We're gearing up for the release of FIFA 15 next week here at Balls.ie, and today we are bringing you a guide to get up and running with one of the most popular game modes in video game history, FIFA Ultimate Team.
Whether you are completely new to Ultimate Team or have played it before, there will be helpful tips in here to help you get the most out of your team, and how you can get the squad you want as quickly as possible.
So lets get started, but be warned, Ultimate Team can be bloody addicting.
FIFA Ultimate Team is a virtual card game where you obtain player cards to use with FIFA's gameplay. The aim of the game is to build a team out of player cards, all of whom have attributes reflecting their real-life ability, and rise up the divisions of either offline or online seasons. Players can be obtained by opening "packs" which can be bought with real money, or through the in-game coins. Using money will rapidly speed up the process of building a great team, but it definitely is possible without spending a penny.
There is also a Transfer Market where you can list any cards you don't want, or buy the cards you do want, using in-game coins earned from playing the game. The concept of "trading" is a very popular way to generate coins to spend on players, as some people will browse the market looking for bargains in an effort to flip them for a profit. Its very serious business.
When you initially start the Ultimate Team mode, you will be given a basic run down of the mode's features, before being asked to pick your club name. Once that is completed you will be given a starter pack.
The starter pack is full of terrible players, with a few decent ones to get you going. The idea is that you play with these crap players to get some coins in order to start building your team, but there are ways to speed up this process.
Stick to offline at first, as your team is terrible. The first thing you should do is enter an offline cup or divisions season, and pick which ever one suits your difficulty level while also paying out a decent win bonus. A few thousand coins is all you need to build a basic squad.
Win that tournament, earn some coins, then hit the market to build your squad.
There are three basic card types available in packs right from the start, these are bronze, silver, and gold. Some players have a higher chance of being pulled from a back, these are non-rare cards, and those players who have a lesser chance at being pulled are rare cards (the shiny ones), also important to note are the attributes, and in particular, pace. Pace is so important on FIFA Ultimate Team. Examples of these cards can be seen below:
By and large, you want gold players in your team. Simply put, they are the best players available. The only real reason to use silver or bronze players is for a special bronze/silver only tournament, or if you are building a team from a league that doesn't have enough gold players.
There are two more types of card available, but the chances of getting to use one of these is quite low unless you are opening a lot of packs. These are:
Every week EA Sports release a limited amount of "In-Form" cards as part of their Team Of The Week, which they base on real-life performances from leagues all over the world. These players are available in packs as soon as they are announced, but are very rare to come across, and typically cost a fortune on the market.
Good luck. Also periodically released in very small numbers, legends cards are incredibly rare and cost an absolute bomb on the market. These are typically only for the 1% who have more Ultimate Team coins than sense.
If you are new to the game mode, it is probably best to set your sights on a strong all-gold team. Don't worry about the in-forms or the legends just yet.
The other type of cards you will pull in packs are consumables that can be applied to your players. They come in four variations:
Fitness cards: When your players play consecutive matches their fitness will go down, a fitness card will bring them back to optimum fitness.
Contracts: Every player at your club has a set number of games that they can play. Contracts will increase the amount of games a player can play.
Position modifiers: It is possible to change some players positions, ie. convert a CDM to a CM, and then to a CAM. But there are limits, and no, you can't make a keeper a striker.
Chemistry styles: These are cards that can boost your players attributes. They can be valuable, but are not essential.
Chemistry is everything in FIFA Ultimate Team, but what does it actually mean?
To add to the complexity of the game mode, Ultimate Team requires that the player cards you use have good chemistry with each other to play to their full potential. Players have "links" that can boost their chemistry, and these links can be found by matching their club, nation, or league. For example, if you build a team full of Premier League players, they would all have full chemistry, as every player around them has at least one link in common. Should you throw a random Serie A player into that team, he would suffer, such as Kevin Strootman in the team below:
The difference between a player at full chemistry and a player with broken links is absolutely insane, so much so that it's almost not worth playing without a team at full chemistry. You will get away with it against the CPU at the start, but online almost every team you play will be full chemistry.
Players run faster, shoot harder, pass quicker, and tackle strong on full chemistry. It should be the foundation of your team.
For many people, fishing for bargains and building squads on the market is the most fun aspect of Ultimate Team.
The market is where you will do most of the work for building the team you want. A few quick tips to bring you up to speed if you are new:
-Pace is king. Players with lots of pace will always fetch a nice amount of coins.
-Compare the market! If you spot a bargain, search for the lowest 'Buy Now' price to see if you can get it cheaper.
-List your items at peak times. If you are selling a card, hold off until the kids get home from school during the week, or after the Premier League matches at the weekend. This is simply to maximise the amount of people looking at your cards.
-Buy your items at off-peak times! Late at night/early morning bargains are real, and they feel good.
-Trade consumables. You wouldn't think it initially, but there is a lot of value in contracts and chemistry styles.
Initially you are not going to be able to afford the Eden Hazards, Wayne Rooneys, or Vincent Komanpys of this world, and Ronaldo, Zlatan and Messi are in a price bracket of their own, but you can and WILL find very good players on the cheap. You need to look for pacey players with good physical stats, and you can soon find a perfectly good squad with cheap enough players that will do the job. For example, this Premier League team should be very good, and won't cost you an arm and a leg:
Lots of pace, good strong players, and key skill stats in the attacking areas.
Important! There is a fantastic online resource called Futhead that allows you to instantly find out the average worth of a player, and see the stats for every card in Ultimate Team. Get familiar with it, utilise it.
Keywords and Common Terms:
It is important to become familiar with the following terms if you are going to be playing Ultimate Team online.
Sweaty: In Ultimate Team, anything that is "sweaty" is something that you have exploited to gain an advantage. It is sweaty because you are trying so hard to win that you are sweating profusely. Commonly used to describe a goal where the ball has been passed across the box to an open man for a simple tap in, or to describe a very fast player.
OP: OP means "Over-powered", eg. Christian Benteke is OP. This is applied to a player who isn't as good in real life as his Ultimate Team card, or to a game mechanic that is exploitable, ie. In FIFA 14, corners were OP.
In-Game Stats: The stats on the front of the card are only a guideline, if you go into team management during a game you can access a player's full range of stats to really see what they can do.
Beware of Scammers:
Unfortunately, the FIFA community is full of a lot of the kids you despise sitting near on the bus. You will probably receive abusive messages after you win, moaning teenagers with a headset on in-game, and worst of all, scam artists.
Never under any circumstances give out any account details. People will message you saying things like they have card duplicators and can give you Ronaldo, or that they have unlimited coin generators, and need your account details. Have a bit of cop on.
Enjoy The Game!
Above all else, have fun with it. Build squads around players you like, and work your way up to division one.