EA Sports’ FIFA 23 has been another success in this football franchise. Like its predecessors, FIFA 23 requires certain levels of hardware performance to ensure a smooth gaming experience, but it also introduces a demand for how your tech is configured. FIFA 23 uses EA anticheat, a technology that ensures fair play within the game. EA anticheat requires a Windows PC to have Secure Boot enabled and if yours doesn’t, there’s no football for you. Here’s how to play FIFA 23 when Secure Boot is not enabled on your PC.
Can I play FIFA with Secure Boot disabled?
No. EA anticheat required Secure Boot and FIFA 23 requires EA anticheat. The fix for this is to enable Secure Boot on your PC which, depending on your machine’s configuration, is a five-minute job or several hours. There is also a risk that a mis-step during this process could leave you with a non-booting machine, so a quick backup is advisable. If your machine uses BitLocker disk encryption, use our How can I find the BitLocker recovery key? guide to grab a copy of your recovery key. Twiddling with Secure Boot shouldn’t interfere with BitLocker, but then again, the Titanic wasn’t meant to sink…
Finally, you are going to need to enter the BIOS of your PC to tweak a few things. If you know how to do this on your machine then please continue, otherwise have a look at our How do I enter BIOS on my PC? as it’s better for the blood pressure to have this information to hand now, rather than scrabbling for it later when you’re halfway through a critical step.
Can my PC run Secure Boot?
Secure Boot isn’t controlled by Windows, so to toggle it on and off, you’ll need to access the UEFI/BIOS. However, for Secure Boot to work, a PC needs to be configured for UEFI boot mode and the simplest way to work this out is to have a look at the partitions of the hard drive.
Open Windows’ Disk Management tool by right clicking on the Windows’ Start button, then select Disk Management. We’re only interested in the boot drive (look for the C: label on the partition). In our example, we only have a single drive, which is disk 0. Take a note of your disk number, as we may need it later.
Right click on the disk label, and from the menu select Properties.
A new window will launch, select the third tab, Volumes, then glance down the information window at Partition Style.
If the partition is GPT, then UEFI boot is enabled and we’re free to twiddle with the BIOS. Scroll down the page until you reach How to enable Secure Boot.
If the partition type is MBR, then we need to convert from MBR to GPT.
How to convert partitions from MBR to GPT
Brace yourself, this can get hairy, but there’s a good reason to do this. Secure Boot requires a PC to be configured to boot in UEFI mode and this requires a hard drive to be GPT partitioned. An MBR partition means that a PC boots into CSM mode, which is incompatible with Secure Boot. So, to be clear, MBR means CSM which means no GPT. No GPT means no Secure Boot, and no Secure Boot means no EA anticheat, and no EA anticheat means no FIFA 23. It can be a long road just to play FIFA 23 when Secure Boot is not enabled on your PC. You could try always try for a refund…
To begin, type CMD into the Windows’ search box, then click the Run as administrator. Click yes on the confirmation window.
Earlier I said to make a note of the disk number. You’ll need to change these commands to reflect your system. In our example, our single drive is disk:0, so I can type the following command into the box:
mbr2gpt.exe /disk:0 /validate /allowFullOS
If it listed your disk as disk:1, your command will be:
mbr2gpt.exe /disk:1 /validate /allowFullOS
This command will run the Microsoft utility mbr2gpt.exe, which converts MBR partitions to GPT. The /validate switch instructs the utility to do a trial run. The last switch, /allowFullOS, runs the command when Windows is running. Press Enter and after a few checks, you should see, Validation completed successfully.
To run the command for real, change /validate to /convert:
mbr2gpt.exe /disk:0 /convert /allowFullOS
This can take a while, but eventually a Conversion completed successfully message will appear alongside the notice: Before the new system can boot properly, you need to switch the firmware to boot to UEFI mode.
In real terms, we’ve now broken your machine and there’s a very good chance that it now will not boot.
Join us next week…
How to enable UEFI boot
Just kidding. Power off the machine and use whatever method necessary to enter the BIOS.
Every manufacturer has a slightly different BIOS layout, so you will need to follow your nose a bit here. In the image above, our Gigabyte motherboard has the setting within the Boot menu. Remember, we’re trying to turn on UEFI boot, but on this motherboard (and probably yours) UEFI isn’t a menu option. The correct procedure is to set CSM Support to disabled. The logic here is that if CSM is off, then UEFI is on.
When you’re ready, save and exit from the BIOS (pressing F10 normally works) and watch the machine. To confirm that we’re safe to enable Secure Boot, re-open Disk Management by right-clicking on the start button, then left-clicking on Disk Management.
If all has gone well, when you right-click on the disk label and select Properties, then Volumes (third tab), the Partition Style has switched to GPT.
How to enable Secure Boot
Power off the machine and get poised to re-enter the BIOS.
On most motherboards, the Secure Boot option can be found under the Boot menu. Select Secure Boot.
On this screen, select Secure Boot and choose the Enabled option. Press F10 to save and exit and your machine will reboot. FIFA 23 will load and you can head to Ko-Fi to buy the Big Tech Question team a congratulatory drink. I can’t see that anything will have gone wrong.
Hang on! FIFA 23 still won’t load!
I’ll be honest, I thought this might happen. It’s impossible to play FIFA 23 when Secure Boot is not enabled, it’s sometimes not possible to play FIFA 23 when Secure Boot is enabled. Let’s check a few things.
On your keyboard, press the Windows key + R to launch the Run box. Type msinfo32 into the box then click OK.
This command launches Windows System Information and if you glance at the main window, you’ll see Secure Boot State, which is probably listed as Off. Although Secure Boot is enabled, for a few likely reasons, Microsoft Windows is refusing to acknowledge its validity. Power the machine off and head back to the BIOS.
Head back to the Boot menu and select Secure Boot. From the Secure Boot screen, you’ll spot it is enabled, but the secure information it is generating doesn’t match what Windows is expecting. To resolve this on our Gigabyte motherboard, I selected Secure Boot Mode and changed it to Custom which granted access to the two options below. Select Restore Factory Keys, then Yes and the motherboard will reset the Secure Boot keys to factory defaults. Press F10 to save and exit.
I can now play FIFA 23!
I am truly happy for you. However, if this tweak hasn’t resolved the issue, EA anticheat has a page of other troubleshooting hints for you to try. Failing that, you may need to find a PC repair professional. Or take up Cribbage instead.