We do quite a few of these “what’s the PC version like, then?” articles for cross-platform games here at PC Invasion. Some of them produce a lot of issues to discuss, like … ooh, say, Arkham Knight. Or, sticking with the football theme, how dreadful PES 2016 looked on this platform.
FIFA 16 is going to be a bit more mundane. It retains a couple of the quirks from FIFA 15 and is still kind of lacking in the tweakable options department, but is otherwise pretty straightforward to discuss.
Let’s start by having a look at those graphics options in full. FIFA players on PC will be forgiven for finding this screen quite familiar.
Same old, same old.
It’s an identical set of options to FIFA 15 (which did away with the “wait for vsync” option from 14 for some reason). Basic resolution options (plus fullscreen or windowed toggle), a “low” rendering option for those with weaker GPUs, a couple of MSAA options, the 30/60/Unlimited frame-rate toggle (basically vsync/no vsync), and, still going strong as a FIFA option after all these years, a way to disable the Windows Aero Theme on launch.
For reference, I’m using a machine with the following STATS: i3-2100 / 8GB / 2GB 7870. In FIFA 16 terms, that’s a minimum spec processor (yikes, that i3 really is getting old) and a GPU that’s comfortably fine. I’m using the 15.8 Catalyst beta drivers.
I nudged the MSAA down to 2x instead of 4x, because it seemed like I was dipping under 60fps in certain scenes at 1080p (penalty shoot-outs, oddly) with the latter.
Getting a smooth 60fps on FIFA 15‘s PC release could be a bit of an undertaking. Selecting the “locked” 60fps would produce a lot of in-game frame-stutters and put the free kick/goal kick/corner scenes at 30fps for mysterious reasons. Choosing “unlimited” gave you a different type of stuttering, by sending your frame-rates all over the place.
FIFA 16 has slightly improved on this situation. Opting for the 60 lock will now keep the game at a smooth 60fps during open play (or did for me, anyway) without the need for any external AMD/Nvidia programs. However, it retains the weird ‘30fps for corners and other set-pieces’ quirk from 15.
If you want absolutely everything in FIFA 16 to run at 60 or above (including menus), you’ll have to choose the “unlimited” frame-rate option. Unfortunately, “unlimited” in FIFA 16 still sends the frame-rate all over the shop, so you’ll need to tame it with an external piece of software.
I did this with RadeonPro by using exactly the same settings I outlined in last year’s piece about my efforts to find a smooth 60. There are Nvidia suggestions in that article too, which I couldn’t test directly but should apply again to FIFA 16.
Basically, you’ll need to use third-party software (most likely your GPU’s own, or something like RadeonPro) to force your own frame-cap/adaptive vsync. That could be 60, 90 or whatever you think your machine can hold steady. Once you’ve done that, FIFA should actually behave. You may find slightly less control input lag too, although I’ve yet to determine whether that’s just a placebo effect.
There will still be a couple of oddities, like players sometimes walking in double-time during some of the cut-scenes (which, mercifully, can almost all be skipped in this edition).
EA could save us all a lot of bother by making the 60fps lock option actually lock everything to 60, but maybe that’ll be a ‘feature’ in FIFA 17. One step at a time, eh?
Aside from having to potentially dick around with external vsync and frame-capping (which, granted, is slightly annoying), FIFA 16 on PC is one of those not-many-frills ports that nonetheless manages to be entirely solid. You can add a bit of lovely MSAA and downsample from 4K if you want to enjoy some PC perks above and beyond the 60fps(+) frame-rate, but otherwise it’s the exact same game that’s appearing on the consoles.
Nothing too fancy, nothing as disastrous as PES 2016 on PC. Just FIFA 16 on your PC monitor (or hooked up to a TV, I guess) at 60fps or above, with a keyboard control option for those hardy souls who desire such a thing. If EA can iron out the last bits of frame-lock weirdness with the next release, I’ll not have a whole lot to complain about. The boys done (mostly) good.
There’ll be a full FIFA 16 review with in-depth gameplay thoughts once I’ve played it for a few more days.Related to this article