Every year, FIFA players welcome the summer with excitement; as they keep playing a bit of the current FIFA, but await the next one. And every year, players surf the Internet for new things that EA may include in the next game. They await huge game changes, graphical updates, AI changes (I’m looking at you keepers), and more, and EA sometimes delivers. This year isn’t different; players are still looking to grind coins in FIFA 22 FUT, but expect a lot from FIFA 23. So, what are the top 10 things we need to see in FIFA 23?
A huge referee rework
This one is a must. We all have seen those videos of people scoring goals while the referee blows off the whistle for halftime. Or even worse, we have suffered it. And don’t get me started on the times when you get through on goal, and one CB just RKO’s your top striker, only for the referee to keep shut. In-game, these are not the only instances in which you’d wish to kill the referee, but they are all part of the same problem.
The referees in FIFA have remained unchanged (except for a few changes here and there), but we need real changes. In the end, we are not talking about a human being running on a field. We talk about a machine that knows everything that’s happening on the field. As such, it should know when some player commits a foul as much as when it commits offside. Although offsides are very well implemented, fouls and red and yellow cards are not.
Refereeing needs a major rework in FIFA 22, not even a yellow from FIFA
Another thing to consider is VAR (Video Assistant Referee); which has already been implemented in football’s major competitions but hasn’t made an appearance in FIFA so far. The system could act as a safety measure to correct its own wrongdoing. It would be an easy implementation, as the game could display an animation of the referee “checking” a replay. The “how” to implement the revision properly could be more of a nuisance; but we have already seen real football tools implemented into FIFA, such as the goal-line technology.
A huge AI rework (Vs CPU and your own teammates when you play)
Anyone that has ever played FIFA can agree that the AI in the game is…weird. Maybe your opponents’ 53-pace CB runs faster than your 91 Mbappé, or your AI players don’t want to defend. Yet, every FIFA player has gotten mad at the game’s AI at some point, and they may have a point.
FIFA ads every year always have 3 or 4 main selling points, and AI changes are always one of them. Don’t get me wrong, AI has changed a lot since the beginning of FIFA, but it is nowhere near where it should be in terms of quality. Also, that’s not even considering bugs. In FIFA it is not rare to see flying AI players or keepers that forgot how to play the game altogether.
(Video by Alphyx)
Additionally, AI doesn’t only cover PVP games. We could also cover a point just talking about the games against the CPU. FIFA has 7 levels of difficulty (beginner to ultimate), although the highest level is reserved for FUT and career mode. However, these modes are too easy for some and too hard for others. As such, a kind of “personalized” AI that learns from the player and adapts to them in some way would be amazing. Although this may be a bit far-fetched, AI is an essential part of FIFA and a feature that constantly evolves. So, EA may implement the changes sooner than we think.
An even better, more complete career mode
This one just may be the most ambitious of all the top 10 things we need to see in FIFA 23. EA introduced a whole lot of changes for FIFA 22‘s career mode, such as club creation and customization, new dialogue, and commentary… Yet, it is no secret that EA prefers FUT over career mode, and players had been waiting for said changes for a while. But career mode can still be a lot better and there are a lot of areas in which it can improve.
Firstly, there are a lot of changes aimed at improving managerial carrier. In the career you need to create a manager to play with, but why not be able to choose an already existing manager? Imagine taking Mourinho to train Barcelona or making Conte play tiki-taka at City. This feature would be very easy to implement, considering the managers are already in the game. In the same manner, FUT icons and heroes are already in the game with their own attributes. Thus, allowing players to use them in their career modes would be very easy and fun to do.
On the other hand, there are some features that would be great but could be tougher to implement. One of these would be to expand the academy in career mode. So far, we only can send scouts, sign academy players and get them into the main team. It would be great if we got more options, such as playing with a proper sub-23 or sub-19 teams. Another great feature would be to be able to watch matches CPU vs CPU of your team vs others; even being able to jump in and play at any given moment. Finally, some changes to player career mode would be positively welcomed; the player should be able to request captaincy of their team at any moment, thus kicking free-kicks and penalties.
Include more football leagues and teams from around the world
It is no secret that players enjoy the game more when they have their favorite teams and players available. Some may just want to take their local team to success in career mode. Others may just build a team around their favorite players in FUT. Either way, licenses matter, and the more realistic teams, players, and leagues FIFA has, the better.
Recently, we have seen important teams like Juventus strike a deal with Konami over EA. For FIFA 23, Atalanta, Napoli, AS Roma, and Lazio won’t be officially in the game. Yet, not only teams are leaving FIFA as the J-League (Japan) and the BBVA MX (Mexico) will not feature in the game. Then, there are a lot of leagues around the world that aren’t in FIFA. Some examples include the Croatian league, the Brazilian league, and a lot of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL-related leagues.
A truly memorable, free World Cup 22 mode
Out of the top 10 things we need to see in FIFA 23, this is the most realistic. As it has already been confirmed that FIFA 23 will count with a World Cup mode. However, we want it to be good. One that reminds us of the good FIFA 14 and 18 summers, playing tournaments with international stars. Yet, this year it most likely won’t be the same. The World Cup will take place in November and December, the early months of FIFA. Maybe EA will bring us something different than in past years, a more complete World Cup implementation.
In the last World Cup modes in past FIFAs, two things were added: a World Cup tournament mode and a FUT add-on. The most interesting, and played one, was the FUT one, as it let you build a World Cup squad. Said squad would be separate from your other ones and would consist of special FUT cards from the tournament. Having this squad was pretty amazing, especially when it included icons in FIFA 18; you could build a whole separate team with new, fun players and have fun in different tournaments. And you will have fun this year too, as this mode is surely making it into the final game.
Yet, this year EA could add more features to the game, considering it is going to be implemented so early. Some career mode special tournaments and players, a World Cup mode for Pro Clubs, or even a Volta futsal World Cup; we could even dream with an Alex Hunter style story but with the World Cup! Adding new features would not only help game sales but also make FIFA 23 more memorable.
Include a complete stadium and kit creation mode for Ultimate Team and Career mode
Players have been asking for this one for a long time, and we have to say that FIFA almost delivered. In the past FIFA’s EA introduced the possibility to edit existing stadiums. This is very good, but you can’t compare editing some colors and nets to building an original stadium. This would be amazing for career mode, FUT, and even Pro Clubs. Imagine players being able to create the most ridiculous, absurd, or amazing stadiums and comparing them to friends and community.
It goes the same way with kits. In career mode and FUT, you can choose pre-defined kits from other teams or EA, but not create your own. You can even create your own club in career mode already and FUT is based on that idea, so why not a stadium and kits?
A lot more character personalization
This one goes tied with the stadium and kits one: players just want more personalization options altogether. When creating a player or a manager for a game mode (like career mode or Pro Clubs), FIFA fans want to be able to fully create a person. A few hair options, little to no accessories, and nose length adjustments aren’t going to do that. They want full customization, from head form (we see you, Squidward fans) to the sunglasses they’ll wear in interviews.
This implementation could not be easier too! EA owns a lot of game franchises that use character customization, such as Mass Effect or The Sims. So, EA doesn’t need to create a new system altogether, but heavily expand on the options offered at the moment. This is especially significant for players that want to create characters with a specific, wavy hairstyle, playing glasses, or other unique feature.
An online or co-op career mode
Another, very ambitious feature would require a lot of testing and time. Yet, one that would be pretty much the final evolution of career mode. You could jump on, select a top league club, and compete against another 15+ teams for a cup each season. Also, fighting against rivals to sign a rising superstar or free agent, designing tactics and plans for each.
Although EA has given it some thought, the actual playing could be an issue to deal with, as the players would need to be online to play the game. Yet, it could work as weekend league in FUT, there is a set period of time in which teams would have to play each other. If they don’t show up, a CPU vs player could take place instead. You could even create a private league just for you and your friends to finally decide who’s the best. Although the mode would be awesome, it is very far-fetched to think it will be implemented, as it would take up a lot of EA’s time, but would be hard to monetize.
🚨 EA are exploring the option of making Online Career Mode a separate FREE TO PLAY GAME, the chances of this happening are very slim but EA are open to make it work. It’s a project that has been in the works for 2 years. Planned release date is October 2023. #EASportsFC
— FUTZone – #FIFA23 News (@FUTZONEFIFA) June 26, 2022
Include more commentary
This one has more to do with the nature of the game and voice actors than with EA. FIFA, like any respectful football game, comes with commentary that takes place during matches. However, this commentary is limited, as voice actors cannot record unlimited audios that would cover every situation on the field. Yet, we need to acknowledge that hearing the same commentaries, again and again, is pretty tiresome.
Nonetheless, players aren’t asking for that. EA could simply sign new commentators that replace the old ones for some fresh bits of opinion and banter. Then, they could record a base amount of commentaries for the release of the game, but don’t stop recording there. They could release new bits of commentary each patch (or every few patches), that would refresh the sound of the game. Playing music over the game is nice, but it is not the same as hearing two grown men argue about an absurd offside.
Winning trophies in career mode should be meaningful
Career mode is full of trophies to win with any team you like, either to bring a bottom team to glory or to represent your favorite club. However, there is an important issue that has been present in FIFA for a long time. Each season, players aim to win every possible tournament, or at least to get to the final stages of each. Yet, doing so is not as rewarding as one may think.
Winning a trophy is cool, it means you have built a strong team and played a very good season. But getting an outdated cutscene about it (which you will probably skip) and a bit of cash for next season is not enough. In the end, you are left with an empty feeling that can be summarized as “I’ve won everything, now what?”. You can get a move to a new team and try again, but the results will most likely be the same.
In the end, what would help fix this situation is a combination of some of the previous top 10 things we need to see in FIFA 23. An online or co-op career mode would help fix this issue tremendously. Nothing’s better than winning a trophy over your friends in FIFA. In the same way, personalization would help a lot; as the feeling of creating a whole new team with every little detail and taking it to glory would provide a bigger amount of satisfaction than doing so with Real Madrid.
We will have to wait and see what EA wants to implement in the next FIFA, but which of the top 10 things we need to see in FIFA 23 would you like to see most introduced?