Fifa 17 tips and tricks
Fifa 17 brings plenty of new changes and modes to the mix, making this one of the most entertaining entries in years. Everything from player movement to an entirely new campaign has been tweaked or overhauled.
So, to make sure you're clued up and tooled up for both online matches, The Journey and Ultimate Team, we bring you some of our best Fifa 17 tips, tricks and nuggets of sage advice to get you crossing, defending and shooting like a seasoned pro.
The more we play Fifa 17 (and we play it a lot), the more tips we're uncovering, so make sure you check this guide regularly to keep up with the best Fifa 17 tips and tricks that could turn your virtual footballing career supersonic.
1. Shield the ball in 360 degrees
The physicality of Fifa has changed dramatically for Fifa 17 with the introduction of Pushback Tech - so now you have far more control over the body of your player, with their momentum and size dictating everything from the fluidity of dribbling to the crunch of a collision. This change has also fundamentally overhauled trapping and ball defence as well.
You can now use LT/L2 to physically protect the ball as you dribble it up field, or shield it more thoroughly when stationary, enabling you to more accurately fend off defenders and set up passes to nearby teammates.
2. Use Driven Shots and Driven Headers
One of the worst things about the most recent slew of Fifas was the unpredictability of shot power. Despite great positioning or footwork, the chance of hoofing the ball into the stratosphere or rolling it across the line like a sleepwalking pensioner seemed like an endless, binary nightmare. Thankfully, EA Canada has addressed the matter with the introduction of Driven Shots and Driven Headers in Fifa 17.
To pull one off, you first need to get yourself into the 18-yard box, then when you think you've got a clear path to the goal, hold down Circle or B to power up your shot. Just as your player is about to strike the ball, press Circle or B again to make it Driven.
3. Use set piece upgrades to score with style
Taking free kicks and corners in Fifa has always been a point of contention - sometimes it was super accurate, and other times the digital versions of the world's best players moved like 40-something Sunday footballers. The system needed a reboot, and EA Canada has done just that for Fifa 17.
When it comes to free kicks and penalties you can now use the outside of your foot (hold L1/LB), which will enable you to add more spin to a shot. In corners, you can now assign the corner kick to the game's AI and instead take control of a player in the box, giving you greater control of position and allowing you to set up for a header.
4. Make Fifa 17's settings work for you
Unless you're brand new to the Fifa series, there are quite a few standard settings that you should change immediately in order to enjoy more control and better overall performances both online in regular matches, and in FUT (Fifa Ultimate Team) mode.
Open the Settings page from the main menu, then turn Fifa Trainer off - this is a tutorial-based feature that will simply get in the way if you're an experienced player. Also switch Auto-Tracking (which automatically selects the nearest player for you in a given situation) to 'Air Balls' as it's a nightmare on Auto or Manual. You'll find you now have complete control over your player.
5. Build the best FUT with Chemistry
Unlike previous iterations, Fifa 17's take on Ultimate Team now includes a new parameter that directly links to how well your team gels as a whole. Much like the decisions an actual manager would make, how well one player complements another will affect how well your team performs in any given match.
Your team will have a maximum 'Chemistry' rating out of 100, and reaching this level and maintaining it can be tough (see the next tip on how to keep the best players in your squad). A green line between two players signifies a great partnership, yellow a less effective one and red represents a poor combo.
6. Keep the best players signed
So you've found a set of players that you want as your starting XI? The only problem is, players only last so long before moving on to new clubs and signings. The solution? One of Fifa 17's many consumables - the Contract Card.
If you've bought the Starter Pack, any Contract Cards will come with a 45 game counter that will deplete every time you have a match. In regular FUT packs, Contract Cards will have a maximum of seven matches, so apply them to the most useful and complementary players on your squad. These cards also apply to managers.
7. Use a 4-3-3 formation and score big
Based on the changes EA Canada has made to the Fifa formula, and how it affects the general flow of the game, your choice of formation will now have a much bigger impact than it did in previous incarnations of the series. For TechRadar, the 4-3-3 formation has proved the most bountiful when it comes to goals.
For a start, this is a super aggressive setup that needs your three strongest strikers up front. Place your best scorer in the middle, and ensure the others have enough speed to support him from the wings. We'd also use a strong playmaking CAM behind them in the midfield to set up plenty of chances.
8. Sign up and coming talents in FUT
Want to build the very best possible team in Fifa 17? Well, while it's always tempting to gun for the biggest established names in the beautiful game, you'll find that signing some of the best up and coming talent is a surefire way to start upsetting the biggest clubs.
So which promising youngsters should you shoot for? For Fifa 17, Tottenham's Dele Alli has a rating of 90 out of 99, making him the best young talent in the game. Charly Musonda - currently on loan at Real Betis - is another top choice at 88, as is Chelsea's Kurt Zouma at 89. There's also the 'Ones to Watch' feature, which boosts the stats of a card based on that player's performance in reality.
9. Win cash with the Interactive World Cup
Fifa 17 has added a new league to the Ultimate Team mix and it's full of rewards to earn, and a final prize pot that could change your life forever. For a start, getting into the Weekend League isn't easy - you simply can't just enter and play, you need to earn a spot by winning one of the game's daily knockout tournaments.
Taking part will earn you a bronze reward, while winning a Weekend League will net you a rare and rather expensive kit. The better you perform, the higher your ranking will be on the monthly leaderboards. Do well and you might end up qualifying for the EA Sports Fifa 17 Ultimate Team Championship Series and maybe even the Fifa Interactive World Cup and its $1.3 million top prize.
10. Finish The Journey for FUT rewards
Apart from the standard trophies or achievements, playing through Fifa 17's NBA 2K-style story mode, The Journey, will also unlock various rewards as you progress to the end of Alex Hunter's story. For instance, you'll receive a FUT Loan Player five times, at random intervals throughout the campaign, and each one will also have a maximum rating of 87 overall.
Once you finish The Journey, you'll also receive a permanent Alex Hunter card for FUT with ratings roughly based on the overall stats of your character. Again, these stats probably won't be as good as your actual player, but they'll be close enough to boost players early in their Fifa 17 FUT career.
11. Career mode bargains
Finding a list of the best young players that exist in the game is pretty easy given that EA publish it themselves (spoiler: Dele Alli is a bit good), but the most fun arrives from looking further down the list and snapping up a future superstar for a song.
We'd recommend taking a gander at Ajax's Kasper Dolberg or Ajax's Vaclav Cerny or Ajax's...just look at Ajax's youngsters okay?
If you only want the players that will actually climb to the heady heights of super, super stardom (in the game at least) then four players have a potential of 90, the aforementioned Alli, Ousmane Dembele from Dortmund, Renato Junior from Bayern or Anthony Martial from Manchester United.
12. Career mode: Bringing through the kids
You know, having Martial starring for Burnley in the "EPL" is one thing, but the real pleasure for many players of Fifa is in bringing through the next generation of wonderkids.
Whatever level you are, investing in good youth scouts is an absolute must if you want to bring through superstars.
You'll pretty quickly learn that there's no disgrace in dumping any player that has potential of less than 94 and concentrating on the burgeoning next Messi-types that will arrive in spades if you put a bit of your transfer cash the way of your youth development.
An example - a matter of a few weeks into a season with Charlton (where all of my transfer money went on scouts and not players) and I already have a couple of 16-year-olds who are a shadow away from being first-team ready and will turn out as major players.
13. Train your youngsters
When you have signed the best youngsters, or pulled them from the random creations of your console's brain then it's your job to get them progressing.
To do this you need to use the training drills which means playing those mini-games that you either love or hate (or hate to love, or love to hate - your choice!). You can just simulate these if you like, but getting top marks is often easier just by doing it yourself. If you're good enough obviously...
14. Don’t forget to monitor your performance
Playing in FUT (Fifa Ultimate Team) can be the most addictive experience in gaming, but just because you just had a good match doesn’t mean you should rush straight into another. More than ever before, taking stock of your stats and adjusting your team as a result is key to going from casual fan to pro player.
So after every match, take a moment and check over your post-match statistics. In among those figures and percentages could the reason why you’re losing territory, possession or matches. You can’t grow as a player if you don’t identify faults in your play style and tactics.
15. Pass more, dribble less
For years, playing Fifa online or locally with friends would usually descend into the same one or two players dribbling the virtual boom down the field with a flurry of tricks and clever feet. Those days are well and truly gone in Fifa 17 - especially in the realm of online. EA Canada has recalibrated the flow of play to favour the importance of passing and it’s transformed the game.
Especially for teams such as Barcelona or Arsenal, where passing forms part of their tactical DNA in real life, you can now string together larger number of passes with confidence without fear of an opponent relying purely on dribbling to attain glory.
16. Choose a realistic side in The Journey
The Journey’s NBA 2K-esque attempt to recreate the career of a young player from grassroots to the highest tier of the professional game certainly makes for an interesting way to take a break from FUT and the like, but you need different tactics when it comes to club choices.
Don’t aim to try out for a top tier Premier League club such as Man City or Man Utd as you’re going to be competing with some of the best players in the world to make the first team.
Instead, play it safe until your player rating is eight or above, and elect to play for a smaller team in the bottom half of the league.
17. Build a powerful FUT squad with lower tiers
Fifa 17’s take on FUT is easily the most addictive version yet, but the age old problem of wanting to fill your squad with the best players in the world but not having the coins to blow on them still vexes. Thing is, like any system, there are way to play it to your advantage by investing in better players stuck in lower tiers.
So rather than chasing Messi or Ronaldo, drop down a tier and collect together players with OVR between 78 and 85. Also, look out for youngsters and wonder kids to raise the potential of your team without spending big.
18. Don’t rely on sprint all the time
This really is Fifa 101, but for new and fair weather players simply getting one touch of the ball and flying down the pitch with spring held down doesn’t equal goals and gold star performances. Almost all the best players, including those making a living for themselves in eSports, say to avoid sprint unless you really need it.
Apart from fatiguing players unnecessarily, sprint simply becomes a wasted resource. Instead, dribble the ball at a normal speed and get used to movement of the ball. Rely on sprint purely for extending a break or outpacing a defender in the build-up to a goal.
19. Use the keeper as a gamemaker
For years, the role of a game changer has often fallen to positions that can make greater waves on the field - be it a holding midfielder or an aggressive forward. But for Fifa 17, EA Canada has finally tweaked its setup to include the humble goalkeeper in the action.
Now you can use the keeper to initiate a potential counter attack or break by pressing R1/RB to initiate a driven throw or kick. These are faster moves, and if used right, you can catch your opponent on the back foot and chase a quick, tasty goal.
20. Master the new world of corners
You might have noticed a theme here - specifically how EA Canada has overhauled most of the core systems and mechanics of Fifa 17. Some are for the better (and some are for the worse), but one of the biggest changes is the way corners have been changed.
To get the best out of corners and the set-pieces that come from them in Fifa 17, we advise you to aim for the near or far post. Be careful not to stray too close to the line, as the keeper will simply scoop the ball automatically. This should cause chaos in the box and draw the keeper out for a powerful strike.
21. Sunday is the day for Team of the Week pickups
One of the best things about FUT in Fifa 17 is the way the virtual economy is constantly being updated with new deals and offers - TOTW or Team Of The Week is one such feature and includes players from the world who have notched up impressive performances in the real world beautiful game.
This super team is updated every week, however, leaping in and spending your coins as soon as they’re available on a Wednesday isn’t a great idea. Instead, play the system and wait until Sunday when the cost of these cards have depreciated. Simply swoop in and nab them discounts to create an epic Fifa 17 team.
22. Practice penalties until it hurts
Remember us alluding to certain aspects of Fifa 17 that have been changed for the worse? Well, one of those woeful updates is the new penalty system. It’s unintuitive and frankly a step down from Fifa 16’s well established system, but that doesn’t mean you can’t master this unruly beast.
First up, be aware of your starting position - try a longer run up for some serious power. Try speeding up mid run by holding R2/RT or slowing down by holding L2/LT. We found stuttering (tapping L2/LT just before striking the ball) is a great way to fake out the keeper and score.
23. Free kicks deserve plenty of practice, too
Considering many of the principles of a penalty kick feed directly into the world of free kicks, it’s no big shock to learn this mechanic has also been tweaked and changed for Fifa 17. So that means practice. Lots and lots of practice.
For a start, be aware of which player you’re using. Certain attributes affect everything from power to curve of the ball, so don’t try and curl the ball with a low curve rating (bring up your player’s stats at any time by holding R2/RT). Also be aware of where your player is positioned as this can be key to completely bypassing the wall for a cheeky corner goal.