FIFA 22 PS5 PlayStation 5 VOLTA Arcade 1

Hated, adored, never ignored. The motto may predominantly be used by Man United fans who argue that, win or lose, the club is rarely out of the headlines – but it also applies to FIFA Ultimate Team. Look, here’s a mode that draws the angst of hardcore gamers all around the world – and yet franchise fans absolutely adore it. Take a casual glance at YouTube or Reddit and you’ll understand why the mode’s sticking around.

With FUT being such a juggernaut, it can be easy to forget there’s more to FIFA 22 than collecting cards. Career Mode received some headline improvements this year, particularly to the Player Career campaign, and there’s obviously dedicated communities for that. And Pro Clubs has its own, insular fanbase as well. Which leaves VOLTA Football, the ugly duckling of EA Sports’ soccer suite, but an undeniably entertaining change of pace.

The publisher’s obsession with FOMO-style events has made testing the new VOLTA Arcade a challenge – it seems to appear and disappear irritatingly with no set schedule – but is well worth digging into. This is effectively a four-player minigame compilation which channels Fall Guys in some ways: there’s a rotating playlist of challenges, and you’ll earn points by performing well to contribute towards your final rank.

Some of these are team-based, like football tennis, which works a little bit like volleyball as you work on your own side of the court and engineer opportunities to put the ball past your opponents. Others are individual events, like target practice where you need to ping the ball through hoops or at training dummies. It’s rowdy and a little bit ridiculous, but all of the minigames are easy to understand and perfectly suited to rapid-fire pick-up-and-play sessions.

FIFA 22 PS5 PlayStation 5 VOLTA Arcade 3

There’s more to VOLTA Football this year, of course, with the returning Squad Battles and online skirmishes. Players can now equip power-ups, while there are goal multipliers if you can chain enough skill moves together. It’s a lot more arcade-inspired than it’s ever been, but it does still feel a little conflicted: with complicated button inputs required to perform moves like step-overs and nutmegs, it’s not really suited for casual players.

But the VOLTA Arcade is perfectly accessible stuff, and it’s something that even non-football fans will have fun with. All of EA Sports’ flagship franchises are edging closer to NBA 2K22’s excellent MyPlayer, but we have our doubts about whether the publisher will ever manage to unify Player Career, Pro Clubs, and VOLTA Football under one umbrella like 2K Sports has. For now, we’re at least enjoying the minigames, we just wish the publisher would stop temporarily taking away their availability.

What are your thoughts on the VOLTA Arcade in FIFA 22? Have you played much of the street football mode yet? Where do you see EA Sports taking VOLTA Football in the future? Show off your tekkers in the comments section below.