The annual football war is about to kick off. FIFA 16 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 are strutting onto the pitch, ready to do battle. We've got our hands on FIFA 16 first, running on the next-generation (or should that be current by now?) match engine that debuted in the PC edition last year. There's been a few visual tweaks under the hood, but the majority of the changes are to the content and the gameplay with the introduction of women's national teams, Ultimate Team Draft Mode, and greater control over defending and midfield control.
Anyway all that nitty gritty stuff will be saved for the review, what we're interested in now is how the PC version of FIFA 16 fares. We'll be bringing you benchmarks and videos very shortly, but for now we've got a look at all of the FIFA 16 graphical and game options that can be tweaked for optimal performance on PC, as well some comparison screens to show where your graphics card will be earning its money.
FIFA 16 Display Configuration
FIFA 16 isn't exactly loaded with graphics options. Aside from the usual resolution choices, all there is to tweak is the Rendering Quality, Multisample Anti-aliasing (MSAA), and the frame rate. In terms of Rendering Quality there's just Low and High to choose from, and the difference between the two can be seen below. There's not a whole lot between the two. During gameplay there's a more noticeable difference than in screenshots, but you're not missing out on a great deal.
If you scroll mouse over from left to right, this reveals the High image settings. Also, opening the image in a new tab will let you embiggen it too see the screens in more detail.
The MSAA options are also pretty straightforward, with Off, 2x and 4x. MSAA is one of the more demanding forms of anti-aliasing but FIFA 16 isn't a very demanding game. For the best image quality I'd recommend 4x MSAA in cojunction with AMD's VSR or Nvidia's DSR, downsampling from 4K twice over, effectively. This is only if you've got the hardware to do it of course, but most higher end graphics cards should be able to handle this fine.
Lastly we've also got the optional frame rate locks. Ideally you want a solid 60 frames per second so I would recommend that option, which also enables Vsync and helps eliminate screen tearing. If you've got a 144Hz monitor though, then the option is there to fully unlock the FIFA 16 PC frame rate.
One last thing in regards to resolution. If you have a multi-monitor setup with FIFA 16, you will encounter problems with the cursor going off-screen when using mouse and keyboard. It doesn't limit the boundaries and so when you click off the game screen and brings it into windowed mode. From my brief play session this can be very annoying.
FIFA 16 Button Icons
Just the two options to choose from here. You can either opt for the default Xbox controller layout, or adopt a numbered system. I'm probably not alone in finding the second option confusing, but it's going to depend on what controller you have. Unfortunately there's no sign of a PlayStation controller layout. This is usually because Sony's trademarked the symbols and EA probably didn't want to pay out.
There is also a mouse and keyboard layout which is used by default. It's universally terrible and really limits the tricks and skills available to the player. If you're in a bind then it's functional enough, but the mouse for movement doesn't have the speed of stick control. It's basically the equivalent of trying to play StarCraft 2 with a gamepad.
FIFA 16 Audio
Audio options don't get more bare-bones than this, with FIFA 16 offering the choice for Stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 These do what they say on the tin basically, and it's going to align with whatever sort of audio setup you have. In-game voice chat can also be enabled and disabled if you're thinking about taking FIFA 16 online.
There's no further graphical options in-game and if you want to make any further tweaks you need to quit out entirely and adjust them before heading back in again.
In-game is where you'll find all sorts of gameplay options for FIFA 16, including attacking and defending controls, skill moves, and celebration controls.
That's it for the options in FIFA 16, but be on the lookout for plenty more on EA Sports' latest in the coming days, with performance benchmarks and gameplay videos.