FIFA 21

24 Feb 2021

FIFA 22 Gameplay: Changes We Want To See In FIFA 22

We’re continuing on our wishlist for FIFA 22, today looking at the highly scrutinised area that underpins all of FIFA, gameplay.

Gameplay in recent editions of FIFA has come under fire somewhat for its inconsistencies, and slow, monotonous, possession-based gameplay style, so what can EA do to remedy the situation for FIFA 22?

Here are 6 things we’d like to see changed, improved or removed in FIFA 22 from a gameplay perspective, that we believe would make the game more fun and action-packed for players.

New Gameplay Engine

The Frostbite engine has been in FIFA for the past 5 editions since its debut in FIFA 17, however, with next-generation consoles on the market, it would be fitting to get a new engine to take advantage of all the new hardware and software capabilities.

The Frostbite engine has come under some criticism in recent years for its collision detection and other physics errors, that have resulted in some sloppy, unrealistic FIFA moments with players either failing to lock on to passes or running into one another.

We’re hoping that EA can put the work in to devise a new engine for next-generation consoles and FIFA 22 to truly bring the franchise into the new era of gaming.

Consistent Gameplay & Gameplay Conditions

One thing that’s somewhat overlooked in the FIFA Community is consistency when it comes to gameplay, both from a server and game speed perspective, but also in terms of how many patches are released throughout the year.

Not even 4 months into FIFA 21, we’ve already had nearly 10 big patches that have attempted to change big aspects of the game, from crossing and volleys to stepovers, to the bridge dribble. While certain changes are needed, it seems that EA feels the need to nerf what’s considered the attacking meta at every possible step.

In the future, to ensure that players can get used to a certain style of gameplay, and not be forced to figure a new style out every few weeks, it would be nice to have a little more consistency with gameplay.

Furthermore, server connection and general gameplay speed need to be more consistent in FIFA 22. Anyone that’s played FIFA, specifically FUT online know that gameplay conditions and the feel of the game can change on an almost hourly basis.

Reduce Defensive AI Assistance

FIFA 21 has had some of the craziest autoblock and defensive AI help I think we’ve ever seen in a FIFA title, with defenders making crazy blocks to deny clear goal-scoring opportunities.

Couple this with how defenders automatically track runs from strikers, and you have a defending system that requires very little skill to perfect, that lends itself towards a park the bus style of gameplay, which is draining and monotonous to break down, especially when attacking tools such as skills, pace and attacking runs get nerfed patch on patch.

At the start of FIFA 21, we saw the real need for defensive nouse and smart player switching to win the ball back in the defensive third, increasing the skill gap, something that’s arguably a much needed factor in a game striving to be a competitive esport.

Make Skill Moves More Impactful

Utilising Skill Moves in FIFA has always been a way to determine who the more skilled players are, and while skill move chaining has been a problem in previous FIFAs, we’d like to see skills be more impactful in FIFA 22.

In 21, the range of skill moves that are effective is rather limited to stepovers and the bridge dribble, with very few other moves being used frequently by players due to their effectiveness.

It’d be great to see skill move chaining of unique moves being improved in future FIFAs, to allow those old school skill goals, adding fun and variety to the types of goals we can score in FIFA.

Increase Game Speed

Over the past few years, in FIFA 20 and 21 especially, the general game speed has been slowed down a lot, with players moving faster than the ball on many occasions, resulting in a slow, possession-based game.

In a 6 minute half-game, we’d love to see the speed of the game dialled up to incentivise fluid, attacking football, instead of possession-based games that only result in 1 or 2 shots a half.

Games like FIFA 19 may not have been the greatest reflection to real-world football, but with faster gameplay, skill moves and other effective mechanics such as long shots and volleys, it was a far less realistic football game, but many would agree it was much more fun than the last two iterations.

Bring Back Pace & Long Shots

At the start of FIFA 21, pace was a real factor, with the likes of Timo Werner being considered a top-level player, consistently breaking away from even 80 pace CBs for easy goalscoring opportunities.

As the weeks have passed, pace has clearly become less of a factor over various patches, to the point where even the fastest attackers are caught by defenders with pace ratings far lower, thus negating pace as a major factor.

As well as pace, long shots are an area of the game that has easily become far less effective this year, with outside of the box shots rarely troubling goalkeepers unless volleyed or finessed. 

In FIFA 22, we’d enjoy seeing the return of long shots to the meta, with certain players such as Kevin De Bruyne or Paul Pogba being more effective from range.