A Few Core Gameplay Questions

Hi, wrote this in my Steam review, but hoping to get some answers and deeper understanding of how they work.

Loving the graphics and “realness” of most of the game - the devs have done an amazing job in recreating that “footy” feel when you enter a game.
The main core gameplay issues I’m still finding are:

  • Stuck in the mud. When you link up by hand (handballing accuracy has been improved in the latest patch which is great!), your receiving player will have a moment of non-responsiveness, where no button presses seem to be registered. This results in too many secondary tackles on your player, with probably a few too many HTBs.
    Is this an animation or just a response time thing?
    This is in pretty stark contrast to the AI, who have superman like speed, and don’t seem to have to “charge” up their kicks like users do, making them relatively much harder to tackle.

  • Large turning circles. Again, a user only issue, when you do have the ball, changing direction is pretty frustrating. Pendelbury’s type of directional change is not quite possible, and this can lead to what seems to be superhuman (and occasional teleporting) AI mowing you down as you gradually turn to your goal direction.
    In a similar vein, without the ball it feels like a “drunk” filter is added to the controls, making pursuing the AI with the ball almost impossible.

  • Tackling. It feels like the AI will instant tackle you numerous times a game for about a 50% HTB outcome (can be reduced by not sprinting but then that leads to far more tackles).
    And when you tackle them, the balance still feels off, as they almost always squeeze out a kick or handball that hits one of their team mates laces out. This is polar opposites of the user, who at best, dribbles the ball to no one.

  • Forcefields. There still appears to be forces at work here. If the AI are running the ball from the centre square inside 50, it feels almost impossible to lay a tackle on them, unlike elsewhere on the field?
    The same goes for grubbed balls and those dribble disposals that you do when tackled. Whenever the ball hits the ground, despite use of the homing button, the AI always seem to be first to the ball.
    As a common example, you will nail the perfect backline spoil, it goes to ground, the AI will be first to the ball (even if it’s the guy you contested with), they pick it up, and if inside their 50, almost always seem to get a shot away. This one is incredibly frustrating.

  • Positioning of AI players (both sides). Tactics have helped a bit and are VERY welcome, but IMO there is still a bit too much 1v1 man on man stuff which is quite unrealistic.
    When you watch modern AFL, and you’ll hardly ever see a full ground 1v1, which seems to keep happening here regardless of tactics.
    Another example: you’ll mark the ball on a turnover at half back flank, and then weigh up a switch or go down the line. 2 issues with this approach currently.
    One, there’s numerous players from both sides sitting abeam you in the centre corridor and still inside your defensive 50. In modern footy, players usually are in front of you, except perhaps one or two team mates looking for the switch.
    But right now you cant really go to them, as there’s too much congestion in the middle, all with an opposition man on them.
    Two, when you look down the line, it feels like there may be more no-go zones, sometimes you can even have an entire wing with zero players in it.
    You can see your forwards 2 kicks away heading towards the wing, then stop, then turn back.

  • finally, Camera. I find side on is not an ideal way to play as you don’t have your players “down the ground” perspective,
    So when using end to end camera, you unfortunately cannot control the camera. Not the direction, or the rotation speed.
    So when there is a turn over, the camera auto rotates 180 degrees at a very fast speed. This affects the controller position relative to the screen. Given the turnover has just handed the ball to the opposition and you’re usually very close, this means you cannot chase them. By the time the camera has swung 180, they are already away, as perusing them is very hard.
    The end to end camera ideally needs a user controlled speed slider, or even a trigger to allow the user to decide when to flip it (ie they could do it if they do lose the contest and the AI kicks). The other issue is switching as mentioned above.
    Hopefully that congestion can be moved up the field a kick away, but switching will still remain hard with end to end because you cannot see anything on the opposite flank/wing.
    We really need the ability to manually control the camera direction. It would be cool if a modifier like the right stick could pan the camera, or let it rotate automatically after a mark/free kick, based on where the user is aiming/“looking”.
    The camera now pans with kick outs which is amazingly helpful, and so hopefully this can be replicated elsewhere after marks/free kicks.

In summary, this game has so much potential to be epic, I just hope a few (or even better, all) of these gameplay limitations can be improved upon.
Apologies for the long post, but these are the things I constantly notice in each game I play which would take this game from enjoyable to all time!


I reckon each point here could have its own topic on the board, as I’m sure there are plenty of opinions on each item that we’d all want to discuss deeper.

For the camera angle, I like a side-ish view, with a bit of angle/pan up the field.
This was what ‘Side Dynamic’ was in Evo2, although Side Dynamic appears to be a bit different in AFL23 (different developers I know…just saying I like it previously).

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I’ll leave that up to the mods to decide if each point should have its own thread, but for now happy to keep them here together and hopefully a dev can shed some more light on these limitations

I’ve put this as a Suggestion to the Support team… and was wondering what others here think about it?

Sometimes you take a mark or get a free in general play, and want to get a move on quickly, but the player casually strolls back to take the kick……
It would be great if we could just hold R2 (no direction) and the player would get some urgency but not play on… rushing back quicker to the kicking location but on their line………. (R2 + direction still plays on)

At the moment we have the freedom to move the player ourselves… however it can be quite difficult to stay on your exact line… and also, the player completely turns to face the other way………. Instead, it would be good if they quickly get back while still facing up the ground… and you could then wheel around to be clear of the mark and get it moving…….

Adding to this… currently you can quickly kick through the mark… whereas the defender should be putting their hand out to smother it (but standing still - the ‘stand’ rule). But it’s never currently blocked……… Ideally, this could be blocked… so there is a need for the ball carrier to use the ‘just R2’ for added urgency (mentioned above) to quickly move back instead……

Here’s some things I played around with, and what I feel happens at the moment.

What do people think?


Hi BigAnt, I posted this just over a month ago, and I believe many others along with myself feel as though not many of these incredibly frustrating points have truly been addressed…

The stuck in the mud is still very much apparent, the inability to run “where you want” is still there - making intercepts and chase downs extremely challenging, tackling still feels very biased towards the AI (both distance of tackles, and favourable outcomes).

The AI still feel “scripted” to be first to loose balls, and instant react to things real world players could never do, positioning still feels like “crazy ants” - even if the default being “flood back/forward” it would be a better position than half the team just sitting off to the side of your mark at half back - the giant empty zones in the ideal “up the line kicks” still stands out like the proverbial.
The 1v1s are soo painful when trying to retain procession.

And again, please can we have a pivoting in-game mark/free kick camera like the kick in one - it’s just sooo difficult to see switches and options.
And the camera rotation speed…

My gentle point is, of this list posted a month ago, it truly feels like none of these very common gripes have truly been addressed nor fixed.

Appreciate the ongoing support, but hoping these core elements are tackled alongside all the other more “aesthetic” advances that are being made…


Pivoting in-game mark/free camera - would be cool if it could also slot in with my ‘urgency’ and 'wheel ‘n go’ suggestions above. Maybe only once you get all the way back on your mark… and also, a setting players could turn off if they don’t want it (thinking 1v1 local multiplayer especially).

Stuck in the Mud - I feel this has gotten a lot better… but I do still notice it at times. I wonder if it’s specifically an issue with an animation transitioning to another… like the running mark animation transitioning to a ‘keep sprinting’ animation…
I going to try and get video and specifics around these for BA to tackle.

Going to add a new one…
Animation Speed - Some animations are still so slow… like the side step, shrug, smother, soccer kick… they’re slow and out of pace with the rest of the game, and would look/act so much better if they were sped up.


Whens the next patch update?

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