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Ultimate Team is a game-mode for FIFA. It first appeared in FIFA 11 and is inspired by stickers/cards which we all loved in the 80s/90s. Essentially it allows you to put your own team together before playing on or offline in league and cup competitions. Whilst the mode has been designed to get money from its users, it can absolutely be played without spending a penny. I haven't spent anything.


Packs can be bought using in game coins (earned through playing or through selling players/other items) but as a general rule a good piece of advice is: don't buy packs. You'll still get the thrill of opening them at times but the more you do it the more you'll see that it's just not worth it. All players are not equal and the higher rated players are weighted to appear less. The better the player, the less likely you are to get them. Someone worked out that the chance of getting Ronaldo in a standard gold pack was something absurd like 1/330,000.


The transfer market, though, is your friend.


How do I get started?


When you first start you are given a bunch of unsellable players. Your first task should be to put together a cheap team with high chemistry.


How does chemistry work?


Every player has 1-10 chemistry. A player at 1 chemistry will play like a dog. A player at 10 will be performing above their natural ability. Base chemistry is a figure below no-one can agree on. 4 or 7, most likely. The difference between players at certain chemistry figures is a matter of great debate. Ideally, though, you'll want everyone at 9 or 10.


Play someone out of position and they will take a dip. Play someone less out of position and they will take less of a dip. For example, a left mid played at striker will take a big dip. A left forward played there, however, will only dip to 5, which can be pushed up to 7, the method of which you don't need to know about yet but is in the spoiler:




Have a manager who is the same nationality or league as the player in need of a boost to give them 1 chem AND have them play 10 games for you, which gives them a loyalty bonus equating to 1 chemistry.



Let's assume everyone is playing in their correct position. Players are linked together by chemistry. Here's how it works:


Red link - no link. The players aren't connected in any way.

Green link - a green link between players occurs when they play for the same club, OR they are the same nationality AND play in the same league.

Orange link - an orange link occurs between players when they play in the same league, OR they are the same nationality and don't play in the same league.


A green link is a strong link, and this allows that player to be put adjacent to a red link whilst still maintaining maximum chemistry. If they are next to two green links they can take two red. This system allows hybrid teams containing players of no relation but still at maximum chemistry.


If a player has only orange links, any red links will hit their chemistry.


The best way to learn all this is to experiment. To begin with though, the easiest way to create a team with full chemistry is to:


1) Have them play in the correct position

2) Have them all in the same league or to have them all be the same nationality


One final thing to note is that player's positions can be changed in a limited way using cards. The following are allowed:








Please see section at bottom for further information on positioning which could save you a lot of coins.


So if you really want to play Gareth Barry at striker you can.


A popular thing online is to play wingers (converted to LF or RF) as strikers at 7 chemistry, which you will see often. It's up for debate if they perform worse than in their original position.


A small thing - you can see individual player chemistry in the main menu squad screen by pressing the right stick to the left/right until it appears.


Where can I get money at the start to make a cheap team?


Start with the draft. You get a free token for one draft either online or offline. This is a really fun mode and it'll teach you about chemistry and how the game works. At the end you'll get 2-4 packs to open. Sell the contents unless there's a player to build your team around. Use the website www.futbin.com to find out how much players and some other items are worth.


Hopefully you'll have £5k to play with. Enough to make a non-rare gold team. Now choose a player to build your team around or pick a league/nation and start from scratch. You're generally better off with the more popular leagues but at this point it doesn't really matter.


Use futbin or FUThead to build your squad using player search. You should be able to make a pretty decent starter team for 400-600 per player. Go more expensive for a couple of players if you can afford it. I'd recommend Brazil and Taison/Alex Teixeira/Raffael as an attack if you want cheap players who are also very good.


From here just play some games. You'll start to earn money.


How does fitness work?


Players lose fitness after each match. There are three ways of dealing with this:


1) Buying fitness cards. Don't do this, it's incredibly expensive.

2) Having a 'fitness squad'. Buy a second, cheaper team and create a new squad. Now put all your first teamers at the bottom in the sub and reserve spots. After playing a game they will get fitness back.

3) Stand ins. Fill your subs bench and reserves with stand-ins and rotate your lineup to keep fitness flowing.


How do contracts work?


Unfortunately you'll need to keep your players topped up with gold contract cards. These can be bought easily for 200 buy it now. Do a search for 200 max buy it now, hammer the right trigger for a bit (they sell like hot cakes) and then buy a load when you need them. Seems like a lot of money at first but becomes kinda trivial.


How do instructions work?


On the main menu squad screen press the triangle button and scroll down to instructions. Here you can issue individual instructions to each player.


I'd recommend telling your CDM to stay back when attacking. You may wish to do the same with your full backs if you feel they aren't getting back enough. Other than that look at all the options and decide what is to your taste and how you want to attack.


How do custom tactics work?


The default tactic sees your team deploy an offside trap which you probably don't want. You can pause the match and edit them in-game or do it right before the match (risking the other person getting bored and quitting). There is a third way. Go to single player then play team of the week at the bottom right. Go through the options until you get to the screen before the match. From here go to tactics and custom tactics, then press the prompt to edit. From here you can decide all the options. There's loads of recommendations online, sadly all conflicting. I'd recommend switching from offside trap to cover, however. Once you're done, quit back to the main menu (not out of Ultimate Team altogether!) and your tactics will be retained for the rest of the session.


Any other tips?


First thing you should do is go to the catalogue. Provided you've played FIFA before you'll have EA coins to spend. These aren't related to Ultimate Team but can be used to buy stuff.


Gradually get all the stuff but most crucially pick up a coin boost. There are some there which will give you an extra 1,000 coins for 5 or 10 matches. Buy these one at a time (be warned, they don't stack) and that will help hugely in the opening stages.



Positioning part 2: Players can play in a 'similar' position only taking a hit of 1 to their chemistry. They can still achieve a chemistry of 10 with a loyalty bonus (playing 10 games for you) and/or a manager of the same league or nationality.


'Similar' positions are 1 degree from their card looking at the following:










An RF can play RF, RW but not RM.

An RW can play RW, RF or RM.

A CAM can play CF, CAM or CM


The only reason to ever convert a winger to LF or RF is if you want to play them as a 7 chem striker.


A really good example is a CF. A striker converted to CF can play both ST and CAM taking a hit of just 1. Using a manager and/or loyalty bonus they can then have 10 chemistry playing in either position.


Using this is a good way to keep your squad versatile should you chop and change, and it also saves you spending on excessive amounts of position-change cards.

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Its pretty much my only online fifa mode these days, aside from the league obviously. Its tremendous. Hampered by the fact that it bloody crashes on me loads.



Schurle----------------Ben Arfa---




I was up to div 5. Then I did my usual trick of forgettign how to play and went down to div 7 (thanks to 5 or 6 crashes along the way) now back up to 6.

One thing that drives me mad is buying a gold pack, and getting all excited. And then James fucking Milner is the rare card I get.

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Yeah, I was regressing last night, if I play for too long my game is way too forced and predictable and my defending gets lazy. FIFA is such a demanding game online. I think that's why I play so much, though.

You should get David Luiz for that side, he's a complete beast in this. Koscielny seems good, too. Having fast CBs is pretty vital I think.

I used to avoid UT as it's a pacefest. It still is, but 1) the speed boost to centre backs helps even the field, 2) pace isn't as big as an issue as 13 and 3) in normal Seasons everyone uses Ronaldo and Bale at Madrid so you're better off in UT after all.

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The best player I've got in a pack, from about 20 packs (5 or 6 free from logging into site, 10 or so from season ticket which was only active for 1 day, 5 or so as prizes) has been Dimachelis, not even joking. I don't even have a tinge of excitement opening one anymore.

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Yeah, I was regressing last night, if I play for too long my game is way too forced and predictable and my defending gets lazy. FIFA is such a demanding game online. I think that's why I play so much, though.

You should get David Luiz for that side, he's a complete beast in this. Koscielny seems good, too. Having fast CBs is pretty vital I think.

I used to avoid UT as it's a pacefest. It still is, but 1) the speed boost to centre backs helps even the field, 2) pace isn't as big as an issue as 13 and 3) in normal Seasons everyone uses Ronaldo and Bale at Madrid so you're better off in UT after all.

Yeah its definitely more balanced than last year, and the variation in the teams you play against is one of the main attractions for me rather than playing against the same or 6 teams all the time. I'll look at Luiz and Koscieny thanks for the tip :)

I keep spending my coins on packs though. Although its a good way to keep your contracts topped up cos I seem to get loads of them.

I might try that mass trading thing. You buy up as many of the same cards as you can, say +30 team fitness for the low end price, around 1100. And then put them all up for 10% more than you paid.

The very first pack I opened on 14 gave me an in form Isco. I sold him for 60,000

Is it next week that the legends card hit? 95 rated Pele. yes please.

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I haven't bought a single pack, whether with FIFA coins or whatever. I've just used auctions for everything. Even now it seems better to buy contract cards individually than save up for packs.

I wasted a shadow modifier (big boost to pace and defence) on a striker. Turns out it's worth 5,000+. Oops. Managed to get Barzagli with a shadow attached for less than 4,000 though so it was ok.

Re: packs. If I do buy them is it worth paying the extra for the more expensive gold one? And is it worth buying the one-time only full gold team pack?

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You'll more than likely be better off spending money in auctions than packs - the all player gold pack at 50,000 will give you all rare players, but they'll be shit (I did this :()

Wish I'd spent the 50k on Rooney or the likes, who I bought afterwards! Best I got was a reserve Keeper for my Italian squad.

I like the packs, but then I've had Aguero, Suarez, David Luiz, Buffon and two IF players from them to date!

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I always buy a premium gold pack. I've never bothered with the Gold Upgrade team one as there aren't any rares in there, so it doesn't seem worth it.

I been rage quitting far too often recently so I've given up on UT for a while. But I've been using a 4-1-4-1 La Liga team with Diego Costa up front. He's lethal.

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What app is that?

I've got a 4-3-3 Brazilian league team. http://www.easports.com/uk/fifa/football-club/ultimate-team/show-off?showoffId=ewGJO0xXbkRM:360

I'll pretty much be making the exact same squad on PS4, I'm all about the skilful attacking players with high quality passing.

Paying for big names or pace is what drives the bulk of the economy.


mackenie, how have you made such profit on trading? just curious, is it over a lot of time and effort or luck on packs?

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Yeah I'm on there. My first team until recently was a 5212.


Lahm - Dante - Hummels - Pique - Alba

Kroos - Fabregas


Carroll - Rooney

It was an awesome formation for building a team as it allowed me to use great players from 3 leagues whilst maintaining maximum chemistry, but it was a bloody nightmare to play with so I sold off all the players and switched to 4222.


Zabaleta - Vertonghen - Vermaelen - Cole

Paulinho - Dembele

Kagawa - Coutinho

Jovetic - Suarez

It plays nicer, but I miss my superstars. I also have a similar Italian team for fitness. With the legends launching this week though, I'm tempted to fuck the whole lot off and build a team around Fowler and my old Pro Evo favourite Nedved.

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Actually, that's a good point. People will be selling like mad to fund legend buys so prices should drop significantly.

Which, on looking back, is exactly what you said. Making the the world's most pointless post. I'm not deleting it, though.

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I'm expecting some of the legends to be quite cheap. They're in a league and club all of their own, making it hard to integrate them, particularly for less fancied nations such as the Czech Republic. Hopefully Fowler will fall into that bracket as well, seeing as in Lineker and Owen there are two higher rated English strikers amongst their fold.

Besides which, Suarez alone will fetch me 70k or so, so I should be alright for one at least.

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