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Cricket 22 tips with 7 things to know before you play

Cricket 22
(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

The wait for Cricket 22 tips was delayed much like the game itself, after one of its cover athletes, Tim Paine, stepped down from the Australian captaincy mere days before its release. Finally it's here, to a mixed community response – yet there’s still a decent amount of willow waving and cherry whacking on offer. Considering a punt on the now-Pat-Cummins-fronted sim? Then all your essential tips are contained below, in GR’s Cricket 22 guide.

1. A patch is coming

Cricket 22

(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

A curious but important one to start with. Initial reaction to Cricket 22 has been mixed, but Aussie developer Big Ant is seeking to make immediate changes in order to remove bugs and improve gameplay. Indeed, three patches are promised in the coming week. “By Christmas, the game that people will be playing will reflect the true potential of Cricket 22,” a studio spokesperson tells GR.

“I must apologise for any issues that you've come across, and hope that you're enjoying the game on balance despite them,” the spokesperson continues. “Big Ant has a proven track record in patching games to meet player's expectations – Cricket 19 had new features released via patch two years after the game launched – and we thank you for your patience as we work to deliver the best game that we've created to date.”

2. There are more teams than you’ll know what to do with…

Cricket 22

(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

Already decided that you hate The Hundred? Uh oh. The sport’s most controversial new competition is fully licensed in Cricket 22, and works very much like the real thing – the only glaring issue I’ve noted is that a new batsman doesn’t face the next ball if his predecessor crossed while being caught out, unlike in reality. The T20 Caribbean Premier League is new this year, while the Big Bash League and both male and female Ashes competitions are fully licensed too.

In all there are 32 national teams, right down to Jersey, Hong Kong and Vanuatu, 130 domestic ones, and four ‘other’ squads: Big Ant Red, Big Ant Black, Russia, and St Petersburg Lions. The Russian team includes its official badge and T20 kit, so its exclusion from the separate national-teams list is a mystery. Sadly, the big-money IPL (Indian Premier League) is unlicensed – but that’s where the fans come in…

3. … but don’t be put off by unlicensed teams (and players)

Cricket 22

(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

Remember the majesty of PES Option Files? To cover for Konami’s lack of licensing, dedicated fans would update team names, player names, badges and kits which could be imported into your game. Cricket 22 affords the same functionality, with even more player choice. From the main menu click Create > Browse Community to be taken to a comprehensive list of teams with updated names, logos and kits which can be downloaded in order to override the default unlicensed ones. Goodbye to Rajasthan Ravens and Hyderabad Phoenix, hello Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

[Note: this feature is currently buggy on PS5, and I’ve had my game crash while attempting to use it – so it may be waiting for those aforementioned patches before you start overhauling rosters.]

4. Aftertouch is the big new bowling tweak

Cricket 22

(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

Sports gamers of a three-decade vintage will fondly recall the days of Sensible Soccer, in which you could swing shots towards a specific area of the goal after they’d left your foot. Cricket 22 has surprisingly, yet somewhat effectively, adopted a similar system for bowling, which adds a neat strategy wrinkle. It works as you’d suspect: once the ball is released, move the left stick towards the batsman for an inswinger, or away to increase outswing.

Results are contextual, but highly sensitive – I’ve thrown down my fair share of deliveries bending towards the slip cordon, a la Steve Harmison’s infamous first ball of the 2006/07 Ashes. As in real life, subtlety is critical. Rather than try to arc every delivery from left to right, it’s best to set up your batsman with a few straight ones, or gentle outswingers, before trying to rattle their pads with a banana-like inswinger.

5. Direct hits offer a neat risk-reward element

Cricket 22

(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

I usually switch fielding to ‘automatic’ within my first hour of any cricket game, and while I had to perform due diligence in order to properly test Cricket 22’s mechanics out, I made the same move after a couple of days. Those who do stick with manual fielding need to master its new ‘direct hit’ system.

When the ball heads towards a close fielder, a new camera angle zooms in behind and slows the play down in order for you to take a direct shy at the stumps. Choose L1/LB to throw to the bowler’s end, or R1/RB to aim at the keeper, then tap X/A for a safe throw, or hold circle/B to aim directly at the stumps. A circular power bar now appears: you need to release circle/B when it turns green for your best chance of a direct hit.

6. Advance if you want to notch big T20 scores

Cricket 22

(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

Hitting sixes in the simple-yet-brilliant Brian Lara Cricket games was easy: wait for a ball on the pads, then flick it in the air over square leg. Quite rightly, it’s more difficult in Cricket 22 if you play on any difficulty setting above easy, and you need to master the tricky skill of advancing down the wicket if you’re going to rack up big scores in T20 or (boo, hiss, etc) The Hundred.

Hitting R3/RT while the bowler runs in is the key to doing this. It instructs your batsman to advance at the instant he releases the ball. You can then go through your shot as normal (don’t waste it on a forward defensive, obviously), although you will need to time it a touch earlier given the reduced time for your batsman to react. Use the excellent nets feature (Play > Training > Nets Training) to master the adjusted timing, and avoid getting all your batsmen stumped going for a hoik towards long-on.

7. Upgrading between systems is free – and a Switch version is coming

Cricket 22

(Image credit: Big Ant Studios)

Bought Cricket 22 on PS4 or Xbox One and planning on opening a 9th-gen machine come Christmas Day? (You and 90% of the world’s gaming population, my friend.) Anyway, if you are fortunate enough to do so, don’t fear being stuck with the last-gen edition of Cricket 22. Upgrading it for your new machine is free of charge – indeed the Xbox One and Xbox Series X versions are both included in the same box. [Details of the PS5/PS4 upgrade are imminent, and we’ll share them here when confirmed.]

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As for Nintendo Switch, sadly you won’t be playing Cricket 22 on that format come Christmas Day. But is coming, and currently lined up for a release date of January 31st, 2022.

Cricket 22 is out now on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.

Ben Wilson

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.