FIFA Terminology Glossary
FIFA 18 is nearly here, and with it comes the promise of the biggest version of EA’s hugely popular football game. While that’s fantastic for long-term fans of the series, having so many game modes, options and things to learn can be daunting for new players. Nowhere is that truer than with the various terminology and acronyms. In this guide, we’ll aim to explain what each piece of FIFA speak, common or obscure, means to help you get up and running in no time.
We’ve ordered this guide as best we can by general terms, gameplay terms and terms and acronyms specific to game modes. However, if you’re struggling to find what you want, try using your browser’s search function (ctrl + F or CMD + F) to find the specific term you’re looking for.
You can navigate to specific sections with the following links:
- Coins – Coins are FIFA’s in-game currency that is earned automatically through play across game modes and as rewards for winning tournaments and competing challenges. Coins can be exchanged for in-game items, most notably Ultimate Team packs.
- FIFA Points – FIFA Points are another in-game currency, one that carries much more weight and can only be earned through in-game purchases. These points are worth more than the game’s coins; for example, in FIFA 17, a silver pack in Ultimate Team would cost 2,500 coins, but only 50 FIFA Points.
- Frostbite – Frostbite is the engine that powers the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of FIFA 18. It controls both the gameplay and certain game modes, such as the story mode The Journey.
- Icon edition – The Icon edition of FIFA 18 is the premium version of the game, and features Ronaldo Nazário on the box art. As well as being released three days earlier than the standard edition of the game, it comes with a 5 match Cristiano Ronaldo FUT loan, a 5 match Ronaldo Nazário loan, 40 jumbo premium gold packs, 20 team of the week loan player packs and 8 special edition FUT kits.
- Ronaldo edition – The Ronaldo edition of FIFA 18 is the middle-tier version of the game. It features Cristiano Ronaldo on a gold background, and comes with a 5 match Ronaldo FUT loan, 20 jumbo premium gold packs and 8 special edition FUT kits. It also grants the user three days early access.
- Standard edition – The standard edition of FIFA 18 features Cristiano Ronaldo on a blue background. It comes with a 5 match Ronaldo FUT loan, 5 jumbo premium gold packs and 8 special edition FUT kits.
- Career Mode – A long-running fixture of the FIFA series, career mode comes in two versions. The first, classic version, puts you in the shoes of a manager, tasked with conducting transfers, balancing budgets, setting formations and playing through league and cup seasons over the space of several years. The second version enables you to create a player who you can then guide through their career. This mode is somewhat similar to The Journey, but lacks the scripted cutscenes and off-pitch life aspect of The Journey, instead focusing just on playing.
- FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) – The most popular FIFA game mode, and with so many acronyms that it has its own entire section of this guide below. Ultimate Team (more commonly known as FUT) tasks players with building squads out of players they get in packs they purchase using in-game currency. Using these squads, the player can then earn more coins by completing specific objectives, playing with teams that meet a specific criteria and generally progressing up the league ladder via promotion. There is also an auction system that allows bidding on specific players.
- FUT Champions – See FUT Weekend League.
- FUT Objectives – Part of FUT, Daily and Weekly Objectives are dynamically created challenges that reward players with coins and packs. These objectives can center around squad adjustments and tasks, or gameplay related tasks. The weekly objectives are unlocked by completing a set number of daily tasks.
- FUT Weekend League – The Weekend League (also known as the FIFA Champions tournament) is a special tournament held each weekend throughout the year following each FIFA game’s release.
- The Journey – The Journey is FIFA’s ‘story’ mode. FIFA 18 is the second game in which it has featured, and picks up the story of protagonist Alex Hunter from where FIFA 17 left off. The Journey gives players several options about the direction in which to take Hunter’s career and which clubs to join as he aims to establish himself as one of the world’s biggest stars.
- Pro Clubs – FIFA Pro Clubs puts you in charge of a single player that you create. You then join up with 10 other players to form a team and face off against another Pro Clubs team. As you play and gain experience, you can improve your player’s attributes, RPG style.
- Finesse shot – A special type of shot designed to be guided into a corner beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.
- Lob pass – A pass lofted through the air rather than along the ground.
- Manual protect – Gives you the ability to shield the ball by positioning the player you’re controlling between the ball and the opponent.
- Momentum – Momentum is a much-debated aspect of the FIFA series. Some players, particularly those with an involvement in competitive playing, have suggested that the game intentionally gives teams a small advantage at certain times in order to help them mount dramatic comebacks or score late on.
- Park the Bus (PTB) – A highly defensive style of play where the player focuses on defending deep and little else. Given an acronym when discussed in the context of FUT.
- Scripting – Similar to momentum, scripting refers to the idea – theorised by some players – that FIFA games often give players an advantage in order to make games more dramatic. One example would be preventing a dominant player from converting their chances, before giving the weaker player an opportunity to score a dramatic late goal.
- Through ball – A pass played in front of its intended target for them to run on to, often through the defence.
- Player attributes – All players have the following attributes on their FUT cards, apart from goalkeepers:
- Defending (DEF) – A player’s all-round defensive abilities, including tackling, heading and positioning.
- Dribbling (DRI) – A player’s dribbling ability.
- Pace (PAC) – The speed of a player.
- Passing (PAS) – A player’s passing ability.
- Physical (PHY) – A player’s overall physical attributes, including their strength.
- Shooting (SHO)– The player’s shooting ability.
- Skill moves (SM) – All players are assigned a score out of five for their ability to pull off skill moves. Certain skill moves are only available to players of a specific level of ability.
- Weak foot (WF) – Often used as an acronym, WF refers to a player’s abilities with his weaker foot, an often-ignored but highly important attribute in a player’s all-round skill and value.
- Goalkeeper attributes – All goalkeepers are given the following attributes on their FUT cards:
- Diving (DIV) – A goalkeeper’s reach and ability to stop shots far from their body.
- Handling (HAN) – The likelihood of a goalkeeper holding on the ball after a shot or cross.
- Kicking (KIC) – The accuracy and power of a goalkeeper’s kicks.
- Positioning (POS) – A goalkeeper’s ability to adopt the most advantageous starting position for different defensive scenarios.
- Reflexes (REF) – A ‘keeper’s ability to make instinctive, split-second saves.
- Speed (SPD) – The speed with which a goalkeeper can race off his line.
- Player positions – Players are assigned one of the following positions:
- CAM – Central attacking midfielder
- CB – Centre back
- CDM – Central defensive midfielder
- CF – Center forward
- CM – Centre midfielder
- GK – Goalkeeper
- LB – Left back
- LM – Left midfielder
- LW – Left winger (typically more attack-minded than a left midfielder)
- RB – Right back
- RM – Right midfielder
- RW – Right winger (a more attacking option than a right midfielder)
- ST – Striker
FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) acronyms
- Chemistry (chem) – Chemistry refers to the suitability of a group of players to one another. Chemistry is calculated through a variety of factors, including a player’s prefered formation, his club, the league in which he plays and his nationality. Better chemistry within a FUT team is reflected by better on-pitch cohesion.
- CON – CON is an acronym meaning contracts, or how many games a player is available for before a consumable contract card must be applied to allow him to continue to play.
- FUTTIES players/cards – Specially selected by the FIFA community when each game is nearing the end of its lifespan, FUTTIES cards give players boosted stats and come with a distinctive pink background.
- Icons – Icons are special cards that depict historic players, rather than current, active players. Previously available only on Xbox One, in FIFA 18 Icons are available across platforms.
- In Form (IF) – Another way of denoting a player given a Team of the Week (TOTW) card.
- Loan players/cards – Unlike regular players, who are owned permanently and can be played in conjunction with contract cards, loan players are available to a FUT player for a fixed amount of time only. For example, all editions of the game come with a loan version of Cristiano Ronaldo. The amount of time these cards available can be tied to actual time or to a number of games, meaning they must be strategically deployed.
- Man of the Match (MOTM) players/cards – Issued to coincide with performances in special games, normally tournaments, these cards are denoted by their orange background, and are typically only available to find in packs for 24 hours after first being issued.
- Ones to Watch (OTW) players/cards – These players are specially selected as up and coming, and get a boosted card of their own, which can be earned through packs or the transfer market.
- Player of the Month (POTM) players/cards – Given to one player once a month, this card is exclusive to the Premier League and is voted for by Premier League club captains. It is denoted by a purple background.
- Team of the Group Stages (TOTGS) players/cards – Similarly to TOTW players, the Team of the Group Stages is a selection of players who have performed the best across the two major European club competitions, the Champions League and Europa League. These cards are denoted by a blue ball logo design behind the player’s image, and give each player boosted stats above their standard version.
- Team of the Season (TOTS) players/cards – These cards are selected by the FIFA community and EA staff as the best performers across a season, and are made available toward the end of the season as part of end of year tournaments. These cards are denoted by a blue background behind the player’s image and the card’s stats.
- Team of the Week (TOTW) players/cards – EA construct a team of the week every week which players can face off against as part of a challenge. It’s also possible to attain special TOTW versions of players via packs and auctions. These cards feature boosted version of the player in question, and are denoted by a black background behind the card’s stats. These cards are also referred to as IF (in form) cards.
- Team of the Year (TOTY) players/cards – These players are those selected by FIFA for their team of the year towards the end of the calendar year. These cards are identified by the predominantly blue background behind the player’s image and the black background behind the stats.
- Pack – Cards are obtained via digital ‘packs’. Packs come in different pricing tiers that determine what quality of cards will be included within.
- SBC – SBC is one of FUT’s most commonly used acronyms, and stands for squad building challenge. These tasks begin with showing you how to make basic transfers and alterations to your team, before asking you to perform trickier tasks, such as creating teams made up exclusively players from certain leagues. SBC’s reward players with various prizes, including coins, rare packs and specific player cards.
- Consumables – Consumables are FUT cards that can be applied to a player card on a one-use-per-card basis. Most come in bronze, silver and gold versions, with gold cards offering the biggest benefit. The following are types of consumable cards:
- Contracts – Player cards require to be ‘under contract’ in order to play. Contract cards add to the number of matches a player is under contract for.
- Fitness – A player’s fitness will slowly drop the more games he plays without rest. A fitness card will boost his fitness levels back up.
- Goalkeeper training – The goalkeeper training card works the same as the player training card, but for goalkeeper-specific attributes.
- Healing – A healing card rids a player of an injury he has sustained in a previous match.
- Player training – A training card ups certain stats for one player for the next match.
- Position modifier – This card enables a player’s ideal position to be altered, helping them to better fit into a specific formation and earn a better team chemistry score.