FIFA 19 gameplay changes

Gameplay in the FIFA franchise has been a hot topic since the introduction of competitive play in FIFA 17. Therefore, EA needed to step up their game in terms of how it plays so professionals can master their style without variables. EA has implemented some new features into FIFA 19, which will create a larger skill gap between the novice/casual players and the best players. In this article, I will go over these new features in detail, along with some of my own opinions. You can check out the original details from EA Sports here.

Active Touch System

The Active Touch System in FIFA 19 will allow the player to take a custom first touch. This is often something that a player cannot control in FIFA 18. Sometimes, a player will receive the ball, but their first touch will make you lose possession. However, the introduction of the Active Touch System should combat this. As you receive the ball, you have the option to flick your right analog stick, which will allow you to control the ball in the way that you intended.

Along with this touch mechanism, players will now be able to trap the ball in numerous ways. This could be used to slow down the momentum of play. Controlling the momentum of the game will be huge when a player is trying to outplay the opposition. This will force them to adapt to the opponent’s style of play. EA adds the following:

Similar to the new ways of trapping the ball, a variety of flick animations have also been added to allow for deeper creativity in attack. Players can use their head, chest, knees, and feet to flick the ball, change direction, confuse defenders, and open space that they can exploit. Just like Kylian Mbappé bamboozles defenders with his bag of tricks, you can do things with the ball in FIFA 19 that you never thought were possible and leave your opponent shaking his head in defeat.

How will this effect competitive gameplay?

The Active Touch System will give players a new way to take on opponents. If you are receiving the ball with your back to the opposition, you can flick the analog stick in a specific direction to beat the player. In addition to this, competitive players will surely find their favorite type of the first touch. This will be mastered and ultimately used as an advantage versus other professional players.

However, with this comes a larger skill gap. The players that can abuse this mechanism in the game will gain a huge advantage over those players who do not take the time to learn the new move. I personally like this new feature to gameplay. This is because I like to play a more realistic type of football, with a tiki-taka style. This allows me to control the game further when I make those short passes.

Dynamic Tactics

Dynamic Tactics in FIFA 19 come directly from analysis and interviews with Premier League managers. This allows the player to take tactics from their favorite manager and implement it into their gameplay style. In addition to this, players will be able to create pre-set tactic styles. This will allow them to change positions and instructions for players without accessing the pause menu in games. Also, FIFA players will be happy to know that you can now analyze each of your players’ movement along with the introduction of your custom tactics. This will allow players to see the weak spots in their teams and potentially make new signings, or just adjust that player’s style.

EA has directly addressed the issue with players pausing the game in Ultimate Team to change their squad manually. This feature seems to partly improve how some people control their players, but ultimately, it ensures that people are not wasting time swapping their players around at the start of each game. Another small implementation that has been included in FIFA 19 is the analysis of other teams. This allows the player to see how other teams usually play (e.g. very defensive), and it will allow you to combat that play style. This will come in handy in the Career mode, with fully analyzed Premier League teams.

My opinions

I personally do not play around with the custom tactic section in FIFA 18. I think that the system is mostly psychological; you feel that your players are doing something different when they aren’t. This would also give me something to blame when I lose, so I stuck to default settings. However, with the new system in place, I will certainly investigate the new tactics in FIFA 19. To be honest, I was too lazy to change my team each game; therefore, I never took this route in Ultimate Team, specifically. This will now allow me to acquire the advantage when setting my team up for competitive play.

Timed Finishing

Timed Finishing is an implementation in FIFA 19 that allows players to have more control over their key shots. As the name states, this new mechanism is all about timing. The way that you perform the new timed shot is by tapping the shoot button two times, with the second time being pressed as soon as the ball hits your player’s foot. This is a high risk/reward shot, with the wrong timing being punished with a poor effort. This will, once again, create a new skill gap when playing competitively, as the player who learns the new mechanism will be able to perform tough shots with ease.

There is a small negative to the new mechanism being introduced. The button combination clearly replaces the overpowered “low driven shot” in FIFA 17 and FIFA 18. This shot is now performed by pressing L1/LB, R1/RB, and the shoot button. In the words of Kurt0411, “Do you think I’m an octopus?” However, this shot will certainly be used less in the next game, which is a worry as it was the only reliable shot in FIFA 17 and FIFA 18.

My opinions

The Timed Finishing feature in FIFA 19 will be the difference between the bad players and the good. There are so many different scenarios where it can be used to the player’s advantage. Examples of this are long shots, headers, and volleys, to name a few. I will personally be using this shot type to my advantage in FIFA 19. However, rumor has it that the player will have to have the trainer mode turned on to see a visual representation of the timing bar. This will be utilized by players in kick-off modes, presumably. We will have to see which type of shot is the meta in FIFA 19.

What do you think about the new gameplay improvements in FIFA 19? Do you think that these changes will help to make the game more consistent in competitive modes? We’d love to hear what you think. Also, check out a recent article where I covered some new information about Career Mode here.

Matt Holyoak
Part-time streamer, huge fan of all games, especially the FIFA Series! Graduate of Cambridge Technical Diploma in Media Studies.

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