9 big changes we really want to see for FIFA 18

Ben Wilson examines the improvements required for career mode, Ultimate Team and gameplay if FIFA is to see off PES 2018 

The first details of FIFA 18 are expected at June’s E3 trade show, and Jermain Defoe in a Bournemouth shirt is one near-certainty for next year’s game. But it’s not only transfers we hope – and, indeed, expect – to see updated come the game’s late-September release. 

While FIFA 17 put in a decent shift, there remain notable areas for improvement. Ultimate Team’s brilliance is a touch diluted by the attrition test that is FUT Champions, and career mode urgently needs some summer surgery to again reach peak fitness. Below are nine changes which would once more put FIFA in a strong position to challenge Pro Evo for title honours.

1. FUT Champions Weekend League revisions

This could easily be transformed for the better by trimming the fixture list and offering a slightly longer completion period

Ever qualified for the pinnacle event of online FIFA, namely FUT Champions? Then you’ll know that while the rewards are great, competing in it is little fun. That’s nothing to do with your win or loss record. Rather it’s a result of time, or lack thereof: you get two-and-a-half days to play 40 games.

The result is an endless grind, which could easily be transformed for the better by trimming the fixture list and offering a slightly longer completion period. Thirty matches over three days – from midnight Friday to midnight Monday – would still enable the elite to differentiate themselves, without prioritising stamina over genuine skill.

2. Reworked set-pieces

A return to the simpler, more reliable spot-kick method of FIFA 16 would be highly welcome

Most agreed that set-pieces needed tinkering ahead of FIFA 17. Few expected the end result to be broken penalties. A return to the simpler, more reliable spot-kick method of FIFA 16 would be highly welcome, and there are specific areas where corners and free-kicks can be bolstered too.

It’s time, for instance, that the user is able to dictate who goes forward for attacking set-pieces: imagine telling Tony Pulis that only one of his 6ft 4in robo-statues can be in the opposition box at corners. Affording more realism and player choice, this one is a no brainer.

3. Fewer match outcomes that feel scripted

Comebacks should feel organic and player-triggered, rather than dictated by some arbitrary force

Controversial one, this. For years, EA has adamantly denied the existence of comeback AI, or any kind of gameplay scripting. Yet, whether online or off, you’ll have experienced passages in matches where an opponent seems super-powered for 20 minutes, or a last-gasp equaliser just feels like something the engine has cooked up for drama purposes.

Insane comebacks and moments of madness do occur in real football, of course – but in FIFA 18 they need to feel organic and player-triggered, rather than dictated by some arbitrary force.