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FIFA 22: Everything we know

fifa 22 release date - players celebrate to camera
(Image credit: ea)

Looking for the latest FIFA 22 news? FIFA is struggling to find its career-best form of late. Where some players might see themselves losing a yard after a torn knee ligament, it’s been bugs, FUT grind fatigue and the omnipresent whiff of stale on-pitch action ruling EA’s cash cow out of a Ballon d’Or nod.

Still, it only takes one good release to get the franchise back on track, and with the advent of new machinery from Sony and Microsoft, the tech ceiling above FIFA 22 has been raised—and that’s sure to have knock-on effects to the PC edition. Eventually.

In this article, then, I’ll spurt forth everything we can possibly tell you about the upcoming FIFA 22 release date—which is surprisingly complex—the differences between its standard and Ultimate editions, and a lot of talk about new animations... which we won’t be getting in the PC version. I know, I know. It’s all explained below. 

When is the FIFA 22 release date?

The FIFA 22 release date is October 1, 2021.

That's the short answer. But, this being a modern triple-A release, the launch date is, a tremendously complicated affair.

Those who opt for the more expensive Ultimate Edition get access a few days earlier on September 27. And if you want to play it even earlier than that, subscribe to EA Play and you’ll unlock a ten-hour trial with the game which begins September 22. 

So FIFA 22’s release date is actually three different dates. Clear and simple.

The FIFA 22 trailer focuses on new animation tech, which the PC isn't getting

This year, EA Sports opens the kimono on how in-game animations used to be motion-captured, and how they’ve improved upon that process this year in the hopes of bottling something closer to totally convincing football.

Until now, every animation you saw on the pitch was mo-capped in a small room by one to three athletes. From the forty stepovers the 13-year-old wiseguy you got lumped with in an online game does on his way from halfway circle to six-yard box, to his Griezmann dad-dance after he rifles it past your keeper, it all took place in that mo-cap studio.

This year, EA Sports used an actual football stadium and captured 22 players simultaneously, on the ball, tracking back, having a crafty breather instead of getting up from that passing glance. The lot. It's called HyperMotion Technology, mostly because it sounds good, and also to indicate that movement animations throughout the game should be improved as a result. 

...And now the bad news: HyperMotion won’t feature in the PC version, which is essentially going to be the last-gen version of the game. Why? To keep minimum requirements down and prevent those with chugging old PCs from being excluded, say EA.

FIFA 22's Career Mode lets you make your own club

The new FIFA 22 Career Mode adds some long-requested features to the game. As a manager, you'll be able to create your own club, design your team's kit and crest, and use the stadium editor to create personalised grounds. You can also edit everything from squad age, to transfer budget, to board expectations, giving you control over your club's philosophy. 

There'll also be a progression system with match objectives, offering challenges that allow you to boost your manager rating, as well as an overhauled player growth system and skill tree, letting you tailor to your playstyle. Perks also offer a boost to a player's in-game attributes, giving them bonuses on the field.

Finally, post-match cinematics are being updated, with more dressing room sequences. You can find full details of the career mode in the video above.

FIFA 22 Ultimate Team is also getting some new features

Alongside the changes to career mode, FIFA 22 Ultimate Team⁠—or FUT⁠—is receiving some new features and reworks. Division rivals is getting a new progression system, including winstreaks, ranks, and an elite division for high-ranking players. Each division will now be composed of ranks and stages, with more wins earning you faster progress, and stages acting as checkpoints for that progress when you lose. There are also now FIFA 22 seasons, which will carry over partial progress to the next. 

FUT Champions has been also been reworked into a two-stage competition, with qualifying play-offs during the week, and finals held at the weekend. Alongside the new weekly and seasonal rewards based on how many matches you play, Champions will also dish out some player rewards. Lastly, FUT Heroes is a new feature which is all about chemistry and provides bonuses and a club-link for heroes who belong to the same real-world club—though we don't know precisely what those bonuses are. For full details on the changes to FIFA 22 Ultimate Team, see the video above.

FIFA 22 pre-order details: the different editions and what they offer

If you thought the release date section was involved, strap yourself in. 

FIFA 22’s standard edition retails on PC for $60/£40 (some way cheaper than the new-gen version RRPs). Here's the bonus stuff you get with that:

  • TOTW 1 Player
  • Kylian Mbappé Loan Item
  • FUT Ambassador Loan Player Pick
  • Career Mode Homegrown Talent

The 'Ultimate' Edition costs $80/£70, with the bonuses being:

  • FIFA 22 (for last-gen and current consoles)
  • FUT Hero Item
  • 4 Days Early Access
  • FUT Ones to Watch item
  • 4600 FIFA Points
  • TOTW 1 Player & Mbappé Loan Item
  • FUT Ambassador Loan Player Pick
  • Career Mode Homegrown Talent

FIFA 22 gameplay: the AI promises to be much smarter

FIFA lives and dies on the quality of its AI's decisions. All the extra console heft that new-gen hardware has within it gives FIFA 22 the opportunity to MESA-fy its AI players, giving them the smarts to make six times more decisions per second, every second. 

That should mean more AI players on your own team trying to break lines and make annoying runs for opposing CBs to deal with, AI defenders on your own team covering those runs when AI attackers start them, and so on. A more unpredictable, human game of football. This sounds like it has the power to tangibly change how FIFA plays this year.

A giant caveat appears: it’s not clear whether this improved AI is exclusive to the new-gen version of FIFA 22. If it is, PC players won’t catch a whiff of it. We’re stuck on last-gen parity this year. What a shame.