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Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones explained and how to unlock them

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones hoonigan ford escort cosworth rally car
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones challenge players to score points while drifting along a particular stretch of road. Not only are they a fun test of your drifting ability, but meeting certain score thresholds will earn you Accolade Points and XP that will help with the Horizon Adventure campaign and levelling up. These challenges make a comeback from Forza Horizon 4, and you might have seen a few of them while racing around Mexico, so let us explain how they work. If you’re a returning Forza Horizon player and drifting enthusiast, we’ll show you how to unlock these zones as soon as possible too. Here’s what you need to know about Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones and how to unlock them.

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What are Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones?

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones drifting on sand dirt track

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Drift Zones are challenges found all over the roads in Forza Horizon 5’s Mexico that test players’ drifting abilities. For each Drift Zone, you need to drive along and stay within a particular stretch of road and drift as much as possible to score points. 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 regular control. When you exit the Drift Zone, you’ll be awarded your final score.

It is possible to fail Drift Zones, however, which will result in your current score being wiped, meaning you’ll have to start 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. 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)

Drift Zones are part of the Horizon Rush PR Stunt series in the Horizon Adventure campaign. There are 20 of them in Forza Horizon 5, and you can filter them on the map if you want to make finding them easier or to focus on getting them all done. 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.

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)

If you want to unlock Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones, 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.

Once Horizon Rush activities becomes available, you need unlock the Full Moon party Canyon Expedition with a Horizon Adventure chapter unlock. After you’ve done that, head to the Canyon Expedition mission location and complete the mission which involves you driving a ridiculously massive parade float. With the Expedition completed, the Horizon Rush Outpost will be established and Jaimin will show you loads of new PR Stunt activities such as Speed Traps, Speed Zones, and Drift Zones on the map, ready for you to try out.

Tips for completing Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones

Forza Horizon 5 Drift Zones drifting on road

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Because of the way Forza Horizon 5’s Horizon Adventure campaign works with Accolade Points, you don’t need to do Drift Zones, but if you enjoy drifting, or you’re looking to improve your skills, or want a fun challenge, you should definitely give the Drift Zones a go. The first thing to know is that Drift Zones can be completed in either direction – you can begin the Drift Zone challenge at either end and 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 setting try to keep your car stable which you don’t really want when drifting. Your car is also an important consideration. You’re going to want something that’s quite fast, agile, and suited to rough terrain. We through the Hoonigan Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC was 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.

 

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 to 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.

Will Sawyer

After realising I hated writing local news when I started my journalism degree, I decided to make it my mission to combine my gaming interests with work and become a games journalist. Even with my final year of uni cut short by a small virus you may have heard of, I managed to graduate from Kingston University London and have been doing freelance guides writing since the start of 2021. I was previously at Game Rant, but now I'm over here at GamesRadar+, no doubt still spending far too much time doing Warlock space magic stuff in Destiny 2, and trying to claw my way to Apex Predator in Apex Legends.