Madden Ultimate Team (or MUT for short) is a meta trading card game in Madden NFL 21 where you create a team formed from card packs.
New cards are added all the time, so there is no “best card” or “best player” for Madden Ultimate Team, although there may be a particular position that you'll want to maximize based on your playstyle.
If you have never played MUT before, Madden NFL 21 does an excellent job guiding you through the early process of playing MUT. You'll be asked to pick a team for your first pack of cards, with your set favorite team being defaulted. This will also set your initial uniforms, stadium, and coach to match the team. If you played MUT in Madden NFL 20 and still have the same player account, your team name will carry over, but otherwise, you'll be starting from scratch.
Your first pack will contain a shell of a team comprised mainly of players ranked in the low- to mid-60s, so you'll want to upgrade them quickly. Madden 21 throws you immediately into a few challenges at low difficulties. When you beat those challenges, you'll get more card packs. After that, you'll be sent to the main MUT hub. There you can review and rename your team, and you'll likely have some card packs to open if you've played MUT before or pre-ordered Madden NFL 21.
You can go to the Store tile to purchase more card packs. There are four types of currencies:
Coins are denoted with a yellow coin icon. These are earned from playing just about everything in MUT, and they are the “normal” currency. By the way, MUT 21 coins are still the lifeblood of the Ultimate Team.
Points are denoted with a green dollar bill icon. These are acquired from paying real money through your platform's shop, such as the PlayStation Store or the Microsoft Store.
Trophies are denoted with a pink pentagon icon. These are only earned from competitive games and cannot be earned against the AI.
Training Points are denoted with a purple hexagon icon. These are used to upgrade players, though they can also be used to buy powerful cards.
At first, your team will be too weak to do much, and you'll need to get through some solo challenges to earn some coins before you can do anything of consequence. From the hub, go to the Play category to see all the gameplay modes.
Rewards vary based on mode and difficulty, but generally, playing against human players is the most rewarding. Even if you're a strictly solo player, you can still participate in the weekly events for good rewards.
As you collect more cards and acquire more currencies, you can begin to participate in the Auction House and Trade Block. There, you can acquire cards directly from other players or sell your cards to eliminate unneeded players. You can also “quicksell” a card for some coins or training points, which effectively eliminates it from the world.
MUT Player Abilities, X-Factors, and Chemistry
The process for building up your team is slow, so if you've never played MUT before, don't be too worried if your MUT team seems a little more difficult to use than a Franchise team. First, consider who your core team is based on your playstyle; if you like deep passing, prioritize your WRs and QB. Those positions should be upgraded first, then slowly build the rest of the team around them.
To upgrade your MUT players, you'll need to find training cards that can be quickly sold for Training Points. These will come randomly in packs as well. You may find some in the marketplace, but they will likely be expensive for the upper-tier ones.
If you're strapped for currencies, you can also look into player chemistry. Many cards will boost other cards if certain conditions are met. It takes more than a single card to activate a Chemistry, however. To view the potential and active chemistries, navigate the Team tab and the Adjust Lineup tile. In any category there, press Right on the lft stick or D-Pad. You'll see something in the screenshot and notice where the current highlighted tile is. As you can see, not every attribute will rise with the first tier of the chemistry, but any boost is better than no boost.
With the addition of X-Factors and Abilities, Training Points can also be used to unlock them on certain players. Although Abilities are unlimited, your entire active team can only have three X-Factors. These need to be equipped once you have them.
X-Factors can be freely equipped or unequipped between games once players earn them. It's best to choose X-Factors for the positions you've built the team around the subject to your playstyle.
Part of the fun of Ultimate Team is the process of building up a talented roster and pulling some of your favorite players in packs you earn or buy. It’s meant to be a grind, and just have fun and enjoy the ride as you get through solo challenges, online games and numerous hours spent opening packs and scanning the Auction House. For more information about Madden NFL 21, please visit here.