fifa 18 guide

The latest FIFA is set for release on the 29th of September. In this complete FIFA 18 guide, we break down player ratings, Alex Hunter news, pace, Nintendo Switch, and much more. 

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. Get out your (parents’) cash, it’s time to give EA loads of money.

I’d be lying though to say I’m not excited. As a massive soccer fan, FIFA will always have a soft spot in my gaming heart. It also helps that I’m in really good form and just beat my brother for the third time in a row (SUCK ON THAT ZAK BARCA ARE BETTER THAN REAL!!!).

FIFA 17 was, in my opinion, a really great FIFA. With the notable introductions of ‘The Journey’, as well as the gaming engine Frostbite, we saw genuine improvements.

So will this year’s edition be another exciting FIFA year, or as disappointing as my real-life soccer team (Arsenal)?

In this FIFA 18 guide, we break down everything you need to know about the greatest annual soccer game.

Let’s start with the thing everyone’s aching to know: The FIFA 18 Player Ratings.

Player ratings for the game’s biggest starts have been revealed. As usual, the Messi vs Ronaldo controversy is a hot topic. Here are the top 10 player ratings, starting from number 10.

player ratings fifa 18 guide
Higuain comes in at number 10. Source: EA Sports.
player ratings fifa 18 guide
Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos. Source: EA Sports.
player ratings fifa 18 guide
Eden Hazard, number 8. Source: EA Sports.
player ratings fifa 18 guide
Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos. Source: EA Sports.
FIFA 18 player ratings
Number 6: Robert Lewandowski. Source: EA Sports.
player ratings fifa 18 guide
The big goalkeeper at number 5. Source: EA Sports.
 player ratings fifa 18 guide
Barcelona’s Luis Suarez. Source: EA Sports.
FIFA 18 guide player ratings
PSG’s new man comes in at number 3. Source: EA Sports.
FIFA 18 guide player ratings
Oooohh controversial! Messi at number 2. Source: EA Sports.
FIFA 18 guide player ratings
BOOM. Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in FIFA 18.

Yes, it’s CR7 at number one. Although he is the player on the front cover, so Messi fans, you’ve got a good shout for bias.

Career Mode

According to one of EA’s developers: “(Career Mode) is probably a similar experience to last year – but it is an experience that has been catered for this season.”

In layman’s terms, we shouldn’t be expecting any radical changes.

There is one cool addition though, and that’s interactive transfer negotiations. What this means is that we’ll be able to watch managers and players discussing transfers and contracts.

But they’re not quite as interactive as interactive could be. The reason for this is the lack of audible dialogue. Instead, deliberations will appear as text at the bottom of the screen, which you have relative control over.

It’s a little odd that EA have chosen to do this given the mass of dialogue in ‘The Journey’, but in terms of big issues, this is the opposite of one.

Here’s what transfer negotiations will look like from a manager’s perspective:

fifa 18 career mode
Mr Manager discusses Mr Transfers. Source: EA Sports

Ultimate Team

As always, there are lots of little changes and additions made to Ultimate Team this year.

The main thing of note is FUT ICONS. And this is pretty cool (although I dread to think how much it will cost).

Essentially, these are legendary players who will each have three cards of different ratings: one from early in their career, one from the middle, and one from the end.

The first lot of FUT ICONS we will be seeing are:

  • Pele
  • Diego Maradona
  • Lev Yashin
  • Thierry Henry
  • Ronaldinho
  • Ronaldo Nazario

Pele’s card from 1970 is the highest rated, with a whopping 98.

fifa 18
The GOAT. Source: EA Sports.

There are also rumours about the imminent arrivals of David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldinho, so start saving.

The Journey and Alex Hunter

The Journey, or as it is called in FIFA 18, ‘The Journey: Hunter Returns’, is back. And things continue from pretty much where we left off (if you didn’t get the chance to play until the end, here’s what happened).

As you can probably gather from its new name, yes, you still have to play as Alex Hunter. But if you’re really that bored of the character, I’ve got some great news for you: you can now dye Alex’s hair and give him tattoos! Yay! In fact, let’s just stop playing FIFA and invest in a hair and make-up game!

Now to the more serious stuff (although I do take hair and make-up fairly seriously). For starters, the decision making will now be much broader. In FIFA 17, your Journey was probably the same as everyone else’s Journeys, because, well, you didn’t really have a choice.

But now you will really be able to influence Hunter’s career. This is exciting, and I’m definitely going to be the first player to win the Premier League and FA Cup and World Cup and also La Liga because why not, in one season, so whatever.

In terms of the gameplay, it will all be pretty similar to last season. Decisions of fiery, cool or moderate stay, you’ll have to earn ratings in training and matches to excel, and scenes will happen sporadically through the story.

Oh, and Ronaldo will appear. A lot apparently (which makes sense given that he is the man on the front cover). Still, I’m (someone I’m playing as) going to speak (virtually) to Ronaldo!

fifa 18 guide
A whole new Hunter! Source: EA Sports.

Pace

Ahh pace, the bane and beauty of the everyday FIFA player. Well, I’ve got some potentially bad news: It’s back baby.

Yes, EA have added more “meaning” to the speed attribute – whatever that means exactly. Actually, I know what that means exactly. It means quick players are going to be effing quick.

And to be honest, I’m not that surprised. After hordes of players complained year in year out about ridiculously over-powered pace, the past couple of iterations saw a reduction in speed. For me though, this was actually a little frustrating, particularly when supposedly quicker players got beaten by slower ones.

Still, pace always feels like a little bit of a cheat. Get ready for that one untalented friend to get cocky.

Frostbite and Graphics

Frostbite, the new engine that powered FIFA 17, is back again – and probably better than ever. FIFA 18 will be specifically powered by the Frostbite 4 engine, which should allow for some specific improvements.

One of these improvements will be sharper player movements and animation. Players will also just look more realistic, which is always cool.

Also, the crowd will look more vivid, so look out for me.

PS3 and Xbox 360

The news dampens a little here. For PS3 and Xbox 360 owners, the new FIFA will not feature Frostbite and The Journey, aka all the good stuff that makes it feel like a genuinely improved game.

Bringing The Journey to last-gen consoles would require EA to recreate the entire experience using Ignite, the system previous to Frostbite. Essentially, it isn’t worth their time or money.

So if you do own a PS3 or Xbox 360, FIFA 18 will basically just be an update. If this doesn’t tickle your pickle Rick, maybe it isn’t worth the cash.

Nintendo Switch

fifa 18
FIFA 18: Anytime, anywhere. Source: EA Sports.

This is big news. FIFA 18 will be available on Nintendo Switch, meaning Switch owners will literally never stop playing (“Go play outside” has a new meaning now).

Let’s go through what this entails:

  • FIFA 18 on the Switch will not feature The Journey.
  • You will be able to detach the joy controllers and play friends (or enemies).
  • It will have Ultimate Team, which, when used with wifi, will function the same as any other console.
  • The Switch version does not have Frostbite. However, it will still look sleek af. It actually runs at 1080p 60FPS when plugged into a TV, and 720p 60 when in handheld mode. EA producer Andrei Lazaresco told Eurogamer: “We’re using physical-based rendering. The crowds are 3D. The grass is 3D. The lighting is new.” Sounds good to me.

All in all, I’d say it’s a pretty good option. I’m actually quite excited to try out FIFA 18 on the Switch.

Stadiums

We’ve got some smashing new stadiums in the new FIFA: Promoted EPL sides; LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center. We’ve also lost a couple – namely Tottenham’s White Hart Lane, due to their temporary move to Wembley.

Here’s a list of the noteworthy stadiums:

Premier League

  • Dean Court: AFC Bournemouth
  • Emirates Stadium: Arsenal
  • Amex Stadium: Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Turf Moor: Burnley
  • Stamford Bridge: Chelsea
  • Selhurst Park: Crystal Palace
  • Goodison Park: Everton
  • John Smith’s Stadium: Huddersfield Town
  • King Power Stadium: Leicester City
  • Anfield: Liverpool
  • Etihad Stadium: Manchester City
  • Old Trafford: Manchester United
  • St James’ Park: Newcastle United
  • St Mary’s Stadium: Southampton
  • bet365 Stadium: Stoke City
  • Liberty Stadium: Swansea City
  • Wembley: Tottenham Hotspur
  • Vicarage Road: Watford
  • The Hawthorns: West Bromwich Albion
  • London Stadium: West Ham United

EFL Championship 

  • Villa Park: Aston Villa
  • KCOM Stadium: Hull City
  • Riverside: Middlesbrough
  • Carrow Road: Norwich City
  • Loftus Road: QPR

EFL League One 

  • Fratton Park: Portsmouth

European

  • Allianz Arena: Bayern Munich
  • Johan Cruijff Arena: Ajax
  • Borussia Park: Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Donbass Arena: Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Mestalla Stadium: Valencia CF
  • Juventus Stadium: Juventus
  • Olympiastadion: Hertha Berlin
  • Stade Velodrome: Olympique Marseille
  • Parc des Princes: PSG
  • San Siro: AC Milan & Inter Milan
  • Santiago Bernabeu: Real Madrid
  • Signal Iduna Park: Borussia Dortmund
  • Veltins Arena: Schalke 04
  • Volksparkstadion: Hamburg SV
  • Wanda Metropolitano: Atletico Madrid

Rest of the world

  • BC Place Stadium: Vancouver Whitecaps
  • CenturyLink Field: Seattle Sounders
  • Estadio Azteca: Club America
  • King Abdullah Sports City: Al Ittihad & Al Ahli
  • King Fahd International Stadium: Al Hilal, Al Nassr & Al Shabab
  • La Bombonera: Boca Juniors
  • El Monumental: River Plate
  • StubHub Center: LA Galaxy
  • Suita City Football Stadium: Gamba Osaka

Cost and Pre-Orders

FIFA 18 is already available for pre-oder. But there are three packages to choose from, all of varying prices.

Icon Edition: This is the most expensive option, coming in at $129.95 AUD.

fifa 18
What’s included in the Icon pre-order edition. Source: EA Sports.

Ronaldo Edition: I guess it’s fair enough that the (supposedly) best player in the world gets his own FIFA edition. This one will cost $119.95.

fifa 18 guide
The Ronaldo Edition, available for pre-order now. Source: EA Sports.

Standard Edition: The basic edition for all you basic idiots (just kidding, this is the one I’m choosing – shoutout my bank account). $99.95.

fifa 18 guide
The Standard Edition. Source: EA Sports.

So that’s our FIFA 18 guide done and dusted!

Now it’s time to get pre-ordering, playing, and winning… obviously.

If you’ve got any questions or want to challenge me to a match and also lose, hit me up on Twitter at @joshbenmoshe.

Writer, musician, professional movie-ist. Josh likes his films the way he likes his food: preferably quite good.