Exactly one win and one loss into my time with Ultimate Team in FIFA 23, I have a notification. The little bar in the top-right of the screen strobes to tell me I’ve completed an objective. Nice! Objectives in Ultimate Team range from simple things like scoring a certain number of goals, to more complex tasks like doing so with assists from specific players or winning dozens of times. They give you rewards, usually in the form of XP that advances FIFA’s version of a battle pass, where you unlock more rewards by progressing through the levels. So, completing an objective is expected after a couple games, and generally it’s neat.
Only, I haven’t completed an objective. I have, after two games and nothing else, completed 26 objectives. And these objectives are scattered across five sub-menus, each of which contains maybe a dozen or so groups of objectives, of which there are again up to a dozen or so objectives therein. Clearing these notifications means navigating through this Russian Doll of to-do lists and individually selecting each one, selecting it again to see the reward, and again to claim the reward. That’s not all! The reward, if it’s an item or, better yet, a pack, then goes to the Store page, which is an entirely different menu. I have 19 items in the store after clearing and claiming rewards for my 26 objectives, and so, off I go to open them.
What followed for me, as it will for you, is an interminable parade of tat. As reward for my literally average performance across my first two games I have been granted the honour of packing all kinds of stadium cosmetics, such as Two Stick Banners – Green, a card which puts some impressively garish, bright green flags in the crowd; a Grape coloured goal net; the club badges for Swindon Town and Chengdu Rongcheng FC (Bronze rare!); red pitch lines; a True Blue coloured goal net; orange pitch lines; and, my personal favourite, a new club nickname: “(The) Crabs.” The process of clearing, receiving, and opening all these objectives and rewards, across the depths of what must still be the laggiest UI in video games, thanks to it all being handled on a server somewhere, took just over 20 minutes. Longer than those first two matches combined.