Sorare is a combination of fantasy football and digital trading cards. It is a platform we have joined recently and are really enjoying. We think it has huge potential and for people with a good knowledge of football there are significant opportunities to benefit from it.
If you are new to Sorare, we would recommend checking out our Sorare Guide which details what it is all about, how it works and why we think it has such potential.
We are also tracking our own journey with Sorare live here on the site, which you can check out here.
Now though we are going to take a look at our strategy for getting the most out of Sorare.
We have spent many hours reading guides, watching YouTube videos, listening to Podcasts and of course participating in Sorare fantasy contests ourselves so we have learned a lot and wanted to pass this on so you can benefit from our experience.
We hope it is of some use to you if you are just getting started and want some pointers – or maybe you have been involved for a little while but are looking for a few hints and tips to push you on to the next level.
Either way we will do our best to cover what we think are the key points to succeeding on Sorare.
Focusing on Fantasy Game
First up before we get stuck into the strategy guide we wanted to emphasise that we will be focusing on the fantasy football element of Sorare – the SO5 game – rather than the collectible element of it.
There are some people out there who are happy to pay $50,000 for an Mbappe card and not even enter it in the fantasy games, believing that they will either be able to sell it for more at some point in the future, or if not have a nice collectors’ item to enjoy.
That kind of speculation is not our focus here because it is inherently difficult to predict. A whole range of factors could affect whether speculation on cards pays off, including market sentiment, whether the current excitement around NFTs is just a “craze” or will be sustained, and much more.
What we will focus on instead is getting the most out of the actual fantasy football game of Sorare, in order to help you win prizes, grow the value of your portfolio (or “gallery” as it is called on Sorare) and enjoy the experience of being part of a community and pitting your wits against other managers.
We will also briefly cover “flipping” (or trading) the cards later on, but that is secondary to our main concern of picking players and building teams for their utility, ability to win rewards and long-term value.
One of the most basic and fundamental questions to consider when we join Sorare and look to buy players is – what is their actual value?
At the time of writing this, player prices have exploded over the last couple of weeks and there are now many people asking – with some justification – whether the cards are actually worth what people are currently paying for them.
Our own view is that at the top end of the market, prices probably have gone a little beyond “fair value” in some cases. More broadly however, you have to consider what a player might return you in rewards over the lifetime of a card.
Remember there is no expiry on the cards so that as long as Sorare still exists (and there are of course lots of third party games popping up now too) then you can keep on playing these cards in fantasy contests for as long as the player is still playing in an eligible league.
Take a promising 20-year old player available now for around €200-€300 for example. That player could be earning you rewards for the next 15 years – or longer.
Even just taking the ETH threshold payouts into account and ignoring winning any rare cards, it is feasible that if you spent say €1250 on five of these players they could return their cost within 12-18 months.
For example, if we presume you can enter two “gameweeks” per week, so approximately 100 gameweeks per year.
And let’s say you were picking up an ETH reward at a mid point between the two rewards, so 0.015 ETH – that would be approximately €18 at the time of writing.
If you hit an ETH reward just 50% of the time, you would have made that initial investment of €1250 back in less than 18 months. Yet those young players can play on for another 14+ years, potentially making you great returns for a long time to come.
And that’s excluding:
- Winning any rare cards, which are currently selling for hundreds and even thousands of Euros;
- Presumes Sorare won’t increase the rewards – which they have said they are currently looking at doing;
- Excludes winning any rewards in all the offshoot games being set up by third parties;
- Or compounding your returns by reinvesting rewards.
So looking at it this way, paying €200-€300 (or even a bit more) for a good player doesn’t seem so outlandish and in fact could be tremendous value.
On the flip side of course we have to consider potential risks: what if ETH crashed in value – would Sorare adjust the ETH payouts to compensate? What if they actually had to reduce rewards in future? What if Sorare ceased to exist? (v. unlikely in our view and with blockchain technology it might still be possible to continue using cards in other games anyway).
Ultimately as with anything else, you should only put in money you could afford to lose if the whole thing went bust and we would never recommend “betting the farm” on this – or any other – platform.
But when it comes to valuing players, these are the kind of calculations you should be making to get a true sense of what they are worth.
Looking at it another way in terms of cards at the top end of the market, if a player is priced at €2,000, are they likely to return that money to you in rewards? If they are a top talent or a super-rare card then perhaps they will, but it could be more of a risk than a €200 player who is getting similar scores on SO5 and is of a similar age. And of course if the player picks up a long-term injury, that purchase price of €2,000 could sting a little more than a €200 one.
Use Your Best Sorare Friend: Sorare Data
No strategy guide for Sorare would be complete without referring to the veritable goldmine that is Soraredata. This is your best friend when it comes to scouting players, checking SO5 scores, hunting down bargains, checking for value and all the things you should be doing as a Sorare manager.
The centrepiece of Soraredata is the rankings tab on the left hand sidebar, which brings up options to search for players individually or seeing them ranked according to league, position, U23s-only and so on.
Here is the Soraredata profile of Kylian Mbappe for example:
You can see his average score for the last five, last fifteen, and forty games, the number of cards of him that have been minted by type, average sale prices and so on.
Then if you move below there is more data to choose from on the orange menu. The key option you want to look at here is the “SO5 scores,” which brings up that player’s scores going back for 50-odd gameweeks.
Here is Mbappe’s:
The scores are nicely colour-coded as you can see, with DNP (did not play) at the bottom.
For an elite-level player like Mbappe you would expect to see a lot of green scores, but for any player you are scouting you should aim to see at least a few greens and a decent number of yellows and as few reds and dreaded DNPs as possible.
You can also hover over each score dot to see how many minutes a player was on the pitch for, which is a useful bit of context to have about their score. A low score could be explained by a short amount of time on the pitch for example.
Once you have checked a certain number of these SO5 scoring profiles you will get a feel for what a good SO5 scoring chart is and what is not. It’s really a treasure trove of information and we couldn’t recommend scouting players without recourse to these charts.
Soraredata has a host of other information including ongoing and closed auctions, overall Sorare stats like the amount of growth and sales volume on the site, other managers’s portfolio values and much more besides. We would recommend taking some time to familiarise yourself with the site and everything it has to offer because as we say it should become your best friend if you are involved in Sorare.
Using Other Sites to Help With Analysis
In addition to using Sorare Data, we would recommend using a few other sites to bolster your analysis.
Let’s say for example you have identified a promising player on Sorare Data but they have a worrying number of the dreaded “DNP” (Did Not Play) marks on their chart. It is worth investigating further to determine what the reasons for those DNPs were. Was the player injured? If so, how serious was the injury and do they have a history of lengthy spells out?
Or perhaps they had a lot of games on the bench or not being in the squad, but that was under a previous manager and the new manager is much keener on the player and is playing them regularly.
You can find this sort of data on Flashscore, by either searching for a player or going to their relevant league and team and then clicking on the squad. You will be able to see what the reason for them missing games was and judge if it is manageable or warrants moving on to someone else.
Here is Romelu Lukaku’s profile for example:
You can see his recent games and how many minutes he had, together with one game he missed due to suspension.
Then below you can see his career history with number of games played, goals scored etc by club and league:
There is also a section below that with the player’s injury history.
A site like Transfermarkt can also be useful in getting a sense of a player’s value. Whilst we tend to treat the valuations on there with a pinch of salt as there is some subjectivity to it, a player’s transfer history and current valuation can be a useful yardstick and comparative tool when looking at different players.
Sometimes there is a very highly valued player who is just out of favour or hasn’t hit the headlines recently but clearly if they had a big transfer fee in the past then there must have been a reason for it. This can then be supplemented by some google research to learn more about the player and their potential. There are some good news sites and club-specific websites with analysis of individual players and their strengths and weaknesses, so all this research should help to build up your picture of a player.
In general we don’t pay too much heed to YouTube montages of players because just about anyone can look good on those! This is because they tend to show the very best things a player has done and don’t give you any sense of their overall ability and level of consistency. But if you happen to watch one and aren’t impressed by a player then that might be cause for concern!
Getting the Right Mix
Before purchasing any cards on Sorare, it is advisable to have a think about the mix of players you want in your squad. Firstly you obviously want to make sure you end up with a relatively even mix of defenders, midfielders and forwards in your squad, with perhaps a slight bias towards the latter two as they tend to score the most points and therefore can help get you rewards if used in the “extra” position in your team.
Overall though you want a fairly even balance between these positions and don’t want to get stuck in the trap of buying all forwards for example because they are more exciting and then forget to buy the other types of player.
You will also need a goalkeeper or two, although the nuances and challenges of this are such that we have devoted a separate section to it below.
Presuming you have a decent mix of players in terms of position then, the next thing to think about is how many, and which, contests you want to target.
This will depend largely on what kind of budget you have at your disposal, but ideally if you have the funds to do it, we would recommend building your squad in such a way that you can target multiple different Sorare contests/leagues.
So for example you might build one group of players to target the Champion Europe divisions, one for the U23 divisions, another for the Asian divisions, one for the American divisions and so on. This would you give multiple “shots on goal” (if you’ll excuse the pun) in terms of chances of winning a prize. It also means you can have teams playing you for in both the Summer and Winter leagues so you don’t end up with a big gap in the calendar where you can’t win any prizes.
As we say, obviously just how many teams you can build is largely budget-dependent, but if you have funds of around €1,000 – €2,000 then (at the time of writing this at least) that should allow you to buy enough players to enter at least one or two contests per gameweek, depending on how the fixtures fall and injuries/suspensions etc.
As we say, goalkeepers deserve a section all to themselves due to the outsize importance they have on Sorare. This significance is down to the fact that there are so few of them available and they are in such demand that it can be a real challenge to find an affordable one at all. Competition is fierce.
If you do your research and scouting and can find a goalkeeper who is playing regularly at an affordable price then we would say go for it as such opportunities are few and far between these days.
Alternative strategies include just using your common card goalkeepers, which can actually work quite well and we have been able to consistently hit the ETH threshold using a common goalie. They lose 50% of the their points outside of the Rookie League but can still get a 25 or 30 point score which is okay and won’t normally sink your chances of grabbing a reward.
Or you could take a chance on:
- A keeper who is injured;
- A current reserve keeper who you think has a chance of grabbing the number one spot;
- A goalie who has just been dropped but you think will either get back in the team or make a transfer;
- Or a young up-and-coming goalkeeper who could be on the verge of a breakthrough.
All of these come with a degree of risk but could really pay off if they come good for you.
Failing all that you could just bite the bullet and pay a big asking price for an established goalkeeper, feeling it is worth it in the long run to have that stability in your squad.
N.B. – Update 17.03.21 – It might be worth waiting on this however as Sorare have recently stated they are planning to take some action around the cost of goalkeepers – this might involve the new scarcity level for example.
Building a Team for Scoring
As well as looking at individual player’s attributes, it is also worth considering their suitability for SO5 scoring and the kind of team you want to build.
In our view, the type of players to focus on in SO5 terms are those who play regularly and get consistently good scores. Whilst it’s nice to speculate on the “next big thing,” it is usually better to focus on a player with proven credentials and a history of good SO5 scores, certainly if you can pick them up for a decent price. It’s generally best to avoid the Twitter hype and those players being pumped based on very little substance.
Playing regularly is such a key part of SO5 because with only five players participating for you in each contest, one of them not playing and scoring a big fat zero can really drag down your score and mean you end up missing the threshold for an ETH payout, or could even mean you miss out on a rare card prize if your other players have put in good scores.
The interesting thing is that players don’t really need to do very much in the Sorare scoring matrix to score 40-50 points if they start a game, as long as they don’t have a complete ‘mare. Five of those scores and you are well on your way to picking up an ETH payout on Global All-Star Division 4.
Targeting Young Players
One element we certainly think is worth focusing on is finding good young players on Sorare. As we discussed above in our analysis of how to value players, the beauty of Sorare is that cards don’t expire so a young player could feasibly be churning out rewards for you for 15 years or more.
We are surprised in some ways that young players aren’t even more highly prized on Sorare. Yes the big name young players considered the “next wonderkids” like Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala are exorbitantly priced but lesser-known young players are often comparably priced to much older players with similar SO5 scores.
In addition to having a much longer career ahead of them, young players on Sorare have the added utility of being able to be entered in the U23 league.
Younger players also have more potential to improve and develop as they get older, with many being raw talents when they burst on the scene who need game time and experience to develop their skills. Don’t forget that in his first season at Man Utd, Cristiano Ronaldo only scored four league goals, was considered by some to be a “one trick pony” and “too weak” to survive the physicality of the English game. Well just look how that turned out…
So we would advise scouting around for good young players, avoiding the “obvious” ones but rather focus on players with good SO5 scores and the potential to improve.
Looking at Obscure Leagues and Players
One of the nuances of Sorare is that an unheralded forward in the Belgian Jupiler League can score just as well in SO5 as the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Mo Salah. There is no bonus for scoring your points in the big leagues instead of the smaller ones nor bonuses for playing against stronger teams week-in, week-out.
Although there aren’t quite as many real bargains to be found in the more obscure leagues as there used to be, there is still value to be had in shopping around in the Dutch, Belgian, Portuguese and Russian leagues and the MLS for example.
Picking Players with European Football
Another aspect to consider when choosing players is whether they have European football, in terms of Champions League and Europa League fixtures. These are eligible competitions when it comes to the Sorare fantasy contests (SO5), meaning your players can score points in games played in these competitions.
So having players who will get a lot of extra games via these competitions is certainly an advantage. Whilst players from the top clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus tend to be already highly valued, there are players from top Portuguese and Dutch clubs for example who are good value and are normally involved in European competition.
Even players from a less glamorous but very successful club like Athletico Madrid are available at cheaper prices than their more illustrious neighbours. They are frequently involved in the Champions League and often get to the latter stages with their tough, gritty style of play.
So having a look for players who have this added bonus of European football is certainly an advantage that you can get, often for little to no extra cost in terms of a player’s value relatively to a comparable player who doesn’t have European football.
Picking Up Out of Favour Players
Whilst our natural instincts tend to attract to us the red-hot, in-form players making headlines, it can really pay off to focus instead on the injured, suspended, out of season and generally out of favour players – presuming of course we think they are actually good players and have some data to back that up.
A player’s value can drop significantly when they are injured as people want players who they can play in the next gameweek, but presuming the injury isn’t too serious and threatens their career, then it can actually be an ideal time to pick them up.
We have seen instances of a player’s price being significantly suppressed whilst out injured, even though the player is only due to be out for a few weeks and the injury is pretty minor. Then when that player recovers and starts playing again, the price jumps back up. A good resource for injury news is the Sportsgambler site.
The same thing can be true of players in leagues that are on a break or players that have been suspended. It can also be true of players who are out of form and have been dropped, although there is a risk that it could be a while before they get back in the team. A certain amount of judgement and knowledge of the players and clubs involved is needed here.
Again though, if a price has dropped and you think the player is genuinely quality and the dip in form is just temporary, it can be worth taking a long-term view that the player will get back in the team or get a transfer, sooner rather than later.
Choosing Your Gameweek Entries
When it comes to picking which players will go in your teams, the choices can be tricky. This is particularly the case if you have a lot of cards and can’t decide which ones to enter in the various contests.
First off you want to check any team news and injuries, although Sorare moving the deadline for entries from 6pm to 1pm UTC has made this a little more tricky. But you should be able to check for any obvious injuries and suspensions of those players who are definitely going to be out, allowing you to exclude those players.
Then you probably want to check which players have been playing regularly in the last few games. Although rotation is part of the modern game, particularly with certain managers such as Pep Guardiola and can be the scourge of Sorare users, ultimately by following your players closely you should get a feel for whether they are likely to start or not. Some players are “first on the teamsheet” kind of guys who barring injury you know will be playing, where as others might be more likely to start European games than league matches for example.
It can then be an idea to look at the fixture list and see whether any of your players are involved in potentially hard or easy games – a top against bottom match-up for example. Whilst we wouldn’t get too wound up in this as often players perform fairly consistently despite who the opposition is, it can be worth looking at just to see if there are any obviously easy games to take advantage of or hard games to avoid.
In terms of which leagues/divisions to target, our own preference is to always ensure we have a team in the Global All-Star Division 4 so we have a chance of winning the ETH payout. We tend to like the “Steady Eddy” types who start regularly and usually hit around 50 points so we have as good a chance as possible of hitting the thresholds.
When considering the other leagues, it’s a good idea to look at what percentage of entrants typically get a prize in that league. The Twitter account @SorareHub usually produces a table of the average percentage of managers winning prizes per division, both on average and in the last gameweek. You can also look yourself on Sorare in the “play” page at how many people have entered each contest and how far down the prizes go.
In general the Asian and American divisions have had the lowest score needed to win a prize, with unsurprisingly the Global All-Star division 4 having the lowest percentage of managers winning card prizes (but excluding the ETH rewards).
There is no right or wrong answer in choosing which leagues to enter, although we would recommend going for a league you have a chance of hitting a prize in rather than trying to “shoot for the stars” in one of the higher divisions thinking you want to test yourself against the big boys (and girls). The upper divisions are very competitive and you will generally need really high quality super-rare or even unique cards to be challenging for the spoils in those upper echelons.
As we mentioned at the outset of the article, we are long-term holders and are not really focused on the practice of “flipping” – or in other words buying a card in the hope of selling it on quickly at a higher price – but it is worth a short word on as it does make up a part of the opportunity on Sorare.
If you are going to flip, here are some trends we have noticed:-
- It can be advantageous to find players who are cheaper compared to a very similar players. Opportunities like this still exist and if you see two players of a similar age, with very similar SO5 scores and standing in the game but one is twice the price of the other, it usually isn’t that long before the cheaper one rises in price as other managers spot the discrepancy.
- The kind of out of favour players we mentioned above can be ideal for flipping – injured, suspended, benched or out of form individuals can be a bargain at a knockdown price to sell on later once they are back in the team.
- It can be worth making offers to other managers for their players, particularly if the manager won the card as a reward and isn’t using it (which you can see from the bonus percentage and XP points). However, don’t make derisory offers – this is likely to get you blocked and make flipping harder in the long run. Have a look at recent secondary market prices and those of cards currently for sale and perhaps offer a little below that, maybe 5-10% max. The days of expecting to have an offer accepted 40% below the current asking price are gone – for now at least.
- If you are going to approach other managers it is a good idea to use Discord to make approaches rather than making a direct offer on Sorare. This has two advantages: one is you can negotiate (and have a bit of banter) and hopefully come to an agreement suitable to both parties, where as at the moment the process on Sorare itself is limited to an offer and acceptance/rejection; secondly, currently on Sorare once you have made an offer the funds are taken out of your ETH wallet until that offer is either accepted or rejected, making it quite difficult to make multiple offers simultaneously, unless you have a large balance of course.
- Look for a good window to sell a player. We listened to a podcast recently where a manager said he was doing very well by putting his players up for sale in the hours before the deadline for a gameweek. His belief was that people really want to enter the contests and will often pay inflated prices for cards to enable them to do so. He would then buy cards up again later when things had settled down, listing them before the next deadline. Rinse and repeat, as they say.
One final note on flipping: it can be tempting to see people’s screenshots on Twitter showing big profits made from flipping and think it will always be easy to make a profit this way. However, at the time of writing there has been a huge bull market over the last few weeks with the prices of just about every player rising, many by huge amounts. Flipping might not be quite so easy in a flat or down market, particularly if there isn’t significant liquidity (a large pool of willing buyers).
Summary and Further Resources
Sorare is an amazing concept but it is complex for the uninitiated and there is quite a lot of nuance and skill to getting it right. Doing your research by scouting players, looking at their history and stats, checking team news and injuries and generally putting in the time is definitely a good idea if you want to get the best out of it.
We have set out some strategies above that we hope will be useful to you in your journey on Sorare. No doubt some of the dynamics will change over time so it is worth keeping up to date with the latest developments. We will be tracking our own progress live here on the site so you can see how we get on.
This strategy guide is by no means exhaustive or the only resource out there on Sorare of course. We can recommend the following resources for further information on the platform:
- SorareHub on Twitter with useful tables and stats on Sorare contests;
- Football MDJ on Twitter who has some insightful comments and articles;
- Quinny on YouTube who is quite an experienced player and has lots of useful info and tips as well as live streams etc;
- John Nellis on YouTube, with some good introductory guides plus some chats and discussions;
- Sorareinfo, which has lots of useful news and updates on Sorare as well as tips on players to buy.
No doubt many more will pop over time as Sorare grows but those are the best resources we have found so far.
Anyway, we hope you have found this strategy guide useful and please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or by dropping us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.