FIFA 20 Gameplay: New features, improved finishing, 1v1s, penalties, free kicks, AI defending & more

FIFA 19 had plenty of issues with gameplay, and a series of patch updates had to rectify defenders running into each other and first-time finesse shots flying into the top corner over and over.

For FIFA 20, the developers need to get it a lot closer to the real thing when the game is released, with still back post crosses heavily overpowered and defending from the kick-off bizarrely difficult. FIFA 19’s sales were 35% lower than FIFA 18 in its first week, and this is likely to worsen for FIFA 20.

Well, there is hope. Even before the big E3 reveal, it was released in The Pitch Notes what the areas of focus were for FIFA 20. More realistic finishing, improved defending, a passing overhaul, more difficult chained skill moved and goalkeeper movement being reduced were all mentioned, marking a fantastic start for the FIFA 20 cycle.

Of course, the addition of Volta Football, the new street-style format, will add a host of new gameplay features, like knocking the ball of the wall, and you can imagine some of the core elements for the 5-a-side game will translate into 11-a-side out on the pitch.

RealSport looks at what we can expect from FIFA 20 this year.

Strafe Dribbling

The introduction of Volta Football means there will be an emphasis on close control, and this has been added in the form of the strafe dribbling mechanic. This enables the attacker to move with more agility than ever to lure your opponent in before beating them with speed or skill.

Strafe dribbling is just one component of what EA have labelled as Decisive Moments. With these new attacking skills, controlled tackling will bolster the defence, providing more intelligent tackling which increases the chance of winning the ball back. For instance, the defender directing the tackle towards a teammate to ensure they regain the ball.

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There is now also Natural Player Motion creating sharper movement and more intelligent positioning, with AI players moving in a more natural and composed fashion and potentially opening up space for their teammates.

Timed finishing

Timed finishing is as brilliant as it is frustrating. We all love to see a ball fly into the top corner from 25 yards, but when it happens again and again, the magic is lost. It has now been adjusted, with Composed finishing ensuring one-on-ones are easier, and volleyed efforts are more difficult.

Death by first-time finesse

New shot trajectories will see shots dip, fade and swerve to add even more realism, as part of the new ball physics for FIFA 20. Football Informed Motion introduces more authentic ball spins and bounces, which will also play in a big role in all the different venues available in Volta as well.

Goalkeeper movement

Goalkeeper movement is another aspect that has faced much criticism, with it being highly unrealistic. Have you ever seen a goalkeeper run across his goal as the striker shoots to gather the ball in his arms? This is now being reduced, as well as the superhuman reactions from one-on-ones.

Free kicks and penalties

Free kicks are incredibly difficult to score on FIFA 19, and penalties have been even more of a lottery than they are in real life. A new set piece refresh will show a circular target of where shot is going, providing a clearer indication of where you are aiming.

FIFA 20 free kicks have been completely re-worked ?

Posted by RealSport on Monday, 10 June 2019


Tactics received a massive overhaul for FIFA 19, but they have been overpowered. Take Liverpool’s Gegenpress under Jurgen Klopp, they press very hard on FIFA, but if the opponent can keep the ball for 20 seconds, the press is beaten, exposing Liverpool’s defence. As a result, your defensive depth needs to be incredibly deep, otherwise the opponent can get in behind the back four. A slight adjustment here and the fans will be happy.

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House rules

House Rules were the biggest hit for FIFA 19, allowing friends to compete with each other in a range of formats. With such a great start made, we now want to see more variations on FIFA 20. Why stop at three ejections for survival mode, why not continue until you have just a goalkeeper? Or how about a winner stays on mode when there are three or more gamers playing. A draft mode has been seen on PES, where you can draft in an all-star squad just to play against your mates, and FIFA could extend this to a mix of male & female stars.

Dynamic weather

Dynamic weather has been called for in FIFA games for some time, with Pro Evo leading the way this department. On both games, weather affects how you play, with the ball skidding on in wet or snowy conditions. With dynamic weather however, the conditions could change mid game, going from overcast to rainy, and you may have to change your style of play as a result. With these new ball physics, it could become a reality.

A downpour of snow will slow down your ground passes and cause aerial balls to skid on


Don’t laugh, but FIFA in virtual reality may not be too far away. Oculus Rift co-founder Nate Mitchell claimed FIFA and VR was a “natural fit”.  He told Eurogamer: “You can imagine sitting in the stands and confetti is raining down… and the four of us are sitting next to each other and controlling the players on the field – an awesome VR experience.”

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FIFA games suffer from an input lag however – the time taken for a button press to result in an on-screen action – and VR would add to this delay slightly. With new consoles potentially on the way in 2020, we may see this in FIFA over the years ahead.

Women’s clubs

Women’s clubs may seem a long way off for FIFA fans, but after highlighting the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France on the Journey in FIFA 19, EA may need to step up again this year. A FIFA graphic of Chelsea’s Fran Kirby modelling the Blues new kit for 2019/20 was revealed on the club’s Instagram story, giving us hope of seeing Women’s Super League and maybe even Champions League clubs on FIFA 20.

The first ever graphic of a woman in club kit in FIFA history

You can also play as and create a female character on Volta Football, showing that EA really care about pushing the women’s game.

For more FIFA 20 news, head to our absolutely everything piece here.

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