FIFA 20 features: 11 changes FIFA 20 needs to make according to fans

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Engage with the community to come up with any kind of FIFA 20 features wishlist and you find yourself inundated. I’m still enjoying FIFA 19, and stand by GamesRadar’s original review, but it’s far from flawless – and as a result, across Reddit, the EA forums and social media, this footballing heavyweight takes a daily hammering. The clamour for change is noisy and limitless, meaning some great ideas to reshape the series get lost in the shuffle.

This FIFA 20 features wishlist, then, isn’t an attempt to include every potential change. Instead it’s a mix of the common sense, the curious, and the completely left-field that might otherwise go unnoticed – from long-demanded Pro Clubs and career mode tweaks, to some necessary upgrades within the all-conquering Ultimate Team. Peep that whistle and let’s get underway.

1. Remove fixed potential in career mode

Changes to this once-trusty, now-rusty timesink are covered in depth via GR’s look at FIFA 20 career mode, but a couple suggested by EA forum poster Fifaplayer4000 warrant inclusion here too. A major issue is the mode’s inability to maintain interest over multiple seasons, and his suggestion of changeable sponsors, kits and stadiums would alleviate that. As would the proposed removal of upper growth limits applied to every player.

“Fixed potentials must go,” he writes. “Players should grow or decline based on form, not potential. Sometimes you can have a 31-year-old that scores 33 goals in a season but still declines. Or a young player that never plays but still grows massively. Players should improve after seven games of good form or something like that.” It’s a neat concept, and means you’d finally see pros who peak in the veteran stage of their career, such as Glenn Murray or Sol Bamba.

2. More consistency on the pitch

I’ve always argued that FIFA’s degree of randomness makes it feel authentic – otherwise real-life results like Palace winning at the Etihad would never happen – but that feels like an outlier opinion these days. If there’s a common word to describe what every FIFA player, from eSports pro to Saturday night casual, wants from gameplay it’s ‘consistency’, where the team with the most possession and shots wins nine times out of ten. Tied to that are specific, essential gameplay tweaks.

“Actually be able to switch players when the ball is in the air,” writes kfcbucket21 on the EA forums, sick of seeing the game fail to respond to your command while attacking a cross or long clearance. Davvebingan wants ratings reflected more accurately in-game: “My 98 pace wingback shouldn’t be burned by a 99 pace winger, while my 99 pace winger can’t then run away from a 70 pace defender.” And DaveSmith89 feels tackling animations need to be tidied up. “1st [successful] tackle should dispossess the opponent, not give him another chance [to retain possession] or rebound to a team-mate.”

3. Take a back-to-basics approach

Continuing the above theme, Reddit’s baigepops presents a short, simple hit list of gameplay basics which need to be addressed. My pick of them is eliminating American football style blocks which often get ignored by referees and have become a standard weekend league tactic: “Smashing in to an opponent with a defender is more effective than tackling, as fouls are rarely given for this – looking at you, flashback David Luiz. Fix this.”

Other issues he raises, all of which need some time under the development microscope, are:

- “A well timed tackle is more likely to result in your opponent gaining possession in a better position than when the original tackle was made.”

- “Taking the time to build play to create one-on-one opportunities is less rewarding than hitting the ball with your back to goal from outside the box.”

- “Players can’t make passes in straight lines with no pressure on them, yet players facing the wrong direction with an opponent pressuring them randomly chip a pass (without commanding them to) perfectly to their [team-mate].”

- “Goalkeepers still run alongside the ball and let it go out of play for a corner.”

Valid points, succinctly presented. Over to you, EA.

4. Eliminate kick-off goals

“Why are kickoff goals still a thing? It’s ridiculous that it still happens.” Yes it is, Reddit’s Tommyc21, and if I were to single out one element of FIFA 19 that infuriates more than any other it’s my team’s ability to lose all concept of shape and/or marking for 30 seconds after a restart. Every damn time. No more words on this one needed. It simply has to be changed.

5. The truth about pack odds

Ultimate Team pack odds are the shadiest side of FIFA 19. This year EA began listing them in-game to try to counter claims that the mode constitutes gambling (FIFA points are no longer sold in Belgium as a result of this) – but they’re still too vague, particularly around promotions. Consider this, for instance, from the September Ones to Watch promo: "Some campaign specific categories, for example Ones to Watch, feature rare content. In some packs, the rarity of this content category may be less than 1%, and within that there will be a wide range of probabilities."

Essentially, we’re getting the bare minimum of information concerning the series’ most lucrative money-spinner, and you can understand the community seeking change. “Why isn't anyone asking how these packs are generated in the first instance? Do people care?” writes Jabroni 9900 on Reddit. “What if packs are generated per user basis? All based on algorithms that take onboard how much money a player has spent etc. While the probabilities of packing players is shown to us, we may never know how packs are generated in the first place as well as whether it's based on algorithms per user.” 

6. Listen to fans on Pro Clubs

This one has been campaigned about for so long that there’s a specific Twitter hashtag – #fixproclubs – for it. Here’s a choice selection of the best suggestions, such as cross-platform play to expand Pro Clubs’ appeal.