12 essential tips for getting started in FIFA 16

Can you kick it?

It doesnt matter if youre a beginner or veteran - everyone can get better at anything* If you want to shoot screamers past FIFA 16s flapping keepers, catch defenders napping with cheeky passes, perfect the new no-touch dribbling, and outsmart opponents with sheer strategic clevercloggery, these tailor-made tips will raise your game both on the pitch and off it.

*Everyone can get worse at anything too. If this happens to you after reading this, its not my fault.

Try the FIFA Trainer

The new FIFA Trainer has something to teach everyone. This on-the-fly tutorial, which offers pointers during matches in the form of floating contextual commands above players' heads, has several difficulty tiers. Use the D-pad to cycle through them mid-match, and click the right thumbstick while playing to turn it off and on.

Seriously, try the FIFA Trainer

I've put about 100 hours in each FIFA game since '09, and the FIFA Trainer still produces plenty of I-did-not-know-thats. For instance, it taught me that pressing Y on Xbox One during a throw-in launches the ball into open space (useful when opponents are marking receivers), and holding RB and pressing lob fires a fast, bobbling pass over outstretched legs.

How to use the new defensive moves

Those moves above aren't new, of course, but what about those that are? Well, if you're controlling a world class defender such as Sergio Ramos or Vincent Kompany, pressing the slide tackle button immediately after performing one lets them gain their feet and preserve momentum. You can also bait dribblers during one-on-ones by fake tackling with Y.

How to use new attacking moves

No-touch dribbling is another new feature, one that lets you shimmy your body without contacting the ball in order to wrong-foot opponents. Just hold LB and move the left stick to do it. You can also combine the motion with sprint (RT) for a faster, deadlier version that EA Sports calls 'big feints'. A single shoulder dip has the potential to twist a defender's blood.

Pass with the power of a dozen hamstrings

For EA it's called 'pass with purpose', but I like the name POWER THWACKS more. Hold RB and press A to launch a ball to your teammate's feet at an increased velocity. While this will often bypass defenders' attempts at interception, the ball is harder to control and the receiver might have to take an extra touch. Unless hes Messi.

Improve players' ratings and value through training

You probably know you can train players in career mode, but do you know why? Here are three suggestions. If you lack funds to buy players, try developing youth talent and threading them into the team. Or you could grow players and increase their market value to sell instead. Finally, you could further train established stars to create the strongest starting 11 possible. Focus on improving their lower-rated skills, though - it's not as if Ronaldo is going to get much faster.

Start your season with lots of money

Fancy a cash injection of up to ten million cashes before the season even starts? In career mode, enter a pre-season tournament and win to get the kind of funds that these days will buy you a mid-tier League One fullback. With their unlimited substitutions rule, these tournaments are also useful for rotating squads and testing formations.

Tinker with fresh tactics

Tactics this year are not only deeper but easier to understand. Navigate to the 'tactics' tab of the team management menu to select from five strategies: counter-attack, high pressure, possession, long ball, and default. The sixth option is 'custom tactic', and this lets you incrementally increase or decrease the value of over a dozen different parameters, including team width, aggression, and the speed of build-up play.

Give individual players instructions

Flick to the 'instructions' tab of the team management menu and you can highlight any player to furiously bark up to six instructions at them. Each of the six contains three modifiers. For example, you can tell your winger to stay on the edge of the box during crosses, get in the box, or stick to his normal crossing routine. You can also advise on support runs, chance creation, positioning, interceptions, and defensive support.

Delve into Draft

FIFA Ultimate Team Draft is the biggest addition to FUT since the mode's inception. Here you're given five highly rated players to pick from in each position before competing in four matches against either AI or human opponents to win rare signings and coins. The higher the difficulty, and the more matches you win, the better the pack at the end. As an example, I won one match on semi-pro and got a gold pack and two silvers.

How Draft's pricing works

Since packs cost money, and since you win packs in FUT Draft, FUT Draft's costs money - approximately $3/3 per go. You can pay with 300 FIFA Points, 15,000 coins, or one Draft Token. It sounds expensive, but even if you lose, you'll receive a reward that matches the entry fee's value. And as an added bonus for Xbox One Players, theres a high chance of receiving Legends in both your draft and your prize pack. Theres George Best, Bobby Moore, and everyones favourite cricketer, Brian Laudrup.