Hello FIFA Fans,
Welcome to EA SPORTS VOLTA FOOTBALL, a world where the streets and stadiums influence each other. We’re representing all new places and real football with the authentic culture, creativity and style of the small-sided game.
Football stripped back to its fluid, joyful, and energetic core, a small sided football experience has been one of the most requested features coming from the community for the past several years. We haven’t had something like this integrated into a single FIFA product since the days of FIFA 98, and we’re excited to be able to finally deliver what we’ve been developing behind the scenes. That said, it’s important to note that VOLTA FOOTBALL is certainly not just FIFA Street or Indoor from years past. It’s street football built upon the foundation of our Frostbite Engine for the first time! This has afforded us the ability to deliver authentic gameplay and game mode experiences that are fundamentally pioneering and engaging. Today we’re excited to give you your first detailed look.
What you’ll discover with VOLTA FOOTBALL is a simulation experience that is free-flowing, skillful, fun, and competitive, providing unique ways to attack your opponent while at the same time being extremely easy to pick up and play. Imagine a wall pass to yourself where the wall becomes your teammate and with the simple press of a pass button you’re sliding past the opposition for an opportunity on goal. Or a simple flick up and over your opponent’s head to create space on goal. We’ll get into the details of what makes VOLTA FOOTBALL gameplay great later in these notes.
We’ll also get into some information on the VOLTA FOOTBALL experience, which starts with you and how you build your character. For the first time ever we are capturing the culture and diversity of not only the street game, but also of the people who play it. You can create a character in your image and traverse a deep and engaging world with multiple ways to play.
This is the return of street football to the FIFA franchise presented like you’ve never seen it before. It’s time to Break New Ground with EA SPORTS VOLTA FOOTBALL.
While designing and planning gameplay for VOLTA FOOTBALL, the team took on the massive challenge of capturing the vibe of playing on the streets without losing the essence of what made FIFA what it is today.
In order to accomplish that, we built VOLTA FOOTBALL gameplay on top of the FIFA Gameplay engine, working hard to develop and refine existing elements of the game while adding new and fundamentally unique mechanics. Our goal is to make the game more accessible and feel more dynamic, tighter, and full of flair.
Let’s go over some of the aspects that make VOLTA FOOTBALL gameplay feel unique, but familiar at the same time.
One of our goals is to provide players with a lot of variety and diversity in VOLTA FOOTBALL gameplay. To do so, small-sided gameplay has different modes, each with different circumstances and specific rule combinations. Another one of our core pillars was to create an experience that is easy to pick up, but at the same time has enough depth so players will want to challenge each other and compete at high skill levels.
In VOLTA FOOTBALL there are no substitutions, offsides, injuries, yellow or red cards, or even fatigue/stamina. This is done in order to create a more accessible, fun and free-flowing game.
There are multiple match types we want you to experience in the small-sided game. Each match type offers a different element and creates a variety of situations that you’ve never seen before in the 11v11 experience. These matches also come with unique AI behaviors in terms of formations and rotations, to enable you to play with the tactics you want.
The match type breakdowns are as follows:
Rush Keepers: played in 3v3 and 4v4, Rush is the street mode without Goalkeepers and with small goals, where each player is expected to contribute to all aspects of the game, be it scoring or blocking a shot.
Street with Keepers: played in 4v4 and 5v5, is the street mode with Goalkeepers and Futsal-sized goals, which combines the safety of a goalkeeper with the bespoke rules and personality of the street.
Futsal is a 5-a-side experience with more authentic rules, referees, and a more structured type of play. The formations available are the same as 5v5 street with keepers.
Besides match types, each environment can be customized and provides interesting variations to fixtures. Players can play matches with Walls or No Walls, and most stadiums allow players to choose which option they want. Walls will also affect the flow of the game and some of the rules of the match, so choose carefully.
Another distinctive element to VOLTA FOOTBALL is that there are 3 different pitch sizes, Small, Medium and Large, creating interesting gameplay dynamics and allowing you to try new strategies with each configuration.
VOLTA FOOTBALL gameplay has unique rules depending on the circumstances of the match. You can combine the rules below, creating very interesting match types. For example, a Street 3v3 Rush match with walls is completely different than a 4v4 street match without walls.
Small-sided matches are quick and fun, with each half being only 3 minutes of real-time playing. The timer only goes down when the ball is in play and each extra-time half is 1 minute of real-time play.
Street match types have more lenient rules and allow for a more flowing style of play. Whenever there is a foul in street matches, the play will restart from as close as possible to the position of the foul. There are no free kicks and on a restart the ball is instantly considered in-play.
Walls prevent the ball from going out of play in most cases. If the ball happens to go out of play (over the walls), it will restart with the Goalkeeper or with a player close to the goal, depending on the match type.
Environments without walls allow for Kick-Ins and Corner-Kicks. Kick-ins are a new set piece type and provide a quicker restart of play using ground or lob passes.
Rush matches also have some specific rules. Since there are no goalkeepers, it means that corner-kicks or penalties are not allowed. Whenever a match ends in a draw in Rush Mode, it will go into “Next Goal Wins” mode with unlimited time.
Any match with goalkeepers allows for penalties, corner-kicks, and shootouts. A match with goalkeepers that ends in a draw, will be followed by 2-halves of extra time Golden Goal, followed by best out of three Penalty Shootouts. Penalties in small-sided follow the new FIFA 20 Penalty mechanics.
Futsal matches have stricter rules and referees, which are less lenient than street. Futsal is the only mode where there are direct Free Kicks, and these also share the new FIFA 20 Free Kick System. Futsal is always played on a large pitch, without Walls and with a Goalkeeper.
Another unique Futsal rule is Accumulated Fouls, where the 6th foul results in a Penalty Kick from the secondary penalty spot to the opposition. Every foul afterwards will also result in a penalty. Accumulated Fouls reset each half, except extra-time where they continue to build.
The team also added a new mechanic to allow for last second goals. For example, if the ball goes into the net after the time expires and the shot was taken before the timer ran out it will count as a goal. This mechanic brings excitement and unpredictability to the last seconds of a match.
VOLTA FOOTBALL gameplay has a wide variety of new mechanics and details to make it feel fresh and unique. Some of the main aspects that we wanted to emphasize are flair, free-flowing movement, and authentic street behaviors.
Movement and Dynamics
We focused on creating authentic positioning and rotations, based on input from real street-football players. Each formation and each mentality affect how your players move and behave inside the pitch.
Movement is more free-flowing, with players being expected to contribute to most areas of play, be it defensive or offensive. This is especially true in Rush matches, where everyone is expected to be able to score and block shots on goal.
Players can change between Balanced, Attacking and Defensive mentalities. Different than 11v11, changing mentalities doesn’t change your formation, but instead affects the way your players behave, with more runs or staying back more, and how they position themselves during the match.
Street and Futsal games also restart extremely quickly, with rapid cuts and very few scenes in between plays.
Custom Ball Physics
Using the new FIFA 20 Ball Physics, we were able to create a ball that has a different size and weight than the regular game. This small-sided ball rolls more and bounces much less than a full-sized ball.
The ball physics also allowed us to create different wall types that change how the game flows. Some stadiums have hard walls and some have soft walls, while some have a combination of both, making the gameplay very active.
Fast decision making is key to determining the best wall to use for your pass given the situation.
Wall Interactions and Passes
Every player in a small-sided match is aware of the walls. To demonstrate this, they will put up their hand when approaching in order to maintain their balance. Players will also brace towards the wall in order to avoid any collisions or falls, and will use the wall to direct themselves without losing too much speed.
Walls also provides players with unique ways to pass:
New Shooting System
We tuned and updated shooting with the smaller nets of VOLTA FOOTBALL in mind. The ball will generally stay lower to the ground and shots won’t require as much power to reach the goal. Shooting can be done from anywhere on the pitch, including your own half.
Shooting at a Goalkeeper in a Futsal-size goal is very similar to 11v11, with similar levels of assistance, however shooting at Small Nets (without GKs) is almost fully manual and requires a better control of your pad direction.
New mechanics exclusive to VOLTA FOOTBALL allow players to perform skill moves more easily and accomplish unique moves. Players can also use most of the 11v11 Skill Moves, if they meet the Star Rating requirement.
Simple Skill Moves is a unique mechanic that performs a Skill Move in a specific direction based on your pad angle and player skill move rating. These Skill Moves are the same as 11v11 moves, just with a new way to trigger them.
Simple Flicks is a new mechanic that performs new street flicks based on a direction and skill move rating. Some flicks are performed while standing and some while jogging.
Some Fake Shots in VOLTA FOOTBALL have been revamped to be done using Ball Rolls, allowing for faster and tighter dribbles and movement.
Catch and Spin is a new 5-Star Skill from stand that is exclusive to small-sided and can be branched into a shot or pass.
In VOLTA FOOTBALL gameplay, players like to demonstrate their flair and abilities with the ball so players contextually perform flair passes, flair lobs and flair shots, whenever the opportunity is appropriate. By using the L2/LT + Pass/Lob/Shot, players can still perform longer and fancier passes than without the extra button input.
Players with the Flair trait, perform even better and flashier passes and lobs, with some unique animations. The Flair trait is one of the many traits your Avatar can acquire in VOLTA FOOTBALL. We will go into more depth on Avatar customization and progression in the sections below.
Taunts are street-exclusive moves that allow players to perform on the ball or off the ball taunts to your opponents. These taunts don’t have any influence during gameplay, but can be used to show off your confidence to the opposition.
To perform a taunt, the player needs to be standing still and pressing R2 / RT. If you are the dribbler, pressing L1 / LB while standing still will also trigger a taunt.
We also added the Kneeling Header. This new shot is a unique finishing move in the game and allows you to score in style.
On top of the variety of ways to play, the new mechanics, and ways to showcase your personality with the ball, we added quite a few behaviors that help players feel and believe that they are playing in the streets.
The team also added quite a few new animations to gameplay, that help with the responsiveness and dynamism of street football.
VOLTA FOOTBALL is much more than just gameplay. Below you’ll find more features and details on what really makes this an unique experience.
VOLTA KICK OFF is where you will use existing players from the World’s biggest clubs and take them to compete in the streets.
The starting line-up and formation of each team will be randomized depending on the mode you pick. You can alter your line-up and formation as you see fit, but keep in mind that once the match starts, the players you picked are there until the end.
You can also play VOLTA FOOTBALL House Rules in Kick-Off, including Survival, No Rules and First to X.
FIFA 20 features a brand new create-a-player system throughout the game called Avatar that makes it easy and fast to make the player you want. It’s been designed with authentic diversity in mind and features an all new visual interface loaded with preview images, mix and match facial features, facial morphing, new hairstyles and skin tones.
For the first time, feminine players are included in create-a-player and you can use them in VOLTA FOOTBALL, Women’s World Cup, and Career Mode: Manager. You can also play mixed-gender matches in VOLTA FOOTBALL.
VOLTA FOOTBALL allows for countless ways to customize and personalize a player; from clothing, to hairstyles and tattoos, to in-game celebratory emotes. Grab-n-go or deep-dive: customize as much or as little as you want and still look great. Experience a variety of styles from traditional athletic looks, to the latest streetwear, to the more wild and boundary-stretching fashion. Not only can you personalize your own look but you can also dive into customization for your entire VOLTA FOOTBALL squad - equip any item on anyone: go with all matching, all totally unique, or whatever you want.
VOLTA SHOP is a gateway into a robust customization experience that reflects your own personal style. It acts as a one stop shop for you to browse, unlock and equip unique vanity items such as athletic clothes, street clothes, hair, hats, tattoos, footwear, and it’s all mix and match and often themed to look great when combined. New drops of items will be available at a regular cadence and for a limited time! So, you’ll be able to create looks that are even more unique to you and your experience because these items may never return!
All items in the VOLTA SHOP are within a tiered rarity system and many are grouped into ladders of increasing prestige. In each drop, our goal is to enable players to climb the ladders to unlock the most legendary item through gameplay. You can unlock items by completing objectives or by using your VOLTA COINS which are earned simply by completing matches. The higher the difficulty, the higher the rewards.
Following the conclusion of The Journey’ trilogy in FIFA 19, we're bringing players an all-new crafted narrative in FIFA 20 that is centered around your avatar as the main protagonist. The story will take you through the VOLTA WORLD, playing matches against various opponents from street football legends, to the diverse and unique players based on community generated Avatars and squads, to professional footballers. In VOLTA STORY, you’ll build your squad in the hopes of being invited to the VOLTA WORLD Championships in Buenos Aires for a chance to win the ultimate small-sided prize. VOLTA STORY is a thrilling experience where, along the way, you’ll engage in the following:
VOLTA TOUR is an online connected experience where the teams you encounter throughout the world are created by the VOLTA FOOTBALL community. Build up your VOLTA FOOTBALL team by playing through Single Player Matches against community generated squads in a variety of formats and locations. The AI controls the opponent and the user selects the difficulty. After each victory, you can recruit a player from the opposing team, building your squad up in terms of both skill and chemistry. Football playgrounds from all over the globe are brought to life, from an underpass in Amsterdam, to a neighborhood cage in London, to a Tokyo rooftop, VOLTA FOOTBALL offers players the ability to taste the regional experience of the global game. VOLTA TOUR includes 17 locations with unique events to compete in. No two locations are the same and all of the locations can be played with multiple match types. The locations include:
Within each world tour location you’ll be presented with one of a number of tournament structures that will keep your experience fresh, fun, and competitive. The three types of tournament are the following:
It was extremely important to us to provide a variety of match types within VOLTA TOUR because of how diverse the gameplay experience is as mentioned earlier in the section highlighting the various gameplay modes. So, we wanted to capture this variety of players on the pitch as well as games that included and excluded keepers within all of our VOLTA FOOTBALL experiences. So, the match types within VOLTA TOUR will consist of the following each being played in different locations:
Player Recruit is a massive part of the VOLTA WORLD. After you win a match take the opportunity to improve your squad by recruiting your favorite player on the team you just beat. Build up your squad in terms of both skill and chemistry. Your recruited players will never grow their stats and overall ratings so you’ll need to recruit new and better players as your Avatar grows and improves. Recruited players are simply copies (not including their vanity at launch) of the given player at that time. In other words, losing a game and having a player recruited does not mean you lose that player.
It's also important to mention that you can only recruit up to 9 additional players in total for your club. Once you hit the limit, you'll have to discard/substitute existing players for new ones you decide to recruit.
You can also recruit street football legends if you defeat each of them in their unique challenge. Note that only one these players can be present in your squad at a time.
You can interact with all your recruited players in the Squad Management screen, as you advance in your quest to build the best team possible for each match type present in VOLTA FOOTBALL.
Squad Management is an integral piece in your overall progression, building better teams that leverage a new and unique Chemistry system (which we’ll cover in more detail further below).
There’s also VOLTA LEAGUE which is similar to the Online Seasons of past FIFAs. With this online connected mode we’re providing the community with the ability to match up PvP to play on a daily basis keeping your skills sharp and the fun going. Choose your match settings, select a home turf that suits your play style, invite friends, and compete head to head against your peers through promotion and relegation both home and away with online VOLTA LEAGUE.
There are a couple of fundamental aspects to progression within VOLTA FOOTBALL.
In Squad Management you can configure your starting line-up for each VOLTA FOOTBALL match type.
Choose a formation that best suits your playing style and carefully pick which players will represent you in that match-type. There are no substitutions in VOLTA FOOTBALL, so make sure you choose wisely!
As you recruit better players, your Squad Rating will also go up signaling that you’re ready to face tougher opposition.
Team Chemistry is also an important aspect of building a successful Squad. A higher Chemistry value will grant higher boosts to all the players present in the starting line-up. A low chemistry won’t penalize you, but you may miss out on getting the edge over your opponent if you don’t prioritize it.
There are two things that can improve your overall Team Chemistry:
You can press <☐ / X> on any player in Squad Management to view more details about each of them, including Chemistry information and a detailed breakdown of all their attributes:
In VOLTA FOOTBALL, you can build different Chemistry Styles depending on the Home Court from which each player from your Squad originates.
There are 7 unique Chemistry Styles that you can achieve by building Squads with various Home Court combinations:
Each Chemistry Style boosts different attributes for each position on the pitch. Note that only one Chemistry Style can be active at a time for your Squad, so keep an eye on the one that best suits your playing style.
Your Avatar will grow their attributes by playing and completing matches in all VOLTA FOOTBALL modes. After every match, your Avatar will earn a Rating based on their match performance.
Your match rating can increase based on successful in-game actions (such as effective passes, getting assists or scoring goals) or decrease based on unsuccessful in-game actions (such as intercepted passes or missed tackles). A higher Match Rating will result in a faster growth for your Avatar.
Depending on your Avatar’s preferred position (Defender, Midfielder or Attacker), attributes can grow at different rates depending on which of them are considered key for each position.
Avatar Growth can be viewed after every match, in the post-match summary.
The Skill Tree:
The Skill Tree adds an additional layer of progression and customization to your Avatar’s style of play.
Completing matches in any VOLTA FOOTBALL mode can earn you Skill Points which you can use to unlock additional attribute boosts or unique gameplay traits from the Skill Tree.
The Skill Tree has three distinct sections catered for each position, but you can freely use Skill Points in each of them to find the exact boosts that will match your style of play.
Completing certain Skill Tree paths will also unlock specific Titles for your Avatar, showcasing the various levels of specialty that you’ve unlocked along the way.
Titles are your badges of honor in VOLTA FOOTBALL, signaling to the entire world both your gameplay personality and your level of mastery for each of the three positions.
Unlock all Finishing boosts and max out your Weak Foot ability to be known as a Finisher, a player that excels at burying chances when in front of goal.
Unlock all Dribbling boosts and max out your Skill Moves ability to be known as an Artist, a player that can create a masterpiece when controlling the ball.
These are just two examples.
In total, five unique Titles are scattered in each section of the Skill Tree for you to discover. As you unlock more, we’ll automatically showcase what we consider to be the best one for each position.
Don’t worry, you won’t be losing the attribute boosts or traits unlocked alongside a previous Title when a newer and better one is unlocked and showcased for your Avatar.
Be on the lookout for Titles in Player Recruit as well, as they may reveal more information about your potential new signing!
You can reset your Skill Point distribution at any time and try different configurations. Try to find your path within the Skill Tree and discover the Titles that speak the most about your style of play!
As you can see, we’ve been laser focused on laying a strong foundation for VOLTA FOOTBALL while delivering a fun new experience rooted in authenticity, creativity, and the culture of the small sided game. During the development process the team has been fortunate enough to engage with a number of authenticity consultants from around the globe. With this experience we’ve been afforded insight to help deliver something that represents the small sided world the same way core FIFA represents football in its professional setting. We’re looking forward to releasing this landmark content to the community and collecting your feedback as we continue to flesh out every aspect of this virtual world.
Thank you for taking the time to dive into this with us and until next time,
Jeffrey Antwi, the VOLTA FOOTBALL Dev Team, Thomas Caleffi and Gabriel Zaro
For more deep dives on FIFA from members of the game team, check out the Pitch Notes Page.
Please Note: This article is describing in general terms what updates the Dev Teams are working for FIFA 20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. EA SPORTS VOLTA FOOTBALL content and functionality is subject to change - content and functionality depicted may not appear in final product. We are constantly looking to improve the gameplay experience for everyone, so this article may become outdated as we make adjustments to keep our game fun for everyone.
FIFA 20 is available to pre-order now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
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