How Pace Ruined FIFA

Pace has always been the way to go in FIFA, but in the past few years it only got worse. In FIFA 22, there are more players with 99 pace than ever before.

Pace Ruined FIFA
Because you know it's all about the pace, about the pace... | © EA Sports / EarlyGame

If you want to play Ultimate Team in FIFA competitively, you always have to fall back on players with a lot of pace – if you want to or not. Agile and incredibly fast footballers have dominated the FUT meta for years, leaving little room for other strategies. As good as it feels to sprint across the virtual pitch at 100 mph, too much pace is pretty bad for the game.

As one Redditor said it perfectly: The faster the players get, the worse the game becomes.

Why Pace Ruined FIFA Ultimate Team

If you take a closer look at Ultimate Team over the past few years, you will quickly see that the number of cards with 99 pace has increased significantly. Reddit user u/safatreddit also noticed this – he posted this beautiful graphic here:

Number of 99 pace players over the years from FIFA

However, the data you can see in the picture is no longer entirely up-to-date. Due to new events such as FUT Shapeshifters or Summer Swaps, the number of players with 99 pace has now risen to 74. By the end of FIFA 22, a few more will probably be added, which then will almost double the number compared to FIFA 21.

Pace has always been a damn important part of Ultimate Team and always will be. EA Sports can do what they want – so far, no gameplay change has ensured that slower and immobile players are strong meta choices.

And that's a shame because stars like Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and soon maybe even Cristiano Ronaldo can hardly be played with, up until they receive overpowered Special Cards after the TOTY. That's also a reason why you sometimes get the feeling that every opponent in the Weekend League is playing the same sweaty squad.

Pace simply defines Ultimate Team and is a determining factor in whether or not you should buy a player. From such a gigantic pool of players in FUT, it is often only the same footballers who are strong over and over again.

At the beginning of FIFA 22, EA Sports at least managed to provide players with more than five different usable central defenders. However, not because the gameplay had suddenly changed, but because many CBs got bumped up to over 75 pace. That's one way to fix it, I guess.

In the end, maybe pace isn't the problem at all, but the large number of events and Special Cards in general. Inflation hit FIFA pretty hard, you know. It used to be easy to get to TOTY with some TOTW cards. Hard to imagine today. And FIFA 23 doesn't seem to be any different because there will most likely be more Icons, Heroes, and Special Cards than ever before. And it sells.