FIFA 21 Ultimate Team, ICON & gameplay details announced

Joe Craven
Eric Cantona in FIFA 21

New Ultimate Team and gameplay information on FIFA 21 has been revealed along with a first-look trailer, so we’re going to run through the big talking points.

The arrival of a new FIFA game every Autumn has become a staple of millions of gamers’ calendars. While this year’s game is set for a slightly later release date, early October as opposed to late September, we finally had our first official look at FIFA 21.

The trailer latest, paired with new information about Ultimate Team, means players have a host of content to get excited about.

FIFA 21 Ultimate Team changes

A series of official statements have been released, stating what will be different this time around.

“FUT Co-Op lets you team up with a friend and compete for rewards,” EA have announced. “Join forces in both Division Rivals and Squad Battles to earn weekly progress, and work towards brand new Co-Op Objectives that reward playing together beyond winning on the pitch.”

They also tease new ways to customize both kits and stadiums, saying that FIFA 21 will feature “new and expanded ways to customise your team’s look both on the pitch and in the stands.”

Eric Cantona, the legendary France and Manchester United midfielder, was also teased as an upcoming ICON to join the cast of incredible cards we saw in FIFA 20.

Finally, EA reiterated the possibility of carrying one club across consoles – from PS4 to PS5 or from Xbox One to the Xbox Series X. You can read more about Dual Entitlement in FIFA 21 here.

Mason Mount in FIFA 21
Gameplay is set for a big shake up in FIFA 21.

Gameplay details revealed 

Further to the Ultimate Team details, EA revealed a significant amount of gameplay changes and new features. A new ‘agile dribbling’ system will debut in FIFA 21.

EA’s description of the new feature states: “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.”

Similarly, “positioning personality raises the importance of positional awareness. 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.”

This, paired with the new ‘Creative Runs’ feature, makes it sound like EA were incredibly keen to place emphasis on AI improvements, something players have been fairly critical of in FIFA 20.

Joao Felix in FIFA 21
Joao Felix is a FUT Ambassador for FIFA 21.

The game devs appear to be striving to improve the realism of their game. Emphasis on ‘smoother encounters’ and the ‘fundamentals of football’ mean that certain gameplay mechanics will be set for change.

In a statement, EA say: “Manual headers, more balanced blocking, more intelligent passing, and increased responsiveness” will give us more control on and off the ball.

Players will be hoping FIFA 21 can live up to the high bar set by the game’s reveal trailer. It certainly sounds like EA are striving to get the basics right in this year’s title.

Whatever happens to FIFA 21, you can keep up to date with all the latest leaks, news and reveals right here on Dexerto.