Need for Speed: Japan is an upcoming open-world racing game developed by Ghost Games, Criterion Games, and the fictional Algorithm Studios. It will be released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and XBOX ONE platforms. The game may also be released on Mac and Linux, as well as possibly being ported to the Nintendo Switch in the future. As the title states, the game will be the first in the series to take place in Japan.


To address numerous complaints of Need for Speed (2015), Need for Speed: Japan will be playable offline, have an option for manual transmission, actually be able to pause the game (since it's available offline) and the physics model will be closer to that seen in Need for Speed Carbon. The frame rate also has been unlocked to 60 FPS (and is actually stable, *cough* NFS Rivals). Heat level also is based on how much of a threat the player is to the police rather than by how much fines have been accumulated in said car. Speedbreaker also returns, but with the additional feature to adjust vehicle positioning in mid-air, allowing for better landings. The Crew mechanic from Carbon returns with some adjustments to how crew members work. (Listed in the Crew portion of this page)

The game has four different area types: City, Highway, Touge, and Raceway. The main city overworld will be based on the Tokyo Metropolis and Shuto Expressway. Tokyo in-game is divided into 3 areas; Original Tokyo to the east (known as the 23 special wards IRL), the Tama area in the middle, and the Nishi-Tama district west, as well as Yokohama in the south. The mountain passes in the North Kanto area are also interconnected with the numerous lesser highways (note that whilst the Metropolis will be designed accurately, most of the roads outside the city will likely be shorter than they are in real life; mountain passes are excluded). Raceways, on the other hand, cannot be accessed whilst Free Roaming and are closed off, but can be driven through freely when testing a vehicle.

Police do play a role in the game, albeit in varying degrees. They primarily appear in city races and on the highways, but not on the mountain passes and circuits. This is namely due to the lack of hiding spots in the mountain passes, as being too narrow for police pursuits. As for circuits, well that's since those are closed off and actually legal.

Each kind of area has their own race modes.


City races are probably the most faithful races to the Need for Speed formula. There are also Outlaw events which involve confrontations with police.

  • Circuit: A multi-lap race around a not-so closed area. Almost like the real raceways, but with traffic and police as well.
  • Sprint: A point to point race.
  • Lap Knockout: A circuit race where the last person to cross the line is eliminated.
  • Checkpoint: Just you versus the clock. Get through all checkpoints before the time runs out.
  • Cost to City: Wreak havoc and escape.
  • Pursuit Duration: Keep the cops on your tail for a certain period of time before escaping.
  • Escape: Evade the cops within the time limit.
  • Takedown: Destroy a certain number of police cruisers (or a particular kind) and escape.

Races earn you more cash, and outlaw missions earn you more EXP, allowing you to access better parts, more customization options, and faster cars quicker.


The famed Shuto Expressway is easily the area which will allow you to achieve high speeds. Just be careful as traffic is harder to avoid with all that speed, plus there's quite a lot of big trucks that may end your day should you crash into one. Unlike city races, you will always begin the race with a rolling start (excluding Drag).

  • Sprint: Same as the City races.
  • Speedtrap: Pass through checkpoints at a certain speed. Highest total speed is the winner.
  • Highway Duel: A combination of Undercover's Highway Duels, Carbon's Canyon Duels, and the standard race format in the Tokyo Xtreme Racer/Shutoko Battle series. Each racer starts with 100K points, and the further they are behind (as well as from hitting traffic and walls; police don't count at least) the faster those points go down. First to hit zero before the time limit ends (or the lower score when the time does run out) is the loser.
  • Drag: These will primarily be held in the Wangan and Yokohane routes. Reflexes are key, as you'll need to have good shift work and be able to maneuver around traffic easily (as you'll almost certainly total your car).
  • Tollbooth: Same as Checkpoint Races, but you also have to deal with avoiding hitting tollbooths, as they'll slow you down should you run into them (they break like in Most Wanted), and you'll definitely need that speed for these races.


These are Japan's famed mountain passes. Pursuits cannot occur here as the roads are typically too narrow. Traffic is also pretty scarce here. The narrow roads and tight corners have made these roads great for more intense races where power isn't the end-all-be-all. The confirmed tracks at the moment: Hakone, Toyo Tires Turnpike (Mt. Taikan for Wangan Midnight fans), Nagao, Hakone Nanamagari, Haruna (Akina), Myogi, Usui, Akagi, both Irohazaka routes, Happogahara, Tsukuba, and Tsubaki routes. Unlike Carbon, however, traffic will spawn (but usually it'll be rather sparsely distributed and only have lighter vehicles), so you might want to be careful.

  • Sprint: You get the idea.
  • Time Attack: Basically the same as Checkpoint.
  • Drift: Drift (no fishtailing) to earn points. The amount of points is based on speed and angle, as well as other factors - such as consecutive drifts. Just don't hit the wall too hard, or you'll lose the entire point.
  • Duel: Similar to sprint races, but with only one opponent.
  • Cat and Mouse: Basically the Canyon Duels from NFS Carbon.


Tracks (almost) completely closed off from the rest of the map, so you do not have to worry about traffic. Confirmed tracks include: Suzuka Circuit, Fuji Speedway, Autopolis, Ebisu Circuit, Okayama Circuit, Sportsland SUGO, Tsukuba Circuit, and Twin Ring Motegi.

  • Circuit: A truly closed off multi-lap race.
  • Lap Knockout: Same as the city, but in a raceway.
  • Class Race: Vehicles are divided into two pools based on performance capabilities. You will only race against drivers in the same pool.
  • Time Attack: Similar to NFS Prostreet's Time Attack races. You have to set the fastest lap time, but you'll be doing so at the same time as the other racers.
  • Solo Drift: Same as mountain drifting, but the roads are wider and you have bonus zones placed riskier areas. You also don't earn points if you drive off the road surface or hit a wall too hard
  • Tandem Drift: Same as Solo Drift, but with the added challenge of having to share the road surface with another rival.

Story Progression

The way the story progresses is a combination of Most Wanted and Carbon's progression. You progress through the story primarily by winning races and claiming territory (like in Carbon), but each of the dominant teams must be defeated in order based on the member hierarchy (Like Most Wanted's Blacklist), and each of them will consist of 5 members - the 4 best racers in the organization followed by their leader. Basically, you need to claim a certain amount of turf before you can get their attention. Furthermore, some team members also require other things to be completed, such as specific event types, pursuit milestones, and certain conditions of the current vehicle driven (certain class, must have more/less than a certain Heat level etc.). Events will be mixed in type, but they'll primarily be based on the area of expertise the team specializes in. Rival team members usually require beating them in two races. Rinse and repeat until you defeated 4 of the 5 rival team members and took all of their turf. From there, the boss will show up for one last showdown - but you have to beat them in 4 races. Defeat them and the district is yours. For the most part, which brings us to...

Defense races. Much like in Carbon, defense races also occur should a minor crew attack one of the events you control, although the payout for defense races is better (you earn as much as you did for claiming the race the first time around). if you lose, then the territory belongs to that crew and must be reclaimed (you earn half of the reward as you would have the first time around). If a minor crew takes too many races in a territory, they will challenge you directly in a 2 v 2 race (you + 1 crew member vs. the two attackers) of your choice. Should you lose this race, then your territory is formally lost (but not for good, as you can simply win them back). Defense races only happen after defeating the boss of a dominant crew for the first time.

When defeating a major crew boss, you will receive a choice of three random reward markers, as well as ones for unique visuals and performance parts. You can only pick two markers, and one of the three random ones even contains the pink slip to the ride that you just took down. If you do get the pink slip, you will also unlock the car for Quick Race and online mode. (All boss cars will be within A class.) Furthermore, you can unlock the crew members' cars in Quick Race and multiplayer simply by defeating them. (You can't use them in Career Mode legitimately, though.)


Customization will be comparable to that of NFS 2015's (plentiful, but not to the extent of being overly ricey). Much like NFS 2015, aftermarket parts will be primarily based on real life manufacturers, although fictional Autosculpt parts will be available as well. Specific visual modifications include custom paint, window tint, aftermarket bumpers and skirts, spoilers, body kits, hoods, roof scoops, muffler tips, headlight design and colour, rims, wheel paint, neons, vanity plates. A vinyl editor will also be present with many preset vinyls, but custom vinyls and vinyl sets can be submitted and exchanged with other players (they will have to be approved first).

Performance upgrades include the following: Engine, ECU, Transmission, Suspension, Brakes, Tires, and Forced Induction kits. Unlike previous installments, some vehicles are capable of using either turbines or superchargers, but others are locked into one or the other. Quick and Advanced tuning is also present, allowing the player to adjust vehicle configurations, from gear ratios to spring rate. Engine swaps have been added as well for every car, but different vehicles have different options due to issues with possible game imbalance, plus some options would be a bit too silly (you can't just swap an LS into a Peugeot, sorry).

Challenge Series

The Challenge Series mode consists of sets of certain event types with a specific vehicle. You will start out with only the Bronze events. Beating the Bronze event of a set will unlock the Silver event, and beating the Silver event will unlock the Gold event. Beating a Gold event will reward you with unique visual customization options, such as unique spoilers, hoods, and vinyls. Beating a certain cluster of Gold events based on their area type (Outlaw events are separate here) will unlock vehicles that can be customized and used in Career Mode. Beating any event will unlock the pre-tuned vehicle for use in Quick Race and Multiplayer.


(coming soon)


(WARNING: Will contain massive spoilers as this progresses)

The game opens with a race within Tokyo. The player is lent their brother Hoshi's Impreza and must win a 2 lap circuit race against rather easy opposition. Upon winning, the player receives 2M yen that can be used for the purchase of their first vehicle (as well as an additional 1M yen if a save for NFS 2017 is detected). However, their celebration is halted after a white Nissan Cima rams Hoshi's Impreza (and keep in mind that both of you were still in the car) at a high speed from the side, totalling the car and hospitalizing both the player and Hoshi.

Several months after the incident, the player is approached by Masako, one of the original members of the Full Boost crew Hoshi led. She tells that player about the fall of the team and how she plans on reforming it under a new name, and that if the player agrees, they will be able to have input on the team's name and emblem, as well as being the 2nd in command. The player obliges.

Some time after defeating two rival crew members, Masako introduces the player to Io, another former member of the Full Boost team. Io is initially hesitant to actually join, but still does so due to his respect for Hoshi, as well as him being the player's brother and that the player has already demonstrated their competence. After defeating five crew members (does not necessarily mean defeating an entire major crew), Dai manages to find out about such being done by some of his old crew and is eager to re-join. From there, he becomes available for your crew.


The Player

Real Name: _____ Aoyama (has canonical last name due to one character being their biological sibling)

Age: Between 20 and 25

Gender: M/F (depending on avatar)

Vehicle: Player's choice

Wingman Type: Player's choice

The main protagonist of the game. Unlike the other installments where the player is represented as a commonly unseen male protagonist, the player's character is an avatar that can be customized as they so please to -- from clothing, hairstyles, and even the ability to play as a female protagonist. Their avatar appears as the player's driver model and in both NIS (non-interactive sequences) and cutscenes alike (the cutscenes in this game are CGI rather than live action), but they are also a mute protagonist.


Real Name: Yoshiro Aoyama

Age: 27

Gender: M

Vehicle: Subaru BRZ (ZC6), Subaru Impreza WRX STi (GDB-F)

Wingman Type: Drafter

Theme: CLUTCHO - Liberation

The older brother of the player and the former leader of the now defunct Full Boost crew. He is a charismatic man whom had led his team to many victories and almost became the strongest illicit racing team in the nation. However, these ambitions collapsed after the incident after the game's prologue race, leaving him badly injured, and so did his team, as it ultimately disbanded without a leader, and all that territory went up for grabs by anyone who could get their hands on it. Hoshi is an individual who is willing to allow his team to draft off of him should they need the extra speed. He drives Subarus with rally-inspired liveries -- although the cars are black rather than blue.


Real Name: Aito Tsuchiyama

Age: 26

Gender: M

Vehicles: Honda Accord Euro R, Lexus RC F

Wingman Type: Blocker

Theme: Televisor - Neon

One of the three remaining members of the defunct Full Boost team. Io is an individual who gives off the impression of someone who is soft-spoken and apathetic, but in reality he was a good friend of Hoshi. He is also a beast behind the wheel; not necessarily someone who is above moving his rivals by force should they hog the inside line, but he's a fast and loyal racer nonetheless. He specializes in straight-line performance and grip tuning, and often uses weightier vehicles because his aforementioned aggressive tendencies. His cars are painted paired with a black and white stripe vinyls with a black front bumper and fenders.


Real Name: Masako Imamura

Age: 25

Gender: F

Vehicles: Toyota Trueno GT-APEX (AE86), Nissan Skyline GT-R (R33), Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Wingman Type: Scout

Theme: Pendulum - Self Vs. Self ft. in flames

One of the four remaining members of the defunct Full Boost team. She served as the brains of the teams and often co-ordinated strategies for the team based on the track layout, weather conditions, and the density of traffic and cops. She also is responsible for turning many of the teams' rides. She knows her way through every single road in and out of Tokyo. Her vehicles are tuned to be a balance of power, torque, and cornering ability, and use a black paint scheme with red tribal and curl vinyls.


Real Name: Daigo Otori

Age: 31

Gender: M

Vehicle: Nissan Pulsar GTI-R, Audi RS 4 Avant (B8)

Wingman Type: Rusher

Theme: The Prodigy - Wild Frontier

One of the four remaining members of the defunct Full Boost team. Dai has probably been racing for longer than any of the other members, and served as the calm, collected mentor to the hot-blooded Hoshi, as well as the rest of the Full Boost crew. His cars possess great straight line power and traction, but his Audi tends to understeer in hairpins (his Pulsar isn't as bad in corners; in fact it's quite good, but it's weaker). They also seem to possess a sort of intimidation factor -- one to the point where any ordinary racer just wants to give the guy some space.


Need For Speed: Japan/Cars

Crews & Wingmen

The crew system returns, but has been altered drastically. The following changes have been made transitioning from Carbon to this game:

  • an entire command system is in place for wingmen (Do as you please, Activate/Deactivate ability, Stay with me, Follow)
  • Intensity of wingman rubberbanding has been decreased (now on par with standard AI racers)
  • Rushers added. They specialize in causing traffic and cops to be repelled by them to create a clear path nearby them
  • Scouts nerfed significantly (they'll travel around the same speed as you)
  • A skill points/leveling system is in place for them. Wingmen will have based on their skills in certain types of races, as well as those for pursuits. Each member will have different bases and skill point caps, so no two are the same.
  • It is now possible to view specs of your crew members' vehicles. (It will adjust to be around where your vehicles are)
  • If your wingman wins, you will earn less than what you would have gotten had you won the race yourself. (Precisely, you'd earn 80% of what you would have gotten initially.)
  • Crew members can follow you around in Free Roam if you want to, and they'll also help out in pursuits (but some are mediocre in pursuits and will get busted easily).
  • Blockers can now target and take down cops. This applies in both races and pursuits.
  • You have a total of 12 crew members (8 members you obtain normally + 4 optional ones for meeting certain requirements)

Minor Crews

  • Z3R0 - A crew primarily associated more with track racing rather than street racing, but are involved in both fields. They are recognized by their Great Wave livery and specialize in rotary-engined Mazdas.
  • The Unkillable - A crew that has made a name for itself in expressway racing. They are known for their camo liveries and primarily drive Lancer Evolutions.
  • Alpha Centauri - A crew that primarily races within the city streets, without any fear of cops and traffic alike. They use drive black vehicles with galaxy liveries and have no specific vehicle preference.
  • Avalanche - A crew that does well in mountain and canyon races. They drive cyan vehicles with winter-themed liveries and have a "no foreign cars" policy.
  • Rallin Kuningas - Finnish for "king of rally", this crew often races in the less densely populated parts of the metropolis where there are more dirt roads. Their vehicles more often than not covered in stripes and they only use vehicles with a renowned rally pedigree (WRXs, Evos, Peugeots etc)
  • Hi-GHz - A crew that has gained a notorious reputation for blasting loud music during their races, especially in city races. They have liveries of speakers on their cars and do not drive any vehicle in particular, but they also tend to have very outlandish exhaust pipes.
  • Mugen-juku - A prestigious racing academy that does not engage in city or expressway races AT ALL, but are very adept at what they do. They don't have a particular livery they formally use, and are undeniably the best racers around when it comes to FWD cars, especially Hondas.
  • Cerulean - A team known for their exploits in dealing with law enforcement and police chases. Their racing isn't too shabby either. They drive blue vehicles with tribal vinyls, particularily heavier vehicles that can dish out and take more damage against the cops.
  • 24 Hours - A circuit racing focused team that has more endurance focused setups, which does have a tendency to somewhat hinder them in shorter races. They typically have body stripe vinyls on their cars and tend to use mid and rear-engined cars.
  • Like the Wind - A team who prefer focusing their attention to expressway racing. Their vehicles are quite stable and capable of reaching very high top speeds. They often use curves and other round geometrical designs on their cars, and mainly drive cars with engines that can withstand heavy tuning (they especially tend to use Supras).
  • Soft Puppet - A team who is the close rival to Z3R0, this crew bears many similarities, but does seem to favor mountain racing more. They specialize in Silvias and 180SXs in particular.
  • VIP Power - A team who specializes in the VIP style of tuning, and primarily use lowered domestic sedans (with the occaisional Mercedes showing up every now and then). Due to the large size of the vehicles and their low suspension setup, they typically prefer racing whetever there are long straightaways and minimal elevation changes.

Major Crews

(coming soon)


When racing in the metropolis and Shutoko, you have a chance of running into the law enforcement. They will not appear in the mountain passes, and only seldom appear on the expressways, they'll appear in city races more often, and will have faster vehicles patrolling the highways. The more aggressively you engage the police, the higher your Heat level will rise - to a default maximum of 5. The specific pursuit vehicles include the following.

  • Standard Civic Unit: Nissan Crew LS-F
  • Highway Patrol/Unmarked Unit: Toyota Crown (GRS210)
  • Light SUV Unit: Mazda CX-7
  • Highway Sport/Sport Unmarked Unit: Nissan 370Z/Fairlady Z Version ST (Z34)
  • Sport Tactical/Sport Tactical Unmarked Unit: Nissan Skyline GT-R VSpec-II (BNR34)
  • Heavy SUV Unit: Toyota Land Cruiser 5.7 L (URJ200)
  • High Performance/High Performance Unmarked Unit: Nissan GT-R Premium 17' (R35)
  • Air Support Unit: Bell 412 Helicopter

The vehicles appearance in certain Heat levels is as follows:

  • Heat Level 1: Standard Civic Unit (Common), Highway Patrol Unit (Semi-Rare)
  • Heat Level 2: Highway Patrol Unit (Common), Highway Unmarked Unit (Rare)
  • Heat Level 3: Highway Unmarked Unit (Common), Highway Sport Unit (Uncommon), Light SUV Unit (Semi-Rare), Sport Tactical Unit (Rare)
  • Heat Level 4: Highway Sport Unmarked Unit (Common), Sport Tactical Unit (Uncommon), Light SUV Unit (Uncommon), Heavy SUV Unit (Roadblocks only), Air Support Unit (Very Rare)
  • Heat Level 5: Sport Tactical Unit (Common), Sport Tactical Unmarked Unit (Uncommon), Heavy SUV Unit (Semi-Rare), High Performance Unit (Semi-Rare), Air Support Unit (Rare)
  • Heat Level 6 (Challenge Series only): Heavy SUV (Common), High Performance Unit (Common), High Performance Unmarked Unit (Uncommon), Air Support Unit (Semi-Rare)
  • Heat Level 7 (Challenge Series only): Supercharged Heavy SUV (Common), Air Support Unit (Semi-Rare)
  • Heat Level 8 (Challenge Series only): All ground units (Random rarity), Air Support Unit (Uncommon)

The vehicles sorted from lightest to heaviest: Standard Civic Unit, Highway Sport Unit, Highway Patrol Unit, Highway Sport Unmarked Unit, Sport Tactical Unit, Highway Unmarked Unit, Sport Tactical Unmarked Unit, Light SUV Unit, High Performance Unit, High Performance Unmarked Unit, Heavy SUV Unit. They can be driven and unlocked for usage in Quick Race and Multiplayer after beating the game at least once (excluding the helicopter).

In Free Roam and at Heat Level 1, police will not go after you unless you commit an infraction in their vicinity (speeding right past them, hitting them or a traffic vehicle, destruction of property etc). They will attempt to pull you over immediately on sight should they find you in a race or if your vehicle was reported driving recklessly. If your Heat Level is 2 or higher, the police will attempt to arrest you on sight.

If you get busted during a pursuit, you will be fined based on the infractions you have committed (such as destroying property, hit and run, and overall resisting arrest), receive an impoundment strike for the vehicle in question, and your Heat level will be reset. Each vehicle has 3 impoundment strike slots, and if you get busted 3 times with the same vehicle, you lose it for good. You can add slots just to be safe (max. 5 total slots per car) with strike markers that can be obtained as semi-rare random race drops. Should you lose all your vehicles and be unable to purchase a new one, or if you are unable to pay fines 3 times over the course of career mode, you will have to start over (On the bright side, you can skip the tutorial races. Same goes for if you beat the game and start a new career).

It is possible to just simply pull over for police and avoid the pursuit entirely (although if you do so in a race event, you'll automatically lose), resulting in a lower fine and avoiding an impoundment strike on your vehicle. Note that this is only possible if your Heat level is less than 2 AND the fine is less than 110K yen (around less than $1000 USD) and this cannot be done in Outlaw events. Heat levels on a car will get lower should it avoid being noticed by the cops for a while, and this process can be sped up by using a different car and winning events/escaping pursuits with it. If you're impatient, altering the appearance of the car can speed up this process to varying degrees based on what you change.

When you have gotten far enough from the police, you will enter Cooldown mode. From here, you have to avoid visual contact with the police to successfully escape. Hiding Spots can speed up the cooldown process (especially on higher Heat levels, as the Cooldown bar fills up slower), and cannot be detected by most police units (Sport Tactical and High Performance Units, as well as their unmarked variants, can detect Hiding Spots if they can hear engine sounds, so remain still and/or turn off the ignition in higher Heat levels). Entering Safehouses as well as taking expressway routes which involve exiting the city during Cooldown can end the pursuit immediately. (If you're wondering about using these to escape, perish the thought, as these routes are blocked off temporarily by a bright neon barrier when the police are chasing you, but open when in cooldown mode)

One more thing to add is that cops will rubberband to intensify pursuits. (Due to how easy it was to lose the cops in NFS 2015.)


The music selection will be based on the kind of event you are in (as well as music for garages and free roam). This can be altered at any time so that all music will play regardless of event, excluding pursuit music. Some songs are also unlockable after beating certain bosses.

(NOTE: This list is not finished. Unlike my vehicle list, I am open to suggestions. Just... don't suggest meme songs or anything like that.)


Main Menu/Garage/Free Roam

City (Primarily DnB, with some mixed)

Highway (primarily Trance/Hardcore)

Touge (primarily Eurobeat)

Raceway (primarily Rock/Metal)


Update #1: Premier Update

This is the first update to the game. It fixes some bugs, as well as adding new vinyls and songs to the game. It also fixes several minor bugs in the game.

Update #2: Saki Kaskas Memorial Update

The second update to the game. It serves as a memorial for the late Saki Kaskas, who composed many tracks for the classic-era NFS titles. Some of his tracks have been added to the same as such.

Trivia/Other Stuff

  • This is the first installment to have dual audio. (English and Japanese w/ regional subtitles for both. Selecting Japanese voices will turn on subtitles by default, but these can be disabled. The Japanese version of this game itself does the inverse.)
  • If a police car is used in Quick Race or Multiplayer events with cops turned on, the police radio will use a unique message reporting about a "stolen police car", as well as what specific unit type was used.
  • There are a total of 14 helicopters in service within the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in real life, and thus there can only be a maximum of 14 Air Support Units per pursuit in-game as well.
  • If you have a save for NFS 2017 detected, you will receive some additional cash when you start career mode.
  • Rushers are based on Persuaders, a wingman type from Carbon that were present in the alpha for said game but cut from the final release.
  • There are many references to other series in this game. See if you can guess them all. :)

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