A fascinating study into the effects of the ‘Chemistry’ mechanic in FIFA 16’s Ultimate Team (FUT) mode suggests that the system is not working as intended. If accurate (and the presented evidence is pretty compelling), this Chemistry glitch would undermine the fundamental principles of the entire mode.

YouTube user RighteousOnix has put together a pair of videos (linked below) demonstrating his investigations into Chemistry, and its effects on both Day One cards (ie; those in FIFA 16 on release day) and player cards added later (often “in form” versions of players, or ones reflecting changes of position, new teams, inclusion in EA’s ‘Team of the Season’ and so on).

His testing mechanic is a no-touch dribble step-over move that can only be performed by players with a stat of 86 (or above) in Dribbling. Chemistry boosts stats such as Dribbling, so, it follows, that players who have a Dribbling stat of 85 but are also boosted by Chemistry should be able to perform the step-over.

In fact, as RighteousOnix’s videos show, this is not always the case. It appears that new player cards (Team of the Season version etc) are locked to a base Chemistry of 4 or 6 (meaning their stats are fixed) no matter what other Chemistry boosts are in place. This is not the case with Day One cards, who receive the expected stat boost.

This has two major implications for FUT in FIFA 16 (or however long this has been going on for). One, it means the more expensive “in form” and TOTS cards can sometimes actually be worse than their Chemistry-boosted Day One versions. Considering how much real life money people sometimes pay trying to get hold of special cards of this type, this is a potentially huge revelation.

Two, since cards added after release day seem to have a base Chemistry level no matter what, it follows that it’s possible play these players in a team with no Chemistry whatsoever (so no links between clubs, nationalities and so on), without any performance repercussions.

It’s not clear whether the intricacies of this glitch have yet been fully explored, or when it may have been introduced (since launch, or perhaps since the latest patch, it’s not known); nor is it clear how much knowledge EA have of this. Here’s the two part video series, and a Reddit thread discussing the implications.

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