Need for Speed World

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Need For Speed: World, formerly known as Need For Speed: World Online (until February 5th, 2010), is the 15th instalment in the long-running Need For Speed series of racing games, co-developed by EA Black Box and EA Singapore, and published by Electronic Arts.

World is a free-to-play MMORG (Massive Multiplayer Online Racing Game), the first MMORG in the Need for Speed series (EA has stated that Motor City Online is not the predecessor of World). The game mixes the cities of Rockport (Need For Speed: Most Wanted) and Palmont (Need For Speed: Carbon) to create a single map where players can race or enter in pursuits with the cops. The gameplay is also very similar to the one found on these two games. World focuses on illegal racing, tuning and police chases, and adds classic MMO elements to the mixture such as special abilities (which are listed below). However, unlike Most Wanted and Carbon, World does not have any storyline or characters. The game engine used is the same, albeit with many modifications, including new lightning effects and textures. The cities were also slightly changed to match the new graphics, and new roads were created to connect both Rockport and Palmont. There is a rumour that Tri-City, the place where Need For Speed: Undercover takes place will also become part of World in the future, along with the Canyons found in Need For Speed: Carbon.

A beta test was held in Taiwan in 2009. On February 5th, 2010 the first closed beta was released for a limited number of players, and there have been five more betas since, with the number of players being increased each time. A stress test was also conducted to test the servers' capability to handle a lot of traffic. The game was finally released worldwide on July 27th 2010 via digital download. However, those who ordered the World Starter Pack had a head-start a week earlier. The game ultimately received mixed reception, with a MetaCritic average of 61/100. Since its release, Need For Speed: World has seen a continuous development, with EA Black Box and EA Singapore providing more content to the game and a wide variety of fixes and improvements, as is normal with massive multiplayer online games. By September 9th 2010, World has reached 1 million players.

The game offers the ability to start crews, and as such an official World Racing Crew exists. You can apply for it at this forum topic.

The official word:

Need for Speed World is the FREE to play online racing game where you decide how to play in a massively multiplayer world. Connect with friends or race against the world as you rise through the rankings. Race the very latest cars or relive classic NFS moments with the ever-expanding car list. Stamp your identity on the cars with an endless combination of paints and liveries.



  • Developer: EA Black Box, EA Singapore
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts
  • Release date: July 27th 2010 (Worldwide)
  • Available on: PC
  • Official website:

Game info

Minimum system requirements

  • Operative system: Windows XP Service Pack 3
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 (HT) 2.4 GHz
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB
  • Memory: 1.0 GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6800, ATI Radeon X1300, or Intel GMA 950
  • Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Network Connection: 128 kbps Cable/DSL connection
  • Online Multiplayer: 512 Kbps or faster; 2-8 Players
  • Input: Keyboard, Mouse, Supported Game Controllers
  • Recommended video chipsets: ATI Radeon X1800 XT 512MB or greater; NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT 256MB or greater

  • Operative system: Windows Vista / Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8GHz
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB
  • Memory: 2.0 GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600, ATI Radeon HD 2000 series, or Intel GMA 950 or better
  • Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Network Connection: 128 kbps Cable/DSL connection
  • Online Multiplayer: 512 Kbps or faster; 2-8 Players
  • Input: Keyboard, Mouse, Supported Game Controllers
  • Recommended video chipsets: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or better; ATI Radeon HD 2600 or greater.

Laptop versions of these chipsets may work but are not supported. Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required.



The map of NFSW.

The game has actually been in development for more than four years, prior to Carbon (2006), but intense devotion to finishing the product didn't begin until sometime late 2008.

In an interview with World producer, Scott Henshaw, he mentioned that the European and North American versions of the game will have differences from the Asian one. It was also confirmed that the game will feature the cities of Palmont and Rockport, which were featured in Need for Speed Carbon and Need for Speed Most Wanted respectively. The cops were confirmed to return as well, together with a co-op and team based cop play.

It is unknown if the game will have more cities and/or dynamic day/night cycle, but current screenshots show both daytime and nighttime. A map was recently released, showing Palmont and Rockport connected. The game will also feature a chat option and autopilot. The December 2009 podcast also confirmed that this installment will feature the largest selection of cars and parts in series history (so far 250 cars have been planned from Most Wanted, Carbon, ProStreet and Undercover).


As mentioned before, the gameplay style is based on that of Most Wanted and Carbon featuring high speed street racing, tuning, customization and police chases with various MMO elements. The setting is Rockport and Palmont merged together. This time both cities are available in day and nighttime. Racing crews can be started (originally seen in Carbon). A key gameplay element is the power-ups, which has drawn comparison to Bizarre Creations' cult arcade racer Blur.


Powerups are an important strategic element in Need for Speed World, so it is worth spending some time to understand each Powerup and how they can benefit your racing.

There are two ways to get Powerups in the game. The first is to win them in the Lucky Draw cards at the end of Races and Pursuits but there is now a new option to use SpeedBoost to buy the specific Powerups you want. If you go to the Powerup Console and look at the bottom of the screen you will see a visual list of all the Powerups. To add more Powerups to your collection highlight the one you want to add and click the SpeedBoost button. You will find this option after each Race (in the bottom right of the Results pop-up) and via the Safehouse.

  • Nitrous: this powerup gives you a quick burst of nitrous, increasing acceleration and briefly optimizing the car's handling. This power-up is upgradeable through four racing skills: Extended Nitrous (the duration of the powerup mid-event), Rapid Fire (reduction of the duration of Cooldown of the powerup), Perfect Start (the duration of the powerup in Perfect Start form), and Super Shot (the velocity of the powerup).
  • Traffic Magnet: Can be used to trap racers into traffic. Has been often criticized for its seemingly unfair power, but you can easily countermeasure it with a shield or juggernaut. This power-up is upgradeable through the Traffic Cop race skill (the duration of the powerup's Cooldown).
  • One More Lap: this powerup adds one more lap to the race. When it is used once by anyone in the game, it cannot be used again by any player. This powerup is upgradeable through the Strong Finisher race skill (the performance boost gained when the powerup is activated).
  • Shield: this powerup gives you immunity from other power-ups, such as Traffic Magnet. This powerup is upgradeable through the Rolling Fortress race skill (the duration of the powerup).
  • Ready: this powerup eliminates the remaining cooldown period for Power-Ups making them ready to use again. This powerup is upgradeable through the Lightning Reflex free roam skill (reduction the duration of the powerup's cooldown time).
  • Juggernaut: this powerup increases your car's speed and weight, however, car handling is impacted negatively. This powerup is upgradeable through the Rampage pursuit skill (the duration of the powerup).
  • Slingshot: this powerup increases significantly the performance of your car when you are trailing the pack. The further from the lead, the greater the boost.
  • Emergency Evade: this powerup knocks cops back if they are too close to your car in a pursuit. This powerup is upgradeable through the Evasion pursuit skill (the knockback power contained in the powerup when used).
  • Run Flats: this powerup restores your tires after running over Spike Strips dropped in a police pursuit.
  • Instant Cooldown: this powerup ends a cop pursuit immediately once you are in cooldown mode.

World Starter Pack

Before September 8, 2010, after reaching level 10 and access to only tier 1 and certain tier 2 cars, the player would not be able to progress further in the game and would cease to earn any more experience points or cash. To continue the game, the player had to purchase the Need for Speed World Starter Pack. Without it, the player was allowed to play the game for as long as he or she wants, but he or she would cease to earn experience and cash. This initially disappointed many fans, however, on September 8th, 2010 World had passed 1 million registrations and to celebrate that, the game was made free-to-play and the level cap was removed. Currently any player can reach the maximum level (50) without paying anything. However, certain cars and parts are only available by using Speedboost, a currency in World that can be bought with real world money.

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