Ever dreamt of being a pro footballer? (Of course you have.) Didn’t make it? (Of course you didn't.) So how about being a professional virtual player instead?
Well, EA Sports are making that possible via their FIFA Ultimate Team Champions mode, where you can win a coveted place in a tournament of the best 32 players in the world and get paid to compete.
You just need to be darn good at the game. FIFA Ultimate Team is incredibly popular: millions of players have signed up to the above tournament and are competing at eSports for real money. If this tickles your fancy, you’ll want to get to grips with the FIFA Ultimate Team mode to be able to compete at the top table.
Here’s our best advice for building a quality team quickly and learning the ropes...
1. Complete all the manager tasks
Once your team has got going, you can easily pick up extra coins by going to the Manager Tasks section and working your way through the various assignments. These act as a tutorial for newcomers, who learn about developing team chemistry, building up a squad, changing formation, signing players and so on.
It’s a simple way to get some free packs without spending any extra money on your team, while you’ll also pick up the basics of the mode. Win-win.
2. Win some tournaments in single-player mode first
Before heading online, it would be wise to play some single-player action to get used to your team and build up coins. Blast through a league or cup and you can pick up some easy coins and Gold packs; there are various prizes on offer depending on which competition you enter and the difficulty level you play at.
Although a league competition may seem like a lot of games, it's actually limited to 10 matches and gives you a little room for error in losing or drawing a couple of encounters.
3. Head online once you’re happy with your squad
Similarly to completing the manager tasks, you’ll pick up some bonus coins and packs for just competing online. It’s here that you can play the new FUT Champions weekend league mode and begin your career as a pro player. Perhaps…
There’s also a draft mode where you can pick up coins, although there’s a 15,000 coin entry fee (300 FIFA Points) for this competition. Otherwise it’ll be Online Seasons for you, and earning coins against all and sundry.
4. Use the companion app
Want some more free coins? Download the accompanying FUT app for your smart phone. It’s available on Android, iPhone and Windows-based phones, and will enable you to access the transfer market and complete squad-based Challenges (see below) away from your console.
EA also occasionally give away some free packs and coins on there, so it's worth using the app to build up and fiddle with your side.
5. Only go for the best promo items (if any)
If you’re willing to speed up the squad building (as EA so hope you are), you can spend some extra cash on Gold or Silver packs for new player cards. While some players won't be able to afford to, it’s worth keeping an eye on promo deals if you're willing to take a shortcut. Call up the catalogue and head to the Promotional Items tab to keep an eye out.
As an example, we spotted this decent promotion recently: for a limited time, you could grab an enhanced pack containing some 30 items with a guaranteed 26 Gold cards (for 1,100 FIFA points – just under £9). While undeniably a shortcut to a great squad, you don’t have to splash out real money - always a bonus.
One item to consider is the upgrade that enables you to earn extra coins from every match for up to 10 matches.
6. Pay attention to Team of the Week
The players of the week gain a temporary boost as per their real-life form and will accrue extra value on the transfer market as a result. However, you can also earn some easy extra coins by taking them on in a single-player match each week. Just make sure you win the game and you’ll earn a neat reward, with more coins available for those playing at a higher level.
7. Take on the squad-building challenges
With EA’s new squad-building challenges in FIFA 17, you can quickly build up coins in FUT and splash out on new packs and cards without making any micro-transactions.
Essentially, there are various stipulations to abide by when it comes to making your team selection. If you fill the set criteria, such as having all your players from just two countries or fielding a set number of players from one club, then you complete that squad-building challenge and gain both coins and top players as a reward.
You don't need to buy packs if you complete these challenges, and you’ll find that there’s value to even the lowliest player cards in your squad. (So make sure you hang on to that random Greuther Furth midfielder you began with.) Top games journalist and FourFourTwo.com contributor Ben Wilson has written a thorough guide to the practice here – we recommend that you check it out for more help.
Just beware that when you trade in players to complete a challenge, you’ll then lose them. You will, however, gain some great rewards - and working the transfer market is what this mode is all about anyway.
8. Keep an eye on the brilliant FUThead site for help
Not only is this site a great resource for completing squad-based challenges, it will also help with FIFA Teams of the Week, the best players in the game overall, tutorials, ratings changes and more. Think Transfermarkt but for FIFA Ultimate Team.
There’s plenty of advice for maximising your team chemistry and quickly assembling an outfit ready to take on the world. Good luck!
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