Drivatar™ technology is at the heart of all the computer opponents in Forza Motorsport, and is the basis for the novel "Train Drivatar" feature in the game.
Q: Does anybody actually read the feedback we give - I did not get a reply.
A: We read each and every mail we receive via our feedback link and we also read several major forums/discussions. We do our best to incorporate answers to your Drivatar questions on this site and general questions on the community website.
Q: Is there any way to control my Drivatar's Pitting Strategy?
A: Sorry, no there is not. Your Drivatar uses the same basic strategy that the rest of the AI opponents do.
Q: My Drivatar's lap times are unpredictable - what's going on?
A: What is going on is that you driving style is hard to predict. Your consistency is mirrored by your Drivatar. That does not mean it will reproduce exactly the lap times you produced because it is not a simplistic replay system. If during training you drive consistent lap times at a given track then your Drivatar will exhibit a similar level of consistency. If your times show reasonable variance then so will those of your Drivatar.
Q: Do the AI difficulty settings affect how my Drivatar drives?
A: No, your Drivatar will continue to drive like you trained it regardless of difficulty setting. Only the opponents are affected by AI difficulty.
Q: If I train the Drivatar with driving aids switched off do I get a Difficulty Bonus when entering a race using the Drivatar?
A: Drivatars always drive with STM and ABS turned on and so the bonus is not affected by your training choices.
Q: Is there any way I can train my Drivatar to overtake a little better?
A: Not directly. However, what you can do is to teach your Drivatar a variety of entries and exits from corners. In particular, watch the lines of the opponent AI and try and exploit weaknesses by teaching your Drivatar alternate lines to theirs. This may lower your overall Drivatar rating but it may well give better race performance and ultimately this is what you want.
Q: Can I use my Drivatar in online races? Can I swap / trade Drivatars online?
A: Unfortunately not. Drivatars are offline buddies only, they are too shy for a public arena.
Q: Do Drivatars "evolve" or get smarter as they race?
A: No. It is entirely up to you to train them to be smarter. Use Free Training to continue to improve your Drivatar once all the Drivatar lessons are complete.
Q: Is the Drivatar Fee I have to pay in career races related to the Drivatar's overall rating / score?
A: No, it is a percentage based fee and nothing to do with the Drivatar rating.
Q: Why is the Drivatar fee so high?
A: Everyone has to make a living man - do not be so greedy!
Q: My Drivatar seems to spend a lot of time cutting corners or edging into the dirt when I did not train it like that?
A: One possibility is related to the question below about driving on the edge of traction. Another is that some corners (for example the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca) really work much better if you have specifically trained your Drivatar how to drive that particular corner - some corners are really quite unique and whilst your Drivatar will try and approximate how you might drive them it will not necessarily always do a great job. A little bit of Free Training on specific "problem corners" can do wonders for your Drivatars abilities.
Q: I’m a top driver – none better – and yet I can only achieve scores in the 80’s when training my Drivatar?
A: Do not get too hung up on the scores. They are a useful indicator but they are not definitive, and the scores do not directly affect your Drivatar's performance. And after all, if you watch Valentino Rossi in MotoGP you will see him take some very unconventional lines at times but who would argue with him about talent?
Q: How many laps do I need to complete in "Free Training" for my Drivatar to be updated?
A: You need to complete about 1.1 laps (typically, one full lap plus a couple of corners) of "good" driving. If you drive badly off the track during that time, that particular section of driving may not be counted towards the requirement.
Q: Sometimes the suggested line is red for a short length when I don’t need to brake?
A: Not to worry, you will learn that there are a few shortcomings in the intelligence of the "suggested line" but on the whole it is pretty accurate. In particular, the suggested line is deliberately not the "best" line, since it intended to be relatively easy for non-expert drivers to follow. Because of that, the speeds associated with it may be slower than those attainable for the "faster" line that you may be driving. Learn the few spots where the suggested line is overly-conservative and live with it.
Q: Are Drivatars car specific?
A: No, you can train your Drivatar in a Ford Focus and it will be able to generalise your driving characteristics to a Porsche 911 GT3. Drivatars infer your ability relative to the capabilities of the specific car you trained in. That’s not to say it will not benefit from car-specific training every now and again – particularly if you are currently focussed on a specific car in your career at that time. And its also true that if you would expect to modify your line around corners to take account of significantly different power and/or braking characteristics of a new car, further training specific to that car would clearly be beneficial.
Q: I use the handbrake (or “e-brake” for our American cousins) a lot but my Drivatar never does. Why not?
A: We decided not to bother with the handbrake in our model because this is a simulation based game and not an arcade-style slide-happy racer. There are very few occasions in Forza where using the handbrake is advisable.
Q: Does my Drivatar have a limited memory?
A: Your Drivatar has a tendency to remember its most recent training. As you continue training, it’ll gradually “forget” the old training. This makes the gameplay more fun and allows the Drivatar to progress in step with your own skills.
Q: I always drive on the very edge of traction and my Drivatar seems to crash rather too frequently when I don’t!
A: Driving slightly more conservatively will be to your benefit here. The closer you are to the limits of traction and the edge of the track, the more likely it is that your Drivatar will fail to replicate your “bleeding edge” driving and slide out. This can also be more pronounced when training at the edge of traction in a relatively “grippy” car and then asking your Drivatar to drive a more difficult to handle vehicle such as the Corvette Stingray. Remember, Drivatars do not just blindly record your exact line and speed. They infer a more general underlying probabilistic model which is representative of all your training, and as such, will not reproduce your exact driving to the millimetre. That would be unrealistic after all.
Q: When I select "Load Drivatar" from the career race start menu I see no Drivatars and yet I know there are several there!
A: You can only use Drivatars which are Locally Trained and Mature in career races.
Q: What do you mean when you refer to a "Locally Trained Drivatar"?
A: We mean that the Drivatar must have been created on your Xbox AND under your Forza player profile
Q: What is a "Mature" Drivatar and how is it different from any other?
A: A Mature Drivatar is one which has completed all five Drivatar lessons successfully.
Q: Why be so restrictive about which Drivatars can enter career races?
A: In short, because there are so many cheats out there! If we had left it open then somebody somewhere would create a stunningly good Drivatar and then share it via the usual cheat mechanisms and everybody would be able to unlock the entire game without racing themselves.
Q: I tried the Forza demo and the AI was pretty poor, I hope the game is better!!
A: The demo you tried is almost a year old. Back then we only had the basic solo driving skills sorted out and there was very little else present - behaviours like crash recovery, variability, collision avoidance etc were all rather rudimentary. We very much hope you will have no difficulty at all spotting the improvements!
Q: Does the AI race against itself? Or is it purely there to race with the player?
A: The AI is as keen to beat its AI opponents as race you. You should not perceive any differences in attitude towards yourself than you see against other AI opponents.
Q: Can the AI cheat by "seeing" crashes further around the track?
A: The AI looks ahead of itself in very much the same way as a human driver would and it has no real advantage over yourself. Sometimes it will spot an "incident" early and avoid it, sometimes not. What it will not do is cheat and look half a lap ahead and adjust its behaviour accordingly!!