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FIFA 22 Ultimate Team: Full-backs at centre-back to be nerfed

Fans excited to get hold of FIFA 22’s Ultimate Team mode will be please to see that this frustrating feature from last year has been nerfed



Trent Alexander Arnold from FIFA 22 gameplay trailer

While the arrival of FIFA 22 Ultimate Team brings with it a number of huge overhauls, it’s often the little details that get the hardcore fans most excited. Most importantly, the balancing of features that were overpowered in the previous game.

Since it first launched in 2009, the main draw of FUT has been building a squad made up of the world’s best players – perfectly balanced with league and nation links. Unfortunately, the reality is that every year certain types of players, no matter how highly rated, just don’t fit the meta of the game.

This leads to more dedicated FUT players coming up with creative ways to cram in cards that do suit the gameplay each year to get the upper hand on their opponents. FIFA 21 was no exception, but a particularly frustrating one appears to have been nerfed for this year’s entry.

FIFA 22 trailer

Perhaps more so than ever before, FIFA 21 placed a great emphasis on pace. Pretty soon after launch, players would run into teams featuring attacking lines with pace stats in the high 90’s. Immediately, slower center-backs like Harry Maguire and Georgio Chillelini became obsolete.

In an effort to combat the blistering pace of the game’s most-used attackers, the community began using full-backs, who are generally quicker than their defensive counterparts, in the middle of the back four. Due to how FUT’s chemistry system works, the out-of-position players wouldn’t see their stats punished, but instead just received a smaller boost than those in the correct position.

FIFA 21 Ultimate Team squad with a full-back at center back

In the end, modes such as FUT Champions became plagued with teams playing Ferland Mendy or Kevin Mbabu at CB, making defenses extremely difficult to get in behind. As more and more special cards were released, the problem only persisted.

Luckily, it appears EA has taken steps to prevent this from happening in FIFA 22. In the gameplay deep dive available on the publisher’s website, it says that placing a full-back at center-back will “negatively impact” their defensive positioning. It adds that criteria such as fatigue and work rates will also affect how defenders behave in-game.

The only downside is that the gameplay tweak is only listed as coming to next-gen consoles and PC. Consoles and the Switch version will likely see the problem carry over into the new season.

Players won’t have to wait long to see these changes in action, as the FIFA 22 beta is expected to hit very soon. The full game is due out worldwide on October 1, but early access options are available through the Ultimate Edition and the EA Play service.

Image credits: EA Sports / FUTBIN