Want a football management game that’s in-depth, yet more fun (at least for certain gamers) than crunching numbers and sifting through tons of real-life team lineups and players on the transfer market? Want to play against “real” opponents, meaning other human players, but not necessarily Arsenal, Manchester United, or Barcelona? If this sounds like you, then you might want to try Underworld Football Manager 2016 from Stanga Games. This is an Android and iOS game where your job is to build your football empire by taking over a run-down city and reaching the top “at all costs.” You’ll need to pull off a lot of shenanigans behind the scenes to get there, though you will also have to build up your city, train your players and sign new ones, and do the things your average association football executive does. And Stanga does make it clear to one and all that the social element is very important in this game, though it repeatedly makes use of the terms “real” and “real-life” opponents, which may throw off those who are looking for actual teams and players.
Arguable bait-and-switch marketing aside, this is quite a unique and entertaining football management game for mobile, and since it also incorporates a lot of city-building and social gaming elements, you won’t be playing this game like you would Football Manager or Champ Man. That said, we’ve got the first part of our complete Underworld Football Manager 2016 strategy guide, which deals with anything and everything related to your players and your club’s matches.
1. Start Out By Customizing Your Club
The very first thing you should do in this game is to personalize, or customize your club; you want to give your team a unique identity that helps it stand out from the others, but more importantly, you want to do this before you have to pay premium currency to do so. At first, choosing a team name and creating your club’s emblem is free, and you should do this at the start of the game; otherwise, you pay gold. But if you change your mind sometime down the line and want to make a change, you can go to the Villa, which becomes available around level 5, once you’ve completed a few quests to unlock it.
2. Improve Your Players
After choosing your team details, you will be taken to your club’s roster, and as is the case in most management games with fictional players and teams, you’ll get a lineup of scrubs, with almost everyone at level 1. Indeed, your lineup will be quite incompetent when you’re just starting out, but that’s why you’re encouraged to level up your players. You can do this at first by playing exhibition games, which adds to their XP total. You will also unlock the Sport Laboratory soon thereafter, and this will serve as another way to level up your roster, while improving their skills.
3. Scout New Players Through The Community Pitch
While you can upgrade your current players, you can also get new players and scout them by going to the Community Pitch. That’s where you can easily find more talented, higher-level players for your team, but since this could be a bit costly, it’s a good idea to combine this strategy with the aforementioned process of improving the players you currently have on your lineup.
4. About Your Players’ Attributes
Underworld Football Manager keeps it a bit simpler, though it’s not as simple as one offensive and one defensive attribute, and that’s it. All of your players have six physical and six mental attributes each, and there are ways for you to improve those attributes. For example, you can go to the Pawn Shop to buy them boots and make them faster on the pitch. You can even buy them new underwear, which is just one of the many quirky features of this game. But since you’re buying those items at a pawnshop, you cannot return them, even for a small amount of money in return. Once you no longer need them, perhaps because you’ve found items that could make your players’ attributes even better, you will have to discard them.
5. Higher Talent Means Faster Progression
You can improve almost every physical or mental attribute your players have, but one thing you cannot improve through training is Talent, which is one of the six mental attributes. It’s a fixed number that determines how quickly your players level up, so if you’re scouting for new players, you should look for those who have high Talent ratings. Likewise, when choosing players to cut, you’ll want to get rid of those with poor to mediocre Talent ratings, as they simply don’t have enough upside to be worth upgrading.
6. Play Your Players At Their Preferred Positions
This is a standby tip for just about any sports management game out there – you want your players playing at their preferred positions. A left forward wouldn’t do well if he’s playing right forward, and you certainly wouldn’t want a defender playing up front as one of your strikers. You get the idea – unless there really is no choice, you should line players up at their main position and preferred side of the field. But there are some exceptions to this rule, such as if a player is at such a high level that he can play well enough at a position that isn’t his favorite. This could come in handy if you’re dealing with injury problems on your team.
7. Other Lineup Considerations
In addition to all the player-related tips we told you about earlier, there are some other things you should consider when managing your lineup. When it comes to your players’ age, they start deteriorating skills-wise when they hit the age of 30. Take note as well that players age one year per one week in the real world, so if your player is 29 as of the time you’re reading this, he’ll be 30 exactly seven days from that time.
When you’re playing a game, you can check the attribute figures of your players on the left side of the screen, and make the necessary changes on the fly. Keep an eye out as well for the overall gains and losses; gains appear in green, while losses appear in red when you’re subbing players in and out.
If you’re playing against a team with poorer attributes than yours, you can usually expect to win the game. But if your opponent’s team has higher mental attributes but lower overall attributes, they may have a bigger chance of pulling off an upset, just like they would in a real-world situation.
8. Match Basics
In Underworld Football Manager, there are three different types of matches. We already mentioned exhibition matches in brief, and there are also Tournament matches and League matches for you to take part in. Completing each match will earn you money (the common currency) and experience points, which will go toward your manager level. Doing well in Tournaments will reward you with more money and a higher team budget. Lastly, finishing first or second-place in Leagues will get you promoted to a higher-level league, much like it would in the real world.
At first, though, you won’t have any choice but to play exhibition matches. This will be the case until you reach level 5, so we suggest playing as many of these matches as possible by heading to the Exhibition Ground. The game’s matchmaking system will then randomly select some potential opponents for you, and while you can choose to play against complete strangers from all over the world, you also have the option to play against your friends’ teams, without having to make uses of the matchmaking system.
9. How Do Tournaments Work?
At some point in the game, you’ll gain access to the Tournament Arena, which allows you to join tournaments, with the number of available tournaments depending on how well you’ve upgraded your Arena. Regardless of how many tourneys are available, you can only play one of them at a time, but the good thing here is that they won’t take much of your time; most players will be able to compete in one tournament a day, and win some nice rewards if they do well in the competition.
10. More Details On How League Play Works
Tournaments may go by fast and furious, but Leagues last longer, as you’ll have more matches to play, and a good eight hours in between matches. Taking into account what we told you about Tournaments and exhibition games, you can play the former almost at the same time as your league games, while playing exhibition matches as you wait for the “cool-down time” between one Tournament/League game to expire.
11. How To Deal With Injuries
Like in real life, players can get injured, and it won’t matter if it’s in a meaningless exhibition game or a high-stakes League or Tournament game. Anyone can get hurt at any time, but in this game, you can expedite the recovery process by spending some gold. If one of your best players gets injured, you may consider spending gold every now and then, but don’t bother at all if the injured player is one of the less important/talented on your lineup. It may be a better idea to play exhibition matches while your player is injured, and only returning to the higher-stakes games once your player has healed up.
As a bonus pro-tip, you’ll know if a player is injury-prone if he has a low Fitness level.