Need for Speed: Shift is the thirteenth main entry in the Need for Speed series for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Mobile Phones, and PlayStation Portable. It is said to be a "hardcore racing simulation," and a more realistic entry in the Need for Speed franchise.

The game was developed by Slightly Mad Studios and overseen by Black Box producer Michael Mann and senior vice-president of EA Games Europe Patrick Soderlund. It was released September 17, 2009 in Europe and September 22, 2009 in North America.

Shift also marks the return of in car dash views in the Need for Speed series since Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed. Along with Nitro, World and Hot Pursuit it is the first NFS title without a plot since Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.

Race cars and historic cars are included in this game as well the 1972 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R, which first appeared in the special Japanese PSX only version of The Need for Speed "Over Drivin': Skyline Memorial".


Career mode

At the beginning of the game, the player will drive a BMW M3 E92 in Brands Hatch, a race track, for two laps. Depending on time the player needs to finish the race. After that, the game will suggest one of more difficulty levels matched to their skills. However, it is possible to change the recommended difficulty level anytime in Shift. The levels distinguish from themselves by driving assists and physics. The player races the E92 again to win money to purchase their first car, the amount won depending on their position.

The goal of any NFS: Shift player is to unlock the NFS World Tour. To gain access, the player is required to collect 280 stars, that can be earned by completing various race events in four career tiers. By collecting stars, players are able to level up until level 50. The game rewards them with medal badges, too.

Cars provided in the game are allocated in these tiers. The first tier features the worst performing vehicles, while in Tier 3 for example, faster cars are available.
NFS Shift

SHIFT's critically acclaimed cockpit view.

As in earlier Need for Speed titles, players usually purchase and modfiy their cars all by themselves. The more players progress within the game, the more tuning parts and cars will be unlocked.

Quick Race

The Quick Race Mode seen in Shift is the same as in previous games. Players can choose cars, tracks and settings individually. Parts are only available if they are unlocked in career mode.

Race modes

Since Need for Speed: Undercover the game still hasn't drag events. For that many race modes, new to series were introduced.

  • Car Battle (Two drivers compete with specified cars in three various race events.)
  • Driver Duel (Equivalent to car battles, except players can choose their cars.)
  • Drift Race (Winner is the one, who has made the best drifts within a drift course.)
  • Endurance Race (Circuit races with a very high number of laps.)
  • Lap/Time Knockout Race (The last player to complete a lap or to exceed a set time will be eliminated.)
  • Manufacturer Competition (Every racer uses the same vehicle within a car brand.)
  • Series Competition (Exactly the same as tournaments found in earlier NFS installments.)
  • Standard Races (Up to eight players compete in a track to win the race.)
  • Time Trials (The player needs to beat a set time record by driving several laps on a circuit.)

Cockpit View

The game features a interior camera, that has perspective responds to G-forces, so for example, the camera will shake when turning a sharp corner, and the player will feel being forced back to their headrest when driving at high speeds.

Turning corners or crashing into the wall will quickly leave players with a temporary disturbance in their vision. It will be subtle, leaving their eyes momentarily blurred and ears ringing, designed to create a more realistic simulation. If the player for example crashes the wall or anything else in high speed, the driver will moan because of the impact, and breathe heavily for a short time afterwards.


Unlike Undercover and especially NFS: Carbon, the game has a larger varierty in performance tuning than in visuals modding.
Nfs-shift-porsche 6-342009-8

Works upgraded Porsche 911 GT2.

Fine-tuning for example is just as comprehensive as in Underground 2. For beginners and unexperienced racing simulation gamers, the game has simplified options like steering lock and gearing adjustments. These options are listed under Quick Tuning.

To fully enhance a car's performance, players may also use the Advanced Tuning option. In this category it's possible to individually calibrate some parts of a car like the suspension and tyre pressure.

Need for Speed: Shift also allows gamers to convert their 'normal' sports cars to full race-spec vehicles. Such conversions are known as Works Upgrades in the game. Works upgrades greatly improve every stats of a car and can only be bought, when the car is equipped with any highest level tuning part available within Shift.

Car list


Team Racing Pack

These cars are available for download on all platforms for free, including Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC:

Ferrari Racing Series

The Ferrari Racing Series pack, exclusive to the Xbox 360, includes 10 new Ferraris:

  • Ferrari Superamerica
  • Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M
  • Ferrari California
  • Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
  • Ferrari F430 Spider
  • Ferrari 430 Scuderia
  • Ferrari 430 GTC
  • Ferrari F430 Challenge
  • Ferrari F50 GT
  • Ferrari FXX

It also came with 46 career events dedicated to these cars, which can be purchased for 800 Microsoft Points.

Exotic Racing Series

The Exotic Racing Series pack, for the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, includes 7 new supercars:

Along with the cars came a new track called Rivera and 50 career events dedicated to these cars. It can be purchased for 800 Microsoft Points or US$10.

Luxury Car Pack

EA Nation at one point had claimed to be releasing a luxury car pack in September 2010, featuring the Chrysler 300C SRT-8, Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG W221, Rolls-Royce Ghost, the Porsche 918 Spyder Concept, and the Aston Martin One-77, Ferrari Enzo, Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series, Dodge Charger SRT-8, Lancia Delta Intergrale EVO and the 2006 Pontiac GTO. The pack would have also featured a track based around New York City. EA, however has made no reply in regards to the state of this pack as of this moment. It may be possible that some of the cars could appear in Shift 2: Unleashed's sequel.


Leftover Data

These files can be found in the DATA folder of Need for Speed: Shift.



  • Chesterglen
  • Dubai
  • Barcelona
  • Monza
  • Mugello


  • Weather
  • Night Racing (avaliable only as a mod)
  • Pit Stop
  • Full Damage
  • Fuel Consumption
  • Tyre Wear
  • Engine Overheating


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