FIFA 13 Ultimate Team tips - 10 things you must try
28th Sep 2012 | 13:25
Ultimate Team, one of the mosts popular modes in FIFA, has received a rather sizeable overhaul for FIFA 13. Packed with extra features and modes there are now more ways to build a brilliant team than ever but these additions mean the whole thing can be a little daunting for newcomers and pros alike.
Thankfully we're here to help. We've got ten top tips that should help you become a better FIFA Ultimate Team manager and propel your own team into stardom. If you're looking for more information, you might like to consider our FIFA 13 review, or our rundown of the FIFA 12 faults that FIFA 13 fixes.
1. Use the Football Club catalogue
The EA Sports Football Club returns in FIFA 12, allowing you to earn XP for everything you do in the game. This time however you also earn Football Club cash on top of that. This can be spent in the brand new catalogue, which contains loads of different unlockables ranging from classic strips to different types of ball or goal celebration.
Why is this relevant to Ultimate Team? Well, some of the items that can be bought in the catalogue are specifically designed for Ultimate Team mode. Some give you extra coins each time you play a match, others let you stock more consumables while others allow more trades to take place at the same time. You can hold RT in the catalogue and choose "Ultimate Team to filter out the other goodies and see what's on offer.
2. Sort out player chemistry
This can be time-consuming and can be a bit of a nightmare to get right, but chemistry is ultimately one of the most important things in the whole of Ultimate Team. For those new to Ultimate Team, chemistry is a rating out of 100 that determines how strong your players' bond is. You can have Messi and Ronaldo in your squad but if they don't gel together and your chemistry rating is low you'll find them out of position, missing passes and blasting shots into the stands.
Chemistry rises in two ways, individually and team-based. Individual players can raise your chemistry rating if they're playing in the right position and their favoured formation is the one you're playing. Also, if the players they're near (joined to them by lines on the squad selection screen) have the same nationality or play for the same team (or, even better, both) then this will greatly raise the chemistry. An easy (but expensive) way to get high chemistry is to create a team consisting entirely of players from one nation. Don't forget the manager too - his nationality can also affect chemistry in a big way.
3. Play through the new FUT Seasons mode
Previously Ultimate Team was limited to taking parting in online and offline knock-out tournaments which, while fun, meant it could be pretty difficult to get the big rewards promised for winning. FUT Seasons makes this far more achievable by having a pseudo-league format and giving you ten matches to play, promoting you up to a higher standard of opponent if you reach a certain number of points.
There are two points levels to reach in your ten games - if you manage to hit enough points to get you promoted to the higher division you'll get a tidy coin bonus, but if you can go further than that and get enough points to crown you the league champion you'll get even more coins.
Be warned - though Seasons does put you in matches against similarly-skilled players, it doesn't also put you in with similarly-rated squads (like the normal Online Seasons matches do). So don't go in thinking "I'll just put in a team of bronze players to play another team of bronzes" - that doesn't happen. Put your very best squad forward.
4. Get used to an uncommon formation
A lot of players play the standard formations - 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and the like. This is understandable because most players have been playing these formations in football games all their lives and are used to knowing how they work and where their players are. It pays to try a less common one and learn that instead though, because not only will it confuse opponents a little, it'll also make buying specific players for your team a lot easier.
At the top of a player's card is a formation. That's the formation they prefer to play in, and if they're playing in that formation their chemistry will rise greatly. The formation assigned to a player when you first get its card is random so while you may have a Wayne Rooney card who likes playing 4-4-2, someone else may have a Wayne Rooney who likes playing 5-2-2-1.
When you go to the auction section to buy individual players, you'll quickly find that players who like common formations like 4-4-2 cost a ridiculous amount of money to buy, due to their high demand. That's why it pays to learn a less popular formation, because seeking out individual players who prefer your formation will be a lot cheaper.
5. Use consumables wisely
You can only store a limited number of consumable cards at once. These let you increase a player's contract, improve their skills, boost their fitness and the like. It can be tempting to just blow all these as soon as you get them, but save them for important matches. If you're already more or less guaranteed promotion in a Seasons match or you're in the first round of a tournament there's no point giving all your players stat boosts since they only last for one game and you didn't have much to lose anyway.
Save your consumables for the important games, like promotion matches and cup finals. If you start running out of space, either head to the catalogue and buy the ability to hold 75 consumables instead of 50, or start using up your contract consumables on players with only a few games left.
6. Use the online app to tinker with your squad
As we've already stated, getting the perfect squad together can be incredibly time-consuming, especially trying to get a team that's not only full of great players but also get your chemistry rating to as close to 100 as possible. It's not often fun sitting in front of your Xbox for hours tweaking your team one player at a time, so thankfully there's a solution that's a lot more relaxing.
There's an official online Ultimate Team app at http://www.ea.com/uk/football/fifa-ultimate-team - head over there and log on with your EA account and you'll be presented with your Ultimate Team. You can do everything here that you can in the Xbox 360 version (other than play matches, of course) - make new squad set-ups, buy and sell players, open new card packs and the like. It's a lot less fiddly and perfect for lunch breaks or the like.
7. Don't quit if you're losing
It should sort of go without saying anyway that if you're playing a FIFA match online and you're losing you shouldn't just quit out. There's nothing more frustrating than playing a bottler and you can expect some negative feedback and maybe an abusive message in your Inbox if you try it.
However, if you're serious about Ultimate Team it's also in your best interests to play the full 90 minutes even ifyou're losing. When you lose a match you'll still get some coins depending on how well you played otherwise, so try to at least score some goals and play cleanly and you'll still be rewarded - not as well as if you'd won, but a decent amount. If you quit, on the other hand, not only will you get no coins at all, but your players will all lose a match from their contract as if you'd finished the game anyway. So you might as well finish it.
8. Challenge the team of the week
Every week a new Team Of The Week will be made available. This was the case in previous versions of Ultimate Team but before all this meant was that each week EA would pick eleven great players and insert special versions of them in card packs for a week, complete with improved stats. These cards would obviously gather a lot of dosh if you then tried to sell them on the auction.
This time, not only is that still the case, you can also challenge the Team Of The Week to try and earn some bonus coins. Put your best team together, choose the Team Of The Week option and hit Start to play them in a match. The harder the difficulty you set the higher your coin bonus if you beat them (on top of the normal coins you get for winning a match).
Be warned - this isn't like the weekly Challenges in FIFA 12 and 13 where you can play a lower difficulty for some XP then play a higher difficulty later to get the rest of the XP. Once you pick a difficulty level and beat the Team Of The Week, that's it - you get that coin bonus and can't get any more. You can play them again and again and get the same coins you would for beating a normal team, but your bonus is a one-off so set the difficulty as high as you think you can manage.
9. Complete the manager tasks
New to Ultimate Team this year is Manager Tasks, sets of achievements that you should aim for as you play and will give you bonuses as you complete each set. The first set when you start the game consists of 12 simple tasks - changing your club kit, challenging the Team Of The Week, and so on - and if you perform all these tasks you'll get a free Gold pack of cards for your troubles.
As you complete sets the tasks will get trickier and the rewards will get greater, so it's worth keeping an eye on the list as you play because you can essentially get something for nothing if you're clever enough.
10. Sign up for the season ticket
Right, those nine tips should be enough for most people - this one's only for the most dedicated Ultimate Team players. Most people will be happy to just play Ultimate Team as part of the overall FIFA 13 experience - they'll be perfectly content with playing through matches, winning coins and using these coins to buy packs of players or make bids at the auction house. Others are obsessed with Ultimate Team however, and actually spend real money to get the bigger and better card packs quicker. These aren't a tiny minority, mind you - EA makes a lot of money from Ultimate Team.
If you're one of those people, may we recommend the EA Sports Season Ticket? While for most people it's not really worthwhile (it'll set you back a whopping 2000 Points, for starters), for Ultimate Team devotees it's ultimately a sound investment. For your 2000 Points you get a total of 24 Gold Premium packs - one a week - and any other packs you buy will cost 20% less than they usually do. These free packs are separate from the ones you get with the Ultimate Edition of FIFA 13 so if you have both not only are you a bit of a FIFA addict, you'll also get two free Gold Premium packs a week for the next six months and a 20% discount on all other packs.
There you have it then - ten frankly breathtaking tips on how to improve your Ultimate Team success rate. Naturally, there's an eleventh tip which is pretty obvious - be good at FIFA - but that can't be taught, it's something you're born with. Or can practice at.