FIFA Ultimate Team is not only a license for EA to print money, but it’s also something that can be quite daunting for anyone who’s never dipped their toe into those particular choppy waters. For my part, and due to a self-imposed ban on playing EA products that lasted eight years, I was, until recently, one of those people. As this is what I do for a living now, and with the new game soon to hit the shops, I sucked it up, sold my soul, and signed up to EA Access so I could get an idea of what this whole deal was about.
And I’ve got to tell you; I sucked at it. I sucked so badly that I ended up having to install FIFA 18 after I ruined any chance of having a decent squad in FIFA 19. As you can imagine, I’ve learned a lot over the past few weeks, and I’ve come up with this little guide for all of you that have never played FUT before. Hopefully, if you follow my advice, you’ll at least be able to handle yourself with a little more decorum than I have and, you never know, you might win a few games along the way.
Don’t Delete Unless You Really Have To
In hindsight, this is a total no-brainer and such a rookie mistake that I’m almost embarrassed to include it on here. The reason that I had to leave FIFA 19 and get my FUT practice on FIFA 18 was that I managed to burn through all my free deletes in about three days. And why? Because I didn’t like the look of my squad and thought that this time around I’d get a better starter pack. It’s a stupid thing to do, so don’t do it unless you really, and I mean really, have to as not only do you lose all your players but all the cash and nice little trinkets you’ve accumulated along the way.
Complete All The Starter Objectives
Part of the previous entry into this guide, if you delete your squad, then any Starter Objective that you may have completed doesn’t reset, which means it’s gone forever along with any of the goodies that you may have gotten for finishing it. So keep your eyes on the prize here, the Starter Objectives are a great way to pick up packs and cash to help strengthen your squad and the more you do, the more you get. It’s also worth keeping a gaze on the Daily and Weekly objectives as well. There might be one or two that you can’t do, but there should be enough to keep you rolling in coinage and new additions to your squad for weeks to come.
Don’t Sprint Everywhere
This is something that I was guilty of from the get-go and with the power of hindsight I can safely say that sprinting everywhere in FUT is going to cause you more trouble than it’s worth. You might be able to get away with it in Career Mode, especially if you’re playing on lower levels, but if you try to do that in FUT you’re not only going to find yourself flat on your backside more often than not, but your player’s fitness is going to suffer. Just take it easy; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t Be Afraid To Play On A Lower Difficulty
Now, I expect to get a lot of derision and catcalls and cries of “God!!! YOU NEWB!!!” for this entry but, quite frankly, I don’t care. I admit that by playing on lower difficulty levels you’re not going to “Git Good” but if you’re just starting and want to make some FIFA cash than there’s nothing wrong with it. This is more aimed at Squad Battles but if you combine it with any Coin Boosts you’ve unlocked as you level up, then you’re going to be able to make a decent amount of wedge each time you play. And before you all pick up your pitchforks, I’d also like to add that if you play through single-player, which you really should do as a first-timer, then you’ll have to improve as you progress through the leagues as the teams you face become a lot harder.
Know Your Buttons
Again, when you see it in black and white, this is so obvious that my one-year-old daughter could’ve figured it out, but it took me more than a little while to get my head around it. Knowing your buttons is the best way to make sure that you’re not on the end of a royal thumping. For example, shielding the ball gives you time to bring other players into the attack, every tackle that you get right earns you coins and every foul you give away costs you cash and every shot on target does the same and the more goals you rack up then, the more sweet, sweet gold you’re going to see. Also, don’t be afraid to score the tramp style. It’s frowned upon by some sections of the FIFA fandom, but if you’re through one-on-one with the keeper and you’ve got support bursting into the box, sometimes it’s just better to square the ball for a tap-in than watch as the goalie performs a miracle save.
Keep Your Shape
You need to keep your shape in FIFA, or opposing teams are going to stroll through you as if you’re not there and you’re going to find yourself on the end of the sort of scoreline that wouldn’t seem out of place in a basketball game. Learn to jockey for position, learn to contain attackers, and only dive into a tackle if you’re 100% sure you’re going to come away with the ball. Otherwise, you’re going to leave more holes in your backline than Swiss cheese, and that really won’t end well for you.
Don’t Play Online Unless You’re Prepared
I know how tempting it is to want to take your team into a match with another human, but unless you’re prepared for it, you’re going to have a bad time. I made the mistake of looking at my squad, seeing a smattering of gold player’s mixed in with some silver and a lot of bronze and thought to myself “Yeah, I reckon I could hold my own.” I couldn’t hold my own, or anyone else’s for that matter, and I lost 10-0. Unless you want the same thing to happen to you, then make sure you’ve got enough quality at hand to be able to make a decent fist of it at least, and if you do find yourself on the end of the beating that would put Conor McGregor to shame, then suck it up. Rage quitting will get you nowhere, and you still get coins for your loss, no matter how humiliating it is.
Once again we stray into the so obvious that an idiot could figure it out unless that idiot is called Neil, but consumables are your friend, and you should embrace them as such. Whether that’s using fitness ones to make sure your best players are always in tip-top shape or extending contracts, so you don’t lose your all-important front-man, consumables can make your game a lot easier. Also, look out for position modifiers. There’s no point playing a 4-3-3 if you only have right midfielders, for example, as it affects the chemistry. Just grab yourself a modifier from the transfer market, or out of a pack, and turn that player into the right-winger that you need. And talking of the transfer market.
Bargains In, Quick Sells Out
It’s mighty tempting to spank 7,500 coins on a Premium Gold Pack from the store, on the off chance that you find that perfect player to replace the useless bronze central midfielder you have clogging up your engine room but the fact is that you’re going to be lucky to get the exact position you need to fill. It’s almost as if the game knows what you’re looking for and goes out of its way to deny you. Instead, jump onto the transfer market, stick in a max buy now limit, usually between 250-400, and pick yourself up a bargain to help strengthen your team. Conversely, if you’re looking to shift out some deadwood, you could stick them on the transfer list and hope that you get lucky, but there are players in FIFA that have been doing this a lot longer than you and know how to make their fortune from it. My advice here is to sell quickly. It might not bring you the biggest bucks but as the whole point of FUT is to make money to improve your lot, then every little helps.
Use The Right Formation For The Job At Hand
If you find yourself in a game where your default formation isn’t working for you, then change it up. You can pick three different formations for each match, so use them. It could change your luck and turn what looked like a loss into a win, so don’t be afraid to experiment if you’re struggling against another team.
If You Get An Icon, Use Them
Icons don’t come cheap, but if you’ve managed to land one, by fair means or foul, then you need to keep them in your team as long as you can. This means throwing fitness consumables at them left, right, and center which can prove costly if you have to buy them off the transfer market, but it’s worth it. These players change the whole make up of your team, automatically boosting your chemistry between players. They’re also the best of the best and can make you feel like a footballing God as you stride around the pitch with them, banging in goals, or crunching into tackles.