EA app (and it’s predecessor Origin) is EA’s DRM Software. Similar to UPlay it’s purpose is to check if you actually own a game or if you try to play a cracked version.
Because of this if you want to play EA Games it’s no longer possible to get around installing EA app (doesn’t apply for older titles). EA app needs to be started each time you want to play the game, even after successfully installing and activating the game. You always need to be logged in as well but it’s possible to to this in offline mode.
This is true for both the download and the DVD Version.
EA app also can’t be turned off after starting the game. It’s always running in the background.
After successfully installing EA app, you should start the game at least once while being online to make sure that everything went correctly with the activation (for each computer)
After starting the game online once, you can put Origin in offline mode and play without an Internet connection. Online features like multiplayer, the gallery in Sims 4 or FUT Mode in Fifa won’t work though.
There are currently issues with EA app and Steam. Playing in offline mode can lead to DLC not being recognized or the game not even starting at all.
Unfortunately there can be problems.
EA app doesn’t stay offline
If you have an active Internet connection EA app will just go back online next time you start it. You need to manually go offline again.
Login in offline mode not possible
EA app sometimes refuses to log you in if there’s no Internet connection. You will get the error: You must be online when logging in for the first time.
The message often occurs after server issues on EA’s side or if you never logged in on that specific computer. Unfortunately the only option in this case is go online for a moment and log in. Then put EA app back in offline mode. Use a hotspot connection if necessary.
The message can also appear if you put the wrong credentials. Make sure you got those right.
Not possible to go online from within the game
Most games allow you to go back online from within the game.
If you get an endless connection circle it’s best to cancel that and just try again. The second attempt is often successful cause during the first attempt only Origin was put back in online mode but not the game itself.