In spite of the ever-growing popularity of FUT and the novelty of The Journey, Career Mode remains one of the main activities you can enjoy on FIFA 17, and for the first time in quite a while, this year it comes with loads of interesting new management features. For several entries now, the Career Mode has allowed you to either manage a full team or control a single player (either created from scratch or coming out of the FIFA database). With this quick guide, you can get some advice on the former: how to become the next Pep Guardiola or Diego Simeone. Take this as a complement to our other FIFA-related guides such as:
First off, you have to select between the different leagues available the group you're aiming for: a top team, a mid-size team, or those struggling to avoid relegation, the choice is yours. Now, your success in FIFA 17 doesn't just depend on winning titles or keeping your financials healthy, as the owners will task you with achieving objectives in five different areas.
The five requirements from the board you'll have to meet are split up by the level of their demands: max, high, mid, low and very low. Let's take a look at these requirements before entering Career mode proper, as it's useful before making that first decision:
1. National success: Here, depending on what the board is asking you, you must reach a specific position in the national league. This is not based on any current standings or trends, as it all depends on your team's reputation and value.
2. Continental success: Same as with the previous requirement, but focused on the Champions League or the Europa League, giving you an international focus. If you are managing a team that's not competing internationally for this season, the board may ask you to qualify for next year's competition.
3. Branding: What bosses want with this goal is that you increase the brand and the marketing interest in your team. For that, they'll specify an amount you'll have to earn through jersey selling, for example. In this case, signing players with several international reputation stars will help completing this goal.
4. Finances: Having a team with development potential is not the same as being part of a top world elite club. Board members will ask you to keep a budget in line with their expectations, or to raise the team value by a set percentage. The key is to sign with care and intention, always keeping an eye on figures; if you finish the season on a negative, it's more likely you'll get the pink slip.
5. Youth development: Finally, depending on boss's criteria, you'll have to push your young player pool to a greater or lesser degree. Some milestones to get might be signing a young player for a specific position, or getting others upgraded to the first team if their potential is above average. The possibilities are huge and the requirements are different depending on the budget. With modest, smaller teams, where the money is limited, taking advantage of the young player pool is beneficial and goes far towards establishing trust with the board.
Once you've taken these requirements into account, and after choosing your virtual manager avatar on the field, it's time to get your own team ready in FIFA 17.
First off, you have to review the players making up your full roster and then define your play style. If you want to play with intense pressure, you'll need footballers with good stamina and defensive skills, which is the opposite of what you need if you want to bet on counter-attack or ball possession. A 4-3-3 with forwards out wide is useless if your players' pace is low.
Once you've chosen your play style, you'll use the summer market window to adapt your team, sign new guys or get rid of those who won't add much. The desirable figure is having 22 players, two per position, and keeping some nice harmony between them. Having a club full of stars will likely end up being chaotic, as all of them will want to be on the pitch and that's impossible. As an example, the ideal bench reserve for your main striker could be either a young player with promise who'll relish every opportunity and progress with every minute played, or a settled veteran who's getting old and won't be upset with a lack of playtime. We usually create one A eleven and another B eleven, so that reserves are rotated in and get some minutes in the matches you consider more trivial, leaving some happy to get some rest, and others happy to be playing.
Your roster will also have a bunch of players from the young pool that you may want to loan to other teams so that you don't interrupt their progression, in case you don't really need them. And if you have to use the market anyway, another tip is that you send out scouts to filter players by position, age, attributes or key features, thus finding the exact replacement you're looking for. After a few game weeks, the scout will fine-tune results and will share his thoughts on every candidate. This way you'll know how much money you should be offering and how the player will fit into your line-up, though naturally the system isn't infallible.
In case you're looking for still unknown young promises, you can build a full scout network. By choosing a number of specific leagues, the scout will report to you monthly on a bunch of players who're between 14 and 17 years old, each with a different progression. If you want to find the next Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, it's better to stick between 70 and 90 potential value. But, beware, once you get him you shouldn't keep him on the second team for too long or another team could sign him. You're better off promoting him to the first team and then temp-transferring him, so that he evolves much faster. In this regard, you can take a look at our FIFA 17's Best Young Players list.
Training and matches? Simulation
If this wasn't enough, since FIFA 16 it's no longer needed to actually play every single match for your players to keep growing. In FIFA 17 the five weekly training sessions are back to help you with progression. You can choose the training type yourself, and if you want to play or simulate. Again, young players with a brilliant future ahead will be the fastest at developing skills and increasing general score, as if you're training a player with a shooting value of 88 and want him to improve on that, it'll take more weeks for him. Ultimately, the trick is to simulate all, at least everything you don't have the time or the excitement to play.
With these essential tips and advice on how to manage your team, you have pretty much everything you need to start your career on FIFA 17. Increase your budget by choosing a pre-season tournament that gets you some juicy funding and then it's all on you. Oh, and don't forget board requirements in order to keep a good reputation throughout the season, or you'll quickly be looking for a new job. And if you notice your project no longer suits your aspirations and status, at the end of the season you could opt to change to a more fitting club.
The possibilities with FIFA 17's are nearly infinite.