Squad Battles Review

Our family has played FIFA for some years and there are so many issues with the game we felt we needed to provide feedback in the hope some of the issues will be sorted out. It might just be that we have outgrown the game or it hasn't evolved as it could have but we cling to some hope that it has a future role in our leisure time.

We mainly play Squad Battles because connection issues where we live make playing other online games very difficult - the lag is so bad. That's not a EA issue so much but a telco infrastructure issue.

The concept of Squad Battles is really good. Playing other teams for rewards is great.

Unfortunately it brings out the worst in FIFA 19, the game. It is described as more difficult as other games but that only means the problems you experience in other games are amplified. The games are more difficult because the outcomes are manipulated - the mistake level of your team including a goalie you dont control, the bias of the referees, the regular inaccuracy of the offside call, the miraculous way the ball never ricochets to your team, the amazing conversion ability of your opponents relative to your own team. Some of this I get but i dont understand how a game can provide rewards, which is supposed to be based on good play, when the provider of those rewards is rigging the outcome.

There seems to be only a few styles of games on offer and you can usually identify which one you are in quite quickly. The classic let's not let them score game where the game is dragged out into extra time or the one where you score a late goal to win despite having 20-30 good shots. Another frustrating style is where you do really well in the first half but then are not allowed to score in the second half. They should look at giving the player the option to close out games early as they do in the journey. It's time consuming and boring to have no action.

Player abilties often have little resemblance to their stats. In addition, overall ratings often aren't supported by player stats. A player often has no stat which matches or exceeds his rating. We dont mind this so much because you can find some gems who are underpriced. Trying different players is part of the fun. My best player is an 87 who plays with a 91 and 93 who dont even come close. I am deeply suspicious as to whether chemistry styles have any impact.

The big problem is how your players are nobbled in games. It becomes apparent in some games that some players are effectively playing for the opposition because of the mistakes they make. It's a bit sad that the only way the computer can stay competitive is to mess with your players and then throw in some luck and ref bias, I'd rather the opposition was programmed to play much better. As you go up the degrees of diffculty they do play better but your mistakes are still the main driver of performance.

It's also very frustrating when you upgrade a player only to find the exact same weakness of the lower rated version of the same player is still there. We are doubtful that some of the higher rated versions actualy are any better.

The game play deteriorated in Fifa 19. The most notable problem for us was the frequency of passing errors. The poor left and right backs seemed to be programmed to pass to their opponents but it was rife amongst all the players. Player shooting was worse including a bizarre miss rate from 2 metres out. I feel sorry for the supposed fast players this year who are being chased down by the slowest of centre backs. What's the point of having a skill if it cant be used?

The rewards are stingy. There has been a reduction in good players per pack over the years. That's hard to bear if you have played for hours and end up with your fourth copy of the same player from some obscure team in an obscure league. You can be frustrated by the playing and then be doubly frustrated by the reward!

We love the more frequent events and squad builder challenges. As per the above the payoff for the challenges is rotten. Either the payoff is miserly or you dont receive a decent return for what you give. For example, you can be asked to give away 20 + 85 rated players or more to receive one player in high 80's and you have no idea if he is any good in game.

There are a lot of legacy issues with this game. Glitches remained unfixed e.g. when you switch to a player it causes them to stop momentarily - very frustrating when in defence. That's been around a while. New glitches appeared this year including one where you had to logout of Ultimate Team then go back in to apply a consumable. It appears that the testing of Fifa19 and final sign off was rushed. There are still too many EA server issues.

The very essence of the FIFA game should be that it is fun. It's still true that it can be fun but it requires the player to endure a lot more frustration to get there. Somewhere along the way it has lost its mojo. We are on the edge and need to see some positive progression to continue playing. We will look forward to reading the reviews of FIfa 20.


  • Guvnor
    988 posts Professional
    I’m currently banned from making my own thread so putting this here as it’s sort of related,

    I have got a 54 rated team to play on squad battles, I usually play all games on legendary and only lose a couple through out the week, if I play these on ultimate will they basically become a team of 99s or will I still be able to smash them??

    I ask because I won’t be playing the weekend and would like to maximise my points total before hand, I don’t want to throw away an easy 2500 points by losing to them on ultimate.

    Any advice would be great.
  • I switched to ultimate team in fifa for the first time ever in january this year, so this year is my first time playing fut ever having been convinced to do so by friends who play it and on the same console as me etc. After nearly 6 months of playing it I find it hugely underwhelming, no matter what players or what team i play with it feels awful, like im controlling a bunch of players in their 60's in a charity match, the turning of player, the ball barely making it to the feet of a teamate at 5 yards, the running, all of it mainly in squad battles. The servers can kick off more times in one week in this game than in a year in any other game ive played and when their servers toss you out of a game you record a loss. Like yourself i feel like nothing random happens in the gameplay, the magnetised passing where youll be passing to a player whos running centre to quickfire on goal and it decides to pass it to a player in the other direction whos standing in an offside position. I find the whole thing to be a mess. Theyve been making this game for over 20 years and dont know the offside rule, its insane. The best thing i can say about this product is the free kicks are quality and fun and the graphics are 10/10 imo but the gameplay mechanics especially in sb are a mess. The Dynamic difficulty makes it very arcade, nothing random is happening. The clearance from a corner lands right at the feet of the exact same outfield player, if you dispossess an ai the ball deflects like a magnet to the feet its closest teamate and the ai could have a 52 rated 5ft 6" LW in goal and it will basically perform like david de gea on ****. Its way below what i expected of it given how long fifa has been around. I play career mode a lot now, i enjoy that mode.
  • Sorry - just to add one more critique. One thing which became more pronounced this year was the unwillingness of the players to go for the ball. It's a real problem if you have to your player active for them to get involved. By the time that happens it's often too late. That's one thing the AI team always has over your team - they are much responsive and read the play better. Something happened this year to make it worse than ever before. Players should be moving regardless of whether they are active or not. The worst case scenario which drove me crazy was players constantly running backwards away from the ball when the ball was at their feet. It does appear to me there is an easy fix - whatever they are programming the AI team to do, then do the same for the other team.
  • Alastair
    9936 posts Moderator
    Please use the FUT sections. This section is for discussion of the 'core' (non-FUT) game modes.
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