FIFA Ultimate Team is the most popular mode in the long-running soccer franchise, and with good reason. With total control over your squad formations, coaching, transfers, and game strategies, your Ultimate Team is yours and yours alone. In FIFA 18, you’re given even more ways to earn card packs and improve your roster before you compete against others online, but it can be a bit overwhelming for those new to the mode. Thankfully, our FIFA 18 Ultimate Team guide will tell you everything need to know to get started, from how to earn card packs to completing objectives.


The basics

FIFA 18’s Ultimate Team is a personalized, card-based mode unlike anything else in the game. Instead of choosing a pre-made team or drafting players, you build your team using cards, which you purchase using either in-game currency or real money.

As you improve your team, you can choose to enter single-player leagues, tournaments, or special “squad battles,” or you can take the game online to compete against other players. Everything you do earns you more points that can be used to improve your team, and when you find a player who doesn’t have a role in your squad anymore, you can sell him to other Ultimate Team players for even more currency.

Choose wisely

When you open packs, you’ll receive both permanent additions to your roster and “loan” players, who will only be available to you for about seven games. These are typically rated significantly higher than your regular starters, occasionally even pushing into the 90s with players such as cover star Cristiano Ronaldo. It can be tempting to throw them into games immediately in order to run up the score on the other team, but consider your opponent before doing so. Against a low-rated team, you’ll essentially waste a star’s talent, and after their seven games are up, they’re gone for good.

You should also take some time to examine your current team for holes. If your star player is your striker, spending all of your coins to acquire Antoine Griezmann on the transfer market won’t be as beneficial as improving your winger or keeper. However, if there is a star available for a price you just can’t resist, you can always change up your squad formation or attempt to sell them on the transfer market.

Play the story mode

FIFA 18’s story mode “The Journey: Hunter Returns,” is an entertaining and engaging few hours in its own right, but it also has helpful benefits for those looking to bolster their Ultimate Team early on. At the conclusion of each of the game’s chapters, you’re awarded new cards for use in Ultimate Team, including several star players who play supporting roles in the story. Eventually, you’ll also be awarded Alex Hunter, a striker who should be rated much more highly than your initial roster of players — in our game, he was rated as a 78, making him a fine player to build a franchise around.

If you plan on diving into Ultimate Team as soon as you’re done with The Journey, we recommend using the “play as team” option during your time with it instead of controlling Hunter alone. Hunter plays for a few different clubs over the course of the year, and controlling the entire team will get you used to dealing with a rotating cast of players.

Complete your objectives

Both daily and weekly objectives are available to complete in Ultimate Team, offering you extra coins and occasionally cards for completing simple activities. Some of these take literal seconds, such as organizing your squad members to their preferred positions or matching players with good chemistry, and you’re free to immediately switch them back if you prefer to have them play somewhere else.

The bonuses you receive might seem minor at first, but they can be crucial to maintaining your team after several games. Some will earn you consumable items such as contract and fitness cards, which can keep your stars in the game for longer. Without them, you’ll be forced to remove players long before the end of a match.

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