FIFA 18 demo tips: everything you need to know about mastering EA’s latest

By now, there’s a fair chance you’ve spent some quality time with the FIFA 18 demo. But, even if you haven’t, this is the place to be: step right this way for everything you need to know about the FIFA 18 demo, from how to get that standing tackle right, to every team and stadium included in EA’s tease of their annual release.

Which platforms can you play the FIFA 18 demo on?

If you still haven’t dipped your toe in the FIFA 18 demo waters then, 1) Come on in, the water’s fine and 2) You might be wondering how you can play the preview to your heart’s content. As of writing, the demo is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Nintendo Switch users are flat out of luck and will have to patiently twiddle their thumbs until the September 29 release date.

Where can you find the FIFA 18 demo?

Clocking in at just north of 7GB, PC gamers will need an Origin account to access the FIFA 18 demo. For console users, the process is far more straightforward: the PlayStation Store’s ‘Demos’ section holds the FIFA 18 demo. Xbox Live users will find the demo under store at the FIFA 18 demo tile or under ‘Games’ before scrolling down to Game demos.

What teams are included in the FIFA 18 demo?

Now all the technicalities are out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff: who can you play as? This year’s demo features 13 teams from far-flung locales such as Kobe, Japan and the spellcheck-killer Guadalajara, Mexico.

The full list is as follows:

Atletico Madrid
Bayern Munich
Boca Juniors
Chelsea
Guadalajara
Juventus
LA Galaxy
Manchester City
Manchester United
PSG
Real Madrid
Toronto FC
Vissel Kobe

That means, while transfers haven’t been updated to reflect PSG’s acquisition of Kylian Mbappe to add to their multi-multi-multi million pound frontline, you can still contest the Madrid and Manchester Derbies, as well as a repeat of the Champions League 2017 final between Juventus and Real Madrid. Not too shabby for a demo.

FIFA 18 demo stadiums

The games, though, are nothing without some hallowed turf to grace. Four stadiums make up the demo’s offering, including La Bombonera – widely regarded as one of the best stadiums in the world – Santiago Bernabeu, home of Real Madrid, LA Galaxy’s StubHub Centre and the King Fahd Stadium situated in Saudi Arabia. Each ground comes with its own unique flavour too. Caged terraces, a South American tradition, circle the perimeter of Argentina’s La Bombonera, whereas the King Fahd Stadium is the height of modernity. No flares here, no sir.

Gameplay tips

So, you’ve played a few games. Maybe a few controllers have been flung at the wall or you’re just slowly getting used to the slightly refined style of play this year. Need some tips? Look no further, I’ve covered every blade of grass – and then some.

Defending:

Probably the most noticeable early change is that defending can be a bit of a, let’s say, difficult issue to navigate. Defending in FIFA is tricky at the best of times but with the addition of a few added animations for the Circle/B tackle, things have become a little more Titus Bramble and less John Terry.

It sounds silly, but be conservative with your tackles. Study the best players and see how often they go charging in with a two-footer or awkwardly sticking a foot in to stop an onrushing Cristiano Ronaldo. Hardly ever. The defending this year has now shifted towards being more of a space game. Tackling is still essential, sure, but you’ll want to be certain your defence is covering the overlapping winger at the corner of your eye before bundling in with a slide tackle.

Quick subs:

The handiest addition this year is the one-tap button to bring up quick substitutions. A firm hold of the R2 button/right trigger will bring up a recommended substitution. These won’t be to everyone’s tastes, especially as the game scarcely offers up a gung-go switch, but thinking on your feet, much like you have to do with the new defending styles, is the name of the game this year. Quick subs can only help facilitate that ability to adapt on the fly. If nothing else, it’ll halt games being stopped in their tracks by an aggressive pauser. We know you’re out there and we will find you.

Utilising the through ball:

Those who are happy to hoist the ball over the top of a belligerent defence will be happy to hear lofted through balls (L1/left bumper + Triangle/Y) have been given a little more juice to fully match an oncoming player’s stride. In fact, the game seems slanted towards through balls this year, but not in favour of merely hoofing it to a player with scary pace. Patient playmakers, especially in the mould of a David Silva, will have deep joy this year unlocking tight defences and finding the killer pass.

A good touch for a big man:

Talking of pace (and taking into account this isn’t the finished product), the FIFA 18 demo seems happy to do away with pace-happy players in favour of a more refined, bulky striker. The big lads are back in play – and I’ve never been happier. Someone such as Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain is now able to bring the ball into play much more freely, chesting or controlling a ball with a miscellaneous part of their body and laying it off to a strike partner or, if you’re good enough, turning and cracking off a shot. No more crude flick-ons; target men are actually useful this time around.

Shooting for the stars

FIFA is nothing without goals, goals, goals – and the FIFA 18 demo is no different. It’s even been combined with FIFA’s fresh player animations – think Ronaldo’s cocksure stride in full-flow or Raheem Sterling’s slanted shuffle – to make every goal feel unique to that player. Ronaldo is able to hit knuckleball dippers like never before and Sergio Aguero is able to lash a shot home from just outside the six-yard box with a deceptively rapid effort. It’s still early days, but it’s a far cry from previous FIFA games and their tendency to only deliver the same sort of goal for each player (*cough* finesse shot from the corner of the box and repeat x 1000) again and again – and it’s all the better for it.

Those are our FIFA 18 demo tips, do you have any others? Let us know in the comments.