FIFA 20 release date, gameplay changes and everything we know

Everything we know so far about FIFA 20.

FIFA 20 is inevitably coming in late 2019, and with it will of course be a load of FIFA gameplay changes big and small.

Developer EA has opted to announce a pretty large list of those changes early this year, so on this page we'll round up all the confirmed tweaks so far, as well as the FIFA 20 release date and everything else we know about the game right now.

On this page:

FIFA 20 release date, FIFA 20 early access release date explained

FIFA 20's release date is Friday, September 27th 2019 for regular players with the Standard Edition, Tuesday, September 24th 2019 for Champions Edition and Ultimate Editions, and Thursday, September 19th, 2019 for those with EA Access and Origin Access.

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FIFA 20 gameplay changes

As we mentioned above, EA has taken the slightly surprising move of revealing a range of new gameplay changes that are coming to FIFA 20. We've taken these verbatim from the EA pitch notes blog, as they're essentially patch notes. Check out all the coming gameplay changes below.

Volta Football

The big new mode for FIFA 20 is a FIFA Street-style mode named Volta Football that let's you play 3v3 Rush (no goalkeepers), 4v4, 4v4 Rush, 5v5 and Professional Futsal.

You can customise your female or male avatar with clothing, hairstyles, tattoos and emotes, plus there's different sizes of arenas and environments with and without walls for you to play in, including an underpass in Amsterdam, a neighbourhood cage in London, and a Tokyo rooftop.

Penalties and free-kicks have changed

Penalties and free-kicks have a new aiming mechanic designed to be more accessible, but with elements of skill to retain depth for those interested in mastery.

Sam Rivera, lead gameplay producer, said that when it comes to free-kicks, "Basically, you swing the right stick and you see the trajectory being created."

AI Defending

  • Renewed Defending System the defending systems are being renewed, with revised positioning and adjustment to the cadence and flow on the pitch. Manual defending will be emphasized and result in more rewarding results for those who do so.
  • Planned Tackling is a new system that favors manual tackling by making sure that the defender that tries the tackle does so in a favorable context to your team (like recovering the ball or kicking the ball to a nearby teammate when tackling, for example).
  • Contain and Secondary Contain Effectiveness will be reduced, keeping the positioning of players/AI Teammates at a further distance and having a slower reaction to directional changes from the dribbler, rarely resulting in an auto-tackle or an auto-block. This will make manual defending not only more effective, but also more rewarding.
  • Improved Jockey System will be implemented with more agility and precision, rewarding players that decide to take control of their defenders.

1v1 Shooting Consistency

  • 1v1 Shooting Accuracy will be improved, resulting in more shots on target and better consistency in easy situations inside the box. Open Goal Situations will also be addressed, and will see players being rewarded for 1v1 situations and creating greater chances of scoring “easy goals” - as pointed out in many community examples.
  • Goalkeeper Reactions will also be tuned - specifically against 1v1 situations - resulting in less 'superhuman' reactions, which will humanize the goalkeepers movements and result in better scoring opportunities for the attacker.
  • Outside of the Foot Shot situations will be improved and should only happen for players with the Outside of the Foot trait.
  • Shot Elevation/Power Tuning will allow for low powered shots to result in shots similar to Driven Shots, creating more consistency, and resulting in better scoring opportunities.

Timed Finishing

  • Green Timing Window for timed shots will be reduced (from 2-4 frames to 2 frames for all shots), which will make it harder and require more skill to perform.
  • Timed Shot Accuracy will be tuned to result in slightly less precise shots, although Green Timed Shots will still be more accurate than 'non-timed shots'.
  • Difficult 180° shots will be tuned to result in less powerful shots, even when timed perfectly.

Volley Crossing and Shooting

  • Increased Difficulty and Error - Crosses coming from lob balls/volleys will have less accuracy and more variable results. 2-Player Headers will have more variety as players jumping/colliding for the ball mid-air will make it more difficult for the attacker to score in such situations.
  • Decreased Volley Shot Accuracy - Shots originating from a volley shot will have less accuracy and more variable results.

Chaing Skill Moves

  • One of the top issues raised by the community during FIFA 19 is the “chaining” of skill moves that would result in an overpowered tactic that can be very hard to defend against. The team has tackled this feedback by adding error to consecutive skill moves, increasing the likelihood of the player losing control of the ball. Error is increased exponentially when chaining more than 2 skill-moves, making each subsequent skill move more error prone than the last.
  • Complex skill moves, like El Tornado or flick-ups for example, will be more error prone in general, increasing the chances for the player to lose control of the ball during the skill move.

Set-Piece Positioning

  • Players have come forward pointing out that many times a shorter defender would be marking a taller attacker or that a dangerous attacker is not present in the box. The team has been working on improving the intelligence behind these situations, which should result in more realistic marking/positioning when defending or attacking set-pieces in the future.

Manual Goalkeeper Movement

  • The effectiveness of manual GK movement is being heavily reduced in the future, with a slower and more realistic move speed. Players controlling the goalkeeper using right-stick manual movement will now have to commit to a direction, enhancing the risk/reward element. We have already received feedback from both core and pro players during our last feedback sessions and feel confident the changes will address the concerns with the mechanic.

Passing

  • Increased Error on Difficult Position Passing - 180 degrees, first-time, and pressured passes situations will now result in slower/weaker balls, making them less effective and easier to get intercepted by the opposing team.
  • Increased Accuracy for passes in very easy situations; non-pressured, body-positioned, and no obstacle passes will result in an increased accuracy pass for these types of situations.
  • User Controlled 'Dinked' Passes will be a new option for ground and through passes. 'Dinked' passes are slightly elevated passes used to avoid a defender's leg. These types of passes will no longer be contextual and will only happen if executed manually through this new mechanic.
  • Driven Pass-and-Go mechanic will be enabled as another passing option, resulting in a stronger pass-and-go and more mobility/positioning while attacking. As a result of this change, the “manual passing” mechanic that was available through this button-combo (L1/LB+R1/RB+Pass) will no longer be available in the future.

Player Switching

  • Players have provided feedback throughout FIFA 19 that, in some instances, a player would be locked to a loose ball and they weren't able to switch players whenever this would take place. The team is working on improving these situations, as well as adding clarity to the assisted switching mechanism, that will now show an option for automatic switching on Air Balls + Loose Balls situations.
  • Players also provided feedback that switching didn't always select the correct player. The team is working on improving the accuracy of switching in numerous situations, including air balls, deflections and crosses. The team is also working on making the right stick switching as consistent and reactive as possible, as well as improving the intelligence between automatic switching of players closest to the ball.

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About the author

Chris Tapsell

Chris Tapsell

Staff Writer

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Staff Writer, its newest Chris, and a keen explorer of the dark arts of gaming, from League of Legends to the murky world of competitive Pokémon.

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