FIFA 22 early access, demo, and everything we know so far

Get your head in the game with what's coming in FIFA 22

Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix looking into the distance

The end of the football season is almost upon us, which means FIFA 22’s release date is right around the corner. EA usually starts to drip feed content about the latest game in the off-season, so we can expect some official information over the next couple of months.

Ultimate Team, the game’s biggest mode by far, received big changes in FIFA 21, including co-op Division Rivals and the removal of the annoying fitness system. There’s more room to personalise your team as you can build your own stadium, complete with custom colours, chants, and any trophies your club has won over the seasons.

FIFA 21’s PC release was disappointing as the game was denied any of the next generation upgrades seen on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Whether the PC version of FIFA 22 continues to use the last generation engine remains to be seen, or if crossplay support will finally head to the game this year. Here’s everything we know about FIFA 22, including the release date, what engine it will run on, and more.

FIFA 22 release date

Since 2008, the FIFA games have alternated between the last week of September and the first week of October. This cycle was broken last year due to the developers having to work from home, and even then FIFA 21 was only delayed by a week. We fully expect FIFA 22 to launch between September 27 and October 8.

FIFA 22 early access

The easiest way to play FIFA 22 early is to have an active subscription to EA Play. EA Play entitles players to ten hours of early access gameplay, one week before the game is set to launch. Dedicated FIFA players use the ten hours from EA Play to get a head start on building their Ultimate Team.

Alternatively, you can gain early access to FIFA by pre-ordering the Champions or Ultimate Edition. This unlocks the game three days ahead of the worldwide launch day.

FIFA 22 Web App

You can gain access to the FIFA 22 Web App prior to FIFA 22’s launch as long as you have an EA account that has played FIFA 21. It’s important to note that if you played FIFA 21 on PlayStation 5, you won’t be able to access the FIFA 22 Web App on PC. Your account can access the web app on multiple platforms (PC, Xbox, and PlayStation), providing you have played each version of FIFA 21 on that account.

AC Milan celebrating a goal at the San Siro

Once you’ve gained access to the web app, you may be able to start trading on the transfer market. This can be hit and miss for some players as EA is surprisingly picky when it comes to using the transfer market early. You stand a better chance of being able to trade players early depending on the age of your account.

FIFA 22 PC Engine Upgrade

EA was scrutinised by the PC player base last year when it was announced that FIFA 21 wouldn’t receive the next generation upgrade. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened – FIFA 14 on PC was not upgraded to the Ignite Engine at the same time as Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It took one full year before the PC version was brought up to speed with the current generation consoles.

Will the PC version of FIFA 22 receive an upgrade this year? Given the jump between the two versions, it’s likely EA will keep the PC version on par with the last generation consoles for at least one more year.

FIFA 22 Crossplay

The biggest problem facing the PC version of FIFA is the lack of a player base, especially when compared to the audiences on Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Crossplay has slowly become viable over the past few years as Sony has relaxed its stance on playing with other systems.

There are numerous EA games that feature crossplay, so there’s no reason why FIFA 22 should be any different. The transfer market on each platform does complicate things, as the market would have to merge into one unified space. This might not be possible, as crossplay is an option that can be disabled at will, but disabling crossplay doesn’t necessarily mean the transfer markets can’t continue to be unified.

If crossplay does become available in FIFA 22, chances are it will work with every mode except Ultimate Team. There’s also the potential that crossplay could be enabled, but the PC version would only be able to play with the previous generation of consoles. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X cannot play FIFA 21 against the previous generation of consoles due to the engine differences.

FIFA 22 Upcoming icons

The list of Icon worthy players continues to grow each year as some of football’s finest players decide to hang up their boots. EA likes to include a mixt of former greats from the past two decades and recently retired players. FIFA 21 introduced 11 new icons to the game, including: Samuel Eto’o, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Ashley Cole.

Samuel Eto'o looking into the distance next to his FIFA 21 Icon card

Over the past two years, we’ve seen Wayne Rooney, Vincent Kompany, David Villa, and Iker Casillas retire from the beautiful game. Any one of these players could easily join the list of icons in FIFA 22, and it doesn’t just stop there. With players like Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, and Yaya Toure still missing from the game, EA should have an easy time picking the next icons.

FIFA 22 Cover star

The FIFA cover stars in the past are usually the very best players in world football. FIFA 21 had World Cup winner, Kylian Mbappé, FIFA 20 featured the UEFA Champions League winner, Virgil van Dijk, and so on. EA used to rotate between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but both Barcelona and Juventus have signed exclusive deals with rival game, eFootball PES.

FIFA 22 will likely feature a Manchester City player as they have not only won the Premier League, but also reached the finals of the Champions League. The City Football Group also has a multi-year deal with EA, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, or Gabriel Jesus appear on the front of the game menus.

FIFA 22 Demo

FIFA demos usually go live in early September, just under one month prior to the full release of the game. Last year, EA made the decision to cancel the FIFA 21 demo as they wanted more time to focus on developing the game. As the pressure of the global pandemic continues to ease off for game developers, there’s a good chance there will be a FIFA 22 demo this year.

And that’s everything we know about FIFA 22 so far. Stay tuned as we’ll be updating this guide as soon as EA officially reveals the game. In the meantime, why not head over to our best football games on PC? There’s bound to be something on that list you haven’t played. It’s also worth checking out our list of the best sports games on PC if you aren’t just into football.

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