eFootball 2023 Season 3 - What's New and Why It's Boring

So what’s new with Konami’s eFootball 2023? Well, nothing much if we’re being honest. All jokes aside, it’s hard to believe that we’re already on the third rendition of eFootball. While many have stopped playing, there are a handful of hardcore fans and competitive players out there who have stuck with the game as Konami updates both the gameplay and ways to play the game. Let’s not beat around the bush and see what’s new in 2023.

Recommended Videos

eFootball 2023 Season 3

Konami’s theme for Season 3 is Back to the Clubs. A fitting and timely tribute to club football that has since resumed following this winter’s World Cup. As we approach the midway point of the club season, Konami has rolled out a series of new player cards, starting with Mid-Season MVPs.

Mid-Season MVPs

The player cards available through this pack are dedicated to outstanding performers thus far. As you can see from the graphic, players from partner clubs like Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus and Barcelona’s Pedri are two of the hottest cards even if Jesus is only on five league goals and has been ruled out for an injury sustained at the World Cup. There’s a nice variety from across the European continent as well as different positions to bring some diversity to your squad.

Club Icons

The next player pack available is Club Icons. Normally you’d associate Club Icons with legends, but nope, Konami has once again altered the landscape with icons such as Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey and Declan Rice, two players who came up in different club academies — and in the case of Jonjo (in my Brendan Rodgers voice) is far from a legend at anything apart from the ability to score a worldie and then get sent off in the same match.

Derby Day & Club Selection Packs

Now we’re talking! This weekend there were some juicy matchups. Arsenal-Tottenham, Man United-Man City, and Napoli-Juventus were the tip of the iceberg when it came to derby games, and they all carry significance within their respective leagues. Add on top the Supercoppa Italiana of Milan vs. Inter and it’s peak.

Big Time & Epic Players

Pretty much the only reason why I still play this game considering the lack of modes is to pull some of my favorite players growing up. I personally missed out on my all-time favorite player in Didier Drogba so I’ll be looking forward to giving it another spin, especially with the likes of Patrick Viera and Pep also available. Sure you’ll run up against teams stacked with legends but I do find some enjoyment in beating these teams with my free squad.

New Events

To go along with these new player packs are new events, which to be honest, aren’t very new considering we’ve seen the same modes recycled over and over again only for Konami to slap some new graphics on them to try and build hype. According to Konami:

In these Challenge Events, users will play against each other using squads made up entirely of players belonging to the featured leagues. Strengthen your team by picking standout players in the respective leagues and enjoy the heated clashes.

Sounds familiar, right? That’s because it once again includes limited ways to play the AI, which to be honest, actually plays a decent game of footy (more on gameplay improvements later).

eFootball Championship Open 2023

In a nutshell, this is what Konami wants eFootball to be about. Many have called it a gloried mobile game, and it’s hard to argue against it with its suspect graphics, elementary user interface, and stripped down tactics where players abuse the system with unrealistic formations filled with players playing out of position with no penalty. They have “Match Pass” — this is a hard pass.

Gameplay Improvements

First and foremost, these gameplay improvements are not attached to Season 3. Season 3 is simply about new Player Packs and Challenge Events. The gameplay adjustments came via update v2.3.0 and can be found here. I won’t bore you with all the details but will touch on a few noticeable areas that still hold the game back on the pitch.

Connection

Nearly a year and a half after its release, the gameplay experience is still totally dependent upon your connection when playing online. The debate between whether or not online play is P2P or server-based has raged for just as long. Keep in mind that this is all going on without full crossplay, which according to the roadmap (whatever happened to that thing?) was scheduled for early Autumn…of 2021.

Fast forward to 2023 and the game still plays exponentially different online when compared to offline. Offline it’s as smooth as PES ever was with responsive controls and inputs. Online it’s a complete mystery. Is it server-based? P2P? It varies just as much when it comes to matchmaking. Some matches online when paired against another player with a strong (five-bar) connection are enjoyable. Others are a nightmare where it becomes a test of who can beat the lag as opposed to your actual opponent.

To compound the experience, you could be in Division 9 with a balanced team and matchup with someone who’s in Division 2. This shouldn’t happen. Not in 2016. Not in 2020 and most certainly not in 2023.

Action On The Pitch

Now getting to the actual gameplay, it’s more or less the same with some updates nerfing dribbling while others accentuate it. It’s perfectly fine to compare this game to its predecessor, eFootball PES Season Update 2021 (as I type that I’m reminded what a ridiculous game title that was). Areas like ball physics and player switching were far superior than what we have now with eFootball 2023. Furthermore, Player Awareness with respect to 50-50 balls stemming from interceptions, deflections, and more are still terrible.

Inconsistent at best, it’s time for Konami to speed up these animations, something they have done with other contextual animations as outlined here in their patch notes:

Implemented adjustments to enhance maneuverability following a Sharp Touch.

Apart from this, it’s pretty much the same stuff when it comes to gameplay, and you can see the direct reflection in the number of eFootball players by doing some simple math. By scrolling to what division you’re in (even if you don’t play online you’ll still automatically be in Division 10), you’ll see the “Division Distribution” where you can see rankings.

It’s easier to start with Division 1, as there are less players in there. In the case above, say there are 600 players in the rankings for Division 1. If the Division Distribution says “.1%” — as it often does when new phases start — that means that there are about 600K people who have at some point played throughout the divisions.

Hooray maths!

Add in the roughly 10K or so on Steam and there’s probably a reason why we have such poor graphics, no modes, terrible user interface, etc. There just isn’t the revenue they banked on to support further updates, so they have to dig into their pockets. Furthermore, download numbers are never a good barometer unless they include variables such as unique downloads (based on IP address) and/or play time — true indicators of how many people are actively playing and for how long.

eFootball 2022

Final Thoughts On Season 3

At this point, it’s just boring. We have the same old modes and recycled challenge events. Sure, they added more teams to Exhibition Mode and a few new player packs, but unless you love the grind, there’s simply no reward for keeping up with the game. It’s a shame because I generally believe there’s a solid base offline that is superior to FIFA in many areas (player movement, physicality, keepers, and so on). It feels like Konami is just mailing it in — true dead rubber match mode — and it hurts as a PES aficionado. The only thing that keeps me coming back is that the game’s free.

related content
Read Article eFootball 2024 Review - If Only the Modes Matched the Gameplay
Read Article eFootball 2023 Gameplay Changes After Update 2.4
efootball 2023 v2
efootball 2023 v2
efootball 2023 v2
Read Article eFootball 2023 - Updated Roadmap and New Features in Update V2.4
Read Article What's New With eFootball 2023 and the V2.4 Update
Read Article eFootball 2023 Season 3 - What to Expect
efootball 2023 season 3
efootball 2023 season 3
efootball 2023 season 3
Related Content
Read Article eFootball 2024 Review - If Only the Modes Matched the Gameplay
Read Article eFootball 2023 Gameplay Changes After Update 2.4
efootball 2023 v2
Read Article eFootball 2023 - Updated Roadmap and New Features in Update V2.4
Read Article What's New With eFootball 2023 and the V2.4 Update
Read Article eFootball 2023 Season 3 - What to Expect
efootball 2023 season 3
Author
Kevin Groves
As a regular contributor to OperationSports.com for over 10 years, I’ve developed a real passion for writing. With a focus on covering soccer (football), boxing, and the occasional indie game, I’m no stranger to deep-dives and immersing myself in Career Mode(s). When I’m not writing, you can usually find me traveling, relaxing with a good book, or enjoying time with my kids. Feel free to follow me on all social programs @kgx2thez.