EA Sports has put out a significant patch for FIFA 19 that makes some key changes to shooting.

Title update seven, out now for PC and due out for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One soon, nerfs timed and finesse shots, both of which had been considered overpowered ever since FIFA 19 came out in September 2018.

Both timed and finesse shots were particularly popular in FIFA 19, especially in online play, because of how often they'd end up in the back of the net.

Timed shots involve the new mini-game added to FIFA this year. It involves pressing shoot and then pressing shoot again at the moment your player strikes the ball. The better timed your second button press, the more effective the shot.

The problem was, timed shots, whether you nailed the timing or not, felt pretty overpowered. You'd often see a mis-timed shot fly into the net when you'd expect it to hit row-z. The initial idea was that timed finishing would be a risk / reward mechanic, but the mechanic was so forgiving, there was little risk.

And finesse shots, which have been in FIFA for years (the old R1 and shoot combo), felt particularly overpowered in FIFA 19. Ea's looked at those, too.

Multiple shot types have been nerfed in the patch, but there was also what sounds like a shooting exploit that's been tackled. There was an issue, EA said, where a timed finesse shot would always have less error than a non-timed finesse shot, even in situations where the timed finesse shot was red or yellow. This has been fixed, with the level of error reduction for a timed finesse shot now in-line with the level of error reduction for other timed shots.

Meanwhile, the accuracy of a yellow or red timed finesse show has been reduced, as has the ball speed of a yellow or red timed finesse shot, so you should see fewer goals from these shots. The images below show the results of 100 before and after red timed finesse shots as taken by Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne:

1
Before...
2
And after.

EA has also reduced the maximum size of the timed finishing window for a green timed shot, so it should be harder to nail the timing.

"The hope for these changes is that it will directly address situations where players were finding it too easy to achieve green timed shots that were coming from a long pass, a cross or when queuing up a shot after a knock on during a run," EA said.

Elsewhere, the effectiveness of yellow timed shots is reduced by the update, after EA found they were too often resulting in a goal, and powered finesse shots have been nerfed, for both timed and non-timed shots. These shots are now more likely to be impacted by error, EA said. The images below show 100 before and after powered finesse shots with no timing as taken by Kevin De Bruyne:

3
Before...
4
And after.

While the changes to shooting are of most interest, the patch also reduces goalkeeper movement speed when controlled by manual movement (this is something players had called for), and there are fixes for career mode and pro clubs. For more, check out the patch notes.

All in all, the patch amounts to a significant nerf to shooting, and should go a long way to refreshing the current meta in that it'll make scoring from just outside the box harder.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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