FIFA

FIFA 21 gameplay changes: Runs, headers, defending, shooting, more

by David Purcell

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EA SPORTS have touted a whole host of game mode specific reveals for FIFA 21 during August, although many details on gameplay have already been confirmed by the developers. 

Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, and just about everything else included in the next installment is set for a shakeup. Gameplay might be one of the top priorities for EA following continued criticism for the state of FIFA 20.

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Players argued that it played too slow, heading wasn't as effective as previous years, and defending was also criticized. FIFA 21 presents an opportunity to change all of that, though, so let's run through everything that's set for a tweak.

Contents:

FIFA 21 gameplay Fundamentals

Chelsea and Manchester City in FIFA
EA SPORTS
The "fundamentals" are set to change in FIFA 21.

The basics have been questioned in FIFA, possibly like no other time on the current generation of consoles. Passing, defending, shooting, and just about anything else you can think of was criticized in the previous title.

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EA have confirmed an overhaul is on the way, though, posting some tidbits online for the community to see.

In an official statement, they said: "Informed by feedback from the community, revisions to the fundamentals of football in FIFA raise the game throughout the pitch, with manual headers, more balanced blocking, more intelligent passing, and increased responsiveness giving you more control on and off the ball."

This might well be the rework players have been desperately looking for, and with a dedicated gameplay event due some time in August, it's not long now until we see all of this in action.

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Positioning personality defending and attacking

Van Dijk going for a header in FIFA 21
EA SPORTS
The goalposts will be moved again in the battle between defense and attack.

There's possibly nothing more frustrating than having a player in your team that doesn't know what's around them.

In FIFA 21, it looks like AI is set to be tweaked again, with a new 'Positioning personality' system. But, what does that mean? Making defending and attacking feel a bit more fluid, generally speaking.

"New Positioning Personality raises the importance of positional awareness," devs have revealed. "World-class forwards will hold their runs to stay level with the last defender to stay onside, playmakers will hunt for space to operate between the lines, while the best defenders will close down passing lanes more effectively to make it harder for the opposition to create opportunities."

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Creative runs

Erling Haaland skipping past a defender
EA SPORTS
Making runs at the right time is going to be something you can perfect in FIFA 21.

One gameplay developer has already given fans a closer look at how the next creative runs feature works.

Tom Caleffi, a gameplay producer for EA SPORTS FIFA, has revealed a first-look at strikers taking full advantage of gaps in the defensive line.

This is something players have wanted for a long time. Many will be hoping they deliver this year.

As far as official descriptions go, for creative runs things sound interesting to say the least. It states: "Creative Runs give you new options for influencing your team’s movement off the ball, revolutionizing attacking build-up play in FIFA 21 and providing you with more ways to break down the defense."

New 'Agile dribbling' system

Kylian Mbappe in FIFA Ultimate Team
EA SPORTS
Dribbling is a big part of breaking down walls of a defense.

Passing around opponents is all fun and games until somebody just tits tight with two banks of four.

That's where dribbling and skill come in. For those interested to hear how dribbling will be different this time around, EA have posted some clues online, with a much grander reveal expected as part of their August plans.

"Explode past defenders with the new Agile Dribbling system. Faster footwork gives you more control and responsiveness in one-on-one situations, and new skill moves like the bridge dribble and ball roll fake turn provide you with the means to explode past defenders."

A return of those deadly fake shots from yesteryear might be upon us.

Competitor mode

FIFA 21 game cases with Kylian Mbappe on the front
EA SPORTS
What edition will you be buying – FIFA 21 Standard Edition, Champions Edition, or Ultimate Edition?

Being competitive is everything for a FIFA player. That's why people buy the best in Career or save up for the top-rated cards in Ultimate Team.

FIFA 21 gameplay will introduce a new Competitor Mode, which looks set to make things even tougher for players coming up against the computer.

"Replicating the play style of the best FIFA players in the world, the Competitor Mode setting gives your opposition a better grasp of skill moves, dribbling types, and tactics to give you a more challenging and rewarding opponent to match up with on Legendary and Ultimate difficulty."

The information available on this appears to be quite vague at the time of writing, so we'll check in with some updates in the future. Watch this space.

New Celebrations

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuLAn9adQpI

Football, just like anything else, is a sport that lives off of trends.

Trends can decide a lot of things in this sport. Everything from how kits look from one year to the next, to how players act on the pitch.

Some of the world's most popular footballers are coming up with their own trademark celebrations, and the game will include some. Erling Haaland's sit-down showboating will be added alongside Kylian Mbappe's famous crying celebration.

Nobody knows how these can be performed in-game just yet. Nevertheless, they have featured in the reveal trailer, therefore we should all expect more info to be made available shortly.