If you're burning rubber and racing out on the streets of Palm City, then having a handy set of Need For Speed Heat tips in your glove box can help you take first place in races and keep your nose clean with the police. There's been plenty of changes made in Need For Speed Heat, and there's more than a hint of Burnout Paradise to proceedings, so be prepared to explore the city with crazy jumps and smash up plenty of billboards in addition to the usual racing – be it sanctioned circuits by Day or illegal street races at Night. You're going to need to earn your reputation by proving your driving credentials and staying one step ahead of the cops, so follow these Need For Speed Heat tips and show us what you've got.
1. Practice your drifting
If you're used to tapping the brakes to throw your car into a slide, you may need to spend some time practicing how to drift in Need For Speed Heat, as the method is slightly different. Steer into a turn followed by a tap then hold of the accelerator and you'll start drifting, which is a great way to corner while still maintaining speed. It looks cool, though remember that if you can steer through the corner at full tilt without drifting then that will maintain more speed. For tighter turns, especially in some of the drifting races and challenges, a tap of the handbrake will be necessary to get enough slide to turn through narrow spaces.
2. Don't worry about hitting obstacles
A lot of racing games will punish you for clipping or full-blown crashing into obstacles, but helpfully in Palm City the lamp posts, telegraph poles, and palm trees all snap like twigs if you hit them. This will cause no damage to your vehicle and only marginally reduce your speed, so as long as you're passing through the checkpoints don't stress about cutting corners during races. Only more solid objects such as sign gantries and bridge supports will stop you in your tracks, and they will reduce your car's health so be wary of them.
3. Unlock fast travel points
The world of Palm City is pretty large, and although there are some fast travel points available early in the game such as your garage and the dealership, there are plenty of other safe houses marked on the map that are tagged with a padlock until you visit them. Take some time to drive around the city to unlock these safe houses, as you'll save a lot more time in the long run by being able to fast travel across Palm City to reach other races and stories.
4. Don't ignore the collectibles
As you explore the city you'll automatically add markers to your map for billboards, street art, and flamingos as you pass near them, but these shouldn't only be of interest to completionists. Street art just gives you new decals for your cars when you collect them, but every billboard and flamingo you smash rewards you with Bank and Rep, meaning it's definitely worth your time hitting any you discover even if you don't plan to complete the sets. Under Progression in the pause menu you can track your Collections to see how you're getting on, as well as seeing clues for where billboards and street art is located.
5. Pick your Racer Challenges
As well Daily Challenges to work on for Bank and Rep rewards, you can also have an active set of Racer Challenges to complete. Unusually, you have to choose between Day or Night Racer Challenges as you can only have one set active at a time, and you can only select or switch them at your garage. Converse to regular progress, Day Racer Challenges earn you Rep while Night Racer Challenges provide Bank, with an extra bonus amount for beating all three challenges. Remember to switch them before you change the time of day to keep the rewards flowing, and at any point you can press left on the d-pad to bring up your current challenges, including Racer Challenges and Daily Challenges.
6. Earn extra Rep by completing Activities at Night
Each time you complete an activity to at least one star rating, such as Speed Traps, Long Jumps, and Drift Zones, you'll receive a bonus of Bank or Rep depending on the time of day you're in. You can use this at Night to earn extra Rep quickly by hitting Speed Traps and Long Jumps as you pass them, so make sure you take full advantage. There's a particularly useful location for this inside the race track just south of your garage, where you can continually loop back and forth between the Speed Trap and Long Jump to accrue Rep without being hassled by cops. Once you've racked up the Rep, you can just hop to your garage to bank it or track down some police to increase your Heat further and boost the multiplier for an even greater reward.
7. Plan your escape route
While taking part in events at Night, take a moment to check your map first for a rough idea of where the nearby garages and safe houses are, as once you're in the heat of a cop chase you don't really have time to start browsing the map. Look out for the markers in the sky above safe houses to help you navigate towards them, though remember that due to road layouts you might not be able to drive directly to them.
8. Know when to call it quits
Earning Heat by confronting the police while driving at Night increases your multiplier for all Rep earned during that Night, as long as you bank it by reaching a safe house. The higher your Heat, the tougher the police response will be, so you need to weigh up how long you stay out for against getting busted and losing all your multiplier as well as some Bank. You can visit gas stations to repair your vehicle if you're getting bashed up by the cops, but you can only do this three times per Night session before they get shut down. Lose the cops then reach a safe house to collect your Rep – you don't have to unlock the safe house before you can use it to end a Night run.
9. Escape from the cops
When the heat is on, you'll need to put distance between yourself and the cops to break their line of sight and start your escape. The police are fast and aggressive, so you'll struggle to evade them on a straight run, and instead you should make lots of turns and double-backs to try and throw them off you. Once you reach the 'Escaping' phase, keep an eye on your minimap for cops and their cones of vision, then either get away from the area or hide out of sight until the chase ends. A great way of losing police that are on your tail is to hit one of the many jump ramps around the city, as these will usually shortcut you to another section of road and the cops won't take the leap, immediately putting distance between you and your pursuers.
10. Invest in Auxiliary Upgrades ASAP
As you level up your reputation, you'll unlock access to new parts that can be applied in your garage to improve your car. As well as the usual engine, chassis, and drivetrain modifications, your vehicle has both active and passive Auxiliary Upgrade slots. Keep an eye on these and invest in upgrades as soon as you can, as they offer all sorts of benefits to combat the cops' abilities, refill your nitrous, or partially repair your car, which can be invaluable when the police have rammed your car down to critical damage.
Looking for more help with the game? Then check out the Need For Speed Heat best car to add to your garage.