Beginner's Guide to Need for Speed Unbound

Need for speed unbound beginners guide

Welcome to Need for Speed Unbound, the latest installment in the iconic racing game series. This beginner’s guide aims to help new players get started on their high-speed journey by covering the basics of the game, controls, and essential tips. Buckle up and let’s dive in!

Need for Speed Unbound offers an expansive open-world racing experience, with a diverse range of cars and customization options, thrilling races, and a gripping storyline. Players can take part in various race types, engage in daring police chases, and compete with friends in Lakeshore Online. The game also features a dynamic day-night cycle and weather system, adding an extra layer of realism and challenge to the races.


Here are the basic controls for Need for Speed Unbound:

  • Accelerate: Right Trigger (RT) / R2
  • Brake/Reverse: Left Trigger (LT) / L2
  • Steer: Left Stick
  • Handbrake: A / X
  • Nitrous: B / Circle
  • Look Behind: Right Stick Click (R3) / R3
  • Change Camera: D-Pad Up
  • Open Map: D-Pad Left
  • Open Garage: D-Pad Right
  • Pause Menu: Start / Options

These controls may vary slightly depending on your platform (Xbox, PlayStation, or PC). Be sure to check the in-game settings for specific control configurations.

Essential Tips for Getting Started

1. Choose the Right Car

best car for beginners in nfs unbound

Need for Speed Unbound features a wide range of cars, each with its own unique performance attributes. When starting out, it’s essential to choose a well-rounded car that suits your driving style. As you progress through the game, you can unlock and purchase new vehicles to expand your garage.

  • Determine Your Playstyle: Before selecting a car, consider your preferred playstyle. Are you more interested in racing on circuits, sprint races, or drifting events? Identifying your playstyle will help you choose a car with the appropriate performance characteristics.
  • Assess Car Performance Attributes: Each car in Need for Speed Unbound has different performance attributes, such as top speed, acceleration, handling, and braking. As a beginner, look for a well-rounded car that offers a balance of these attributes to help you adapt to various racing situations.
  • Consider Car Class: Cars in Need for Speed Unbound are grouped into different classes based on their overall performance. As a beginner, you may want to start with a lower-class car to familiarize yourself with the game’s mechanics before progressing to more advanced vehicles.
  • Test Drive Multiple Cars: Take advantage of the game’s test drive feature to try out different cars and see which one suits your playstyle and preferences. Pay attention to how each car handles, accelerates, and brakes to make an informed decision.
  • Factor in Car Customization: Some cars in Need for Speed Unbound offer more customization options than others. If you’re interested in customizing your car’s appearance or performance, choose a vehicle that supports a wide range of modifications and upgrades.
  • Research Online Recommendations: Browse online forums, guides, and reviews to see what other players recommend for beginner-friendly cars in Need for Speed Unbound. This can help you narrow down your options and find a car that suits your needs.
  • Budget for Upgrades and Repairs: Keep in mind that purchasing a car is just the beginning – you’ll also need to budget for performance upgrades, repairs, and customization. As a beginner, choose a car that is affordable and leaves room in your budget for these additional expenses.

2. Master the Racing Mechanics

The key to success in Need for Speed Unbound is mastering the racing mechanics, such as drifting, drafting, and using nitrous. Experiment with different techniques and find the best approach for each race type. Don’t be afraid to practice and hone your skills in the game’s open world. Once you have a handle of the basics of the racing mechanics, you can check out the advanced racing techniques here.

  • Familiarize yourself with the game controls: Learn the basic controls for acceleration, braking, steering, and using nitrous to ensure smooth gameplay.
  • Master basic racing techniques: Practice techniques such as cornering, braking, and maintaining a racing line to improve your overall performance.
  • Experiment with different camera views: Try out various camera angles to find the view that works best for you and enhances your racing experience.
  • Utilize nitrous strategically: Use nitrous boosts during key moments, such as exiting tight corners or overtaking opponents, to maximize its effectiveness.
  • Learn to drift: Practice drifting around corners to maintain speed and control, allowing you to navigate turns more efficiently.
  • Understand car classes: Get to know the different car classes and their respective performance attributes to make informed decisions when choosing a car.
  • Upgrade your car: Invest in performance upgrades to improve your car’s speed, handling, and durability, giving you a competitive edge in races.
  • Pay attention to race objectives: Complete race objectives and challenges to earn rewards and progress through the game.
  • Manage your in-game currency: Be mindful of your in-game currency, as it’s needed for purchasing cars, upgrades, and customization options.
  • Explore the game world: Familiarize yourself with the game’s map, locations, and shortcuts to improve your navigation during races and police chases.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Spend time honing your driving skills and learning the game’s mechanics to become a more skilled racer.

3. Customize and Upgrade Your Car


Customization plays a significant role in Need for Speed Unbound. As you earn in-game currency, invest in performance upgrades and visual modifications to make your car stand out and perform better in races. Keep an eye out for special parts that can significantly boost your car’s performance. You can check out our in-depth guide for car customization and upgrades.

  • Understand the upgrade categories: Familiarize yourself with the different upgrade categories, such as engine, suspension, brakes, tires, and nitrous, to make informed decisions when upgrading your car.
  • Prioritize performance upgrades: Focus on performance upgrades first, as they directly impact your car’s speed, handling, and overall performance in races.
  • Balance your upgrades: Ensure that your car has a balanced set of upgrades to avoid compromising its handling or stability during races.
  • Experiment with different upgrade combinations: Try out various upgrade combinations to find the optimal setup for your car and playstyle.
  • Upgrade progressively: Start with lower-tier upgrades and gradually work your way up to higher-tier upgrades as you earn more in-game currency and progress through the game.
  • Customize your car’s appearance: Personalize your car’s look with paint jobs, decals, body kits, rims, and other cosmetic options to make it uniquely yours.
  • Utilize visual customization strategically: Some visual customization options, such as spoilers and body kits, can also improve your car’s aerodynamics and performance.
  • Manage your in-game currency: Be mindful of your in-game currency when purchasing upgrades and customization options, as it’s essential to maintain a balance between improving your car and saving for future purchases.
  • Check for compatibility: Ensure that the upgrades and customization options you choose are compatible with your car’s make and model.
  • Experiment with tuning: Fine-tune your car’s performance by adjusting settings such as gear ratios, suspension stiffness, and tire pressure to optimize its performance for different race types and conditions.

4. Learn the Map

Familiarize yourself with the game’s open-world map to find shortcuts, hidden collectibles, and other points of interest. Knowing the layout of the streets and terrain will give you an advantage in races and police chases.

  • Explore the open world: Spend time driving around the game’s open-world environment to familiarize yourself with the various locations, roads, and landmarks.
  • Participate in different race events: Engage in various race events and challenges to experience different sections of the map and discover shortcuts and alternate routes.
  • Use the in-game map: Regularly consult the in-game map to better understand the layout of the game world and plan your routes during races and police chases.
  • Pay attention to the mini-map: Keep an eye on the mini-map during races to anticipate upcoming turns, roadblocks, and shortcuts.
  • Learn key landmarks: Identify and memorize key landmarks, such as gas stations, construction sites, and cooldown spots, to help navigate the map more efficiently.
  • Practice police chases: Engage in police chases to explore the map under pressure and discover effective escape routes and hiding spots.
  • Watch online gameplay: View gameplay videos and live streams from other players to gain insights into the map’s layout and hidden secrets.
  • Join online multiplayer races: Participate in online multiplayer races to learn from other players and discover new routes and strategies.
  • Take note of race routes: Pay attention to the routes used in different race events, as they often highlight important roads and shortcuts on the map.
  • Revisit challenging areas: Revisit areas of the map that you find challenging to improve your navigation skills and become more comfortable with the game’s environment.

5. Balance Risk and Reward

need for speed unbound beginners guide

Need for Speed Unbound rewards players for taking risks, such as narrowly avoiding traffic or performing daring stunts. However, it’s essential to balance risk with reward, as crashing or getting busted by the police can set you back significantly.

6. Participate in Lakeshore Online

Lakeshore Online is the game’s multiplayer mode, where you can compete with friends and other players from around the world. Participating in online races and events can earn you valuable rewards and help you improve your skills. We have a detailed guide on getting started with the multiplayer game mode in Need for Speed Unbound.

This beginner’s guide to Need for Speed Unbound should provide you with the essential information needed to kickstart your high-speed adventure. Remember to practice, experiment with different cars and upgrades, and most importantly, have fun! Good luck, and may the best racer win!

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