It’s that time of year again where the days start getting shorter, the football season has started, and inevitably, EA Sports releases a new FIFA. But what’s new in FIFA 22? And more importantly, what’s actually going to make a difference? Here is everything we think is worth taking notice of:
1. Hypermotion – This year’s buzzword is Hypermotion; new technology being implemented on the PS5 and Series X/S versions of FIFA 22. This machine-learning algorithm learns from capture of real-life 11 vs 11 matches, then performs new animations in real-time to create organic player movement, including passes, shots, and something as simple as trapping the ball.
Players take the ball in their stride with ease with hitching and stuttering kept to a minimum during sprints when trying to collect a pass. It promises a much more fluid feel to general gameplay. For much more detail on this, check out my gameplay preview here.
2. Goalkeeper Rewrite – Dodgy goalkeeping has been an issue that has plagued FIFA recently, but a new intelligence system aims to make them much more reliable. New personality types are also being introduced in order to replicate the different styles of ‘keeper found around the world from sweepers to pure shot-stoppers.
3. Explosive Sprint – This new mechanic allows for attackers to lure a defender close to them before accelerating away with a sharp burst of pace. It should allow for more dynamic one-on-one encounters, but let’s just hope it isn’t as overpowered as FIFA 21’s bridge skill ability.
4. True Ball Physics – Improved ball physics makes feel more realistic than ever as they zip through on a wet surface or hold up on the grass as backspin is applied to a lofted through ball.
5. New Attacking Tactics – Players are finally able to apply different playing styles to each half of the pitch, meaning you can press high with attackers but also keep defenders deep if you wish to prevent a counter-attack.
6. Create Your Club – You’ll now be able to create your own football club from scratch and enter them in any league you wish. The customisation options will be familiar to any who have played pro clubs, but you’ll be able to design your own kit, crest, stadium, all the way down to the pattern of the grass on the pitch. You’ll then be able to choose the average ability and age of your players who are then randomly generated as your starter squad.
7. Sub Appearances – When playing a solo player career you can now be substituted on during a match. Something that maybe should have been in FIFA a while ago, but aims to deliver the experience of being a young player aiming to break into the team and impress the manager.
8. Manager Rating – Continue to impress that manager and your manager rating will go up and is represented by a bar that fills up the more faith he has in you. Let it slip all the way into the red though and you’ll find yourself out of the lineup.
9. Match Objectives – Once you enter the pitch you’ll be given three match objectives to complete in order to earn maximum XP. These vary depending on factors including your position on the pitch, the formation you’re in, and the opposition you’re playing and range from achieving a minimum match rating out of 10 to scoring a goal outside the box.
10. New Player Progression – There’s room for a lot more experimentation now when building your player. A revamped skill tree allows for you to specialise much more heavily and put points into specific attributes.
FIFA 22: PS5 and Xbox Series X/S Screenshots
11. Player Perks – There’s also the new perk system which is set to make tangible improvements to your player and team. Perks unlock as you level up and you can equip up to three of them to take into a match. Perks grant you additional stat boosts on top of your and trigger automatically when certain conditions are met. For example, once the Distance Shooter perk is activated it grants you the finesse shot trait for a 5-star weak foot boost, whereas Defensive Cover boosts defensive awareness, interceptions, and tackling for all of your teammates.
12. Dressing Room Atmosphere – Cinematic sequences will not play out from the locker room at the end of each match, reflecting the highs and lows over the course of a season. Water bottles may be thrown at the end of a crushing derby loss, or champagne corks flying after a victorious cup final.
13. Alex Scott Commentary – Ex-England international and current fantastic pundit Alex Scott joins the team as FIFA’s first female member of the commentary team. She’ll be giving you updates from around the grounds as other matches are played out simultaneously, a role previously occupied by Alan McInally.
14. Dynamic Tifos – Any player can now be proudly displayed by fans in the stadium in all of their 50-foot glory. Who is displayed will change depending on who are the best players at the club and who has been there the longest. Yes, that includes your own generated player.
15. Drop-In with Friends – If you can’t get your whole squad together for a whole session but still want to play with some of your friends, you can now do so by grouping up and dropping into some matches without affecting your club’s record. It’s not always easy to get up to 10 other people synced up for an evening so this is a welcome addition to Pro Clubs.
16. Player Growth – It will now be clearer than ever to see just how much XP you gain from each match with post-game screens breaking down your performance and how close you are to reaching the next level and those all-important skill points.
17. Perks – These will be making their way over to Pro Clubs as well. See above in the Career Mode section for information on how perks work for your pro.
18. Enhanced Club Customisation – There’s now a much higher level of customisation available when tailoring your pro club in FIFA 22. Change everything from seat colours, goal songs, goal net shape, pitch wear, stadium banners, and much, much more.
19. Female Players Added – For the first time female virtual pros can now be created and play alongside their male counterparts with no additional gameplay impact.
20. FUT Heroes – A new type of card for cult characters of the sport who perhaps aren’t quite Icon status but left a big imprint of the game. These include the likes of Robbie Keane, David Ginola, Clint Dempsey, and Mario Gomez. They’ll provide a green chemistry link for any player in the same league as on their card.
21. Division Rivals Revamp – A structure in Divison Rivals that now takes place over the course of a whole season. Win matches to progress through new stages, ranks, and divisions on your way to better weekly rewards. Stay at the right level for your skill by playing matches and reaching checkpoints. You’ll receive rewards based on your performance both at the end of every week and at the end of each season.
22. Elite Division – Above Division 1 is a new Elite Division reserved for the most skilled players. Top performers in this division will get the chance to compete in the FIFA Global Series.
23. FUT Champions Revamp – Qualify for the FUT Champions Weekend League by playing playoff games during the week and earning enough points. The Finals each week will now consist of 20 matches to play over the weekend, down from the 30 of recent years. A new points-based system will determine rewards.
24. Co-Op Public Matchmaking – You no longer need to pair up with a friend to play online co-operatively in FUT. Search for a partner and enter the FUT Friendlies lobby to play 2v2.
25, New Skill Meter – In order to emphasise the difference between Volta and other modes, a new skill meter encourages players to play with flair. Different moves are rewarded with different points values and include beating players with skill moves, nutmegging opponents, and bouncing passes off of the wall. More points consolidated means the more your next goal is worth, from 2 all way up to 4.
26. Signature Abilities – One of three signature abilities can be added to your player. These operate on a cooldown and can be triggered using the right shoulder button. These abilities are titled Power Strike, Pure Pace, and Aggressive Tackle, applying various buffs to your character.
27. Increased Skill Moves – A greater amount of skill moves have been added to the simple skill moves mechanic (holding in the left shoulder button) to provide more variety in gameplay. Several standing skill moves are now also available such as a ball stand a fake shoe tie feint.
28. New Base Stats – When creating your Volta player, there’s no more uphill battle to fight in order to make them ready for the streets. Each player starts with an 82 overall rating and 5-star weak foot and skill moves so they feel great to play with straight away.
29. Volta Arcade – A bunch of minigames has been thrown into the mix this year, Virtua Tennis-style. If you want a break from actual football then try your hand at including Dodgeball, Foot Tennis, and the curiously named Disco Lava.
30. Volta Seasons – A new way to play Volta that has been borrowed from FUT is Volta Seasons. Essentially a 6-week long battle pass that you can complete in order to earn new cosmetics.
31. Player Recruitment Removed – The focus is very much on building your own character this year, so much in fact that no professional players, celebrities, or Icons will be recruitable to your Volta squads.
32. No Volta Story – For the first time since the Volta mode launched there will be no Volta single-player story mode in FIFA 22, instead, the focus has been placed on the multiplayer experience.
33. Two-Player Celebrations – OK, this may not be something that truly matters. But I think it’s nice that I’ll be able to run over to a teammate and give them a high-five after a lovely team goal in Volta.
And that’s everything! All there is to do now is that wait until FIFA 22 releases and we see how much of a difference how all of these changes add up to.
Simon Cardy can’t wait for another year of lining up against Varane and Mendy. Find him over on Twitter at @CardySimon.