A few weeks ago, a new site called FIFA gamers pub started displaying a load of data collected from the FUT Transfer Market, including information about each card’s performance in the past. During FIFA 15, I wrote a couple of articles where I used similar data to analyse the importance of various stats on a striker. Given that the required data had become available again, I decided to put it to use. In this article, I’m going to look into what you can expect from FIFA 17 informs in terms of increased performance. The raw data used below is available in a structured format in this article, where I discuss the implications in regards to the handicapping debate.
FIFA 17 Informs – Are They Really Worth the Coins?
Approach to Understanding the True Value of FIFA 17 Informs
Without getting too academic, I would first like to spend a few words on the methods applied below.
Below, I will be comparing different players in order to get to some sort of understanding about how their stats influence their performance, i.e. goal scoring capability.
The obvious challenge here is to isolate the contribution from human skill from that of the card stats. What we are trying to achieve here is basically to measure the performance of different cards in the hands of the average player, and hence also a player who contributes equally, no matter what card we are looking at.
However, when you look at the performance of different instances of a card, you will notice a great deal of performance variation. This may come down to all sorts of factors including differences in skill between the owners of a card, the application of different chemistry styles, position changes, different percentage of online / offline matches and so on. To diminish biases caused by such factors, we only include performance sample which cover a minimum of 300 different card instances. In addition to that, we only include cards which were released as strikers.
FUT 17 Informs Player Data Explained
Let’s start out with a couple of examples, namely three strikers who thus far featured in TOTW + a couple of other honors multiple times: Kane, Lukaku and Aduriz.
Goals per match (sample size) on PS4
The general picture for all three players is that upgraded cards display better performance. There are however a few exceptions, which are rather interesting.
- Harry Kane has had three appearances in the FIFA 17 TOTW so far. All these inform editions outperform his regular version, and there is a solid but small performance increase across all his cards.
- Romelu Lukaku’s most recent FUT inform card is noteworthy, as it fails to meet the performance of its predecessor. The difference, however, isn’t statistically significant, and both cards perform way ahead of earlier versions.Why does Lukaku 88 perform slightly worse than Lukaku 87 on average? Apart from sampling issue, another potential reason lies in the release data of these cards. When you look at FGP’s data, it’s notable that the most popular chem style for the older card, Lukaku 87, is hunter (66%) whereas the most popular chem style for the newly released Lukaku 88 is basic (57%). So, while the average Lukaku 88 might have better total stats, the average Lukaku 87 appears to have better stats when we narrow the scope to key striker stats like pace and shooting. Hence, I would expect to see Lukaku 88’s performance increase over time as more and more people apply hunter styles.
(EDIT: As of Februrary 24th (9 days after the article was drafted), Lukaku (88)’s goal per match rating is up to 0.73, which confirms the hypothesis)
- Aritz Aduriz is our third player, and he is a bit of an odd case. Although his two latest special editions outperform his earliest releases, his highest rated, 87 TOTGS version doesn’t live up to the standards of his 86-rated MOTM (the difference isn’t statistically significant, though). Since this trend is present in both the PS4 and the Xbox One samples, this probably isn’t a sampling issue but rather a reflection of the people using these cards.
The Broader Picture to FIFA IF Cards
Despite the exceptions mentioned above, the overall trend when looking at Kane, Lukaku and Aduriz is that better stats – all other things being equal – equals more goals. More importantly, this isn’t an isolated phenomenon for the three cases we just investigated. With very few exceptions, we find the same rule to apply when looking at other gold strikers from EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A.
In the chart below, I included 18 strikers who have a minimum of one inform and are available in reasonable numbers to obtain a good sample. When presented visually below, the overall correlation between rating and performance becomes even clearer.
Are FUT IF Players Worth the Coins?
We have already demonstrated that higher rated players perform better, but what causes this difference in performance? Is it the fact that higher rated players have higher stats, or is it to a larger extent because the human players using the higher rated cards are more skilled? It’s probably not an either or.
It is not a secret that a 91-rated Higuain comes at a price, and that he will be reserved for the lucky few plus the most dedicated players willing to put in the effort required to get their hands on this type of card. On the other hand, let’s keep in mind how FIFA 17 Informs are released: A new FUT TOTW appearance always comes with an upgrade relative to the latest edition of that player. The players, who were around to pack / buy and use 88-rated Harry Kane upon his release probably weren’t significantly better than the players who bought, packed and used 86-rated Harry Kane.
To what extent are FIFA 17 Informs worth it if we assume that the measured performance increase above really is caused by stats? That’s the interesting part, because no matter whether you believe that FIFA 17 Informs perform better due to better stats or higher skill, the performance increase won’t exceed what we have seen above.
On average, a 1-point upgrade leads to a .02 increase in goal ratio. This means that if you own the 86-rated Harry Kane and decide to pay the 30,000 coins extra for the 87-rated version, you should expect a goal-scoring increase of 2 goals per 100 matches. And this is, of course, presuming that the stats alone will deliver the full performance increase.
Whether or not FIFA 17 Informs are really worth the coins is a moot point, but it certainly isn’t a huge performance increase no matter what. And perhaps more important, there is no guarantee that those 2 extra goals will turn a draw into a win or a defeat into a draw. This is perhaps the most important takeaway from this entire survey.