Hey friend! If you‘re a racing game fan, you‘ve probably heard about the hugely popular Forza Horizon series. Forza Horizon delivers unparalleled open world driving freedom and excitement. But you might be wondering: is there a way to download and play Forza Horizon games for free?
I‘ve got good news and bad news for you. Let‘s start with the bad news first:
There is no way to permanently download the full Forza Horizon games for free. They are premium titles that require purchase to access all modes, cars, and maps.
Bummer! But don‘t despair yet. Here comes the good news:
You CAN often play Forza Horizon games for free temporarily thanks to limited trials, demos, and Xbox Game Pass.
In this detailed guide, I‘ll explain the best options for playing Forza Horizon at no cost. And if you can‘t play for free, I‘ll also share tips on getting Forza Horizon at the cheapest price.
Let‘s hit the open road and go through all your options!
An Overview of the Massively Popular Forza Horizon Franchise
In case you‘re not familiar with the series, Forza Horizon is considered one of the top open world racing franchises out there today. Here‘s a super quick primer:
- Forza Horizon is a spin-off from Forza Motorsports, focused on free roaming fun
- Horizon games take place in stunning real world locations like Australia and Mexico
- Tons of licensed hypercars, supercars, and classics to collect and drive
- Massive maps full of challenges and events
- Play alone or with friends online
- More arcade feel compared to Motorsports simulations
The Forza Horizon series has built a reputation for delivering unparalleled freedom to explore and race at your own pace. Many consider it the perfect mix of realism and all-out action.
But which Forza Horizon games can you play for free? Let‘s break it down.
Can I Download Forza Horizon 4 for Free?
Forza Horizon 4 is the previous installment in the franchise before the new Forza Horizon 5. It‘s set in beautiful Britain and has dynamic seasons that change the map and driving.
Lots of gamers are interested in FH4 because it‘s the cheaper option compared to pricey new releases. Unfortunately, there is no way to download the entire Forza Horizon 4 base game for free permanently.
However, you CAN sometimes play FH4 for free temporarily:
- Microsoft has run free play weekends where anyone can play FH4 for a limited time
- Xbox Game Pass members get full access to FH4 as part of their subscription
- There was previously a 2 hour game trial allowing brief free play
So while you can‘t get FH4 free forever, watch for occasional promotions that open it up. And Game Pass is by far the best ongoing option for accessing the full experience.
But sadly no direct permanent free version exists. To play unrestricted, you‘ll need to buy the game. More on cheap options later!
Does Xbox Game Pass Have Forza Horizon Titles?
As I mentioned above, Xbox Game Pass is a great way to play Forza Horizon games without paying full price.
Game Pass is a Netflix style subscription service for Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, and mobile devices that offers access to hundreds of games for one monthly fee.
The good news is Game Pass includes many Forza Horizon games:
- Forza Horizon 5 – Full base game available, the newest release!
- Forza Horizon 4 – Also fully playable on Game Pass
- Forza Horizon 3 – Available via cloud streaming
The only missing titles are the original Forza Horizon and Horizon 2. But overall, Game Pass subscribers get treated to the full package for recent Horizon releases.
According to Microsoft, over 25 million gamers subscribe to Game Pass worldwide. And it‘s easy to see why – new titles like Forza Horizon 5 would cost $60+ alone, but you get access as part of the $10 monthly Game Pass fee.
If you‘re looking for an affordable way to enjoy the freedom of Forza Horizon, Game Pass is hands down the best option right now.
Experts Recommend Trying Forza Street for Totally Free Racing
While the main Horizon series requires purchase, gaming industry experts widely recommend Forza Street as the best free-to-play alternative.
Forza Street is a slimmed down, arcade style Forza game available on Windows 10, iOS and Android. Here‘s why it‘s great for no-cost racing:
- Fully free to download and play without paying anything
- Simplified controls optimized for touch screens
- Fun street racing in exotic locales like Rio de Janeiro
- In-app purchases are optional, not required to progress and enjoy the game
Leading gaming site IGN says Forza Street provides "Quickaccess to fast, exciting races." It‘s not as deep as the Horizon series, but offers that Forza flavor in a free and accessible package.
Casual racing fans should definitely test drive Forza Street if you don‘t want to spend any money. It delivers plenty of arcade racing excitement without a huge storage or time commitment.
Forza Horizon Player & Streaming Data
|Total Players (Millions)
|Peak Twitch Viewers
|Forza Horizon 5
|Forza Horizon 4
|Forza Horizon 3
|Forza Horizon 2
As you can see, the Forza Horizon games have amassed huge player bases and remain popular on streaming sites like Twitch years after release. This data shows the lasting appeal of the open world racing formula.
Will Forza Horizon 5 Ever Be Free to Play?
I get this question a lot: "Hey, Forza Horizon 5 just came out and looks amazing! Will Microsoft ever make it completely free?"
The short answer is: unfortunately no, almost certainly not in the foreseeable future.
As a flagship title for Xbox, Microsoft wants to recoup the massive investment they put into developing Horizon 5. Industry analysts predict they spent over $150 million producing the game.
However, based on past trends, you may be able to play FH5 totally free for a limited time via:
- Free play weekends – Sample the full game for a couple days
- Limited time trials – Play for a set number of hours, usually 1-2
- Demo version – Try the opening missions and tutorial
These promos tend to run in the months after launch to pull in the curious. I‘d keep an eye out for similar FH5 deals in 2022 and beyond.
But a fully free permanent version? Don‘t expect that before like 2025 at a minimum, if ever. Snagging it on discount will be your best bet for now.
How to Get Forza Horizon 5 at the Lowest Price Now
Forza Horizon 5 is pretty reasonably priced for a giant open world racing game at $60. But I get that dollars are tight for many of us gamers.
Based on my research, these are the best ways to buy Forza Horizon 5 at a discount:
- Xbox Game Pass – Full access for just $10/month with this membership service
- Microsoft Store Sales – Digital price may drop to $40-50 during promotions
- Physical Discs – Check retailers for used copies under $50
- CD Key Sites – Riskier but discounts possible, usually around $45
The edition you buy also impacts cost. Standard Edition is the base game, while Premium unlocks bonus car packs and DLC.
Beyond discounts, Game Pass remains the clear winner thanks to the huge library you get access to. It‘s like Netflix for Xbox for one low monthly rate.
But also watch for holiday sales in November/December when FH5 will almost certainly see major price cuts for Black Friday and the holidays.
Should You Buy Forza Horizon 4 in 2023? Expert Opinions
Let‘s switch back to FH4, which originally came out way back in 2018 but remains popular in 2023. Is Forza Horizon 4 still worth buying today?
Here‘s what the gaming experts say:
- Scott of FandomSpot: "FH4 holds up incredibly well thanks to the diversity of seasons and biomes across Britain."
- Alex from XboxAchievements: "FH4 is absolutely still worth your time and money. The map diversity and massive amount of content will keep you engaged for countless hours."
- Toby of UnPause Asia: "Unless you demand only absolutely cutting edge graphics, Forza Horizon 4 won‘t disappoint. There‘s a reason it remains so popular years later."
The key strengths experts highlight are the continued graphical fidelity, unique seasons mechanic, and sheer amount of races and challenges.
There are lots of valid reasons FH4 remains a must-play racing experience:
- Massive map of Britain still impresses visually
- Dynamic seasons change up the vibe
- Hundreds of events to complete
- LEGO and other DLC expansions enhance longevity
- Ongoing updates from Playground Games
Yes, FH5 refines the formula. But FH4 absolutely delivers a top-notch open world racing adventure for the cost. especially if you find it on discount.
The Bottom Line – Enjoy Forza Horizon Your Way
Hopefully this guide gave you a full breakdown of how to access the Forza Horizon games for little or no money.
While buying them outright remains the only way to play unrestricted forever, bargains are out there:
- Game Pass – By far the best subscription option to sample recent titles
- Free Trials – Time-limited demos pop up occasionally
- Discounts – Watch for sales to get large chunks off retail pricing
- Forza Street – Totally free-to-play mobile racing option
No matter what, Forza Horizon offers open world racing bliss for players of all types. With the tips above, you can get rolling for free or cheap.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to chat more about securing the best Forza Horizon deal. Now grab the wheel and let‘s hit some scenic country roads my friend!