How to make coins in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team

© EA
Here are six essential tips to help you keep up with the power curve in EA's latest FIFA game
By Tom BramwellPublished on
FIFA 21 is upon us, and despite the challenges of the pandemic forcing EA Sports to develop most of it from home, this year's version of Ultimate Team is the most expansive and exciting to date.
Early promos, such as Rulebreakers, suggest EA is serious about pushing special players in new directions by mixing up stats to increase their potential. There's probably no better example than Rulebreaker Harry Kane, whose newfound pace transforms him from SBC fodder to Weekend League meta striker.
Naturally, you'll want to get your hands on these players, and while their prices may appear prohibitive, the good news is there are more ways than ever to make serious coins in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team. Here are six tips to help you keep up with the power curve without relying on FIFA Points.

1. Play Division Rivals and Squad Battles!

Every FUT player has to start somewhere
The first thing you should do once you have a halfway usable team is tackle your Division Rivals placement matches. Finish these five matches and the system will place you in a ranked division, where you can play up to 30 matches each week to qualify for rewards. More importantly, it will give you a massive stack of coins just for completing placements, which is ideal for building out your starter squad. (You'll gain even more coins whenever you achieve promotion.) Div Rivals rewards are released each Thursday morning, but you get the placement and promotion coins immediately.
Squad Battles is another reliable way to make bank. You can play up to 40 matches each week, but once you get the hang of FIFA 21, you can easily qualify for lucrative prize tiers by completing far fewer than that. Even on Legendary difficulty, the weaker Squad Battles teams can be bulldozed into submission with a bit of practice -- they're especially vulnerable to players sprinting in behind.

2. Do the "Foundation" Squad Building Challenges

Do as many SBCs as you can for some decent rewards
The foundational SBCs (Hybrid Leagues, etc) are a staple of each edition of FIFA, and they are designed to give out very nice packs for relatively little outlay. Ignore the solutions listed on FIFA websites, which are often placed by traders hoping to drive up the price of specific players; you can solve most of these puzzles yourself without spending too many coins.
Once you've finished them, you'll find you have some tradeable packs to open. Even if you don't net yourself anything big, you should be able to sell the contents to make decent money, and there will be a few usable players in there that could help you put together a competitive starter team.

3. Learn the market so you can buy low and sell high

Buy low, sell high – just as if you were a day trader
There are plenty of advanced trading methods for seasoned FUT players, but the most reliable technique is buying players cheaply during reward periods and in-game promotions.
Every week, Squad Battles, Division Rivals, and FUT Champions Weekend League rewards are distributed to players. Players then open a ton of packs very quickly and flood the market with the items they receive. This temporarily drives prices down, allowing you to buy valuable meta players for less than their usual rate. This is great if you want them for your team, but if you have extra coins you can also buy more than you need, wait for the market to rebound, and sell them on for a profit.
The trick is being online at the right times and learning what players should cost so that you can spot a bargain. Squad Battles rewards are released at midnight on Sunday GMT, so that may not work for you, but Division Rivals (7.55am) and Weekend League (9am) arrive on Thursday morning. The market drops as a result, then steadily climbs again through the afternoon. Buy a popular player like Ousmane Dembele at 9am on Thursday, and you can make a profit at 2pm the same day.
You can also look out for big market drops during in-game promotions like Black Friday and Team of the Year, when EA runs "lightning rounds" every hour from 6pm, selling expensive packs for a limited time. The market always drops in response to these and then rises again quickly. Take advantage.

4. Buy up SBC fodder

Paying attention to SBC markets is a smart thing to do
Thanks to Squad-Building Challenges, every player in FIFA 21 has some value sooner or later. SBCs are puzzles you solve by submitting squads that fulfill specific requirements -- usually combinations of nations, leagues, and ratings. You lose the items permanently in exchange for an exclusive player or desirable pack reward, depending on the SBC.
While SBC requirements vary, sooner or later they start to ask for higher squad ratings, and this drives up the price of every player who has that rating. With the reintroduction of Icon SBCs in FIFA 21, we're expecting demand for players rated 83 and above to increase significantly around Black Friday when these desirable SBCs are likely to appear, but in the meantime a lot of this "fodder" is very cheap.
If you have a team you quite like and keep stacking up coins week after week, it's a good idea to buy up fodder in anticipation. Make sure you're buying it at a low price, using websites like Futbin to keep track of price fluctuations. Then just leave it on your Transfer List and wait for desirable SBCs to arrive to drive up the prices. If you time it right, you can double your money without much difficulty.

5. Sell consumables, stadium items and valuable managers

Selling off pack fodder can be quite lucrative
Every pack you open in FIFA 21 is padded with items you probably don't want or need: contracts, position changes, kits, managers... While fitness and backroom staff cards have been removed this year, the addition of customisable stadiums means there are new items in their place like TIFOs and even pots of different-coloured paint.
The good news is that a lot of this junk has value. Gold contract items can be sold for 200-300 coins if you patiently relist them. Some position change cards are very valuable. And if you snag yourself a Dutch or Brazilian manager, you've just made 5,000 coins. It will be boring at first, but make sure to click "Compare Price" on all these filler items to learn what they're worth, and you'll probably make a good few coins selling them on.

6. Pick an advanced trading technique and learn it!

Trading off Bronze packs is a viable trick
A cottage industry has sprung up around FUT trading in recent years and there are many techniques the top traders now use to make money. You won't have as much time as them to devote to it, but if you pick one technique and practice it, you can do well.
You could try Chemistry Style trading, where you buy items with expensive Chem Styles already applied and sell them at a higher price. Or maybe you look into "sniping" players used for League SBCs, which fluctuate during the week but are in steady demand for the bulk of the game cycle. Then there's the famous Bronze Pack Method, or even Icon fluctuation trading if you have lots of coins already.
Our advice? Pick one that sounds interesting, learn how it works, then try it out. It may be laborious at first, but once you understand the method, and how and when it works, it shouldn't be too long before you start turning a healthy profit.