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How to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat

You’ve been counting racks from all your daytime race wins in Need for Speed Heat with the hopes of saving up enough for your dream car. There’s only one problem: you can’t beat the heat at night. And we’re not talking the humid nighttime weather of Palm City.

We’re referring to the Palm City Police Department, who unfortunately are hellbent on squashing illegal nighttime racing and copping your hard-earned bank and reputation points after they bust you. Although the PCPD can seem like an insurmountable enemy, especially in the early goings of the game, there are some tried and true methods for dealing with them. The following tips will show you how to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat.

Get your a– out the kitchen

This one might seem like the most obvious advice on how to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat but it’s also crucial: if you want to avoid the police, don’t put too much time into racing at night (despite what advice Ana will give you) when you first start out.

The police can be very tough to deal with in the early stages of the game; with only the starter car in your possession, the PCPD will seemingly rubber-band behind you even as you hit top speeds and become relentless in high-speed chases on the city streets and highways once matters escalate past Heat Level 2.

How to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat


Instead of trying to build too much Rep at night, focus on grinding money during the daytime and making your nighttime sessions consist of a quick one or two races (call it a night when you hit Heat Level 2) before you close out in a safe house and switch back to day mode to repeat the process. Once you’ve earned enough money to upgrade to a faster vehicle, you’ll not only have an easier time winning races but eluding the police as well.

Jump around

As we mentioned in our last point, the cops can be hard to shake when you’re still relegated to your starter whip. Therefore, instead of trying to outspeed or outmuscle them in the early game, try hitting some jumps.

Going off a jump is a very effective way of shaking cops in Need for Speed Heat because there’s a very high likelihood they’ll crash trying to replicate your daredevil maneuver. Just make sure you have a little distance on them before hitting the jump to minimize the chance they’ll be rubberbanded to you going off of it.

How to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat


One of the best locations for jumps is on the right hand side of the map, in the downtown Palm City area and where it begins to connect to Westside. There are five long jumps grouped together here that can be used to spring from the cops, including Tip of the Water, Turbine Upgrade, The Ice-Cream Van, Avesta, and Yeet the Rich (listed from southernmost to northernmost on the map).

How to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat


Brush up on jump locations in-game by bringing up the map screen and using the Right Button to scroll to the Activities tab. You’ll see all the long jump locations denoted by an up arrow icon. Keep in mind, you won’t be able to view these jump locations at night time when the cops are chasing you.

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For those of you who want to further study the jump locations outside of the game, refer to this interactive Palm City map from Guides4Gamers.

And if you’re still having trouble visualizing how the chase scenarios with the cops should go down, check out this video from TheRealCatGoneCrazy, which breaks it down step-by-step:

Ramming speed

If you only have one or two cops on your tail in the early stages of Heat Level 2 and you’re within the city limits, try ramming your car into the pursuing police car, steering it towards a nearby building and then dipping back to the road at the last second.

It can be tricky to get the timing of this down but once you do, you’ll have a quick and effective way of getting a cop (or two) off your back.

Take a dip

Still need another method to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat because you’re getting taken down before you can even reach a long jump? Here’s an even slicker way to give the PCPD the slip.

Although it might seem counterintuitive, drive your vehicle into a body of water — a swimming pool likely won’t cut it but a pond, lake or river will. For some reason, once you take the plunge, the cops, like Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings, will dare not follow. (Or it’ll cause them to crash. Either way, good news.)

Your ride will take some noticeable damage for falling into the water when you respawn, but it’s a fair trade for escaping the boys (and girls) in blue. Just make sure you haven’t taken too much damage already before you pull this trick.

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Hit the racetrack

The Palm City Raceway isn’t just one of the best spots in Palm City for picking up cash and testing out new rides in time trials; it’s also one of the best spots if you need to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat.

How to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat


The abandoned race track can be found near Lucas’ Garage and features plenty of speed zones, drift zones and of course, jumps with which to make your expeditious escape from the PCPD.

Let’s go to the mall

Although the shopping mall in Edgewood City closed its doors to customers long ago, it’s still the source of plenty of entertainment in Need for Speed Heat.

There’s a parking garage across the street from it that you can maneuver up; once you reach the top level, you can either ram the pursuing police over the guard rails or hit the jump which will land you on top of the mall itself. As we said in our previous entry about hitting jumps, make sure you have some distance on the police giving chase or there’s a chance they could rubberband glitch on your vehicle and end up on the roof with you; if the cops are right on top of you in this instance, jump off the first level of the mall parking garage so the cops give chase, then cruise back up the ramp and hit the jump as they’re still making their way up to maximize your chances to escape.

Did you find these tips helpful in terms of how to outrun the cops in Need for Speed Heat? Do you have any advice of your own to share that we should include on this list? Sound off in the comments.

Written By

Ninja Gaiden was my rite of passage at an early age. After finally beating that game (and narrowly dodging carpal tunnel) I decided to write about my gaming exploits. These days I enjoy roguelikes and anything Pokemon but I'll always dust off Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country and StarFox 64 from time to time to bask in their glory.

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