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FIFA 19 players rejoice after patch nerfs AI defending

Tackles the problem.

EA has put out a patch for FIFA 19 that adds to the game perhaps the most-requested nerf from the community.

FIFA 19's AI controlled defenders are now a bit more Phil Jones.

The title update reduces the effectiveness of defending by AI teammates. This is particularly welcome, as most FIFA players find letting the computer do the dirty work of defending is a more effective strategy than getting stuck in yourself. It'll also help break down stubborn computer-controlled teams in the likes of Squad Battles.

So, here's what the patch does. The shot blocking of a defender that's being controlled by an AI teammate is less effective as EA has reduced the distance an AI teammate defender will stretch to block a shot. Similarly, EA has nerfed AI teammate tacking by reducing the distance they'll stretch when making a tackle.

(According to EA, an AI teammate is any player on the pitch that is not being controlled by a human, or is not the CPU AI controlled player.)

This is interesting: the patch increases the impact to fatigue of playing with defensive pressure. This change will have the biggest impact to fatigue, EA said, when playing with constant pressure enabled in your active game plan or when playing with team press active. Since these are two of the most popular strategies used online, the update should shake up the Ultimate Team meta.

The patch also makes a well-timed tackle more effective, encouraging players to defend manually. It increases the tendency of the ball to travel further from the dribbler after the tackle, increasing the likelihood the dribbler will lose possession of the ball. This is great news, as it can be frustrating to get the ball with a tackle, only to see the attacker retain possession.

Here's another interesting one: the patch reduces the number of first-time passes CPU AI controlled players will make out of their defensive third of the pitch when playing on Legendary or Ultimate difficulty. This is a significant nerf to the difficulty of playing against the computer at these difficulty levels, and should make it easier to get the ball after losing possession in, for example, Squad Battles.

FIFA 19 has had a rough time of it lately, with a number of Ultimate Team errors cropping up last week. And over the weekend, connection issues prevented many from playing the game. Things got so bad, EA was forced to extend the Weekend League by a day.

But this new patch is going down well. Players over on the FIFA subreddit are praising EA for addressing perhaps the biggest gameplay issue with FIFA 19, and are looking forward to getting stuck in with the new defending. I am, too!

One last thing: the patch addresses the following issue:

"Sometimes the crowd would be seen waving a large linesman's flag instead of a team flag."

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