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Need for Speed Unbound: How to Change Driving Effects

Need for Speed Unbound takes a bit of a detour from the rest of the series when it comes to the visuals by utilizing Driving Effects. Although the vehicles still have the same high fidelity you would expect, a new splash of personality has been added with cel-shaded characters and the eye-catching Driving Effects.

Some are fans of the stylish visual and audio effects, but others do find it to be a bit much. Whether you’re looking for the perfect set to compliment your ride or prefer something minimalistic in comparison, you can find everything you need at a safehouse!

How to Choose Different Driving Effects

The option to change the effects is nestled within the Rides menu when you first enter a safehouse. From there you’ll want to navigate to Style and then Driving Effects. This leads you to two options: Tags and Samples.

Tags are set visual effects you can choose between. Individual aspects of the Tags can’t be changed or mixed & matched, meaning you’ll have to commit to one of the forty-four preset bundles. A good number of them are immediately available while more can be unlocked through challenges. Hovering over them will give you an idea of how they’ll look in action. The visual effects can be broken down into the following:

  • Back Tire/Body Particle Effects
  • Overhead Symbols
  • Smoke Plumes
  • Spinning Tire Lines/Symbols
  • Trailing Lines
  • Wings

How to add different sounds to your car in Need for Speed Unbound.

Samples are themed add-on sound effects. There are nine options here that range from what you’d expect out of a Fast & Furious film to the whacky such as an icy sound or a creature growling. Just like Tags, a lot of these are rewards for completing certain challenges.

How to Turn Driving Effects Off in Need for Speed Unbound

How to disable driving effects in Need for Speed Unbound.

Responses to these effects have been mixed ever since Need for Speed Unbound was first announced. It was seemingly divisive enough that the official Need for Speed Twitter account posted that they could be turned off. Unfortunately, there are only options to tone it down and turn off some of the effects on your vehicle, but not all.

Driving around with only a roaring engine is easy enough as the Samples menu does have the “None” option to drive without any add-on sound effects. Since the Tags menu doesn’t have the same luxury, your best bet for achieving more natural visuals is to go with the third tag simply called “Cloaked”. What makes it and the four color variation tags following it special is that they only show colored smoke, trailing lines, and the occasional small use particle effects around the body. The plain Cloaked tag manages to look the most realistic thanks to a grey-and-white color combination.

It’s unknown whether an option to turn them fully off for the player or other drivers will be added. For now, the above setup allows you to race with more natural effects without looking out of place with the competition.