Players can already buy and sell on FUT with the release of the Web App (Picture: EA/FIFA 19)There is little over a week to go until hordes of people across the globe will be coming down with mysterious illnesses that force them to call in sick from work, and that can only mean one thing: FIFA 19 is almost here!
But while the official release date is still a few days away, it is possible to start playing the game already – a full week before launch. And for Ultimate Team players, that means you can get a big head start on everyone else!
The Web App allows you to buy, sell, set your formation and more online (EA/FIFA 19)On Wednesday evening, the Web App for this year’s iteration of FIFA was released. If you’re new to the concept, the Web App functions much in the same way as the transfer market does, only it is infinitely easier to navigate – albeit prone to crashing when it is first launched.
When you first load up the Web App, you will receive loyalty packs and starter packs, the number of which is decided on the number of FUT matches played in the previous edition of the game. You will also receive a daily gift, such as packs or coins, every day that you load up the app.
A new ‘player pick’ pack will let players choose their new recruit (Picture: EA/FIFA 19)The launch window for EA Access (a monthly subscription service for Xbox One that costs £3.99 a month) is set for Thursday, which grants you 10 hours of access to FIFA 19 before its official release date. That is a huge advantage in Ultimate Team, allowing players to both play games and buy and use FIFA points, and thus packs, something which is unavailable to those only using the Web App.
If you’re on PS4, Nintendo Switch or Xbox, buying the Champions Edition or Ultimate Edition of the game gets you access three days early, on September 25. In order to avoid eating into your limited time with EA Access, it is best to do any housekeeping (like making your starter squad, picking a team name) and trading on the Web App, with your EA Access hours reserved for playing FUT matches
TRADE, TRADE, TRADE
Unless you got a superstar in your starter pack, start selling! (Picture: EA/FIFA 19)Don’t worry about building a team beyond a cheap and cheerful starter squad at this stage. Unless you got lucky and received an elite player – we’re talking an 85 rating or higher – sell pretty much everything you got from your loyalty packs immediately to build up your coffers. Give them a one-hour listing and keep relisting until they sell.
It goes without saying that spending coins on packs at this stage is a bad idea (but feel free to splurge FIFA points if that’s your thing). Also, hold off on getting rid of those useless, untradeable, zero value players you got in the starter pack (more on that later!) and save up any contracts, healing cards etc for later.
Now it’s time to start reinvesting those funds…
FIND BARGAINS & THE 59TH MINUTE
Sign potential gems now and watch their price explode on full release (Picture: EA/FIFA 19)The easiest – if mind-numbing – way to start turning over a profit is to scroll to the 59th minute and look for players who have been listed at a Buy It Now price well below their actual value. Of course, a lot of people will be doing the same thing so you need to be extremely quick to snaffle them up. No sooner have you bought them, list them again. A lot of small profits can start to add up quickly.
Every year there are players who can be picked up relatively cheap, but explode in value when the game is released officially. Someone like Davinson Sanchez is not one of the highest rated centre-backs in the game, but his pace will ensure he’s in-demand. It’s important to know your market and helpful to focus on one league. Familiarise yourself with it: Who’s selling well? Who can you make money on? Which kits are proving popular?
SQUAD BUILDER CHALLENGES
Some SBCs can yield massive profits for minimal effort (Picture: EA/FIFA 19)Squad Builder Challengers (SBCs) let you exchange players from your club to build squads and complete challenges, with prizes ranging from players (even icons) to packs and coins. Some can be easily completed with massive profit margins, and you can dump those untradeable players mentioned earlier in SBCs even though they can’t be sent to your transfer list. SBCs can be done on the Web App to preserve any EA Access hours.
Completing a series of fairly basic tasks will give rewards (Picture: EA/FIFA 19)Before kicking off your first match, head over to the EA FC Catalogue and buy every reward and bonus you can find. Start with the 1,000 coin per match boosts, then extra transfer list space, and anything you can sell on the transfer market (such as kits and badges). You can also complete starter objectives which reward coins and the like.
START PLAYING & SQUAD BATTLES
Squad Battle prizes have changed and there’s a new division system (Picture: EA/FIFA19)You’ve got a cheap starter team, and your coin bonus is active, now it’s time to start playing games! Squad Battles is a very good way to make cash early on, and an excellent use of those 10 precious early access hours. You can play four games per day against the CPU – with even more available at the weekend, and one featured squad to battle – and the harder the difficulty, the more points you earn; the more points you get, the higher you rank, and the better the rewards you win.
This year, EA have also got rid of Online Seasons and instead introduced Division Rivals. After a series of placement matches to determine how good you are, you will be assigned a skill rating and resulting division. Play well and build up your skill rating, and you can move up divisions, and there are a host of weekly rewards on offer.
Remember to reinvest any money you make from matches on the transfer market, constantly chasing profit, but do so via the Web App, NOT your limited EA Access. When the game comes out, you can make a cheap overpowered team of gold players and start cleaning up online, and we’ve got you covered on that front too. Now go have fun!
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