FIFA 22: Why Ultimate Team gameplay ALWAYS reverts back to pace

There is an annoying aspect of a new FIFA game that we've come to expect now - the original gameplay will change.

Players will just be getting used to the new style, then a patch comes, and something feels different.

With EA not releasing exact changes they make, it's hard to put a finger on what has changed, apart from that something has.

We're going to take a look at one of the factors that could have a big impact for these changes.

Brilliant beginnings

When FIFA 22 was released one of the main aspects that we loved about the game was a slower, more realistic feel.

You had to be more careful with passes, centre-backs had a new lease of life in becoming relevant again, and more varying play styles were being employed.

FIFA 22 tackle
click to enlarge
PERFECT HARMONY - Pace and power seemed to have hit a sweet spot

You could still break teams down with quick counterattacks, could still blaze past defenders with a pacey forward, but it was nowhere near as prevalent.

It seemed that EA had finally struck the right balance with player speed, interactions with strength, and realism.

Problem patch

New games are usually going to have little issues with them that become apparent when unleashed to the world, and FIFA 22 was no exception to that.

Player glitches, overpowered long shots, some ridiculous goalkeeping, all were addressed - but something else had changed in the early patches.

As noted by several players in the community, they weren't happy with the change, with one user on the EA message board saying:

"Even in the first update, they made the game like FIFA 21. Again, players who run as if they were connected to a jet engine and pass through the defense easily. Arcade mode is officially back."

Bothersome boosts

One of the biggest changes that impacts the game is keeping things fresh for FUT players, which means bringing in regular new content.

New cards introduced to the game can't just be similar levels to who we already have, so a power curve occurs to make new cards more useable, and more popular to boost pack sales.

Unfortunately for players that loved the original gameplay, these new cards could be overpowered if that style was kept, so a more arcade-y feel is brought in to cope with them.

That new gameplay takes away from the slower, controlled style, and makes things a bit more frantic, with bigger gaps appearing between the fast and slower players.

Our own worst enemy

EA is just giving us the sort of cards we're asking for, so as a community we have to take on some of the responsibility.

We love cards getting a pacey upgrade, and for many it is the most important trait a player needs.

A prime example of this can be seen in Karim Benzema.

In FIFA 21 he saw many upgraded cards that possessed incredible skill, but even his 97 OVR Team of the Season was a rare sight to see.

At the start of FIFA 22, Benzema's Player of the Month card became one of the most feared around, suiting the meta of the original gameplay perfectly.

He has now had a new Flashback card come out, which many are swapping in over the POTM version, due to his better pace stats.

Despite having worse shooting, passing, and physicality, players will almost always prefer a card with a better pace rating.

Unobtainable gameplay

As we said, some of the responsibility can be laid at the feet of the community, however, we only use cards that suit the game.

Until balance is restored and pace is no longer such a powerful asset, we will keep going for speedy cards.

Maybe, instead of seeing regular boosts to players' pace, their technical attributes should take a bigger increase when they get an upgrade.

Having gameplay that relies heavier on those aspects would make the player pool greater, and give relevance back to skill over physical traits.

We thought that was the game we finally has when FIFA 22 was released, but it didn't transpire as such.

We're optimistic that this could be achieved, but maybe we're dreaming, maybe the gameplay we crave will always be unobtainable.

For more articles like this, take a look at our FIFA page.