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FIFA 18 tips - guide, controls, Switch version and new features explained

All our guides and tips for FIFA 18 in one place.

FIFA 18 is officially here, and with it comes a series of tweaks, changes, and the odd new feature, too.

Here on our main FIFA 18 guide hub page, we'll take you through all of FIFA 18's new features, plus provide plenty of general FIFA 18 tips for players of all levels, and gather together links to all of our more detailed guides to specific parts of the game.

FIFA 18 guide - all of our specific FIFA guides in one place

Below is the collection of our in-depth guides for FIFA 18. Watch this space as time goes by, as well be continuously adding plenty more guides once we spend more time with the game.

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On this page:

FIFA 18 guide - expert and beginners tips, new controls, and new features explained.

Player Ratings and Stats:

Gameplay and Controls:

FUT / Ultimate Team:

The Journey: Hunter Returns

FIFA 18 tips

Those fairly minor new features aside, FIFA 18 still differs subtly from prior versions in a number of ways, with a slightly different feel to gameplay, tweaks to the UI, and more.

For returning fans who've been playing FIFA 17 right up until 18's launch, or newcomers who've been away from the game for a while, there's plenty to bear in mind, so here are a few general tips to get you back in the game as quickly as possible:

FIFA 18 tips:

  • Vary your passing - FIFA is becoming more and more a case of space-management - that was already true last year in FIFA 17 - by which we mean the practice of drawing the opponent out of position and creating space for you to progress. Mastering the art of opening up the pitch for yourself is becoming more and more essential, and the best way to do so is with varied passing: a couple short, simple balls into feet at the back, followed by a big switch with the driven pass (R1/RB + Pass), driven lob (R1/RB + Lobbed Pass), standard long ball or maybe even a swanky threaded through ball (R1/RB + Through Ball) will swiftly open up the pitch for you. Keep an eye on your rader for those off-screen Paul Scholes wonderballs!
  • Practice your skill moves - We know, practising skills in FIFA is arduous work, but it'll pay off for you big time in the long run. Turn the difficulty right down and play several games against the computer for the best way to practice against opposition players. We recommend mastering the dummy shot (quickly tap Shoot then Pass buttons) for beginners, before moving onto the more complex stuff. It works wonders against 'headless chicken' ball chasers (like us) who you'll find online, although the computer's inhuman reactions are a little too good to be fooled at higher levels.
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  • Pace feels nicely balanced - Believe it or not, for once pace feels pretty good in FIFA, with 18 featuring a tweaked system where Acceleration and Sprint Speed feel quite distinct. Players will take time to ramp up to their top speed, pace vs. strength battles tend to play out more in line with your expectations, and there's still some meaningful 'counterplay' for slower players through containing and positioning.
  • Tackling is out, 'containing' is in - Tackling is arguably the hardest it's been in FIFA 18. While the AI will apparently be able to tackle you from just about any angle they see fit, controlling tackling manually out here in the human world is much harder. It takes a moment for your player to start their standing tackle, while slide tackle's are as weak as they were last year - and the new Hard Tackle is almost totally pointless unless you intentionally want to clatter someone behind for a foul.
  • Interceptions happen less often - We're noticing far fewer inteceptions from players in situations where you would expect them to make one. Your positioning has to be absolutely spot on for you to intercept a pass. We've seen ballsa fizzing by quality holding midfielders that are well within reach, so beware the drilled pass in FIFA 18!
  • Finesse Shots are back - There's always one type of shot that's in vogue every year, and this time it seems to be Finess Shots. They're not quite as bad as being 'overpowered', but we've definitely had some luck using them in one-on-ones, more so than any other shot type so far.

FIFA 18 new features, controls, and gameplay details

Here's a quick, at-a-glance look at all the new features in FIFA 18. As you'll see, this year's been a little more iterative than previous versions, with most of the changes small tweaks to quality of life. Still, they're welcome tweaks at least!

FIFA 18 new gameplay and controls features:

  • Quick Subs - set up quick subs in Team Management before a game, and you can then hold down R2/RT during a break in play to bring up a Quick Sub suggestion, and X/A to accept.
  • Modified Crossing controls - You can now use R1 / RB to perform a high, floated cross, and double-tap to perform a low, whipped cross.
  • Hard Tackle - Press Triangle/Y to perform a standing Hard Tackle, which has your player attempt to get ball regardless of what's in front of them (this normally results in a foul).
  • Jogging/Slow Dribbling tweaks - Jog/slow dribble now more useful, with good dribblers able to start animations faster. You can slowly dribble to work some space, then burst into it with speed, like Ronaldo or Messi would, if you have good enough dribblers on your team.
  • Set Piece tweaks - only minor changes to set pieces are in FIFA 18, but penalties are the main beneficiary, with them now working in a more 'point and shoot' fashion, and goalkeepers no longer jankily flopping over the top of a daisy cutter trickling into the goal.
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FIFA 18 new visual and technical features:

  • Improved visuals - as always, FIFA this year features a raft of general visual tweaks and upgrades, particularly on players faces.
  • Improved stadiums and croweds> - designed to be more immersive, and focused on creating each stadium's unique atmosphere.
  • New Motion Technology - previously, new animations were triggered each time a player took a new step. Now animations are triggered every frame (so 60 times every second) making FIFA 18 feel more visually fluid.
  • Sprinting Styles - six sprinting archetypes ahve been introduced, like skinny or stocky, with special sprints for certain players, like Ronaldo, Sterling, and Robben.

FIFA 18 new modes and changes:

  • New Career mode transfer cutscenes - featuring the same Frostbite-powered character models and animation as the Journey, these unfold in real-time transfer negotiations when you try to buy players.
  • FUT Icons replaces FUT Legends - in the past, the mode was exclusively available to Xbox players thanks their marketing deal with EA. Now, Icons is a mode available on all platforms, and has received changes including three versions of each Icon to represent different stages in their career.
  • New FUT Modes - Squad Battle, pitting players against the AI with pre-selected squads, plus a new Champions Channel, and Objectives modes come to Ultimate Team.
FIFA 18 tips - guide, controls, Switch version and new features explained All our guides and tips for FIFA 18 in one place. FIFA 18 tips - guide, controls, Switch version and new features explained

For more help? Our FIFA 18 tips and guide gives you an overview of our many pointers, and if you're playing The Journey in particular, see our The Journey: Hunter Returns walkthrough. Meanwhile, we have lists of FIFA 18 wonderkids and the best young players, FIFA 18 player ratings, the best strikers, best wingers, best midfielders, best defenders and best goalkeepers. Elsewhere, we have details on five star skillers and skill moves listed, how to score free kicks, penalties and set pieces, and the FIFA 18 best players by position. Fan of Ultimate Team? We look at FIFA 18 Chemistry explained, the latest OTW Ones to Watch cards, along with best Chemistry Styles for each position, and finally how to earn FIFA Coins quickly and for free.

FIFA 18 Switch version details

FIFA 18 will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, as per the teases in those early Switch trailers. But the version on Switch won't quite be the same as the one we'll be getting on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms.

As we put it in our hands-on preview there's FIFA 18, and there's EA Sports FIFA on Switch. Crucially, press releases from EA refer to those two things as two separate entitites.

EA announced during its E3 conference that FIFA 18 on Switch won't have the Journey mode, or FUT Champions, but does get every other one, including, impressively, the standard FIFA Ultimate Team mode, and a special Local Seasons mode unique to the console that lets you play a mini Seasons mode with a friend.

The main point of contention is the engine: FIFA 18 runs on Frostbite, a demanding engine that delivers visually impressive results. The suggestion is that the Switch just simply doesn't have the power to run that engine, although we confirmed in an interview with the FIFA Switch developer that this isn't simply a port of the last-gen versions. Rather, it's a custom-built engine made especially for the Switch.

That's all for our general tips and guides to FIFA 18 - stay tuned for more FIFA 18 tips, guides, and tutorials in the coming weeks and days which will all be linked in the section above, and remember: practice, practice, practice!

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