When will FIFA 21 be released?
FIFA 21 will launch officially on 9 October, and you can pre-order it now.
However if you pre-order the FIFA 21 Ultimate Edition or Champions Edition you can play a little early on 6 October. And if you're a member of EA Access on console or Origins Access on PC you can play the game even earlier, on 1 October.
What platforms will FIFA 21 be on?
There are a few caveats to be aware of though.
First up, the PC version of the game will be the same as the PS4 and Xbox One versions, and not the upgraded next-gen console versions. That means PC players with high-end hardware won't really be getting the most out of it. At least it will launch on Steam in addition to Origins, giving you more options on where to buy it.
The Switch port will once again be a Legacy version, with updated club kits and rosters for the current season, but an outdated set of features and gameplay modes.
Since the PS5 and Xbox Series X likely won't be on sale by 9 October, there's no set release date for those versions, but anyone who buys a PS4 or Xbox One copy of the game will be entitled to upgrade for free - more on that later.
Finally, the Stadia version is also due later than the others. No specific release date has been set for that version, and EA says it will release more details on the Stadia version of FIFA 21 later this year.
Watch the trailer
We haven't had a full gameplay trailer for FIFA 21 yet, but this joint teaser with Madden 21 for the two games' next-gen releases is pretty flashy, and does give you a look at the new engine in action:
How to upgrade FIFA 21 to next-gen consoles
EA has confirmed that anyone who buys FIFA 21 for the PS4 or Xbox One will be entitled to upgrade to the next-gen version for free, in a scheme it calls Dual Entitlement, but it's a little more complicated than that.
First up, you're only eligible to upgrade the game up until the release of FIFA 22 - once that game is out, the free upgrades will stop working.
You can also only upgrade within each console line. So if you want the PS5 version, you have to buy it on PS4 first. And if you want it on Xbox Series X, then buy it for Xbox One first.
You can upgrade from either a digital or disc edition of the game, but there's one big catch: you can't upgrade from a disc version on a discless console like the PS5 Digital Edition. So if you think you might get next-gen hardware without a disc drive, it's probably best to buy a digital copy of FIFA 21 just to be safe.
Any progress or purchases you make in FIFA Ultimate Team or Volta Football will be carried over to the next-gen console, but any progress within other modes like Online Seasons, Co-Op Seasons, Career Mode, and Pro Clubs is specific to the console, and won't carry over.
Our FIFA 21 wishlist
EA hasn't revealed too much about what to expect from FIFA 21 in terms of actual gameplay. We don't even know what next-gen consoles will bring to the table beyond "blazing fast load times, deferred lighting and rendering, enhanced animation technology, off-ball humanisation, and more."
So for now, we're still focusing on what we want EA to bring in FIFA 21. We're really hoping EA will implement some of these features, which would transform the game for casual players and help the series get back to what it was so good at:
- Improvements to career mode - This is one that fans of the mode are desperate for. While we have seen the likes of press conferences and training come to career mode in recent years, it still feels nothing like you're managing a real team.
- Make Ultimate Team less 'pay to win' - Unfortunately, there is currently a strong correlation between how much money you put into FUT and how good your team is. Having more of a progression-based focus would encourage players to put more time into the game.
- Improvements to AI goalkeepers - As the goalkeeper is the one player you have no control over, it's important that they have some level of consistency. Currently, decision making is erratic and you really can't rely on the last line of defence.
- VAR - This might be difficult considering its controversial implementation in the Premier League in 2019/20, but it would be great to have decisions to to the video assistant referee in some form. It has undoubtedly added to the drama of football, and that would be great to capture on the game.
- Return of Juventus and the Camp Nou - While FIFA has been top dog in terms of licencing for many years now, these two omissions stand out. Adding the Bianconeri and Barcelona's iconic home back into the game would make it feel much more authentic.
We'll update this article as soon as we know more about FIFA 21, but in the meantime check out more of the best upcoming games.