FIFA 21 Update 3 makes big changes to gameplay, Ultimate Team & Career

David Purcell

EA SPORTS have rolled out the first significant patch of FIFA 21 with a plethora of changes spanning over Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, and even gameplay – hoping to smoothen out issues found since launch. Here’s everything included in FIFA 21 Update 3. 

The game’s developers don’t tend to have a lot of meat around the bone when it comes to patch notes, often just flagging one or two sentences of tweaks made to their title. Every so often, though, a major patch is rolled out and this one appears to be the biggest the game has received so far.

It’s usually at this point in a new game’s life cycle that members of the community suspect gameplay will change drastically, for whatever reason, as part of a planned update.

So, let’s take a look through the patch notes and you can work that one out for yourself.

FIFA 21 update 3
This update makes significant changes to many of FIFA 21’s core modes.

FIFA 21 Title Update 3 patch notes

The following information has been provided by the EA SPORTS FIFA blog, which sent out a new post on October 15. FIFA 21 Update 3 is available, for now at least, to download on PC but will later roll out across all platforms.

Kick Off

Addressed the following issues:

  • When viewing replays during a match played with Artificial Turf enabled, some kits were incorrectly displaying.
  • Inconsistent capitalization of some player names.
  • When selecting a Kick Off VOLTA FOOTBALL 5 vs 5 match, the Miami and New York stadiums were incorrectly available.

FIFA Ultimate Team

Made the following changes:

  • Added the ability to see all owned Position Modifiers when applying a Position Modifier consumable on a selected Player Item.
  • Added a shortcut to Transfer Targets on the Squad Transfer Market screen.
  • Added a UI indicator to note which Kit is already selected in Stadium customization Match Kit.

Addressed the following issues:

  • After using Buy Now on an Item on the Transfer Market, and selecting the option to Assign the Item, the player was incorrectly sent to a limited version of the Transfer Market page that the Item was won on.
  • When attempting to scroll back to the first option on the Play menu, after scrolling to the last one, the first pair of options would get stuck off screen.
  • When swapping Player Items on the Squad Transfer Market screen after adjusting a bid on the radial menu, the option to make a Bid lost functionality.
  • After scoring a goal, the FUT Player Item that displays on the pitch was sometimes missing letters and/or numbers.
  • When a Player Item was selected on the Squad Screen, and the player tabbed over to the Club screen, using the Preview Selection resulted in the originally selected Player Item being deselected.
  • After completing a Squad Building Challenge with an Item reward in FUT, the player was not taken directly to the New Items screen.
  • The on screen elements that displayed following the completion of a Squad Building Challenge did not run at the correct speed.
  • In Co-Op Squad Battles, the Captain would see the second player’s Club Badge in the Pause menu instead of the opposing team’s.
  • Objectives screens were displaying at a slower than expected speed.
  • The Club Badge was displayed as a grey placeholder image on the Single Player Draft pre match screen.
  • The Training Celebration displayed an incorrect preview animation in the Customize Stadium screen.
  • Division Rivals Placement progress earned through Squad Battles did not display on the Division Rivals menu.
  • In the Co-Op Lobby, the selected mode sometimes took longer than expected to load.
  • A stability issue could sometimes occur when listing a Tifo from the Customize Stadium menu.
  • When a Co-Op invite was accepted from a player who is not a mutual friend, the player who accepted was taken out of FUT.
  • After scoring a goal, the FUT Player Item that displays on the pitch would sometimes have extra text underneath it.
  • No image was present when claiming Division Rivals rewards.
  • Updated incorrect button callouts on the Team Objective screen.
  • Instances of the Stadium lighting turning off when browsing the menus.
  • In some cases, Rare Items would be too bright when selected on the Transfer Market.
  • Addressed certain Co-Op stability issues that could sometimes occur.
  • Various improvements to some Celebrations and pack walk out animations.
  • Addressed a rare desync issue when playing Co-Op Squad Battles.
  • Update screen flow after redeeming a Coin Boost.
  • Removed End Co-Op Session button callout for Solo players.
  • Addressed instances of some Attributes being different between FIFA players and FUT Player Items.
  • Updated several button callouts across multiple menus.

Made the following changes:

  • Increased Competitor Mode difficulty.
    • This change is most impactful when the CPU AI is defending counter attacks,
      • Competitor Mode is present for Legendary and Ultimate difficulty levels.
    • Reduced the amount of time it takes for a player to recover from a block animation.
    • Contextual Agile Dribbling now maintains a slightly longer distance to the opponent in order to improve maneuverability.
    • Slowed down the Elastico Skill Move.
      • The impact of this change is most noticeable when the Elastico is chained multiple times.
    • Following a Directed Run, Body Feints and Knock Ons are disabled for some frames of animation in order to prevent button conflicts.

    Addressed the following issues:

    • Player Lock would stick to one player for the duration of a match if the setting was turned off mid-use during a match.
    • In some situations, when requesting a shot inside the box, the request would rarely result in a tackle.
    • When using Auto Position while playing as the Goalkeeper, the Goalkeeper would continuously make movements and lose stamina.
    • Through Passes would sometimes result in a short pass in inappropriate situations.
    • Sometimes, a player would kick the ball into the ground during a cross, resulting in a poor cross attempt.
    • The inputs required for an Instant Hard Tackle now need to be pressed within a shorter window of time, in order to avoid a button conflict with Secondary Contain.
    • Improved the logic for determining when the player is requesting a Jockey versus a shoulder challenge or seal out.
    • Addressed some instances of a ball touch being missed during a Strafe or Agile Dribble.
    • Sometimes a requested clearance would result in the ball trajectory going in an unintended direction.
    • In some instances, players would unnecessarily perform a stretching pass animation.
    • Made adjustments to receiver selection for Through Passes, to result in more desirable receiver targets.
    • Rarely, when requesting a Cross, the correct receiver was not targeted, resulting in the ball going out of bounds.
    • Improved touches during a Skill Move when the ball carrier is being physically contested by the opponent.
    • In rare situations following a deflection, the ball could get stuck on the goal frame.
    • In some situations, a requested pass would not happen when the ball carrier and the opponent were physically contesting.
    • The ball would sometimes have an unrealistic vertical trajectory in situations where two players contested a header.
    • A player’s arm could sometimes get stuck in a goal net after falling inside.
    • Sometimes, the following Skill Moves would not be consistently performed as requested:
      • Sombrero Flick.
      • Step Overs when standing.
      • The combination of the Ball Roll into the Scoop Turn.
    • Sometimes, Skill Moves were not being performed if they were immediately requested after the ball carrier finished turning.
    • Flicking the right stick while in the process of receiving the ball would sometimes cause the next Skill Move request to be unresponsive.
    • Sometimes, players would not follow the optimal running route when approaching the ball for a shot or pass, resulting in an unresponsive action.
    • Addressed some instances of the player running over the ball before performing a requested cross, resulting in an unresponsive action.

    Career Mode

    Made the following changes:

    • Added Hungary, Bulgaria, and Iceland to the Youth Scouting Map.

    Addressed the following issues:

    • The Captain would sometimes complain about losing captaincy when being rested for a Cup Match.
    • Addressed a grammatical error during Player Negotiations.
    • Text would overlap on the Development Tile for players with a nickname.
    • Removed the non-functional D-Pad Tactics UI from Player Career Mode as it was causing button conflicts.
    • When editing the Manager, some hair accessories would sometimes not display a thumbnail image.
    • Improved harsh in-game lighting that could occur when entering a match from the Interactive Match sim.
    • After transfer listing a player, and delegating their contract renewal, the player could not be removed from the Transfer List.
    • Addressed some instances of Development Plans not showing as completed despite enough time passing.
    • Some Board Objectives were incorrectly being progressed during Pre Season Tournaments.
    • Addressed stability issues which could rarely occur during Post Match Interviews.
    • Adjusted the team rating star color when replacing teams in the UEFA Europa League.
    • Addressed various visual only menu issues.
    • On some occasions, competition branding from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League would remain in the menus after being viewed through the Calendar or Weekly Schedule.
    • Contract delegations were not using the correct Negotiations logic.
    • Addressed some instances of fixture congestion in the Bundesliga.
    • A club’s default Captain was indicated by a UI element on the Interactive Match Sim Fitness and Ratings screens instead of the currently selected Captain.
    • Improved transition between Negotiation scenes and the menu.
    • Improved lighting in some Negotiation scenes.
    • Players were sometimes asking for contract renewals despite already signing a contact in that same season.
    • Sometimes, the wrong team name was displayed on the News tile.
    • Wage limits were not increasing when the Manager controlled team gained promotion.
    • A controller disconnect would not pause the match in the Interactive Match Sim.
    • When playing as a goalkeeper in Player Career, AI teammates were playing at the Legendary difficulty setting even when a lower one was selected.
    • After entering the match through the Interactive Sim, with controllers assigned to each side, a controller disconnect resulted in the corresponding team becoming inactive.
    • Addressed a rare stability issue in Player Career.
    • Players who were recently transferred into the club were unable to be loaned out.
    • Sometimes, in-game group celebrations would not happen as requested.
    • Addressed incorrect referee selection in pre season tournaments.
    • Various stability improvements.

    Pro Clubs

    Addressed the following issues:

    • Text to speech did not function correctly in Pro Clubs matches.
    • In Pro Clubs, the Pitch and Kits preview was missing from the Tactics tile when using Arabic.
    • The default players in the LF and RF positions had an OVR of 75 instead of 80 when using the 3-4-2-1 formation.
    • After completing a match and selecting Play Next Match, the available Skill Points were not visible on the Searching For Match screen.
    • The 2D player portrait did not display on the Match Facts screen.
    • Improved lighting in Pro Clubs matches.


    Made the following changes:

    • Music now plays during matches played in the VOLTA STADIUM.
    • When a new Featured Battles event starts while the player is already in the Featured Battles menu, the player will be taken to the main menu and receive a message explaining that the new event has begun.
    • Added an on screen indicator while Drop-In matchmaking is in progress.

    Addressed the following issues:

    • The menu was briefly active while searching for a Drop-In match.
    • VOLTA COINS were not displaying in the Gear Up menu when it was accessed through Squad Management.
    • In some locations, the PA Announcer and music were too quiet.
    • The Player Growth Overall UI was incorrectly sized on the post match screens.
    • Sometimes, the same Objective would display multiple times on the Milestone Progress screen following match completion.
    • Sometimes, the menu would display incorrect button callouts and greyed out options following a controller disconnect.
    • Updated the placeholder image that was present when hovering over Mbappé in a match lobby.
    • The Defending Novice Skill Game would get stuck in an endless loop if the ball went out of bounds.
    • Addressed a stability issue which could sometimes occur during a Featured Battles match.
    • During a celebration, an AI teammate would sometimes move erratically.
    • In the Net Flicks Skill Game, the player controlled Avatar would make an automatic pass on the first attempt after a retry.
    • In the Net Flicks Skill game, an AI player would sometimes prevent the Skill Game from being completed by moving the ball to an area out of play.
    • Controls conflict on mouse and keyboard controls after using the one button option.
    • The event timer now displays days instead of hours where appropriate.

    Audio, Visual, General

    Made the following change:

    • Added 1 Manager Star Head.
      • This will only be available following a server update.
    • Updated some broadcast packages, kits, stadiums, scenes, and audio.

    Addressed the following issues:

    • Sometimes, menu music did not play following a forfeit in Online Seasons.
    • Addressed an issue causing visual corruption during a pre match scene that impacted Liverpool when playing at Anfield.
    • Addressed an issue causing squares to display on the Player Performance screen found in a match pause menu.
    • A player in the background would sometimes twitch during booking scenes.
    • Sometimes, goalkeeper animations would become visually corrupted for a few frames of the animation when doing a save, this was visual only.
    • Sometimes, the transition animations between a fall and a landing would become corrupted for a few frames of the animation, this was visual only.
    • Addressed issues with Alvaro Morata’s signature celebration.
    • Various stability improvements.

That’s all from this update! Once it’s available on more platforms, we’ll let you know on Twitter @UltimateTeamUK. 

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