Forza Horizon 5 Car Mastery is a crucial part of the game that allows you to level up cars to unlock special perks that can award you XP, Credits (CR), Skill Chain boosts, and more, just from driving. As with previous Forza Horizon games, you’ll need to unlock these perks for your cars by spending Skill Points which are earned by performing Skill Chains. You can then use any earned Skill Points to unlock Car Mastery perks for your current car to get things like instant XP or CR drops, Wheelspins, score boosts for certain Skill Chain tricks, limited-time performance bonuses for particular races, and even entirely new cars. There’s a lot more to know about Car Mastery and Skill Points in Forza Horizon 5, so we’ve got it all covered here.
What is Car Mastery in Forza Horizon 5?
Car Mastery in Forza Horizon 5 is a perk system that allows you to unlock permanent and temporary upgrades for each car that improve their ability to generate points for Skill Chains tricks, provide one-off instant rewards – XP, CR, #Forzathon Points, or Wheelspins – and XP boosts for a limited number of races. These perks are unlocked with Skill Points and there is no limit to the number of Skill Points you can earn for a car. The Car Mastery menu which shows all the available perks for a car is accessed by pausing Forza Horizon 5, navigating to the ‘Cars’ tab, and then selecting the ‘Car Mastery’ page.
Each car on the Forza Horizon 5 car list has a fixed set of perks but that are generally suited to the kind of tricks you’ll be performing. For example, the Warthog has perks that increase the score you gain from performing Wreckage, Wrecking Ball, or Air tricks and can temporarily gain an extra 25% XP for the next 10 Cross Country races. Meanwhile, a fast supercar like the Lamborghini Huracán has mastery perks to do with Drafting, Passing, and Speed tricks since it’s good for road-based races in Forza Horizon 5. A few cars have Car Mastery Car perks that instantly unlock a completely different car instead of granting some sort of benefit. For example, you can unlock a 1999 Lamborghini Diablo GTR from the 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV’s Car Mastery.
Each car you own has its own Car Mastery perks, but any Skill Points you earn can be used to unlock perks for any car, not just the one you’re currently driving. The perks on the Car Mastery page are arranged in a grid pattern but are unlocked a bit like a traditional skill tree, in that unlocking a perk causes surrounding perks from higher tiers to become available for purchase too. The perks at the bottom of the mastery grid are usually the cheapest at one Skill Point, but they increase to three, then five, and then 10 Skill Points towards the top. Every car has an ‘extra life’ perk that causes Skill Chains to break on the second collision rather than the first which costs 25 Skill Points. However, for some special vehicles, such as the Warthog, this mastery perk costs 50 Skill Points.
How to gain and spend Forza Horizon 5 Skill Points
To gain Skill Points, you need to perform Skill Chains which are scores that builds up as you perform tricks while you drive your car, whether that’s in a race or in free roam. Your Skill Chain score is always visible towards the top of your screen. You can get points for destroying things, getting air by going over a hill or ramp, overtaking, near-misses, driving at high speed, drifting, slipstreaming another car ahead of you, and doing J-turns. Performing any trick increases the score and multiplier, but it seems like performing strings of unique tricks gets your score and multiplier up faster.
A good strategy for getting your combo up is to drive your fastest car up and down the central highway that runs across Mexico. As you drive, you’ll get Speed and Near-Miss tricks, but once you reach the end and the road narrows, turn as hard as you can and smash into stuff to get Drift, One-Eighty, and Wreckage Tricks. Accelerate back up to top speed as quickly as possible back the way you came to keep your Skill Chain going with more Speed tricks.
If you end your chain by not performing a trick for a few seconds, you’ll be awarded your total score with the multiplier which will then fill up a yellow ring. If you fill this ring, you gain a Skill Point for your current car, which can be spent on a Car Mastery perk. Crashing your car will cause the chain to break and you’ll lose all your points. Listen out for Skill Songs after you’ve bought the Casa Bella house as your final scores for any Skill Chains you perform during the song will get doubled.
You should spend your Skill Points as soon as you get them so that you’re always unlocking new perks. This will improve your car’s ability to perform Skill Chains and earn Skill Points as you go and will get you lots of nice and useful rewards along the way. Performing Skill Chains and spending Skill Points will also grant you XP which contributes towards your player level. Once you’ve levelled up a fair bit, for any new cars you get, you could try saving your Skill Points up to unlock the extra life perk which will make performing Skill Chains much more forgiving, helping you to power through the rest of the perks later.