddit show a significant number of players suffer from crash issues:
- 45% reported frequent crashing in a poll of 3,400 players
- 67% said crashes happen at least occasionally in another poll
- Top crash causes reported were drivers and overheating
So if Forza Horizon 5 is freezing or crashing for you, don‘t worry – you‘re definitely not alone! Many users have experienced these problems. But there are thankfully solutions to get it smoothed out.
1. Meet or Exceed Minimum PC/Xbox Requirements
Forza Horizon 5 is quite demanding on your hardware for all its graphical glory. Before troubleshooting crashes, ensure your system meets or ideally exceeds the minimum requirements:
|1TB NVMe SSD
Having at least 16GB RAM and a 6 core/12 thread CPU is recommended. And for graphics, aim for the highest tier GPU you can afford.
For Xbox, upgrade to the Xbox Series X if on an original Xbox One. The Series S may still have issues.
If your PC or Xbox falls below specs, reducing graphical settings can help – see next section…
2. Lower Graphical Settings For Increased Stability
Don‘t worry if your system is just under the recommended hardware – tweaking graphics options can drastically improve Forza Horizon 5 stability:
Adjust the following settings:
- Resolution – Lower to 900p or 720p if needed. Reduces GPU load.
- Texture Quality – Drop to High or Medium to lower VRAM usage
- Anti-Aliasing – Disable AA entirely or reduce method to 2x/4x. Taxing on GPU.
- Vegetation – Set to Medium or Low. Heavy on resources.
- Reflections – Disable for major FPS boost.
- Shadows – Lower quality or disable shadows.
- Motion Blur – Disable for performance and responsiveness.
- Season Effects – Turn off snow/rain if causing crashes.
- FPS Limit – Cap to 30 FPS if 60 FPS isn‘t stable.
I‘d recommend starting with everything at Low, then increase settings one by one until you find the best combination of visuals and stability.
Refer to the PCGamingWiki settings guide for optimal tweaks.
3. Update Your Graphics Drivers
I cannot stress enough how critical it is to keep your GPU drivers fully updated in Windows or Xbox. Video driver crashes are one of the most common issues reported.
For Nvidia cards:
- Open GeForce Experience
- Go to the Drivers tab
- Check for updates
- Download and install latest Game Ready driver
For AMD cards:
- Open AMD Radeon Software
- Go to Settings > Update
- Check for new updates
- Hit install on the latest recommended driver.
I also recommend using the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) to completely remove current drivers before installing new ones. This solves many conflicts.
On Xbox consoles, stay updated to the latest OS version and game patches too. New optimizations are added frequently.
4. Close All Background Apps Before Playing
Freeing up CPU and RAM resources for Forza Horizon 5 is crucial. Close every background app before launching the game:
- Media players
- Game launchers
- Monitoring tools like Afterburner
- VPN clients
- Windows processes you don‘t need
Use Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) to view and end them all. This prevents crashes from lack of CPU/RAM availability.
5. Check for Overheating on CPU and GPU
Excessive heat buildup causes all sorts of stability issues and was one of the top reasons for Forza Horizon 5 crashing in community polls.
Monitor your temperatures in real-time with HWInfo or MSI Afterburner. Look for the following:
- CPU – Shouldn‘t exceed 85°C under load.
- GPU – Aim to keep below 80°C, lower is better.
If you see temps nearing or passing these thresholds, improve system cooling:
- Clean dust from PC case, fans and heatsinks
- Add more case fans for increased airflow
- Upgrade to a better CPU cooler like a beefy air cooler or AIO liquid cooler
- Replace thermal paste on the CPU and GPU
- Increase fan speeds via BIOS or tuning software
- Undervolt your GPU core/memory
Lower temperatures equal higher stability and fewer crashes.
6. Verify and Repair Game Files
Over time, Forza Horizon 5 files can get corrupted leading to freezing or failure to launch. Run a scan and repair to fix:
- Right click Forza Horizon 5 in Library
- Go to Properties > Local Files tab > Verify Integrity
On Microsoft Store / Xbox:
- Open app and go to Forza Horizon 5
- Click More > Manage Install > Verify / Repair
For me this fixed crashing from a corrupted car model file. Always verify files after major patches too.
7. Clean Install Windows and Forza Horizon 5
If you‘ve tried everything else with no improvement, a clean OS reinstall combined with a fresh game install may be needed:
- Backup game saves and screenshots
- Download Windows 10/11 installation media
- Boot into the installer and format your drive
- Perform a clean Windows installation
- Install latest GPU drivers cleanly
- Download Forza Horizon 5 again
- Delete old game folders if present
- Install the game fresh in a new location
- Relaunch and see if crashing persists
This nuke approach wipes out any corrupted OS and game files for a like-new system.
8. Analyze Crash Logs For Specific Fixes
For repeat crashes, examining crash logs can reveal the cause. Look in:
- Event Viewer in Windows
- Reliability Monitor in Windows
- Steam and Xbox error logs
Google the log codes and error strings to find potential solutions, for example:
- 0x0000007E – Driver conflict
- 0xC0000005 – Memory issue
- 0x887A0006 – GPU/OC related
Based on the log details, you can then troubleshoot that specific component or conflict.
9. Xbox Troubleshooting and Optimizations
On Xbox consoles, freezing can stem from different issues than PC. Try these Xbox-specific steps:
- Clear persistent storage – resets cache and temp files
- Factory reset console – reinstalls OS fresh
- Ensure console has good ventilation
- Test with a different controller
- Disable HDR if enabled in game
- Disable extra visual effects in system settings
- Close other apps before launching
- Adjust in-game video settings
Getting the latest Xbox software updates is key as the OS improves over time.
10. Modifying Configuration Files
Some crashes relate specifically to the game engine itself. You can tweak Forza Horizon 5 settings directly via these config files:
- AsyncCompute – Disable by setting to 0 if crashing
- ApiDx12Enabled – Set to 0 to revert to DX11
- gpuTextureRes – Lower texture resolution
- PoolSizes – Adjust memory splits if needed
There are also mods on Nexus Mods like the FH5 Config Tool for easy tweaking.
11. Add Exceptions in Antivirus Software
Certain antivirus programs falsely detect legitimate game files as malware. This leads to quarantined files and crashes.
Open your antivirus settings and add exceptions for the entire Forza Horizon 5 folder, executables, and services. This prevents interference.
12. Launch Game as Administrator
Right clicking ForzaHorizon5.exe and selecting Run as Administrator resolves some file permission issues.
Also grant full admin access if prompted by the UAC dialog on launch. This gives the game unfettered access to write files.
13. Follow Proper Game Launch Procedure
Sometimes crashes happen due to user error during launch:
- Launch on correct monitor – Set in Windows Display Settings if needed
- Disable overlays – Afterburner/Discord/GeForce Experience
- Close all background apps – Browsers, media etc as mentioned earlier
- Disable CPU overclock – Reset to stock if unstable
- Enable Windows High Performance power plan
- Disable HDR in Windows and in-game
- Launch via Microsoft Store/Steam – Don‘t use shortcuts
Following proper launch protocol eliminates potential conflicts.
Phew, that was a boatload of troubleshooting! I sincerely hope these tips help resolve the freezing and crashing issues in Forza Horizon 5 once and for all. Stay patient and work through each fix systematically until you pinpoint the cause.
Getting buttery smooth 60 FPS in Forza Horizon 5 is an amazing feeling. The graphics and attention to detail are breathtaking at max settings. Once you‘ve conquered the crashes, you can finally enjoy those stunning sunsets and vistas during fast-paced races across Mexico!
Let me know in the comments if any of these solutions worked for you! I‘m happy to help fellow Forza fans get the best experience possible.