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FIFA 18: No one understands why EA Sports just axed one of the most popular modes

Practice match hasn't featured in the game for years, but it's time to bring it back

FIFA 18 fans can’t understand why EA Sports has left out one of the most popular modes in the series.

In some FIFAs, pre FIFA 15, you could enter the practice area and select to play a ‘practice match’.


You could choose to go up against one outfield player all the way up to a full squad.

There was no referee, which meant bone-crunching tackles were fair game.

A practice match taking place in FIFA 14 – one of the last in the series to have the function

A practice match taking place in FIFA 14 – one of the last in the series to have the function

You could even create custom set pieces and practice free kicks – all of which were presented in standard ‘TV broadcast’ view (rather than the up-close-and-personal way it is today).

Sadly, a few years ago, EA Sports removed this – focusing instead on skill games and a more limited practice arena.

But fans have no idea why the ability to play a practice match was suddenly axed.


One fan wrote on the FIFA sub-reddit: “I use the skill games, and exhibition/kick off now to practice, but it’s nowhere near as smooth to use.

“No idea why EA removed this. It was a staple of EA Sports titles for years.

“I used a similar mode in older Madden titles as well (I’m not sure if it’s still in that series either.) Hopefully, 1 day, they’ll bring it back.”

A screenshot from the upcoming FIFA 18 practice arena

A screenshot from the upcoming FIFA 18 practice arena

Another wrote: “It was such an awesome feature that killed time and let you test players.

“No doubt it’ll come back in FIFA 19 as a massive feature.”

Dream Team Gaming has spoken extensively to EA Sports about FIFA 18 – and sadly it’s extremely unlikely that practice match will feature in this year’s game.

But the Vancouver-based developers clearly listen to their fan base, and – should enough people make noise about it – they’ll soon start to take notice.

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For those wanting to get their hands on the new game, it’s not long before the FIFA 18 demo arrives.

It’s set to land on September 15 – two weeks before launch.

If you want to play it up a few hours earlier, follow these steps and you’ll get a head start.

For the PES fans among you, Konami has kicked off the demo on Xbox One, PC and PS4.

The full game launches on September 14.

But wait, I can already see the FIFA 18 demo on the Xbox store?

The FIFA 18 demo is already on the Xbox store

The FIFA 18 demo is already on the Xbox store

Yep, look around and you’ll see the demo, which appears in the Ronaldo Nazario loan tab, but it cannot be downloaded yet.

However, it does reveal some key information about what to expect.

The demo will be approximately 7.3GB in size – pretty hefty, so expect a download time of at least one-two hours, depending on connection.

How can I download it?

The demo will appear in Origin, PS Store and Xbox Live. It’ll be ‘Featured’ so should be easy to find.

If there are any issues, use the ‘search’ function and type in ‘FIFA 18 demo’.

Once you find it, click ‘download’ and it’ll begin the process.

How long will it take to download?

This all depends on your connection – but anything more than 7GB is pretty large.

The servers will be under strain given just how many people will be downloading it, so the earlier you can download the game, the better.

To give yourself the best possible chance, make sure to connect your console to an Ethernet cable. You’ll see slightly faster speeds.

Also, try and disconnect other things – such as movie streaming services, whilst you download. They’ll hog the bandwidth.

So, what’s in the demo?

You’ll be able to play as a number of teams including Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, PSG and Juventus.

Here’s the full line up:

  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Chelsea
  • Real Madrid
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Juventus
  • Bayern Munich
  • PSG
  • LA Galaxy
  • Toronto FC

You’ll also likely be able to play through the first part of The Journey: Hunter Returns – although we wouldn’t doing that unless you’ve played the first one.

No sweat, here’s what happens at the end of The Journey  – if you won’t have time to play through it.

Who will be the best player on the demo?

The best player on the demo will be FIFA 18 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo – although his rating on the preview build was TBC.

If you’re desperate to get your hands on the game, sign up to EA Access to play FIFA 18 five days before launch for a full 10 hours.