Yesterday, we covered beginner's tips for Microsoft's Forza Horizon 2, discussing how to take advantage of shortcuts and get around each city to discover events. Today, we get into the nitty gritty, explaining how you can get the most cash from each of your races, as well as take advantage challenging Rivals and mastering Skill Chains.

Mo' Money, Mo' Money, Mo' Money

When you first get started in Forza Horizon 2, basic assists are turned on to give you a feel of how the game handles. However, it's optional, and turning off assists and cranking the difficulty can give you more bonuses in the long run.

First, let's start with difficulty. Easy difficulty won't earn you any bonus cash, but the higher you go, the more the percentage goes up. Anywhere from Medium (five percent) to Hard (15 percent) to Insane (25 percent) will net you extra cash that you can use on upgrades and new car purchases. However, you should be prepared when you boost the difficulty, as these drivers become more aggressive with each new push. Try to start with medium and ease your way up. Jumping right into Insane will push you to the limit – or last place.

Other items you can turn off include Assisted Braking and Steering, Traction Control, Shifting (from Automatic to Manual), in-game driving lines (which show your next route) and Rewind entirely (for a 20 percent boost, but you can't fix mistakes). With each change you make, you'll need to slowly adjust to how everything handles. However, with each new step you take, you'll earn a significant cash bonus – and that can pay off when trying to earn your dream ride.

Don't shut off everything at once, though. Slowly work your way in that direction, starting with turning off the driving line and going to medium. Then go from there, and you'll eventually become champion.

Challenging Rivals

One cool aspect to Forza Horizon 2 is that you can challenge drivers online and off, since the game utilizes the same Drivatar system that Forza Motorsport 5 did last year. This behavioral system recreates the driving style of your friends, even if they don't happen to be on Xbox Live at the time.

You can challenge any of these rivals at any time – whether they're in control or not – simply by driving close to them and hitting the X button. Once you do, you'll challenge them on a nearby circuit, with the opportunity to earn a cash bonus if you achieve a first place victory.

That said, there’s a catch. Before you challenge a Drivatar (or a live racer), you'll want to see what difficulty setting they're on. Most of the time, you'll find them on a Medium setting, which will net you a generous cash bonus, but not nearly as high as those who choose a Hard difficulty setting. As you might guess, you'll have your hands full with the Hard drivers, as they're far more aggressive when it comes to getting a first place win.

Keep an eye out for different competition, and be sure to challenge everyone. Even if you don't always get first place, you'll learn a thing or two and be able to challenge them again somewhere down the road.

Upgrades and Skill Chains

Upgrades play a big role in making your car perform better on the road. You can upgrade parts by visiting a garage and getting something for your virtual dollar. While more of the premium parts will set you back a pretty penny, you'll notice a difference in handling, acceleration or any given area, depending on which one you buy. Don't be afraid to invest, even if your current ride isn't as stellar as some of the other sports cars roaming around the countryside.

On top of that, keep an eye open for perks. As you level up and earn more cash, you'll have the opportunity to earn bonus perks that can net you additional money, including a speed increase or better compatibility with online groups. While not as beneficial as turning off assists and cranking up the difficulty, they provide a nice net increase to your overall earnings, and get you that much closer to your dream ride.

Finally, you'll want to master the art of Skill Chains. String these together as you perform during a race, netting you more XP and leveling up quicker. These include performing near misses with passing cars, speeding past others without resorting to cheap tactics (like knocking a car off the road) or jumping in the air.

If you get into any sort of collision, whether it's with a rival vehicle or something on the side of the road, you'll lose the bonus and start over again. It's important to chain as high as you can, as you'll earn more points – and a few credits – and eventually make yourself a better driver. Just don't hit anything!

Take care with your driving, and don't forget to consult our beginner's tips.

Forza Horizon 2 is available now for Xbox One and Xbox 360.