After EA tackled an "exploit" that involved using terrible players to beat the AI on the hardest difficulty in FIFA Ultimate Team, FIFA 18's next big issue has come to the fore: a kick-off "glitch".
The kick-off glitch isn't really much of a glitch. Rather, it's a tactic players are using to score goals that makes the most of FIFA 18's overpowered passing and the initial set-up of the teams.
Here's how it works: from kick-off, players pass the ball out wide to their fullback, then play the ball down the wing to their winger, cross and, hopefully, smash the ball into the back of the net. It's an unsatisfying way to score and frustrating to be on the wrong end of, but everyone's doing it.
Now, here's why this kick-off strategy works. First off, FIFA 18's passing is pretty powerful. Despite a recent nerf, you're still able to accurately ping the ball about at speed with driven ground passes, and players will control the ball quickly. So, in FIFA 18 you can work the ball out wide quickly from kick-off and get an attack going.
Secondly, this strategy is effective because of the way the players set up on kick-off. The team taking the kick-off has its players pretty well spread out across the pitch, with fullbacks and wingers or wide midfielders close to the touchline. The defending team has fullbacks and wide players positioned nearby, but other players are bunched up in the middle of the pitch.
So, when you kick-off, you already have your wide players in position to receive the ball and attack down the wing, but it takes some time for supporting defending players to react, close down or help out their fullbacks and wingers, which leaves the attacker with space and advantageous one versus one situations. It doesn't help that player switching in FIFA 18 isn't great.
The FIFA 18 kick-off "glitch" looks like this:
Some FIFA 18 players reckon this kick-off tactic is the number one issue with the game right now. There are a load of how-to tutorials on YouTube, as well as plenty of FIFA community posts complaining about it. Most players online try it at kick-off, I've found.
As someone who's played FIFA over the years, I reckon the series has always had a problem with goals scored straight from kick-off. But I have to admit, the issue feels particularly pronounced with FIFA 18, no doubt exacerbated by the quick-fire passing.
EA recently turned its attention to the FUT Squad Battles exploit, so perhaps it will have a look at this kick-off glitch in an upcoming update. An easy fix, some have suggested, would be to spread out the defending team so they find it easier to deal with the quick ball out wide.