Soccer game for the smartphoneIs EA Sports FC Mobile suitable for children?

The European Championship in our own country is currently making the hearts of all soccer fans beat faster. The perfect time to take a look at one of the best-known and most popular video game brands of all time: EA Sports FC. The soccer game formerly known as FIFA is by far one of the most popular games among children. We took a look at the free mobile version for smartphones and show parents of young soccer fans what to look out for.

The EA Sports FC Mobile game is available free of charge in the well-known Google and Apple app stores. It has been given an age rating of 12 years by the USK. The fact that a sports game has been given such a high age rating is a relatively new development, which we have also reported on in detail in this article. The reason for this is the USK's new rating practice, which now also takes risks such as in-game purchases into account.

How the game works

Downloading and registering with FC Mobile is child's play. No time-consuming registration is required, just a nickname and date of birth. Once players start the game, they are automatically guided through various areas of the menus and familiarized with the game's controls in small mini-games. As the game progresses, players can take part in tournaments, put together their own team and gradually improve it.

Right from the start of the game, it becomes clear that there is an extreme focus on virtual gifts. Almost every action, sometimes just a single click on a button, is rewarded with a gift. These are usually presented in the form of small bags, similar to those found on soccer stickers. They contain various in-game currencies (e.g. gems). Starting FC Mobile every day is also rewarded with a gift. Players also receive rewards for watching advertisements. In our test, other game apps were advertised to be downloaded. The advertised apps were among the type of mobile games that use manipulative design to keep players hooked to their phones and encourage them to spend money. Money can also be spent in FC Mobile right from the start. To do this, you first have to buy so-called FC Points with real money. The prices for the various digital items range from less than one euro to over 100 euros.

Is EA Sports FC Mobile a suitable gaming app for children?

The USK 12+ rating is a good indication that FC Mobile is not suitable for younger children. Nevertheless, it is of course the case that children under the age of 12 are also interested in one of the world's most popular video games. Especially when it ties in with children's lives with the theme of soccer. Unfortunately, the manufacturer apparently takes no account of the fact that many children also use the app. It is easy to see that the entire game is designed to keep players hooked on the app for as long as possible through manipulative designs . Furthermore, showering players with "gifts" seems to serve the purpose of preparing for later in-game purchases. In addition to these highly problematic designs, the game is also confusing and complicated. New players and children in particular will be overwhelmed by the many menus, team line-ups and statistics.

What do I need to consider if I want to allow my child to play EA Sports FC Mobile?

Prevent purchases in the settings
Make sure that no means of payment (e.g. credit card) are stored in the app store on your child's cell phone. However, children can circumvent this precaution by using prepaid cards, for example. It is best to use the settings in the app store to prevent purchases altogether. In this case, for example, a code must be entered to authorize a purchase. If you want to allow your child to spend credit within an agreed limit, it is best to use prepaid cards. This way you can be relatively sure that your child will not accidentally spend more money.

Pay attention to data volume consumption
EA Sports FC Mobile downloads large amounts of data during installation and use. Depending on the contract and available data volume, this may result in additional costs. In this case, it is recommended that you only play the game via a WLAN connection.    

Keep aneye on your child's usage times
Agree clear and binding rules on the usage times of digital devices at an early stage. can help with this . The actual usage times of individual apps can be displayed in all common operating systems (on Android in the settings under "Digital Wellbeing and Parental Control Settings" and on iOS under "Screen Time"). You can also keep an eye on the usage times of individual apps using various parental control programs. Instructions on how to do this can be found at However, only use programs that log your child's behavior in consultation with your child.

Talk to your child regularly about media experiences
Video games can serve as an introduction to many other areas of the internet. There are huge online communities around games such as EA Sports FC Mobile. Your child may well want to watch videos from well-known FC Mobile influencers on YouTube. Or they may want to join a Discord channel where new discount codes are regularly shared by the manufacturer. Even if the original game has been safely discontinued, your child may be confronted with other problematic content on other platforms. For example Scams and hidden advertising by influencers or Cybergrooming on Discord. Therefore, always keep in touch with your children about their digital activities. Let them tell you what they are experiencing online and what they are interested in.

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