FIFA 22 is nearly upon us and that means another season grinding FIFA Ultimate Team to assemble our dream squads. But if you want to play at the highest level in Weekend League, you need the best meta players, and they don't come cheap.
So if you're a Red Devil who wants Varane and Sancho in your team, or a Barcelona fan shooting for that Depay/Aguero/Messi front line, you need to start stacking coins quickly! Here's some advice to get ahead from Ryan Pessoa.
Play and trade during Early Access
Everyone starts FIFA Ultimate Team with zero coins, so as well as learning the new gameplay, you need to start earning coins as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to start as early as EA Sports will allow.
"If you just buy the normal edition of FIFA 22, you can play from October 1," says Ryan. "But if you buy the Ultimate Edition, you're giving yourself a huge advantage over other players, because you can start on September 27 instead. If you have an EA Play subscription, you can even play earlier than that, using a 10-hour trial from September 22."
It might not sound like a big deal, but the market fluctuates hugely during those early days, and players with a few coins in hand can turn them into a lot of coins in a matter of weeks. Here are a few things we recommend:
Squad Battles - If you're an EA Play subscriber playing from September 22, play as many Squad Battles as possible and you will get some high-value reward packs the following Monday, before most people have even downloaded the game. Repeat this every week at the start of the cycle for easy packs.
Division Rivals - Begin grinding Rivals as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. Unlike the last FUT, where players received a large coin bonus for placements, this year Rivals will be a steady climb with regular reward checkpoints, so simply putting the hours in should net you beneficial tradeable rewards.
Web App - The web app usually goes live early -- for the previous game, it went live the day before EA Play -- and allows basic early trading. Nobody has coins at this stage, so any meta cards you can buy (think cheap beasts like Adama Traoré) will then rise during Early Access as people earn their first coins from gameplay. Using the web app during the EA Play period also means you don't waste any of your 10 hours on trading and club maintenance.
Foundation SBCs - Complete the Foundation Squad-Building Challenges as soon as possible, because they give out tradeable pack rewards. Almost every card will be overpriced during the web app period, due to limited coin supply, and then any useful cards will go up in value during the first week of play.
Use FUT Champions to your advantage
FUT Champions is the pinnacle of competitive play in FIFA Ultimate Team for most players. EA is changing the format for FIFA 22 so that matches are spread out over a Playoff period followed by FUT Finals at the weekend, and this will change how and when reward content hits the transfer market. However, the broad trends around FUT Champions should remain the same, with coins still to be made.
"The FUT Champions Weekend League is a great way to measure your skill level, but it's also a fantastic way to make coins," says Ryan. "For example, we know that historically the price of meta cards crashes straight after the first Weekend League. That's a great time to buy players you want for your team."
Rewards will no longer be released at a set time on Thursdays, by the sound of EA's pre-release announcements, but there will still be key days and periods when the market is flooded by people selling the players they have packed in rewards. Learn when that happens and you should be able to buy low, then sell at higher prices later in the week as people start building their next FUT Champions squad.
Other items like Chemistry Styles and Position Change cards can also be worth trading. Hunter and Shadow are the most useful Chemistry Styles, for example, and are usually in higher demand on Friday and Saturday.
Always sell into the hype
A good rule of thumb for making coins in FIFA Ultimate Team is selling into the hype.
"There is so much new content going into the game each week in terms of Objective Players and Squad-Building Challenges, and each of those activities has specific requirements," says Ryan. "This usually has an impact on the price of certain cards. For example, if there's an SBC that needs Barcelona players in an 80-rated squad, you can expect any players that fit that profile to become scarce. If you have them in your club, that's when to sell them!"
EA usually uploads new content to the game at 17:00 UTC, so log into the game or the companion app at that time to see what has been posted. If you move quickly, you can sometimes buy players who are likely to rise in price, then sell them for profit a few minutes later as demand surges.
The flipside of this is that you don't want to buy things during periods of hype. It's always tempting to complete SBCs like Marquee Matchups as soon as they drop, but if you wait a few days then the required cards usually fall in price as demand falls off and supply increases again. Sell into the hype, then complete the SBCs later.
There are definitely times when it pays to be glued to the Transfer Market
Bid on cards during moments of high supply
Throughout the FUT cycle, there are numerous times when the volume of cards being added to the Transfer Market increases very quickly. This drives the price of cards downwards for as long as the supply holds. Any cards that remain in demand will then go up in price again when the supply slows down. It's simple economics and if you understand the rhythm of the FUT cycle, you can use it to make serious coins.
"Hopefully we've demonstrated that you really don't have to be on the game 24/7 to make a competitive amount of coins," says Ryan. "But there are definitely times when it pays to be glued to the Transfer Market. Weekend League rewards day is a good one, and once EA starts dropping big promos like Black Friday and FUT Freeze, which have Lightning Rounds, there is so much supply that you can save a ton of coins just through bidding."
Most of the time when you want a player in FUT, you find the cheapest one and use "Buy It Now" to purchase them. But you can also choose to bid on items. Most of the time this won't save you many coins, but during periods of high supply, the combination of the bid mechanic and lazy sellers is very valuable.
What happens is this: EA drops a Lightning Round, selling tens of thousands of Ultimate Packs in minutes. Players open those packs and list up items as quickly as possible, but they don't specify a bid price. The market is then flooded with desirable cards -- from SBC fodder to meta players -- that have a minimum bid price of just 700 coins. An hour later, when those player auctions start to expire, the sheer volume of cards expiring at the same time means that low bids slip through the net. It's not unheard of for players who should cost 20k being snapped up for peanuts. Just make sure you're placing low bids on lots of the same cards around one hour after the packs are originally supplied.
To start with, we recommend paying attention to the market at these times:
Squad Battles rewards - Mondays at midnight UK time, Squad Battles rewards go live. Especially during the first weeks of a FUT cycle, Squad Battles generates a lot of supply. Cards will drop in price during the hour afterwards and be open for crafty bidding at around 00:00 UTC.
Black Friday Lightning Rounds - The first promo to have Lightning Rounds. This is usually mid-to-late November, and Lightning Rounds take place at 17:00, 18:00 and 19:00 UTC on Friday and Saturday. Supply increases massively at this point.
Future Lightning Rounds - Whenever EA drops a new promo thereafter, from FUT Freeze and Team of the Year to FUT Birthday and Team of the Season, you can expect Lightning Rounds on Fridays and Saturdays. Be ready.
Buy cheap fodder and hold it
If you would rather focus on learning how to play the game, and just want a method that generates a guaranteed return for minimal effort, then there is one very effective long-term trading tip that has worked in FUT for several years:
"If you've already got a decent early team and want to invest your coins for better players further down the line, the simplest thing to do is buy SBC fodder," says Ryan. "In previous years, 86-rated gold cards were less than 10k in October just after the game launched. When EA starts releasing big SBCs at the end of Black Friday and in the FUT Freeze period, the price of those cards will skyrocket."
He's not kidding. You can buy 10x 86-rated gold cards in the first few weeks using coins earned through gameplay for under 100k. When those SBCs hit and demand goes up, you will probably have 300k or more to play with. There are very few sure things in FUT trading, but the rising price of fodder is definitely one. You just have to be patient.
Looking further ahead, past years have also seen the prices of 85s rise precipitously during FUT Freeze (formerly FUTmas) in December. And cheap Team of the Week (in-form) cards, often available at discard prices of around 11k during the first few months of the game, rise to crazy levels in spring as SBC requirements escalate.
Use all this knowledge wisely, and the only thing that will stop you competing at the highest level in FIFA 22 Ultimate Team is your own gameplay. Good luck!