FIFA 16 is a game bursting with content, but for many players, it's all about Ultimate Team Mode. If you're unfamiliar with "FUT", this is a game mode where players must form teams with the cards they randomly get from digital booster packs. With the teams you assemble, you can participate in several tournaments and even a championship, all so you can gain more gold coins and continue to build your dream team. Anyone who wants to speed up this process can buy boosters with real money, but that's not a requirement.
Over the last month we've extensively covered FIFA 16. In addition to a review, we explored Career Mode, published our take on FIFA Sliders to offer a setup that we think improves gameplay, and shared some useful general tips. To finish things off we decided to focus on the most popular mode, Ultimate Team Mode. This guide offers some basic advice to newcomers, some tips on how to make more gold coins, and offers a look at the big new feature, FUT Draft.
You don't have to play online.
FIFA Ultimate Team Mode requires a constant internet connection, but you aren't forced to play against other players if you don't want to. There are several types of tournaments that put you up against AI, plus a league with several difficulty levels. Playing offline is a great way to make money with relative ease, allowing you to build a stronger team before challenging other players.
Team chemistry is essential
One of the most important factors to consider in Ultimate Team Mode is team chemistry, which is defined by several different factors. While it's always good to have the best players in your team, the overall chemistry should come first, or you will have a hard time on the pitch. Whenever in doubt between a better player, or a lesser player with better team chemistry, opt for the second option. You won't regret it.
Download the official App<i>
EA Sports has released an official FIFA 16 app for mobile devices, dedicated entirely to Ultimate Team Mode. This app allows you to check and organise your team, but more importantly, to view and interact with the auction house. It's a great way to always be aware of what is happening in the online FUT market, and to make some potentially excellent deals. The app is available via Google Play and iTunes.
<i>Try before you buy
If you choose the "Concept Squad" option, you can set your team with any player, formation and coach in the game. This allows you to evaluate the type of team chemistry you can get in different combinations. The game even offers some examples, like with a team made up of players from the Spanish and English leagues. Obviously you can't use these players, but this is an effective method to try and plan out your targets before you spend any of your hard earned money.
There are three conditions that affect the availability of your players - contracts, fatigue and injuries. When a contract ends, you have to renew its duration with specific cards (combine categories of contracts with the same category of players for the best result). With regards to fatigue, there are also special cards that renew the energy, but another alternative is to put them in the bank for the next games. Finally, injuries. Typically, these players are left out for the duration of the injury, but you can also find cards to solve several physical problems. If you are in urgent need of one of thes cards, you can also get them via auction.
BEST WAYS TO EARN MORE COINS
Use your points in the catalog
A very basic way to earn gold coins is by using your FIFA points in the the main menu catalog, accessed by pressing R3 (PS4). Whenever you complete several actions, even in Career Mode, you will receive points that you can spend on a number of items such as equipment, cheats, balls and ways to increase the number of coins won in every FIFA Ultimate Team game. These points are accumulated from previous FIFA titles when using the same account, so don't let them go to waste.
Beat the Team of the Week.
Every week, EA proposes a challenge to the players, a chance to overcome a team formed by players who have excelled in European fixtures on that previous weekend. This challenge will always be played against artificial intelligence, and the higher the difficulty level chosen, the more coins you will receive if you win. There is no need to be too greedy though, because it is quite difficult to conquer the highest level of difficulty.
Buy and sell effectively.
Ultimate Team Mode comes to life with the economy created in the auction, so you need to know how to exploit it properly. Take your time to search the market for the best prices, and don't fall into the mistake of buying expensive just because one of your targets is available. Reversing the role, before you set a card on sale, make sure to check its value on the market. If all players are selling Messi for 100,000 gold coins, for example, it would be a huge mistake to put him on sale for much less.
Enjoy temporary tournament challenges.
In addition to the proposed standard of both solo and online, EA Sports also usually offers several special tournaments that last for a specific amount of time. These tournaments often impose special conditions (such as playing with 11 players of the same nationality, for example), but they are a good way to gain gold coins or extra packs.
The big new feature in FIFA 16's Ultimate Team Mode is the introduction of FUT Draft, a mode that allows you to create a team with random golden players. This team will then be used in a specific tournament, where you can earn great rewards. First choose the formation, then select the players for each position. The challenge here is to create a quality squad, without breaking the team's chemistry. It's important to keep the team full of great players, but even more important to ensure superior chemistry.
Price vs Reward
To participate in FUT Draft, you have to spend 15,000 gold coins, or a couple of quid, which means that they must ensure the highest possible return for your investment. The big draw of FUT Draft are the rewards you can unlock, including several gold packs. You can try your luck in online mode, or face the AI across different levels of difficulty. The rewards are linked to wins; the more you win, the more you get.
Take care in the creation of the team
When you are forming your FUT Draft team, you must quickly set a game plan to create chemistry, be it around nationality, leagues or clubs. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to allow an automatic selection of substitutes. Make sure you select everyone manually, since sub players can prove to be more effective than the starting 11. As for the manager, choose one that is compatible with the majority of players.
As a last piece of advice to FIFA Ultimate Team Mode fans, we ask you to restrain from going into "rage mode". We understand that sometimes it can be an extremely frustrating experience, but for the sake of your health, your controller, and even future coins (you will be penalised for leaving games), take a deep breath and try to relax. Other than that, all that remains is to wish you good luck!