FIFA players have all been there - your opponent rage quits before half-time, or pauses the match all the time, or time-wastes after scoring a goal, or celebrates every goal. Playing FIFA online can be a proper annoying experience.
Now, EA has outlined the unwritten rules of FIFA online play - using the world's oldest club to get the message across.
EA Sports is celebrating the anniversary of Sheffield FC, which was founded in October 1857 and is recognised by FIFA as the oldest existing club still playing football in the world, with a new rulebook for FIFA 22.
The "FOAT Code", as it's called (FOAT stands for First Of All Time), "calls on the FIFA community to follow the unwritten rules of FIFA including asking players not to quit matches in rage and asking players not to pause game mid-match".
There are other unwritten rules: don't waste time; skip the replays of goals that aren't worth a replay; and don't celebrate every "sweaty" goal. It's all outlined in the video below:
It's all well and good asking the FIFA community to follow these guidelines, but I doubt this promotional campaign will have much of an impact. And some of these rules are interesting in that there are mitigations already in place to discourage this kind of behaviour - and yet it still happens.
For example, if you quit an online FIFA Ultimate Team match you record a loss (although this system isn't foolproof), you don't get any FUT Coins and you get a message saying persistent quitters get a FUT Coins penalty for future matches. And yet, the FIFA community doesn't seem bothered by that warning at all, and rage quitting is rife in the game.
I'd argue FIFA could do with a concede option, given you can often find yourself losing badly after just a few minutes and know there's no chance of winning against your opponent because either they're clearly much better at the game than you or their team is packed with much better players. It would save both players a lot of time, although I suspect EA would be concerned about it being exploited in some way.
It's interesting EA's "FOAT Code" is published hot on the heels of a wave of bans issued to FUT players who used an exploit to quit Weekend League matches without penalty.
Meanwhile, in recent years, EA has added options to the game to speed up the flow of the game. You can skip a replay and go straight to a restart after a goal, for example, and I find most players do this. There is now an option to have the game show you one of your players or manager hanging their head in shame after you concede a goal, rather than your opponent's celebration. EA has even taken out some celebrations considered toxic.
Still, there's no real way of stopping the pause spam some players do, which can be incredibly annoying especially if your opponent uses up the entire 30 seconds with each pause. And what can you do about time-wasting in normal play? Nothing, except tear your hair out.
Meanwhile, EA has added Sheffield FC's original kit from 1857 to Ultimate Team, which is a nice touch. You unlock it by completing the following objectives:
- Play x5 matches in any FUT game mode including x5 players from England in the starting squad
- Assist three goals using players from England in any FUT game mode
- Win a match by at least two goals in any FUT Game Mode