FIFA 21: Release Date, Updates, Trailer, Demo, Beta, PS5, Xbox Series X, Graphics, Career Mode & more

2020 is a big year for gamers with Next Gen consoles on the way, but what will EA bring to the table?

Phil Pangalos by Phil Pangalos
fifa 21 release date trailer demo ratings fut career mode everything

Concrete news around FIFA 21 is just a few weeks away.

That said, there is plenty we can work out around the upcoming EA sports title.

Release Date

EA often release their football title on the last Friday of September – therefore, expect FIFA 21 on Friday, 25 September 2020.

Early access

Those who are members of EA Access will get eight hours of gameplay available around two weeks before the game comes out.

This should be around Friday, 11 September 2020.

Price & Pre-order

According to fifplay, FIFA 21 will cost $59.99 (Standard Edition)$79.99 (Champions Edition) and $99.99 (Ultimate Edition).

In GBP, we expect this to be £39.99 (Standard Edition), £59.99 (Champions Edition) and £79.99 (Ultimate Edition).

READ MORE: How to pre-order FIFA 21

If you pre-order one of the superior editions of the game you will be available to get full access to FIFA 21 from Tuesday, 22 September 2020 – three days before release.

Editions

The Champions and Ultimate Editions include a load of extra content, such as free FUT packs and special player picks.

van dijk champions edition
VAN THE MAN – Virgil van Dijk graced the cover of the FIFA 20 Champions Edition

On FIFA 20, the Champions Edition included 5 Rare Gold Packs, Loan ICON Player Pick & Special Edition FUT kits in Ultimate Team.

READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21’s Editions

The Ultimate Edition included 10 Rare Gold Packs, Loan Icon Player Pick & Special Edition FUT kits.

Delay?

While there are many things in the video game world being cancelled or postponed, it looks like EA is still on-schedule developing FIFA 21.

EA announced titles FIFA21 release date
ON ITS WAY – EA has revealed FIFA 21 remains on course

EA’s schedule places FIFA 21 to be released in Q2 FY21 – so an Autumn 2020 release is still on course.

Trailer

Despite E3 being cancelled, EA Play is still going ahead, so a first FIFA 21 trailer could be around a month away.

FLASHBACK: Last year’s gameplay trailer offered an in-depth look at new gameplay features

The date for the now sole virtual event is Thursday, 11 June 2020.

EA Play

Who knows what we will see, maybe a tease for Next Gen, maybe a new game mode, maybe improvements to Volta Football, we’ll just have to wait and see.

READ MORE: What we know about FIFA 21 at EA Play

Last year we saw a quick overview of improvement to FIFA 20’s gameplay, with noticeable changes to free kicks and penalties.

Other EA Sports titles such as Madden 21 and NHL 21 are likely to be showcased, with the possible return of NBA Live 21.

Fan-made Trailer

YouTuber FACE OF FIFA posted a “FIFA 21 Trailer” featuring scenes of a load of players with rumoured kits for the 2020/21 season.

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.

Demo

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, 11 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
  • Chelsea
  • Liverpool
  • 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.

LEAK – This leaked image let us know the FIFA 20 Demo was on the way

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.

As for Ultimate Team, it’s unlikely we’ll get a look at this during the demo, with the same going for Career Mode.

Cover Star

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.

INTERGALACTIC – Who will follow in Eden Hazard’s footsteps?

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.

Son Basic 1
THE CHOSEN ONE – The community want Heung-min Son as their cover star

FIFPlay Cover Star vote standings

Heung-min Son 34%

Wu Lei 33%

Mohamed Salah 15%

Cristiano Ronaldo 6%

Lionel Messi 6%

RealSport’s FIFA 21 Cover Star predictions

mbappe fifa 21 cover
DESTINY – Is this the year Kylian Mbappe steps up to become FIFA 21 Cover Star?

Standard Edition: Kylian Mbappe

Champions Edition: Kevin De Bruyne

Ultimate Edition: Franz Beckenbauer

Beta

Something you may not know is that there is a closed beta for FIFA titles.

fifa 20 beta approval
GOLDEN TICKET – Will you be lucky enough to beta taste FIFA 21?

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.

Release Schedule

Gameplay

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.

HEAD TO HEAD – There was a great focus on the one-on-one in FIFA 20

Will EA preserve with the new mechanics or return to a previous form?

We take an in-depth look at what FIFA 21’s Gameplay could look like here.

Career Mode

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.

NEW FEEL – Customisable managers and press conferences added a new layer to FIFA 20’s Career Mode

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.

READ MORE: Absolutely everything you need to know about FIFA 21’s Carer Mode

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.

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.

fifa 21 career mode concept 3
FEELING FRESH: Customisable kits would be an insane addition

Taking to the pitch in a new kit every year would certainly keep things fresh.

Old Features Return

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.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS – Show you skills on the touchline as well as the pitch

Want to guarantee that your own created player goes to whichever club you choose – Player Manager does exactly that.

Okay, you don’t get many player-managers nowadays, but with Vincent Kompany returning to Anderlecht in the role last year, it’s not out of the question.

The 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.

LEVEL UP – A tweak on the FIFA 09 Career Mode Staff Upgrades would be a hit

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.

Mbappé Basic
PERMANENT CLASS – Kylian Mbappe returned to Monaco on FIFA 18 Career Mode

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

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.

alexander-arnold-fut-20-opponent
NO CHANCE – It’s not really fair when you come up against Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Ultimate Team

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.

READ MORE: Absolutely everything you need to know about FIFA 21 Ultimate Team

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 five 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.

beckenbauer-fut-20

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.

READ MORE: Have two FIFA 21 Icons already been revealed?

ashley-cole-fut-20

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.

francesco-totti-fut-20

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.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the FUT Web & Companion App

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.

Pro Clubs

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.

Pro Clubs Divisions
THE NEXT LEVEL: There needs to be an achievement beyond Division 1

For example, a change to the league structure where there was an achievement beyond Divison 1 would be very welcome.

READ MORE: Everything we know about Pro Clubs on FIFA 21

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?

VOLTA Football

We were all thrilled that a street-mode was returning for FIFA 20.

VOLTA football allowed you to play from 3v3 to 5v5 on small-sided pitches around the globe, although it came with criticism.

fifa street gamebreaker
GAMEBREAKER – There was no greater feeling than breaking the net with one of these bad boys

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?

Licences

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.

PIED-MONTE – Juventus did not feature on FIFA 20 due to their deal with EA

Fortunately, league partnerships with the Premier League and the Bundesliga kept them in FIFA 20, but don’t be surprised if clubs from around Europe jump ship.

READ MORE: Absolutely everything we know about PES 2021

Clubs from Italy look the most vulnerable, so keep an eye on developments around AC and Inter Milan, as well as title-chasers Napoli and rivals Roma.

Will Juventus return 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.

Stadiums

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.

At fifplay.com, there is an online vote for what stadiums fans would like to appear in FIFA 21.

fifa 21 elland road
NEW STADIUMS – Fans may be excited at the chance to play at a host of new settings in FIFA 21

The three top stadiums are currently Sukru Saracgolu Stadium (Fenerbahce), Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens) and Lerkendal Stadion (Rosenborg).

If promotion to the Premier League from the Championship still goes ahead, any promoted club would see their stadiums recreated on FIFA 21.

READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21’s Stadiums

Leeds United currently top the table so Elland Road on FIFA 21 could become a reality for Whites’ fans.

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.

Graphics

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.

pes 2020 graphics mctominay pjanic
CHALLENGE – The team at PES 2020 really put FIFA 20 under pressure through graphics

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!

Fifa 20 graphics
MIGHTY FINE DETAIL: The Frostbite 3 engine allows for some very realistic graphics

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.

READ MORE: Could FIFA 21 switch to Unreal Engine 5?

Next Gen

With both the PS5 and Xbox Series X boasting impressive specs that will help bridge the gap to the PC Master Race it is looking more and more possible that cross-platform play will be possible on next gen consoles.

Xbox Series X has a sleak new design
NEXT GEN: The future is coming

Both the new PlayStation and Xbox are expected to hit during the 2020 holiday period, with some speculation that they will arrive in late November.

READ MORE: What will FIFA 21 look like on PS5?

This means that FIFA 21 will first be available on the current generation of consoles, PS4 & Xbox One, which limits the scope of cross-platform play on release.

Still, with more and more games offering it, it’s surely only a matter of time until FIFA players can do the same.

Cross-Platform

At the moment, FIFA 20 players are only able to play with and against those on their own hardware.

Jadon Sancho celebrates a goal for Borussia Dortmund in FIFA 20
WORLDWIDE POWER: Cross-platform means more opponents to flash your skill against

One of the barriers EA will have to overcome is the Ultimate Team market place. PS4, Xbox, and PC all have their own market place with wildly different prices for the same card.

READ MORE: Everything we know about FIFA 21 Platform

A common market place for FUT would help to create a more harmonious community while the expanded player pool could create improvements for competitive and casual players alike.

New features

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.

FIFA Goalline Technology
NO GOAL! Goal-line technology was first seen 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.

Ratings

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. Follow this link for our player rating predictions.

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.

Messi-fifa-21

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.

Ronaldo-fifa-21

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.

De-Bruyne-fifa-21

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 fifa 21 chelsea otw

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.

What other players are likely to join him on FUT 21?

Wonderkids

A breakthrough season in 2019/20 for Erling Braut Haaland saw him sign for Dortmund in January.

Haaland FIFA 21

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

Speedsters

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.

mbappé fifa 21 prediction

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.

READ MORE: The fastest players for FIFA 21

Nintendo Switch

The PS4 and Xbox One editions of the football sim will surely get adjustments, and with the Next-Gen consoles scheduled for a winter release, there’s sure to be a big debut on the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

But one console which gets left in the dark somewhat when it comes to FIFA is the Nintendo Switch.

Ultimate Team Switch
GROWTH? Ultimate Team first came to the Switch on FIFA 18

It’s something which handheld FIFA players, whether it be PSP, PS Vita or Nintendo Switch, have been crying out for for years, a decent Ultimate Team mode.

READ MORE: What we know about FIFA 21 on Nintendo Switch

It’s not a bad game mode by any stretch of the imagination currently but, with PS4 and Xbox One obviously leading the way, the Switch version lacks a niche.

Whether its exclusive SBCs, features or something else – EA needs to cater to this audience.

READ MORE: Absolutely everything you need to know PES 2021

Phil Pangalos

First Console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood / Currently playing: UFC 3