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FIFA 15 Ultimate Team guide: the basics

Ultimate Team is the jewel in FIFA's crown. You aren't going to be able to steal it without nailing the basics.


FIFA 15 Ultimate Team guide - the basics

We live in a world where professional footballers can wrongly be arrested for stealing cheese in Tesco Express. This is a universe where Wayne Rooney’s mop changes from Bobby Charlton to Milli Vanilli within the space of a week. We’ve created a planet that lets overweight men pilgrimage to their local stands, remove their tops and shout at less overweight men who are cautioned for showing the slightest whiff of nip. Everything is our fault.

This is most evident with the alarming popularity of FIFA Ultimate Team, a mode which has quickly developed from paid-DLC on FIFA 09 to becoming FIFA 15’s main event. Children who were gestating when the original mode dropped will be picking up the controller soon, so it’s vital you quickly get up to scratch with how this year’s gameplay changes alter the experience.

First, let’s begin with a Felix Magath-styled warm up, minus the hill sprints.

The Basics of FUT15

Increased mistakes from the AI makes chemistry even more important.

To put it simply, entering the online arena without 100% chemistry means you will automatically start at a disadvantage in FIFA 15. This is one of the simplest and most important factors to get right. All you need to do is build a team consisting of players who link, be it through their affiliation with the same league, club or nationality. Your team is far more likely to offer a high tempo, accurate passes and incisive attacking runs when they link perfectly.

Hybrid sides can also be devastating and are easier to build this year due to the Concept Squads feature. This means you can test exactly what chemistry is produced when you place Mesut Ozil alongside Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger; three Germans who play in different leagues. The Concept Squads feature doesn’t quite allow you to try before you buy, but it does let you window shop without committing a costly error. An inability to do this could see you purchase an afro-haired Belgian, when all you really need is a Mohawk-wearing Chilean (*obligatory Manchester United joke).

Individual player links are extremely vital for complex hybrid sides. Although individual links will appear maxed out at 10 (flick the right stick to see their relationship with surrounding colleagues), connections sharing the same nationality, league and club can turn it up to 11. This essentially means they descended from the same embryo and will offer an almost telepathic intuition on the pitch, much like the Neville brothers didn’t.

FIFA 15’s AI is designed to suffer from human errors. Your team is no longer made up of superhuman athletes whose concentration remains impenetrable for 90 minutes. The ball will bounce off knees, passes will speed off the pitch and shots will occasionally assault the corner flag. Possessing a chemistry rating of 100 will help eradicate errors which are now as predictable as hearing Steven Gerrard’s title-dropping slip ironically sung around Premier League grounds.

REMEMBER: Opening packs is a lottery you are unlikely to win.

While you will occasionally land a valuable player, most cards on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are affordable if you put the time into playing matches and earning coins. It is widely believed you are more likely to land five numbers on the lottery than finding Cristiano Ronaldo in a pack, meaning you should probably consider entering the local Lotto draw in anticipation of buying the actual human himself.

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