GoalUnited General Gameplay Guide

GoalUnited General Gameplay Guide by GU

There is so much to do in goalunited, so this ‘first steps’ guide might help you get started. If you have not finished the tutorial yet, we suggest you do it now. It gives you a lot of information and a bonus for each completed task.

First of all, you should log into the game and take a look around. The best way to start is to open each of the menu points and just see where they go. The menu is divided into different main sections each containing several sub sections. The first page you see after logging into the game is the Overview. This can also be accessed in the main section ‘Home’, and gives you an overview of your club’s data and current messages from the game and other managers.

You can also see your own contact page; this page gives you and other managers a quick overview of your club. Other users will not see all the information that you do, because some details are classified and only visible for the manager of the club (like the player’s sales value). You can see the difference of hidden and open values by visiting the contact page of another club. Going through the different tabs of the contact page will already help you understand a lot about the game.

The players

Probably the most interesting thing when you first login is your team, and the individual players. Click on Team → Players and take a close look. Those men will hopefully bring success to your club. You start with 18 players, they are sorted by position. Every player has different skill values and abilities. First look at the base value Strength of each player (the column is marked with the ‘Ø’); this gives you a rough idea how good your players are. You can sort the player list differently by clicking the header of each column. This way you can get a good overview of your best players, on which positions you have good players and on where you might need better ones.



  • All teams that are created for the new managers at the beginning are different, but while you do not start with the same players, all starting teams have an average overall strength, so nobody gets an advantage. Your first task is to find the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team.
  • Doubleclick on a player to open his details screen.
  • Some of the players have small symbols at the rightmost column “Talents”. “Talents” are special abilities that can be triggered as a special event during the game.
  • In goalunited, a real time year has four game time years, and with that four league seasons. Each game year the players have a birthday and will by that age 4 years in one real-time year.
  • Each player signs a 12, 18 or 24-week contract. The salary per week depends on the contract duration and on the ‘value’ of the player.

The League

Switch to the league view by going to Matches–>League. You see the current league table with all clubs you will be competing against this season. Next to each club’s name is a magnifying glass, which, when clicked, brings you to their contact page.

Every league has 12 teams. The red line indicates, that teams below it are in danger of being relegated and the teams above the green line are eligible for promotion at the end of the season.
You might also still play in the league cup. Each season a cup is played by all teams in your layer. (Layers 1-5 share one cup)


This is one of the most important and exciting features in goalunited. Depending on which time of the season it is when you are joining the game the season might already be running for some time or it is just about to start. If the season has started already, then you will be taking over an (, until then computer controlled) club on its current position in the league. Depending on how well the team has been performing before you took over, you might be at any position in your league. Either way you should first master the basic tasks and your first season should be used to prepare you for a grand long-term success rather than playing for promotion. There is just so much to do.

Now go back to Matches → League and check out your current league in detail. At the right side you can see the most recent and upcoming matches. You can view details to your previous match by clicking the magnifying glass next to the match. On the left you can view the formations of both teams, and on the right you have a few pages with interesting facts about the match.

Next to your upcoming match there is a small “Field”-button that will bring you to the formation screen. If you click it you can see which formation will be used in the match; and change it if you want (How to set a formation is the next point in this start-up guide). When a match has started you can watch it live via Matches → Live Ticker.



  • When looking at a previous match, a player shown as having the jersey number ‘XX’ indicates that the player is no longer part of the team.
  • As you are taken over a totally new team all players that are shown in previous matches have the double X as player number.
  • As owner of a premium account you are able to view up to four other matches in the live ticker. With this you can take a look at your friend’s matches, or see what is going on in your league.


Another very important task in the game is to set formations (Team → Formation). Each team is different, and with that each team has different formations that work well. But there is still no perfect formation for any single team. Each opponent is different, and a formation might be perfect for today’s match, but not work for the one next week. You can spend a good amount of time here to find the best formations for your team.

Each team should set a standard formation. It should be a formation that works well against any given opponent. If you do not set an individual formation for a match, the standard formation is set automatically.

We will now go through the steps of setting up an individual formation for the upcoming match, as well as saving it as the standard formation.

At first, you’ll find the playing field on the right of the screen empty. You add players to the formation by dragging & dropping them on the field one after another. We’ll just start with a typical 4-4-2 formation, which is a solid starting point. For this we need a goalie, two central defenders, two outside defenders (left/right defender), two central midfielders, two wing players (left/right midfield), and two central strikers. To keep it simple at first, we’ll choose the players with the highest strength and good form, and not look too much into the individual skills. Both strength and form give you a good feel for the current quality of each player. If you have two players of similar strength, always have a look at their form, since a player with better form will play closer to his potential during a match. A player with a lower strength is unlikely to perform better, even if he has a much higher form.

Start with the goalie and add the players one by one, until you have all 11 players in their positions (You can sort the player list by strenght as well). You will start to see on which positions your team is strong, and on what positions you may need to strengthen your team. After adding the 11 players to the playing field, we continue with filling the substitute bench. With that finished, we have deployed 16 of our 19 players. Below the formation, we see a few different tasks to assign to the players on the field. With this you choose your team’s captain, and which players are assigned to execute corner kicks, penalties and free kicks. You should assign an experienced player to be your captain; if he also has the leadership ability, then he is even better suited for the job. Different skills are needed for the different tasks. You need a good passing skills to shoot corners, a high scoring skill for penalty kicks, and to shoot freekicks, you need both passing and scoring. There are also talents for each of the 3 tasks.


We also have to set the tactics used for the match. To do so click “Tactic”-tab. The fist setting is the engagement that your players will put into the match. The higher the engagement, the more effort your players will put into it, but they will also lose more energy and risk more cards and possibly injuries. A common misconception for beginners is to choose high or extreme engagement frequently. This drains your players severely, and they may not be able to play to their full potential in future games, and get injured frequently. The rule of thumb should be to only go beyond normal engagement in very important matches, normal engagement also demands a lot from your players, and you won’t get in trouble even if you set the engagement below normal. We will now choose “low” engagement for the match, setting the slider one step to the left of the middle position (75%).

Next comes the actual tactic used. Click on the dropdown list, and you’ll see all tactics, currently all of them arecolored red.This means we do not have a tactic trained well enough to use it effectively. So for now play with no special tactic and leave it at “None”. This will in no way penalize your team, but will simply not focus on specific positions. Below the tactic you see the “marking” setting. Here you can choose between man marking and zonal marking. Finally, you have to choose whether or not to use the offside trap. It is the same as with the tactics here, it should not be used until it is well trained. If it is badly trained your team will keep trying, but it will not work very often, and you risk goals. It should be at least trained to 60% before it is used.

After we have completed defining the tactics, you should save it as standard formation. Click on the “Pencil” button in the Presets section, and in the dialog opened, pick the “Standard” slot. Now you can always choose this “Preset” easily by clicking on it when needed, and it’s also the default tactic and formation when no individual tactic is set for the match. Premium users can also quickly pick from formations played in recent matches.

To set a formation for a specific match you have two ways of doing this. For the next match you can simply click on the match time on the top of the screen. This brings you straight to the formation page. For all other games you have to go to matches -> all fixtures and click on the “field”-symbol next to the match.


  • Players only play effectively at a trained position, so if possible avoid using them on positions they’re not proficient in.
  • A team captain should not be introverted.
  • If duties have not been assigned beforehand, they’ll be assigned rather randomly by the system.
  • If not enough players are put on the pitch, the system adds remaining players more or less randomly.
  • All tactics have certain bonuses and penalties, the more they are trained, the more the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
  • Man marking strengthens you defense, while zonal marking helps getting more possession.
  • Just like you saved your standard setting, you are able to name and save three other presets, to easily pick them later


As in real football training essential, without training your players do not get better. Your players have a number of training slots per day, you decide what training to perform. In the beginning you have one slot for you team to train a specific tactic, one slot to improve the individual player skills, one slot for general training (like form training), and one slot to play a trading card from the training category. By building training facilities in your stadium complex you open up more slots for the individual player skill training.

There are many training programs you can chose from. Hover over them to get details, and then drag the chosen program into the training slot. It is not possible to do two trainings of the same category on the same day, but you can still specialize your training a bit if you select different training programs that have the skill you want to push as secondary skill. You can set your training always for the ongoing day and for the next day. As a premium player it is possible to create a weekly plan.


There is no answer to what is the best training. Each team is different, and you can decide if you want to specialize on an area or train balanced. At the beginning it is very important though not to let your players work too hard. Every training program your players perform costs them energy, and your physical therapist is not good enough yet to allow for a really tough training. Have an eye on your player’s energy and don’t let it drop too low, and there is little you can do wrong here.


You should also take a look at your staff soon. It is not needed to hire every kind of staff right from the start, but some are essential. But make sure you keep an eye on your spending. If you get a good candidate either by chance or if you put out a job ad, you can negotiate the income quite a bit, but there is always a chance that the candidate will withdraw the application completely.
The higher the staff members’ qualification, experience and motivation are, the better the canditate will be. You can raise the qualification and experience by sending the staff members for further training, and experience also goes up while the person is performing his work. To raise the motivation you can give a pay raise.

At first you mostly need 2 staff members. A coach and a physical therapist:

  • The Coach leads the tactic training of your team, but most importantly gives a bonus during each match.
  • The Physical therapist helps your player’s in regaining their energy. Energy is used during training and in matches. It is very important to always have an eye on your players’ energy, as it easily gets out of control. It’s best to hire a good physical therapist as soon as you can. (To hire a physical therapist you need to build a ‘massage centre’, you have probably done that while playing the tutorial.)


Your players, stadium and staff cost a lot of money, and they have to be paid every week. To avoid getting in debt, you should check your income sources regularly. A major income source are sponsors, which give you money every week as a base payment and additional bonuses for winning league matches. Click on Club → Sponsors and you will see two sponsor offers. They differ in “Agreement life time” “Base (per week)” and “League point bonus”. You decide which sponsor is the right one for your current situation. A good choice for a new team is usually a sponsor with a high “Base” as you do not rely on wins for income. Click on the “shake hands” button called “Sign sponsor agreement” for the one of the sponsors you think fits best, and you have the first regular income for your club.
Sponsor agreement offers start our relatively low. You can negotiate the agreement terms and with luck get much better conditions. But be careful, they can also get a lot worse. At the beginning it is best not to risk too much, or you might end up without anything useful.

  • The “Base” payment is credited once per week, on early monday morning, directly to your club balance; League point bonus payments are paid on the day of a match where you received at least one point.
  • Sponsor agreement offers differ a lot, but they take in regard how the team is performing overall. The higher the league, and the better the position in the league, the better the offers will be.
  • Adding a PR-Manager to your staff enables you to negotiate even better conditions with a sponsor.
  • You can exchange the current sponsor anytime with a new one for a compensation payment.
  • On Fridays, you will receive 1 new offer, but you can only have 4 open agreements at a time.

The stadium complex

The stadium complex holds the stadium itself, but also a lot of other buildings, like the parking lots and training facilities. In the beginning it is most important that you create a good base, that means mostly to make room for more guests. To do that you need to do two things, you need to extend your stadium to create more seats, but you also have to make sure the spectators can get to the stadium by car or public transportation. Make sure that those two aspects are levelled out.

Another important thing to do early is to start building your training facilities. By building the ‘training field’ you open up an extra training slot; and by that, like every building in this category raises, the possible training’s effect for your players significantly.

If you have completed the tutorial (which you really should), you have already built the massage clinic; the first building of the medical department. This building is needed to be able to hire a physical therapist. Energy is one of the key factors in the game, and can pose problems right from the start, so the construction of the ‘massage clinic’ as step to hire the ‘physical therapist’ is essential.
Every part of the stadium complex is important, so take a good look around. But keep your eyes on your spending, buildings costs money not only for the construction, but also for upkeep and repairs.

The transfer market

While you have a somewhat solid foundation with your team you will need new players at some point. You can buy new players by going to Team → Transfers. All players that have been sold by other players are offered auction-style on the transfer market.

The most important advice here is to take it slow. Keep an eye on auctions for a little while until you know how much people pay for the players you are interested in. This will save you a lot of money. You should also think about what you want from a player. Older players are a lot cheaper than young players, but they do not have as much potential. Do not rely too much on older players, it’s important to build a team with potential for the future. Young players do not only have more time, they also benefit more from training. If you are planning on selling a player you should look at his contract. If the contract is still going for a long time you will lose a lot of money as he wants compensation for that.


There are a lot of ways to earn money, but in the end the most important one is by raising your player’s values through training and letting them play. The better a player gets, the more money you will get when you sell him. It is always good to have all 22 slots in your team filled, as that allows more players to raise in value.

Always keep your weekly expenses in sight, try to keep your proceeds and expenses balanced at the start and don’t speculate with player sales until you have a feeling for the game.


  • Don’t get into debt unless you are 100% sure about the pay-off.
  • Only buy players you have the money for. Taking out a loan for a player purchase can be devastating to a club without a clear plan.
  • Only rely on the income that is regular, like ticket sales and your sponsor.
  • Always have a sponsor.
  • Don’t forget to keep expanding your stadium. The steady income from ticket sales is well needed.

And now, enjoy, and good luck!

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