UFC 3 is releasing soon – on February 2, or January 25 for EA Access subscribers – but for those looking to get a taste of the game’s new career mode, here are five things you need to know.
#1. Build Your Fighter from the Ground Up
Fighters in UFC 3’s career mode actually begin in the World Fighting Alliance. It’s here that you have your first few career fights, which are important because it’s these first few fights that decide the quality of your very first UFC contract. Do well, and you’ll be fast tracked into the UFC. Do not so well, and you’ll find yourself either getting a few more fights under your belt, or having to go through The Ultimate Fighter. Whichever route you take, once you get to the UFC you’ll also have to make the decision of which of the eight real-life training camps to make your home at.
#2. You Can Become the Greatest of All Time
At the core of the career mode is an overarching goal of becoming the greatest of all time. One of the downsides of UFC 2’s career mode was that there wasn’t really an end goal in sight for you to strive for. In UFC 3 however, to be considered to be the GOAT, you must complete six out of 10 Performance Goals — which include getting a certain number of finishes, submissions, wins, post fight awards, and more — and two promotion records, which are tied to how much money you make, followers you accrue on social media, your Pay-Per-View buys, and main events. And of course, no fighter can compete forever, so you must do all of this before it’s time to hang ‘em up.
#3. Training Camps Are Important
Before every fight, you’ll have to choose how you want to spend your time. You can Train, Learn, Promote, or Spar. Train will present you with a series of exercises that will improve certain stats, Learn will put you in a minigame challenge against a UFC fighter to unlock a new move or perk, Promote will give you a series of options of how you want to hype yourself, whether by streaming games on Twitch or posting to social media. Each comes with their own benefits, their own reactions from your opponents, and shape the kind of fighter that you’ll eventually become. Finally, Spar will pair you with a fighter that closely matches your upcoming fight and reward you with a key to victory that will inform how you should approach your next bout.
#4. Fight Hype Matters
All of your choices throughout the training camp, in addition to your performance in your previous fight and the quality of your opponent (among other factors) contributes to Fight Hype. A high Fight Hype means that people actually care about your fight, which leads to more popularity and better contracts. All of this ties into the choice at the heart of a training camp: Do you want to put all of your focus on training and be the best possible fighter you can be? Or do you sacrifice some of that in favor of being a fighter that people want to see regardless of the outcome?
#5. Microtransactions Might Be Tolerable
And finally, just to be super clear, there are no microtransactions affecting the career mode. UFC 3 caught a lot of flack in its beta for the loot box system at the core of its Ultimate Team mode, but the only currency that players will be able to use to build their character in career mode is earned through playing.
And that’s it! We’ll see how career mode turns out once the game is released early next month.
Mitchell Saltzman is IGN’s Lets Play and Livestream Producer. Read all his tweets about the knockout that’s sure to take place at UFC 220 between Stipe and Ngannou @JurassicRabbit