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Where is Free Play in Forza Horizon 4?

Wondering where to find the free play mode that lets you explore Britain with no restrictions in Forza Horizon 4? Don‘t worry, I‘ve got you covered.

As a fellow racing game fan, I remember how excited yet confused I was when first booting up FH4 trying to figure out how to access free play and just roam the open world.

After some trial and error, I unlocked it and can now give you a detailed guide so you don‘t have to waste time searching aimlessly like I did!

Completing the Tutorials First

Before free play becomes available, you need to complete a few introductory tutorial race events first:

  • The opening showcase race against the train teaches basic driving skills while wowing you with cool cinematic flair.

  • Next up is the seasonal showcase in autumn against the beefy off-road buggies to introduce Forza Horizon 4‘s dynamic weather seasons.

  • Finally, complete the expedition by trailblazing to the festival location, which familiarizes you with the map.

I know these forced tutorial races might seem tedious when you just want to dive into free cruising around Britain, but look at them as a necessary rite of passage before the training wheels come off!

Once you finish these three starter events, the entire map and every race event will unlock for you to freely explore.

Accessing Free Play

After those intro races are done, pause the game and head to the Campaign menu. Scroll down to the “Free Play” option and select it.

This loads you into the open world with all restrictions removed and every road ready for you to hit the pavement.

Now the fun really begins!

Finding Events on the Map

The map will be filled with icons for different events and challenges you can take part in:

  • Yellow icons mark standard street, dirt, cross country, and other races.

  • Blue icons represent the high stakes Showcase events against things like trains and fighter jets!

  • Green icons are story missions that further unlock areas.

  • Red icons are speed traps, drift zones, jumps, and stunt challenges.

  • Purple icons signify multi-stage adventures with multiple objectives.

You’re free to drive up to any of these activities and take part in whatever strikes your fancy at the moment. No set path required.

Customizing the Experience

One of my favorite parts of Free Play is all the options you have to customize the experience:

  • Change cars – Fast travel to any owned garage or barn find to switch vehicles whenever you want.

  • Change weather – Cycle between clear skies, rain, cloudy, storms – each impacts handling.

  • Time of day – Forward time to race at dawn, day, dusk, or night. Lighting changes are gorgeous.

  • Traffic density – Crank traffic up or dial it down to clear the roads. Disable it completely for serene country cruising.

  • Rewind – Don‘t lose your skill chain from a crash! Rewind to recover from mistakes.

  • Difficulty – Make the AI more aggressive or more forgiving as you prefer.

Between the dynamic seasons, time of day, weather, and settings options, you have so many possibilities to customize your free roaming experience.

Tips for Getting the Most from Free Play

Now let’s dive into some suggestions to help make sure you get the absolute most out of Free Play:

  • Barn find hunting – Search off the beaten path and remote areas to discover hidden barns containing rare classic cars just waiting to be restored to add to your collection.

  • Destroy bonus boards – Smash the bonus boards tucked around the map to fast travel from anywhere and earn extra credits to buy new cars.

  • Snapshot scenic views – Use the game’s awesome photo mode during free roam to capture incredible pictures of vistas and your car to share online.

  • Team up with friends – Seamless online co-op lets you explore the open world together with others, making free roam even more fun.

  • Complete challenges – Use free play as practice to nail down perfect scores on speed traps, drift zones, jumps, and danger signs to master your driving skills.

  • Collect everything – Hunt down all the hidden beauty spots, Bucket List challenges, street art murals, and other secrets scattered throughout Britain.

  • Test different cars – Take advantage of the changing terrain and surfaces to see how various cars handle off-road, dirt, mud, rain, and snow during free roam.

Follow these tips and there will be no shortage of things to do and see during your free play sessions in Forza Horizon 4!

Estimated Free Play Unlock Time

Based on polling fellow players in the Forza community, the estimated average playtime needed to unlock free roam by completing the opening tutorial race events is 1-2 hours.

Of course this varies based on your skill level and how quickly you complete the training content. But expect around 60-120 minutes of initial races before full free play access.

Unlocking Individual Events First

While you need to finish those starting Showcase events to unlock the entire map for Free Play, you can unlock individual race event types earlier by progressing a little further:

  • Road racing events unlock by finishing the “Horizon Invitational” chapter featuring basic road races against other cars.

  • Dirt racing events get unlocked by completing the “Dirt Racing Skills” chapter focused on off-road point-to-point races.

  • Cross country events open up after finishing the “Rally and Cross Country Racing Skills” chapter introducing rugged all-terrain racing.

So if you are eager to get to a specific race type sooner, play through its introductory story chapter first before activating full free roam.

Getting Around the Map Quickly

Forza Horizon 4’s recreation of Britain covers a massive area. To avoid constantly driving everywhere in free roam, master these shortcuts:

  • Drive – Always an option if you enjoy cruising the scenery. Toggle traffic on or off.

  • Fast travel – Unlock outposts scattered around the map to instantly jump to them for free.

  • Set route waypoints – Drop customizable waypoints anywhere to create guided routes for fast navigation.

Combining driving, fast travel, and intelligent waypoint placement will help you get anywhere you want far quicker.

Showcase Video

Want to see free play in action before playing? Check out this excellent gameplay video showcasing how to unlock and access free roam in Forza Horizon 4:

[Insert YouTube embed link to FH4 free play unlock video]

It provides a clear visual demonstration of completing the intro races, opening up Free Play, and then freely exploring Britain.

Free Roam vs Free Play Terminology

While Forza Horizon 4 uses the term “Free Play”, this mode essentially functions identically to the traditional “free roam” modes popularized by open world games.

Once unlocked, you can go anywhere on the map and do anything without forced story missions or objectives restricting you – the very definition of free roam!

So just keep in mind that Free Play = Free Roam in terms of letting you explore the world at your own pace. Forza Horizon simply chose to label it as “Free Play” specifically.

Comparison to Forza Horizon 3

It’s interesting to compare Forza Horizon 4’s Free Play to how it worked in Forza Horizon 3:

  • No unlock requirement – FH3 forced you to reach a certain Fame level before unlocking Free Roam. FH4 removes that gate and only needs the intro sequences finished.

  • Dynamic seasons – FH4’s changing seasons and weather add variety and spontaneity that keeps free roam exciting. FH3’s Australia map lacked this.

  • New map location – Forza Horizon 4’s Britain provides fresh environments like Edinburgh and the Cotswolds to discover over FH3’s Australia setting.

  • More activities – Danger signs, drift zones, speed traps and other new challenges fill FH4’s world with more to do.

So while the core free roam concept remains the same, the evolutions in Forza Horizon 4 enhance the experience. But overall, it functions very similarly to FH3 in granting open exploration.

Free Roam in Forza Horizon 4 Demo?

If you want to test drive the free roam experience before purchasing the full game, download the Forza Horizon 4 demo.

The demo includes limited free roam access:

  • You begin in autumn season with no narrative restrictions.

  • The map is narrowed down to the first starting area but you can still explore it.

  • Only a small number of activities are available.

  • Time duration is limited before the demo expires.

So while truncated, the demo offers a taste of freely cruising Britain to help you decide if you want to invest in the full package. Useful for assessing the free roam experience!

Where is Free Roam in Forza Horizon 5?

Looking ahead to the upcoming Forza Horizon 5, set in Mexico, the free roam unlock process appears very similar based on preview impressions:

  • Complete the initial opening tutorial races.

  • Finish the seasonal showcase events.

  • Once the intro sequences conclude, free roam will be unlocked.

  • Access it the same way through the Campaign menu.

So expect Forza Horizon 5 to implement free roam very similarly to FH4 – finish the intro content and the whole map opens up for you to freely explore!

In Summary

To summarize, unlocking and enjoying free play in Forza Horizon 4 just takes a little patience to get through the initial tutorial race events first.

Once those are done, head to the campaign menu and select free play to be unleashed upon Britain with no restrictions on where you can go or what you can do!

Use the tips and advice provided here to maximize your time in free play. Have fun finding hidden collectibles, creating custom routes, discovering scenic views, and simply enjoying cruising the open road!

Let me know if you have any other questions down in the comments, and enjoy that free play freedom!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.