Specialities Mega Guide: FIFA 18

Specialities Mega Guide: FIFA 18

Specialities Mega Guide

What are Specialities?

They seem to cause a lot of confusion which is why I’m putting this guide together. I was curious about them from the first few games that had specialities. Curious enough to have made (very untidy) notes a long time ago, which I will now attempt to translate into something that makes sense.

The simplest way I can define or explain a speciality in FIFA is to call it a qualification. Say you need 80 marks out of 100 on a test to achieve an A grade. If you got 79 marks, you wouldn’t have earned an A grade, but you would only be one mark away. It’s purely a reflection of a player’s attributes, it doesn’t add anything at all. It’s simply a way of making it easier to spot the best players (although if  you think back to my test analogy, players can be marginally lower in stats but look worse because of the absence of one of these speciality badges).

Another thing to point out is that they are not the same as traits. I’ve seen people use the two terms interchangeably and it just adds to the confusion.


What Can I Use This Information For?

If you’re new to the game, you might just be wondering what each badge means. More experienced players might be interested in training specific attributes in manager or player career mode to earn a specific badge. You can also use this information as a template when creating a player or virtual pro.

There are 17 specialities in total, so I’ve tried to sort them into the following categories. Physical/Generic, Defensive, Midfield, Attacking and Complete. Not all of them fit perfectly but I think it makes a bit more sense this way.

The Complete Specialities all require the presence or combination of other badges. Where this is the case, I will also point it out on the relevant speciality.


Physical and Generic Specialities

Most of the badges in this category can definitely be described as physical. The others are a bit more generic or technical but I’ve kept them in here for simplicity.



Top of the list mainly because it’s so sought after, everybody wants fast players on FIFA.

This is a simple one to work out. If you add together a player’s Acceleration and Sprint Speed attributes and the total is 180 or higher, they qualify for the Speedster badge.

Don’t be lazy and assume that you need 90 acceleration and 90 sprint speed, it’s 180 combined. A player with 82 sprint speed could still qualify, but his acceleration would need to be 98.

To give you two high profile examples: Cristiano Ronaldo is a Speedster (89 Acceleration + 91 Sprint Speed) but Lionel Messi is not (92 Acceleration + 87 Sprint Speed).



This one is also fairly simple but has to be explained in a slightly different way. The two key factors for this are Strength (obviously) and Weight.

A player that weighs 183 lbs or more only needs their strength attribute to be 86 or above.

However, a player that weighs 181 lbs or less needs their strength attribute to be 90 or above.




This is another one that can be explained just like strength was.

A player that has a Reactions attribute of 80 or above needs their Agility to be at least 86 to be an ‘Acrobat’.

But, if a player’s Reactions attribute is 79 or less, they need to have 90 Agility or better.

Notable Acrobats include Eden Hazard and Phillipe Coutinho.

Aerial Threat

Aerial Threat is a little bit more complicated but simple enough if you read through it slowly.

Players that are 6’5″ and over only require a Heading attribute of at least 75.

Anyone between 6’2″ and 6’4″ however will require a Heading attribute of at least 90.

If a player is 6’1″ or under, they will have to meet the following two criteria:

  1. Heading attribute of at least 90.
  2. Either their Jumping or Strength attribute to be 85 or over.

Some example Aerial Threat players include Bas Dost (6’5″), Olivier Giroud (6’4″) and Sergio Ramos (6’0″).


For a player to be considered an ‘Engine’, they need to meet the following three criteria:

  1. Attacking Work Rate = High
  2. Defending Work Rate = High
  3. Stamina attribute must be 86 or above

Work rate is a slightly strange one as it affects both the Engine badge and the Poacher badge. To try and make sense of work rate, I’ve included a table at the very bottom of this page.

Some examples of players that have the Engine badge in FIFA 18 are Kevin de Bruyne, Renato Sanches and Antonio Valencia.



The first requirement to be considered a ‘Dribbler’ is to have a Dribbling attribute of 86 or higher.

Secondly, unless you have 5* skill moves, you’ll need at least 75 Balance.

So a player with 5* skill moves and 86 Dribbling would get the badge. But a player with 4* skill moves, 99 Dribbling and 74 Balance wouldn’t.

Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Isco are all considered to be Dribblers in the game.


Defensive Specialities

This doesn’t mean that these only apply to defenders, but they indicate that a player has an aptitude for defensive play. There are only two badges to go through here.



This is a super easy one to figure out. Only two criteria to meet:

  1. Player must have a Standing Tackle attribute of at least 86.
  2. Player must have a Sliding Tackle attribute of at least 85.

Tackler is required for Complete Defender.

A few top tacklers I can name from FIFA 18 are N’Golo Kante, Giorgio Chiellini and Pepe.


Another simple one for you. The player in question must meet both of these criteria:

  1. Interceptions attribute is 86 or above.
  2. Reactions attribute is 80 or above.

Lars Bender, Javier Mascherano and Ander Herrera are all Tacticians.


Midfield Specialities

Again, these don’t just apply to midfielders but they are more common in midfielders.



You know how I just said these don’t just apply to midfielders, well I lied. The Playmaker badge is only for Central Midfielders. To qualify for this badge a player has to meet all four of the following criteria:

  1. Can play as either CDM, CM or CAM. (Doesn’t have to be main position, just listed in their bio)
  2. Short passing attribute of 86 or above.
  3. Vision attribute of 86 or above.
  4. Long Passing attribute of 73 or above.

Required for Complete Midfielder.

Toni Kroos, Christian Eriksen and Javier Pastore are all well known Playmakers.



A slightly simpler one. A player must meet both of these criteria:

  1. Their Crossing attribute must be 86 or higher.
  2. Their Curve attribute must be 80 or higher.

Leighton Baines, Marcelo and Dani Alves are all great Crossers.


Free Kick Specialist

To have a specialism with Free Kicks, any player must meet both of these criteria:

  1. Their Free Kick Accuracy has to be at least 86.
  2. They need at least an 85 rating for EITHER Curve OR Shot Power.

I’ve already done a list of the best free kick takers in the game, though not all of them qualify for this badge. Some players that do would be Yaya Toure, Keisuke Honda and Memphis Depay.


Distance Shooter

This is similar to the Speedster calculation that I already covered.

To be a ‘Distance Shooter’, the combined Long Shots and Shot Power Attributes of a player must total 174 or higher.

Think Youri Tielemans, Marco Reus and Gareth Bale.


Attacking Specialities

These two are much more likely to be found in Strikers but could reasonably be found in Wingers or Attacking Midfielders.



Three criteria:

  1. Attacking Work Rate must be either Medium or Low. It Cannot be High.
  2. Finishing must be at least 85
  3. Heading must be at least 75

Samuel Eto’o, Javier Hernandez and Edin Dzeko are all well-known Poachers.

Clinical Finisher

Two criteria

  1. The player’s finishing attribute must be 86 or more.
  2. The player’s Long Shot attribute must be 80 or more.

Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane and Andre-Pierre Gignac are all Clinical Finishers.

Complete Specialities

These are slightly different, in that eligibility for them is based on the presence of other specialities.


Complete Defender

To be considered a Complete Defender, a player must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must have TACKLER
  2. Must have TACTICIAN
  3. At least one of Aerial Threat, Acrobat or Strength.

Complete Midfielder

To qualify as a Complete Midfielder,  a player must meet both of these requirements:

  1. Must have PLAYMAKER
  2. Must have at least TWO from this list.
    1. Dribbler
    2. Engine
    3. Tackler
    4. Distance Shooter
    5. Crossing
    6. Free Kick Specialist
    7. Clinical Finisher.


Complete Forward

Eligibility for Complete Forward status is based on the following points:

  1. Must have at least one of Poacher or Clinical Finisher.
  2. If the player has only one of Poacher or Clinical Finisher, they must also have at least two out of these four:
    1. Speedster
    2. Aerial Threat
    3. Dribbler
    4. Strength
  3. However if they have both Poacher and Clinical finisher, only one from that list is required.



Work Rate Table for Engine and Poacher

 Low Attacking Work RateMedium Attacking Work RateHigh Attacking Work Rate
Low Defending Work RateEligible for PoacherEligible for Poacher
Medium Defending Work RateEligible for PoacherEligible for Poacher
High Defending Work RateEligible for PoacherEligible for PoacherEligible for Engine