EA Sports’ long-running FIFA franchise is changing its name to EA Sports FC this year, but what else is changing? This is not, after all, a series that’s known for making radical changes or additions, to put it mildly, instead opting for smaller, iterative changes, with the odd new mode thrown in every now and then. And by and large, that’s largely what EA Sports FC 24 is going to do as well, based on what’s been revealed of it so far. On the pitch and off it, this year’s instalment in EA’s football series is making smaller changes, yes, but plenty of them, and here, we’re going to go over a few that you should know about.
EA introduced its new animation technology, dubbed HyperMotion, in FIFA 22, and made improvements to it in last year’s game. FC 24 will continue that tradition. This year, HyperMotion has been dubbed HyperMotion V, and is using motion capture from real players through multiple cameras placed in stadiums during actual matches. According to EA, that’ll mean even greater realism and authenticity in the way players move. For instance, every player will now have their own unique running style.
EA Sports FC 24 is also introducing PlayStyles, which look like an evolution of Attributes from previous games. PlayStyles will hand players a variety of different on-pitch capabilities based on real-world data. There will be 34 PlayStyles in total, and will cover all phases of play, including interceptions, first touch, power shots, finesse shots, a goalkeeper’s cross claiming ability, blocking, whipped passes, and interceptions, among many others. Meanwhile, if a play is particularly potent with a particular PlayStyle, they’ll have its PlayStyle+ variant, making it that much deadlier. So Erling Haaland, for instance, will have the power shot PlayStyle+.
MANAGER CAREER MODE – COACHING STAFF
Where Career Mode is concerned, FC 24 is focusing the bulk of its improvements on the actual coaching and match preparation side of things, which is something wannabe managers everywhere will be very happy to hear. Chief among those changes will be having to now recruit and manage your own, full coaching staff. You’ll have to look for and recruit different coaches with different specializations and areas of expertise, which, of course, will directly impact the growth of your players (or the lack thereof). The bigger and better your coaching team is, the quicker and more your players’ attributes will improve, while which of their attributes are improving will also be shaped by the makeup of your coaching team.
MANAGER CAREER MODE – TRAINING PLANS
For those who like to dive further into the micromanagement nitty-gritties, FC 24 will also let you define and set specific training plans for individual players. Training plans will have to be managed throughout the season, with your primary goal being to ensure that you’re maintaining the right balance between ensuring the highest possible performance levels for the player in question, and that they remain fit and sharp throughout the course of the season. The requirements for each player’s training plan will also as the season progresses based on several factors, like how packed your fixture list is, how much that player has been played, what their natural physical attributes are, and more. In total, there will be five possible training plans that you can set for a player, and each will have a different focus, with two each focusing on Energy and Performance to varying degrees, and one being a balanced training plan.
MANAGER CAREER MODE – MATCH READY TRAINING
You know those training drill minigames you get before every match in FIFA games? In FC 24, they’ll serve an actual mechanical purpose. Coming in the form of Match-Ready Training, these will be one-off drills before every match that will, based on how you do in them, let you gain temporary PlayStyles for the upcoming game for the players that participate. What PlayStyles you unlock will depend on what drill you choose, which players participate in it, and what their positions are. So if you want to aerially dominate a team, a pre-match drill that focuses on crosses and headers will let you unlock suitable PlayStyles for the upcoming match.
MANAGER CAREER MODE – SPECTATE MATCHES
This one is definitely a much smaller change than the things we’ve discussed so far, but an interesting one nonetheless. Past FIFA games have allowed players to either sim or quick sim matches, but if you really want to step into the manager’s role, in FC 24, you’ll also be able to spectate matches. Obviously, you’ll have no direct control over your players while spectating, but you will still be allowed to make substitutions and change tactics in real-time.
PLAYER CAREER MODE – PLAYER AGENTS
Coming to the Player Career side of things, there are a few notable changes being made here as well, chief among them being the addition of player agents. That’s right, in Player Career mode, you’ll now have an agent of your own, which will allow you to have much greater control over your career and what path it takes. You’ll now be able to set a Career Path for yourself by selecting a specific team that you’re hoping to join, based on which your Agent will give you short- and long-term goals to work towards.
ULTIMATE TEAM – EVOLUTIONS
Ultimate Team usually tends to be the flagship mode in every FIFA game, and that’s obviously not going to change just because the series is now called EA Sports FC. So what’s the big change that FC 24’s Ultimate Team mode is bringing to the table? That would be Evolutions, which, in a nutshell, is a new and overhauled progression system that will aim to give you greater control over how every single player in your team is progressing. Every Evolution (some of which will be paid) will require players to complete specific objectives, after which the player will level up and evolve, receiving not only improvements to stats and attributes, but also visual upgrades.
ULTIMATE TEAM – PLAYER UPGRADES
What exactly will you be able to upgrade when a player levels up? Apparently, there will be plenty of options. In addition to specific stats, a variety of other attributes can also be upgraded and customized, including weak foot ability, work rate, how effective a player is in alternative positions, skill moves, PlayStyles, and more. According to EA, leveling up, upgrading, and evolving a player enough times will let you shape them as you see fit with a much greater degree of control than past games.
The FIFA franchise hasn’t made a radical visual and technical leap for a number of years now, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen with FC 24 either- though like every year, there are some other, more granular improvements that EA is highlighting. For instance, this year’s game will feature much more detailed models for every player, while EA is also touting a revamped cloth system, which means the fabric of players’ kits will deform and wrinkle more realistically and with greater detail.
Another visual improvement that EA Sports FC 24 is set to feature is an upgraded lighting model. Dubbed Feature Lighting by the developers, it will seemingly allow for much better contrast and more depth to each frame. The goal here, according to EA Sports, is to make the match look more cinematic and even closer to an actual real-life broadcast.
NEW COMMENTARY AND CUTSCENES
Other changes are also being made where the presentation side of things is concerned. For instance, FC 24 will add a new commentary duo in Sue Smith and Guy Mowbray, which should provide a nice change of pace. Several new cutscenes are being added as well, including cutscenes in the commentary gantry, players celebrating key moments during a match that aren’t goals, like key blocks and saves, and even cutscenes from the referee’s perspective on some occasions, like when a free kick is being set up, or when a player is being booked or sent off.
IMPROVED MATCH INTRODUCTIONS
Pre-match introductions tend to see some notable improvements in FIFA games most years, and FC 24 is also making similar promises. In this year’s game, pre-match build-up sequences will be more elaborate and include new cutscenes, menus, and graphics, that together will cover everything from the the commentary gantry and dressing rooms to stadium tunnels and more.
Cross-platform multiplayer was introduced in FIFA 22, and expanded in FIFA 23. In FC 24, it’s expanding again. While FIFA 22’s cross-play applies only to friendlies and seasons, FIFA 23 added a variety of Ultimate Team modes to the mix. With FC 24, however, EA is finally doing what the community has been hoping for all along, with cross-platform multiplayer now being available in every multiplayer mode. What isn’t changing, however, is that cross-platform will be generation-specific. So PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC players will be able to play with and against each other, PS4 and Xbox One players against each others, and Switch players only amongst themselves.
Oh, and speaking of the Switch version…
The Nintendo Switch has been supported horribly by the FIFA franchise. Sure, the fact that it has received a new FIFA game every year is obviously already a much better situation than what Nintendo consoles have seen in the past, but with EA only choosing to release a new Legacy Edition each year, people have been paying for the exact same game with no real improvements or changes, other than updated squads and kits. EA Sports FC 24, however, finally has a new and improved Switch version. Not only is it finally moving to the Frostbite engine, it will also include PlayStyles, and introduce a full-fledged Ultimate Team experience, unlike the neutered Ultimate Team mode previous FIFA games have had on the Switch.