Need for Speed Payback Post-Launch Content Wishlist


It’s been three weeks since the initial release of Need for Speed Payback for deluxe edition owners, and in that we’ve been playing the absolute heck out of the game.

With a current time of over 70 hours invested into Payback, I’ve done everything the game has to offer – activities, roaming racers, reaching 399 on multiple cars – the works, and I even have a shiny new platinum trophy added to my trophy collection to prove it.

So, what’s next for Need for Speed Payback? With the end of the game stating that there’s plenty of post-launch content to come in the form of content updates, what will Ghost do to support the game? We’ve got plenty of our own ideas of what we’d like to see.

Online Free-Roam

This is the biggest thing that’s missing with Need for Speed Payback, and I’m 100% certain that this is being worked on, however I don’t want it to be something basic. All the events from single player should be able to be played in co-op at the bare minimum, similar to Need for Speed (2015) where players in the lobby could trigger an event and invite either everyone from their party or everyone in the lobby.

One thing that would be awesome to see is Freeburn Challenges, the group-based objective challenges from Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012). These challenges were based on the number of players in a lobby, with 50 for each player amount from 2-8 players, and were a ton of fun to get a group together and complete back in the day. They also provided unique rewards for completing all challenge sets, which would be a great thing to see get adapted.

Free-Roam Pursuits

The second biggest thing missing from Payback. Cops are great in Payback but unfortunately restricted to linear bait crates and missions for Jess. While I can understand the logic between making cop chases triggered events, modifying the bait crates system could provide the experience we ALL want.

Remove the checkpoint, destination and time limit restrictions currently in bait crates and replace it with a traditional 1-5 heat level system, with heat levels starting out depending on what performance level your car is, similar to current pursuits. In addition, track the amount of damage caused and force you to pay that fine if busted.

These bait crates should also have permanent locations around Fortune Valley, or at least icons indicating where to find them on the map as they can be almost impossible to find one at times.

Map Expansion

Fortune Valley is the largest and most diverse map in a Need for Speed game, with not much room for a traditional map expansion to be added on to the map. However, one thing that I feel is missing from the map is a Race Track. 

The Hyperspace Circuit event in the Ark Tower construction site is the closest thing to a race track in the game, and would be cool to see a new area extending from the main map with a race track built into it. This area should be filled with new stuff to do including new events for all five car classes, more collectibles, more roaming racers etc. as well as stuff unique to this new area, perhaps a short storyline similar to Eddie's Challenge that was added to Need for Speed (2015) 

The best way to sell this Map expansion would be to do it similar to Midnight Club: Los Angeles, where the South Central map expansion was free to everyone but to be able to access its content, it required people to purchase an upgrade as well as sold two separate car packs. Give out the map expansion and all players to access all the content associated with it, but if people want the new cars added in the expansion, they will need to pay for it. This way all players get access to the new area without feeling secluded, and can buy the DLC if they wish to do so.

DLC Cars + More Runner and Level 399 Cars

For cars currently in the game, some should receive performance level increases up to 399. The R34 GTR and M3 E46 are two examples of this, as these are two pretty iconic cars in Need for Speed which are being limited by a 299 cap. 

More cars alsoneed to be added for the Runner class. I love playing as Jess in free-roam as she is the only character able to play pursuits outside of Bait Crates, though the selection of cars on offer for her are very minuscule compared to other classes, especially considering Drag has almost all cars available on offer in the game and runner has barely even half.

In terms of DLC cars, I’d like to see Payback get a mix of free and paid DLC cars added to the game. I’m all for car packs in Payback and future NFS games if they consist of cars the community ask for, as well as some unique cars, that all have extensive customization options and aren’t stupidly overpriced.

An example of cars I’d like to see added are;

  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
  • Mazda RX8
  • Hennessey Venom
  • Subaru Impreza 22B
  • Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale
  • Fiat Punto
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
  • 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
  • Chevrolet Cobalt SS
  • 2019 Tesla Roadster
  • Shelby Cobra 427 (Derelict)
  • 1970 Dodge Challenger (Derelict)
  • Audi RS6
  • Audi TT
  • Range Rover Evoque
  • Pagani Zonda R
  • McLaren F1
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Bugatti Chiron

Drag and Drift Speedlists

Currently there’s only one type of Speedlist, which focuses on a mix of Race and Off-road races – utilizing two of the games five car classes.

Race and Off-road events should be split into their own speedlists, with a mixed option for those that wish to do both. Elimination events could also be added exclusively to Race and Off-road speedlists, to add an extra level of competitiveness to their circuit races.

Drift Speedlists should make a return also, with drift events from the main game essentially turned into Touge and Drift Contest events from Need for Speed 2015.

Drag Speedlists are tough implementation, though possible, with my suggestion being a Tournament system in Ranked Speedlists. Let’s say eight players join a speedlist, four teams of two will compete in a head-to-head, best of three drag races. The four winners of those races will then be split up again to determine the final two, with the final two going head-to-head one last time to determine the winner of the speedlist.

Party Game Modes

Forza and The Crew have party game modes, so I don’t see why Need for Speed can’t too. Game modes like Infected, Capture the Flag and King of the Hill would make the game’s multiplayer ten times more fun for those who aren’t keen on playing races online with randoms.

Another game mode I’d love to see is a Cops and Robbers game mode, where the racers need to get to a destination and the cops try stop them. Racers would be restricted to Runner class cars, which would give Runner cars a purpose online.

Crew System

Plenty of multiplayer franchises out there have a system like this in place, Destiny, Call of Duty, even Forza Horizon, and it would be great addition to Payback. If only used for a group of friends or representing a community like ours, this could be a small but unique thing to have added. Ghost could even name the system after the crews in the story mode; Street Leagues.

In Destiny 2, all your actions contribute to levelling up your clan with each level offering special bonuses to the clan that last for the season. Payback could implement a similar clan system with unique seasonal rewards such as exclusive license plate backgrounds or special vanity items.   

New Game+ Mode

I really enjoyed playing through the storyline of Need for Speed Payback, and now that I’ve completed it, it feels like there’s nothing to do than grind out races for money and parts. A New Game+ mode could help fix this, allowing players to replay the story with all their cars but at a much harder difficulty.

One thing to note is while I’d love a NG+ mode with events being much harder, I don’t want it to be like Need for Speed 2015’s Prestige Mode where it was insanely hard to achieve Gold on events and relying on overpowered cars. Much harder events, slightly bigger cash + rep pay-out, but remaining balanced and fair. I don’t want to rely on using a 399 Regera for every event, but I’d like to be more strategic with my part brands and their perks.

Garage and Character Customization

While these are two things that may not be possible to implement into Payback and would only appeal to a small audience, these would add to the personalization aspect of Need for Speed perfectly.

In our review, we mentioned that you can now buy garages in Payback, however each garage looks identical. Even if it were a small thing where you could select from different presets, that would be better than owning four identical garages that just serve as a fast travel point around the map, otherwise you may as well only have one.

Characters play a big part in Payback, and while you may not get to see them very often, it would be cool to be able to customize them – essentially their hairstyles, tattoos and clothing like in FIFA. When jumping into multiplayer, you’ll randomly spawn in as Ty, Jess or Mac, so an option to select which character you default to would make a welcome addition.

Nobeds Community Wishlist

These are just a handful of things we'd personally like to see added into Need for Speed Payback over the course of its lifetime, but we want to hear what you guys have to say too. Please feel free to leave in the comments section the things you would also like to see get added into the game, we have a Google Document which we will be updating with all the things everyone has suggested down below or over on our Twitter.