Recently, RighteousOnix released a youtube video where he demonstrated that chemistry stat bonuses don’t apply as they should. This brought rise to the FIFA 16 Chemistry Glitch phenomenon. The first video was later followed by a 2nd video which added even more wood to the fire. In this article, I look at the implications of this experiment and also in relation to the scripting / handicapping debate.
Update 13th July 2016: The fitness and chemistry glitch has now been fixed for PC, Xbox and Playstation users in EA’s latest title update for FIFA 16.
FIFA 16 Chemistry Glitch
RighteousOnix Chemistry Glitch – 1st Video
RighteousOnix Chemistry Glitch – 2nd Video
In the following sections, I will be talking about 2nd+ edition cards. A 2nd+ edition card is any later edition of a player released throughout the year. The term applies to position changes, informs, TOTY / TOTS cards, transfers and upgrades. In contrast, 1st edition or day 1 cards were available on the date of release for FIFA 16 Ultimate Team.
It has been known for some time that 2nd+ edition cards don’t lose in game fitness, regardless of what’s displayed on the team screen. Hence, you can essentially use your 2nd+ edition teams over and over without bothering about fitness. As it however turns out now, these cards have resulted in a lot of bad press regarding a FIFA 16 Chemistry Glitch.
RighteousOnix’s experiment observes that only players with a minimum dribbling stat of 86 can do the step over skill move. Now, chemistry bonuses ought to increase the stats. A player, who is born with 85 dribbling and hence can’t do the skill move, should be able to do the skill move if he receives a chemistry bonus on dribbling. This is however not the case for 2nd+ edition cards.
As an example, take Doumbia who transferred from CSKA Moscow to Newcastle. The two Doumbias have exactly the same stats, and among them 82 dribbling. Now, if you play CSKA-Doumbia on full chemistry and add a Sniper chemistry style card to him, he will be able to do the skill move, because his dribbling stat crawls above the threshold via the three chevrons added to his DRI stat. But this is where it gets odd, because Newcastle-Doumbia can’t do the skill move, even if he has full chemistry and a sniper style attached!
The same applies to all informs and other special cards. 2nd+ edition cards always have their base stats, meaning that if the inform version has >= 86 dribbling as base stat, he can do the skill move, but if he has 85, even a sniper card and full chemistry won’t make him do the skill move.
By testing this out on various 1st edition cards with around 80 dribbling, RighteousOnix determined that the dribbling stat can be increased by 5 stat points if the player has full chemistry and a chemistry style which channels all three green chevrons onto the dribbling stat. This means that a 1st edition card with 81 dribbling will get 86 dribbling if he has a sufficient amount of chemistry and a suitable chemistry style such as sniper.
In his 2nd video, RighteousOnix looked into what chemistry a player needs in order to obtain his base stats. The reason why this is relevant is that players with low chemistry in fact have lower in-game stats than their base stats. Bolasie (76)’s base level for dribbling is 86, meaning that he is able to do the skill move as soon as he gets his base chemistry. As it turns out, Bolasie can’t do the skill move with less than 6 chemistry, which also means that he gets one green chevron on dribbling. This suggests that the dribbling in-game stat will be below base level unless the player has minimum one green chevron, upon which the in-game stat will be set at base level, unless the player has a certain level of in game chemistry.
This is additionally supported by RighteousOnix’s observations on Mata (RM 84). His dribbling stat is 85, meaning that he can’t do the step over without a chemistry bonus. Mata is able to do the skill move, provided he has a chemistry style, which gives him minimum two chevrons for dribbling. At 1 chevron (10 chemistry and the basic chemistry style), he still can’t do the step over.
What this would indicate, is that the following rules apply.
1st edition cards
Base level = the 28 in-game stats
- Players with Basic chemistry style, who have below 86 dribbling as base level, won’t get a stat boost for dribbling even at 10 chemistry.
- Players with Basic chemistry style, who have below 4.9 chemistry, will receive a stat reduction.
- Players with chemistry styles, which boost other stats than dribbling, still retain base level for dribbling as long as their chemistry is above ~4.85
- Other chemistry styles may boost the player’s in game stats even when he has below 10 chemistry.
- The maximum chemistry boost for dribbling is +10 stats. The size of the boost does not depend on the player’s OVR rating, and it is not affected by the opponent’s squad rating.
- Chemistry styles have no effect in offline matches, meaning that 1st edition players will play according to their base stats.
2nd edition cards
- No matter what chemistry the player has, he will always have his full base stats, meaning that you can play him in any position and in any squad.
- Stats can’t be moved around by adding chemistry style cards. Players can’t exceed their base stats even if you add chem styles, which boost certain stats.
RighteousOnix’s research tells something about chemistry and something about the player cards themselves.
With regards to chemistry, the observations indicate that a 1st edition player needs full chemistry in order to reach his base level on all stats. If a player has full chemistry, he has 6 green chevrons in total, which can be distributed by adding chemistry styles. If the player has the chemistry style “Basic”, all his in-game stats are at base level. If the player has any other chemistry style, some stats will be above base level but at the expense of other stats, which will go below base level. As seen, Bolasie needed a minimum of one green chevron on dribbling to do the step over, even if his base level for dribbling is 86.
With regards to 2nd edition cards, it’s a different story: Essentially, the new findings shows that there are pros and cons about informs and other 2nd+ edition cards. On the positive side, these players will have their full base stats, no matter their chemistry and that they always start the match with full fitness. On the negative side, you can’t redistribute their stats by applying chemistry styles. No matter their chemistry and what chemistry styles you apply, they always have their base stats.
Are non IFs better than in-forms?
Does the FIFA 16 Chemistry Glitch imply that NIF’s are better than IF’s? That depends. If we take Eriksen as an example, the NIF version can be “fitted” to do the step over by adding a sniper or similar chem style. His first inform however, an 84-rated CAM with 85 dribbling, cannot. On the other hand, fitting NIF Eriksen to do the step over comes at the price of lowering other stats.
The question now moves to whether adding a chemistry style will allow you to transfer performance from less important stats to more important stats to such an extent that the NIF Eriksen becomes a better card than the IF version, even if the IF-version has higher base stats. In Eriksen’s case, he has multiple informs, meaning that some of them have base stats, which clearly exceed what you can achieve by adding chemistry styles to his NIF version. Hence, there definitely are informs, which are superior to their NIF editions, even though you can’t move around their stats by applying chemistry styles.
Generally speaking, it’s however not a secret that I don’t consider informs to be of great value for money in general. The latest findings do no really change that impression.
Is this proof on scripting and did EA do it on purpose?
While some have argued that the FIFA 16 Chemistry Glitch proves that scripting exists, in my opinion this is nonsense. The Chemistry Glitch doesn’t level the playing field and only affects whoever has the 2nd edition cards in their squad. The FIFA 16 Chemistry Glitch won’t make matches more even in general.
In-forms do not have lower stats than they are supposed to, but is definitely a disadvantage as they can’t receive stat boosts.
I very much doubt EA will have done this on purpose. Again, this is not a handicap. No one benefits. Worst case, they may have known without bothering to fix it, but that’s as bad as it gets.
EA Sports’ Official Response
Will you be purchasing in-forms after news of the FIFA 16 Chemistry Glitch?