Gamer Matters
Delivering Gaming Info Across Asia

- Advertisement -

How The Speed Cards Work In Need For Speed Payback


Need For Speed Payback introduces a new system for performance upgrades. Taking cues from The Crew, the performance parts this time are in the form of Speed Cards. That means Payback’s system is a bit more closer to picking and choosing gear for a character in an RPG.

Here’s a breakdown on how the system works, and how some might find it a bit cumbersome.

First off, each car has six different slots- engine head, engine block, ECU, turbo, exhaust and gearbox. Each Speed Card has a level, brand and up to three extra perks. Going from race to race requires you to constantly upgrade your car, each having a level starting at 100 and capping at 399. Each car has six categories of stats where the Speed Cards will affect- speed, acceleration, nitrous, jump and braking.

Speed Cards in general will affect speed and acceleration in some way, govern by the level- the big number on each card. Cards come in brands, and having equipped three or six cards of the same brand will net you a set bonus, specific to each brand. It is possible to get two set bonuses, or double the set bonus by matching it all to one brand.

Perks make a Speed Card even more special. A card can have none or up to three perks, giving a significant boost to a specific stat category. Perks can stack up to six times per stat category.

Set bonuses give extra perks to specific stats. They are:

  • Chidori (pink): Acceleration, Brake
  • Nextech (blue): Speed, Brake
  • Carbon (green): Acceleration, Jump
  • Outlaw (orange): Speed, Nitrous
  • Americana (red): Nitrous, Jump
  • Stock (grey): no bonus

Earning Speed Cards can be chore, however. You get one from winning a race or buy them from the tune-up store dotted around Fortune Valley. The stock of each store are the same, and will refresh after 10 minutes.

Another way to do it is by trading in Speed Cards and roll the slot machine. Trading in unwanted Speed Cards net you one Part Token and you need three to roll for a new, hopefully better card. You can lock in either a card type, a brand, or specific perks before each roll. More Part Tokens can also be earned through the regular and premium shipments (the game’s loot boxes).

- Advertisement -

So, What’s The Problem?

Essentially, it’s the caRPG idea that people were associating with Need For Speed Underground and running it further. You will now have to min-max your car builds. While it sounds good, there are a few issues that have crept by using this system in a Payback.

In Payback, each new race is a main quest, so to speak, where the bump in level requirement is raised significantly. Taking on all the races back to back and you might find yourself under equipped not before long. You will need to play previous races again- which should be okay since this is a racing game- but it is not what one would expect in a Need For Speed title.

Another problem is that all the Speed Cards are tied to the same car. So you cannot save up the inferior parts for use of a new car. Each new car has to get their own Speed Cards. Plus, the parts sold in the tune-up stores are scaled to car’s current level which results in only one or two parts available that can help bump up the level.

Getting derelicts up to snuff will take some time, as they all start from level 100. Be prepared to invest in many Part Tokens before they can get competitive. You will need to put in the time to really get that perfect build. So just hope the dice rolls are in your favour.

UPDATE 29/8/18: Thanks to an update, the grinding nature of earning Speed Cards have been slightly reduced. You can by boost any new car to a higher level quickly so should you have the in-game money.

You can find our review of Need For Speed Payback here.