FIFA Chemistry in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team is important. Very important.
In fact it turns out that finding the perfect combination of Individual Chemistry, Team Chemistry, and Chemistry Styles - three factors that we'll explain below - can set you up for a whopping total of 90 points increase in each player's attributes, averaging at about 10 points increased to each skill affected by a Chemistry Style modifier. That's roughly the equivalent of turning a Silver card into a Gold, or a standard Gold into a top-tier, in-form rare card.
At the same time, a low Chemistry rating can actually decrease the attributes of your players by a huge amount across the board - taking that Gold player down to a Silver instead.
The benefits and costs of getting Chemistry right or wrong are huge. But how does Chemistry actually work, what affects it, and how do you combine Individual Chemistry, Team Chemistry, and Chemistry Styles to get these massively boosted FUT players?
After a lot of pouring over stats, attributes, and little green chevrons by the community, EA Sports has finally revealed some numbers - we explain how it all works below in our guide to how to increase Chemistry in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team.
FIFA 18 Chemistry explained - Team Chemistry, Individual Chemistry, and how FUT Chemistry works
Understanding Chemistry in FUT can be a little daunting to begin with - especially when you start looking at the actual equations behind it. We're going to start right at the beginning for now, explaining what Chemistry is and the basics of how it works.
There are two types of Chemistry in FIFA Ultimate Team, which make up an overall Chemistry rating, plus the Chemistry Style modifiers which affect how they work. Here are the key terms:
- Individual Player Chemistry - Rated out of 10 for each player.
- Team Chemistry - Rated out of 100 for the entire team.
- Overall Chemistry - This is a hidden number, which comes from a combination of Individual Player Chemistry and Team Chemistry. A high Overall Chemistry will increase player attributes; a low Overall Chemistry will actually decrease them.
- Chemistry Styles - Modifiers which affect which stats are increased, and how much they're increased by, when you have a strong overall Chemistry.
Ultimately, the reason you want a high Player and Team Chemistry is because they increase or decrease your players' attributes when they get into a match by a potentially huge amount.
Interestingly however, Player Chemistry and Team Chemistry don't affect the attribute increase evenly. In fact, according to a post in which EA Sports finally revealed the numbers behind Chemistry last year, Player Chemistry accounts for 75% and Team Chemistry just 25% of a player's attribute increases. In other words, it's far more important that your Aubameyang card has the maximum 10 Player Chemistry than it is that your Team Chemistry totals 100 - although it does of course still help.
How does FIFA Chemistry work and how does it affect player stats?
With the basics out of the way, now we can get into more of the detail.
Whether or not a player's attributes change is determined by their hidden Overall Chemistry rating which, like Team Chemistry, is marked out of 100. If the Overall Chemistry rating is more than 50 out of 100, a player's attributes will increase. If it is below 50, they'll decrease, and if it's dead on 50 they'll stay the same. How much they increase or decrease by depends how far over or under 50 that player's Overall Chemistry is.
Unfortunately EA Sports hasn't revealed the exact figures for that, but generally it's a case of the higher the Overall Chemistry is, the greater the increase will be, with 100 Overall meaning a maximum increase (which grants 90 attribute points, spread across attributes according to the Chemistry Style attached).
Here's how to work out a player's Overall Chemistry:
- Multiply their Individual Player Chemistry by 10, and then by 0.75
- Multiply the Team Chemistry by 0.25
- Add the two results together
So for example, if I have Cristiano Ronaldo with a Player Chemistry of 9 and his Team Chemistry is 90, that would be 67.5 + 22.5, totaling an Overall Chemistry of 90 out of 100. So Ronaldo's attributes would increase by quite a lot - almost the maximum amount, in fact.
Which attributes increase, and the maximum amount they can increase by, is determined by Chemistry Styles, which we explain - along with which positions they suit best - in our FIFA 18 Chemistry Styles guide.
Worth bearing in mind at this point, too, is that Chemistry ratings are calculated at the start of a match, and are thus unaffected by any substitutions, formations, or general team management changes made after the match starts.
How much does Chemistry increase or decrease player attributes by?
The exact numbers aren't clear, but we do know the following:
- The maximum increase, if a player has 100 Team Chemistry and 10 Individual Chemistry, is a total 90 attribute points, spread out according to the player's Chemistry Style (even if they just have the Basic one, it's still spread across specific attributes).
- The maximum decrease, if a player as 0 Team Chemistry and 0 Individual Chemistry, is a decrease of 25 points in every attribute.
- Attributes start increasing at 5 Individual Chemistry, and decreasing at 3 Individual Chemistry, staying the same at 4. It's not entirely clear, at this point, how the hidden Overall Chemistry players into that.
How to increase Chemistry in FIFA Ultimate Team
Individual Player Chemistry and Team Chemistry are both increased in similar ways, with a variety of factors raising or lowering their ratings. For maximum results you'll want to get 10 and 100 in both respectively, so here's a list of all the elements which can increase Chemistry ratings in FIFA 17:
- Player Position - A player's position, marked under their card, will show up as either red, orange, or green. Red means they're totally out of position, reducing both Player and Team Chemistry. Orange means they're partially out of position, decreasing Player and Team Chemistry. Green means they're in their preferred position, increasing Player and Team Chemistry.
- Player Links - Indicated by the coloured lines between players, these will show up as either red, orange, or green again. This time, it's what the two linked players have in common (out of club, league, and nationality) that dictates the colour of the link. Red means nothing in common, decreasing Player and Team Chemistry. Orange means one thing in common, increasing Player and Team Chemistry - note that this is different to the outcome of an orange player position indicator. Green means two or more qualities in common, increasing Player and Team Chemistry by more than orange. The real outcome, however, is determined by all of the links from a player: see red as -1, orange as +1, and green as +2. Totalling up all the links, you'll want to end up positive for that player to gain a Chemistry boost from them.
- Manager - Similarly to player links, Manager nationality and league (but not club) has an impact on both Player and Team Chemistry. Each player which shares either a league or nationality link with the manager will receive a Chemistry boost, as shown by the small green Tie icon on their card.
- Loyalty - Players who have played 10 or more matches for your Club will receive a loyalty bonus, increasing their Player Chemistry by 1. This is indicated by the green shield icon on their card.
It's worth noting that although all of these factors affect both Team and Player Chemistry, it's still possible to have a high Team Chemistry and a lower Individual Player Chemistry for a certain player.
That's because the amount of Team Chemistry you'll generate from the factors above can total up to well over the 100 required to max it out - it only takes a full set of orange links between players, for instance, to hit 100 Team Chemistry, so adding in some green links means you could stick a goalkeeper up front and still hit the 100 mark with relative ease.
Looking for more on FIFA 18? We've gathered all our individual guides together in our main FIFA 18 tips and guide hub, and if you're playing the game's campaign-like story mode, we have a full Journey: Hunter Returns walkthrough. There are also lists of FIFA 18 wonderkids and the best young players, FIFA 18 player ratings, the best strikers, best wingers, best midfielders, best defenders and best goalkeepers. Elsewhere, we have details on five star skillers and skill moves listed, how to score free kicks, penalties and set pieces, and the FIFA 18 best players by position. Fan of Ultimate Team? we look at FIFA 18 Chemistry explained, the new January 2018 and original OTW Ones to Watch cards, along with best Chemistry Styles for each position, and finally how to earn FIFA Coins quickly and for free.
Likewise, you obviously can get away with several red links on your teamsheet, so long as you have enough greens and oranges present to make it up. Players in the community, in fact, have made their own challenge out of trying to attain NLW, or 'No Links Wasted' teams for instance, where each player has exactly 9 Player Chemistry - no more, no less - that's tipped over to 10 by adding a manager or loyalty bonus.
Finally, a word on substitutes in FIFA Ultimate Team. In their recent forum post, EA Sports has clarified that subs are, in fact, unaffected by the normal Individual Player Chemistry factors listed above. Instead, all substitutes enter the game with a flat Individual Chemistry rating of 5 out of 10, meaning that, when entered into the formula above, their hidden Overall Chemistry stat will sit at 62.5 out of 100.
Substitutes, then, can be subbed into any position - so your LW Ronaldo can be played as a ST - without any detriment to their Chemistry rating. Instead, their performance is only affected by Team Chemistry, which as we mentioned above is calculated before the match starts, and unaffected by substitutions, formations, or other team management changes mid-game.