EA Sports will soon test cross-platform multiplayer in FIFA 22, pointing to the likelihood that this fall’s FIFA 23 will implement cross-play in all modes, for the first time in series history.
The cross-play test will involve the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Google Stadia versions of FIFA 22, and will cover matches in the Online Seasons and Online Friendlies mode. (Online Friendlies are one-off matches against human opponents; Online Seasons combines a number of Friendlies to move players up or down through ranked divisions).
EA Sports said on Tuesday that the trial will begin “in the near future.”
“While we want to enable our players to play with as many friends and others as possible, we limited the test to these two modes with the aim of reducing the chance for introducing new issues into the game,” Goran Popovic, an EA Vancouver, said in an FAQ. “We are confident that the game data and feedback that we get from these two modes will help inform how Cross-play could further be implemented in future titles.”
When the cross-play test arrives via update, players will notice a widget in the bottom right-hand corner of the main menu; following its button prompts will enable or disable cross-platform play. There is also an opt-in/opt-out toggle in the Matchmaking Options Settings screen.
Insiders and influencers back in March and April speculated that cross-play would be tested this year and implemented fully with the next FIFA. EA Sports’ benchmark title is one of the last major multiplayer games without cross-platform support, which began in earnest in the fall of 2018 when Sony allowed PlayStation users to play Fortnite against players on other consoles.
Popovic, in the FAQ, said the cross-play test “does not have any direct impact on the gameplay of FIFA 22.” That said, it should significantly boost the matchmaking opportunities for the Google Stadia version of the game, which has a dramatically smaller installation base than the consoles or Windows PC.
FIFA 22 just became available to PlayStation Plus subscribers for the month of May, however it is the PlayStation 4 version of the game (playable on PlayStation 5 through backward compatibility). This test is only for the native PlayStation 5 version of the game.