FIFA 21 is edging closer, with the game set for release on October 9. But that doesn’t mean FIFA 20 is dead.
Ultimate Team may be dominated by the most-dedicated players, rendering online games even harder than before, while some casual fans may have moved their attention onto other titles recently released.
But for those still wanting to get the most out of FIFA 20 before making the switch to FIFA 21 later in the year, then Career Mode can provide fresh content – although mistakes can still be made this far into the year.
Whether you’re a rookie or veteran playing since FIFA International Soccer in 1993, no one’s immune to oversights. Particularly on Career Mode.
Whichever team you choose to manage, and there are some good options, there are universal mistakes you’ll want to avoid. These range from on-pitch problems to behind-the-scenes issues some might not have though of.
So, whether you’re just starting out or are midway through a big commitment and want to get things back on track, we’ve provided a list of mistakes you might be making on FIFA 20 Career Mode.
1. Signing big names
Everybody wants to see their club have the best players and biggest names, and it is sometimes no different on FIFA 20. But while certain players are gems to have in single-play games or Ultimate Team, they are potentially regressive for Career Mode.
Take Cristiano Ronaldo, for example. The Portuguese forward is the second best player at the start of FIFA 20, coming in at 93-rated (second only to Lionel Messi). He’s fast, fairly strong, has ridiculous shooting, high technical ability and insane jumping; not to mention five-star skill moves and four-star weak foot. If you can, make sure you play with him in FIFA 20 – just not on Career Mode, unless you’re starting out at ‘Piemonte Calcio’.
For all his qualities, Ronaldo will turn 35 in your first Career Mode season and Juventus don’t want to sell him in the first window. When they are eventually happy to let him go, you’ll be lucky to get more than a season out of him before he retires. A waste of money. The same goes for Messi, although you’d probably get a few more years from the Argentinian. Spend your cash elsewhere, on those set for a brighter future.
2. Misusing the Youth Academy
When you load up a new Career Mode save, the first thing you should be doing is signing youth staff. These one to three members of your backroom team will be key for a long and successful Career Mode, taking you to the time when generated footballers rule your save.
Although there are plenty of FIFA 20 wonderkids, these will either have high transfer values or be snapped up by rival clubs fairly quickly. That’s where the Youth Academy comes in.
Sure, not every talent identified by your youth staff will be a gem. Plenty of recommended players won’t fall into the valuable bracket of 90+ potential overall. But when you do find the one, it’s a great feeling. You’re getting one of the future best players in the game for virtual pennies compared to the amount you’d spend on, say, Kylian Mbappe.
Of course, you are still fighting with other clubs for the signature of youth players, but that just adds to the Career Mode experience. Do you take the chance that a player’s potential overall will remain above 90? Or risk scouting him another month and possibly lose him to another club? Whichever you choose, just make sure you use the Youth Academy.
3. Going too young, too early
Now, while Career Mode is all about the long-term planning and the younger your team is, the better, you don’t want to rush into things.
The biggest problem with younger players is, unless they’re already stars like Jadon Sancho or Mbappe, their overall rating isn’t going to be high.
Take Eduardo Camavinga, for example. The midfielder has the potential to become 90-rated in Career Mode, before dynamic potential is taken into consideration, and will be one of the best in the game. However, as Career Mode starts he has rating of 73. Now, on his own, it’s not too bad. But if you’re surrounding him with similarly-rated players in a difficult league, things can get tough.
That’s why it’s important you keep hold of higher-rated players for the first few seasons, ensuring the level is high enough while allowing your younger stars to grow.
4. Not rotating
When Jurgen Klopp dismissed criticism of his squad rotation in December ahead of a busy period, to do with managing fatigue, he claimed: “It’s not FIFA or the PlayStation where players don’t need a rest.”
Obviously Klopp doesn’t play FIFA. Because on FIFA, players absolutely do need a rest, especially on Career Mode. Of course, everyone has their favourite XI when it comes to FIFA 20 and probably even the players they will always rely on as substitutes. But it is key that you rotate your sides.
There are a few ways this can be done. You could have two completely different XIs that you rotate evert other game, which won’t hurt your chances too much as chemistry and momentum aren’t really long-term problems in Career Mode. Or you can tinker with your starting XIs here and there, making sure every player eventually gets some rest to keep them fresh.
Dealing with fatigue is not the only reason to rotate either. As your favourite XI becomes clear, those on the fringe will be unhappy with their lack of playing time. In order to keep morale high in the squad, you have to give players the time on the pitch equivalent to their status or risk their overall dropping.
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5. Ignoring your scouts
There are so many wonderful websites around that give you players’ potentials, values, attributes and wage demands. And these are great as a guideline for players to look out for in your Career Mode. But don’t take them as gospel.
Instead, use your scouts. You can still focus on the players in the various FIFA 20 guides, but make sure you get your own look at them in-game. This is because values may vary slightly, due to how often FIFA 20 and player ratings are updated.
You will have to wait some time to get the full report, sometimes as long as 18 days, but it’s valuable information when it does arrive. Scouting reports allow you to be in full control of negotiations, knowing how much a player is valued in your save. This information will lower the chances of you overpaying for a player that really isn’t worth overpaying for.
6. Passing over tactics
Where FIFA 20 Career Mode is certainly more about the gameplay than the managerial side of things, compared to Football Manager 2020, it can be easy to forget about tactics.
With every passing FIFA, tactics and player instructions become increasingly important particularly online but also in Career Mode.
If you want to get the absolute best out your players and have the biggest chance of success, you need to micromanage every aspect of your team. So that means changing the tactics to fit your playing style, how your team defends, how they attack, how many players will go into the box for corners and so much more.
You also need to get the right individual instructions for your players, to ensure both your defensive midfielders aren’t making runs into the box opening up gaps in front of your defence. Pay attention to players’ attacking and defensive work rate too, when picking your roles for them.
7. Simulating training
This is more of a tip than a mistake, but it can be very useful if you’re serious about your Career Mode. Play every training session.
When it was first added to Career Mode, the weekly training was a novelty and had gamers taking time to play the skill games in order to boost their squad. But as time went on, more and more will have turned to filling the slots and simulating.
But simulating is a roulette. Yes, you could easily get As across the board, but there will be a lot of Bs, Cs, Ds and even a few Fs, which is just a waste.
If you’re good at the skill games, take a few minutes every virtual week to play them and have full control of how far your players can grow.