Need for Speed Heat has a lot of different races and activities, but perhaps the most difficult and most lucrative are the High Heat Races, sometimes referred to as High Heat Events, challenging races that can only be accessed by players with, appropriately enough, high heat levels. We’ll be going over what you need to get into one, how you can win, and what rewards you’ll get out of it.
What are High Heat Races?
These are essentially standard NFS: Heat races, but with two differences: firstly, the NPC participants generally tend to be of a much higher calibre than normal, and secondly, the police will be a much more significant factor than in a regular race. This is because High Heat Events are locked off from anybody who doesn’t have a heat level of 3 or higher, meaning that those who enter have to be wanted fugitives from the start, and that the police will already be patrolling when the race begins.
Rewards for Beating High Heat Races
These races compensate for their high difficulty with significant rewards for both a player's rep and bank, despite taking place only at night. Even more interestingly, each race offers a random car part, something no other race does. These parts are always of very high quality, sometimes the best in the game. This means that High Heat Races are vital for those who want to make their cars unrivalled powerhouses, both online and offline.
How to Join a High Heat Race
First of all, don’t worry about your car’s actual quality. High Heat Races automatically scale to your car’s rank when you leave the garage, so you can never be overleveled or underleveled.
However, High Heat Races require two more things for entry: a heat level of 3, as mentioned, and enough money to pay for the fine if the player should get caught (usually about $10,000). You don’t lose the money just by entering, you simply need to have it on you to apply.
Raising Your Heat to Level 3
For an easy and relatively safe way to build heat, we recommend checking out our guide on farming for rep, in which efficiently raising your heat level is part of the process. Otherwise you simply need to go about the process of annoying local law enforcement, whether through completing activities, participating in other, lesser races, or even just bumping into squad cars. Be careful: if you’re caught at any point, you’ll lose a lot of money and your progress will be reset to zero.
Once you’ve built your heat up, lose any cops pursuing you. Now you need to get to the High Heat Race.
Finding a High Heat Race
While this would normally be easy, the police presence you’ve spent quite a while building is going to make getting to the race almost as hard as participating in it.
Firstly, check your map. The race should be marked by an image of a tire surrounded by a magenta ring. The location of the race changes from night to night, so don't just check the places you've seen them before.
Once you have it marked, head to the race - but very carefully. If you’re actually being pursued by the cops, the game won’t let you sign up until you lose them, so keep a close eye on your minimap and avoid the telltale red triangles that mark out squad cars. If you see one coming in your direction, we recommend driving off-road immediately. Police cars won’t leave tarmac without a reason, making it safer to cut across country than stay on the streets.
Before you get to the race, check your car’s health. If it’s less than 75%, stop by at a gas station and restore your health before signing up: High Heat Races can be pretty brutal.
How to Win a High Heat Race
Don’t expect to win one of these your first time; the fact that the races scale to your car mean that they’ll never be easy, even for a good driver. However, there are some common elements to High Heat Races that a cunning player can take advantage of.
- Check out the route in advance. By hovering your icon over the race marker on the map, you’ll see both the route and the recommended car type. This’ll usually be on-road racing, but it’s still worth looking at the course or even driving along it in advance, just to familiarise yourself with what’s to come, whether it's difficult turns or well-placed ramps.
- Prepare for police interference. This one is obvious, but it bears repeating - make sure your car is at full health, ideally with some auxiliary upgrades like the kill switch jammer or damage reduction mod. Not only are the police on the prowl, they’ll be at a high level of activity and you want to be able to deal with them when they do show up. Luckily the speed of the race and the distraction afforded by the other cars means that their full force shouldn’t fall on you - but if it does, things could get very bad.
- Don’t be afraid to bump other cars. This doesn’t just apply to the police; knocking away an opponent is a valid racing tactic that’s often difficult for a driver to recover from. For all the skill of High Heat racers, there’s very little that can be done when half a ton of german engineering slams into your wheel well at a hundred and fifty miles an hour. Just make sure not to lose control in the process, and pick your moment just right - if you can make them slam into a solid wall, you won’t hear from them for a while, and might take them out of the race altogether.
- Expect a long race. High Heat Races don’t have laps, but they do extend for a long way, usually covering a combination of locales that includes busy freeways, winding country lanes and chaotic city centres. Keep that in mind and play the long game, saving your nitrous for the right moments, being less reckless than normal and allowing your patience to pay off.
Winning Volatile Parts
Completing the race gives you good cash and rep rewards proportionate to your victory, but any of those who finish in the top five will receive a random high-tier car part. Unfortunately, it’s "volatile," meaning that you don't quite have it for certain yet. You need to bring it back to a safehouse to actually claim it and store it away in your garage inventory, effectively ending your night of lawlessness in the process. If your car is destroyed or the police arrest you before then, you'll lose it and have to win another race to get it back. Follow the same tricks we mentioned earlier for getting to the race, and you should be fine.
If you managed to race your way to victory, congratulations! We mentioned how to farm rep earlier, but why not check out our guide to farming money in the very same area? Or you could take a look at our comprehensive guide on collectibles, available here. Alternatively, you could always take a peek at the full car list for Need for Speed Heat, so you know exactly what's up for grabs with all that money you earned.