Sorare is a blockchain game, using NFT sports collectables. If you’re from the NFT world, think Axie Infinity but with sports stars. If you’re from a fantasy football background, imagine actually owning the players you put in your team.
Getting started on Sorare can be a bit overwhelming at first and you’ll definitely want to do your research before taking the plunge. This is a short, regularly updated walkthrough of everything you need to know to get up and running. Basically a complete beginner’s guide!
I’m going to focus on the football part of Sorare in this guide but note that you can also play with stars from the world of basketball and baseball after Sorare launched partnerships with NBA and MLB in 2022. Golf is next on the horizon so look out for that in the future too.
SIGN UP LINK
If you sign up via someone’s referral link, you’ll get a free Limited card after you buy your first 5 cards from the new signings market (the auctions). My link is:
I’m an affiliate so using this link helps you and it helps me too (and it works even if you want to swerve the football and go straight for NBA or MLB instead). I’m always happy to answer any questions you might have while you get started on the game – you can contact me on here, Discord or Twitter.
The basics you need to know AS A BEGINNER
Sorare is a fantasy football game where you buy digital football player cards (via auction or from another manager) and use these to compete in games (with scoring based on live matches) to win more cards or money (as the crypto-currency Ethereum).
Starting out on any platform involves some sort of learning curve. The aim of this walkthrough is to get you up and running, and playing the game as soon as possible. I will cover:
- The onboarding process
- Understanding the player cards
- SO5 competitions
- The scoring matrix
- Ethereum – the currency of Sorare
- How to get money in and out of Sorare
- Buying and selling players
- A note of warning
- Essentials: SorareData and the Sorare Discord
- Side games
This is a long guide so you might want to break it up into smaller chunks and, as always, the best way to learn is to give it a go!
THE onboarding PROCESS
The first bit of advice I give a new user is to always sign up via a referral link. Signing up via a link means you’ll get a free Limited card after you buy your first five cards at auction. My link is at the start of this article. Don’t feel obliged to use mine but please make sure you use someone’s link – it really is worth it.
You’ll then have to sign up with an email address. To keep things secure, you may want to use an entirely new email address and certainly not one that has appeared in any previous data breaches. If you get an error message about this, try changing your password too as it might mean you’re using a commonly used password.
You then start to create your club. First pick a name and a logo, and then you’ll then be taken through a series of tasks to help you get to grips with the game. Completing each task will add new ‘Common’ player cards to your initial draft and should give you a good mix of positions and quality to get you started in the game.
One of the onboarding tasks is to make your first bid on a player. If you don’t feel ready to part with cash at this point you can either skip that or put a low bid on a player where you know you’ll be outbid. Note that you don’t need to put any money into Sorare to begin playing and there are always ways you can play completely for free.
As a new manager, you also get ‘daily drops’ each day for your first 14 days for logging into the site. You get to choose one of five different Common cards to add to your gallery and often these will land you some really decent Common cards so don’t forget to login!
You can enter the Academy and the Casual league without any blockchain cards – the Common cards that you get at the start will unlock this. Doing well in the Academy and the Casual league can win you more Common cards and also Limited cards (if you do really well).
Make the most of these starter leagues and don’t rush into buying cards before you feel ready. Watching how the SO5 scoring works should help you to get used to using Sorare and give you a good start on your manager journey.
Now you are up and running, make sure you enable two-factor authentication on your account (2FA). You’ll find the 2FA option within the settings part of the site and you’ll just need an authentication app like Google Authenticator or Authy to set up your security. It’s really important to do this so that you can keep your account secure.
Understanding the PLAYER cards
The Common cards that you get through the onboarding process are yours to keep but they aren’t Blockchain cards and can’t be traded.
There are four types of ‘proper’ cards, with different levels of scarcity.
The higher the scarcity, the more power the card has and the more they tend to cost. Certain leagues require you to hold higher level scarcity cards in order to enter them.
Cards have bonuses which impact on their score in the SO5 competitions (which I’ll come onto in a moment). The main bonus is based on the card level, which depends on its scarcity (as described above) and it’s XP (its experience in Sorare).
XP increases every time you play a card. It’s a slow, logarithmic growth but regularly using and training your cards will gradually build it up and it can help you to gain an edge in SO5.
The starting level of a card depends on the card scarcity. The picture above shows the Rare levels, starting at 0, up to a maximum of 20. Limiteds work on the same scale. Super Rares go from level 40 to 60 and Unique cards from 80 up to a maximum of 100.
Each level is equivalent to a 0.5% bonus on the player’s score. In other words, Limited and Rare cards range from 0% bonus to a maximum of 10%, and so on.
Note that transferring a card will half its XP. Sorare explain this as being similar to the impact a real life transfer has on a player as they settle in to a new club.
As well as the level bonus, there are two other bonuses which affect a card’s score:
- Picking a card as captain in an SO5 competition adds a 20% bonus to their score.
- Cards receive an extra 5% if they are minted as part of the current season – note that this bonus is lost once the new season cards are minted.
Player cards remain usable for life, even if the player transfers to another club (providing they stay within a league covered by Sorare). The cards themselves don’t change once they’ve been minted. Most obviously that means that the player age won’t change on the card as he ages. It also means that you’ll sometimes see cards with different positions on them, where the player has changed his playing position over time. In this case – whatever position is on your card is the position that counts.
Sorare recently added a ‘Rookie card’ label (RC) to the design of some new cards – applied to young players with their first run of minted cards in their first professional season. This label doesn’t impact on the utility of the card but may make it more desirable to collectors. You can also collect ‘Legends’ cards, which are retired players, usable only in their own Legends tournaments which Sorare runs from time to time.
Cards live in your gallery on Sorare and are visible to all other managers too – there are no secrets on Sorare!
Which cards you start out with are up to you but bear in mind that higher scarcity cards tend to be less liquid but also less vulnerable to price fluctuations. You’ll also find that lower level SO5 competitions tend to me more competitive due to the number of people entering.
Limited cards are seen as the entry level tier, due to their lower price but I’d always suggest aiming for Rare cards, if that’s feasible within your budget.
SO5 competitions are what give the cards their utility on Sorare, and underpin their value. On Sorare, all competitions require you to build a 5-a-side team, comprised of a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and one other outfield player, hence the name ‘SO5’. You’ll find the tournaments under the ‘Play’ section of the site.
SO5 is based around a regional league structure, plus global leagues that cover all countries. Leagues are split into divisions so that cards of a similar scarcity are competing against each other. The leagues are:
- Casual: Common cards only.
- All Star: Open to all players (and includes international games where covered). This is the most competitive league and also the only one with ETH prizes for reaching points thresholds. Even with a bang-average team, it’s quite possible to hit the thresholds for a $25 or even $50 reward every game week.
- Under 23s: Open to players from all leagues who were aged 23 or under on 1st July 2021.
- Champion Europe: Open to players from teams in the top 5 European football leagues: Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.
- Challenger Europe: Open to players from European teams outside of the top 5 European leagues: Portuguese Liga, Russian Premier League, Eredivisie, Belgium Pro League, Scottish Premiership, Turkish SuperLig, Austrian Bundesliga, Swiss Super League and the English Championship.
- America: Open to players from teams in the American leagues: MLS, Superliga Argentina, Liga MX, Colombian Primera A, Peruvian Primera Division and Brasileiro Serie A.
- Asia: Open to players from teams in the J League, K League and Chinese Super League.
- Specials – Kickoff, Underdog and Specialist: Special tournaments with different entry requirements and restrictions, often aimed at smaller galleries.
As a new manager, there is one other league that’s aimed at you – the Academy. This is only open if you don’t enter one of the other competitions that require Limited, Rare, Super Rare, or Unique cards. In the Academy, you compete to hit specific points totals, rather than against other managers.
The Academy has three different levels – Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. Complete the challenges to open up the next level and to potentially win a Limited card if you score more than 400 points.
Each of the global and regional leagues is divided up into divisions so that cards of a similar scarcity play against each other. As well as the Academy and Casual leagues, most newer managers will start in the Limited division (only Limited cards allowed) or the Rare division (Rare cards). The eligibility requirements for each division, plus the rewards and current number of entrants is shown clearly on the ‘Play’ page and any divisions you can’t open will show as ‘locked’.
There are two gameweeks each week, running from Friday to Tuesday and from Tuesday to Friday. The number of leagues open each gameweek will vary depending on how many teams are playing. Likewise, the prize structure for the leagues will flex in the same way, so on quieter gameweeks there will be less prizes to play for.
Note that the coverage of American and Asian leagues keeps the SO5 structure running during the summer, when the European leagues are on a break (something to think about that when you’re building your gallery).
To enter a league, go to the ‘Play’ section on Sorare and this will take you to a team builder interface which allows you to place your cards in the SO5 players slots.
The score displayed next to players is their average score over the last 5 games. You can also see their bonus and the game for the coming gameweek, displayed via the club badges. The icon ‘NG’ means the player has no scheduled game in the coming gameweek.
There are three things that new managers sometimes miss on this screen, all of which are at the top left, above the list of players:
- Turning ‘Stats View’ on allows you to see the last 5 scores and the opponent for the next gameweek. Keep this on.
- Ticking ‘Used’ shows all the available players, including those that are already lined up in other SO5 teams or training teams. Keep this on too.
- Ticking ‘No Game’ shows all the players that are available, including those without an upcoming game. You may find it easier to turn this off but be aware that it’s there.
Quite obviously, the aim is to get a team together that can score the highest points possible. Once you’ve picked your team and chosen a captain (who will get an additional bonus) hit ‘confirm’ and you’re good to go. You can change your team as many times as you like, right up to the deadline.
You can only enter one team into each division of each SO5 competition. You might want to think about which divisions and leagues to target early on, so that you can build your cards around that perhaps bearing in mind which leagues are the most competitive or tend to cost more to buy players in. Try not to spread yourself too thin early on.
Just like in real life, training is where you send your players when they don’t have a match and you want to build up their skills. Entering players in the Sorare training league will help to develop their XP, gradually helping to increase their bonus and making them more useful in the SO5 competitions.
You’ll find the training league within the ‘Play’ section of the site at the top of the list of tournaments. After you set your SO5 teams up, it makes sense to go into the training section and enter any players who haven’t been put in one of the other teams. You still have to build a 5-a-side team as before so you may not be able to train everyone, all of the time, as usually you’ll find that you run out of goalkeepers before you run out of outfield players.
One tip – players gain more XP during training if they have a game on during that gameweek, or are in a team alongside players who have a game. If you build your teams to contain at least one or two players with a game, alongside NG players, they will build XP more quickly.
The scoring matrix
If you’ve played similar games in the past, you’ll no doubt be wondering what the scoring matrix is like and how it compares to others.
The matrix on Sorare has two elements to it, which combine to produce a score that can range from 0 to 100 (with 50 representing an average score).
The Decisive Score is the element of the scoring that tracks the big actions. The things that make or break a match:
Sorare uses a ladder like structure to turn these actions into scores. A player starts at level 0 (35 points for a starter and 25 points for a substitute) and each positive action moves the player up a level, with each negative action bringing them down a level.
For example, if a player starts a game, scores a goal, gives an assist and then gets sent off, he’ll score a minimum of 60 points:
- Starts (Level 0: 35 points)
- Scores a goal (Level 1: 60 points)
- Gives an assist (Level 2: 70 points)
- Gets sent off (Level 1: 60 points)
His final score will be dependent on the All-around Score, which we’ll come onto in a moment, but if a player moves above level 1 they have a guaranteed score – this means that their score cannot be lower than this even if their All-around Score is negative.
The All-around Score is based on the smaller, more frequent actions in a match. There are lots of these – 39 if you include all the goalkeeper actions – so I won’t include the whole table here but have a look at this Sorare blog post if you want to see them all.
As you’d expect, there are big points scored for things like big chances created and clean sheets (defenders only), as well as points lost for big chances missed and goals conceded (defenders and midfielders). The result of the match has no bearing on the points – so there are no points for a win on Sorare.
The phrases in the matrix that cause the most confusion are these:
- Double-Double = 2 in any 2 of these defensive categories: interceptions, won tackles and net duels
- Triple-Double = At least 2 interceptions, won tackles and net duels
- Triple-Triple = At least 3 interceptions, won tackles and net duels
Note that the above aren’t stackable – so a player can’t score a Double-Double and then a Triple-Double on top, the score will be the highest of the three.
During and after the games, you can view your players scores and the breakdown for these via the SO5 screen (‘Play’).
You’ll also find the table showing where you are against other managers, and the prize pool to show you what you win, depending on where you place. Usually you’ll be competing for a card, sometimes an ETH reward as well. If you can afford the initial outlay on Rare cards, it’s a good idea to aim to get an entry into the All Star Rare tournament each gameweek, where you can win $50 for hitting a threshold score of 250 points or $25 for hitting 205 points – something which is very achievable.
Unlike some platforms where you might need to think about buying players that ‘fit the matrix’, I’d say that Sorare does a pretty good job of simply rewarding ‘good’ players. The key things to consider are players with high levels of involvement in the game and those that are regularly scoring and assisting – so it’s pretty much common sense.
Bear in mind that the cap of 100 points means there’s little difference between someone who has an amazing game and someone who has a very good game. What you want to look for is consistency i.e.; players who regularly post scores above average, and those that have explosive peaks and a track record of hitting scores of 80+.
ETHEREUM – The currency of Sorare
Sorare is built on the Ethereum blockchain. Ether, the Ethereum currency (also ETH), is the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin but there are differences between the two, the main one being that the aim of Ethereum is broader than a simple currency – it provides a platform for applications to be built on.
Utilising blockchain technology means that Sorare can issue digital collectables that are just as ‘real’ as their physical counterparts. The code that sits behind the cards is unique, tamper-proof, allows them to be transferred securely between individuals, and means they can be used anywhere – not just on the Sorare platform. It also means that we can all speak the same language in a global game.
It’s quite possible to play the game without worrying too much about the underlying crypto stuff. However, a little bit of knowledge goes along way so it’s worth reading up to understand some of the basics. It’ll also help you to understand some of the challenges when it comes to moving money around and in and out of the platform. I’ve done a deeper dive on Ethereum in one of my previous blogs.
How to get money in and out of sorare
The simplest way to get money in is to bid or buy using a debit or credit card. If you try to buy a player when you have no ETH in your wallet, this will be the default option that comes up.
It’s simple but there a couple of things to bear in mind. Buying with you card at auction can occasionally cause problems with banks randomly freezing your card (because of a number of bids being placed in quick succession) or being slow to return your money if you’re outbid. There’s no fee to use your card in the new player auctions but you’ll incur a 10% transaction fee if you buy from another manager. You may also get charged currency conversion fees, unless you bank with someone like Monzo or Starling Bank who waive these fees.
The next easiest way is to use Ramp or Moonpay. You’ll find the Ramp and Moonpay option within your Sorare wallet so you don’t have to leave the site in order to transfer money in, but bear in mind that you need to be verified before you can start using them.
I tend to use Ramp for most deposits, just because of the ease of it. Their customer service is also pretty good so, if you have any problems, get in touch with them via the chat function on their website.
There may be some fees to cover, which can take quite a chunk out of your payment, so just be aware of that and go for the cheapest method you can.
The more complex way is to buy via an exchange like Coinbase or Binance and transfer in via a wallet (somewhere that stores digital currency; like Coinbase Wallet or Metamask). Gas fees are something to consider here and you may end up incurring more fees using this route, although you may also be able to time your buys to take advantage of fluctuations in ETH.
If ‘gas’ is a new concept to you, think of it as the fee that covers moving ETH around the network. Gas fees can vary massively during the day and the week so it’s worth keeping an eye on this and looking for cheaper times to move money (I use an app called ‘What Gas Is It’ to help me spot cheaper times).
Gas fees don’t scale with the size of your transaction, so it makes sense to move as much money as you can in one go as this will work out cheaper than making lots of microtransactions. Gas fees will be highest when the network is congested, so high gas fees and slow transactions go hand in hand (things rarely move instantly and sometimes transactions can take hours).
I’ve never used Binance but I hear it’s pretty user-friendly. If you go for Coinbase, use my referral link and we’ll both get a few quid in Bitcoin once you buy a certain amount of crypto (currently about £7 for £70). Also make sure you do the various reward tasks on there to earn a bit more free crypto (these just involve watching short videos and answering some questions – easy money so well worth doing). Note that the commission on buying ETH is considerably cheaper on Coinbase Pro than on Coinbase, but once you’ve signed up for one, you can use either (so I’d advise you use Pro).
As it stands, withdrawals have to go to an ETH address, which means you will have to set up a wallet on something like Coinbase or Binance to get your money out. Ramp are working on a withdrawal function too so I imagine that it won’t be too long before we’ll be able to withdraw directly to a bank card. As with getting money in, gas fees can really sting you if you are moving small amount around so bear that in mind.
If you want a bit more information about using Coinbase to get ETH into Sorare, take a look at this video.
Buying and selling players
At some stage you’ll need to start buying and selling players. There are three ways that players transactions take place on Sorare.
The New Card Auctions are where you buy freshly minted cards directly from Sorare. This a similar to bidding on an auction on eBay – you’ll see the time tick down and you can enter a bid when you are ready. Each bid has to be at least 10% more than the preceding bid, so prices can upwards pretty sharply. Once the auction is into its last minute, any new bid will put the clock back to 60 seconds again, giving more people time to bid (so there’s no point in leaving it to the last second).
Auctions generally end every few seconds for Limited cards and every few minutes for Rares. Super Rare and Unique auctions are much less frequent.
Sorare also runs a ‘Power Hour’ every day, where 60 cards are auctioned over 60 minutes. Cards are usually auctioned one at a time but sometimes you’ll see cards issued in bundles of 5 – either because a new league is starting or because the club licensing only allows bundle sales (like Real Madrid and Liverpool).
Manager Sales (also called the secondary market) is where you buy directly from other managers. Sorare take no cut from this (at the moment) and cover the gas fees (the cost of transferring the card on the Blockchain). You can either buy instantly at the price the manager has set or you can send a lower offer to see if they’ll accept it. If you send an offer, you may have to wait a few hours for a response, depending on how active the other manager is.
You can sell your own cards on the secondary market but finding your player in your gallery and hitting ‘Sell my card’. This brings up a box where you can set your price.
Offers go into the ‘Direct Offers’ part of Sorare, which is the other way you can buy and sell players. You can also create a new offer directly through that part of the site, by searching for the user you want to trade with, clicking the ‘trade’ button on their page and then inputting the ETH and/or players you want to send and/or receive from them in return. Note that you can’t offer a player for trade if you already have him up for sale.
If you receive a Direct Offer from another manager, you’ll receive an email and the notification bell will signal when you visit the site next. You can then accept, decline or block the offer (blocking is only really used when managers repeatedly make derisory offers). Note that managers often withdraw offers quite quickly so don’t be surprised to receive an email but find the offer has disappeared before you have time to logon.
If you sell a player who is lined up in an SO5 team for a gameweek that hasn’t started yet, that team will be cancelled. If the gameweek is already in progress, the player scores will still count, even after he’s left your gallery.
You can find potential bargains and traps in all parts of the market so always do your own research on the player and on previous prices paid. I covered some of the variables that affect player prices in one of my blogs, the main one being scarcity. My main piece of advice is to always take your time on Sorare and not rush into making purchases because once you’ve bought a card, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to sell it again.
Always be careful to check the ETH values against your fiat (local) currency too. I’ve seen people put zeros in the wrong place and sell a card for a fraction of what it’s really worth. Take your time, because if you make a mistake, that card could be gone forever. Likewise, be really careful not to accidentally overbid with a zero in the wrong place at auction – that could be very expensive!
A note of warning
I’ve touched on this above but it’s so important it bears repeating. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to check everything you’re doing when money is involved.
The crypto world is a bit different to the rest of the world – I’ve described it as the Wild West before and I stand by that. With limited regulation, it’s a real playground for ‘bad actors’ and if you don’t have your wits about you, people will take advantage of you. There is no consumer protection to fall back on here.
No need to panic, but just think before you do anything. Watch out for people sending you low-ball offers for your players (preying on people’s lack of familiarity with ETH). Never accept an offer without double and triple checking. Likewise take a few moments to double check you’re putting players up for sale for the right price before finalising a sale because there are bots on the platform which will quickly sweep up low prices. If you lose a card, you’re highly unlikely to get it back again and I’ve seen managers lose hundreds of pounds because of a wrongly placed decimal place – don’t let it happen to you.
If you’re active on Twitter or the Discord channel, be very wary of messages that you’ve ‘won a competition’, of people sending you links to click or files to download, or of people pretending to be customer support and asking for your account details. If it seems dodgy or too good to be true, it probably is.
Slow down, sense-check everything and keep two-factor authentication on your account to stay safe.
And of course, if you’re playing with real money on Sorare, don’t overstretch yourself. Only play with what you can afford to lose.
Essentials: Soraredata and the SORARE discord
There are two things that you really need to know about as it’s where you can get some extra help with the game. Make sure you sign up to SorareData and the Sorare Discord as soon as you join!
SorareData is your one-stop-shop for all Sorare stats and information. You can find out about current and past prices, look up information about other managers (or yourself) and you can even get involved with side games using your cards from your gallery (the beauty of the Blockchain is that the cards are yours and can be used everywhere, not just on Sorare itself). Note that SorareData has paid plans as well as a free option – the free version will be enough while you find your feet but you may want to upgrade in time.
The Sorare Discord brings together Sorare managers and the Sorare team to share news and information, to negotiate on player deals and to ask for help from others in the helpful Sorare community. You’ll also get the heads up on any Sorare competitions and announcements.
As well as the side games on SorareData, you can also play for free in Sorare Academy and enter your cards in SorareMega, Captain Sorare and Sorare Brag.
Sorare Academy runs at the weekends with a 5-a-side format where you pick from Sorare-licensed players in the EPL, La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and Serie A. It’s free-to-play and all managers pick from the same pool of players (so owning cards gives you no advantage). This is a great place for new managers to start and the top 10 managers each weekend win a Limited card.
SorareMega has two different games to play – the Mega League and the Score Dice. The Mega League allows you to enter teams of different sizes and compete against other managers. The Score Dice gives you a random number target to hit each gameweek and you just have to pick which of your cards you think will get a score closest to that number. Both games are free and, from time to time, give you the opportunity to win Rare cards to use on Sorare.
The most recent side game to be launched is Captain Sorare. Again this is based around cards you own and has prizes to win which can be used in the game itself, but no Sorare card prizes (for now at least).
Sorare Brag is a social side game. There are no prizes available here but it’s still a chance to compete against your mates for bragging rights.
It’s worth noting that you can enter your Sorare cards in these other games and the SorareData games at the same time as using them in contests on Sorare itself – so it’s really worth getting involved to maximise your chance to win prizes.
I think that’s enough to get you started and hopefully has helped to shed some light on some of the things that you weren’t sure about. I’ve made a part 2 guide if you want to delve into more of the strategy, which you can find here.
If you want to give Sorare a go, sign up using my referral link and get a free Limited card after you buy your first five cards from the New Card Auctions market: https://sorare.pxf.io/MDJ (and get in touch so I can help you as you start on your Sorare journey).