Fifa 18 on Switch is a surprisingly competent portable version of this year's newest entry. Sure it's missing a few features here and there, but it runs at a solid 60FPS and does an admirable job of replicating the core experience for a machine on the go. Still, there are a few concessions which had to be made when bringing over the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game to Nintendo's titchy beauty.
While portability is one obvious and great plus with the Switch version of Fifa, these are the things you'll have to trade off to get it.
No Online with Friends
For me, this was the hardest concession to stomach. In Fifa 18 on Switch you can play online, but you can't pick a specific friend from your Switch friend list and start a game with them. Other games with online make use of the Switch friends list for exactly this, but for whatever reason Fifa 18 doesn't. You'll either be playing alone against the computer, online against strangers, or locally in the same room as friends.
Slightly Reduced Visuals and Presentation
Unsurprisingly, Fifa 18 doesn't look as good on your TV when played on Switch as its counterparts on stronger hardware. There are some differences in the lighting, chants are reduced in complexity, and menus are a little less crisp. In handheld mode this isn't really noticeable, but if you're mainly playing on the TV this doesn't look quite as good as the PS4 / Xbox versions.
Missing Modes and Options
One pleasant surprise with the Switch version of Fifa 18 is that it includes the FIFA Ultimate Team mode, where you assemble teams of players from card packs and basically play fantasy football. Unfortunately, the game is missing a couple of modes present in the other versions. The biggest omission is the Journey, a story following the career of footballer Alex Hunter framed by all the bells and whistles of mainstream football coverage. EA was upfront about this, and the game still includes a distinct Career mode, but the Journey is nevertheless a substantial part of the FIFA package.
Squad Battles (using pre-selected teams to beat AI) and Weekend League (regular online tournaments) are missing from the Switch version of Fifa 18. It's unclear what necessitated their removal, with the latter in particular a real loss.
There are some even more baffling absences. You can't take part in transfer negotiations or make use of release clauses in Career mode, and a few player formations have been removed from the game. Why on earth would the latter be necessary?
Fifa 18 on Switch is, for me, inseparable from the fact I mainly use the console as a handheld. From such an angle, this is undoubtedly the most impressive handheld version of FIFA ever; but there's a price for portability. If you just want FIFA 18 on Switch, that's more or less what this delivers. But if you're a FIFA nut who loves the 'normal' annual experience, this may not be able to compete with the full package.