We covered how Forza Horizon 4‘s new shared online world will work, both online and off, in our coverage of the game at E3 2018, but new details have emerged that pinpoint just how many cars will be on the road at once.
Forza Horizon 4 is swapping out its predecessors’ “drivatars” with up to 72 actual, real players per server in the game’s free roam mode.
However, all 72 players won’t technically be playing in the same world at the same time. Instead, there will be multiple 12-player “universes” all being hosted by the same 72-player server, according to IGN. The players in each “universe” will change depending on player proximity and the viewable area in the world. Transitioning between these universes will be seamless.
The reasons for hosting players this way seem to be twofold. First off, hosting 72 players increases the chances of drivers encountering each other across the game’s seemingly expansive version of Great Britain. But seventy-two players is a lot to host all at once, so splitting them up into separate worlds and bringing them together only when necessary is a great way to ensure that the fast-paced world of Forza Horizon 4 never stops.
As we previously mentioned, 72 players per server won’t mean 72 griefers per server. Playground is introducing a clever auto-ghosting system that will make it impossible for other players to collide with each other unless they’re already in a co-op session. Still, if that’s not enough to convince you to take part in an online shared world (or if you just don’t have the best internet connection), Forza Horizon 4 is still playable offline, in which case drivatars will replace real-world players in the game’s free roam mode. And no matter if you’re playing offline or on, races will still take place against drivatars unless you’re in a co-op mode.
Forza Horizon 4 launches for Xbox One and PC on October 2nd.