FIFA 17 career mode didn’t really bring much to the table that wasn’t already present in FIFA 16 career mode. They introduced ‘Total Club Management’, but that’s basically just a new menu system that shows all your season objectives in one place; nothing groundbreaking and definitely not something to get too excited about!
It’s therefore time to start looking forward to FIFA 18 career mode and consider new additions to the game that could potentially help improve the game mode and make it a more enjoyable and generally more immersive experience.
Here are my thoughts on 10 things that could be added to career mode to improve things for FIFA 18…
ONLINE CAREER MODE
The career mode gameplay can get quite stale sometimes due to its rather repetitive nature, but how good would it be if EA could introduce some form of online career mode?!
You could go up against your mates online, doing business with them and making cheeky bids for some of their up and coming talents, and it could also make the YouTube career mode community quite interesting, watching some of your favourite YouTubers go head to head in online action. Imagine how good it would be to witness an online career mode series featuring the likes of CaniSports, ChesnoidGaming, My Player master BfordLancer… And Rich Leigh, maybe? You’ve maybe not heard of him, but I hear he makes some fantastic career mode content over on YouTube…
LEAGUE EXPANSION & TOURNAMENT EXPANSION
The Chinese Super League is one league that many people would love to see added for FIFA 18, and with the arrival of new leagues in the game, it’d also be pretty awesome to see new tournaments added to the game as well. I want to be able to compete in the AFC Champions League or the CONCACAF Champions League for example. I’ve always thought that it could be quite fun to manage an MLS side in the game, but without any continental tournament to compete in, I’ve never bothered doing so as playing the same teams over and over again every season would soon become incredibly tiresome.
I’d love to see the Chinese Super League included in FIFA 18 career mode, and I’d also massively appreciate the inclusion of more continental tournaments.
At the moment, the youth system in FIFA career mode is really quite basic. At the start of every month you get an update on how the youth players are all developing and their overall stats and potential can alter, but there’s no real way to track a young player’s development in-game unless you take a screenshot at the start of every month and track a player’s progress this way.
The addition of youth leagues in FIFA 18 career mode would be absolutely brilliant in my opinion and would provide a much better way of tracking youth player progress in the game. Your youth team could go up against the youth teams of other sides in the same division and the game could offer player stats like those provided for players in the first team so that you could keep an eye on important information such as how many goals everyone is scoring, what average ratings players are getting, and how many clean sheets different defenders and goalkeepers are maintaining.
Keeping track of youth player progress in this manner would also come together rather nicely with the point I’m about to talk about next, and that’s…
THE REMOVAL OF PREDEFINED PLAYER POTENTIAL
At the moment, when a youth player comes through the system, the game initially offers you a rather vague estimation of how good this player can become in the future, and the more months they’re in the academy for, the more precise this figure becomes until ultimately you know pretty much exactly how good this player will become. Also, if you want to find out a real life player’s potential, you head on over to SoFIFA.com where the latest database information is right there waiting for you. I’d like to see the player potential system in FIFA career mode completely reworked in such a way that better reflects how players truly develop in reality.
In FIFA 15 for example, Harry Kane went from having 74 potential at the start of the game, to 84 potential by the end of it on the basis that he enjoyed an absolutely sensational season in reality. In FIFA 18 career mode, you should be able to take a relatively unknown player and turn them into a superstar by consistently performing well with them on the football field. There shouldn’t just be a static, predefined potential for that player; other factors should come into play such as a players performances and whether or not they suffer any major injuries or time on the sidelines throughout their development. You should have to nurture young talents to help them reach their full potential, not just leave them sitting there in the squad, knowing that regardless of what you do, their rating will continue to develop and they will ultimately shine.
There should certainly be some sort of base stat for potential that offers a guideline as to how good a player may become in the future, but this should be a flexible figure that can alter as a result of in-game occurrences.
As it stands, when you send a player out on loan or they transfer to another club, their potential can alter in the process, and this is something that I very much like and appreciate. A loan move can make or break a player in reality, and it can also impact upon their future in career mode as well. If you just leave a player in your squad though, their potential won’t alter, regardless of what you do, and this is something that I’d like to see changed. Consistent good performances should be rewarded with an increase to that players overall stats and potential, whilst poor performances and periods of stagnation should result in a player’s progress being hampered.
THE ABILITY FOR PLAYERS TO LEARN NEW POSITIONS
This is something that I’ve spoken about before in a video that I did with a bunch of other career mode YouTubers last year, and that’s the ability for players to learn new positions within the game. EA updates the career mode database several times per week now and players will have certain positions added and removed from their abilities throughout the year, but what I’d very much like to see is the ability for players to learn new positions throughout the course of a career mode. You can train a player in different areas and therefore make them more useful in different positions, but the game will never update a players positioning to show where they’re most useful.
Bale is one such example of a player that could benefit from this new addition to the game; in the past he has at times been listed as able to play as a striker, but right now the game only recognises him as a right winger. He also started out his career as a left back, and I have at times had some pretty solid success with Bale, once again having him operating as a full back. You can of course play people anywhere and it doesn’t really massively matter whether or not the game suggests that they should be playing there, but it’d certainly satisfy my OCD if players could learn new positions. It’d also be quite nice if when you moved a player into a different position on the pitch, their rating altered to show you how effective they are in that position. Right now, players just have a rating set for how good they are in their primary position, and wherever you put them, they’ll still show the same rating.
At the moment, contract negotiations are very simplistic, and I would love to see much more depth added to the game in this area. When you sell a player to another club, there should at least be the option to insert a buy back clause, or maybe even a sell-on clause as well. It’s minor details like this that would really help to make career mode more realistic, immersive, and just generally more enjoyable to play.
In addition to this, I’d also like to see clauses in loan contracts as well as right now, when you send a player out on loan; that player can end up playing against you if you ever have to play that team. That never really happens in reality as there’s usually a clause that prohibits them from playing against their parent club. Add this to FIFA career mode please, EA.
For teams that don’t have their official stadium in the game, I feel that stadium expansion should be an option, especially if you’re managing a side in a Road to Glory style series. It’s all very well playing in a tiny little stadium when you’re battling it out in League Two, but once you’ve taken your team to the Champions League and are challenging for the Premier League title every season, you don’t really want to be doing so at Town Park or some other such small generic stadium featured in the game.
As you get further into the game, there should be the option to expand upon the stadium that you already have, or upgrade to a larger generic stadium that’s featured in career mode. I’m not asking for the ability to set the price of hot dogs in the stadium or anything silly like that, it’d just be nice if the game would recognise your progress in career mode and update your stadium to better suit the prestige level that your team has reached within the game.
THE ABILTIY TO MAKE CHANGES IN SIMULATED MATCHES
Simulated matches in FIFA career mode currently consist of setting your team, pressing sim match, and hitting advance. Once you’ve done that, the players start warming up and the simulated match begins. There’s no ability to provide any input whatsoever and it’s all very limited. As it stands, I don’t tend to simulate matches as the whole process is just a bit rubbish. If there was the ability to make tactical changes or substitutions during simulated matches then this I feel would provide a fantastic step forward for career mode. For FIFA 17, all EA really did with career mode was change up the way that the board expectations are presented. It wasn’t enough and we want more from the career mode experience. There’s so much that they could do to improve career mode, and in my opinion, offering increased involvement in simulated matches would be an absolutely fantastic addition to the game for FIFA 18.
PLAYER STATS FOR OTHER LEAGUES
You can find out player stats for other teams in your own league and for all of the major tournaments taking place that season, but you can’t for example, be managing a team in England and scope out other leagues like the Bundesliga or Belgian Pro League to see what players are performing best in other leagues around the world. When I play Football Manager, especially once I’m a few seasons into the game, I’m constantly sniffing around in other divisions and looking for top talents abroad. I like to find out what players have the most goals in other divisions, what players have the most assists, and also what players have the highest average ratings. I can’t do that in FIFA career mode though… ‘Scouting’ in FIFA career mode currently basically just involves looking on SoFIFA and using the filters to look for pacey, strong, or high potential players.
As I stated earlier though, I’d like to see the removal of predefined potential in career mode. I want player potential to be more based around a players performance and whether or not they get knocked back by injuries or long spells in the reserves or on the sidelines. This kind of change to the structure of the game would make player stats for other leagues extremely useful. We could find out how players are getting on in other leagues around the world, scout them further if interested, and make decisions from there as to whether or not we wish to sign them. I love looking at players’ stats in reality, enjoy this method of seeking out players in Football Manager, and would also love for this to become a part of the process in FIFA 18 career mode as well.
TEAMS WITH AN INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY
When you play FIFA 17 career mode, teams don’t really have any sort of identity or game plan that separates them from the pack. Sometimes smaller teams will park the bus, but that’s about all the variety you really get from the career mode experience right now. Every team plays in the exact same style, just to varying degrees of success. If teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern were brilliant and lower level teams were poor, this would be one thing, but that’s not even usually the case. You can be playing Barcelona in the Champions League one week, Bolton Wanderers in the EFL Cup the next, yet it’ll be Bolton that provide you with the sternest test. Bolton will be passing it around with precision, turning their backs on you, successfully shielding the ball at every opportunity, whilst Barcelona will play in the same style, but worse.
It’s not always the way that the big teams are poor and the smaller ones are excellent, but it’s often the case nonetheless. I think I’ve probably been beaten by Sunderland more times in career mode than I have Manchester City… And why is it that Jonjo Shelvey always seems to score against me as well? Stop it. Just stop it.
Anyway though, back on track… I want to see teams given more of an individual identity in career mode. Different teams should have different game plans and play in their own distinctive style. Not only would this make things more interesting, but it’d also make the game more difficult as well as right now, once you figure out how to play against the computer and find a style that works; that style will basically work against every team in the game. You don’t really ever have to vary the way that you play the game and unlock the opposition, as right now, CPU controlled teams never really operate any differently. When you go up against someone online, there’s always that battle of reading the way that they play the game and working out how best to stop them, a constant contest of skill and brain work as you look to stop the other person’s attacks, block off their passing lanes, and vary your own game as well so as not to make it too easy for them to work out what you’re going to be doing next.
Right now CPU controlled teams have no real unique identity and this brings me full circle in crying out for some form of online career mode. If EA aren’t going to improve the artificial intelligence, please let us put ourselves to the test in career mode against other real-life humans. I don’t ask for much in life, but I definitely want to battle my mates and all the good friends that I’ve made in the FIFA community, negotiating transfer deals with them and just generally having a bit more fun with career mode. Make it happen, EA. Just make it happen.
So these are some of the things that I’d like to see changed for FIFA 18 career mode… What additions and new features would you like to see present in the next game? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section down below and I very much look forward to hearing from you!