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FIFA 17 tips - guide, new features and their controls explained

Quick tips, a list of everything new, and a hub for all our specialist FIFA 17 guides.

FIFA 17 may not have reviewed perfectly, but there's certainly plenty new in EA's latest addition to the series.

Here on our FIFA 17 tips and guide page, we gather together all of our more detailed guides to specific parts of the game, alongside our more general FIFA 17 tips for all skill levels, and a rundown of all the new features in the game and how to get the most out of them.

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FIFA 17 guides, tips and tutorials

Below is the collection of our in-depth guides for FIFA 17. Watch this space as we get closer to FIFA 17's release day, as well be continuously adding plenty more guides once we spend more time with the game.

On this page:

FIFA 17 guide - expert and beginners tips, new controls, and new features explained
Home to all of our quick tips and individual FIFA 17 guides.

Player Ratings and Stats:

FIFA 17 best players - the top 50 players ranked by Overall rating
The 50 best players in FIFA 17 ranked, plus their their positions and stats.

FIFA 17 potential wonderkids - best youngsters and hidden gems
The best, highest-potential players under 21 in FIFA 17.

FIFA 17 player ratings and stats - best strikers, midfielders, goalkeepers, defenders and wingers
The best players in the game, and their ratings, for every position.

Gameplay and Controls:

FIFA 17 set pieces explained - how to score free kicks, corners, penalties and throw ins
Strategies and controls for every set piece and dead ball situation.

The Journey:

FIFA 17 The Journey walkthrough - how to play a full season and get all rewards
FIFA 17's new story mode detailed in full.

Ultimate Team:

FIFA 17 FUT Chemistry explained - how to increase Chemistry, get 100 Team Chemistry, and max Individual Chemistry
How Ultimate Team Chemistry works, and how to get the most out of it.

FIFA 17 Chemistry Styles explained - the best FUT Chemistry Styles for each position
Explaining the all-important FUT 17 Chemistry Style modifiers and the best ways to use them.

FIFA 17 coins - how to earn FIFA coins quickly and for free in Ultimate Team
How to rake in the all-important dough in FIFA 17's online Ultimate Team mode.

FIFA 17 Ones to Watch cards - what are OTW cards and which are the best?
FUT 17's new hybrid player cards listed explained.

FIFA 17 Web App explained - trading, rewards, and how to use it
Where to find and how to best use the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Web App.

FIFA 17 new features - what changes are there in the new FIFA?

Sorting through FIFA's list of new features is always an interesting challenge; often the most publicised changes will feel no different in game, whilst subtle tweaks to, say, heading accuracy, will dramatically affect the way you'll want to build and use your team.

This year, the main general change is to the feeling of speed - not so much in terms of the player attribute, but to the overall snappiness and openness of matches. Things still get tight pretty tight in midfield, but then... you really shouldn't be playing through the middle too much anyway.

Here's what's new to FIFA 17 Game Modes:

  • The Journey Mode - The Journey is FIFA's first ever 'story mode', which sees you take on the role of Alex Hunter in his rise to stardom. It plays a little like the old Be A Pro modes, although there's now an entire story, dialogue system and series of cutscenes constructed around your progress. You can watch us as we gave it a whirl recently in the FIFA 17 demo below, or check out our complete walkthough, guide, and tips article:
  • FUT Champions Mode - You can now compete for real-world prizes by first completing a series of in-game challenges in FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Mode. By winning daily FUT tournaments, you can earn in-game rewards and a spot in the Weekend League. Consistently do well there, by winning as many games as possible from a set number at the weekend, and you can move up another set of Monthly Leaderboard tiers. Do well there and you'll have a chance to compete in real-world FIFA tournaments like the Regional Monthly Leaderboards and the FIFA Interactive World Cup.
  • Manager Avatars - Managers now feature in FIFA for the first time, with the 20 English Premier League managers all included as of the start of the 16/17 season. You can also choose from a small selection of avatars to represent your own appearance as a manager in Career Mode.

Here's everything new to FIFA 17 gameplay:

  • Physical Play Overhaul - the introduction of 'Pushback Tech' now allows players, and especially strikers, to more effectively hold up the ball. Holding LT/L2 on the controller when a ball's coming into them will see them stand it up for a layoff, as opposed to the more general 'tight control' option that the button would give you in previous incarnations.
  • Driven Finish - a driven finish will drill the ball low, with power, towards the goal. It can lead to some spectacular stuff when done on the volley or from distance, and is surprisingly easy to execute. Simply double-tap the 'shoot' button (B for Xbox or Circle for PlayStation on Classic controls) to perform it. Interestingly however, the best method for driven shots is to hold down shoot first, and then quickly tap it a second time. Roughly three bars of power is the golden rule here - that's because the driven shot's power is calculated by how much you hold down the first tap, and is simply activated by the second.
  • Threaded Through Pass - This one, at first, seems to be the same as a standard through ball. In actual fact it allows to to 'thread' the ball through a greater number of players and smaller spaces between them, meaning it's great for those forwards who drop deep, hold the ball up, then turn to thread a ball through for a midfield runner going beyond them. To perform it, simply hold down RB/R1 and press the through ball button (normally Y or Triangle).
  • Trivela Free Kick - A new, 'outside of foot'-style free kick which allows you to bend the ball around the outside of the wall with different-footed players to previous FIFA games. Check out our dedicated set piece guide, which includes all free kicks in the game, for more on that.
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  • Reworked Set Pieces - Speaking of which, all set pieces in the game (free kicks, corners, throw-ins, and penalties) have been reworked this year with completely different systems. A reminder again that our comprehensive set piece guide will take you through every single one step by step to help you get the most out of the new dead ball plays.
  • Low Crosses - You can now perform a low cross by triple-tapping the cross button, which will whip the ball in low to the ground. Great for short, speedy forwards with high agility and attacking movement who aren't so good in the air, like Sergio Aguero or Marcus Rashford.
  • Driven Goalkeeper Throws and Driven Goalkeeper Kicks - Goalkeepers receive some long overdue attention this year with the addition of driven throws and kicks. Now, whenever the 'keeper has the ball in their hands (not at dead ball goal kicks), you can drill out your distribution rapidly by holding down the R1/RB button and either the throw or kick button, depending on your choice. Throws are great for picking out close-by players who would normally be beaten to the ball, whilst driven goalkeeper kicks are fantastic for starting counter attacks if you have a fast player free up top.
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FIFA 17 tips

Those new features aside, FIFA 17 still differs subtly from prior versions in a number of ways, with a slightly different feel to gameplay, tweaks to the UI, and more. For returning fans who've been playing FIFA 16 right up until 17's launch, or newcomer's who've been away from the game for a while, there's plenty to bear in mind.

Here are a few general tips to get you back in the game as quickly as possible:

  • Vary your passing - FIFA is becoming more and more a case of space-management, by which we mean the practice of drawing the opponent out of position and creating space for you to progress. We personally felt the effect of high-pressing teams to be particularly noticeable this year, especially on the highest difficulties, and as such you'll want to master the art of opening up the pitch for yourself. The best way to do so is with varied passing: a couple short, simple balls into feet at the back, followed by a big switch with the driven pass (R1/RB + Pass), driven lob (R1/RB + Lobbed Pass), standard long ball or maybe even a swanky new threaded through ball (R1/RB + Through Ball) will swiftly open up the pitch for you. Keep an eye on your rader for those off-screen Paul Scholes wonderballs!
  • Practice your skill moves - We know, practising skills in FIFA is arduous work, but it'll pay off for you big time in the long run. Turn the difficulty right down and play several games against the computer for the best way to practice against opposition players. We recommend mastering the dummy shot (quickly tap Shoot then Pass buttons) for beginners, before moving onto the more complex stuff. It works wonders against 'headless chicken' ball chasers (like us) who you'll find online, although the computer's inhuman reactions are a little too good to be fooled at higher levels.
  • Pace is back, sort of - It may not be anywhere near as bad as some recent FIFAs, but pace is still important again this year, particularly in comparison to the running-through-mud feeling of FIFA 16. Expect to see FUT teams loaded with high Sprint Speed players online, and bear in mind that your full backs will get absolute skinned in a lot of 1v1 sitations on the wing if you aren't suitably well-positioned.
  • Slide tackles are out - Nerfed into the ground once again, slide tackles won't give you much relief from all that pace this year. They're far more likely to end in either a foul, a defender being skinned, or even better a successful tackle that rebounds the ball straight to another opponent, than they are to leave you with possession afterwards, so stay on your feet in FIFA 17, like all good defenders should.
  • Near-post shots are much harder - Much the same as slide tackling, near-post shots (overpowered when performed correctly and coupled with Finesse shooting in FIFA 16) are now almost completely ineffective in normal circumstances. Cross-goal shots are the new black this year - expect more detail from us on finishing and scoring goals in general in the near future!
  • Headers are overpowered - From early experience, by far the best way to score in FIFA 17 is with headers, particularly the new downward header we highlighted above. Practice your crossing repeatedly on lower difficulties, and learn how to lead a player with a teasing ball into the box to help them gain some momentum on the ball. A seemingly safe situation out wide can end in a match-deciding goal out of nowhere now, so remember to close down those wingers and stop crosses at the source this year, too.

That's all for our general tips and tricks in FIFA 17 - stay tuned for more FIFA 17 tips, guides, and tutorials in the coming weeks and days, and remember: practice, practice, practice!

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