EA has confirmed Ultimate Team for FIFA 19 – hardly a shocking development, granted – by unveiling ten new Icons for this year’s game. Rivaldo, Eusebio, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Fabio Cannavaro, Clarence Seedorf, Johan Cruyff, Claude Makelele, Miroslav Klose and Raul are all headed to the annual footy sim, taking the list of classic players found within EA’s most popular mode to 40.
Those new names aren’t the only factor likely to entice you into purchasing FIFA Points come the game’s September 29 release date. While the odds of ever packing any of the above are depressingly long, you are certain to receive a ‘Player Pick Pack’ at some point – giving you the opportunity to choose one player from a selection of between three and five.
Also neat are new post pack-opening options which enable you to dispatch cards to transfer list and quick sell piles with a quick flick of the right stick: up for transfer list, down for discard. Tidy, in every sense.
FIFA 18 highlight Squad Battles, in which you earned weekly achievements for results against the AI, are back this year, but supplemented by Division Rivals mode: essentially the same thing, but played online rather than off. Each week you’re grouped into a division with players of similar ability, with big prizes on offer for winning your division - such as a choice of super-valuable gold packs. It’s also possible to stack up ‘Champions Points’ which be used for entry into the Weekend League, where elite players complete over 40 matches from Friday to Sunday.
FIFA 19 will also follow suit from stablemate Madden 19, and disclose pack odds before you purchase. That answers the question of whether the game will be released in Belgium and The Netherlands, after both countries banned loot boxed earlier this year.
While GR is yet to sample this year's FUT, I did recently get an extensive behind-closed-doors hands-on with the majority of its other modes – so be sure to check out our feature answering all your questions on FIFA 19 (opens in new tab).
FIFA 19 is out on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on 29 September.