"FIFA 20" Guide: Be a Virtual Pro
How to Become a FIFA Virtual Pro
This article will outline the best way to succeed online in FIFA 20, and specifically in "Pro Clubs," both drop-ins and organised.
This is the game mode that I enjoy most. It is a cut-throat game mode, as you are playing against other teams who want nothing more than to score lots of goals against you. You have to be at your best every game to avoid being destroyed by your opponents. When playing Pro Clubs, you have other people relying on you. If you perform badly, it is not just your game that is ruined. You're destroying your teammates' as well. Pressure, hey?
I will now share my top tips for succeeding in this realm—including how to avoid being hated by your team. These tips are also perfectly applicable to the offline version of "Be a Pro: Seasons," in which you play for a club and can get transferred. It mirrors the career manager mode, but instead, you take on the role of a player, not a manager. Many people find this mode difficult at first, but follow my tips and you will be the future legend of football in no time! (Possibly not, but the intent is there!)
Create Your Pro
First things first: You have to create your Pro.
Although the pace that a 5' 2" striker offers is appealing, I personally feel it will not hold up against better opposition. You will be too weak and unable to hold onto the ball for any significant period of time. I have seen far too many teams on clubs who have two tiny strikers, and they simply do not have the versatility to create danger. Also, it does not look good if the only thing you can rely on is pace, which is already too overpowered in FIFA. Try and play with passing, rather than pace, and you will find that you succeed more often than when you abuse pace.
Oh, and one more thing: Don't make your Pro really ugly with a huge nose or blue hair. Your Pro is supposed to be a representation of your footballing prowess. There is nothing worse than seeing your Pro celebrate and noticing that he has a massive nose, overhanging eyebrows, a pointy chin, and eyes that look like they are trying to escape from his face. Just don't do it, please.
Tips for Creating Your Pro
- Do not be afraid to have a slow Virtual Pro. The default center-backs are not especially quick, and the strength you gain will benefit you in the long run.
- As a striker, look at other stats as well as finishing. You want to be able to set up goals on top of scoring.
- As a mid-fielder, consider your tackling ability. You will no doubt have to track back and help the defenders. A high stat in tackling could benefit you massive!
- As a defender, try and be tall. Although the pace will be reduced, if you verse an opponent with a tall striker, and you are 5' 2", you will struggle to prevent goals from corners, free kicks, and crosses. Versatility is key! Around 6' 2" is ideal. You have the pace to keep up with players as well as the height and the jumping stat to deal with crosses.
- Weight dictates strength, not height. A 6' 8" guy is no longer the strongest player on the pitch (unless he is the max weight). Try making a Pro around 6' 2"–6' 3" and add the weight. You will find the perfect balance between speed and strength. My Pro is 6' 2", 167 pounds, and is perfect in this balance.
- Traits are massively important. They dictate what your Pro can and can't do. Each trait is applicable in certain situations. If you are a defender, chances are you won't need a finesse shot. The same if you are a striker; you will not need acrobatic clearances. Choose the traits to suit your play style. Personally, I have finesse shot, skilled dribbling, fancy passing, overhead kicks, and driven pass. Choose the traits that suit you specifically!
- It may sound ridiculous, but you may feel slightly better creating a Pro that is an actual player. My Pro is Ibrahimovic. This may only be psychological, but when I play as an actual player I perform better than when I name the Pro after myself.
- Everything you create can be changed at a later date. Do not think that once you have decided, you can't go back.
What to Consider When Choosing a Position
- Where do you enjoy playing? At the end of the day, no matter what anybody says, you are playing FIFA to have fun. Play the position that you want (even if it is left back).
- The striker is the most frequently played position in FIFA. Therefore most clubs will not be looking for one. Consider dropping into an attacking midfield role. You will still have the attacking intent a striker does, but you will be more likely to set goals up than to score.
- Defenders can be key to a club's success. Good defenders are highly sought-after by the top clubs. If you enjoy defending and are decent at it, I suggest sticking with it. You will have people begging you to join their teams.
- Do not be put off by your low rating. It will increase rapidly as you play games.
- Try different positions. You may just find that you are a potent right midfielder, rather than a striker. You can change your Pro at any point, so if something is not working, try a different position. You will also develop your Pro's stats across the three different positions (Defensive, midfield and Attacking) by playing each role.
- Bear in mind that you will have at least one other teammate in your club that you will have to play with. Compromise when it comes to position choices. Do not simply claim that you are a solo striker. That is just unfair and totally inconsiderate.
- If you are playing with someone who is a much better player than you are, let them have it. There is no shame in dropping back and learning from them.
Avoid Pro-Ranked Matches
In all truth, the only reason I use Pro-ranked matches is to search for a club to join. I do not see any other point in them whatsoever. Don't get me wrong: The concept is good. A random set of people get together and each plays a position to ultimately beat the other side. Unfortunately, in practice, this is seriously flawed and just becomes an aggravating experience. Here's why:
- Nobody stays in position. If somebody plays as a left-back, it's guaranteed that they will be further up the field than the strikers.
- Nobody passes. Everybody seems to on a one-man mission to score on their own, with no help from anyone.
- The keepers randomly run out. Every time I play a Pro-ranked match, the human keeper seems to always charge out and want to play up front.
- Trash-talking youths always abuse teammates. When there is no reason whatsoever to do so, young players verbally abuse other players.
- If you do stay in position, you will simply not get the ball. As everybody pushes up, leaving 11 players to fight for the ball, you will be stranded and outside of the action.
- You can not earn skill points in drop-in sessions.
- The person playing the ANY role will always pass to his Pro. Nobody else will get the ball.
- Some people even run the ball into their own net. They're just out to troll you.
Stay away from this game-mode. If you feel the urge to play a Pro-ranked match, make sure you have 700 stress balls at the ready. Use this mode's lobbies to find other players who are looking for a club, join the lobby, and then leave before the game starts. You will receive messages asking for players to join a club, but be prepared and have a high-rated pro first. They are very demanding!
Don't Constantly Call for the Ball
Once you have begun playing for a team, do not constantly call the computer for the ball. Not only does doing this disrupt the computer's passing game, but also the calls of any other teammates. If you call for the ball, make sure it is for the right reason. This only really applies when the computer controls the other players on your team, and can make your team lose time and time again.
The problem arises when you call for the ball without enough space and the computer will automatically attempt to play the ball to you. Now, there are three issues:
- When your computer plays the ANY role, it controls players with an average rating of 69–70. They will not be able to play the killer through-ball you think you are calling for. If you are being marked, chances are the computer will mess up the pass and leave you screaming at your screen.
- If you do call when you have no space, and the computer makes the pass, you will lose possession and leave yourself open to being attacked by the opposition.
- Make the correct calls and the computer ANY can be a powerful tool; defensively solid and able to make the passes you want. Make the wrong calls, and the computer will constantly lose the ball, be out of position, and generally make clubs a living hell for you.
Playing the ANY Role
There is nothing worse than playing Pro Clubs with a bunch of random new guys and one exclaims that he is the best ANY in the world. You accept this and take him up on it, but then concedes nine and gets two red cards.
There is no shame in not being a good defender. Play in midfield or upfront. If you wish to succeed as an ANY, however, follow these instructions:
- The person playing the ANY role must be able to both defend and attack.
- As an ANY, you will have control of the other players on the pitch who aren't human-controlled already, as well as your virtual Pro.
- Do not constantly pass to your own Pro. There are people who only control one player and they will get bored very quickly if you hog the possession.
- The defaults you receive will range between 68 and 78. Be prepared for them to be much worse than your virtual Pro. Use these players as defenders or midfielders Ultimately it is your virtual Pros that will do the majority of the goal-scoring and creating.
- Do not only use your Pro. There are 10 other players on the pitch and the only way to succeed is to use them. You have to be pretty darn good to take on the opponent's whole team on your own.
- If your club does not have an amazing ANY, consider using the computer. It is a solid backup, and when employed correctly, it can be strong in defense and pass exactly where you want.
- Consider putting your Pro in defense or midfield when playing as the ANY. It always helps to have the support of a high-level Pro when your opponent is attacking. It can be the difference between conceding and clearing the ball.
- The ANY will receive the blame for any goals they concede, so you must have a strong will and be able to take criticism. After all, your team is relying on you to prevent goals. If you do not, on your head be it.
If all else fails, rotate within your team to be the ANY. When somebody loses, swap. Then no one feels the pressure of constantly controlling the whole team and you can try your hand at it. Do not panic about losses. They are a natural part of the game. Look to learn from them and move on!
Pass, Pass, Pass! Got it?
- The best way to take apart your opponents is to pass. This is especially true when your Pros have leveled up. They will more than likely be at a much higher level than your opponent's defense. You will pick them apart with quick passing and intelligent through-balls. Keep in mind that football is a team game and that the major clubs who succeed are amazing at passing. (Barcelona, cough cough).
- Do not constantly LB + Y (lobbed through ball). Predictability can be your number-one friend, or enemy, depending upon whether you are predictable or not. The greatest, and most often seen, example of this is the lobbed-through-ball. Many people online seem to believe that the only way to get through your opponents is to chip the ball hopelessly over the defense time and time again. Don't get me wrong: A perfectly timed lobbed-through ball is devastating to a defense, but the key here is perfectly timed. Too often I see the opponent just hoofing the ball over the top, hoping his small striker will latch onto it. Pass around and stay unpredictable.
- Use all the space available on the pitch. One of the best tactics when playing clubs is common sense: Use the full length of the pitch to attack. Staying in a small, congested area in the middle of the pitch will not stretch the opponent's defense and will lead to a lot of losses. Do not expect to be on the ball all the time. Use the wings, even if the ball isn't on that side. If you have a good team around you, it will be worked over. How many teams do you see with all the strikers and midfielders within a 2m radius? Exactly. None. So why does it happen on FIFA?
- Do not expect the ball all the time! In real life, players have to make runs to open up channels for teammates. They have to graft off the ball to create opportunities for themselves. It is the same in FIFA. If you constantly get the ball to feet, you are not using your abilities wisely. Search for the gaps in the defense or drop deeper to pick up the ball in space. Space is your friend!
- Play the pass when you see it! In FIFA, you can see if a teammate wants the ball. Furthermore, you can see if he wants it into space, or into feet. Use these signals from the on-pitch player to understand where your teammate would like the ball. If you see a hand go up, it should mean that they are in a good position and want the ball. Play it with them! Do not wait around for them to be in a perfect one-on-one situation. Give the ball to teammates when they call and they will give it back to you.
Team Chemistry Is Key!
As in real life, bad dressing room chemistry can be disastrous for a team. This is also true for FIFA Pro Clubs. Do not blame your teammates for losses or missed chances. This will only serve to make them dislike you or feel worse about themselves. Instead, offer constructive criticism, or just say "unlucky."
Treat Others as You Would Like to Be Treated
If you constantly get onto your club members' backs for missing opportunities, they will either not want to play with you or be less inclined to pass to you and help you out. Also, you do not want sweet Karma coming round and biting you right back. Digging your teammates for missing will only cause them to dig at you if you miss. Treat people how you wish to be treated!
Distribute Free Kicks and Penalties Fairly
Just a small tip: Do not claim free kicks and penalties straight away. Within my club, we have found two fair ways of distributing them: If you score, you stay on. If you miss, you pass the responsibility. Or, whoever wins the foul takes the free-kick/penalty. Personally, I believe both of these work equally well, but the worst way to do it is to simply claim a free-kick. Do not say, "This is mine!" Instead, offer it to your teammates first. They will give it back to you in the future, and like you more!
Communication Is Key
The difference between a good club and a bad club, more often than not, hinges on communication. It is no good saying to your friends or club members, "Oh you should have played that pass earlier." This is not constructive and only serves to make you sound like an idiot. Instead, tell your teammates when you want the pass, and where.
- If you want a cross to the front post, tell them. This will definitely improve your game, and being in sync with your team is that much easier with voice chat.
- If you are making a dummy run, let your friends know, so they do not play the ball. Asking for the ball played to a particular place will help the club understand what you want from them, and will only lead to more chances.
- Similarly, in defense, if you want your partner to mark a run, tell them. Do not blame them afterward for not picking up the run. You can only blame them if you let them know first. A club that communicates can be very potent and will utterly destroy clubs who do not talk.
It's Time to Go Pro
And that's it, guys—my top tips for succeeding, or playing better, with your Pro online or offline. Please leave a comment below and check out my latest Football analysis to receive more helpful advice.