FIFA 23 guide: Everything we know so far

FIFA 23 represents the end of the line for EA’s tie-in with football’s governing body. From next year, FIFA 24 will be made by a different developer – while the sports mega-publisher moves forwards with EA Sports FC. There are few confirmed details, but we already have a good idea of the game’s licensing line-up, and there’s an exciting rumour about Ultimate Team positioning changes in play too. Scroll on for scouting reports on the FIFA 23 release date, features, trailer and more.

When will we see the first FIFA 23 trailer?


(Image credit: EA)

With no E3 this year, it’s natural to wonder whether EA might delay the release of the first FIFA 23 trailer. In fact, that big cancellation shouldn’t matter. EA usually has a presence at the big Sony and Microsoft shows, but prefers to do its own thing on video reveals. Hence the annual EA Play Live event. That’s also been binned off, with EA planning to give each of its games individual attention over the summer. We therefore anticipate FIFA footage to emerge in its usual slot. So expect the first FIFA 23 trailer in June 2022. Naturally, we’ll have it right here for you.

What is the FIFA 23 release date?

This one is fairly straightforward. Although no official release date has been announced yet, EA always drops FIFA in a very specific time period. FIFA 20 came out on September 24, 2019. FIFA 21 landed on October 9, 2020. And FIFA 22 came out on October 1, 2021. All those dates are Fridays, and the main reason for FIFA 21 emerging slightly later than the other two is the worldwide pandemic that understandably affected development. 

We can therefore speculate with some certainty that the FIFA 23 release date will be either Friday, September 23, 2022, or Friday, September 30, 2022.

Who’ll be on the FIFA 23 cover?


(Image credit: EA)

While the FIFA 23 box isn’t quite so revered as the Madden 23 cover, it’s still a big deal to all pro footballers. Especially now the two-horse race of Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo is over. Eden Hazard and Virgil van Dijk shared cover star honours in FIFA 20, while both FIFA 21 and FIFA 22 were fronted by PSG and France wonderkid Kylian Mbappe. 

Mbappe must therefore be considered the FIFA 23 cover star favourite, and may even have a secret contract to front the game for a certain number of years. If that doesn’t happen, expect Erling Haaland to earn strong consideration. The 21-year-old has just agreed to join Manchester City from Dortmund in the summer, and no other 2022 transfer is going to earn so much pre-season coverage. His age and talent make him a perfect fit for EA.

Independent website FIFplay (opens in new tab) has also run a FIFA 23 cover vote. The winner wasn’t Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe or Haaland – but the latter’s new team-mate, Riyah Mahrez. That feels unlikely, but the Algerian skipper has amassed 10,000 votes. 

What FIFA 23 licenses are already guaranteed?


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While its game is in a bit of a state, eFootball 2022 publisher Konami has made in-roads on EA and FIFA in recent times. Four Italian clubs will again be renamed in FIFA 23. Juventus are now Piemonte Calcio, AS Roma will be Roma FC, Atalanta become Bergamo Calcio, and Lazio transform into Latium. 

Last year Konami also announced an exclusive deal with Napoli. That means Diego Maradona’s former side will also be listed under a different name in FIFA 23.

Note that player licenses aren’t tied to club ones, so the likes of Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens should still maintain their real faces in-game.

Specific licensing details aren’t available at this point. But the publisher has announced its plans for sequel EA Sports FC, and FIFA 23 certainly isn’t going to fall short of those. That means we’re definitely getting 19,000 players, 700 teams, 100 stadiums, and more than 30 leagues. 

How will EA deal with FIFA 23 Russian teams and players?

It’s too early to say, and will likely be affected by Russian-Ukrainian relations later in the summer. In March, CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow and Spartak Moscow were all removed from FIFA 22 (opens in new tab). The Russian national side also disappeared, as did kits and players from Russian clubs in Ultimate Team. (However, legends such as Lev Yashin and Aleksandr Mostovoi are still available in packs.)

At this point, plan for FIFA 23 to have no Russian clubs or national side. Spartak Moscow’s Otkritie Arena, another piece of content axed during that March cull, also feels unlikely to return.

Are changes coming to FIFA Ultimate Team?


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Apparently so – if you believe social media. [Which is admittedly always a dangerous tactic.] Multiple sources claim that the way Ultimate Team positions work is being changed at long last.

Previously, position cards enabled you to move players up or down the pitch in a set direction – LW to LF, say, or CM to CAM. Now these cards don’t specify a new position. Instead, they enable you to move a player to one of his established secondary positions. So Joao Cancelo could be switched from RB to LB, or Fernandinho from CDM to CB.

As I say, EA hasn’t confirmed this speculation as yet. If true, however, it’d be a straightforward way of reinvigorating gaming’s biggest mode.

What’s on the FIFA 23 features wishlist?


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We already have a detailed piece on FIFA 23 features. Career mode expert Matt Killeen feels that EA could pull back on the realism a little – for instance, ensuring that authentic sunlight and shadows don’t render some stadiums unplayable. Also on his wishlist are the ability to update kits in future seasons, and a completely reworked contracts model. 

As for the community, fleshing out career mode is a bigger priority than new-fangled Ultimate Team cards. For instance, one anonymous Reddit poster wants more options to blood talented youngsters. “My idea would be U23 or U21 squads,” they write. “I haven’t had much luck with players improving on loan in FIFA, as you can’t see their stats if they are in a different league. So who knows if they are actually getting game time. [U23/U21 teams] would be a chance for the younger players to get game time, improve their football [ability], and gain experience – [all of which would] add to their growth.”

Licenses are always a hot topic for the community. “We need more Scottish lower leagues, even if it’s just the Scottish championship,” writes Ross on FIFPlay. “Remember, both Andy Robertson and John McGinn were playing there not so long ago, and they’ve not done too badly. I’d love to find the next hidden gem from there. If you’ve got the English lower leagues, it’s only fair you include the Scottish ones too. Remember we invented and refined the game in its early days!” The Scottish leagues would likely cost EA peanuts, so this isn’t as offbeat as a suggestion as it might seem.

What happens to the series after FIFA 23?


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FIFA International Soccer debuted on the Mega Drive in December 1993, and has gone on to become the biggest sports sim on the planet. But this is its final entry developed by EA.

From 2023, EA’s football games will continue under the guise of EA Sports FC. I’ve written about what this could mean elsewhere on GamesRadar. More creativity is likely to be a major plus point – perhaps even a return to the days of FIFA 11’s Creation Centre. There’s even a chance that we’re able to toggle between virtual matches and real-life ones. 

However, FIFA as a video game name isn’t going anywhere. The sports’ governing body boldly insists its forthcoming titles will be even better than whatever EA’s has to offer. 

“I can assure you that the only authentic, real game that has the FIFA name will be the best one available for gamers and football fans,” says president Gianni Infantino. “The FIFA name is the only global, original title. FIFA 23, FIFA 24, FIFA 25 and FIFA 26, and so on – the constant is the FIFA name and it will remain forever and remain THE BEST.”

The company also plans to release non-sim games under the FIFA banner, with the first one dropping ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

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