The ultimate FIFA 21 passing & crossing gameplay guide - Dexerto

The ultimate FIFA 21 passing & crossing guide

Published: 18/Aug/2020 7:12 Updated: 18/Aug/2020 8:50

by Isaac McIntyre


When passing comes off to perfection in football, à la the famous “Hollywood pass,” there isn’t much better. FIFA passing is the same; breaking open an opponent’s defence with a pinpoint cross or pass can be scintillating. Here’s everything we know about passing in FIFA 21 so far, and a guide to being the next Andres Iniesta or Francesco Totti.

Passing is king in FIFA, as it is in football. You simply cannot go from one end of the pitch to the other without a pass or two, unless you’re Lionel Messi. It’s a core part of the sport, and is just as vital in FIFA 21 as well.


So, it stands to reason you’d want to be the very best you can be at passing, crossing, and creating chances for Wissam Ben Yedder to smash home in the Weekend League, right?

Of course you do. So listen up ⁠— here’s everything you need to know about passes, crosses, shot creation, and “beautiful football” in FIFA 21. We’ll cover all the basics, this year’s all-new ‘’Creative Runs” feature, and plenty more.

EA has promised a hefty overhaul of attacking and defending systems in FIFA 21.
FIFA 21 has upped the ante on passing again, “overhauling” the former playmaking system.

How to pass in FIFA 21

Let’s start with the basics. You pass the ball with X (PS4) or A (Xbox), which is a very simple “ground pass”. The longer you hold the button in, the harder and further your player will pass the ball. That’s as simple as it gets.

The second basic is the “lob pass”. This aerial pass gets some lift for your ball, and let’s you pull off those long-ranged cross-field passes. Pull this off with Square/X. The same theory is at play here too; press for longer for more distance.

All FIFA 21 passing & crossing controls

All up there’s 13 different passing and crossing moves that you can pull off in a game at any one time. Here’s all the controls for the passes, and what they will do in-game:

  • Ground pass (X/A) ⁠— Short pass is a ground pass that sends the ball to a teammate in a short distance.
  • Lob Pass/Cross (▢/X) ⁠— Lob pass is an aerial pass used to send the ball to a teammate in a high arc. Players can also cross with this method.
  • Low Cross (▢ + ▢/X + X) ⁠— By double-tapping the lob button, your player will perform a low-range cross when passing the ball into the opponent’s box.
  • Through Pass (△/Y) ⁠— The through pass is a forward pass that travels into an open space through your rival’s defenders so your attackers can run onto the ball.
  • Threaded Through Pass (R1 + △/RB + Y) ⁠— A through pass which is more straight and lets the ball bounce so it brings more perspective to your pass.
  • Driven Ground Pass (R1 + X/RB + A) ⁠— A ground pass which is powered and is faster than a normal pass. This type of pass has better accuracy, but is harder to control.
  • Lofted Ground Pass (X + X/A + A) ⁠— A short ground pass that flies low and close to the ground in order to avoid the interceptions by defenders.
  • Lofted Through Pass (△ + △/Y + Y) — A through pass which goes over the head of your opponent’s defenders – technically, a combination of through ball and lob pass.
  • Driven Lobbed Through Pass (L1 + R1 + △/LB + RB + Y) ⁠— A lobbed through pass which is more straight and lets the ball bounce so it brings more perspective.
  • Driven Lob Pass/Cross ⁠(R1 + ▢/RB + X) — A lob pass that has more power and pace than a lob ground pass.
  • High Lob (L1 + ▢/LB + X) ⁠— A lob pass with more height. Can be useful for crossing to bypass your opponent’s defenders and keeper when you have tall strikers.
  • Flair Pass (L2 + X/LT + A) ⁠— A fancy and powerful ground pass which is less accurate than Driven Pass, but more powerful.
  • Flair Lob (L2 + ▢/LT + X) ⁠— A lob pass with even more height than a high lob.

FIFA 21 has also added three new cross trajectories; one was even inspired by newly-crowned Premier League Young Player of the Year, Liverpool’s fullback star Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was a direct inspiration for one of the new FIFA 21 passing techniques.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was a direct inspiration for one of the new FIFA 21 passing techniques.

These new types of crosses are at a higher level of gameplay, meaning you might want to work on the basics first. Once you’ve got them down pat, think about adding these to your FIFA 21 game-day repertoire.

  • Whipped Cross (R1 + L1 + ▢/RB + LB + X) ⁠— These fast, dangerous crosses travel through the box and are perfect for a teammate to just ‘put their head in the way’.
  • Driven Cross (R1 + ▢/RB + X) ⁠— Similar to whipped crosses, this cross is fast and dangerous, but tends to travel at waist height, being ideal for a volley or shot.
  • Ground Driven Cross (R1 + ▢, then ▢/RB + X, then X) ⁠— An extremely fast cross that travels on the ground.

Intelligent Passing

There’s also been a bit of a change in terms of passing heading into FIFA 21. According to EA SPORTS, this year’s FIFA title will give AI “a more perceptive understanding of space and opposition.” This will allow players to “play a more intelligent passing game.”


There have been a handful of major changes to try and find this “intelligent” new level of footballing from FIFA 21 AI characters. The first is ‘through passing’ changes. EA has rebuilt this “from the ground up” this time around.

There are two things to keep aware of in the new through-passing system:

  • Pass openness ⁠— This provides “smart passers” with the ability to open up the pitch by leading the receiver away from opponents.
  • Pass complexity ⁠— New passing trajectories and targets are now possible in FIFA 21, allowing “killer” through balls that put the receiver in great positions.
Chelsea and Manchester City in FIFA
FIFA passing and crossing “fundamentals” are changing this year.

Creative Runs

Perhaps the biggest change coming to FIFA 21 in terms of passing, and creating attacking chances, is “Creative Runs”. This new feature “gives you new options for influencing a team’s movements off the ball” as you pass up-field.

FIFA 21 passing is going to be more of a balancing act, it seems. You will now have to look at where you’re passing early, and direct your AI teammates there (with the analog-sticks). This should let you “break down the defence better” in every game.

There are a few controls that you’ll need to learn here. The most important one is the new right-stick AI run control (R3 on both consoles). This lets you control where your teammate goes after you have fired off your pass.

You can also simply flick the right-stick to “take full control of the direction of runs” your AI squadmates make. Finally, clicking in both sticks during an attack locks you to your current player if you want to avoid the “creative run” swap.

Auto Flair Passes

One final thing you might want to do before heading into FIFA 21 is changing your “Auto Flair Passes” setting. This is “on” by default. That means your players to use the new feature in all appropriate situations on their own.

If you don’t want this, make sure you flick it to “off”. This will mean that all your players will never attempt flair passes, unless you actively decide to pull off a flair move with the LT or L2 buttons mid-game.

Kylian Mbappe FIFA 21
FIFA 21 is coming out in early September — make sure you’re ready.

So there you have it ⁠— everything you need to know about passing and crossing in FIFA 21, and how to master the “overhauled” features when the title finally drops later this year.

FIFA 21 will be released on Friday, October 9. Champions and Ultimate Edition versions will open three days earlier, on October 6. Some lucky players are also already being invited to the closed beta from now until September 1.


FIFA 21 Global Series & eWorld Cup: Schedule, start dates, how to qualify

Published: 13/Oct/2020 9:57

by Jacob Hale


With FIFA 21 now officially launched, and millions of players across the world looking to create the best squad possible on Ultimate Team, we take a look at this season’s schedule for the FIFA 21 Global Series and, the pinnacle of FIFA esports, the eWorld Cup.

This year, EA SPORTS will be providing $3 million to competitors across multiple regions, with the biggest winners taking home the lion share of the cash at FIFA majors and, of course, the eWorld Cup.


There are many different leagues, tournaments and events that players can compete in throughout the season, so let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

FIFA 21 Global Series schedule

The FIFA 21 Global Series is the circuit in which all aspiring competitors can try to make a name for themselves and qualify for the major tournaments.

FIFA 21 Global Series schedule
The FIFA 21 Global Series schedule.

Between November 2020 to June 2021, every major region will have a number of qualifying spots up for grabs to reach playoffs.

Each region will have the following number of qualifiers, though no more than 1024 entrants can take part in one qualifying tournament.

  • Europe: 5 Qualifiers each on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  • North America: 5 Qualifiers each on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  • South America: 5 Qualifiers each on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  • East Asia: 3 Qualifiers on PlayStation 4
  • West Asia: 3 Qualifiers on PlayStation 4
  • Oceania: 3 Qualifiers on PlayStation 4
  • South Africa: 3 Qualifiers on PlayStation 4

All qualifiers will be double elimination, and players will be seeded based on Global Series Points — you can scroll down this page to find out how to compete in Global Series events and earn more points.


Here are the dates that Global Series qualifiers will take place, so see which weekends are available in your region and make sure you’re free to put your best foot forward.

Europe North America South America East Asia West Asia & South Africa Oceania
November 28-29, 2020 December 12-13, 2020 November 21-22, 2020 December 12-13, 2020 November 21-22, 2020 December 12-13, 2020
January 9-10, 2021 January 23-24, 2021 December 12-13, 2020 February 20-21, 2021 January 23-24, 2021 January 23-24, 2021
February 6-7, 2021 February 20-21, 2021 January 23-24, 2021 March 27-28, 2021 March 27-28, 2021 February 20-21, 2021
March 6-7, 2021 March 27-28, 2021 February 20-21, 2021
April 10-11, 2021 April 17-18, 2021 March 27-28, 2021

FIFA 21 eWorld Cup

The eWorld Cup is the pinnacle of the competitive FIFA season, where competitors can become stars and make themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As of yet, there is no set date announced for the eWorld Cup, but it typically takes place in August each year with 32 players — 16 on Xbox, 16 on PS4 — competing to be crowned FIFA world champion.


How to compete in the FIFA 21 Global Series

FIFA 21 Global Series teams and players
The Global Series brings together some of the biggest names in FIFA esports.

To take part in the FIFA 21 Global Series and kickstart your esports career, there are six key steps that EA have laid out to help you know what you need to do.

Here’s what they are:

  1. Register to compete in the FIFA 21 Global Series between October 9, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  2. Achieve FUT Champions Verification by reaching Elite 1 in a single Weekend League before December 31.
  3. Earn points in FUT Champions based on your best Weekend League performance each month. For example, if you get 30 wins out of 30 one weekend and 29 in the rest of the month, you will get 30 Global Series points.
  4. Earn points in Online Qualifiers, as detailed above, with regional qualifiers being the primary way to earn a spot in regional playoffs.
  5. Represent a football club in domestic leagues, each of which will have automatic qualification spots into regional playoffs — this is where you can expect to find some of the top competition.
  6. Qualify for the regional playoffs, facing off against the best of the best in your region, for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize pool and a chance to qualify for the FIFA eWorld Cup. Here’s how many players will qualify for playoffs in each region:
    • Europe, PlayStation 4 – 64 Players
    • Europe, Xbox One – 64 Players
    • North America, PlayStation 4 – 16 Players
    • North America, Xbox One – 16 Players
    • South America, PlayStation 4 – 32 Players
    • South America, Xbox One – 16 Players
    • West Asia & South Africa, PlayStation 4 – 16 Players
    • East Asia, PlayStation 4 – 8 Players
    • Oceania, PlayStation 4 – 8 Players
MoAuba FIFA eWorld Cup
MoAuba lifted the eWorld Cup during the FIFA 20 season in 2019.

So, that’s everything we know so far about the FIFA 21 Global Series and the eWorld Cup.

You best get building your Ultimate Team now, as qualifiers will be popping up before you know it, and you want to give yourself the best chance to be in the money when the eWorld Cup finally rolls around.