It’s less than three months to go in the countdown to FIFA 21, so what do we know about the upcoming game?
Latest News – PES 2021 “Season Update”
The gameplay will remain the same, with clubs just receiving roster updates and relevant kit changes.
FIFA 21 Release Date
EA has confirmed FIFA 21 will launch on current-gen consoles on Friday, 9 October 2020.
If you pre-order the FIFA 21 Ultimate Edition or Champions Edition you’ll be able to play from Tuesday, 6 October.
FIFA 21 will first release on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch, before becoming available on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Along with the release date, the various editions have also been revealed!
The Standard Edition will cost £59.99 / $64.99 (£54.99 / $59.99 on PC), while the Champions Edition is £79.99 / $79.99 and the Ultimate Edition is £89.99 / $99.99.
READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21’s Editions
With no separate edition for Next Gen, you will only need to buy the PS4 or Xbox One version.
Each FIFA 21 Edition has different bonuses, such as Early Access and free FUT Packs.
There are even opportunities to receive rare Gold Packs!
At EA Play, we saw a combined FIFA 21 and Madden 21 Trailer, showcasing the game on Next Gen.
Despite no bespoke versions for PS5 or Xbox Series X, it looks as if by playing the game on Next Gen, we will get greater visuals.
It looks to be the same FIFA 20 engine just with updated kits, with FACE OF FIFA also hoping for a return of Juventus to the game.
If we piece together various bits of info, we can decipher when to expect certain bits of information on FIFA 21.
- FIFA 21 Announced – 17 June 2020
- Teaser Trailer – 18 June 2020 at EA Play
- Cover Star Reveal & Reveal Trailer – July 2020
- New Features – July 2020
- Gameplay News – August 2020
- Career Mode – August 2020
- Volta Football – August 2020
- Pro Clubs – August 2020
- Ultimate Team – August 2020
- Beta – Late August 2020
- Demo – Mid-September 2020
- Desktop Companion App – Late September 2020
- EA Access – Late September 2020
- FUT Web Mobile App – Late September 2020
- Game Release – October 2020
Those who are members of EA Access (Consoles) and Origin Access (PC) will get eight hours of gameplay available around two weeks before the game comes out.
The EA Access and Origin Access Play First Trials will start on October 1 2020.
The FIFA cover star is always a heated debate over the summer months, with greats such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry having earned the title before.
FIFA 20 was fronted by Real Madrid’s latest Galactico Eden Hazard, but who will follow him?
FIFPlay FIFA 21 cover vote
FIFA community website FIFPlay have already commenced a vote on who should be the FIFA 21 cover star.
Riyad Mahrez 29%
Mohamed Salah 19%
Heung-min Son 19%
Wu Lei 18%
Lionel Messi 5%
RealSport’s FIFA 21 Cover Star predictions
Standard Edition: Kylian Mbappe
Champions Edition: Kevin De Bruyne
Ultimate Edition: Franz Beckenbauer
PS5 Box Design
Although we don’t know who the cover star for FIFA 21 will be, we now know what the design for PS5 boxes will be!
We now eagerly await what the Xbox Series X box design will be.
EA has confirmed that if you buy the game on Xbox One or PS4, you won’t need to buy the game a second time.
In addition, you’ll be able to carry over your FUT and VOLTA progress from one console to the next.
READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21’s Editions
There is not a separte version of the game for Next Gen, but they will be some key features when playing on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
- Blazing fast load times – get to kick-off in seconds
- Controller haptics (PS5 only) – feel every shot, kick, pass, and tackle in your hands
Graphics and Visuals
- Deferred Lighting and Rendering – a new lighting system creates more detail in every part of the stadium
- Re-imagined player bodies – next-gen technology takes players to a whole new level of realism
- Enhanced animation technology – new animations create ultra-responsive and realistic player movement
- Off-ball humanisation – from adjusting shin pads to screaming for passes, feel all the emotion of football at the highest level
Next Level Atmospheres
- Gameday immersion – contextual player, bench, and fan reactions let you feel the explosive passion of a last-minute winner
READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21 on PS5
The interesting feature here is that the PlayStation 5 will have its own bespoke feature over the other consoles.
This is all thanks to the PS5 controller and its haptic feedback.
Haptic feedback is resistance within the controller, so imagine it being harder to sprint when running on a soggy pitch or under a challenge from a stronger defender.
Does that mean it’s 1-0 to PlayStation?
Xbox Series X
Whether these are features bespoke to Xbox remains to be seen, but EA Sports games FIFA 21 and Madden 21 will both be “Optimized for Series X”.
The above trailer showcases some of the games leading the way for Series X.
Xbox Series S
You may not know this, but a second Xbox console is on the way – the Xbox Series S.
This is a cheaper, smaller, less powerful version of the Series X.
READ MORE: What we know about FIFA 21 on Xbox Series S
The console is allegedly going to be revealed at one of the Xbox 20/20 events in July or August, so watch this space for further details.
The demo will be the first chance most get to get a hands-on feel of the game.
The demo should be on our consoles from Friday, 18 September 2020.
READ MORE: Everything we know about the FIFA 21 Demo
In FIFA 20’s Demo, the teams available in the Champions League kick-off were:
- Borussia Dortmund
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Real Madrid
- Tottenham Hotspur
With EA adding the Copa Libertadores licences midway through FIFA 20, maybe we could see some South American teams also appear.
Expect Volta Football to return in the demo, as we wait to see if EA make any changes to the street mode for FIFA 21.
Reportedly, the demo will be roughly 8GB in size, meaning you shouldn’t have to delete anything in order for it to fit.
Something you may not know is that there is a closed beta for FIFA titles.
Players who have racked up the hours on FIFA on certain game modes will get the opportunity to beta test.
READ MORE: Everything we know about the FIFA 21 Beta
There is likely to be separate beta testers for each of Career Mode, Ultimate Team, Pro Clubs & Volta Football.
FIFA 20 made significant changes into dribbling and defending, and we can expect more fine-tuning to be performed ahead of FIFA 21 and Next Gen to make sure its on-point.
Free-kicks, corners and penalties have not been as big a hit with fans.
Will EA preserve with the new mechanics or return to a previous form?
As we’ve already mentioned, FIFA 20 Career Mode brought some great additions to the offline game mode.
The addition of manager customisation created a more immersive experience, whilst the introduction of player conversations and dynamic player and team morale led to improved realism in the FIFA 20 world.
These improvements proved that EA has turned its attentions towards innovating Career Mode, and so we fully expect the game developers to build on these additions.
As FIFA 21’s release is still some months away, there is currently no confirmed news on what will be coming in the next instalment of Career Mode.
What’s more, if you pre-order the Champions or Ultimate Edition, you will receive a Career Mode Homegrown Talent – a local youth prospect with world-class potential.
Career Mode Concept
A new concept was made popular by FIFA Youtuber S2G, who made a video on a fantastic FIFA 21 Career Mode mockup.
The ability to customise your kit has to be the most exciting idea of the lot.
Taking to the pitch in a new kit every year would certainly keep things fresh.
Career Mode Wishlist
There’s a ton of feedback on Career Mode that fans would like to see return in the next game.
An immensely popular mode of the game, was Player Manager which allowed you to have the career of a Virtual Pro, whilst also being the manager.
Want to guarantee that your own created player goes to whichever club you choose – Player Manager does exactly that.
The old Staff Upgrades feature may have not been entirely realistic, but the ability to upgrade your staff was a clear and great way of improving your backroom team.
To fitness coach to stadium manager, this could improve your squad and your finances.
You can only control youth staff and scouts at the moment – we want to see more!
How loan to permanent deals disappeared from Career Mode is a mystery.
Loan deals are just common as permanents in the football world nowadays, with the option to make them permanent common practice.
This does not appear in Career Mode anymore, with prime examples in recent years – Kylian Mbappe to PSG and Mateo Kovacic to Chelsea – returning to their old clubs in the game.
FIFA 21 Ultimate Team
It’s great to see your FUT 21 data will be transferred onto Next Gen, but what about the mode itself?
Hopefully, this will be the year that EA can change the success rate in Ultimate Team packs.
In a normal gold pack, there is only a 7.9% chance of picking up a player rated 82 or higher, that falls to 3.6% for 83+ rated players.
On a similar note, if there was improved matchmaking on Ultimate Team, like for FIFA 20 Online Seasons, where you only come up against a team with a similar rating, it would provide a level playing field.
The customisation in FIFA 20 Ultimate Team has been fantastic, but this can go further.
Deeper customisation of kits, crests, stadiums, balls and fan chants can keep this going.
With a greater processing speed on the new next-gen consoles, perhaps this can be achieved in the not-so-distant future.
EA have made statements in recent weeks regarding their work on the online servers, and of course, there is only so much they can do in this department, they are making progress.
The new consoles will make a difference in this area, so perhaps lag will become a thing of the past.
New FUT 21 ICONs
With over 80 ICONs on FIFA 20, there aren’t many legends of the game EA has to choose from.
We have a look at three contenders who could arrive on the next game.
Franz Beckenbauer last appeared in the FIFA series back in FIFA 17, and we feel the Kaiser is due for a return.
It’s a similar case for fellow Chelsea man Ashley Cole, who retired last season after a 20-year career that spanned 16 trophies and three continents.
Francesco Totti would be a welcome addition to FIFA Ultimate Team, with the Roma legend one of the most iconic players to wear the number 10 shirt.
The forward spent his entire career with I Giallorossi, winning one Serie A title, two Copa Italias, and two Supercoppa Italianas.
FUT Web App
If you want to get a headstart on FIFA 21 Ultimate Team, you can download the FUT Web App.
This allows you access to your Ultimate Team through your mobile phone, allowing you to open packs, adjust your squad and complete SBCs.
With the Web App updating the day before Early Access becomes available – this is likely to be Wednesday, 17 September.
A version of the app is also available on desktop, known as the FUT Companion App.
It’s one of FIFA’s timeless game modes, where you can jump in a party with your friends and take on teams from around the world.
That being said, there hasn’t been too many changes or additions to the mode in recent times.
To take the game mode to the next level, EA can introduce several new features to the game.
For example, a change to the league structure where there was an achievement beyond Divison 1 would be very welcome.
Yes, getting to Division One is difficult and anyone who gets there would feel a sense of pride about that. But how about adding a more rewarding competition into the mix, a Weekend League-esque system maybe?
Like Ultimate Team, your Volta Football data will be transferred onto Next Gen.
On FIFA 20, VOLTA Football allowed you to play from 3v3 to 5v5 on small-sided pitches around the globe, although it came with criticism.
It’s understandable that EA didn’t get it 100% right, and you can forgive them to try and bring a realistic feel to the 5-a-side game.
The difficulty is that when it comes to street football – think the classic FIFA Street – fans don’t want realism.
READ MORE: Everything we know about VOLTA on FIFA 21
An arcade feel with features such as “Gamebreakers” will go down a hit with the community.
Will EA rethink this for FIFA 21?
Two EA titles have now been confirmed for cross-platform play!
We’re now at a stage where it’d be a surprise as well as a disappointment if the same wasn’t to happen for FIFA 21 and Madden 21.
A load of EA games have now become available on Steam too, most notably Apex Legends (which is arriving on Switch), the future of cross-platform play looks bright.
It’s still early days to confirm exactly what FIFA 21 is going to look like, however, we do have some idea of the direction it is going based on what we’ve seen in FIFA 20.
Graphics in FIFA 20 were good, to say the least, and this was no doubt due to the powerful gameplay engine in use – Frostbite 3.
The game engine, created by DICE was originally made for Battlefield and used extensively in first-person shooters.
If they end up using the same engine for FIFA 21 also, we should still expect a great looking game.
When it comes to the ‘smoothness’ of gameplay, we could also be in for a treat. Both next-gen consoles claim to be able to run games in 60fps, with the Xbox Series X that it can run at up to 120fps in 8K!
If this is the case, we could the animation come alive like never before!
And let’s not forget the amazing potential for detail with some of the biggest names in football!
With Next Gen consoles on the way, expect the EA Sports titles to level up their engine. This may not come in time for FIFA 21, but perhaps FIFA 22.
The big news last year was that EA lost the rights to Juventus, with rivals Konami and PES 2020 exclusively owning the licence for the Italian champions.
The question remains whether more could follow suit this year, with Manchester United and Bayern Munich having relationships with Konami.
Fortunately for the FIFA community, Konami has lost the licence to both AC and Inter Milan, which could mean the Milan clubs will be exclusive to FIFA 21.
READ MORE: Absolutely everything we know about PES 2021
If that were to be the case, however, Konami and PES 2021 could be lining up another set of clubs to poach – with rivals Atletico and Real Madrid both linked with a move to the PES brand.
Will Juventus be on FIFA 21?
It may be wishful thinking for FIFA fans to see the Old Lady return on FIFA 21.
READ MORE: Will Juventus be on FIFA 21?
Konami and Pro Evolution Soccer struck a three-year deal exclusive partnership with Juventus, so it will be a while before we see Juve return on an EA Sports title.
One of the most incredible things about football is the atmosphere of the stadium, and EA has done an amazing job of capturing this so well over the years.
So far Liverpool’s Anfield and PSG’s Parc des Princes have been confirmed in official FIFA 21 screenshots.
At fifplay.com, there is an online vote for what stadiums fans would like to appear in FIFA 21.
The three top stadiums are currently Sukru Saracgolu Stadium (Fenerbahce), Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens) and Lerkendal Stadion (Rosenborg).
READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21’s Stadiums
Any hope for Juventus’ Allianz Stadium, Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena and Barcelona’s Nou Camp looks slim due to their partnerships with PES and Konami.
Before we go into the nitty-gritty, there’s a giant question that needs to be answered – will VAR be implemented in FIFA 21 Career Mode?
It wouldn’t be the first time that video technology was seen in FIFA.
After all, EA Sports added goal-line technology into their title back in FIFA 15.
Whilst this was a significant addition when it was first released, it’s probably safe to say that the addition of VAR would be on a different level completely.
There’s no doubt that VAR would create a more realistic football experience, but would FIFA fans really want that sort of stress in the game?
Head here to find out more about VAR in FIFA 21.
As you’d expect there are no confirmed ratings for FIFA 21 yet.
However, we can have a pretty good guess at who the top-ranked players will be.
Highest Rated Players
No prizes for guessing who we predict as the number one man on FIFA 21 – it’s got be the footballing phenomenon that is Lionel Messi.
For years, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been battling out for the top spot. It’s fair to say that the two of them have been in a league of their own in the footballing world, but now others are catching up.
As all Premier League fans have been witness to this season, Kevin De Bruyne has been utterly outstanding in his most recent Man City campaign.
READ MORE: Our FIFA 21 Ratings Predictions so far
Ones to Watch
Ones to Watch are players in Ultimate Team who have moved clubs in the transfer window.
They receive a special OTW item, that improves to match their latest in-form cards from the Team of the Week.
Hakim Ziyech‘s upcoming move to Chelsea is one of the few transfers confirmed for next summer, and looks to be a shoo-in for an OTW item.
READ MORE: FIFA 21 Premier League Ratings Predictions
What other players are likely to join him on FUT 21?
Premier League Prediction
Liverpool hard man Virgil van Dijk deserves to be in that top bracket of players after another faultless campaign.
READ MORE: Who will be the best player on FIFA 21?
Sadio Mane has progressed beyond Mohamed Salah this season and is the frontrunner for the Premier League Player of the Season award.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s quality has perhaps been highlighted by the lack of quality in the Arsenal squad, and his versatility.
Robert Lewandowski (OVR 89 → 90), or the elite marksman, even at the age of 31 (he’ll be 32 this summer), we expect Robert Lewandowski’s OVR to still increase.
Manuel Neuer (OVR 88 → 88) has had some injuries have in recent seasons, but with more appearances this term than in the last four campaigns, he looks to have put those troubles behind him.
Thiago (OVR 87 → 86) is a complete midfielder, Thiago perhaps deserves more credit in the Bayern Munich side.
A breakthrough season in 2019/20 for Erling Braut Haaland saw him sign for Dortmund in January.
A star in the making, the 19-year-old has everything. The Norwegian is tall, fast, strong and lethal in front of goal.
With a potential of 90 on FIFA 20 Career Mode, Haaland is in line to be one of FIFA 21’s future stars.
READ MORE: Watch out for these wonderkids on FIFA 21
Regardless of whether you are on Career Mode, Ultimate Team or just taking on your mate, you will want speed in your team on FIFA 21.
Possibly the quickest player in the world, Kylian Mbappe is also clinical in front of goal.
Although we don’t think Mbappe’s overall rating will change from 89 for FIFA 21, he will still receive improvements to his finishing, passing and dribbling stats.
The good news is that Nintendo Switch owners don’t have to completely miss out on FIFA 21, as FIFA 21 Legacy Edition will be coming to Switch.
This version will have updated menus, audio, players and kits, but not feature any of the new gameplay innovations, that are on other consoles.
Leon Joseph is just a few years into his journalist career, but has already had pieces published in many major publications including Tech Crunch and the Game Spot. In regards to academics, Leon earned a degree in business from Texas State. Leon has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in the gaming industry.