Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones explained and how to unlock them

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones challenge players to slide around winding sections of roads to rack up points for a final score. If you’ve unlocked the Horizon Rush PR Stunts series, you’ve no doubt noticed a few of these zones already. They’re a fun test of your drifting abilities, and meeting certain score thresholds get you Accolade Points and XP that will help you level up and reach the Horizon Festival Hall of Fame. Whether you’re a returning Forza Horizon player and drifting enthusiast or a new driver, here’s what you need to know about Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones and how to unlock them.

What are Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones?

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones drifting on sand dirt track

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Horizon 5 Car Mastery

Forza Horizon 5 porsche taycan skill points to spend

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

You can earn more Skill Points while drifting by improving your Forza Horizon 5 Car Mastery

Drift Zones in Forza Horizon 5 are challenges found all over the roads in Mexico that test players’ drifting skills. For each Drift Zone, you need to drive along and stay within a particular stretch of road marked by flags. Starting at zero, your points will increase so long you’re drifting and will stop increasing when driving normally. You can initiate a drift by tapping the brakes or e-brake as you turn your car. Maintaining a drift requires practice, but you need to carefully balance your steering in both directions to prevent spinning out or regaining full control. When you exit the Drift Zone, you’ll be awarded your final score and star rating.

It is possible to fail Drift Zones, however, which will result in your current score being wiped, meaning you’ll have to start the zone all over. Spending too much time outside the flags and being off the designated road, driving back on yourself, or stopping your car will cause you to fail too. Drift Zones don’t have time limits, but you do need to be moving through the zone continuously to avoid failing the challenge.

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones star score thresholds on map

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Each Drift Zone has three score thresholds that you can meet to get a star rating and certain rewards. Getting a one-star score in any Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zone will award you with 100 Accolade Points, a two-star score will get you 250 Accolade Points, and a three-star score will get you 500 Accolade Points. To see the score thresholds for a given Drift Zone, hover over its icon on the map and an information box will appear. Your score also goes onto a leaderboard so you can see exactly how well you’ve done compare to other players.

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones marked on map

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Each zone has lots of blue flags along the road to make it clear, and small notches on the mini-map’s roads indicate the start/finish points of a Drift Zone. You can also filter them on the map if you want to make finding them easier.

How to unlock Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones Horizon Rush PR Stunt series on Horizon Adventure

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

There are 20 Drift Zones in Forza Horizon 5. If you want to unlock them, you need to complete the Horizon Rush PR Stunts series Expedition. However, at the start of your Forza Horizon 5 journey, you’ll find that you can’t unlock any of the Horizon Rush activities right away. Instead, focus on completing the introductory Horizon Festival Mexico, Horizon Apex, and Horizon Wilds races and activities first. Keep checking the Horizon Rush series whenever you do get a chapter unlock to so that you can get started with the Expedition as soon as you can.

There are 20 Drift Zones in Forza Horizon 5. If you want to unlock them you need to complete the Horizon Rush PR Stunts series Expedition. However, at the start of your Forza Horizon 5 journey, you’ll find that you can’t unlock any of the Horizon Rush activities right away. Instead, focus on completing the introductory Horizon Festival Mexico, Horizon Apex, and Horizon Wilds races and activities first. Keep checking the Horizon Rush series whenever you do get a chapter unlock to so that you can get started with the Expedition as soon as you can.

Tips for completing Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones drifting on road

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

If you enjoy drifting, or you’re looking to improve your skills, or just want a fun challenge, you should definitely give Drift Zones a go. The first thing to know is that Drift Zones can be started at either end and, leaving you to finish it at the other. However, doing each one both ways is a good idea as you’ll find that one direction feels easier than the other, particularly if one way ends up being downhill and the other way being uphill.

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones assists with traction and stability control off

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The next thing to bear in mind when doing Drift Zones is which driving assists you have on or off. Drifting in general is made much easier if you have Traction and Stability Control turned off as these two settings try to keep your car stable which you don’t really want when drifting. We’ve got more advice on tuning your assist setup in this Forza Horizon 5 tips guide.

Your car is also an important consideration. You’re going to want something that’s quite fast, agile, and suited to rough terrain. We think the Hoonigan Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC is a good choice, especially since all players unlock it after winning the ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’ Showcase Event against the wingsuit stunt team. There are plenty of other Forza Horizon 5 best cars for drifting and other race types.

When you’re driving and drifting in Drift Zones, make sure you stay between the flags to score points. Even if you’re drifting, you won’t score as much if you keep going off the road. Make sure you take a wider line too, despite what the racing line says sometimes – it is a racing line, after all, not a drifting line. You want to drift around the outside of each corner to maximize your drifting distance and score more points. You’ll also score more points per second the faster you’re driving, so you need to make sure you stay on the throttle through your drift to maintain a decent speed.

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