The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) series has long been a staple in realistic fighting gaming history. For those who prefer less face-ripping and fireball throwing, the games provide grounded mixed martial arts combat. If that’s your style, we’ve got the knowledge and codes you need to perform your best. Let’s take a look!
EA Sports UFC Summary
The EA Sports UFC series combines aspects from real-world sport games (think the now-ended FIFA series) with traditional fighting games (a bit like Tekken, minus the mayhem). The core concept is very simple: Pick a fighter and a setting, enter the ring, and do what you can to win.
For this system, EA focused on a few core stats and moves corresponding to different MMA approaches. You’ve got strikes, dodging movement, submission battles for grappling tactics, takedown strategies, and so on.
In the early days, EA introduced a few concepts to help its UFC games stand out, particularly in its visuals. That included:
- “Body deformer” technology to help make clinches and on-ground grappling look more realistic.
- Graphics to simulate bruises, exhaustion, and a variety of other states.
- A non-linear damage system that made fights somewhat less certain. A single powerful strike at the right time had the ability to reverse or even quickly end fights in sudden ways.
- An AI-like system that assigned different goals and strategies to different fighters. These goals had the ability to shift depending on current scores and, of course, the personalities of the fighters.
Over the years, EA refined its technology and the UFC games became, well, a lot better. By UFC 4, the games featured important upgrades including:
- Much more advanced AI that can respond to player tactics .
- Clinch control for very precise positioning during fights.
- Whole new takedown options that vary between weight class, fighter, and approach.
- More ground-based fighting options during grapples and other scenarios.
- A submission system with built-in mini games and other in-depth options.
- Constantly shifting “5 Star” ratings awarded to the most skilled fighters on the roster. These ratings can change in real-time based on real-world rankings,
EA Sports UFC Premise
The premise for UFC games, like most fighter games, couldn’t be simpler. Pick a mode, pick a fighter, and go to town. In UFC 4, this concept gets a little more depth. Notable options include:
- Career Mode: This is the big focus in UFC games, and the closest thing the games have to a narrative. You create your own customized character, meet up with a coach, and start training. That allows you to pick your fighter, their weight class, and how their stats work based on the training style you pick. Over time, your character will level up based on training, wins, and how you play. As you rank up, you can utilize a relationship system to interact with fans and fighters alike, changing your future and earning a specific reputation. If you make friends, you can invite them to train and learn some of their techniques. Ultimately, you get to choose where and how you fight, and what titles you’d like to earn.]
- Tournaments: These showdowns pit you against the best in a chosen selection of top fighters. Keep winning to advance and see how far you can go.
- Custom Events: Tweak settings, locations, and fighters to make a fun challenge.
- Blitz Battles: This is a randomized online battle that sets you against all kinds of foes. The rules can change between fights, which means players need to keep on their toes. You’ll be playing against other gamers, but the changing rules can catch them off-guard, too.
- Quick Fight: Find an online opponent and duel them. You can also invite your friends.
- Fight Now: Pick from one of a few different fighting modes and jump into an AI fight ASAP.
- Online World Championships: Enter a game with the top players currently online and see how you fare (a great internet connection is recommended).
EA Sports UFC Main Characters (How the Roster Works)
Realistic sports games don’t really have main characters. They often have authentic commentators: In UFC 4, for example, Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik provided commentary lines. But the real “characters” of the game are your roster.
As with other sports games, the UFC roster gets updated with every new release to better represent the newest and most popular fighters in the game. EA also pushes interest in the game by doing periodic releases of new fighters on the roster. Each has different stats for things like striking, grappling, and health that determines how they do. Every fighter is divided by weight class as in the real world, but they’re mixed and matched according to far looser rules.
Rosters vary across EA Sports UFC titles. Some have more, some have fewer. UFC 4 had about 50 fighters in its standard roster, so you can expect plenty of choices. Scan the covers of past games and you’ll notice popular fighters including Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, and Ronda Rousey.
Finally, EA Sports UFC games typically have a few special unlocks. You can think of them as guest characters or special appearances. In the past, that’s including people like Tyson Fury, Bruce Lee, and Joe Rogan. We’ll talk a bit more about unlocks below so you’ll know how to get every coveted fighter.
EA Sports UFC Titles in the Series
Search for UFC titles and you’ll find a long list of choices, stretching all the way back to 2000. You’ll also run into confusing naming structures with titles like “Undisputed,” “Tapout,” “Throwdown,” and even, “Personal Trainer.” Let’s clear things up.
First, this guide is focusing on the EA Sports UFC games. But EA didn’t publish every UFC game in history. UFC actually contracted with a number of different publishers over time, notably THQ and Ubisoft. These UFC games were so successful they caught EA’s eye, and EA began developing its own MMA game with a rival franchise. But after THQ closed, EA saw an opportunity to take over the UFC titles altogether. It purchased the rights and started handling the games, beginning with Undisputed 3. Later on, EA streamlined the series into the cohesive titles we know today. Here are all the EA versions of the games.
- UFC Undisputed 3 (2012)
- EA Sports UFC (2014)
- EA Sports UFC 2 (2016)
- EA Sports UFC 3 (2018)
- EA Sports UFC 4 (2020)
EA has also announced a UFC 5, which is expected to develop the series even more with new playable characters and more. However, we don’t know much at all about it yet, and certainly don’t have any info on what cheat codes may work with it. EA is expected to unveil a rundown of UFC 5 by the end of 2023, with a release date no earlier than sometime in 2024.
EA Sports UFC Cheats & Codes
With all the basics covered, it’s time to dive into the codes available for EA Sport’s UFC games. Since they span a lot of time and have a few notable differences we’ll break down the best way to master each game by title.
However, first a couple of general tips. If you want to unlock everything as fast as possible, always start with the Career mode and try to play the best you can. Doing great in your Career mode and finishing on a high note will always unlock a few playable characters. Second, you have the ability to “buy” additional moves as you progress in the game. To maximize performance, ignore the flashy moves and focus on options that can get you out of trouble or do more damage. These practical options will carry you much farther when you’re starting out.
EA Sports UFC (2014)
The EA Sports UFC games don’t have a lot of traditional input cheats. There’s no way to get health invulnerability or turn off knockouts for your character, etc. However, there are some ways you can make sure you unlock everything in the game and deal with more difficult fights. Try things like:
- Unlock secret characters to play. In this game, you can unlock both Bruce Lee and Royce Gracie, but it’s going to take some work. Enter career mode on Pro difficulty, and play well enough that you get into the UFC hall of fame. Once you’ve completed this challenging quest, retire your character. Both fights should then be available.
- Get more stamina points. You can do this simply by choosing a fighter with a lower weight class, all the way down to Flyweight. Some players may like the easier heavy hit options that come with higher weight classes, but many find more stamina helps them win hard fights.
- When struggling, try lots of leg strikes. Players have noted that the AI seems to have a weak spot when confront with endless leg kicks. This eventually breaks the leg and can be an option to deal with harder fights.
EA Sports UFC 2 (2016)
While UFC 2 doesn’t have a lot of cheat codes available, there are important unlocks you can use to help increase your roster and get an edge. Here’s what to do:
- At the start screen, press: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Circle, X (on PlayStation), and then the start button. This should unlock Joe Rogan as a playable character.
- Complete the Career mode as soon as you can. This will unlock several additional characters that you can experiment with. That includes Mike Tyson, Bas Rutten, Bruce Lee, and Kazushi Sakuraba. Or, if you have the original versions of the games and have already played UFC, then fighters like Bruce Lee should already be unlocked.
EA Sports UFC 3 (2018)
UFC 3 is pretty similar to UFC 2. Again, we recommend completing career mode on the highest level that you can, which tends to unlock some important extras.
- Once again, if you’ve played previous versions of the game, you should find that Bruce Lee is unlocked when you start and log into your EA account. Otherwise, you can unlock him by completing the career mode.
- Joe Rogan is once again available, but you may have to jump through some extra hoops this time. Enter Knockout Mode in your game, and play as George St. Pierre on normal difficulty. Make sure that Sudden Death is activated for this game. Then defeat your opponent with a spinning side body kick. Since this is sudden death, we suggest practicing the spinning side body kick a few times before trying. You want to unleash it ASAP before your opponent has a chance to do anything.
- You can also unlock Bruce Buffer…but it’s weird. Go to Tournament Mode, call the Tournament Bruce Bugger, and set it to both Strict and Middleweight. Let the game autofill the Tournament. Start the fights, and Bruce Buffer should automatically appear as one of the fighters. Win the Tournament, and you can unlock him. He’s a little broken as a character, but that’s kind of the point, and he could make other challenges easier for you to unlock as you play.
EA Sports UFC 4 (2020)
Compared to other games in the EA Sports UFC list, the fourth title doesn’t have a lot of secret unlock options. But there are still a few things you should be aware of.
- Play through the entire Career mode first. This time, it should unlock Bruce Lee, Tyson Fury, and Anthony Joshua. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only way to unlock playable characters for this title. EA moved some characters to add-ons that you must pay for.
- If you are playing UFC 4 continually, you may want to pay attention to the EA notifications and events that pop up on your account. In the past, EA has celebrated certain holidays or time periods by making add-on characters free. Notably, it’s happened with Brock Lesnar in the past and can happen with other add-ons too. This helps you save some money, so keep an eye open, especially since UFC 5 is about ready for a big announcement.
EA Sports UFC FAQs
Check below for answers to some common questions about the EA Sports UFC franchise
How Do I Unlock New Moves?
While the details vary, EA’s games allow you to unlock moves with skill points that you can earn from playing. This system has evolved throughout the games until it reached the skill tree of UFC 4. Review your moves and, as we mentioned above, pick the most practical moves for your style. Some moves will cost more skill points than others, depending on their power and use. Some moves will require previous unlocks to purchase.
What’s the Best Way to Earn Skill Points?
Play through Career mode and earn as much as you can. That’s the easiest way. When training sessions with other fighters or coaches become available, take advantage of them. When in a fight, try to be as technically impressive as you can to rack up points. If you’re running low, you can usually to quick fights to build up some currency.
Can I Switch Fighting Styles in EA Sports UFC Games?
Some fighting styles work differently from moves, and instead allow you to focus on a different aspect of MMA. You can just unlock these on your skill tree. Instead, work through the career mode and try to train with as many different people as possible. Attend whatever training camps catch your interest, too.
What Happens If I Can’t Beat an Opponent in a UFC Game?
In addition to our tips above and buying better moves to practice with, you may want to change up your approach. The AI that EA uses can respond quickly if you use the same tactics over and over. Try to confuse your opponent if you’re having trouble, and see what works best.
I Got Cash in Career Mode, What Do I Do With It?
You can also use it to learn some moves, or to recover from injuries to improve your chances for the next fight. Mostly, you use it pay fighters to come to your training camp and train with you. That typically unlocks a new move you can’t learn elsewhere.
Can I Play UFC Offline?
Yes, every UFC has offline modes. However, you will need to be online to participate in any activities with other online players, including online tournaments and more.