Top Spin 4 News Post

Hello everyone,

My name is Jean-Karl Tupin-Bron, Game Designer on Top Spin 4. We are going to talk today about the main solo mode of Top Spin 4, the Career mode.

After Top Spin 3’s release, we read a lot of feedback from users asking for a deeper Career mode. That’s why we focused a lot of attention on this game mode with one purpose in mind: to bring you the most exciting career mode yet in a Top Spin game.

Steps to Glory

The main objective of this game mode is quite simple: take a promising pro player (created with the Player Creator spoken about in the previous Developer Diary from the bottom of the Pro rankings and turn them into a Tennis Legend. The Career mode has been designed to make you feel the rigors of having your player rise through the tennis hierarchy from the very first minor tournaments against unknown players to the most famous Grand Slams, challenging modern day legends like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

To represent your progression through the Top Spin League, we have defined eight statuses: newcomer, rookie, new talent, young gun, rising star, star, superstar, and legend. When you start your career, your status is “newcomer”. Your main goal in the Career mode is to progress to the next status, one by one, until you reach the very last one, Legend. To unlock a status, you have objectives to complete (examples: win two minor tournaments, have more than 45,000 fans, etc.). Of course, these objectives become harder and harder; it’ll be more difficult to become a Legend than unlocking the Rookie status for instance. Stay focused on these objectives, they are the most important challenges you have to complete.

You career is regulated by seasons which are represented by a 12 month-calendar. Month after month, you have to choose between lots of different events, but keep in mind that only one preparation event and one tournament can be played each month. This means that you have to make some choices about which events you want to participate in because you can’t play all the available events. These choices will even be harder to make further into your career because by unlocking new statuses, you’ll also unlock new events. So choose wisely and stay focused on your next status objectives.

Preparation Event

As we have seen in the previous section, you can play a preparation event each month. The preparation events are non-ranked events: these don’t give you career points and your ranking will not evolve after having played one of them, but they are still very useful. Preparation events will allow you to train (and to earn XPs, of course), to earn fans (because your popularity in the Top Spin League can be very important) or to unlock new outfit packs.

Let’s see the 2 types of Preparation events in more details: the Sparring Partner Trainings and the Special Events.

Sparring Partner Trainings are training matches with another player. Before launching a Sparring Partner Training, you must choose the play style of the sparring partner who will play with you. Please read here for a look back at play styles. Please read here for a look back at play styles. If you have difficulties during your career matches when you’re playing against a particular play style, Sparring Partner Trainings are perfect to learn how to defeat this kind of player. During the training match itself, some special objectives may occur. Examples: do not lose a point before the end of the game, perform three winners before the end of the game, etc. If you can complete them, you earn an XP bonus. No need to tell you that if you find that your player is a bit weak, choosing a Sparring Partner Training as your next Preparation event could be a very good idea…

On the other hand, Special Events are more varied. These events appear, month after month, all along your career, according to how you performed during the previous months. There are four categories of Special Events:

1. Exhibition Matches - In order to earn XPs and/or fans, you can decide to play exhibition matches. Singles or doubles, mixed or not, with classic tennis rules or with alternative points systems… every kind of match is possible!

2. Sponsor Challenges - If you perform well during sponsored tournaments, you can be invited to a Sponsor Challenge. Challenge the brand’s icon and if you beat him/her, the brand will grant you a nice pack of items from their catalog.

3. Dream Matches - When your status is high enough, you may be invited by the Top Spin Hall of Fame president for some exhibition matches versus the Legend players. Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and all the other legendary players are waiting for you in Dream Matches…

4. Extra-tennis activities - If you want to be more popular, take part in Jet-set parties, TV shows or interviews. But if you prefer to earn more XPs, physical training in the mountains or two weeks of hydrotherapy could be a better use for your time.

You have seen what you can do during preparation time. But now, it’s time to face challengers on the court…


Each month, you can play in one (and only one!) tournament. According to your result in this tournament and according to the tournament itself (minor, major, master, grand slam), you earn points for your ranking. Of course, when you start your career, only the smallest tournaments are available (minor and major) but you’ll earn the right to play some bigger tournaments by unlocking new statuses.

However, the points are not the only reasons which could drive your choice when you have to choose your next tournament. Two elements could make you choose one event instead of another:
  • Some tournaments are sponsored. If you perform well during these tournaments, the sponsoring brand may offer you some items from their catalog. There are hundreds of items to unlock for your created player, so you may choose a tournament because you love the clothes from the sponsoring brand.
  • Some tournaments belong to a Series. Series are groups of tournaments grouped by a theme (there are 6 Series in the Top Spin League: Clay, Grass, Hard, Carpet, US and Europe). At the end of the season, the player who has won the most matches during the tournaments of a Series wins an XP Bonus. Obviously, trying to perform well in tournaments belonging to the same Series could be a good way to boost your player development.
Pay attention to the tournaments’ categories, sponsors and series, and choose the best event for you.

There are also some special tournaments which have specific unlock conditions. These tournaments are some of the most famous ones; you may have to win some of them to unlock the last statuses. These special tournaments are the All-Stars Tournament (only available for the 8 most popular players in the rankings), the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (available for the 8 best players of the season) and the International Competitions (Tennis World Finals and Continental Cup, played on alternative years). Be the best player from your country and be good enough to qualify for these International Competitions, and the National Coach will call you to represent your country.

Inside the Top Spin League

As you can see, there are lots of different events to play in career mode. This is one of the aspects we wanted to improve in Top Spin 4. Also, one of the other elements we focused on was to make you feel that you’re not alone in the Top Spin League. We wanted to ensure you will be getting info about the other players and also about the other people who take part in your tennis player’s life.

A lot of information about the other players of the Top Spin League, and about the upcoming events, is given to you thanks to the news bar (scrolling at the bottom of the screen) and the news widget (a frame with rankings and info displayed on your Career main page). Whenever you want, you can check the rankings of the Top Spin League, and if you want more info you can check statistics, records and diagrams about your own career or about other players’.

The mailbox also allows you to be aware of what happens in the league. All along your career, you will receive a lot of emails from various senders (your national coach, the president of the league, brands’ agents, marketing people, journalists, etc.) and about different topics: an event which becomes available, an element that you have unlocked, etc. Check your mailbox as often as you can in order to be up to speed on the latest information.

Of course, the My Player feature (Player Creator/Lock Room, Player Development and Coaches) works perfectly within this game mode. Building your character and unlocking/hiring coaches are a key element of your Career. It could be, for example, a good idea to spend the very first months of your career playing Sparring Partner Trainings in order to earn XPs, acquire several levels in the different tennis strategies and to start working with bronze coaches before playing your first important tournaments.

A lot of things to do, a huge amount of rewards to earn, and plenty of events to take part in… But do you have what it takes to become a Tennis Legend?

- Jean-Karl Tupin-Bron

Game Designer

Source - Developer Diary #5 - My Career (Facebook)

Game: Top Spin 4Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / Wii / Xbox 360Votes for game: 8 - View All
Top Spin 4 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 The Bimmer @ 02/28/11 06:46 PM
So we can set how many games per set and the 3 out 5 sets per match? I did not read that anywhere? This would be really cool.
# 2 The Bimmer @ 02/28/11 07:12 PM
Originally Posted by Seymour Scagnetti
You have to do it right at the beginning of career mode and it can't be changed after which is fine for me. The only question is if you set it for 3 out of 5 sets, it may be for every match you play and not just the majors but chances are it will be 2 out of 3 sets for regular tourneys and 3 of 5 for just the majors. I'll take either way as long as we can do 6 game sets.
OK, right on. I would be cool with that also. Are you into online play?
# 3 rangerrick012 @ 02/28/11 07:17 PM
Originally Posted by Seymour Scagnetti
Another thing I noticed in that tourney bracket for the Australian Open is that the score for Roddick\Murray was 3-1 4-3 and 10-8. Obviously he had it set at 3 sets max and 3 games max per set but it looks like they have the Aussie open rules of winning by 2 games (ie: no tiebreaker the final set) in the final set if that 10-8 score is any indication. Impressed by that.
Could be a super tiebreaker, like it was in TS3.
# 4 bhurst99 @ 02/28/11 09:06 PM
Wow. Sounds fantastic!
# 5 at23steelers @ 02/28/11 09:16 PM
Originally Posted by Seymour Scagnetti
Not generally as every sports game online is usually a cheesefest. If you're into sim play then I'm in. I'm getting it for the PS3 though. My psn is rommi.
I think their goal this year, was to make it as sim as possible and have it so any style you play, can be successful.
# 6 The Bimmer @ 02/28/11 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by Seymour Scagnetti
Not generally as every sports game online is usually a cheesefest. If you're into sim play then I'm in. I'm getting it for the PS3 though. My psn is rommi.
Might want to look here, this is about as strong as it gets for online Tours.

GC- islander: PS3

# 7 The Visualizer @ 03/01/11 01:04 AM
damn impressive, I doubt I'll ever have time to properly delve into the career mode but I appreciate the depth they are including
# 8 rangerrick012 @ 03/01/11 01:09 AM
Originally Posted by The Bimmer
Might want to look here, this is about as strong as it gets for online Tours.

GC- islander: PS3

Thanks for sharing that, might have to take a looksie when the game comes out. Always wanted to play TS3 online, but it was a total cheesefest w/ too many risk shots.
# 9 Uncle Stumpy @ 03/01/11 01:54 AM
I like it BUTTTTT i want the option to play in tourneys every week if i want to...not just 1 tourney a month
# 10 Jukeman @ 03/01/11 08:23 AM
When does this game come out?
# 11 rangerrick012 @ 03/01/11 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by Jukeman
When does this game come out?
March 15....
# 12 [email protected] @ 03/06/11 11:08 AM
This may have been answered but can you take an existing pro through career mode?
# 13 Yeah...THAT Guy @ 03/06/11 04:27 PM
I want to buy this so bad when it comes out, but I'm nervous it will be similar to Top Spin 2 (I think that's the last one I owned).

Before I get into it, did Top Spin 3 have number attributes like this one does or was it like the older games where it was like a 6 star system for forehand, backhand, volley, and serve, or something like that. That's the last time I played Top Spin. And in that game, it was challenging at first, but once I maxed out my abilities, I rarely even felt challenged in a match.

In the TS4 demo, the first few games I played on normal and it was pretty challenging, but I've since moved up to playing on hard and it took me like 20 tries before I finally won, but I've won like 3 or 4 in a row now (although I'll admit, the game is friggin intense on hard). Do you guys think it will eventually become too easy to win if I'm already winning a decent amount of my demo matches on hard, or do you think it will remain this intense and difficult throughout my career mode? I honestly might get this game anyway, just because I love tennis games and this is the first one where I've had to use other types of hits besides a flat shot, although I've noticed if you do a cross-court top spin shot, it generally forces the AI out wide to try to return it and leaves you open for a pretty good chance of finishing them off.
# 14 truetifoso @ 03/25/11 12:59 AM
Once I reach level 20 in career mode, how do I permanently increase my attributes?

I'm getting rocked by Federer and Nadal whose attributes are way higher than mine.

Also, after level 20, what good are the XPs?

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