Predatory Loot Boxes be damned, Ultimate Team is awesome. It is. Combining collectible card games like Magic The Gathering with game-based competitions in Madden, FIFA, NHL, NBA Live, and now UFC, there’s nothing else quite like the thrill of asserting your digital dominance through a frankenstein of a team or fighter you created and personalized.
That said, of all the Ultimate Team modes, UFC 3’s is the most…weird. You have a ‘team’ sure, but you actually have individually customized fighters using items and perks and moves, instead of a single team filled with players you purchased from packs or won in solo challenges. As a result, winning at Ultimate Team in UFC 3 is a strange beast, as while the rules remain the same, the strategy you take to winning, changes greatly. You are not going to be angling for flash knock-outs. You will be watching your opponent carefully.
Thus, submitted for your approval are 7 UFC 3 Ultimate Team Tips that will greatly improve your game, help you ascend the later, and avoid some seriously embarrassing losses.
1. Let Them Punch Out!
Most opponents you’ll come across in EA Sports UFC 3 Ultimate Team (that’s a mouthful!) are eager beavers. They’ll start throwing punches, kicks, and especially those massive overhand punches with ferocity. This is can be very intimidating until you realize it’s nearly impossible for your opponent to keep up the barrage. If you can avoid and block (and even counter) these shots, over time, your opponent is going to run out of stamina.
That’s when you attack. It seems the way matches are scored is based on quality of contact, take downs, and significant strikes; meaning it’s quality over quantity. If your opponent batters you with 100 ‘meh’ hits, and you score 60-70 quality jabs, hooks, kicks, and a few take downs, you’re going to win.
Thus, let your opponent dig their own grave regarding their stamina. Let them swing wildly. Block everything. Dodge. Once they’re weak, attack. Take them down when they’re low, and you’ll be able to land a few solid shots before getting up – or if you’re a crazy person, go for the submission.
Keeping this tip in mind is how you win. Stamina is your most precious resource in UFC 3, and far too often, opponents don’t respect it, and find themselves completely out of punching power by the third round; which is when you can dominate.
2. Don’t Sell Anything – Yet!
Folks like Jim Sterling, or anyone trying to make money off various Loot Box controversies, will say UFC 3’s Ultimate Team is a sort of predatory torture chamber of loot boxes and micro transactions, but that’s not really the case. In fact, there’s very, very, little to buy at the moment, namely premium packs, basic packs, and some fighters – all requiring coins, which you can only obtain in-game, versus UFC points which you can buy (but can’t buy much with).
This will likely change as more things to buy become available, promotions arise, and new ideas come to fruition. Until those become available, don’t sell, trade-in, or transmute any of your items. Their quick-sell value will likely be minimal, and you bet when the next UFC PPV event rolls around, there’d going to be a tie-in absolutely worth your coins.
3. Avoid The Ground Game At All Costs
If I had to describe UFC 3’s submission system in one sound, it’d be “ugh!”. It’s confusing, messy, and rarely do you feel in control of how to effectively slap on (and escape) a submission move. It feels like RNG, move the right stick to an area your opponent isn’t, and hope for the best. This is not particularly fun – in fact it almost ruins the whole game, and EA would be smart to flip this to the button mashing-heavy ‘simple submission’ option.
The current system involves moving the right (or left) stick to one of four quadrants, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best. Sounds fun, right? Yeah, no.
Thus, unless you’re absolutely certain you have your opponent dominated in the grappling category, avoid this element of the game at all costs. Even if you do think you got them beat, I’d advise doing a take down for the points, then immediately standing back up again as quickly as possible. Between the wonky blocking and awkward maneuvering, it’s best to get in and out of ground-based situations as quickly as possible.
4. An Ultimate Team Of…One
When you’re just getting started in Ultimate Team it’s likely you’ll have fighters who are better than others. For example my gold Ben Nyugen is far better than my fan favorite create-a-fighter: a bronze-level Paul Means. So when I need to fight and win, I’ll simply deselect the Paul Means when I want to get in and fight and have a good chance at winning.
Being able to select which fighters you want to use while match-making provides some benefits; it allows you to target daily goals, increases the pool of potential opponents (if all your fighters are ‘active’), and can insure you put your best fighter forward.
Knowing what you’re getting into, and with *who* is a key to success if there ever was one.
5. Leg It
The best way to figure out if your opponent knows what they’re doing is to kick their legs early and often. If they’re checking kicks with ferocity, you might have a fight on your hands. If they aren’t swing for the fences…or femurs, pal. Why? Because in UFC 3 a stoppage based on leg-damage is often easier to score than a knock out. But that goes both ways. Recklessly kicking low and getting blocked will result in you, literally, being a one-legged man (or woman) in an ass kicking contest.
Long story short? Protect your legs as much as your head, and go for the legs as much as you do the head (and body). Lots of online players will shamelessly low kick you, failing to realize you’re automatically blocking them. The way to tell? Look at your opponents hands. If they’re covering the tummy, they’re blocking low – do not kick.
Currently, many opponents don’t notice that tell, so feel free to cover up low when the distance is appropriate.
Beyond that, stay on your toes, and protect your legs!
6. Going For Knock Outs Will Get You Tuckered Out.
Remember that thing I said about letting your opponent punch themselves out? That goes for you, too, Bucko. If you see an opening and start swinging wildly, you’re going to do some major damage…to your Stamina bar. The key to UFC 3 is making sure you have the power to deliver strong combos in any situation. If your stamina is gone, it’ll be impossible to keep pace in late rounds, to escape submissions, and to perform good take downs.
Thus – when you have an opening, absolutely take your shots, but don’t ‘go for the knockout’ at the expense of your stamina. If your entire bar is gone, your opponent is wobbly, and those overhand punches aren’t going to do much damage if you you don’t have the energy to put some oomph into them.
7. A Decision is Just as Gratifying as a Knock Out.
Yes really. The number one mistake I’ve seen from opponents in Ultimate Team is their desperation to knock you out. At the expense of their defense, at the expense of their actual stats, and most importantly, at the expense of their stamina. They’ll launch a furious 5 punch combo that’s entirely blocked, to get off one big shot, which hurts, sure, but costs them more in the long run.
As a result, for success, you really want to play the long game when it comes to a given match. String together good combos, takedowns, and leg checks. Don’t go for the kill shot when you’re low on stamina, and never, ever, put yourself on the ground if you’re not absolutely certain you can get up.
What you’ll find is if you’re playing for points versus for the knock out, you’ll win more matches – plain and simple. Your opponent may land far bigger one-off hits, but through blocking and strategy, you’ll land far more quality shots, drain their stamina, and win nearly every time.