FIFA 17 is now nearly four months old and the Ultimate Team community have played many of matches. Some have over 1,000 matches played already. With all that experience, people have begun to notice trends in the game. Those noticeable trends have been examined by many with some trying to explain them.
Those explanations usually turn into conspiracy theories about why a certain event in a match happens or a result goes the way it does.
With the introduction of the Weekend League this year, those theories have ramped up tenfold with every result meaning something every week. Here are five popular theories that many in the FIFA community believe is affecting their day-to-day results in this year’s game:
Special Cards Hurt You
A new theory among top players in the community that has emerged recently is that special cards such as a In-Forms and SBC cards hinder you more than hurt you. Some state that teams of purely all-Gold cards perform much better than a club full of colorful cards.
A few top players have sold their in-form Cristiano Ronaldo striker cards, claiming that his regular lower rated gold card performs the same, if not better than the special card does.
There is no data or evidence to suggest this theory is at all possible. Out of all the theories out there, this one seems to be the mostly psychological more than anything. However, it might be worth experimenting with if you use a ton of special cards just in case.
Bronze Benching Works
Bronze Benching is the simple concept of filling your bench with as many bronze players as you can to lower your team’s overall rating. The theory is, the lower your team is rated, the better it performs in-game and the better chance you have of matching up against a similarly low rated team.
Nearly every top player uses this method in an attempt to gain advantage. Take a look at the market and you’ll notice that 45 rated cards (the lowest possible) are nearly extinct from the market and sell for their maximum of 10,000 coins because so many want them to get their rating as low as possible.
Does it work? Well it certainly lowers the team’s rating, but does it do anything to give you an advantage? That’s debatable at best.
Ever feel like you’re playing a match that EA Sports just wants you to lose? (Why yes, yes I have!) A common theory among players is the some match’s results are pre-determined and/or have a decided slant towards a certain player.
Again, there is no evidence to suggest that scripting exists only the wonky things that happen to you on a regular basis. I’m not sure if I believe in it or not, but there are certainly some matches that feel a little fishy. Whether it’s for you or against you. Every shot you take is perfect and you beat a good player 5-0 or vice-versa. There moments like these that make you wonder why the things that happen, happen.
A very popular theory in the community is that expensive squads aren’t as overpowered as they should be. A lower rated team is given a boost in-game to compete with superteams. That’s the basis of the theory.
Sometimes you see a 10,000 coin team out-perform a 1,000,000 coin team and wonder just maybe the theory is true. But you have to look at all the variables. High skill levels are a factor. A better player will usually win out no matter the value or rating of a team.
Is it possible that EA have implemented a handicapping feature to keep every match fair despite team rating or value? Maybe. But there’s still no evidence or data to back it up.
We’re really going down the rabbit hole now. A reddit thread was created in late December claiming to have found evidence of a “Momentum” mechanism in the FIFA 17 game code.
The code appears to reference that several different variables, mainly a team’s rating, contributes to the momentum of a match. So, a lower rated team could be given more a chance to make a comeback or score an important goal.
This theory is a mixture of many of the above ones like “scripting” and the bronze benching method. The momentum in a match would supposedly cause events in matches that favor the team that adheres best to the mechanism.
There’s no doubt that EA Sports have certain mechanics in the game that we have no idea about. We don’t know if this momentum mechanism is in the game or not, but so far it’s the best evidence that it’s not just “all in our head”.