How to earn money FAST in Need for Speed Unbound

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Making money in Need for Speed Unbound is tough when you’re starting out. After choosing your starter car, you need to do a lot of grinding before you can afford to buy upgrades and faster cars to enter Lakeshore Qualifier events.

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On top of that, most events come with costly entry fees. Don’t worry though, because our essential tips will show you how to earn money fast in Need for Speed Unbound.

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Always place side bets

Before events, you can place side bets on rival racers to earn a bonus payout on top of race winnings. Each driver has a predicted result. The higher the predicted result, the higher reward you’ll get – but this comes with a higher risk.

NFS Unbound's AI opponents are surprisingly challenging, making it difficult to get a podium finish in early races with starter cars. However, performing drifts and narrowly missing traffic will fill up your nitrous boost faster, increasing your chances of winning.

How to earn money fast in Need for Speed Unbound
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Events in Need for Speed Unbound are restricted by car class. If your car class is too high, try tweaking the downforce. Turning up downforce will lower your car’s performance points and top speed, making it eligible for lower-class events.

Your car's performance also affects the amount of money you can. This means turning up downforce can increase side bet payouts without drastically reducing your car’s speed.

Find side activities

Another way to earn money fast in Need for Speed Unbound is by completing side activities outside of races.

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As you explore Lakeshore City, you’ll find Forza Horizon-style challenges in the city scattered around the map from Speed Zones to Drift Zones. Not only do these not require entry fees unlike races, but they don’t attract Heat either, making them a safe way to make some cash on the side.

How to earn money fast in Need for Speed Unbound
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Delivery missions are also highly lucrative. If you get a call offering you the chance to deliver a high-performance supercar, always take them because they have high payouts. They also give you a taste of the fastest cars in NFS Unbound.

Smashing into billboards, performing jumps and finding Collectibles also bolsters your bank balance. Spend time exploring the city, and you can earn thousands of dollars in one session – just don’t lose it all by getting busted when returning to a Safe House to bank your cash.

Sell cars

If you’re struggling to make money in Need for Speed Unbound, selling cars from your garage is an easy way to get some extra cash. Any car you own can be sold in your garage if you own more than one car. Look out for events on the map that reward you with free cars you can then sell.

How to sell cars in Need for Speed Unbound
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After completing the Prologue, events with free prize cars will start appearing on the map from Wednesday in week 1. After that, you can earn as many as 25 free cars in the campaign. 

Complete all events in a session

Need for Speed Unbound has a unique day and night cycle. When you enter your garage, the game fast-forwards to the next day or night. This also resets events you can enter each day, making it easy to miss them.

Events are highlighted as yellow Meetups on the map - completing as many Meetup events as possible in a session will maximise your earnings.

How to earn money fast in Need for Speed Unbound
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Although your car may not be eligible for every event in a session, many events have multiple races for different car classes you can enter. So if you see a Meetup with a Class A race and only have a Class B car, use the D-pad to scroll through races and check if it also has a Class B race you can enter.

Any money earned in events can then be banked in your garage – but don’t get busted by the cops or you’ll lose all your hard-earned money from the day.

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Escape the police

This is a risky tactic, but shaking the cops is another way to make money fast in Need for Speed Unbound.

Police pursuits in NFS Unbound have up to five heat levels. As the pursuit escalates and you attract more attention from the cops, your heat level increases from 1 to 5.

Need for Speed Unbound cop chases
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The cops are relatively easy to outrun in Heat level 1 and 2 chases, but they get more aggressive after Level 3, calling in Corvette cop cars and helicopters to hunt you down.

Escaping a level 1 pursuit earns you $100, while level 2 earns you $500. Level 3 pursuits reward you with $1,000, level 4 gives you $1,500, and evading a level 5 pursuit earns you $2,500. Escaping police in a Level 5 pursuit isn't easy, but if you can pull it off, the risk is worth the reward.

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As a bonus, equipping the “Getaway Driver” auxiliary mod in the Performance menu doubles your earnings for escaping pursuits. That means you can get $5,000 every time you escape a level 5 pursuit.

If you’re struggling to shake the police off your tail, you can also check out our tips for evading cops in NFS Unbound.