FIFA 21's First Update of 2021 Makes Some Big Gameplay Nerfs

A new FIFA 21 update -- title update #8 -- is now available on PC, and soon should be available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch. And for the first update of 2021, EA has made a slew of gameplay changes, plus plenty of changes and improvements to the game's various modes, like Career Mode and Ultimate Team.

In the gameplay department, EA has once again made adjustments to the Team Press D-Pad Tactic, which continues to be used and abused in the current meta. With the update, the tactic now only lasts 15 seconds rather than 20 seconds and it's no longer instant in its effect either. Further, if a team retains possession with it on, but then loses it moments later, it will no longer remain active. Rather, it will be in the cooldown period.

In addition to changes to Team Press D-Pad, EA has also tweaked the Stepover and Reverse Step Over Skill Moves, which also are used and abused in the current meta. Going forward, both are no longer considered "easy skill moves," and thus will be less effective when chained together. Meanwhile, the animations involved with both have also been slowed down to more realistic levels.

Below, you can check out the gameplay section of the update's patch notes in their entirety, courtesy of EA and the FIFA Forums:


  • Made the following changes:
    • Made several adjustments to the Team Press D-Pad Tactic.
      • Decreased the amount of time the Team Press D-Pad Tactic can be active for, before requiring cooldown, from 20 seconds to 15 seconds.
      • Once Team Press is requested, its effect takes 2 seconds to activate.
      • In situations where the defending team is using Team Press and recovers possession, Team Press will not automatically remain active on the following loss of possession.
    • Made several adjustments to Stepover and Reverse Step Over Skill Moves.
      • Both Skill Moves are no longer considered Easy Skill Moves and will be less effective when chained together while moving.
      • The animations for both Skill Moves have been slowed down.
      • Decreased player transition speed when exiting either Skill Move at forward angles.

Addressed the following issues:

  • The goalkeeper sometimes gets stuck to the net geometry and is unable to put the ball into play, resulting in matches not finishing within the expected time.
  • After a defender positioned themselves in front of the ball carrier following a heavy touch, the defender sometimes did not contest the ball.
  • Improved referee penalty kick logic in situations where the goalkeeper dives at the ball carrier's feet.
  • Improved referee logic when making decisions in breakaway tackling situations outside of the box.
  • When a goalkeeper moved then stood still during a penalty kick, they could sometimes deflect the ball into their own net when it was hit directly at them.
    • This does not affect other types of potential deflections that could occur.
  • In situations where the ball carrier would start a shooting animation, but the shot was canceled in time, the defender could sometimes perform an unintended blocking animation.

For the update's full patch notes -- including the parts relevant to Career Mode, Ultimate Team, Volta, and Pro Clubs -- click here.

FIFA 21 is available via the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, and Nintendo Switch. For every type of coverage on the game, click here. In the most recent and related news, a new exploit is giving players easy wins.