Going for Gold: Tips For Starting FIFA Ultimate Team


Within the FIFA franchise, Ultimate Team is EA’s golden child. It brings in ungodly amounts of money for them and is the centerpiece of the content made by YouTubers and Twitch streamers of the incredibly popular sports series. Division Rivals is the main form of PvP within the realm of FUT, but Weekend Leagues, Squad Battles, and general Seasons play make up the components of the rest of the available game modes. 

Ultimate Team can be a costly venture, and while Pay2Win isn’t necessarily a guaranteed ticket to victory, knowing what to do with your virtual coins is a huge advantage when entering the arena of an already established game with a hardened meta. That’s why I’m aiming to help provide some tips and advice that will aid those who are starting out so they don’t make any missteps or fall into beginner traps.

Pick Your Theme

Before you even buy your FIFA game key, you should decide what theme you’re going to go with. The most popular choice is generally the English Premier League as it’s considered to be one of if not the best league in the world, but you can generate an equally solid team from the Spanish or Italian leagues. France is also a good choice for starting a hybrid squad.

For those that don’t know, FUT has a mechanic called Chemistry, which basically means how well players work together. This is determined by them being the same nationality, playing for the same club, or playing for clubs in the same league. It also applies to players playing in their actual positions.

When you first start up a team, you’ll be asked to pick a few options which will factor into what players are given to you. Bear this in mind when selecting what kind of team you’re thinking of going for, or you may even change your mind based on what starting players you’re given.

Buy FIFA Coin Boosts

You may have to spend some time racking up EASFC Coins by playing other modes, but it’s definitely worth it. Within the EASFC Catalogue, you can purchase Coin Boosts to use in FUT. Before you play a game, buy all the 1,000 Coin Boost variants that you can.

Once you’ve bought all the 1,000 ones, you can then purchase the 200 Coin Boosts. This is because the boosts are applied in the order in which you bought them, and purchasing all the 200’s first will mean you have to go through a lot of games before you start getting better money. 

Doing this will ensure you get at least 1,500 coins per win, which when you’re first starting is a good payout.

Loan Players

After getting all your coin boosts, you should look to invest in Loan Players. These are players of varying skill levels that can be used for a set number of games before they expire permanently. Some of the lower ones are a bit meh, but you can get some of the best players in the world at the higher end, even if only for a handful of games. 

What you don’t want to do is throw all these players into your team immediately. All that does is use up their precious games on beginner-level opposition (which is just overkill) and will more than likely have pretty low chemistry. I’d suggest spacing out their uses and saving them for harder games against tougher opponents or covering an injured player.

A minor note, but you should never substitute them on or off. Even if they play for 1 in-game minute, they’ll still have one contract used up, so it’s just not worth it. 

Determine Your Play Style

Again, this may change based on the players that you receive from your initial pack(s), but deciding on a playstyle means you can hunt down specific players that cater to your chosen style of attack/defence.

Having a tall striker like Olivier Giroud or Andy Carroll means that crossing is a potent method of approach for you, so you should look for good wingers or full backs that have a good crossing, sprint speed, and/or stamina stats to compliment this. Having a fast-attacking player like Wilfried Zaha means you should try and acquire playmakers that can play good balls through to him, players like Gylfi Sigurdsson or Bernardo Silva.

Having a mindset of how you want to set up means you don’t waste coins on players that don’t fit your style.

Use the Web/Companion App

I’m a big fan of any game that utilizes the power of the app, and with Ultimate Team being quite an involved and micromanaged system, it really helps to be able to manage your squad(s) and club in general by using either the web or companion app.

Here you can manage your squad, browse the transfer market, view all the squad building challenges, and claim rewards through daily challenges. Also, by logging into the app in either form, you can be rewarded with Daily Gifts that can be redeemed by logging into FIFA actual. These Gifts can be either consumables, players, or coins.

Complete Starter Objectives

This may seem like slightly basic advice, but you can potentially earn a lot from completing the first five sets of starter objectives. For doing really simple things like selecting a captain, changing formation, or buying something from the transfer market, you can earn coins, chemistry styles, contracts, players, fitness consumables, pretty much anything. 

Challenge Team Of The Week

Team Of The Week (TOTW) is FIFA’s round-up of what players are in good form, throwing them all together in a team for you to be able to challenge. Depending on what skill level you select, you’ll be rewarded a proportionate amount of coins (along with any other active Coin Boosts you have).

Now I’m not amazing at FIFA, but I can beat most opposition on Professional and every now and then on World Class, meaning I can get a nice 2000 coins from just one game. The coin reward is only given out on the first win against the TOTW, so it can’t be abused over and over, but it’s always worth challenging them for the extra cash.


Now this tactic is really only for the more committed player as it involves a fair bit of monotony, but it can pay real dividends. 

Those who are well acquainted with online auction sites may be familiar with the term “sniping”, which refers to jumping in seconds before a bid on an item closes with a marginally higher bid. As the transfer market on FUT functions in the same manner, the principle of sniping can be applied here as well. You can do this on your PS4 or Xbox, but using the web app allows the process to become a lot faster. You can find a quick guide on how to do this here.

While the tactic may seem a bit grimy (and a bit boring), it’s a decent and simple way to turn a profit and get some coins.

Physios and Coaches

Like a real sports team, a good team is supported by a strong staff. FUT is no different. By kitting out your team with good physios and coaches, they’ll get benefits to healing and fitness by providing percentage bonuses when you use any fitness or healing consumables. They also don’t require contracts so you can keep them indefinitely. 

Bronze Fitness Is Enough

One of the very few instances a bronze card is absolutely fine is when it comes to regaining player fitness. Stamina can drop fairly low after just a handful of games, so its good to have a healthy supply of fitness consumable cards to dip into. Player fitness can never surpass 99, even if the card will increase it beyond that. Gold fitness cards give +60 to fitness which is often way more than is needed. A bronze card gives +20, which is generally enough to keep players going, as well as being dirt cheap on the transfer market.

Apply Chemistry Styles Based On Play Style

Again, it may seem like simple advice, but every player in your team should have some form of chemistry style applied to maximize their efficiency within the way that you play.

For example, if you have a midfield controlled by a deep-sitting David Silva, giving him the Artist chemistry style will make his passing and vision that much better. If you have a system that incorporates wing backs, giving them the Engine style will ensure they can get up and down the line as much as you need them to.

Chemistry styles don’t actually raise base stat numbers, they’re only active once they’re in a game.

Pick The Right Manager

The manager is one of the most important cards to have within a club. Their main job is providing a boost in percentage when you apply contracts, but they also provide some handy chemistry bonuses.

If a manager’s nationality and/or league matches those of a player within the squad, that player gets a +1 to their overall chemistry (sharing both league and nationality doesn’t provide a +2 unfortunately). Ideally, you should pick your manager on nationality, as their league can be changed with certain consumables but their country of origin can’t.

Another good tactic is to chase the most uncommon nationality in your team. You want to raise up low chemistry players rather than increase already well-placed high chemistry players. In a perfect world, your manager’s nationality benefits the low players and his league helps the higher players.

Squad Battles For Solo Players

Online play isn’t for everyone, and that’s more than okay. I’ve dabbled in Division Rivals and got myself thoroughly stomped more than once, so Single Player is more my bag at the moment (at least until my squad improves). Single Player Seasons is a fine choice to play, but as you progress through the divisions, you may quickly hit a skill ceiling. Squad Battles is a great alternative to Seasons with extra rewards.

Squad Battles allows you to play FUT squads created by other players but are controlled by the AI at a difficulty chosen by you. These periodically change throughout the week and you get placed in a dynamic leaderboard. At the end of the week, you’ll get rewards based on where you placed within that leaderboard.

So, for those looking to get some cash and stick with playing against the AI, Squad Battles (while not as lucrative as Division Rivals) is a controllable, consistent mode that offers more rewards than Seasons. 

Play the Objectives

There’s usually at least one daily objective you can complete that’s fairly easy like “Buy a Player” or “Score 2 Headers”. These minimal tasks usually yield a simple reward like coins or a contract pack, but if they can be completed quickly (especially if you don’t need to play a game) then they’re more than worth doing.

Even weekly objectives sometimes have an easy one thrown in like “Play 10 Games” which may take up more time, but can get you better rewards like a premium pack or a loan player. Just make sure you check the reward is something you’ll value and the time (and sometimes coins) invested is worth the payoff.

Also, keep an eye on the Milestones as these have some very good rewards you can redeem.

Know Your Contracts

Contracts are one of the most important parts of FUT. Without them, your best players may be unable to get into the team, and the same goes for managers. That’s why it pays to know how to maximize the use you get from them. 

For starters, there are a few 99 player contracts available in the EASFC Catalogue. You don’t want to use these straight away on a random player (they also can’t be used on Loan Players). You’ll want to hang onto these and bestow them on your most valuable and integral players who will be staying in your team for the long haul.

A great tactic to get a healthy boost on your contracts is by storing managers in your club. Even if they aren’t your active manager, their bonuses are still in effect just by being in your club, and they can reach an accumulative bonus cap of up to 50% extra. That means when you apply a 28 game contract to a gold player, you’ll end up getting 42 games out of them instead, and that’s definitely worth having.

Exclusive Squad Building Challenges

This is how a lot of the Pros get their top players. Squad Building Challenges (SBCs) are tasks in FUT that allow you to swap players with specific criteria for a (usually) unique reward. There are SBCs that exist permanently that offer fairly basic but consistent rewards, but the timed challenges are where some of the best players are.

FIFA has gone big in recent years on Icons (vintage players from various generations) and a number of SBCs offer Icon cards as rewards. The requirements to unlock them may be steep and require a fair bit of work, but getting players like Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Alan Shearer, Ryan Giggs, and Patrick Vieira is more than worth the time and effort.

Try targeting a challenge that has a player that fits into your team or covers an area of weakness. Use Squad Battles to gain quick coins then search the transfer market for the lowest priced players that meet the SBCs fulfillments. You don’t want to spend big as these players will only be lost when completing the SBC.

Have Two (Or More) Squads

Building up a team of world-beaters is the end-game, but it’s important to have a second squad that can step in against the relevant opposition (and provide a handy second function).

Not every game needs Virgil Van Dijk to dominate the backline or N’Golo Kante to control the game from the middle of the park. There will be some games where a squad of modest gold or even silver level players will be able to get the job done. That’s why it’s important to have a second squad of players that can step in and do the work, saving your head honchos from having to spend a contract on a game that doesn’t need them.

Also, a good strategy is to select players from your first team that have low stamina and put them in the substitutes of your second squad. Doing this grants them a free recovery game without using up a game for a contract (as long as you don’t bring them on).

Hopefully, these tips will set you on a good path to a strong Ultimate Team career. As the meta is always changing, be sure to keep up to date with the Fifa Pitch Notes and the various YouTubers that cover the game.

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