FIFA 21‘s career mode has had some great new features added into the game, enhancing the training and player development side of the game as well as new transfer options like loan-to-buy deals. The new features have improved the career mode experience positively but there is still a lot of work to be done if you want to be successful and enhance your FIFA 21 career mode experience.
Set-up your team
First of all, how big of a challenge you want depends on the club you choose. Obviously, every team has different challenges and priorities. Usually, richer clubs expect instant success and smaller clubs are looking for long-term success.
Whatever your goals are, it is crucial that you start things off right. That means setting-up an academy with good scouts and sending them to the correct countries. This is dependent on what kind of club you’ve taken over. If you’ve taken over a top-level club with a big budget then you should of course hire the best available scouts.
Send them to the countries with the best international teams in the world – Spain, Germany, Italy, England, France, Argentina, Brazil, Holland and Belgium. Other countries such as Scotland, Mexico and Colombia have a strong soccer connection in their culture and are also decent options. Make sure to send your scouts for only three-month spells as that’s all you’ll need to find the best talent possible. You don’t want to spend money on players you won’t sign.
Most clubs have a surplus of players that you won’t be using, with several young players in each squad who likely don’t have very high potential or market value. Try to get rid of the worst players on your team and try to keep hold of your most versatile players so long as their rating isn’t too low.
Once you’ve decided what players to sell, you can fill in the gaps in the transfer market.
Global Scouting Network
Each club gets four scouts with their quality varying between the level of club and budget. Some of them will already be dispatched in a few different countries, some will be the major nations and some will be in leagues that aren’t so high quality. Besides scouting the major leagues, the Belgian, Dutch and Portuguese leagues are very good for finding cheap gems and good young players.
In the scout instructions, it is best to have all positions covered as well as a tab for promising young players. Have a tab for goalkeepers, full-backs, centre-backs, central midfielders, forwards (covers wingers and strikers) and promising players between 18 and 21 years old. All of these scout instructions excluding the ‘promising players’ tab should require the player to be ‘first-team quality’.
When looking for players to sign, it’s best to only sign players who improve your squad and will challenge for your starting 11. This can be difficult depending on your budget, but looking in the right places will bring you the right players—the smaller leagues in Holland, Portugal and Belgium are where you can find good players and young prospects for decent prices.
If you have a limited budget then versatility and free agency are the two points that should be focused on in order to get the most out of your budget. Some free agents could even be better than several players in your first team so it’s worth scouting the free agents available. In your first season of FIFA 21‘s career mode, the best free agents have player images rather than blank silhouettes or computer-generated players.
Regardless of your budget, you should always be on the lookout for players who have release clauses in their contract. Compare them with the player’s market value and you could grab yourself a good deal without having to negotiate with another club.
Alongside release clauses, contract expiries is another great way to get a good deal on a new player. Every January you should look through your transfer targets and check if their current contract expires in the next six months. From there, you can sign the player on a pre-contract to free transfer who will arrive at the start of the next season.
This side of career mode has been revamped from previous FIFA titles, and there are more ways to customise how your team trains and improves. In terms of schedule, things are really up to you. Intermittent training is the default schedule and probably best for a packed fixture list.
Sessions are also automatic and aren’t great for customisation that isn’t time-consuming. It’s best to ensure that your primary players get a few sessions in during the week as well as the best young players that you have. Keeping match sharpness high is the main function of the new training system so just make sure that every one you need is ready for the next game. Just make sure that your squad doesn’t train directly before or after a game.
Training players for new roles and positions is a really fun addition to career mode and offers more creativity to the player. Having versatility in your squad as well as having every role in the team accounted for without having to sign more players.
Having wingers who can play as a wing-back/full-back is a great tool. The same goes for defenders who can become midfielders and vice-versa. Realistically, there are loads of options for you to develop versatility in each of your players, giving you more options when it comes to tactics and formations.
There’s a whole guide dedicated to FIFA 21 tactics for you to sink your teeth into. For now, I’ll cover the basics for you to consider.
In order to get the most out of your team, you must tick these boxes for player roles. Your keeper must be able to pass the ball well and run off his line quickly. Full-backs should obviously be good defenders as well as dangerous supporting attackers while centre-backs should be strong and pacey.
You should have a defensive midfielder who will sit in front of the centre-backs and cover the attacking full-backs. The player should be able to fit as a centre-back too. There should be a box-to-box midfielder who can support on both ends of the pitch and you should have an attacking midfielder who adds an extra dimension to your attack.
Your wingers and strikers should be interchangeable, fast and strong finishers who can also pass the ball well and create for others.
When it comes to formations, the key is to outnumber your opponent in particular areas. Primarily, your centre-backs should outnumber your opponent’s strikers, and your midfield should at least match that of the opposing team. Attacking tactics allow you to get creative and you can attack however you like. Play around with different formations that aren’t available in Ultimate Team and see if there is anything that catches the eye, You can even move players around freely to create your very own formations to experiment with.
All-in-all, there is plenty of freedom in the way that you run your chosen club, but these top-tips give you a great place to start-off your FIFA 21 career mode save. Building a club from the bottom to the top gives you the challenge of managing your budget properly while still being successful. When it comes to big budgets, it’s best to splash the cash and get creative with the quality players in your team when it comes to tactics and formations.