EA’s surreal mobile mashup blends soccer with turn-by-turn strategy

The company promises ‘authentic football action like never before.’


EA is making a turn-based strategy game based on… soccer? That’s the bizarre premise behind the upcoming EA Sports FC Tactical, a mobile title heading to iOS and Android in early 2024. The company says the most peculiar installment in its decades-old franchise (formerly FIFA) results in “authentic football action like never before.”

As its description suggests, matches will be simulated, so you won’t directly control players’ actions like in traditional sports games. Instead, it focuses on in-game strategies like player stamina and power-play management. Playable modes include online-friendly matches and “intense online competitions” like Rank matches, Leagues, and Guilds. It sounds like a sports game for those who want 100 percent strategy and little or no player-controlled action.

Promotional screenshots show a one-on-one battle with assigned numerical skills for each player. They’re broken down into categories like dribbling, one-two, passing and shooting. The pictured player appears to have “skill move” power-up cards like combative chase shot, wild tap dribble and floating instep shot. It sounds like EA took core gameplay elements familiar from titles like Teamfight Tactics (and many others) and slapped a soccer skin onto it to attract fans of both genres.

Screenshot from the upcoming

The game will have over 5,000 licensed players from “more than 10 top leagues,” including the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and Serie A. You can train players to upgrade their moves, unlock new traits as you progress and customize cosmetics like stadium designs, uniforms and balls.

EA Sports FC Tactical embraces strategic gameplay to create an all-new football experience that immerses players in the World’s Game like never before,” said EA Sports senior vice president Nick Wlodyka. The game is available for pre-registration on the App Store and Google Play ahead of an expected January 18, 2024 launch.