An Introduction to FIFA 12 Ultimate Team

If you haven’t played FIFA Ultimate Team before, now is the perfect time to try it.

By Ashley, Posted 25 Sep 2011

When I was a kid and not aware of the value of money, I dealt in the currency of trading cards and stickers. Harry Potter, Pokemon, and even Star Wars were the brands in which I chose to conduct my playground transactions, for I was in the collectables business, and business was good.

FIFA 12, Ultimate Team, Demo, EA, DLC

More often that not however, I found myself coming back to the trading cards and sticker collection surrounding the beautiful game. Premier League collections, World Cup collections and Champions League sticker books saw the minimal amount of pocket money I could scrounge disappear from my grasp quicker than you could say ‘Oh my god, I’ve just got a shiny Thierry Henry’. In the playground, if you had the card or sticker everybody wanted, you were the king.

In late 2008, I imagine somebody at EA sports was gripped with similar feelings of nostalgia, and confidently pitched the idea of adding an additional DLC game mode to FIFA 09 which transformed FIFA into a trading card game entitled ‘Ultimate Team’. Three FIFA games later, Ultimate Team is back for its fourth instalment, and for the first time ever is included on the actual FIFA game disc. For those card-sharks, pack-openers and rogue-traders who have been here before, welcome back, but for those who are looking at entering the game mode for the first time ever, then welcome to the addictive, yet unforgiving virtual playground of FIFA 12 Ultimate Team.

The premise of FIFA Ultimate Team is simple: You open packs of cards, and build a football team around the select few cards that you intend to keep. The cards you don’t want can be discarded or sold on the trading marketplace. Cards are divided into Bronze, Silver and Gold formats, with Gold evidently being the highest rated players, and Bronze the least lowest. Along with these classifications, cards can also fall into ‘Shiny’ or ‘In-Form’ categories, with shiny cards having a distinct gloss to them and featuring harder to find players, and in-form cards also having a distinct look to them, as these cards feature upgraded versions of footballers performing well in real life. An in-form Lionel Messi, is probably the rarest and most valuable card out there.

Of course, just like in real life, opening packs of cards costs money. Fortunately, EA have given us a couple of ways of indulging our card addiction. Firstly, by playing single matches with your Ultimate Team (against whoever you want, on whatever difficulty you desire) you earn coins, which can then be used to purchase packs. Perhaps the best way to earn coins however, is by winning the preset tournaments in the game (both offline and online) which reward you with a nice winners bonus should you go all the way. If earning coins this way doesn’t help you acquire an elusive all-gold La Liga team fast enough, then you can purchase as many packs as you desire using Microsoft points or money over PSN and the Xbox Marketplace. The quicker you assemble the team of your dreams, the quicker you can take your world beaters online and fill your Ultimate Team trophy cabinet.

FIFA 12, Ultimate Team, Demo, EA, DLC

The depth of Ultimate Team is clearly evident in the different types of cards available as well as the chemistry and formation system which was implemented in the last year. You might’ve pulled off a huge coup in getting hold of a Wayne Rooney, but unless you have the contract cards to keep him eligible for games, you can’t utilise him in your Ultimate Team arsenal. Each new player you get in a pack can play seven games, but after that, they will require a new contract. Of course, like every card in the game, these cards come in Gold, Silver and Bronze variations, with Gold contracts giving the highest addition of games to the player. Along with contracts, you also have cards to cure players injuries, cards to adjust the preferred formation or position of a player, cards to change the badge, kits and stadium of your club, and even cards to add staff to your club, ranging from goalkeeping coaches to managers.

Over the past year, the game has evolved to the point where it matters that you have a team full of good players, but it matters a hell of a lot more that they have a good chemistry together. The chemistry feature can raise the game of your team, as a team with higher chemistry will play better than a team with lower chemistry. To improve the chemistry of your team, and get them performing better than you think that they ever could, play them in their desired position, play them near fellow countrymen and club team-mates, and also play them in their preferred formation. Trying different formations can often lead to your team having a higher chemistry rating than you would’ve otherwise thought possible. Creating a team with 100% chemistry may be a tough ask, but is well worth the additional team performance bonus that you will notice when you play a match.

At the centre of Ultimate Team lies the beating heart of the game mode, the trading marketplace. This, is your playground. From here, you can buy the individual cards you weren’t lucky enough to get in your packs, you can also sell any of your unwanted cards for coins to put towards another pack. Besides the usual over-inflation of certain card prices (there is for some reason, no limit to how much you can charge for a card) finding a bargain on the marketplace is just as satisfying as finding a rare player in your card packs.

Perhaps the major difference in this years edition of Ultimate Team however, is that the game has been given a graphical overhaul. On top of the already improved game play graphics as evident in the FIFA 12 demo, FIFA 12 Ultimate Team now looks cleaner than ever, with different backdrops per each menu screen and updated graphics for the cards themselves, making a shiny Gold care look more exclusive than ever before.

If you haven’t played FIFA Ultimate Team before, now is the perfect time to try it. For the first time ever, FIFA Ultimate Team will come shipped on the FIFA 12 disc giving you an even bigger reason to play it. Select your players, choose your manager, set your formation, and lead your squad to glory both online and offline in FIFA 12 Ultimate Team.

Ashley Wilton, NoobFeed. (@AshJWilton)

comments powered by Disqus

  • I liked it when it was in Madden, cool to see they brought it over to the soccer game.


    Posted Sep 25, 2011

  • This is really interesting by EA. I was somewhat convinced to buy FIFA 12 and now I'm certain that I'm buying it.


    Posted Sep 27, 2011

  • That sounds really tempting, deffo adds depth into the game. Nice article Ashley :)


    Posted Oct 02, 2011

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS
Publisher(s): Electronic Arts
Developer(s): EA Canada
Genres: Sports
Themes: Soccer Sim
Release Date: 2011-10-27

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