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FIFA 18 Release Date REVEALED: When is EA SPORTS’ game out, how much will it cost and who is the cover star?

  • EA SPORTS has given us hints as to when the next FIFA will launch
  • FIFA 18 cover star could be announced this week - ahead of E3
  • FIFA 18 will cost around £49.99 - with the premium package costing nearer £80
  • Nintendo Switch version to get 'EA SPORTS FIFA' not 'FIFA 18'
  • There will likely be three packages - all varying in price
  • Switch version will be 'custom built' - but may miss out on The Journey and Ultimate Team

We’re almost certain that FIFA 18 will launch in late September – most likely on the 26 September.

But why then?

FIFA 17 was released on 29 September, FIFA 16 on 22 September 2015 and FIFA 15 on 23 September 2014.

All of those dates fall on Tuesday.

If this pattern is anything to go by, then best mark Tuesday September 26 in your diary!

Will it play the same as FIFA 17?

For a full detailed preview, check out our everything you need to know about FIFA 18 piece.

FIFA 17 has come under fire for some aspects of its gameplay – but as FIFA 18 will be powered by the same engine, we doubt much will change here.

Input delay – the time it takes for a button press to translate into an on-screen action – has led to some negative feedback in FIFA 17.

There have also been claims of ‘EAaids’ or ‘scripting’, which refers to the game dynamically adjusting online matches to favour weaker players.

Animation was sometimes clunky and unnatural in FIFA 17 – but we’re confident EA will smooth things out in FIFA 18

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Animation was sometimes clunky and unnatural in FIFA 17 – but we’re confident EA will smooth things out in FIFA 18

Whilst the former issue is a result of the game’s severs compensating for ‘Ping’ or connection strength variance between online players, we’d expect to see action taken over ‘EAAids’.

Whether this will be the re-introduction of a “momentum” bar, as in FIFA 06, or just a tweak of the alleged in-game code remains to be seen.

Either way, fans want something done about it.

When will it come out, and will there be a demo?

We’re almost certain that FIFA 18 will launch in late September – most likely on the 26 September.

FIFA 17 was released on 29 September, FIFA 16 on 22 September 2015 and FIFA 15 on 23 September 2014.

For those wanting early access, the demo usually lands a week or two before the game launches – but expect EA Access members to get first dibs.

Will Cristiano Ronaldo still be the best player?

It’s been an incredible year for the Portuguese, so he’ll definitely remain the game’s best player in FIFA 18.

Some believe he may have a stats downgrade, though – especially with regards to his pace and dribbling (which we’ve mocked up below).

Ronaldo will likely be the best player in FIFA 18 – despite him getting slight downgrades in pace and dribbling

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Lionel Messi, who has been in blistering form of late, will keep second spot.

Who will be the cover star?

There are rumours that Paul Pogba is going to grace the cover of FIFA 18 – but EA is yet to confirm anything.

What we do know is that there will be a significant FIFA 18 announcement on June 5 – although we’re not sure if this is the cover star or a new trailer.

PES 2017 developers Konami own Messi’s rights (as well as all the rights to his Barcelona team mates and the Nou Camp), so that rules him out.

As a result, we bet Cristiano Ronaldo will be the cover star – especially as the 32-year-old reaches the twilight years of his career.

Other names in contention are Antoine Griezmann, Paulo Dybala and Dele Alli.

Will The Journey feature again? (SPOILER ALERT)

Absolutely. 

According to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, The Journey Season Two will feature new characters and story-lines and will ‘build on the foundation created with story mode this year’.

Alex Hunter’s debut was largely well-received by critics and fans alike.

The Journey was a success – but Season 2 needs to flesh out the characters more and offer more player choice

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The Journey was a success – but Season 2 needs to flesh out the characters more and offer more player choice

One of the issues with The Journey was that player choice did not affect the story as much as many would like.

As a result, expect improved dialogue wheels with actions that genuinely affect Hunter’s fate.

The EA-published Mass Effect series saw a similar evolution of the dialogue wheel – eventually allowing your character to interrupt NPCs mid conversation.

This feature would be a welcome, and easy to implement, addition.

Will free kicks and penalties stay the same?

Penalties won’t change much, but free kicks could see an overhaul.

The new “momentum” system that governs the set-pieces is incredibly hard to master and has been panned by FIFA players.

As a result, we’d expect this to revert back to the more “traditional” shot power and curl mechanic.

Penalties can be hard to master – but can be prone to erratic goalkeeper AI

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Penalties can be hard to master – but can be prone to erratic goalkeeper AI

The system works wonders for penalties, though – allowing for much more control over shot placement and power.

Goalkeeper AI during spot kicks is often found wanting, so expect EA to address this.

Will this FIFA make use of VR?

On PS4 Pro and PC, almost certainly.

Sony has invested millions into PSVR but needs more mainstream games to show it off.

FIFA could be the perfect platform to propel the hardware firmly into the mainstream – especially as the company look to further capitalise on the beefed up PS4 Pro.

But for those hoping that VR will replace the controller, that’s still some way off.

EA’s Sebastian Enrique told Trusted Reviews “haven’t found something that beats the experience when you have a controller in your hands”.

Where VR could be implemented, though, is through a camera angle – perhaps exclusive to PS4 / PC versions.