FIFA 13 Ultimate Team addiction has set in across the globe.
Thousands of players await the challenge of your best squad. Some people spend real cash to gain an advantage. Nobody likes to spend on virtual goods you are destined to lose a year down the line.
How about some cost-effective tips to give you an advantage?
I've listed plenty of simple ways to keep you ahead of the crowd. This is designed to aid serious and casual players.
Now, who's got that Emile Heskey card?
An Ultimate Team cannot be taken seriously until 100 percent chemistry is enjoyed.
This is the simplest way of gaining an advantage over an opponent. It can also be achieved quickly and with little cost.
What is Chemistry?
To put it simply, chemistry is the driving force behind any decent Ultimate Team. Expect players to react slowly, pass sloppily and provide less runs if you aren't in the green.
How to Improve Chemistry
Formations: Before purchasing any player or manager, you must decide on your formation. Only purchase players who prefer the formation you have chosen. They will receive an immediate head start when placed in the team.
Remember: 4-1-2-1-2 cards are extremely popular and far more expensive than other choices. This setup is extremely versatile, but prepare to pay if you choose it.
Managers: A team is only as good as the man in charge. While you can't suit up and head to the dugout, plenty of managers can be employed to do the job for you. Make this your first choice once you've decided on your formation. Any player bought in the same formation as your manager will provide a greater chemistry boost.
Remember: Your coaching staff are just as important as those on the pitch. The manager should be viewed as the seed from which your team grows. If he is the wrong formation or non-existent, problems at the root of your team will harm your chances of success.
Players: The easiest way to gain top marks for chemistry is by building a team of players from a single league or nation. Teammates will interact even sharper with each other, often providing extra runs and opportunities to make an impression.
Remember: Take notice of the green links between players. This will indicate who is going to work hard for each other. If you've got a player surrounded by orange links you need to change things up.
Strength in depth: Building a Gold Premier League side is all well and good until you come across Bronze and Silver tournaments.
Ultimate Team is most fruitful when you can compete in every competition. Don't be afraid to mix Premier League players with those from other English championships (especially if the players are all from the same nation). The same goes for any country that has more than one league on the game.
Remember: An average side with full chemistry trumps a team of unlinked superstars. They will play with greater tempo, tenacity and become favourites for every challenge.
You'll have plenty of decisions to make once the action begins. Players must be dropped, injuries dealt with and morale kept high. Plenty of simple measures can be taken to ensure progress remains smooth.
Your players will tire after every match. The amount will depend on how often each individual sprints for prolonged periods of time and also the total distance covered. Most outfield players will lose up to five fitness points after every match. Goalkeepers usually trudge back to the dressing room with minus one or two.
Remember: Once your player's fitness drops into the 80s, they will struggle to complete 90 minutes at full pace. Consider benching them for a couple of games or using a fitness card to reverse exhaustion.
Is there anything worse than seeing your star striker hobble off the pitch? Yes, there's not knowing how to deal with it. While cards can be purchased to speed up recovery, intelligent gamers won't waste money on such commodities. Simply place your injured player in the reserves section of the main squad—do not swap him out of your selected 23. He'll recover one point after each game.
Remember: If you receive an injury during a tournament and cannot be without the missing player, don't panic. Play a few exhibition matches using the technique suggested above. Pick up from where you've left off when he's back to full fitness.
Your best 11 isn't going to win everything by themselves. Many tournaments force you into selecting teams which meet specific criteria and requirements. Morale must be maintained when players aren't chosen. Be sure to give lesser members of the squad a run out whenever possible. This will ensure they are happy and ready to perform when called upon.
Remember: You can receive a morale boost of plus eight from the biggest stadiums. Snap one up before your first match—they are criminally cheap.
This is where Ultimate Team begins to get technical.
Ever wondered why cards are always auctioned for similar Buy It Now prices? That's the work of shrewd dealers trying to play the market.
When searching for a card, make sure to work out the cheapest price it can instantly be bought for. Head to the auction page once you've got a number.
Search for the card once more and start bidding. Do not spend more money than the lowest Buy It Now price. You'll eventually win a cheap deal. Now, place that card back on the market for more money.
This is effective for cards of all costs. Initially, you can make hundreds of coins on purchases of lesser value—before too long, you'll work your way up to the bigger sales.
Such techniques take time and patience.
Multiple purchases of the same card at cheaper prices is an excellent way of changing the market value. Simply buy in bulk, list them a couple of hundred coins more expensive than the average price and watch them sell. It might take a while to shift them all, but you'll be amazed how quickly a profit is made.
As with any good business, the trick is to buy below average price and sell higher.
EA have provided many ways for you to easily make coins this year. Ultimate Team prioritizes those who are willing to invest time with greater rewards. Let's take a look:
EA Sports Football Club Catalogue
Every action you take in FIFA 13 adds towards an overall level in EA Sports Football Club. Head to the catalogue section and purchase the Ultimate Team rewards. Prizes include extra squad slots for you to tinker with, an increased Watch List and even coin boosts across a handful of matches.
Be sure to redeem your free packs if you bought FIFA 13 Ultimate Edition. One pack is available every Monday and expires seven days later. Even if you aren't playing the game, make sure you get online, grab your cards and store them for another time.
Logging into the Web App provides daily rewards. This is usually a smidgen of coins or other minor boost. Small offerings accumulate across a year of play into a healthy free investment.
Completing challenges against the Team of the Week is an instant way of earning extra cash. Ramp the difficulty up to Ultimate, provide a pasting and receive 1,000 coins from one victory.
Some tournaments offer coins and packs of cards. If you're an avid collector and enjoy the thrill of getting free cards, streamline your experience to gain these rewards. You never know who might pop out of any pack. Don't be afraid to replay the tournaments with prizes that appeal to you—whether it's to primarily earn cash or satisfy your collecting needs.
Quitting damages your coin multiplier. Even when you're getting hammered, it's a good idea to stay in the game. Each time you leave early, you're lowering the maximum amount of coins you can earn this year.
Ultimate Team is a battleground that has taken many victims over the years. EA's security measures haven't done enough to eradicate serious security breaches.
Players regularly have their accounts hacked. Entire teams can be stolen and personal details leaked if you don't act sensibly. Here's a few things to consider.
Never hand out personal details
EA will never ask you for personal details. Users often receive phishing emails that look official—right down to the logo. Never, under any circumstances, provide information that puts you in danger.
The official EA website provides an in-depth look at how to combat phishing scams.
Card duplication isn't possible
Many will encounter this if they play online. After a match has ended, a message will pop up indicating a player can duplicate your best cards. They'll tell you they possess 10 Cristiano Ronaldo's and a million Lionel Messi's.
Cards cannot be duplicated.
These users will try to coerce you into sending them players. Once you've fired them over, you'll never see them again. The duplication theory is a method many use to commit theft.
Ignore the message no matter how convincing they sound. Hit the report button instead.
I hope you've enjoyed this little trip into the world of FIFA 13 Ultimate Team. Feel free to post any questions or queries in the comments section below, or follow me right here:
Thanks for reading and enjoy your game!