EA is planning an exciting Ultimate Team ‘showcase’ at this year’s Gamescom convention in August.
FIFA 18 creative director Matt Prior revealed the publisher will use the conference in Cologne as a springboard for FIFA 18 news about the popular mode.
“Ordinary we don’t announce much about Ultimate Team around this time because we’re in the run up to Gamescom – that’s our big FUT showcase,” he said at a FIFA 18 event in London.
Gamescom is Europe’s largest gaming convention, taking place between August 22-26.
It used to play second fiddle to the bigger E3 expo in the US, but has increasingly positioned itself as a valuable tool for publishers to show off parts of games that weren’t ready in time for the US show.
“There have been decision in the past about putting servers around the world – and people who are far from the servers will experience some lag,” he said.
“So, now what we are doing is that there is a group of people just specifically working on connectivity – and they are working very hard to try and provide the best experience.
“Obviously because of geographical reasons, it’s not easy but we are aware that some people are experiencing bad things – especially with competitive gaming.”
He added: “Even losing one game because of a disconnect could mean you do not qualify for the regionals – so we know that, and are working on it. It’s just technically, it’s hard.”
Your internet connection may not be the only thing contributing to lag – your TV could be doing you no favours, either.
Follow these steps to make sure your ready for FIFA 18 Ultimate Team.
Hunt down your TV’s ‘Gaming’ preset
If you’re playing on your TV straight out of the box, chances are it’s got a host of flashy picture processors turned on.
Sadly, these can affect input delay, so most now come with a ‘Gaming’ preset.
These can be hard to find, but are usually found in the ‘Picture’ section of the ‘Settings’ menu.
‘Game’ mode works by turning off a load of these processors, which lowers input lag substantially. There are some reports that delay can be cut up to 50 per cent.
Note that some ‘Game’ modes still keep a few things, such as ‘Motion Blur control’ and ‘Noise Reduction’ switched on, so go through and double check they’re all deactivated.
If not… well, you know what’ll happen.
Turn off ‘Eco mode’ and reduce the backlight
Look away now, energy savers.
‘Eco’ mode in TVs automatically adjusts the picture depending on light – but it’s way too aggressive and leads to an unnatural look that can strain your eyes.
This doesn’t affect lag, per say, but switching it off is a quick way of creating a much more colour rich, detailed image – enhancing the overall experience.
To improve contrast, make sure the backlight (if your TV has one) is set to 0 and contrast is NOT set to maximum.
The latter will lead to less detail in darker and brighter scenes.
Make sure the console signal is progressive rather than interlaced
Input lag is massively affected by whether the TV is receiving an interlaced or progressive signal from a console.
If it’s interlaced it’ll have an “i” after it, for example: 1080i.
If it’s progressive, it’ll have a ‘p’, for example ‘1080p’.
Make sure that you go on to your TV output areas in the Ps4 or Xbox One and ensure output has a “p” next to it.
Tell us about the Nintendo Switch version – will it have Ultimate Team, too?
The relationship between FIFA and Nintendo is a strange one.
When the Wii U launched back in 2012, it took three months for FIFA 13 to make its way on to the console.
When it did finally arrive, it was lacking arguably the most popular mode, Ultimate Team – and gameplay was sub par compared with the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.
Subsequent FIFA games were scrapped from the Wii U, with EA focusing efforts on the then next-gen consoles and the ageing Wii.
However, the arrival of the Nintendo Switch heralds a new fresh start for the relationship between the Japanese manufacturer and EA.
“The only thing I can tell you is that there’s a big team of people working on this,” he told Dream Team Gaming.
“It’s being created in a very serious way – the gameplay, it’s fun and different.”
In fact, if both companies play their cards right, the Switch version of FIFA 18 could be the most attractive proposition of the lot. Here’s why.
You’ll be able to play FIFA 18 on the go
The Switch has already proven itself as a brilliant handheld companion, so being able to play the full game (not just the Web App) on the go will give this version the edge.
Thankfully, FIFA has been ‘custom built’ for Nintendo’s new hardware.
It may not use the latest Frostbite technology but gameplay is sleek, responsive and runs at 60FPS.
Plus, you’re able to detach the Joy Con controllers and play a friend – although this can be a bit fiddly.
A battery life of up to six hours makes it perfect for long journeys.
It has Ultimate Team
As long as you have Wifi you’ll be able to play Ultimate Team and buy packs as you normally would.
Champions won’t feature but that’s not the end of the world.
Graphics and presentation
Sure, it’s not as crisp as the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of the game – but FIFA on the Switch is by no means ugly.
EA producer Andrei Lazaresco told Eurogamer about how they made the most out of Switch’s Nvidia Maxwell-based Tegra X1 chip.
“We’re using physical-based rendering,” he said.
“The crowds are 3D. The grass is 3D. The lighting is new. And on top of that you’ll have Ultimate Team for the first time on Nintendo – and for the first time you’ll be able to take it on the go.
“You’ll be able to play on a plane, on a bus, even from just a hotspot.”
Sounds like a winner to us.
It’ll be easier than ever to meet new players
Right now, if you want to add a friend on the Switch you need to use an annoying 12 digit Friend Code. But that’s all about to change.
Nintendo confirmed to Polygon that more ways to add pals are on the way – using the likes of Twitter, Facebook and the simple Nintendo Network ID.
Expect FIFA 18 to have a custom interface for adding players – although no details of this have been announced.
What about if I don’t have a PS4, Xbox One or PC? Will FIFA 18 still be worth getting on Xbox 360 and PS3?
FIFA fans with Xbox 360s and PS3s are set to miss out again on The Journey this year, EA has revealed.
“Yes, it will be coming out on Xbox 360 and PS3 but is going to be a ‘Gold’ version”, EA SPORTS’ lead gameplay producer Sam Rivera told Dream Team Gaming.
“So there will be updates in the rosters but nothing big, new – like the new engine. It’s just basically an update.”
Rivera confirmed the game will run on Ignite – which has been used since FIFA 16.
This means it will be almost identical to last year’s game and look noticeably worse than FIFA 18 on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Bringing The Journey to last-gen consoles would require recreating the entire experience using Ignite – a move that makes no sense from either a technical or commercial perspective.
Still, that didn’t stop fans from expressing their anger at Alex Hunter’s omission on older consoles in FIFA 17.
Last year, some didn’t realise until it was too late – and bought FIFA 17 on Xbox 360 and PS3 only to be disappointed that the key mode didn’t feature.
Retailers were equally as confused, with Amazon.co.uk coming under fire for accidentally using screenshots from the current-gen version of the game on adverts for the Xbox 360 version.
One wrote: “My son bought this as it clearly said it included journey mode unlike the standard version costed over 50 pounds. He is now bitterly disapointed having wasted his money this game is no better than fifa 15.”
Another said: “This was purchased for my 12 year old out of his birthday money.
“He was so excited when it arrived and looking forward to playing it, however this soon turned to bitter disappointment when he discovered that it did not include The Journey and therefore not much different from previous versions of FIFA.”
It’s not the first time Xbox 360 and Ps3 users have been handed a bad deal.
The entire single-player campaign of Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was omitted from last-gen consoles.
PES, meanwhile, uses the Fox Engine, which is much more last-gen friendly.
While it won’t look as good as the shiny new current-gen versions, Konami’s game will still perform well on older hardware, so could prove a better bet this year.
Remember, you can keep up to date with all the latest FIFA news in our ‘Everything you need to know about FIFA 18‘ piece.