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Need for Speed Unbound: 5 Best Tips for Beginners



Need for Speed Unbound is the next leg of EA's globally recognized racing saga, in which players are tasked with taking on Lakeshore City, a place where adrenaline-fueled events dominate the dusk, and the police strive to eliminate the circuit, piece by piece.

Unfortunately, Unbound isn't the most beginner-friendly racing game in the world. Actually, it's a far cry from a lot of older racing games, a lot of which gave players an immediate advantage from the get-go. Instead, Unbound prefers to challenge its contenders, to the point of making you want to crash out and burn before departing from the prologue. Keep this tips in mind, though, and you'll find that Lakeshore City, with a little patience, really isn't all that bad to deal with.

5. Be Prepared to Lose

It may sound strange, but the fact is, losing a race is all part of the experience in Need for Speed Unbound. Unlike other beginner-friendly racing games that give you a subtle advantage towards the end of an event, Unbound is far more relentless, and doesn't really take your skill level into account. And so, it goes without saying that losing, as much as it sucks to deal with, really is part of the journey.

Until you earn more money and purchase all those flashy upgrades for your ride, you aren't a threat. And that's okay, as Unbound wants you to be on more of a gradual incline, rather than putting you straight at the top for the entire game and making it almost too predictable and easy to beat. Prologue aside, you can expect to rank second or third (or even lower) for the first dozen or so races. Don't take it to heart, though, as this is the game's way of introducing you to the core mechanics and allowing for you to slowly ascend the ranks.

4. Farm Nighttime Events

Events in Need for Speed Unbound are separated into two times: night, and day. During the day, you'll have mostly the same opportunities as the ones at night, only the payouts are often much lower. At night, you can compete in similar events, but for more loot, hence the reason for the risk factor doubling after dusk. Even still, you should always aim to farm every event during night before heading back to your safehouse.

Of course, racing at night can lead to some pretty drastic consequences. Like, losing your accumulated cash, for example. That said, there is a certain time limit to keep in mind as the weeks course by and the story progresses. So, be sure to make the most of the nights and complete every event on the map, even if it does boost your notoriety as a result. The thing to remember is this: the higher the risk — the more money you'll make. And if there's one thing you're going to need to make a dent on the circuit in Unbound — it's money.

3. Play Cat and Mouse With the Police

Playing hooky with the police is another great way to make some cash on the side of competing in races. Like before, the idea is simple: have a few squad cars tail you either during or after an event, and avoid capture. If you can break the line of sight, then you'll automatically score $250 as a reward. The best part is, you can actually do this is much as you like, so there's always a handy cash cow at bay should you need any spare change between events.

You can build your notoriety by competing in high risk events that take place during the night. The more high risk events you take part in, the more squad cars you will get on your tail. The goal here, then, is to accumulate as much cash as possible and give the cops something to fight for. If you can avoid arrest and make it back to your safehouse in one piece, then you'll have a seriously high multiplier burning in your back pocket.

2. Explore Lakeshore City

As tempting as it may be to head straight out and hit up the events, it is advised that you try and explore Lakeshore City as much as possible. Seeing as this is an open world game at heart, there are plenty of opportunities for you to earn some extra cash for your bank just by venturing out and seeing what's going on.

As you'll come to learn shortly after beating the prologue, Lakeshore City has an abundance of billboards to smash, speed checkpoints to crush, and collectibles to unearth. Taking part in any of these events will surely get you some extra cash and XP. And so, before you head out to your next gig, be sure to scout out the local area and see if there's anything you can do before raising your heat.

1. Place Smart Bets

During the night, you'll have the chance to place bets against your rivals out on the circuit. Doing this will give you a little extra income on the side, so long as you actually beat the opponent you're betting against. In this case, you will want to bet against the lowest-ranked players, at least until you've tuned your car well enough to take on the better racers with higher odds.

A general rule of thumb would be to bet on the worst racers for the first 10 or so events. By this point, you should have received enough winnings to tune your car well enough to place higher bets. Whatever you do, though, try not to take on the top dogs of the circuit, unless, of course, you don't mind losing a lot of money along the way. There are plenty of rivals out there to bet against, but nowhere near as much money to make the necessary upgrades to conquer Lakeshore City — so make every bet count.


So, what's your take? Do you have any tips for newcomers to the Need for Speed Unbound circuit? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.