As FIFA 22 launches worldwide, the dilemma occupying most players when they fire up the game for the first time is how to assemble the best starter squad in Ultimate Team.
With a limited balance of coins, the trick will be to find cheap, competitive cards until better ones become affordable.
Here, we’ve looked at three different ways that players can gain an early edge over their rivals.
Shop in the right leagues
Knowing how gold players are distributed across FIFA 22’s various leagues is helpful when shopping for a starter squad. Chemistry is key in Ultimate Team and the easiest way to achieve the maximum rating is to build a squad around players who hail from the same league.
The Premier League unsurprisingly leads the way with 338 gold cards, so this is the obvious option for players to hunt for bargains. It also contains the most high-rated solutions to the problematic right wing position, with three of the six right-sided midfielders rated 85 or higher being based in England.
However, the English top flight’s popularity tends to drive up prices, so it’s worth considering some of the less prestigious leagues where the same level of talent can be acquired for less.
The Bundesliga and Ligue 1 each have over 180 gold cards to choose from, but even the 79 available in Liga Portugal Bwin or the 61 in the Turkish Super Lig could tide you over for a few weeks at the start of the game.
Find cut-price alternatives to the best cards
Packing an icon early in the game is every FUT player’s dream, but getting hold of one of the game’s top-rated cards is beyond the reach of most of us. However, careful examination of the in-game attributes can reveal affordable alternatives who possess similar advantages.
For example, the Brazilian striker Ronaldo is the best available in his position, but there are nine other icons – such as Kenny Dalglish and Samuel Eto’o – who are rated at least 88 in all of the attributes that R9 scores at least 90 in.
Scaling that down further, there are also plenty of gold-rated cards who have a rating of at least 80 in these categories. These include Angel Correa of Atletico Madrid and Levante’s Luis Morales, both of whom are easily affordable at the start of the game.
Another icon that would improve any FUT squad is Ruud Gullit. The Dutch legend is one of the best all-rounders in the game and the term “Gullit Gang” is widely used to describe any card that has a score of at least 80 in all six face stats.
This year, Leon Goretzka’s base card became the first of its kind to join this exclusive club. Although significantly cheaper than Gullit, the average player will not be able to afford the Bayern midfielder straight away, but cheaper options like Mateus Uribe and Daniel Wass can do a similar job in a starter squad.
At the back, there’s no bigger colossus than Paolo Maldini, who has the only card which scores at least 80 for both pace attributes and at least 90 for all five defensive stats.
PSG pair Marquinhos and Pascal Kimpembe run the Italian legend relatively close at the start of FIFA 22, but Benfica’s Lucas Verissimo – an example of a bargain from Liga Portugal Bwin – may be a cannier purchase for the budget-conscious player.
Trade your way to a better team
At the heart of Ultimate Team is the transfer market, which has spawned a whole community of traders. There are a wealth of different trading strategies available but they all boil down to differences in supply and demand.
Put simply, if a card is in high demand or in short supply, then its FIFA 22 price will increase, while undesirable or plentiful cards will see their prices fall. While there are many factors which can influence the availability and desirability of a card, the best times to buy and sell tend to follow a weekly cycle.
The release of rewards in the form of packs will usually see players selling off their unwanted cards at the same time, flooding the market and driving down prices. This happens on a Monday morning when Squad Battles rewards are released and again on Thursdays when the weekly Division Rivals rewards appear, so these are both good times to stock up.
FUT Champions rewards are no longer released alongside the Division Rivals ones this year; instead, players can claim them whenever they finish their allotted Finals matches. This will usually be on a Sunday, when players may also decide to sell off some of the higher-end cards they were using, so keep an eye out over the weekend for any bargains.
The release of the Team of the Week on Wednesday evenings generates another cycle for traders to follow. A footballer’s base card goes out of packs while they are in the Team of the Week, so anyone able to anticipate and stock up on gold cards which are popular in the game or in SBC solutions can flip them for a profit as supplies dwindle.
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