FIFA 12 tips – career mode masterclass

FIFA 12 PS3 tips - career mode masterclass

Like a Lionel Messi incredi-dribble, our FIFA 12 tips week steams ahead with unstoppable force here at Today, we’re stuffing our mouths full of gum and loading the cliché gun as we delve into career mode. We’ll impart knowledge on getting the most of your players, snagging yourself extra money in the transfer market and how to keep your directors happy. And most important of all, we’ll tell you a way to reduce those horrendous date-simming load times.

1. Rotate your squad

There’s a reason Fergie has won 19 league titles and it’s not due to the hypnotic voodoo of his terrifyingly purple beak: squad rotation. Overuse your first choice starting 11 and they’ll quickly become knackered and thus less efficient and prone to season-ending mega injuries.

Thanks to the Player Impact Engine, ultra knacks are much more common than before, meaning it’s much more important to give your best players adequate recovery time every four or five matches.

This season, you can also keep your career mode players in form and more effective on the pitch by listening to their wishes. If Johnny Twinkle Toes asks for a game off; give it to him. It’ll not only boost his morale and make him more of a threat, but if you manage to get three players in form at once, you’ll get a silver trophy.

2. Sim the odd match

If you leave the inconvenient business of actually having to play matches to the computer, you’ll be amazed how many wins you’ll churn out.

The game has an almost unerring tendency to side with the team with the better stats, meaning if you’re playing for a four or five star team, you’ll win almost every time against lower ranked opposition by simming your match.

Sure, technically it’s cheating of Serie A-fixing proportions. But at least it’ll help you avoid those pleasant Tuesday night upsets at the Britannia in the pissing rain.

3. Make pre-season way less torturous

FIFA’s loading circle is nearly as painful as getting your leg broken into kindling by a Ryan Shawcross reducer. It’s also a sight you’ll witness every damn thirty seconds unless you skip dates by using your calendar.

Simply go to the calendar sub-menu and click on the date you want to skip to by pressing X. Barring any major events (like you star striker breaking his face) you’ll be taken directly to that date, minus all that awful day-to-day loading and news updates.

It’s a bloody invaluable technique during pre-season when all you want to do is skip to that first league match.

4. Reject the first offer

If a rival club offers you a small fortune for your player you’d be wise to reject it. Cash-rich mega clubs like Man City will often make bids for your better players if you’re managing a glamour side.

Since these teams are so absurdly minted, they’ll often come back with improved offers even if you reject their initial advances. Playing as Arsenal, I was offered a cool £15 million for Ramsey after the Welshman netted ten times in a season. A few rejected offers later, and I was rolling in it to the tune of £30 million… which, being the Arse, obviously went on paying 16 year-olds 60 grand a week wages.

5. Treat the cups seriously

If you set the board difficulty level to Word Class or above, you’ll find the money men at your club extremely demanding. Their goals usually involving winning your league, securing European football or often bagging a domestic cup.

Fail to meet these demands at the end of the season and you’ll probably find yourself lining up in the dole queue next to Avram Grant and Steve Kean (c’mon, it’s only a matter of time).

Land your bosses the odd Carling Cup and you’ll often find they overlook you failing their primary target of securing the league. So play strong squads in the cups, alright? It’ll keep you employed and away from small talk with bald Scottish blokes.

6. Use scouts to improve your youth system

Channel your inner Arsene Wenger and embrace youth. It won’t pay immediate dividends, but a decent scouting network will unearth you gems for the future.

Go to your youth academy and pay good money for three quality scouts. This way, you can scour three continents at once for the next Messi, Ronaldo or… uh, Carlos Vela.

You’ll be given scout reports every few weeks showing promising young players. Sign the ones with the highest potential ratings and then slowly integrate them into your first team squad.

Let these young upstarts play the last half hour every few matches if you’re winning by a couple of goals and you’ll eventually have a damn handy squad member who you’ll have only paid a few thousand for.

7. Don’t rush players back from injury

While having FIFA’s non-crapola version of Torres out for six weeks with a hamstring twang might be a pain, listen to your medial staff. Rush a player back from injury and it can lead to a season long layoff if they get another bad kick.

Players will often be available for selection before they’re fully healed and will sometimes even asked to be rushed back into the first team action.

Ignore their pleas and lean on the side of caution. Always wait for at least two matches after an injured player is available again before you pick them.

8. Don’t skimp on wages

Really, don’t. If you’re managing a United or Chelsea, you’ll be given a huge wage budget by your board of directors. Usually, this fund is easily enough to accommodate paying the wages of three or four dream signings in a single season.

While it might make your inner penny-pincher weep Scrooge McDuck tears of prudish sadness paying a defensive midfielder an extra £30, 000 a week over what the game suggests you should offer, it’ll be worth it in the long haul after he’s stopped you from shipping four every match.

If you’re signing defenders or central midfielders, pay them a goal bonus of 15-20% a game. You’ll only have to pony up if they net. And seeing as the vast majority of your goals will come from your striker or wingers, it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to pay out these transfer sweeteners.

by David Meikleham

FIFA 12 is available now, and you can read our FIFA 12 9/10 review to find out why it’s so good.