Last week we reported on an "exploit" FIFA 18 players were using to beat the FIFA Ultimate Team AI on the hardest difficulty for the maximum FIFA Coins reward possible.
While the "exploit" was hardly a 'press a button to win' situation, it was effective. It involved shielding with terrible (bronze) players with low physical stats to bait the AI into fouling and getting sent off. With enough players sent off, the computer controlled team could be consistently defeated even on the normally rock hard ultimate difficulty.
The "exploit" got traction within the FIFA community after the top-ranked FUT Squad Battles player on PlayStation 4 was accused of using the technique.
Now, EA Sports has issued a patch designed to tackle this "exploit", or, as EA Sports put it, an "unintended gameplay mechanic".
The patch removes the chance for the CPU AI controlled player to receive a second yellow card when trying to push or pull an opponent, with the exception of an attacker who is through on goal and one-on-one with the keeper (this has no impact on human controlled players).
This change should stamp out the tactic of foul baiting the AI, as it won't be as easy to get computer-controlled players sent off for a second yellow card (the wording of the patch notes suggests bad tackles can still result in a second yellow).
As part of the patch notes, EA explained ever so slightly how the FIFA AI works.
The CPU plays the game as you would, EA says, "limited by the same input restrictions as a human player is".
This means the CPU team has an active player, just like real players do, called the CPU AI controlled player. This CPU AI controlled player exists on a team with no human players, for example, the CPU controlled team in Squad Battles (on a team with human players who are all locked to specific players, that also has CPU teammates).
A CPU AI controlled player does not exist on a team with human players who are not locked to specific players, for example a team in FUT Champions.
This additional note is interesting because EA Sports has traditionally shied away from explaining how the AI works in the FIFA, which has led to conspiracy theories about the computer cheating players in Squad Battles with "dynamic moments" - otherwise known as the computer scoring a last-minute winner or equaliser, or your 90+ rated striker hitting the post and the bar multiple times in a game.
There's still a huge amount we don't know about the way FIFA works, of course. So these patch notes won't all of a sudden make the AI cheating conspiracy theories go away, but we do at least - finally! - have an update that's informative.