Football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross looks at FIFA 14’s Chemistry Styles, how they work and some of the different ways you can use them…
Diego Milito really got me thinking about Chemistry Styles.
Not him personally, but his FUT 14 version – in-form – which I’d just bought for my Serie A team. I often like to set my strikeforce up with one fast striker next to more of a target man, in this case Milito, so I’d got the Inter Milan forward playing with the much quicker Luis Muriel. I put a Finisher Chemistry Style on Milito to improve his Shooting and Heading, which were the two most important attributes for the role I wanted him to play, but he just didn’t feel quite as good as I was hoping. Although his finishing was great and he scored a few headers, he really struggled to keep the ball for as long as I would have liked because he lacked the pace to get away from defenders. Time and again he would make great runs only to be caught by his marker.
So I changed my approach and decided to combat one of his weaknesses while still boosting one of his strengths by applying a Hunter Chemistry Style, improving his Pace and his Shooting.
The effect was incredible – my in-form Milito suddenly gained an extra few yards of speed, enough to make a crucial difference, and I began playing much better with him, scoring more goals.
That’s when I decided to really look at Chemistry Styles and try different combinations to see if I could improve all of my players as dramatically as Milito. It’s something I’m still working on as there are so many possibilities, but I’ve really enjoyed experimenting and my team definitely feels much better to use now as a result, so in this week’s Backpage I thought we’d take a closer look at the numerous ways you can use Chemistry Styles too.
First though, in case you’re not familiar with them yet at all, here’s a brief-ish look at what they’re all about…
How They Work
There are 24 Chemistry Styles and they all have a maximum of six green arrows they can allocate to different attributes. The Basic Chemistry Style for outfield players and the Basic for keepers can both boost all six attributes by one green arrow. For the Chemistry Styles that affect three attributes – like Anchor – the maximum boost to each is two green arrows, while the styles that boost only two – like Hunter – do so by a maximum of three green arrows per attribute.
So what do the green arrows do? A single green arrow gives a small boost to the associated attribute, two green arrows give a medium boost and three give the maximum boost possible. Whether you get one, two or three green arrows depends on the Chemistry of the player. For example, Milito had a Chemistry rating of 10 in my full chem team when I applied the Hunter Chemistry Style, so he received three green arrows for both Pace and Shooting, getting the maximum boost possible in those two areas.
Basically, the more green arrows you have, the bigger the boost. A white arrow indicates a possible boost that isn’t being received, which will mean your player doesn’t currently have high enough Chemistry to get the maximum benefit.
It’s all a lot less complicated than it sounds once you start looking at the different styles in game and seeing how each one will affect the attributes of your players.
You Choose The Boost
The great thing about Chemistry Styles is that, instead of getting a general boost from Chemistry like you would have in FIFA 13, you now choose a style that improves the attributes you want to enhance. And you’re not restricted to only applying attacking boosts to forwards or defensive boosts to defenders either, it’s up to you. When you go to choose a Chemistry Style for an outfield player from your squad screen they’re organised by Attacking, Midfield, Defending, Special and Basic, but there’s nothing to stop you applying an attacking Chemistry Style – like Finisher – to a defender to make him a threat when he goes forward. You can’t put keeper styles on outfield players and vice versa, but other than that you are not limited.
This opens up a whole bunch of different possibilities for the personalisation of your team, which we’ll look at in more detail now.
Formation, Position and Style of Play
One way to use Chemistry Styles is to apply the ones that compliment each position in the formation you’re using and the way you like to play. For example if you use 3-5-2 and feel the most important attributes for all of your centre-backs are Pace, Defending and Heading, they could all get the Anchor Chemistry Style.
Or maybe you like to dribble and cross with your RM but play more direct with your LM, in which case you could use the Artist and Sniper styles.
Using styles like this can also be useful if you’re saving up for new players and having to use some that aren’t quite the right fit in the meantime. Let’s say that you have a slow CB with poor defending ability who will be out of your team as soon as you can afford to replace him. Applying the Anchor or Shadow Chemistry Style is at least going to make him a little more effective while you’re saving up coins, because he’ll be quicker and better at defending.
Chemistry Styles also allow you to change the way you play without having to swap your formation or drop any players. In one game you could put an Engine style on your CAM and try dribbling with the ball, then in the next you could use Deadeye and go for through balls and long shots. It’s all up to you.
Strengths, Weaknesses or Both
You could also use Chemistry Styles without really thinking about position or formation, and instead concentrate on boosting the two or three already outstanding attributes of your players, making them even more effective at what they do best. Muriel, who I mentioned earlier, is very fast and a great dribbler, so an Engine style would improve those even further. I think of this almost as an attacking or positive tactic, because it’s really looking to make the most of your players’ abilities and – especially with attackers – take the game to the opponent. It’s an enjoyable way to use the styles and can make for even more exciting games.
Sticking with Muriel you could take the approach that his Pace and Dribbling are already excellent, so why not boost his other key attributes that aren’t as high? He has 78 Shooting and 63 Heading, so a Finisher style would give a triple green arrow boost to each of those if he had max Chemistry.
Milito’s Hunter style is a good example of one that addresses both a strength and a weakness, as I mentioned earlier. His in-form version has 78 Pace and 84 Shooting, so Hunter gives him more speed while hopefully improving his already-great goalscoring ability.
If you think this sounds like an interesting way to use Chemistry Styles, rather than worrying about formations or positions, then it’s worth having a look at each of your players and trying different approaches to see what feels best.
If you’re anything like me then you may find yourself using a mix of all of the above. I began applying Chemistry Styles by formation, position and style of play, then fine-tuned each player by trying different styles and seeing if I liked them before eventually settling on what I feel gives me the best possible version of the players I’m using for the way I want to play.
By controlling where the Chemistry goes in this way you will hopefully end up with a team that feels just right for you, and it’ll probably be unique to you. You could face exactly the same eleven players in an online game of FUT who could seem very different due to the way your opponent has used their Chemistry Styles.
I think it’s a really interesting addition to FUT and it’s definitely something we’ll look at again in the future here on the Backpage. For now I hope this has given you something to think about if you haven’t already tried experimenting with Chemistry Styles.
For those of you reading that have tried different styles or found great combinations with certain players, please let more players know by commenting below or tweeting me @darren_cross
As always, thanks very much for reading and I’ll hopefully see you back here next week when we’ll be taking a look at Seasons and the team I can’t stop playing as.