The latest edition of the hugely popular FIFA video game series, FIFA 22, drops on October 1 and makers EA Sports have teased a host of new gameplay and graphical improvements, particularly focused on next-gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Every year, EA Sports adds new features and tweaks to existing modes in order to entice fans of the game to buy the latest version. Here are the upgrades and changes in the new release.
MORE ON FIFA 22:
Gameplay & graphics upgrades
The main selling point for FIFA 22 is the HyperMotion gameplay technology available only on next-gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. The game uses the power of those new consoles to provide a more realistic football experience than ever before.
HyperMotion is built on data that was captured from pro footballers playing in a high-intensity, 11-v-11, full-size pitch setting. With more than 8.7 million frames captured, the machine-learning algorithm writes new animations in real-time, giving a more dynamic and realistic feel to the game when players are running, controlling or striking the ball. The over 4,000 new animations in the game are three times more than last year’s edition.
Here are 10 other upgrades to the gameplay:
1) Tactical AI: Players will make up to six times more decisions per second than in FIFA 21, allowing them to make better runs, take up smarter positions and keep shape defensively. Especially the defensive changes will require players “re-learn how you play the game,” according to EA Sports.
2) Kinetic air battles: Thanks to the match capture animations explained above, heading and jumping for aerial balls is much more dynamic and realistic with players pushing, pulling and jostling.
3) Composed ball control: Controlling the ball is more fluid than ever, and first and second touches appear more natural.
4) Player Humanization: Interactions between players and during stoppages appear more real, too, with players talking, pointing and reacting to in-game situations.
5) True Ball Physics: In keeping with the realistic theme, the ball will behave differently on passes, shots and bounces based on new variables introduced like swerve, air resistance, and rolling friction.
6) Goalkeeper Revamp: A new goalkeeper system has been implemented on all consoles and ‘keepers are now better at shot-stopping and decision-making. ‘Keepers will also showcase different styles with their personality attributes carrying over into the game.
7) Explosive Sprint: Gamers have more control over acceleration with the new Explosive Sprint option. You can now wait for the perfect time to apply that burst of speed to get away from opponents or close them down.
8) New Skill Moves: Four new moves have been added to FIFA 22: (1) scoop fake turn, (2) four-touch skill, (3) skilled bridge and (4) first-time spin. And now you can also apply skill moves on the first touch of the ball. Around 90 percent of skill moves can be used in this way.
9) New Tactical Options: Now you can set up your team to play different tactical styles in each half of the field, including for in-game tactics.
10) Match Analysis: FIFA 22 has heat maps, pass maps, shot charts and for the first time ever expected goals (xG) will be part of the mix.
HyperMotion technology is only on next-gen consoles, but PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will include all other gameplay changes, including improvements to Ultimate Team, VOLTA and Career Mode.
FIFA Ultimate Team changes
FIFA Ultimate Team is the most popular game mode each year and in FIFA 22 it is receiving some changes rather than any major overhaul.
Division Rivals: There’s an updated seasonal progression system in Division Rivals with FIFA 22 using a new ladder system: Every win allows you to advance one stage within a division and every defeat drops you down one stage. Win streaks allow you to advance more quickly. Every player starts in Division 10 in FIFA 22, and there’s a new Elite Division which is higher than Division 1 and will see the best FUT players in the world competing.
FUT Champions: Weekend league is no more with FUT Champions in FIFA 22. It will be spread throughout the week rather than over three days as in previous versions of the game. FUT Champions Finals take three days like Weekend League, but you can enter on any day rather than just on Fridays as in FIFA 21. Also, qualifying for FUT Champions Play-Offs and Finals will now be based on points rather than wins.
FUT Heroes: The other big change to FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) is the addition of a new card type: FUT Heroes. Like ICONs, these are former players who made a major impact at club and international level, adding a new dynamic to squad building in FIFA Ultimate Team.
While ICONs can be added to any team, FUT Heroes are each assigned to a league, so they will have a strong chemistry link with all other players from that league. Here are the FUT Heroes released so far:
- Premier League: Tim Cahill, Robbie Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Freddie Ljungberg, Jerzy Dudek, Joe Cole
- Bundesliga: Mario Gomez, Lars Ricken, Jurgen Kohler
- La Liga: Fernando Morientes, Aleksandr Mostovoi
- Serie A: Diego Milito, Antonio Di Natale, Ivan Cordoba
- Ligue 1: Abedi Pele, David Ginola
- Liga MX: Jorge Campos
- MLS: Clint Dempsey
- Saudi MBS Pro League: Sami Al-Jaber
The nationality of the FUT Heroes will also give chemistry boosts. For example, Diego Milito’s FUT Heroes card will have a perfect link to Lautaro Martinez as they share both nationality (Argentina) and league (Serie A). Milito would have a strong link to Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) as they share the same league (Serie A), but have a different nationality. Milito’s link with Lionel Messi would only be weak since they have different leagues, even though they have the same nationality (Argentina).
FUT Heroes will be available in packs — just like most other cards in the game — beginning with FIFA 22’s release on Oct. 1. You will then be able to buy and sell them on the Transfer Market. Other FUT Heroes cards may become available through Squad Building Challenges (SBCs).
Career Mode improvements
After Ultimate Team, Career Mode is the most popular game mode in FIFA. As a result, it tends to see many improvements each year.
Manager Career: The main change for FIFA 22 is the addition of Create Your Club, which allows you to add your local side to the database and take it to domestic and continental glory. You get to craft the club’s identity (name, crest, kit, stadium), pick a league of your choosing, and give it a rival club. Once the club is set up, you can generate players in the squad builder and establish your board expectations and transfer budget.
Player Career: This has been expanded in FIFA 22 to feel more realistic as you attempt to break through. Manager Rating has been added, providing you feedback on your performances and setting Match Objectives as you seek to impress your manager.
Player Growth: Created players have a new Player Growth path, with XP and Skill Points unlocked as you complete matches and meet Match Objectives. You can then use the XP in the Player Career Skill Tree to decide which attributes to improve.
Cinematic Sequences: To make your Player Career feel more realistic, cinematic sequences have been added at the end of every match just like in the Madden NFL game. New transfer negotiation screens include contract discussions.
Expanded Stories: These focus on achievements and milestones like winning Man of the Match or Manager of the Month awards. On next-gen consoles, these are shown in pre-match sequences with commentary.
Other additions: EA Sports has exclusive rights to the UEFA club tournaments and will include the new UEFA Conference League as a new addition. And dynamic tifos now celebrate the achievements of your created player.
Changes to Volta
VOLTA was first introduced in FIFA 20 as a way of bringing back FIFA Street and it has been the main story mode for the past two seasons. It receives a major overhaul for FIFA 22 with an all-new story, Volta Arcade, a new Skill Meter, and a bigger focus on skill moves and flair:
Skill Meter: Fancy passes, wall passes and nutmegs fill the Skill Meter bar, adding a x2, x3 or x4 multiplier so that goals count for double, triple or quadruple.
Signature Abilities: This is a new addition to FIFA 22. When the Signature Ability Meter is full, you can activate three different ones: Power Strike, Pure Pace and Aggressive Tackle.
Skill Tree: This has been revamped in FIFA 22. Each player starts at 82 overall with five-star skill moves and five-star weak foot, but player growth is capped at 96 overall in Volta. That max rating means you will only be able to max out one branch of the Skill Tree, rather than filling them all as in previous years.
Volta Arcade: A host of eight new mini-games have been added and you can play with friends or play drop-in games. More will be added during the year. Each tournament will consist of four of these games chosen at random, and you can earn Volta Coins and XP for performance.
New lobby: Similar to other games like Fortnite or Fall Guys where gamers can see each other on screen and know when everyone is ready.
Other changes: Chemistry is gone, meaning you can build at any time. In-game positions have also been removed, making gameplay more dynamic. There is no longer a single-player story (The Debut) and stadium selection is now random. Two-player celebrations and simple skill moves have been added.
The Pro Clubs game mode is getting some promising improvements in FIFA 22. You can now create female pros in the game and develop your virtual player exactly how you want, choosing what style to play and how the player grows during your Pro Clubs career.
Female Virtual Pros: In addition to male players, gamers can also create female players. Female pros develop and progress the same way as male pros and follow the same growth tree.
Player Growth: This is much more in-depth compared to previous versions. You earn points based on in-game performances and these can be used in the skill tree to improve tackling, passing and shooting. This allows gamers to develop their players depending on where they line up on the field.
Player Archetypes: These exist in other EA Sports games and are now part of FIFA 22. They allow you to choose the type of player you want to build (Ex. fast forward, tough tackler, all-around midfielder).
Player Perks: These are additional bonuses that give huge boosts to specific attributes which are unlocked by using points earned from in-game performances.
Stats & Heat Maps: It’s not just goals and assists that you’ll see for each virtual pro. FIFA 22 now has heat maps, pass maps, tackle locations and plenty more to give you a better idea of how you performed during the matches.