- For the Arms Race event, see Arms Race (Hot Pursuit).
The game mode involves a point to point sprint along a set route that is limited to a maximum of 8 racers, and the first racer to cross the finish line is the winner. The starting grid of an arms race event is arranged with racers having a lower racer wanted level placed closer to the front of the pack and higher bounty rank racers being placed nearer the back.
Arms race events can take place on any of the available multiplayer routes.
Joining a multiplayer lobby for an Arms Race event will highlight the route, weather conditions, time of day, route distance, and current players. Once a session is locked, players will move to car selection which will be limited to a specific performance tier of cars.
All players are given equipment to use against other racers including Jammers, Turbos, Spike Strips, and EMPs. Those participating will also encounter an SCPD presence along the route with Roadblocks and Helicopter Support being called in as the event progresses, but there are no SCPD units in pursuit.
Racers can earn nitrous by performing dangerous driving maneuvers and interaction with other racers. They can earn a refill by wrecking a rival racer.
All participating vehicles have a damage meter shown above their vehicle throughout the event. Any vehicle that has its damage meter depleted will be eliminated from the event and will not be able to participate for the remainder of that event. Players whose damage meters are near full depletion are warned as being at "critical damage", and this is also highlighted to all other participants.
Players can earn bounty as they continue along the set route of the event, and additional bounty is awarded based on their performance at the end of the event. The amount rewarded is based on the player's finishing position and the total number of participating players for that session.