Quick Race allows players to create custom singleplayer or multiplayer game sessions. It is known as Single Race in several titles released before Need for Speed: Underground and as Challenge in the PlayStation 2 release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.
In all titles, a race event can be customised with a set number of laps and opponents, difficulty level, traffic density and transmission type. In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, players also have the option of creating a randomly generated race.
The Single Race mode that is featured in all Need for Speed titles up to Need for Speed: High Stakes includes additional track setting options, a mirrored version of the race course and custom vehicle choices of the player's opponents. Some of these options were reintroduced in Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.
A two-player splitscreen mode is available in all titles up to Need for Speed: High Stakes, as well as all succeeding non-handheld console releases with the exception of the Wii release of Need for Speed: Carbon and the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 releases of Need for Speed: Undercover.
|Game||Opponents||Difficulty||Traffic||Laps||Other Options & Special Modes|
|Need for Speed: Underground||3||Easy, Medium, Hard||None, Low, Medium, High||1-10||Catch Up, Free Run|
|Need for Speed: Underground (Arcade)||7||Route Specific||Route Specific||Route Specific||Catch Up|
|Need for Speed: Underground 2||0-3, 0-5*||Easy, Medium, Hard||None, Low, Medium, High||1-10||Catch Up, track direction, Laps KO, Free Run|
|Need for Speed: Most Wanted||1-3||Easy, Medium, Hard||None, Low, Medium, High||1-8||Catch Up|
|Need for Speed: Carbon||0-7, 11 (19 360/PS3)**||Easy, Medium, Hard||None, Low, Medium, High||1-8||Catch Up, crew member, NOS, car shadow tracking, ranked multiplayer, Pursuit Knockout, Pursuit Tag|
|Need for Speed: Undercover||0-7||Easy, Medium, Hard||None, Low, Medium, High||1-7||NOS, ranked multiplayer|
- Quick Race in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 can be easily confused with Challenge mode, as the former spawns players in randomly created races.
- Vehicles created in My Cars mode can only be used in Quick Race.
- Bonus and custom category cars in Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Need for Speed: Carbon are restricted to Quick Race events, but some are specifically used for certain Challenge Series events.
- Several reward cards in Need for Speed: Carbon require the player to complete Quick Race related objectives.
- Race Day mode in Need for Speed: Pro Street works similarly to Quick Race, with the exception that it is used to create tournaments.
- Some titles in the series can support a greater number of A.I. racing opponents than the limit imposed due to technical constraints of certain releases. Some restrictions may also have been applied in favour of including police A.I. vehicles or refining the gameplay experience.
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted can support up to 15 opponents as well as the player in a race event.
- In Need for Speed: Most Wanted, there is an unused race intro cutscene meant specifically for 7 opponent events.
- Need for Speed: Carbon can support up to 29 racing dedicated A.I. vehicles and the player in a single race.
- In Need for Speed: Carbon, some canyon sprint events can support up to 7 opponents, although it is not possible to set more than 3 opponents.