, complete with its familiar addictive squad building, plethora of game modes and microtransactions – or “surprise mechanics” as they are now known. These aspects aren’t changing, for better or worse, but what actually IS new this year? Here are what we think are the biggest changes to FUT in FIFA 20.
“A new sense of progression” is apparently crucial to FUT this year and key to that are the new Season Objectives. EA hope that these will have the same impact on the game mode that Squad Building challenges did when introduced in FIFA 17. Essentially these work similar to a battle pass system – you earn XP for completing challenges, which will move you up into higher levels, thus earning better rewards.
Seasons will last from between 6 to 8 weeks, with a variety of timed objectives within each. These range from short, more easily achieved tasks such as ‘score 2 goals from outside the box today’, to more lengthy challenges, titled Milestones. These take place over the course of your entire FUT career in FIFA 20 and will take some time to complete. One such example is scoring a century of goals, but with 4 sub-objectives within that, meaning 25 have to be headers, 25 have to be volleys and so on. Rewards for completing season objectives also vary considerably, from picking elite players to join your FUT squad on loan, to the new club customisation items.
These new vanity cards genuinely give you the chance to express yourself like never before in FUT. You’ll now be able to deck out your assembled squad in a myriad of different ways. Tifos, stadium themes, custom balls and celebrations are all new this year and some of them are, frankly, ridiculous. In one short clip, Raheem Sterling performed an elbow-drop celebration after scoring with a 16-bit ball airlifted from FIFA 95, all in a stadium decked out with a 50 foot high dabbing unicorn tifo.
It’s great to see that there will be a lot of opportunity to be wacky with these new cards – they offer a welcome breath of fresh air in a game mode which can take itself a bit too seriously at times. EA promises that there will be hundreds of these new customisation items available, hopefully meaning every match you play should have a different atmosphere to it. Crucially however, all of these items will only be available by completing the aforementioned Season Objectives, they won’t be found in card packs or on the marketplace. This could prove frustrating to those casual players who really just want a silly new 8-bit theme for their stadium, but don’t have the time to complete an 8 week long challenge.
A new addition that will appeal to the more casual player is FUT Friendlies. FIFA 20 now allows you take your assembled squad and play against a friend either online or on the couch, as well as matchmaking with strangers. These matches don’t affect your players’ contract lengths or fitness, meaning they should also appeal to the hardcore FUT player who is precious about the welfare of their stars. As well as playing a standard 90 minute match, the more irreverent House Rules modes introduced in FIFA 19 are also making their way to FUT this time around.
All the quirky game modes that debuted last year are back – from the playground-like Headers & Volleys to the anarchic No Rules – but there are additions to the line-up this year. Four new House Rules modes are being offered in FUT, each bringing their own twist to the party:
- Max Chemistry takes the art of squad-building and throws it into the bin, instead granting your team 99 chemistry regardless of the players it contains.
- Swaps randomly takes three players from your team and replaces them with three from your opponent’s. Risky tactics can be applied here, such as deliberately placing a couple of bronze rated cards in your lineup, hoping that they will be transferred to the opposition.
- King of the Hill places a small rectangle somewhere onto the pitch. The longer you keep possession in that area, the higher the ‘goal meter’ gets until it reaches its max of 3. Score a goal after doing this and you receive that many goals for your efforts. This mode really looks set to test your dribbling and overall control of possession.
- Mystery Ball appears the most out-there (and therefore most appealing) new addition. Every time the ball goes out of play, a new ball will enter the pitch, bringing random effects with it. These range from boosting every player’s speed, to increasing their dribbling ability, to a ball that means the next goal scored is worth double. It sounds hectic and it’s the one I can see myself sinking the most time into out of the new additions.
While it would make no sense that Max Chemistry would make its way into the standard Kick-Off offering outside of FUT, I imagine it’s highly likely the latter will be incorporated into the core game.
Simon Cardy is a video producer for IGN in the UK and thinks mystery balls should be introduced into the Premier League. Follow him on Twitter here.