Need for Speed Wiki
Need for Speed Wiki

For the Hot Pursuit game mode, see - Hot Pursuit.
For the 2020 remaster, see - Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
For other games in the Hot Pursuit subseries, see - Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) is an arcade racing game developed by Criterion Games, Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, and Alive Interactive Media. It is the 16th title in the Need for Speed series and the first since Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 in 2002 to feature a police career mode.

It is the first game in the series to be developed by Criterion Games. Criterion's involvement with the series was first mentioned in a 2009 conference by William Blair[1], at which time the developer was days away from releasing the final downloadable content pack for their previous game - Burnout Paradise.

The game's release was revealed to be in 2010 by EA Games president Frank Gibeau during an investor conference call[2], and following the release of Slightly Mad Studios's Need for Speed: Shift in September, mentioned that the game had been "under development for some time" at the studio[3] to ensure there were "adequate resources behind the franchise"[4] for the series reboot resulting from quality suffered developing 2008's Need for Speed: Undercover.

It was revealed with a CG trailer by Framestore NY[5] during EA's presentation at the 2010 E3 conference in Los Angeles, California on June 14, 2010[6]. A gameplay demonstration was given by creative director Craig Sullivan playing the role of a cop, and producer Matt Webster playing the role of a racer. During the presentation, Craig Sullivan outlined that the game was inspired by earlier Need for Speed titles.

The PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 releases were developed by Criterion Games in collaboration with DICE, while the Wii release was developed by Exient Entertainment, and the handheld releases were developed by IronMonkey.

A tenth anniversary Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered definitive release in November 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One includes all downloadable content alongside visual enhancements and cross-play support.


The career mode in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) revolves around the increasingly fought over Seacrest County between illegal street racers and the Seacrest County Police Department.

Players can choose to participate in two separate progression paths; one as a cop for the SCPD, and the other as a racer, with each offering different event types, overall goals, and play styles.

Completing events will unlock additional events, vehicles, performance tiers, and equipment within a career path. Neither of the career progression paths feature any form of story beyond short career map briefings and occasional vignettes at the beginning of some events to create a tone.

Players can choose which career they play through and can switch between each other at any time.


Bounty can be earned towards a player's Wanted Level as a racer or their SCPD Cop Rank as a cop by participating in events for each faction.

The amount earned depends on a player's driving ability and their finishing position for events.

A player's bounty for either faction can be increased across both the single player career and online multiplayer.


Main article: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)/Freedrive

Freedrive can be accessed from any of the cop and racer map nodes in the career mode, but does not feature any required goals or targets towards progression. Accessing freedrive will allow the player to select from any unlocked vehicles, but the selection is limited to the faction node they have chosen.


Main article: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)/Events

There are ten event types available in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) with many available across the single player career and online multiplayer, but some are restricted to either mode.

  • Arms Race - Racers compete along a point to point sprint to a finish line with equipment.
  • Duel - A racer versus racer sprint along a point to point route.
  • Gauntlet - A racer has to beat a target time along a route under by the SCPD.
  • Hot Pursuit - Racers compete against each other and the SCPD want to shut the race down.
  • Interceptor - An SCPD officer is tasked with busting a single racer, and that racer is tasked with escaping the SCPD.
  • Most Wanted - The racers have to protect the most wanted racer, and the SCPD have to bust them.
  • Preview - Special access to end game vehicles.
  • Race - Racers compete along a point to point sprint to a finish line.
  • Rapid Response - An SCPD officer is required to respond to dispatch, and reach a location within a set amount of time.
  • Time Trial - A racer has to beat a target time along a route.

Online Multiplayer


Multiplayer can be accessed through the 'Online Hot Pursuit' section of the main menu. Between two to eight players can participate in player-vs.-player or team based session across five different game modes.


There are five tier categories for each faction across at least seventy cars. Racers can chose from a selection of unique body colours for their choice of car, and all SCPD units have a special police livery.

Cars will be unlocked as the player progresses towards higher wanted levels in the racer faction or rank in the SCPD.


Both racers and SCPD officers can use equipment in events to impede competitors, evade pursuers or give themselves an advantage. Equipment can be upgraded following continued usage, and doing so will improve their capabilities as well as efficiency.


Main article: Seacrest County

Seacrest County is the fictional setting of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010), and is located along the west coast of the United States of America. There are a number of different regions in Seacrest County such as a beach coastline, dense forests, snowy mountain ranges, a barren desert, and majestic canyon highways.

Seacrest County Police Department


The Seacrest County Police Department is an agency that serves and protects Seacrest County from crime including illegal street racing. They own over 55 vehicles in their fleet to combat the fastest of all speeders.


Main article: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)/Autolog

Autolog is a suite of online social network incorporated in the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and handheld releases of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010). The suite allows players to compare career event times, send each other messages, share dreamshots among their friends, and discover new players through friend recommendations.

Autolog Recommendations

Players will be given Autolog Recommendations in the career map of events their friends have set quicker times on. They can also be accessed through the Autolog Recommends section of the main menu.


The Wall lists messages of Autolog Recommendations beaten by friends, photos captured, and messages posted by friends. Players can post to the wall via the main menu, when they beat an Autolog Recommendation, they set a new fastest time in career event, and when they capture a photo.


2011-06-27 00003.jpg

Photos can be captured using the Dreamshot feature, which allows players to share pictures captured within single player or by clicking the right-stick for either console at any time during an event. Players can edit the world colour, contrast, brightness, motion blur, focal length, depth of field, and damage effects before capturing a picture through Dreamshot.

NFS News

NFS News lists a series of content posted by Criterion Games and Electronic Arts with regards to the Need for Speed series.


The Store offers additional downloadable content that can be purchased in the form of complete packs, individual vehicles, and extra game modes.


A demo was made available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases between October 26 and November 9, 2010. The demo contained two events; Dark Horse and Roadsters Reborn. The racer event was unlocked after a player befriend someone through Autolog who also played the demo.


Limited Edition

NFSHP2010Limited Boxart.jpg

The Limited Edition release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) was made available for pre-order following a press release by Electronic Arts on July 17, 2010, and released alongside the standard game.

EA Crew Edition

NFSHP2010 Boxart EACrew1.jpg

The EA Crew Edition of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) was a gift given to EA employees during Christmas 2010 and wasn't directly purchasable[7]. The special release included a unique package with a flap containing a written message from EA's CEO, a special Christmas theme, and additional vehicles which where also released to the public in the form of the SCPD Rebels pack.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered

NFSHPR Boxart.jpg

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a tenth anniversary re-release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010). It includes all previously released downloadable content, as well as visual enhancements and cross-play support.

It was released in November 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One.


A selection of licenced songs and an original pursuit score appear as part of the soundtrack.


PC Requirements

Component Minimum Specifications Recommended Specifications
OS Windows XP (Service Pack 3) / Windows Vista / Windows 7
(Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / NT not supported)
CPU AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8GHz
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.6GHz
RAM 1.5GB (Windows XP)
2.0GB (Windows Vista - Windows 7)
GPU 256 MB DirectX 9.0 compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher
ATI Radeon X1950
Nvidia GeForce 7600
ATI Radeon HD 4700
Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
Sound DirectX 9.0 compliant sound card
Peripherals Keyboard, optional joystick, optional controller, Xbox 360 controller

PlayStation 3

PS3 1 Player, HDD 4MB Minimum, DUALSHOCK 3 Vibration Function, HD 720p/1080i
PSN Network Features, Network Players 2 - 8

Xbox 360

Xbox 360 players 1, 1.3MB to save game, HDTV 720/1080i/1080p, custom soundtracks, force feedback wheel, Xbox LIVE Vision, in-game Dolby Digital
Xbox LIVE online multiplayer 2 - 8, game-content download, voice
Install 4.32GB


  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010)'s car handling is also very similar to that seen in Need for Speed II.
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) is the first in the series since Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 to feature a narrator commenting about real-life information of a vehicle. The female narrator is the same heard with SCPD and racer announcements. She has also appeared in Criterion's Burnout series.








  1. Klepek, Patrick. Criterion Developing Need For Speed Game,, June 10, 2009
  2. Welsh, Oli. Criterion's Need for Speed next year, Eurogamer, November 10, 2009.
  3. Grant, Christopher. Criterion-developed Need for Speed coming 'next year', Joystiq, November 9, 2009
  4. Ninkle, David. Need for Speed series sells 100m copies, earns $2.7b life-to-date, Joystiq, October 12, 2009.
  5. Media: E3 CG Trailer
  6. Hinkle, David. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit races to retail November 16, Joystiq, June 14, 2010
  7. Crecente, Brian. A Glimpse at EA's Employee-Only Version of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Kotaku, December 15, 2010