While the most topical discussions about the Forza franchise at large usually have something to do with the latest game’s many fumbles and stumbles, now’s the time to take a look at something different. Did you know that the Forza community maintains a humongous list of real-world car paint specifications?

Indeed, there’s a small, but extremely dedicated community of Forza players that’s spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours meticulously recreating real-world car paint swatches for virtual use. It’s widely accepted that Gran Turismo generally offers a more pleasing and accurate car paint shader, and the fact of the matter is that some of the default manufacturer paints simply don’t match up to their real-world inspiration. These issues have been around since Forza Horizon 4, at least, which is when this community of car paint enthusiasts kicked off their long-lasting project.

Screenshot by Destructoid

The massive car manufacturer color spreadsheet for Forza games

Setting aside the incredibly impressive car paint recreation of Gran Turismo 7, it’s a given that many – if not most – players simply won’t care enough about the difference between Ferrari Red and generic red glossy paint. Yet, the issue of correctly replicating the complexity of car paint is a problem for high-tier racing games, and the Forza community decided enough was enough by the time Forza Horizon 4 came out. The problem, at the time, was twofold:

  • Video games struggle to accurately replicate real-world car paint
  • Forza games, in particular, don’t always do the finest job of recreating certain paint swatches

Obviously, there was nothing that players themselves could do about the first part of the problem. As for the second, though… that’s where the incredibly impressive Forza Colour Sheet document comes into the picture.

Featuring a grand total of 10,902 unique real-world paint swatches (as of February 12, 2024) taken from manufacturer libraries, third-party vehicle modders, and various other companies, this document is a testament to one dedicated community’s plight against car paint inaccuracy.

If, for example, you decided that you wanted an almost pixel-perfect British Racing Green Aston Martin in Forza Motorsport, and felt that the developers’ official rendition of it was ever-so-slightly off, simply look it up in the document and follow the recreation directions. Every little important bit of information is listed here, from the type of color you should apply (normal, glossy, flake, etc.) to the exact slider values you should input. It’s all in there, kept safe and sound and, perhaps most importantly, still being worked on.

That’s right: even though the community that kicked the project off began their work years ago, when Forza Horizon 4 was mucking about, GTPlanet members such as MadaraxUchiha are still actively updating the sheet for future reference. And don’t forget, since all the modern Forza games share the underlying paint application system, the swatch customization is essentially unified from the ground up.

Obviously, there are still downsides to the system. For example, no matter how much you tweak your car paint values, it’s entirely possible that Forza games’ respective car paint shaders simply cannot display all the nuance of a given swatch. This, sadly, is unlikely to be on the developer Turn 10’s docket of things to fix about Forza Motorsport, but at least you now know where to look if you want to get your Forza car paints as accurate as humanly possible.

Filip Galekovic

A lifetime gamer and writer, Filip has successfully made a career out of combining the two just in time for the bot-driven AI revolution to come into its own.

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