7. Better search filters in Ultimate Team
Leo Messi currently has seven different items in FIFA 19 Ultimate Team – yet unlike in Madden 19, there’s no way to specifically search for his second in-form, or Champions League, or Team of the Year card. Instead you have to select ‘Special’ and sort through them manually. It’s a comically outdated system that should have been overhauled three games ago.
EA shouldn’t stop at adding filters for specific cards, either. “The filter I [want most is] the “not from” option, so when I search for a gold French GK I can filter out all from Ligue 1. Let me see all GKs from other leagues at once rather than one at a time,” writes TheTinRam on Reddit. I love this from gunners1111, too: “Give me a bloody "already in my club" warning before I go buying up silvers from leagues.” That would immediately expedite the process of completing SBCs without switching back and forth to the transfer market to avoid buying expensive duplicates.
8. New, and regularly updated, player faces
Oh, Senor Bellerin, where on earth are your lustrous locks? We’ll cover this in more detail in an upcoming feature, but hoo boy are some of FIFA 19’s faces and hairstyles beginning to look seriously outdated. (Bellerin's is from FIFA 16.) The starhead thread on the game’s official forum is an excellent resource to track who needs work, and below are a handful of key Premier League examples:
Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)
Theo Walcott (Everton)
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur)
9. More transparency on how the engine works
EA Canada’s pitch notes have been a welcome bridge to the community throughout this season, with regular updates on patches, FIFA 19 player faces, and so on. But there’s still work to do to appease a notoriously abrasive audience. Over on Reddit, Mrbrainface summarises the state of play and the community’s thirst for answers: “Seriously EA. You claim no momentum. You claim no scripting. Then explain how it’s possible for every fourth game on professional level squad battles, my players can’t do anything right, while the computer (regardless of players) plays like an elite pro. I can hold through ball button for longer then a second and it goes 15 yards. AI starts perfect runs, perfect chips, perfectly timed slide tackles, etc…"
“I’m running a 91 rated team that wins legendary by five goals, professional by 12 goals, but that magical game, everything flips. This needs explanation, as it’s infuriating when trying to complete objectives. I’m just sick and tired of winning 14-1 against an 84 rated team and then not scoring in 120 minutes against a 71 team. Tell us why, EA.”
10. Even more leagues
One thing EA does get right is licensing – but just as sure as night follows day and yellow card follows Etienne Capoue tackle, fans still want more. GR’s recent look at FIFA 20’s most wanted league showcased a FIFPlay poll where the Indonesian and Malaysian leagues alone have collectively amassed 278,000 votes. Bosses of the Vanarama National League are also campaigning to have England’s fifth-tier competition included for the first time.
There’s always a danger that official kits and badges are used to mask gameplay issues, but really those two things should be judged independently from another: the man or woman tasked with improving goalkeepers, say, is not the same one rendering Sutton United’s away strip. At least, so you would hope.
11. A new twist on The Journey
Alex Hunter’s race is run, and it felt as if FIFA 19 story mode comrades Danny Williams and Kim Hunter had their tales brought to a conclusion with The Journey: Champions too. Yet the narrative-driven alternative to FUT and career mode proved popular across three games, at it has in Madden with Longshot. So fans welcome the idea of it staying – with a twist.
“It won't surprise me if FIFA 20 transforms The Journey into the most fully fledged player career mode seen in FIFA,” writes PM_ME_A_PLEASURE_ELF on Reddit. “All the features are there for them to be crossed over already, just without actual character/player customisation. I know I'd play the hell out of it if this was the case.” Ilypsus echoes this viewpoint. “They could transfer some of the things they've made for the Journey over to player career mode,” he writes. “Like making substitute appearances, match objectives, squad training to earn a place in the team. Maybe even the weird partnership thing that was in Journey this year.” Lots of potential here, even if the Hunters truly have hung ‘em up.
FIFA 20 is expected in September. Still got your hands full with the current edition? Then be sure to have a read of our FIFA 19 Ultimate Team coins guide.