While it’s been a feature of many big multiplayer games for a number of years now, cross-play (the ability to play online with players on consoles or platforms other than the one you’re playing on) has never come to the FIFA series.
That is until now, as EA has launched a test for the feature within current generations of the game.
It hints at the feature becoming more widespread in later games, and EA have said game data and feedback from the test “will help inform how cross-play could further be implemented in future titles.”
Aside from the cross-play test, rumours have been flying that FIFA 22 will be making its way to PS Plus and Game Pass, the subscription-based gaming programmes of both PlayStation and Xbox, respectively.
But how do you get access to the test, and how exactly does it work? And just when will the game be on Game Pass?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
Is FIFA 22 coming to PS Plus and Game Pass?
FIFA 22 was recently confirmed as one of May 2022’s PS Plus games, meaning that - so long as you’re a subscriber - you can add the game to your library and download it for play at no additional cost from 3 May.
This goes for both players on the PlayStation 4, and the newer PlayStation 5.
As for Xbox fans, while it’s not yet been 100% confirmed that the game is on the way to Game Pass, the evidence is mounting.
On EA’s online store, FIFA 22 now has the Game Pass emblem, indicating that it could be available on Microsoft’s subscription service later this month.
FIFA 22 is expected to be released on Game Pass in May 2022.
FIFA 21 was released on EA Play and Game Pass in May 2021, therefore FIFA 22 should arrive on Game Pass around the same time.
The game was not included in the month's initial batch of games, but it could appear in the second drop on 17 May.
How do I get access to the test?
You don’t need to do anything to access the cross-play test, as the feature will be enabled by default when it is introduced via an update in the near future.
While cross-play is a much requested new addition, unfortunately it will only be limited to a couple of FIFA 22’s game modes: Online Seasons and Online Friendlies.
This, according to EA Vancouver’s Goran Popovic, is to reduce the chance for “introducing new issues into the game.”
“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,” Popovic added.
How can I opt out of the test?
While many players will be happy to hear of the arrival of cross-play, there will be others who will be looking for a way out of the upcoming test.
While cross-play does open up the matchmaking options to a wider pool of players - and allows you to play against friends even if they own a different console - it can also see you matched up with players with a technological advantage.
Being more powerful than standard games consoles, PC players have the benefit of enhanced frame-rates, which minimise input lag, meaning games are more responsive, and players’ reaction times are communicated to the game much more efficiently.
But there is a simple way to toggle the test on and off, if you should wish.
If you want to opt out of the cross-play test, there's a simple button prompt widget on the game's main menu, according to an image published by EA.
Cross-play will also be an option in the game's matchmaking options.
EA says the cross-play test “does not have any direct impact on the gameplay of FIFA 22., and players should think of it “as just another part of the game.”
How can I cross-play with a friend?
To play Online Friendlies with a friend during the test, open the widget mentioned above and add them to the in-game friends list, by searching them by their platform or EA username.
To play with a friend, go to the widget's friends list and choose their name, then follow the button prompts to invite them to a match.
To invite a buddy to a match, simply activate the Online Friendlies mode and pick your acquaintance from the list displayed on screen.
When does the cross-play test begin?
EA haven’t confirmed exactly when the cross-play test will begin, saying only that it will begin “in the near future”.
What platforms is the test on?
The cross-play test is only available to those playing on current generation platforms.
That includes PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia, and PC.
Last-gen consoles like PS4 and Xbox One won’t see cross-play support added.
For more information on EA’s FIFA 22 cross-play test, click here