Pro Clubs is one of FIFA 15’s most enjoyable game modes; it’s fast-paced, arcade-like and competitive gameplay, as the only game mode in which you can play with multiple friends, makes it an important part of FIFA as a whole.
But while it’s super fun to play, it does feel rushed and unpolished in places with a lot of room for improvement and, given a bit more thought, it could become as popular as Ultimate Team despite only being available on next-gen consoles.
And so we’ve come up with five ways that EA Sports can turn it from another FIFA game mode with unrealised potential to a FUT challenger in the next game FIFA 16:
1. CUSTOM KITS AND BADGES
Pro Clubs needs to feel unique in the sense that the club you create actually needs to belong to you and your friends, and through allowing players to create their own kits and badges this would bring the idea forward.
Right now you can only pick a real team and adopt their kits and badge, but giving players the option to design a club brand would be very well received in my opinion.
Players can already create their own teams and kits on the EA Sports website, although this can’t be implemented into Pro Clubs and the game mode is really missing out in this department.
This feature would create a sense of identity for teams in the game mode and better yet highlight the best teams in FIFA 15 with their unique style and colours.
By doing this, Pro Clubs would become a more serious game mode and in the process this would create an opportunity for clubs to have rivalries and tournaments among the FIFA community.
2. OPTION TO PLAY SINGLE MATCHES
On the other hand, for the less competitive Pro Clubs teams, most of them would like to see the option to play friendly matches, instead of having to play through Seasons and tournaments with the threat of relegation and elimination respectively.
This feature was removed when Seasons was added, but its return wouldn’t hurt the game mode in any way and ultimately its better off being available than not at all.
The main benefit for single matches would be that they could be used to practice with new members of the club or even give trials to players of more serious Pro Clubs squads without risking losing points in the league or cup games.
3. ABILITY TO REPLACE AI WITH REAL-LIFE PLAYERS
The AI-generated players in Pro Clubs are extremely awkward to using if you’re playing in the ‘Any’ slot for your team, and even though EA Sports does this to encourage you to play with full XI player-controlled squads, the game mode would benefit gameplay-wise if they introduced the ability to purchase real players in the game in a similar feature to Ultimate Team.
Based on the success of your club, your team could earn a form of currency after each game in order to save up for players to replace the stocky and sluggish AI you have to use if don’t have anyone to fill any vacant positions.
For example, a promotion to Division 9 would earn you enough money to buy a 75 rated CB from the game, such as Kurt Zouma from Chelsea, and he would replace one of the generated defenders in your team.
This would heavily improve the gameplay aspect of Pro Clubs and also act as an incentive for Pro Clubs to create an Ultimate Team with a twist.
Of course, there would have to be a balance with which players that would be available to buy, as having Lionel Messi in your Pro Clubs team would defeat the purpose of the game mode, so some time and thought would have to be used to polish this feature if it was implemented into the game.
4. DEVELOP AND IMPROVE AI-GENERATED PLAYERS OVER TIME
Alternatively, if EA Sports want to keep Ultimate Team (or anything deemed as similar) completely unique, the CPU players could just get better as you play more games.
EA Sports did say that the players would improve in FIFA 15, but from playing the game I can’t confirm that this actually happens and even if they do it’s hardly noticeable.
Saying this I’d like to see some form of progression for the randomly generated players because frankly most people don’t have eleven people to play with every time they go on Pro Clubs, so there needs to be a suitable substitute rather than a punishment for not filling up all the positions, with the players we get now.
The currency system could also be used for this feature. As you earn more money/points from winning games, perhaps you could spend points on upgrading the default players or buying better random ones, there just needs to be some sort of objective to Pro Clubs to keep players engaged and to keep the experience fresh.
5. BALANCED PRO PLAYER CREATION
It’s actually quite funny that Pro Clubs relies heavily on physically stereotypes during player creation, but there are both pros and cons in doing so.
The general consensus in the game mode is that small players are fast and weak, while tall players are slow and supposedly strong. This is obviously not the case in the real world (6ft 5′ Usain Bolt as an example!) although it is necessary to distinguish the different play styles of players of different builds.
However, they need to be more closely balanced in my opinion to reflect the competitiveness of the game. You rarely see a player taller than 5ft 6′ in the game as anywhere above that height makes them particularly slow and sluggish.
Alongside this, I would like to see that in FIFA 16 choosing a position other than CAM won’t negatively affect your player’s overall rating, and at the moment, by choosing ST or CDM you decrease in rating by as much as three points.
This discourages players to try other positions in the game mode and just because you choose another position on the field, your stats and rating shouldn’t suffer for that reason alone.
Overall, with Pro Clubs being reduced to just the next-gen PS4 and XBONE consoles, I fear that the game mode is being neglected by the developers.
Pro Clubs has so much potential to become FIFA 15’s most competitive mode and it could breed some of the best player teams if only the game mode itself was improved.
With these features it could challenge Ultimate Team for the FIFA throne, but that’s only if some time and effort is put into Pro Clubs by developers EA Sports, but ultimately only time will tell…