There’s more to winning games and trophies in FIFA 23 Career Mode than simply being skilled enough to do so.
One of the essential parts of preparing your team to challenge over the course of a season in FIFA 23 Career Mode is to ensure that the players (especially the regular starters) maintain a high match sharpness rating as they go into games.
This guide discusses how to get high match sharpness in FIFA 23 career mode. Match Sharpness and Fitness are similar in some ways, but one cannot be substituted for the other. In FIFA 23, they function independently, so it is probably best to start by distinguishing the two.
Match Sharpness vs Fitness
Match Sharpness is achieved by giving a player enough playtime. Although there are other ways to boost the rating (as will be discussed further), playing your team in games is the most effective way to keep them sharp.
Fitness, on the other hand, reduces the more a player plays. This means that there is a tendency for a player’s fitness to drop as you try to increase their match sharpness. The important thing is to find a balance.
Why Increase Match Sharpness?
If you think the match sharpness rating in FIFA 23 is a gimmick, think again. As I mentioned earlier, the quality of your team on paper will not be carried into their performances on the pitch if other requirements are not met.
An example of why it is important to increase match sharpness is the way the AI adjusts player ability according to their rating in that department.
If a player’s match sharpness is low, you may find that they make more mistakes with positioning in defense, and they may even appear to respond or move more sluggishly.
Even though you have a lot of control over what your players do in FIFA 23, you cannot control every player at once and you have to rely on the AI in many situations. As long as this is the case, match preparedness ratings such as sharpness will always impact performance.
How to Get High Match Sharpness
Playing Preseason Games
Your first opportunity to increase your players’ match sharpness in preparation for a new season is by playing preseason games.
Usually, you will be invited to preseason competitions where you compete with a handful of teams for a friendly cup and some prize money. Participating in these games is useful for building the match sharpness of the squad, and it is also a great way to make money in FIFA 23 Career Mode.
Balancing Playtime and Rest
When you get into the season proper, games will come thick and fast and it can be hard to maintain the fitness levels of the regular starters.
At that point, you want to make sure that you find the right balance between giving the players enough playtime and not overworking them to the point of losing massive fitness ratings.
This is why it is important to plan ahead and make sure that you have a sizeable squad that allows you to rest players when the need arises and use alternatives in their place.
One way to do this is to substitute your key players when you feel like a match is already won, and also rest them completely in games where you believe that you can nick a win even with a weaker team.
Obviously, using your subs in this way will also help to keep their match sharpness levels up.
Playing through drills can be boring, so I completely understand people that simulate them all the time.
However, it is best practice to make sure that you actually play all these drills by yourself until you get a really good grade before going ahead to simulate on subsequent training days. Here’s why.
If you simulate these drills without getting good grades in them by yourself first, the AI’s simulation will present average to poor results.
On the flip side, if you get a good grade first and then simulate subsequent sessions, the player will always get the good grade that you achieved initially.
Drills help to keep your players’ match sharpness levels up, but they also cost you some fitness points. Again, finding a balance is key as some drills are more efficient in balancing the two than others.
It is also worth noting that these drills are a great way to develop the best young players in FIFA 23 Career Mode.
Adjusting Training Schedules
The most important thing to note when adjusting your training schedules is that the players need a rest day before and after games.
As long as you can stick to that rule, feel free to tinker with the regularity of training sessions on other days. If the players’ match sharpness is very low, you may try back-to-back training days to boost the numbers significantly instead of the typical training every other day method.
In the same vein, if the players’ match sharpness is very high and fitness is low, you may try to reduce the regularity of training days temporarily to get those fitness levels up.
Just like in real life, many moving parts need to be oiled and serviced regularly within a football squad setup to achieve the best results. If these moving parts are disregarded, you will fail regardless of the quality of your team on paper.
High match sharpness is one of those moving parts, and it will have a significant impact on the success of your FIFA 23 Career Mode squad.
In the same vein, managing your team’s morale also affects the performance of your players on the pitch. Check out this guide on how to increase team morale in FIFA 23 career mode next and cross it off your checklist.