It is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, as well as offering an improved visual experience on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X.
The name of the 2017 game was revealed on June 2, 2017 with a trailer showcasing the location, high-concept of the plot, and multiple vehicles that will appear in the game. A Deluxe Edition was also announced at the end of the trailer.
Numerous teasers were released leading up to the game's reveal on June 2, 2017 such as an initial reveal of the game's setting with an Under the Hood article and multiple tweeted images leading up to June 2nd.
An in depth look at the game was shown at Electronic Arts' EA Play event in Hollywood, Los Angeles on June 10, 2017. A gameplay trailer of a mission, in which Tyler and Jess steal a Koenigsegg Regera from the back of a semi trailer, was shown with a small amount of customisation features were demonstrated at a later point in the show.
The single player career follows Tyler Morgan, a former street racer and exile looking for revenge. He's double crossed by Lina Navarro and must build a crew towards winning the impossible Outlaw's Rush race to bring down a cartel, The House, that has made their presence across the city's casinos, criminals, and law enforcement.
Players take on the role of three characters across the single player campaign;
- Tyler "Ty" Morgan - An aspiring street and drag racer.
- Sean "Mac" McAlister - An extremely stylish drifter and off-road savant.
- Jessica "Jess" Miller - The professional driver and wheelman for hire.
Each have their own quests towards bringing down The House.
Street Leagues are the street racing crews that can be found across Fortune Valley.
Each has their own skill level, racing discipline, style, and crew boss. Defeating them is important in making it to the Outlaw's Rush.
Taking place in the fictional Fortune Valley, players can purchase new cars or rebuild abandoned derelicts, and can customise their vehicles with parts they either win or buy. They can use those rides to participate in races, missions, and activities in single player or multiplayer SpeedLists.
Split into two modes; single player and multiplayer, players earn rewards for driving with style and excessive speed. Offering a risk and reward design, earning rep goes towards rewards with long strings of driving maneuvers offering multipliers called Heaters. Challenges also offer opportunities to earn bank, but also raise the stakes in races.
The event types available are offered to each of the three characters including different events and missions towards their quest line. Some missions will include all three characters.
Each event has a optimal performance rating before entering as well as an Autolog recommendation from either a friend or a rivals. Players can also swap their vehicle before entering an event.
- Abandoned - Find a hidden car and drive it to Rav's workshop without being busted.
- Bait Crate - Find a hidden crate and reach the escape point before time runs out without being busted.
- Circuit - Finish the last lap of the race in first position.
- Courier - Reach all targets before time runs out.
- Drag - Win the most amount of rounds.
- Drift Trial - Beat the target score before reaching the finish line.
- Escape Point - Reach the escape point before time runs out without being busted.
- Mission - A story event with multiple objectives.
- Sprint - Reach the finish line in first place.
- Time Trial - Reach the finish line before time runs out.
Completing an event will reward the player with reputation, cash, and a speed card.
Autolog offers a set leaderboard time from a friend or rival for an event that when beaten will reward the player.
A side bet is an optional wager that can be placed at the beginning of an event.
Accepting a bet has a stake that has to be paid, and beating its requirements will reward the player with additional cash to their race winnings based on the odds offered for the bet.
Shipments are reward containers that can be earned through gameplay or can be purchased.
Each contains a selection of performance parts or vanity items that can be equipped to cars.
Vanity Item Packs
Vanity Item Packs can be purchased with Speed Points and include various vanity customisation items.
Cars are categorised into a specific car class depending on the dealership they are purchased from. All cars are restricted to a set number of classes, with the exception of Derelicts, which can be customised into any of the five classes.
- Drag - Only straight-line speed and capable of wheelies with extra powerful nitrous.
- Drift - Taking corners sideways at the expense of maintaining speed.
- Off-road - Off-road durability and air time compliant for landing on loose surfaces.
- Race - High-speed cornering and straight-line speed for tarmac street racing.
- Runner - Built for stealth, dodging cops and threading through traffic.
- Speedcross - Designed to take on the harshest stunts and Speedcross courses.
Cars can be purchased from dealerships across Fortune Valley, and are unlocked as players progress through the career.
Derelicts are abandoned cars that can be restored to stock form and then improved upon through customisation.
Abandoned cars are a series of cars that can not be purchased from a dealership or unlocked through career progression. Their availability is rotated on a regular basis meaning they have to be found and delivered to Rav at his airfield workshop.
Customisation allows for any owned cars to be altered and personalised to a player's taste. Various visual aftermarket components, performance parts, paint schemes, vinyls, and stance can be equipped or manipulated to craft a unique vehicle.
Multiple visual components of a car can be replaced or adjusted with a selection of alternative trim, aftermarket, and fictional parts.
Parts available can be equipped to vehicles through the garage, but parts have to be unlocked by reaching certain milestones and the amount of available parts differs between vehicles.
- Brake Discs
- Front Bumper
- Front Canards
- Licence Plate Background
- Licence Plate Frame
- Licence Plate Text
- Rear Bumper
- Rear Canards
- Rim Primary Colour
- Rim Secondary Colour
- Rim Size
- Roof Light Bar
- Side Skirts
- Tail Lights
- Trunk Lid
- Wheelie Bar
- Window Tint
- Wing Mirrors
- Super Build (Derelicts Only)
Vanity Items are a selection of customisation items that can be applied to all owned cars and can be acquired as rewards from Shipments.
Paint & Wrap Library
- Paint and Wrap Library
- My Wraps
- Body Colour
- Remove Paint and Wrap
The Stance of a vehicle can be manipulated through various elements of a vehicle's suspension setup in the garage with a Tune Stance option.
- Camber - Front (Less or More)
- Camber - Rear (Less or More)
- Height (Less or More)
Performance Parts can be equipped to improve the performance level and ratings of a vehicle, but some upgrades can be chosen over others to push a vehicle towards a specific setup or set of driving requirements.
Applying parts will improve a vehicle's level from its stock rating to its maximum rating based upon the quality level of the performance parts installed, of which can be rated between 1 to 18.
Performance parts can be acquired from Tune-Up-Shops across Fortune Valley as well as from rewards for completing events and opening Shipments.
Speed Cards are rewards offered for winning an event.
Each event win offers a single card from a selection of three and each card includes a performance part or vanity item.
Tuning can be accessed whilst in free roam and allows for fine-tuning of a vehicle's performance or driving characteristics. The available selection of tuning options differs between car classes with some offering specific tuning sliders.
Fortune Valley is a fictional region based on Las Vegas, Nevada. The area consists of the glamorous Silver Rock City, the arid Liberty Desert, the peaks of Mount Providence, and the deadly drops of Silver Canyon.
Fortune Valley Police Department
The FVPD is the local law enforcement agency in Fortune Valley and has a capable selection of pursuit units, but also has ties to The House cartel. It will intervene and pursue the player with apprehension tactics, and equipment such as roadblocks, spikestrips, helicopters, and Rhino units.
Dealerships can be found across Fortune Valley with each having a rotating availability of stock and each specialising in a certain car class. Purchasing a car from a specific dealer will place it within that dealership's car class.
A Tune-Up-Shop is a parts shop and they can be found across Fortune Valley. They allow for performance part Speed Cards to be purchased and equipped to cars from a rotating selection of items that refreshes every 15 minutes.
Garages can be purchased across Fortune Valley and allow the player to switch cars, customise owned vehicles, or construct derelicts. Owning multiple garages will increase the number of vehicle slots a player has, and upon owning all five, will unlock an unlimited number of slots in the virtual warehouse to store cars.
Gas Stations can be found across Fortune Valley and act as cheaper fast travel locations. They can be driven through to refill nitrous and repair any visual damage to a vehicle.
Completing activities earns stars towards Shipment rewards.
A Speed Trap is a single checkpoint activity that rates the player's speed past a camera out of three stars. Passing the camera at a higher rate of speed will increase the player's star rating for that Speed Trap.
A Speed Run is a multiple checkpoint activity that rates the player's average speed past multiple checkpoints set out between two points out of three stars. Setting a higher average speed between both points will increase the player's star rating for that Speed Run.
A Jump is a record based activity that rates the player's distance travelled from a ramp out of three stars. Setting a longer distance record from the ramp will increase the player's star rating for that Jump.
A Drift Zone is a multiple checkpoint activity that records the player's total drift score past multiple checkpoints set out between two points out of three stars. Setting a higher drift score between both points will increase the player's star rating for that Drift Zone.
Collectibles can be found across Fortune Valley.
Billboards are older advertisements scattered around Fortune Valley that can be driven through. Nearby billboards are highlighted to the player, and smashed billboards are shown with a "collected" stamped across them.
Chips are collectible casino tokens that can be found hidden across Fortune Valley. Nearby chips are not highlighted to the player, but found chips are recorded on the player's map.
Multiple downloadable content packs and bundles have been made available for Need for Speed: Payback following its release.
Speed Points is a premium currency that can be purchased and spend on in game Shipments.
(720p 30 fps)
(1080p 60 fps)
|OS||64-bit Windows 7 or newer||64-bit Windows 10 or newer|
|CPU||Intel i3 6300 @ 3.8GHz
AMD FX 8150 @ 3.6GHz with 4 hardware threads
|Intel i5 4690K @ 3.5GHz|
AMD FX 8350 @ 4.0GHz with 4 hardware threads
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 750 Ti
AMD Radeon™ HD 7850
(equivalent DX11 compatible GPU with 2GB of VRAM)
|NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1060 6GB|
AMD Radeon™ RX 480 4GB
(equivalent DX11 compatible GPU with 4GB of VRAM)
|DirectX||11 Compatible video card or equivalent|
|Disc Drive||DVD ROM drive required for installation only|
|Input||Dual analog controller|
|Online||512 kB/s or faster Internet connection|
The 2017 game was first revealed to be in development on May 10, 2016 with the release of Under The Hood #7: Taking Stock on the official Need for Speed website.
The special announcement highlighted the SpeedLists update would be the last free content update for Need for Speed (2015), and the community's feedback towards the 2015 game would be taken in towards the development of the 2017 game.
|“||We are now building upon the foundations that have been laid with Need for Speed and delivering our next game in 2017.
That’s not to say that we’re going quiet between now and then... far from it. We'll be working with our community and there will be multiple opportunities to bring many of you into the studio in the coming months to get your feedback on where we're headed.
— Ghost Games
EA Play 2016
It was announced on January 27, 2016 that Electronic Arts would not be attending E3 2016 in favour of hosting their own EA Play conference. On June 9, 2016, Electronic Arts' Global Content and Community Manager, Ben Walke, tweeted that no games in development at Ghost Games were set to be announced during the conference
A Narrative Writer position was listed on the jobs section of Ghost Games' website for their studio in Guildford, England. The position listed a role encompassing character development, writing scripts for performance sessions, and would be beneficial to have a knowledge of car culture.
Need for Speed: Arena Trademark
On November 7, 2016, a trademark for Need for Speed: Arena was published for ownership by Electronic Arts. The trademark application was filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) with a 9 and 14 Nice classification, covering the usage of the term for a computer game software and an online entertainment service respectively.
EA Quarterly Earnings Call
Electronics Arts' quarterly earnings call for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 was held on January 31, 2017. During the call, a rundown of Electronic Arts' previous quarter was discussed, and hinted at the 23rd Need for Speed game.
|“||We’re also excited to have a new Need for Speed title launching in FY18. We’ve given this game an extended development cycle to focus on innovation, and the Need for Speed team is pushing the boundaries of action driving with what we believe is the most exciting and best-looking Need for Speed game we’ve ever produced.||”|
— Andrew Wilson - EA ECO
The fiscal 2018 release target places the launch of Need for Speed (2017) between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. Andrew Wilson also mentioned that, according to Polygon, the game will be ambitious with a competitive online focus.
EA Play 2017
On March 23, 2017, an official Electronic Arts blog post was published dating the availability of tickets for the show, and that Need for Speed will be playable for participants.
|“||From June 10 - 12, players joining us in Hollywood will get hands on with the next Star Wars™ Battlefront and Need for Speed™ experiences. You'll also get your first chance to play many of our upcoming EA SPORTS™ titles: Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18 and NBA LIVE 18. This isn't all, by the way...and we'll have more to share in the coming months.||”|
Under The Hood
A tease for Need for Speed (2017) was shown in an Under the Hood segment published on the official Need for Speed website on May 9, 2017. It was titled "Need for Speed 2017: Paying It Back".
The post highlighted Ghost Games' continued passion for the Need for Speed series, and that they feel "honoured and privileged" to be developing the next game for the fans of the series, which will be released before the end of the 2017 calendar year.
|“||By now many of you will have heard the talk that a new game is in development here at Ghost Games. We’re happy to announce that by the end of 2017 you will be playing a new Need for Speed game.
We’ll have a lot more details to share as we get closer to EA PLAY in June. In the meantime, we can share a few details about various aspects of Need for Speed, what they mean to you, to us as developers, and to the franchise as a whole.
— Ghost Games
In the opening section of the post, the article states that Ghost Games has been surprised by the amount of feedback received from the Need for Speed community following the release of Need for Speed (2015).
Customisation is described as having a strong role within the game and beyond its release. Police are also noted to be pursuing racers during street races and the presence of Rhino units.
|“||Rest assured that we’re committed to customization having a home within the Need for Speed series. It’s not going away and it will play as strong a role as ever as we move forward into the next game and beyond.
Cops in pursuit, racers up ahead and then out of nowhere BAM! They bring a Rhino to a street race.
— Ghost Games
The environment in which the game will take place is depicted with a teaser image that was part of the article. It shows a Motel sign flickering near a red rock cliff with a setting sun casting through a clouded sky, and a Nissan 350Z parked against a chain link fence adjacent to a field of tall grass.
Another sign below the flashing Motel sign has the date June 2nd written across it. June 2, 2017 is eight days ahead of Electronic Art's EA Play event in Los Angeles, which will feature Need for Speed (2017) playable on the show floor.
Its setting is characterised as a beautiful location that offers space for both tarmac and offroad gameplay, with the option to take customised cars to events along a canyon setting or take jumps to avoid police attention.
|“||Whether you’re checking out your freshly customized ride or smoking the competition in an event up in the canyons, you’re going to want a world that not only looks beautiful, but offers you the space in which to do the things you want. We’re dialing up the action and allowing you to tear up the tarmac, and dirt, to your heart's content.
Burn rubber as you throw a car around a corner sideways and floor it as you hit an epic jump away from the cops. We’re building the world, but what you do in it is the aspect that excites us most.
— Ghost Games
The article ends by stating that the game will feature a single player experience that can be played offline and can also be paused.
|“||So, when release day rolls around for the next Need for Speed, you will be able to play through a single player experience completely offline. Before you ask, and we know you will, this does mean you will be able to pause the game.||”|
— Ghost Games
|“||Let's get this party started shall we?||”|
Adjusting the levels of the image reveals a few skyscrapers and a tower poking up from the base of the image. The buildings that appear in the image bear a resemblance to the Las Vegas skyline.
|“||Excuse our smoke||”|
Adjusting the levels of the image reveals the same few skyscrapers and a tower from the image tweeted a day prior, but positions them as a background to a modified Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec (R34) performing a donut in the foreground.
|“||Be there, you don't want to miss it||”|
The image highlighted the game's full reveal across multiple time zones at 06:00 in Los Angeles, USA; 14:00 in London, United Kingdom; and 23:00 in Sydney, Australia. It also included a link to the official Need for Speed Youtube channel.
- Need for Speed: Payback was developed under the codename "Hashtag".
- https://www.gamespot.com/articles/e3-2017-xbox-one-xps4-pro-support-for-need-for-spe/1100-6450732/ Gamespot: Xbox One X/PS4 Pro Support For Need For Speed Payback Confirmed
- https://twitter.com/BenWalke/status/900316716923801602 @BenWalke: Air Suspension
- https://www.ea.com/games/need-for-speed/need-for-speed-payback/news/need-for-speed-payback-performance-customization needforspeed.com Performance Customisation
- http://www.needforspeed.com/en_GB/news/under-the-hood-7 Ghost Games: Under The Hood #7: Taking Stock
- http://www.polygon.com/2016/1/27/10842598/electronic-arts-e3-2016-booth-press-conference-ea-play Polygon: Electronic Arts leaves E3 2016
- https://twitter.com/BenWalke/status/740846801754947586 Twitter: Ben Walke @BenWalke
- http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://ghostgames.com/jobs/writer/ Ghost Games: Narrative Writer position
- http://attackofthefanboy.com/news/ea-registered-trademark-need-speed-arena/ Attack of the Fanboy: EA Has Registered A Trademark For “Need For Speed Arena”
- https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/#details/trademarks/016009565 EUIPO: Need for Speed: Arena trademark
- http://uk.ign.com/articles/2017/02/01/ea-confirms-new-need-for-speed-will-be-out-in-next-fiscal-year IGN: EA confirms new Need for Speed will be out in the next fiscal year
- http://www.polygon.com/2017/1/31/14461472/new-need-for-speed-game Polygon: New Need for Speed game
- https://www.ea.com/news/ea-play-tickets-coming-soon EA: EA Play Tickets Coming Soon
- https://www.needforspeed.com/en_GB/news/nfs-2017-paying-it-back needforspeed.com: Need for Speed 2017: Paying It back
- https://twitter.com/NeedforSpeed/status/869561553074442242 @NeedforSpeed: Let's get this party started shall we?
- https://twitter.com/NeedforSpeed/status/869916397811400706 @NeedforSpeed: Excuse our smoke
- https://twitter.com/NeedforSpeed/status/870292141561585665 @NeedforSpeed: Be there, you don't want to miss it