FIFA 23: 10 hour EA Play free trial explained, what is the New Zealand trick on Xbox, when does it come out?

Thanks to world geography and time zones, the ‘New Zealand trick’ can get you early access to FIFA 23

FIFA 23 will be available for all from this Friday (30 September), and fans of the virtual footballing series are rightly getting excited for the latest - and last - iteration of the long-running sporting franchise.

But, as always, there are a couple of ways to get your hands on the game a number of days early, through pre-orders, special editions of the game, and even a free, 10-hour trial.

But how exactly does the trial work, how do you access it, and what does it include?

Here is everything you need to know.

What’s included in the 10-hour trial?

For many years, the standard practice was for EA Sports to release a demo version of the latest FIFA a couple of weeks ahead of the full game’s release date.

This trial version usually included a handful of the game’s biggest teams and stadiums, and was stripped back of most features, giving players a free taster of what to expect come the final launch.

In recent years though, that approach has changed slightly, and the 10-hour trials include much more content than the traditional demo versions of old.

In fact, they include everything FIFA 23 has to offer within them, and no content is locked off. Of course, the catch here is that you only have 10 hours of free play time.

There’s absolutely no way you’ll be able to get everything you want out of the game having spent just 10 hours with it, but it’s a good way of getting a bit of experience with what’s new.

(Image: EA Sports)

Plus, it’s a great way to advertise the game to anybody who’s unsure on whether or not to part ways with their cash for this year’s FIFA.

Progress made through the trial carries over into the full game , so if your Ultimate Team squad is beginning to look like a league-topping contender but you’re running out of minutes, stumping up for the full version will allow you to continue.

In effect, the full game is downloaded to your console, you’re just only afforded 10 hours to play around with it - paying for the game then lifts that time limit.

When is the 10-hour trial available?

The 10-hour free trial for FIFA 23 will become available at the same time the early access for those who’ve pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition of the game begins.

The FIFA 23 early access release date is Tuesday 27 September, with the FIFA 23 early access release time falling at midnight local time on each platform’s digital storefront.

For those playing through EA’s Origin service on PC, the game will be released an hour earlier at 11pm BST on Monday 26 September.

How do I access the trial?

Those who have a standard EA Play membership - or a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes EA Play - will also receive access to the 10-hour trial.

What is the ‘New Zealand trick’?

If you have pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition and are playing on Xbox, you can start playing even before midnight through the so-called, ‘New Zealand ‘trick’.

To do this, set your console region to New Zealand, and you should be able to play the game right now. The game went live in New Zealand at 12pm UK time, and since the country is literally on the other side of the world and 12 hours ahead when you take into account the time difference, that gives Xbox players in the UK an unlikely advantage.

The trick will technically work on other platforms (PlayStation/PC), but there it necessitates having a genuine online account from the New Zealand region, rather than a quick system-wide change.

It should be noted that this trick will only work for those who have pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition of the full version of FIFA 23; if you’re still looking to get in on the action through the EA Play/Game Pass Ultimate trial, this trick won’t work.