You’re probably familiar with the developer NetEase, which has previously given us games such as the zombie survival title LifeAfter. But since this is a company whose titles run the gamut across various genres, we are once again featuring their latest soccer game for mobile devices, Champion of the Fields, which is now available for iOS and Android users alike. This game comes with thousands of real-life players with accurate player ratings and a variety of game modes, but as we said multiple times in our first guide, and as we’ll say a couple more times as we read on, NetEase is selling this game — an eSports title, as they call it — as one where your timing and precision on the pitch (as opposed to your players’) will matter more than anything else.
In our Champion of the Fields beginner’s guide, we mainly tackled the basics of the game and shared with you a few tips and tricks to survive the first few days of gameplay. But now that you’ve probably gotten more than just a couple of days worth of play and tried out a variety of game modes, our next Champion of the Fields strategy guide will cover these other game modes, as well as some of the other features and modes you should definitely check out — not only to improve your players, but more importantly, to improve your command of the game in general.
1. How Does The Evergreen League Work?
We didn’t quite cover the Evergreen League in our beginner’s guide to Champion of the Fields, so if you’ve been wondering what this feature is and how it works, well, today’s your lucky day.
For Evergreen League matches, the first thing you’ll need to do is to choose the league you wish to play in — based on what we’ve observed, it makes little to no difference whether you choose France, Italy, England, or Spain. Regardless of which league you choose, you will start out at level 1, meaning, you should have little trouble scoring goals against the weak AI opposition at the bottom-most division. In one match, we even had our club’s goalkeeper run to the opposing side of the field and score a goal! (We tried it out just for fun — this isn’t something we would recommend doing on your end!) You get the point, though — everything starts out easy and things get progressively more difficult as you win more matches and move from one division to the next.
In order to reach the next division, you’ll need to reach certain point thresholds — 9 points from the first to the second, 12 from the second to the third, and so on. Getting promoted will earn you certain in-game rewards, including, but not necessarily limited to EXP cards, coins, and diamonds. Make sure you get your team ready in between promotions — level up your players with your EXP cards, train your players if you have the necessary resources, and focus mainly on your top players instead of wasting your resources on the scrubs that make up your first few teams!
2. Be Careful Of Offside Violations
To go into technical details, soccer referees call a player offside if he is positioned closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-the-last rival player. But in layman’s terms, we can put it like this — a player can be called offside if the scoring opportunity/chance to get open is too good to be true, with the player having an excellent chance of breaking away unopposed. While it’s important to make sure your passes are as crisp and flawless as possible, and that to this end, you don’t hit the Pass button willy-nilly, you should also avoid passing to a player who isn’t clearly marked/doesn’t have anyone directly in front of him. Soccer rules prevent the equivalent of scoring on an undefended fast break in basketball, and that’s where the offside rule comes into play.
3. Change Your Club Kit When Applicable
With the exception of Path to Victory, the other game modes in Champion of the Fields allow you to choose your club’s kit — your uniform colors, in other words — before the match. That’s because Path of Victory presents several scenarios where you have to either preserve your current lead/gain the lead as you enter in the middle of the match, or win the match after starting from the first minute — these scenarios leave you with little else to control, and that means having to discern which players are on your side if you’re wearing uniforms of the same or similar color/color scheme!
Meanwhile, you’re free to choose your desired uniform colors in any of the other game modes — Evergreen League in Vs. AI, Kick Off, Challenge, and Invitational in Vs. Player. It’s important that you choose a color that, in as much as possible, contrasts against your opponent’s chosen kit. Especially if you’re fairly new to the game, it could be hard to determine who your teammates are if your color schemes are a match or near-match, and this could result in bad passes and disrupt your offensive flow, or even make it hard for you to make the switch on defense. At the end of the day, your choice of club kit won’t have any bearing on your players’ stats or your team’s overall performance — because why should it — but since this is a game that rewards human player skill above everything else, you’ll want to avoid careless mistakes by choosing a contrasting club kit whenever you can.
4. The Art Of Shooting Penalties
Even as you master proper goalscoring techniques in Champion of the Fields, it may be a bit tricky when it comes to shooting penalties. You may not expect it at first, but the game’s AI officiating appears to be quite sensitive when calling fouls in the box, which means you may get more chances to shoot penalties than you would in most other soccer games. However, you may also end up like we did, missing a number of penalties, which, as any fan of the sport knows, are soccer/association football’s equivalent of a point after touchdown in that “other” football, or free throws in basketball — in other words, you’re not supposed to miss a lot of these.
When attempting a penalty, you’ll see an arrow in front of your penalty taker, indicating the direction in which you wish to kick the ball. The game won’t show this to you explicitly — you won’t be given a quick tutorial before your first penalty attempt — so you may try swiping left or right on the screen in an attempt to change the arrow’s direction. In actuality, you’ll need to use the bottom-left joystick to change the shot’s trajectory, but make sure to do so as quickly as possible! We’ve noticed that the game automatically takes penalty shots — regardless of where the arrow is pointing — if you take too long to decide on the shot’s trajectory.
The latter could be dangerous, because when that happens, the game will, by default, take the penalty at full power! Fortunately, you also have control over this in normal situations, as a quick tap will allow you to take a rather weak shot, while a longer one will allow you to kick the ball at full power, which, in most situations, will result in the ball going well over the bar for a very bad miss. The best thing to do here is to attempt penalties with the bar filled up midway, but nothing stronger than that; attempting a penalty with the bar filled up at 40 percent or less will result in an easy save for the opposing keeper!
Fortunately, there’s a way for you to properly optimize your penalty taking approach, and that’s by going to Training Mode (under Vs. AI), choosing the Practice option, then choosing Penalty/Set Pieces on the left half of your screen. And speaking of Training Mode…
5. Play Practice Matches In Training Mode To Get Yourself Ready
We all know how it’s common to get a case of the nerves when playing a high-stakes PvP match against a human opponent, with in-game rewards and/or league rankings on the line. Mistakes can, and will be made if you are unable to perform in crunch time, and the sad reality is that these situations are often unavoidable — even the best of us mess up from time to time due to pressure, much as this is only a game.
However, there’s a way in which you could prime yourself for these big moments, and that’s by playing practice matches in Champion of the Fields. This is just one of the many useful features of Training Mode, and can be accessed by going to Vs. AI, then Training Mode, then Practice, then tapping on the Practice tab on the upper left of that screen’s menu. This will allow you to play against a comparatively weak and predictable AI opponent, but the good thing here is that nothing is on the line. You can use this as an opportunity to experiment in terms of playing style, apply what you’ve learned in training, and make all the mistakes you may inevitably make while going through the trial-and-error process of it all. With no stakes involved, you’re free to refine your technique without any consequences, so make sure to play a practice match every now and then!
6. Go Through The Advanced Training
The tutorial stage will walk you through the basics of Champion of the Fields — the fundamental techniques you need to master in order to know how to play. However, knowing how to play does not equate to winning more matches — you may need to master a few special tricks in order to get that extra edge over a similarly-rated or better opponent, may it be AI or human. We cannot underemphasize it — player and team ratings matter, but not as much as they do in most other non-casual soccer games for mobile devices!
In the main Training Mode menu, you’ll see an Advanced Training option right below Fundamental Training, and this contains eight progressively more difficult drills — Ball in Air, Cross, Low Shot, Tackle, Lobbed, Chip, Co-Defence, and Comprehensive Defence training. These are all skills you may have seen players from opposing teams show off from time to time, and learning them will get you started on displaying them in actual match scenarios as well. Best of all, arguably, completing these drills will earn you some rewards! These start out with coins and diamonds, but may also include EXP cards, Breakout cards, and Champion of the Fields tokens. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time around — the game won’t penalize you for failing to complete the Advanced Training drills.
7. Use Diamonds To Scout New Players
The Scout feature, which can be accessed through the options on the left side of the screen on the main menu, offers you probably the best chance to dramatically improve your lineup in your first few days of playing Champion of the Fields. But since it could be hard to earn those Scouting Cards, which allow you to scout — and add — new players to your club for free, we recommend taking a look at your available Diamonds and using them for scouting, with the price at 100 diamonds per player. You can then swipe left or right to navigate through the different positions — at the moment, we’re not clear which player pose designates which position, but the game doesn’t specify this. In this case, we recommend taking note of the pose the player icon is in and the position of the players you draw, in order to avoid adding players that play a position that’s already well covered on your lineup.
Of course, it’s best to use Scouting Cards for adding new players, but if you don’t have any, and if you’ve got a healthy supply of diamonds (say, at least 500 to 1,000 at the point you’re using them), go put your premium currency to good use. Also, as a bonus tip we should also remind you that your Luck will increase for each time you use the Scout feature to add new players to your club. As your Luck goes up, your chances of drawing a Superstar player will increase, until it reaches 100, upon which you will be absolutely guaranteed to get a Superstar!
Alternately, you can use COF Tokens to scout players, though these are much harder to obtain than diamonds.
8. Train Your Better Players
It’s one thing to level up your players, but how about increasing their star rarity? You can do this through the Train option, which can be found after you tap on the photo of any of your team’s players, right between Level Up and Special Skill. However, you’ll also need to have enough materials in order to train your players — for Bronze players, any other Bronze player will do, but if you’re trying to train Silver (Star) or Gold (All-Star) players (which you should), you’ll need to have Silver or Gold Training Tickets, which you can earn by winning certain matches in the various modes. So what does Training do, as opposed to Level Up, given that these are both similar ways of improving your players?
As we see it, Level Up is an ordinary form of improving your player, as it does not make any guarantees apart from increasing some stats. Training, on the other hand, costs coins on top of the aforementioned materials, and results in a higher star rating (by one-half star), as well as stat increases. Depending on the materials you use, you may have some sort of a chance of unlocking a Special Skill, which could really come in handy once you’re up against more formidable competition in the game. Again, this is best saved for your better players, so don’t waste too many resources on training Bronze players — unless, of course, they somehow have a decent enough rating in the 60s.
9. The ‘Excessive Celebration’ Bug
Speaking of Challenge mode and getting kicked out, we did notice one bug that seems to pop up after our opponent forfeits the match — we call it the “excessive celebration” bug. We refer to it as such because even after the game informs you that your opponent forfeited and you automatically win the match by a score of 3-0, the match will keep on going, ostensibly to allow you to score more goals for your goal bonus. Once you score, the game will then cue to the usual goal celebration cutscene, but with one peculiar twist — you cannot exit out of it. The celebrations will keep going on and on, featuring different players, and the crowd will keep cheering in the background — not even choosing to forfeit on your end seems to help. In the end, we were forced to manually quit the app in order to exit out of the game. Fortunately, we were still credited with the victory, probably because it was the opposing team that forfeited first.
As Champion of the Fields is a relatively new title, bugs are to be expected from time to time, and this is certainly something we hope NetEase will sort out sooner than later. It may not currently result in any loss of rewards or reversals of victories that were otherwise in the bag, but it is a minor inconvenience and something that might throw you off if you encounter it for the first time. Once again, don’t worry — your win will still count!
This wraps up our advanced guide for Champion of the Fields. If you happen to know more tips or tricks or just want to share your thoughts about the game, please drop us a line in the comment area!