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Learn what FIFA Game Data Centers are and how they’re used in FIFA 22 online matches.

In this case, a game data center refers to a physical location with hardware and software systems designed to operate FIFA 22 online gameplay.

You may also hear these being referred to as “servers” by other players, but game data centers are their technical name.

Game data centers house the services that allow for online gameplay in these modes:

  • FUT Division Rivals
  • FUT Champions Playoffs and Finals
  • Ultimate Draft (Online)
  • FUT Friendlies (when not selecting the Play With Friend option)
  • VOLTA SQUADS
  • VOLTA ARCADE
  • Online Seasons - New in FIFA 22 on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 only
  • Online Friendlies - New in FIFA 22 on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 only
  • Co-Op Seasons
  • Pro Clubs

They also provide some information that is used as part of the matchmaking process for these modes, but don’t do the actual matchmaking itself.

Game data centers are used so that someone else’s connection does not impact your own gameplay experience. This is because you are not leveraging a direct connection to another player to play the match.

In Peer To Peer (P2P) online games, which don’t use game data centers, you connect directly with your opponent. While this can be useful when you’re playing an opponent very close to you physically, or in remote areas with few available opponents, P2P online matches mean that your opponent’s connection matters as well as your own and can have an impact on your gameplay experience.

When you play P2P online matches in FIFA, your connection can only be as good as your opponent’s. If you’re playing against someone with poor Wi-Fi, your game will feel similar to theirs as you’re both sending the gameplay information required to play online to each other over that same connection.

The advantage of playing online with a game data center is that it handles the distribution of gameplay information to all of the involved players. The game and game data center look to collect inputs at a set interval of time, then the game data center sends this information back to everyone else in a match. This happens at the same time for all players, with the players’ individual connections determining when they receive that data.

So if one player is streaming 4K movies and trying to play on a weak Wi-Fi signal, their experience may be impacted by these factors, but it shouldn’t impact anyone else in that match. The game data center still sends the information at the same interval.

A game data center essentially acts as the host of the match and is responsible for distributing gameplay information to the players. In a P2P match, one of the players acts as the host.

Please note that FIFA 22 on Stadia uses a different FIFA game data center location list.

Expand the list below to see where in the world the FIFA game data centers are located.

Europe

  • Paris
  • Amsterdam
  • Frankfurt
  • Dublin
  • Stockholm
  • London 
  • Milan 
  • Madrid 

Asia

  • Manama
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo
  • Mumbai
  • Dubai

Oceania

  • Sydney

North America

  • Portland
  • Washington DC
  • Columbus
  • Dallas 
  • Mexico City
  • Miami

South America

  • São Paulo
  • Buenos Aires

Africa

  • Johannesburg

How does EA decide where to place game data centers?

We work with industry leading enterprise technology partners when it comes to game data centers, and we look to place them in high population areas with quality technology vendors. 

Our vendors are able to provide us with robust technology that can process data from tens of millions of players. Before implementing a new game data center, we carefully analyze the long term effects it would have on the players in the surrounding region, since simply adding more doesn’t automatically result in a better player experience (more on that below).

Why does it seem like some players connect to a specific game data center, despite being far from it?

FIFA 22 will always try to have you play online matches on your best game data center. Although that’s often the nearest one, this is not always the case.

Internet service providers (ISP) generally don’t send data from Point A to Point B directly. They route this data across locations, sometimes even the whole world. This can be a physical networking infrastructure limitation of some ISPs, or part of their business model. These types of decisions are ultimately handled by individual ISPs based on their unique needs and situations.

So in some cases, your connection to a game data center that’s not your nearest one is the best connection available in the moment. It’s also possible for your connection to be routed elsewhere if there are internet issues impacting the route that your network traffic would normally take, or if one of our game data centers is experiencing technical problems.

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