FIFA 14′s career mode will likely keep you playing well into 2014, so it’s important you get off to the best possible start. We’ve put together a list of hints and tips that should ensure you have the knowledge to do the best with your chosen team.
Don’t set too many sub-criteria for your scouts
When searching for a player, you can create a list of sub-criteria for your scouts (pacey, attack-minded etc.). Don’t set more than two or three of these, as your scouts are unlikely to return with any finds from their search. If you’re looking for a very particular type of player, start with the most important features you’re looking for, then scout players further once they bring back suggestions. Even the best scouts fail to bring back talent once your search becomes too specific.
Can’t get an overall rating? Look the player up in another mode
Even after you ask your scout to look over a player, it’s rare that they will give you an overall rating. You can look at all the individual stats of a player in your scout’s report, but if you still want to get a general sense of his overall rating, have a cheeky look at him in exhibition mode. This is a bit of a cheat, and ratings can fluctuate over time in career, but it will give you a good sense of how good this player really is, and could save you from an embarrassing transfer blunder (even the best of us are vulnerable – Sir Alex Ferguson bought Bebe once).
If the player has switched clubs during your time in career mode, meaning you can’t find him in exhibition, look him up on the internet to see where he currently plies his trade and voila.
Don’t treat it like a management sim
As admirable as it is to buy young talent, bleed them into the first team and build your own superstars, this isn’t Football Manager. Player development is slow, so buying a hot young prospect isn’t always the best idea, especially if you’re a team in need of a solid season. Buy players that will improve your team now, and leave the future prospects to the youth academy system.
Get good scouts
This applies to both the Global Transfer Network and Youth Academy. More than ever you are reliant on the word of your scouts, so make sure they know what they’re talking about. Good scouts are expensive, but worth the initial investment if it means they will bring you that great talent for a bargain.
Don’t leave players in the academy
Player potential will never fulfil it unless you bring them into the full squad and send them out on loan for a couple of seasons. Development will be much faster playing regular football than in the youth squad. Sign a promising youngster to a professional contract, then send him to whoever will take him for a season.
Don’t simulate when in poor form
When you’re struggling to win games and players are on a poor run of form, don’t start simming matches in the hope the computer will drag you out of the stretch. In my time as Manchester United, I simmed (and lost) to Hull, Southampton, Reading and Sunderland (twice). Play matches until your luck turns around and players start hitting their stride, then you’re more likely to get the right result when you sim matches.
Sim with form players, play with good ones
Player form is one of the new features in FIFA 14 career mode, and has a strong impact on the way players perform. But, ultimately, you control the team. When you are playing a game, select the best team at your disposal and feel most comfortable deploying, regardless of form. If you play well, those players enduring a dip will soon improve. When simming matches, lesser players enjoying great form will be more likely to get the result than good players underachieving.