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FIFA 22 career mode guide: Start your road to glory

FIFA 22’s career mode offers budding managers the chance to take the helm at their favorite club and lead it to fame and success on the pitch. If you’re new to the series, though, you might not know where to start on your path to managerial mastery in one of the world’s top video games.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can make things easier on yourself as a FIFA beginner. We’ve put together this guide with all our best advice for hurdling the challenges FIFA 22 throws at you. Before long, you’ll have graduated from FIFA freshman to soccer supremo.

Further reading

Start a test career

The club selection screen in FIFA 22.
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If this is your first time playing FIFA’s career mode, everything might feel a little overwhelming. From transfers and scouting to training and tactics, career mode has a ton of concepts to wrap your head around.

That’s why it’s a good plan to start with a test career. Pick a team with a decent budget but relatively forgiving board expectations — a team like Hertha Berlin in Germany, for example, who start with loads of cash and a lenient board. Choosing a team that dominates its league, or one that you follow in real life with so you know what needs improving, is also a good idea.

The concept behind this approach is that you can get to grips with managing a team without facing much pressure. When the board is forgiving and the budget is generous, the stakes are lower, meaning mistakes and missteps are less likely to be punished. It’s a good way to learn the ropes without having it all blow up in your face. Then, when you’ve got the hang of it, you can start a new career and take it more seriously.

Take part in pre-season tournaments

The pre-season tournament selection page in FIFA 22.
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Want to quickly boost your transfer budget and get your players ready for the new season at the same time? It’s easy to do — just make sure you take part in a pre-season tournament.

At the beginning of a new career, you will be presented with the chance to opt in to one of three tournaments with various prize pools and opposition teams. Make sure to accept one of them, balancing the potential prize money with the quality of teams you will face. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get a nice cash injection based on where you finish.

As well as the extra funds, playing these games will increase your players’ match sharpness, which in turn helps improve their performances on the pitch. Make sure you rotate your squad from game to game to give every player the chance to ramp up their sharpness.

Loosen up the restrictions

The negotiation strictness option in FIFA 22.
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Negotiations are a key part of managing any team in FIFA 22. Whether you’re finalizing a marquee signing or renewing a key player’s contract, you need to have your wits about you to get the best deal possible for your club.

That’s not always easy, but it can be made significantly more manageable by tweaking one important detail when you’re first setting up your career. On the Career Settings page during career creation, head to the Negotiation Strictness box. If you set this to Loose, you will find getting your deals over the line that much more straightforward.

In essence, what this setting does is give you more freedom to sign the players you want. Players at rival clubs, or those who have just joined a new team, will be willing to listen to your offers with this setting enabled. As a beginner, that will help you get a better idea of how transfers and negotiations work without seeing them end prematurely every time.

When to bid for players

A manager conducting a transfer negotiation in FIFA 22.
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FIFA 22’s career mode is dominated by its transfer windows. These are periods of the season when players can switch clubs and join their new teammates. But what you might not realize is that you are not limited to making transfer offers during these windows.

Instead, you can put in a bid for a player at any point during the season. If you get an offer accepted and negotiate a contract with the player, they won’t be able to join you until the next transfer window opens, but there’s nothing to stop you from getting everything agreed upon beforehand.

The same rules apply to every other team as well, which means your rivals could snipe a player you want by making a bid outside the transfer window. That’s why it’s important to move for a player you want as soon as you’ve identified them as the right person for your team. Don’t hang around and be beaten to the punch by someone else.

The one exception to that is if a player has less than a year remaining on their contract. Many leagues let you sign players like this without paying a transfer fee at certain points in the season — in England’s Premier League, for example, that point is in January. If your top transfer target can be signed for free, you might want to wait until that specific point in the season to save yourself some cash. It’s a calculated risk, as other teams might bid before then, but it can be rewarding.

Delegate transfer bids and contract offers

A player transfer screen in FIFA 22 with the option to delegate the transfer to an assistant.
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If you find the transfers aspect of FIFA 22 too much to handle, the game has a built-in solution. Instead of controlling everything yourself, you can hand it over to your assistant, who will negotiate on your behalf.

First things first, scout a player and add them to your transfer shortlist. This will show you how much you should bid for them. Then, select the player and choose Delegate to buy or Delegate to loan, depending on whether you want to buy the player permanently or loan them temporarily. When you choose Delegate to buy, you can tell your assistant what their starting offer should be and what price they should not go above.

The same idea applies to offering players contracts. Instead of wading through the tricky negotiating process yourself, all you have to do is tell your assistant what the starting and maximum wage offers should be. Note that there are no options for things like contract length, squad role, or release clause here — those are handled automatically.

When your assistant is finished (which usually takes a week or just under), all you have to do is sign off on the transfer and it’s all completed. It’s ideal if you want to focus on other aspects of the game and leave the nitty-gritty of transfers and contracts to someone else.

Player scouting matters

The scout destination screen in FIFA 22.
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Good player scouting — whether it’s for real players or generated youngsters — can make a big difference to any team’s season in FIFA 22. The good news is that getting it right is fairly easy to do, even for beginners, once you nail the ground rules.

First of all, don’t underestimate the value of a good scout. Each scout has two ratings: One for Experience and one for Judgment, each on a scale from one to five stars. Experience affects how many players the scout will find, while Judgment determines the quality of those players. Aim for the best scout you can afford. Great scouts in your Global Transfer Network will find better prospects for your first team, while top-notch youth scouts will enable you to find the superstars of tomorrow.

There’s another important reason why you should pay attention to scouting: It ensures you don’t go in blind when it comes to transfers and negotiations. If you add a player to your Transfer Hub before you’ve scouted them, you will have no guidance on how much they might cost you. But if you scout them first, you’ll see estimated minimum and maximum transfer fees you can expect to pay. It’s vital to ensuring you don’t get ripped off.

Finally, your youth scouts can search the globe for exciting young prospects that you can then add to your club. If you want to stay realistic, you might want to start by looking in your club’s home nation. If you want to scout the very best players, though, there are a few places you should look first. That’s because FIFA 22 ranks the places you can scout, with the following comprising the top five:

  • Brazil and Argentina
  • Italy, Spain, and Portugal
  • Central Europe
  • The remainder of the Southern Europe region
  • The Rest of Europe region

So, start looking in Brazil and Argentina if you want the best results.

Pay attention to potential

A player with their potential status highlighted in FIFA 22.
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In FIFA 22, all players have two values that determine how good they can become: Their overall rating (shortened to OVR) and their potential rating. While potential is sometimes hidden, it’s a vital indicator of how good a player might become. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to load your squad with high-potential players to ensure your team grows quickly.

In many cases, you should prioritize potential because it will give you better players in the future. That’s especially true if you’re looking to invest in young players or add players to your youth academy. OVR is important too, especially if you need to immediately boost your first team, but you can often get players with great OVR ratings and even better potential.

When you’re scouting youth players, your scouts will estimate each player’s potential as a range of values. For example, on each month’s scouting report, you might see a player’s potential summarized as 72-90, or 60-84. Any player with a minimum potential value of 70 is likely to become an excellent player.

As for real players, this potential range is hidden. However, there is one way you can get a hint as to their future abilities. When you are browsing a scout report in your Global Transfer Network, select a player and look for a message next to a yellow exclamation mark icon. This is used to denote a player’s rough potential, and there are three statuses you should be looking out for:

  • “Showing great potential” means they have potential 80-85
  • “An exciting prospect” means they have potential 86-90
  • “Has the potential to be special” means they have potential 91+

You will only see these messages once a player reaches 60 OVR, but players rated 59 or below can still show excellent promise. Just make sure to keep checking back to get these hints.

Train to win

A penalty taking training session in FIFA 22.
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FIFA 22 doesn’t just leave you entirely in the dark when it comes to improving your players. In fact, sometimes it can feel like it does the opposite, with so many different ways to train your players that you might feel like avoiding it altogether. But thankfully there are a few ways you can take the pain out of training your players.

The first is to ignore it. Well, not quite, but there are some areas you don’t need to touch at all when it comes to training, and the schedule is one of them. By default, this is set to Intermittent Training, which arranges training every other day, with rest before matches and recovery directly after. The other options are Intermittent Rest, Only Training, and Only Rest.

The thing is, Intermittent Training is absolutely fine. It’s a good way to ensure your players retain match sharpness (which helps them perform in matches) and improve their skills, without exhausting them before important games. Leave it on the default setting and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

There are times when you need to get hands-on with training, though. Specifically, you should try to play each training drill at least once instead of just simulating everything. Not only does this give your players some bonus experience the first time, but it influences the grades you get when you do decide to simulate sessions.

If you’ve never played a training drill in FIFA 22, you will always get a low score when you simulate it. This in turn causes your players to grow more slowly. If you play a drill, though, FIFA 22 will use the highest grade you got in all future simulated sessions. So, get an A grade and you’ll never need to play that drill again, as simulating it will always result in the same high score.

And here’s a bonus tip: There’s no need for you to be constantly interrupted by training days when you’re advancing anymore. On the main screen, open the Manage Interruptions menu and change Training Days from Stop to Bypass. Now all training sessions will be done for you with no breaks in your schedule.

Development plans offer huge flexibility

The player development plan page in FIFA 22.
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When you first load up FIFA 22, you might look at your squad of players and think there’s not much room to teach those old dogs some new tricks. But you’d be wrong — thanks to development plans, you can mold your players in a vast number of ways. They can even slow down attribute decline in your older veterans.

For example, let’s say you have a central defender who you want to try a new development plan on. You can choose between Balanced, Stopper, Sweeper, Ball Playing Defender, and Defensive Center Back. Each one focuses on different attributes. The Ball Playing Defender plan improves their passing and vision, while Stopper emphasizes tackling and strength. This gives you a lot of power to sculpt your squad so that it plays the way you want.

As well as that, you can even train a player to adopt a new position on the pitch. More extreme positional changes will take longer to perfect, but it’s a handy tool if you have a full back who you think would make a great winger, for instance.

To put a development plan into practice, open the Squad Hub, select a player, then choose Development Plan. Arrows indicate how much each attribute is likely to grow, while the ETA and player form are shown at the top. Get your players into good form and they will make faster progress on their new plan.

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