Gears are essential machine elements in the drivetrain and transmission technology. The operational behaviour of a gear pairing is influenced by the design of the gear kinematics as well as the component properties. With regard to an improvement of performance and service life, the targeted modification of tooth geometry and component properties offers a promising approach. Thus, the achievable geometric and mechanical component properties are influenced by the manufacturing process, which must be taken into account in the design process. The application of virtual evaluation methods is suitable for this purpose. For the manufacturing of steel gears, cold forging provides the potential of achieving beneficial mechanical properties in a highly productive process. Major challenges for the industrial application are the short service life of the cost- intensive tools and the low geometric accuracy in comparison to machining processes. Within this study the design of the tooth geometry as well as the associated forming tool are investigated. The aim is to derive recommendations regarding an optimization of the resulting component properties and operational behaviour.