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With the brand new Lakeshore City ready for you to race around, and a brand new risk vs reward racing system, there are a lot of layers to Need for Speed Unbound. With the game finally being available for the world to play after three days in early access, you may want a few helpful hints to get you off the ground and into first place in every race.

We’ve already covered how to make money fast in NFS Unbound, but we’ll give you tips that will help you master the road and have you driving like a pro in no time.

Need for Speed Unbound tips: Start your engines

NFS Unbound features a helpful bar that'll give you a quick start.

NFS Unbound features a helpful bar that'll give you a quick start.

Whether it’s the opening lap of a NASCAR race or the first few turns in Formula 1, the start of a race is almost always the most exciting bit, and that’s no different on the city streets. Getting off the line quickly will give you a massive advantage as the race goes on, but there’s a technique to it. Above your speedometer, you’ll see a small bar that shows you how many revs you should be applying before you start going. Too much and you won’t pull away smoothly, too little and the rest of the field will quickly leave you behind. The sweet spot is different on each car, so pay attention.

Need for Speed Unbound tips: All hail the drift king

Need For Speed drifting on top of a building

Drifting in one of the core driving mechanics in NFS Unbound.

Drifting is one of the most important techniques in NFS Unbound. Maintaining speed around tight corners will give you opportunities for easy overtakes and keep those behind you from creeping up. On top of that, you’ll get large segments of nitro if you truly nail a drift, so be sure to attend drifting events and practice your sideways movement.

Need for Speed Unbound tips: Draft and flow

Need For Speed Unbound car drifting with a man shouting into a mega phone

Staying close behind an opponent will give you a good window to overtake in NFS Unbound

If you’ve played many racing games before, then you should be familiar with drafting. If you stay close behind in an opponent’s wake, then you’ll get a decent burst of speed that skilled drivers can use for overtaking. In Need for Speed, it’s even more important, because staying close behind an opponent will earn you nitro, which you can use to boost your overtaking power.

Need for Speed Unbound tips: Defensive nitro

Nitro should be preserved for when you really need it in NFS Unbound.

Nitro should be preserved for when you really need it in NFS Unbound.

Nitro is great for getting a satisfying boost of speed to blast past an opponent, but you should waste it all early on. On the last lap of a race, you’ll find yourself under heavy attack from those behind you as they make a desperate push for the lead. If you don’t have any nitro to keep them at bay, you might find yourself getting pipped at the post and being forced to settle for a frustrating second-place finish.

Need for Speed Unbound tips: Poking the bear

Need For Speed Unbound Sparks Auto Home at night

NFS Unbound's open world is full of safe places for you to unlock.

Baiting the police and farming police chases is a great way to earn money during the day, but those who live by the sword, die by the sword, so don’t push your luck too far. At night your heat levels can get extreme and the police will become extremely aggressive. If you’re holding any more than $5k - $8k, it’s time to make a break for it and bank your hard-earned cash. That said, you should never turn down a ride when someone asks, as it’ll unlock more shelters where you can bank your winnings.

Need for Speed Unbound tips: Explore

Need for Speed Unbound metro going over a river in a highrise area

Lakeshore City in NFS Unbound has all sorts of secrets to uncover.

While the races and events are the main focus in NFS Unbound, it’s still an open world game, and you’ll be missing out on a lot if you don’t take some time to see what’s what. It may not be as packed as something like Forza, but you’ll find a fair share of collectibles that’ll earn you a bit of extra cash – what’s more fun than driving through a billboard or smashing into a bear mascot?