FIFA 14: Ultimate Team guide
By now, you’ve probably got a half decent team built and picked up several wins on FIFA 14’s Ultimate Team mode, but there’s always room for improvement right? Ultimate Team can often prove to be difficult to master, but hopefully this guide will offer you a few more tips to help with your money troubles or poor defending in online matches.
I’ve been a big FUT player since the game mode was first released. Back in the day when you could take players and inflate their overall ratings up to 99, now that was where Ultimate Team was just so simple and easy to be the best. However, now we’ve gone back to reality and the gameplay has changed hugely since then.
If you play FIFA a lot you may have noticed a significant change to the gameplay style. FIFA 13 certainly made pace whoring easier, but pace isn’t as effective in FIFA 14. Sure it still has its uses for wingers, but you’re not going to be sprinting yards clear of a left or right back with Eden Hazard. So that’s the first difference to the gameplay, the other is the aggressive defending which will make your life on the attack more difficult. Defenders with pace will keep up with you and regularly muscle you off the ball. It may seem like a foul with their constant shirt pulling, but it’s something you’ve got to live with I’m afraid. Slide tackles still remain effective, so be sure to make use of them if you have to. I find that sticking in position with my defender is a lot more effective though. Most of the time putting pressure on your opponent just by standing near them and blocking a cross or pass is the best way to defend.
There’s no guaranteed formation that is going to get you easy wins and control a game, but there are certain formations which can help with a certain style of player. 4-4-2 might suit a more rigid team where players remain in their positions and a lot of your attack will come from the wings, whereas if you like to play with a narrow formation you might go for 4-2-3-1. Not only do you have two defensive midfielders to hold up the midfield, but you’ve also got support for your two central defenders, which is particularly useful if you don’t have much pace at the back to deal with attackers. Another bonus to this formation is that you don’t have to use a fast striker, just get someone with decent finishing stats. Your midfield will be the ones threading the balls through the gaps, so prioritise on buying good ones.
Also if you’re lacking ideas for a squad, I would really recommend going on FUT Head.
Like football in real life you always benefit by having a few players in your team who have an eye for a pass. Özil, Carrick and David Silva are just a few I can name for a Premier League squad. I have a whole bench full of midfielders just to rotate them around too, simply because they’re crucial to my team and the way I play. I wouldn’t want Jack Wilshere getting injured without a replacement, and it probably is going to happen if the game goes anything like real life. For my team, this was the most important stat to have, with only one striker and the need for a good supply of chances in each game.
Another part of Ultimate Team that I consider important are work rates. Each player has their own set of work rates for attacking and defending and you’re probably thinking that you should have high for everything right? Well even though that might not always be possible, it isn’t necessarily worth it. For example, David Luiz who is a defender has a high attacking work rate and only a medium defensive one. This leaves a weakness at the back particularly from counter attacks when Luiz might not be in the best position to help out at the back. Therefore you might want to consider playing an extra defender at the back with a high defensive work rate such as Chiellini. It can be a balancing act to get the right work rates for players in each position, but just choose your defensive players carefully, bearing in mind their attacking work rate.
Learn how to play against different opponents
Use the first 10 or 20 minutes to judge how your opponent is playing. If they’re dominating in terms of possession of chances, you might need to adjust your formation to make it a little more defensive, but still offer a route to counter attack against them. You must have seen plenty of games where teams just sit back and soak up pressure and then hit on a counter, if not, I’ll jog your memory with that late Drogba goal for Chelsea in the Champions League. It will probably take more of a team effort to counter than a solo one though, so bear that in mind and try to keep a few extra players out of the box for corners.
I find most opponents score a lot of goals based on set pieces, so it might be good practice to work on them. Use each online game as training and work on your marking, since this is key to preventing goals from crosses or corners. The number of times I’ve had my defenders in a bad position marking an attacker and he’s ended up heading the ball poorly to one of my opponent’s players, causing a goal as a result. Believe me, I know how important it is to mark players tightly in the box. As for wingers you just need to stop that cross from getting in so be sure to jockey alongside and don’t let his dribbling get the better of you or send you the wrong way.
This is probably one of the most important areas to decide on. When deciding what central defenders to buy, keep your eye on players who have a decent pace stat. The quicker ones are likely to sell for more than Arsenal’s Mertesacker, but that’s because it will really help with your defending especially when you have opponents who have a good striker running at your defence with a fair bit of pace. Pulling might be overused and classed as a foul in real football, but it helps if you have a defender who can keep pace with the player they’re pulling back.
Building up your chemistry
I have the challenge every year trying to build a team out of packs alone with a decent enough chemistry. I enjoy the challenge and it just means it takes me a little longer than my friends to get 100 chemistry from a team. Once again, it’s largely dependent on the league and country your team play in, so I don’t need to lecture you on that. But there’s also a little helping hand in the form of loyalty bonuses, which apply to every player in your team. If you receive players from a pack they’ll instantly show loyalty to your team, but if you buy them from the transfer market, you’ll need to play them for 10 games before having that +1 chemistry bonus. There’s also a manager bonus, which relates to the league or country your manager is from. Once again this will grant plus one to your chemistry.
One of the new features introduced in this year’s Ultimate Team are Chemistry Styles, which are permanent stat boosts to your players in particular areas. They’re similar to the player boost cards, but these remain on your players until you change them with another Chemistry Style. It makes you question which players fit into each style and if you get a whole team running on these, you’re bound to have a more successful spell on FUT 14. It’s pretty obvious too, as the price of them can be quite costly if you plan on buying different ones for your entire team, which I hope you are. The “Hunter” and “Shadow” styles will set you back the most amount of coins, but they are really useful if you know how they work. Without going into as much detail as this, the effectiveness of the style applied relies on the individual and team chemistry values.
Working the market
So you might be wondering how players manage to accumulate one million coins so quickly, well most are market traders and work it to their favour. It might seem cheap, but they work the market and price fix specific items such as the Leeds United kits or a badge that there might not be many of. Basically, keep your eyes peeled for trends in the market, for example I work with Championship badges and kits a lot for this, so I look for bargains first and if I don’t find any, I usually look for a small amount of a badge/kit on the market and then buy them all out, selling them all on at a higher price. Cheeky I know, but you’ve got to do what it takes to make some serious cash on this game. I’ve known people who have made half a million in a week and I’m sure there are more serious sellers out there who make a lot more than that.
I’ve already mentioned Chemistry Styles, so be sure to sell them if you’re not thinking of using any or if you need some quick cash. You may remember the squad fitness cards selling for about 1,800 on the last game, well they won’t be netting you much anymore, in fact I still have five of them not selling since I got the game. Just remember that the “compare price” button will be your best friend for selling. I’m glad EA Sports have finally decided to add the feature to Ultimate Team.
I’m sure there’s so much more that I could go into, but these were the main tips I picked out for players who were maybe struggling or just need some advice for Ultimate Team. I would be more than willing to answer any FIFA 14: Ultimate Team questions below in the comments.