Forza Horizon 4 release date, cars, map, and everything you need to know

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Forza Horizon 4's release date is just a few months away, which means it's officially time to get extra excited about racing through the four seasons of Great Britain with friends and strangers alike in a shared, online world. Microsoft first revealed the next game in its open-world racing series at E3 2018, and since then it's kept the tire rolling with interesting updates like the fact that it will skip microtransaction-funded Forza coins. While you're waiting for the race to begin, check out what you need to know about Forza Horizon 4. 

Forza Horizon 4's release date is coming up fast

Microsoft confirmed the Forza Horizon 4 release date immediately after it announced the game at E3 2018: you can start playing on October 2, 2018. That puts it at the early end of the holiday rush, giving you plenty of time to go motoring around virtual Great Britain before the onslaught of games happens.

Forza Horizon 4 PS4 is definitely not happening

If you're hoping to play through Forza Horizon 4 on your PS4, I have some bad news about the chances of that happening: there is no chance of that happening. Or at least a very minimal chance. The entire Forza franchise is owned by Microsoft and has been since the beginning, and though developer Playground Games used to be independent, it's also now owned by Microsoft. You might point to Minecraft as an example of a Microsoft-owned game that appears on non-Xbox systems, but that's a special exception since it had already appeared on several platforms before Microsoft bought it.

Forza Horizon 4's car list has hundreds of classics and cutting-edge racers

The Forza Horizon 4 car list hasn't been officially announced yet, but we've already gotten a good look at dozens of automobiles from across the game's previews and marketing materials. Cars returning from previous games include the 2017 Acura NSX, 2017 Ford GT, and 1964 Aston Martin DB5. New contenders include the 2018 McLaren Senna and 1952 Morris Minor Series 2. And the pool of possibilities isn't just broad, it's deep too - every single vehicle will have its own skill tree that will let you unlock specific bonuses. 

Forza Horizon 4's map takes you all across Great Britain

Forza Horizon 4's map lets you drive all over a condensed version of Great Britain, from the lowlands to the midlands to the highlands to all the in-between-lands. It should be a refreshing challenge for developer Playground Games, which is itself based in Leamington Spa in the UK. The really cool part, though, is that you'll get to see the many seasons of Great Britain as you play; the map will transition from summer to autumn to winter to spring and back over again. This will create some beautiful sights, of course, but it will also influence the way you drive.

Forza Horizon 4 pre-orders get special cars and/or in-game clothes

If you sign up for a Forza Horizon 4 pre-order early, you may be rewarded with some some bonus cars and other gear. Currently, pre-ordering from GameStop will get you instant in-game access to a 2017 Aston Martin DB11 and a Horizon Festival T-shirt for your driver avatar. Pre-ordering from Amazon will get you a 2016 Porsche 911 GT3RS. And last (for now), pre-ordering from Walmart will unlock an exclusive Horizon Festival bomber jacket for your driver. 

Forza Horizon 4 trailer focuses on the changing of the seasons

The Forza Horizon series always features beautiful regions to race around in, but they've been mostly static. That's changing with the new seasonal focus of Forza Horizon 4. As you play, the seasons will shift, which will in turn influence your driving experience: winter will freeze over lakes and open up whole swathes of icy drifting territory, spring rains will slick the roads, and so on.

Forza Horizon 4 gameplay is a Destiny-style shared world

Some of the best times to be had in Forza Horizon 3 were simply dropping into an online free roam lobby and going for a cruise with friends or strangers online. That's the baseline experience for Forza Horizon 4: whenever you're playing, you'll encounter other players racing around the environment. You can compete, make friends, or just take in the scenery together whenever you like.