FIFA 22 players quitting the game over Division Rivals changes

Nathan Warby
Son celebrating in FIFA 22

The FIFA series has one of the most dedicated communities, but FIFA 22 Ultimate Team players are reportedly abandoning the title – making online matches harder to find.

Millions of football fans swarmed to FIFA 22 when it launched at the beginning of October, excited to see what the new Ultimate Team season has in store.

But despite a steady stream of promotions and SBCs, some of the changes in this year’s game appear to have been enough for many players to jump ship – something which is unheard of at such an early point of the lifecycle.

In fact, the problem is already at a point where it is making online matches hard to find. Fans have shared their experiences and theorized what is causing the exodus.

FIFA 22 Rivals progression
EA Sports
The new Division Rivals system has been controversial in FIFA 22

In early December, many FIFA fans have taken to social media claiming they having difficulties dropping into matches. Some reported that they have to wait “minutes” at a time to matchmake with an opponent, while others say it has been “impossible” to find one at all.

The problem seems to be mainly affecting the Division Rivals mode. Particularly for casual players who only have a limited amount of time to play, long waits are severely impacting their chances of earning weekly rewards.

“I try to fit a game into my lunch or a break and end up having to cancel out because it takes too long to find a game,” reported one player. “It’s the biggest problem with the game right now which is really saying something…”

There is no obvious reason as to why this is happening, and EA SPORTS has not highlighted any matchmaking problems. This has led players to speculate why fans seem to have stopped playing, with fingers being pointed at the new Divison Rivals system.

EA chose to remove the relegation feature from Division Rivals in FIFA 22, meaning there is no way of dropping down a rank once you reach a checkpoint. Players were put back by a division or two at the beginning of Season 2, but quickly found themselves back where they started.

This has left players who find themselves promoted after a run of good form stranded in a division that is too high. Many fans feel that this, paired with the FUT Champs Play-Off system, is driving players away.

“I’m the last man standing out of my six long-time FIFA buddies on FUT this year,” said one player. “Last year 4 of them still played at the TOTS stage.”[They need] to reverse the damage they have done to Rivals with this woeful new system,” said another.

It’s worth noting that there could be other reasons for the matching difficulties. The player base is split across current and last-gen platforms, with no crossplay support. It could also be down to the region players are searching from, or the times they log in.

We’ll have to wait and see if EA addresses the issues people are having, whether it be a matchmaking problem or a genuine lack of players. Either way, fans will be holding out for a change to Division Rivals to make the game more rewarding.