Heads up football fans! Or soccer, as we like to call it in the U.S., just to be different. Whatever you call it, EA would like you to kindly put together the best possible squad you can in FIFA 16 Ultimate Team.

Yes, it’s true that you’ve been asked to do this same thing before. For all I know, you actually pulled it off. Congrats. It’s time to start all over again, but that’s alright, because you are up for the challenge, right?

I’m confident that you are, but it never hurts to have a little edge. That’s why we’ve put together our FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Tips, Cheats and Strategies so you’ll never walk alone.

How to Get More Players

FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Tips, Cheats and Strategies

Though FIFA Ultimate Team kindly gives you a Gold level player from your favorite club to start out, the rest of your initial lineup isn’t going to be so hot. You’re going to need better footballers, and unlike Real Madrid, you can’t just buy anyone you want.

Or at least you can’t buy the exact players you want all the time. What you do have is multiple routes to improve the caliber of athlete in your starting 11, and we’ll summarize all of them.

  • Buy packs of players from the in-game Shop. As you play more matches, you’ll earn coins that you can spend on new packs. The “Players” tab is where you want to head for players (surprisingly!), and they can be had for either coins or FIFA Points, which you buy with real money.
  • Complete certain Milestones. You’ll find these by tapping the “Accomplishments” tile on the main screen. Not all Milestones reward you with players upon completion, but most do, and you can see what level of player you’ll receive ahead of time.
  • Hit the Transfer Market, a.k.a. the Auction House. This is probably the closest you can come to simply buying players like the big real life clubs do. Tap the “Transfers” tab and you can see which players are being auctioned off by other users. You can pay the “Buy Now” price to nab the player immediately or place a bid and take your chances. A number of tools are available to narrow your player search by level, league, club, position, nationality and more.
  • Use the Player Exchange and hope for the best. New for this season is the Player Exchange, where you can trade in unwanted players or items for random rewards. It’s an interesting system if you’re inclined to be a gambler, because when you select the players you want to exchange, you’ll be given a range of possible rewards, which could lead to you ending up with something worse than you were hoping or better than the best individual player you give up.

Play More to Earn More… and Finish Your Games

FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Tips, Cheats and Strategies

Similar to other EA Sports mobile games, you’ll earn XP with each match you play and level up as you commit more time to the game. That’s significant because the amount of coins you earn at the end of each match increases with your level.

Most importantly, though, you get a nice-sized coin bonus for playing matches through to completion. That means that even if you’re taking it on the chin, you should probably see the match through to the end. Your coin total will thank you.

Know Your Game Modes

FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Tips, Cheats and Strategies

You’ve got three choices when you take your Ultimate Team into action, though you can have all three going at once if you choose.

  • Single Player Seasons: As the name suggests, these are seasons played against AI opponents. They have a system of promotion and relegation like real life leagues, with clear point totals given for what you’ll need to move up, stay up or take the title. You’ll start in Division 10 and work your way up from there. In each Division, you’ll have a choice of different leagues to play in, some of which might have different opponents and pre-requisites for the squad you use.
  • Online Seasons: These are similar to single player seasons except that you play live against human opponents. The multiplayer actually works pretty nicely in FIFA 16 Ultimate Team in my experience, but you’ll want to make sure you have a solid internet connection.
  • Single Player Tournaments: If you want the challenge of cup play, these single-elimination, knockout-style tournaments are for you. You’ll want to check back fairly often, as the game cycles through its tournament offerings on a regular basis, and several of the tournaments available at any given time will only be around for a few days. Many tournaments have requirements that dictate the make-up of the team you use, and some also have unlock requirements as well.

Slide to Slide

FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Tips, Cheats and Strategies

There isn’t really a need to spend much time going over the controls in FIFA 16 Ultimate Team, because they’re pretty self-explanatory. The thumbstick moves your selected player, while buttons on the other side of the screen are context-sensitive and clearly labeled as to what they do under the current circumstances.

The one exception is the “Tackle” button, which is the red one when you are defending. Tapping the button makes your current player stick out his leg to attempt a normal tackle. It can also be used to perform slide tackles, but for that you’ll have to tap, hold and slide your thumb in the direction that you want to slide.

It takes some practice to get down, and gamers have complained about it, but on the plus side, it does eliminate the need for one more button to play defense. So there’s that.

Chemistry: Not Just Your Least Favorite Class

Not only are you tasked with finding the most talented players possible for your Ultimate Team, you’ll also want to get their Chemistry as high as possible to assure they will perform at their best. The Chemistry rating can be viewed from the main Squad screen and ranges from 0 (I assume, though I’ve never seen a squad with no chemistry) to 99.

How can you improve your team’s Chemistry? There are several facets to it:

  • Play your players in their desired positions. This should be common sense, but strikers want to play striker. Similarly, center backs want to play in the middle and not out on the flanks. As often as possible, put players in their exact positions, and if you have to use someone out of position, try to make it as close a match as possible — like using a CM at CDM. The cleat or boot icon on a player’s card indicates if they have good chemistry at their current position: green is ideal, yellow is okay, red is bad.
  • Find players to match your favored formation … or vice versa. Every player has a preferred position, usually dictated by the one they play in at their real life club. Even if you play a striker up top like he should, he still might not have the best Chemistry if he’s used to playing 4-4-2 and he’s leading the line alone. Early on, when you don’t have many players at your disposal, it’s likely your formation will be a function of how many players you have that like the same one. The small rectangle icon on a player’s card indicates his happiness with your formation in much the same way that the boot does for their position.
  • Play guys next to others from the same nation or club. See all those lines between players on the Squad screen? Each one tells you whether they are happy linking up with the players on the other end of the line. To turn the line green, you either want the players on both ends to be from the same country or the same club. It’s probably worth starting someone with a slightly lower overall rating if you can improve the link by using someone more suitable as a partner.

It’s worth noting that consumables can be used to solve some chemistry problems without having to exclude players you really like. For example, some consumables can change a player’s position (like from CAM to CF), while others can modify a player’s favored formation. For this reason, you might occasionally run into slightly different versions of the same player in the Transfer Marker; you can assume these players have been modified by consumables.