FIFA Superstars: Everything you need to know
EA Sports' FIFA Superstars has finally arrived, and just a week after going live, the soccer game already has 30,000 users. FIFA Superstars is accessible to all soccer fans whether they've played video games before or not. Like Gangster City, Playfish's other recent title, FIFA Superstars focuses on simple gameplay and fleshes it out with unique components and high production value. The result is a game that is deep, enjoyable and compelling.
Continue reading as we run through everything you need to know in order to successfully play FIFA Superstars.
Start up FIFA Superstars and you'll hear music gnarly enough to get anyone ready to take on the gargantuan role of soccer team manager. After the brief load time, you'll be prompted to create your team and run through a tutorial. Finally, you'll come face to face with the home screen, the heart of FIFA Superstars. There is a ton of information on this screen, so we're going to break it down so you can begin training your team. Although the game may seem confusing at first, you'll see it is quite simple and you'll be winning matches and scoring goals with the professionals in no time.
The first thing to do when you reach the screen pictured above is edit your team's crest. Click the crest at the top left of the screen and you'll be able to choose from a number of emblems, colors and nations.
Centered on the screen are the players currently selected to start in upcoming matches. Along the left hand side you have the options:
- Play - Allows you to choose a league and play matches.
- Manage - Where you can swap out players and change formations.
- Trade - Mysterious feature that is coming soon.
- Stadium - View the current training regiment, stadium facilities and coach. Make sure to buy stadium upgrades to earn more money, experience, and training from everything you do.
- Training - Choose a training regiment to keep your team in top form.
- Store - Purchase new players, coaches, stadium upgrades and match credits.
The bar along the top of the home screen also gives you important information such as your team's rating, your experience, your match credits and your current amount of coins.
Your team's overall skill rating, shown in yellow at the top right of the home screen, is a combination of training and talent. Talent, shown at the top left of each player card and when rolled over, is predetermined and cannot be changed. To better your team's talent you must buy all new players. Click the store or manage button, then click players. Three tiers of player packs are available:
Bronze Transfers - 10,000 Coins or 8 Playfish Cash
Silver Transfers - 25,000 Coins or 20 Playfish Cash
Gold Transfers - Unlocks at level 10 or 60 Playfish Cash
The better the transfer pack the better players you'll receive. Each pack contains five random players from the tier you selected. After receiving new players, you can head to manage from the home screen and swap out players into their appropriate positions. Depending on the make up of your squad, you may want to change formations to reflect that. For example if you have a lot of great defenders, change your formation to 5 - 3 - 2 so more of your better players can play at once.
Note that you can also sell players from this screen. Be careful, while you'll never need substitutes during a game, remember that if you switch formations in the future, you may end up needing a player you sold for a mere 200 Coins.
Unlike talent, your training stat is not set in stone. Your training stat is left up to you and because training makes up your overall rating, it's important to keep your team in top form. If your team is well trained, you may have a higher overall rating than a team with more talent and as a result, be able to defeat them.
To begin training your team, click the training button on the home screen. Training is a combination of your Current Base Training (which increases every time a training regiment is completed), your Facilities (training equipment purchased at the store), and your Coach who can increase your training by 20 points.
To increase your base training, select one of the regiments. When the specified amount of time finishes counting down, you will gain that amount of training. Unlike FarmVille and its withering crops, FIFA Superstars will not penalize you for failing to see the training through. It will give you your training points whether you are playing or not.
It is possible to have up to 100 base training. However, don't think because you've maxed out you're training it's going to be smooth sailing all the way through the Barclays Premier League. Whenever your players are idle your training will begin to decrease, so it's important to sign in every day and have your team train to stay competitive.
Matches & Leagues
To earn money, gain experience and rank up in FIFA Superstars, you're going to have to play matches. To play matches, you're going to need match credits. Every time you play a game, a match credit is subtracted from you. There are several ways to refill your match credits. First, you are given a match credit every six hours, so you can just wait for them to refill. You also receive match credits when you level up. It is also possible to ask for and to send credits or mystery gifts to your friends (which may include match credits in addition to players and coins). Finally, you may purchase more match credits in the store for Playfish Cash.
To set up a game, click the play button from the home screen. You'll be prompted to select on of the following leagues:
2010 FIFA World Cup - Coming soon.
Premier League - Raise your overall rating enough and you'll be able to take on the teams of the Barclays Premier League such as Manchester United and Arsenal. (As you can see at the right, my mighty team defeated Blackpool.)
League Matches - This is what you'll select most often as you complete and advance through the various leagues until you reach the elite Superstar League.
Friendly Matches - This league lets you play with your friends. Select it then select a friend to challenge and play. You can only play each friend once every day. These matches don't cost match credits.
Once a league has been chosen, choose a team you wish to play. It's always a good idea to make sure your overall rating is higher than the opponents if you want to win. Instead of wasting your precious match credits when the odds are against you, either take on an easier team, train, or buy players and come back later. Once you've chosen a team, click play, a match credit is deducted, and the game is underway.
After a match has begun, the player has two options: watch a long series of cutscenes as the game plays out or skip straight to the final score. The way the game works is all based on stats and positioning. Throughout the game players will try to dribble other players, pass the ball, and shoot. FIFA Superstars compares the talent and training of the two interacting players and decides which one will be victorious.
For example, my striker Hughes is on offense with the ball and encounters defender Maire. Because Hughes has higher stats and training, he was able to successfully leave "Amaud Maire standing!"
Another example is shooting on goal. Enemy midfielder Toner, was able to break through my defense and get a shot on goal. Goalkeeping also works in a similar fashion to offense play. The match up this time is between my keeper Fejzic and Toner. Depending on the players' talent and training, the shot can either be saved or reach the back of the "potato sack."
This continues until time is up and the final score is announced. Proportionate to the difficulty of the challenge and the outcome of the match, you will receive experience and money.
Calling all Footie Fans
Whether you call it soccer or football, it makes no difference. FIFA Superstars revolves entirely around the sport we love. With the current scarcity of sports games on Facebook, we hoped the soccer simulator would begin to fill the hole in the social network's game lineup.
Despite our excitement, we would love to see more Facebook friend integration (perhaps in the trading feature coming soon). In addition we'd like some interactivity, especially in the matches themselves, allowing players to further influence the outcome. Finally, our last complaint is that we just can't get enough of it! The match credit system makes us wait for days just to get my team out on the pitch for just a few minutes!
However, in the end, beggars can't be choosers, and we're certainly relieved to finally see quality in a genre that has been struggling to produce a hit. Despite the game's relatively slow start, the FIFA World Cup is around the corner, and we're hoping to see FIFA Superstars catch on.
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