If you’re like me and disappointed by the 2022 soccer offerings by EA (FIFA 22) and Konami (eFootball 2022), you’re most likely playing older games such as eFootball 2021 Season Update or Football Manager 22. A year ago or so I got fed up with lack of editing available on the PS4/5, and in true FOMO fashion decided it was time to attempt my first PC build. Disguised under the justification of “this will be the family computer,” I began my build with a modest budget, pinging (annoying) my PC gaming friends such as our own Robert Kollars for information on what hardware was needed/preferred and where the best deals were. With a good knowledge base built up and enough YouTube searches to fill my feed with enough “Build your dream PC!” videos to take over my entire subscription page, I was comfortable enough to dive into the world of modding, specifically the best mods for eFootball PES Season Update 2021.
Best PC Mods For eFootball PES 2021 Season Update
To be perfectly clear, I am no expert at this, but with a little help, some patience, and a whole lot of trial and error I was able to reap the benefits of all the great things the community has done to enhance PES (and FIFA). While this guide only focuses on PES, there are still a ton of great options out there for FIFA.
*Note – Some of these mods/enhancements do require a small donation/fee. In no way do I receive any kickback from the modders for featuring their work here. As this list isn’t a comprehensive list, please know that there are countless other mods out there, but these select few are the mods that I have personally had experience with.
PC Requirements & Specifications
If you’re building a PC from scratch or currently have a PC, knowing the system requirements for a game is always the first place I start. Most gaming companies will put the specs needed for PC games on their website, but another good resource to have is Systems Requirements Lab. This site will give you the same recommended/minimum spec sheet as the company’s website, but will also run a diagnostic on your current rig to see if it can currently handle it. If you have a PC or gaming laptop and you’re on a tight budget, then it’s a great starting point that can help you target a few hardware/software upgrades before you jump off the deep end and just start buying upgrades.
Where To Buy eFootball PES 2021 Season Update
Most PC based gamers start on Steam. Unfortunately, Konami decided to pull eFootball PES 2021 Season Update from the Steam, most likely in an effort to push people towards its disastrous eFootball 2022. Thankfully, sites such as CDKeys still have the game available and often on sale (currently it’s going for under $20).
Now that you have the game downloaded, it’s time to get started.
Most PES-related mods run off a program named Sider. Created by a fellow named Juce:
“Sider is a companion program for PES 2021. It allows for small tweaks – such as “free side-select” (which is where Sider gets its name from), and time expander for the demo version. It also facilitates game mods, created by the modding community.”
Sider is a free tool that doesn’t take up too much space (~6MB), nor does it require a programming background to operate. Most, if not all mods, operate off it so you’ll need to grab it.
Where you can find it:
https://mapote.com/doc/sider/ (then click on Downloads in the top right corner)
It does receive updates occasionally, and unfortunately these updates aren’t automatic so it’s always worth keeping an eye on that site. That said, most mod instructions will let you know which version they use, with it usually being the latest.
All-In-One (AIO) Mods
Now that you’ve grabbed Sider, it’s time to start looking for what kind of mods you want to install. The most popular and comprehensive mods are generally called “All-In-One” mods as they often combine several more specific mods (i.e. new kits, balls, stadiums, etc.) into one massive file. Keep in mind that some of these mods can be very large, so you might want to invest into either some external or internal storage devices as these files will eat up your storage quickly.
Now that eFootball PES 2021 Season Update isn’t updated (Data Patches) anymore by Konami, most AIOs are compatible with the last Data Patch (7.0). For future games, you might have to exercise some patience while modders make their work compatible with the latest game patches. Different mods and/or patches often focus on different areas of the game so I’ll do my best to highlight those areas when/if they’re applicable.
One of the more prominent patches out, the EvoWeb Patch is like a traditional Option File on steroids. It provides all of the following:
- Leagues & Cups updated with real logos and names
- Updated Team Data & licensed coaches for the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, SkyBet Championship, etc.
- Authentic Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, SkyBet Championship, etc.
- Licenses, Kits & Fonts with special characters
- National Team Kit Updates
- Minifaces (the faces that show on Gameplan or before the match in your Starting XI)
- Newest version of the Boots & Goalkeeper Gloves
- New Player Faces
With the EvoWeb Patch, you get a great starting base that you can add to depending on other mod compatibility (certain mods only work with other mods unless you want to manually update some details).
Where to find it:
EvoWeb Patch V1 & Other Version Updates (you’ll need to create a user name to get to this page properly)
Another popular patch that is always highly anticipated is the VirtuaRed Patch. This patch is a big one (over 200 GBs), which means it not only takes a while for them to make, but also to download and install. At the very least, it comes with a fairly forward installation executable (.exe) file. Like the EvoWeb Patch, it comes with all of the traditional Option File goodness, but where it differs is in all of the additional enhancements that are included.
These are features like:
- Higher quality logos (competition, club, etc…), dirt stains on kits, etc…
- Authentic Scoreboards – NBCSN, Sky Sports, BBC, BeIN Sports, etc…
- Water bottles during press conferences
- Updated Team Sponsors
- 891 Authentic Stadiums
- Stadium Specific Adboards
- Pre-Match stadium aerial views
- Authentic turfs for things like grass patterns, lighting, etc…
- Authentic pre-match tunnels
- The ability to remove the crowd (for when COVID restrictions didn’t allow for spectators)
- Authentic Goal songs for 284 teams and competitions
- Crowd chants for over 800 teams and 175 players
- 219 National Anthems
- League & Competition specific anthems
- Over 250 new cutscenes, animations, goalkeeper reactions, etc…
- Updated tunnel entrances and trophies
There are additional mods that aren’t included in this massive AIO but for there are few mods that offer as much as VirtuaRed. All of the licenses and immersion enhancements that are included in FIFA due to their partnerships are there and updated throughout the year depending on the time of year (Summer/Winter Transfer Windows).
Where you can find it:
VirtuaRed (you’ll need to create a user name to get to this page properly)
Unlike major American sports like the NBA and NFL, many soccer stadiums make for a unique viewing opportunity. Mostly down to the uniqueness of their architectural designs, viewing a match on TV is different depending on the home team you’re watching. Both EA and Konami have changed their default camera angles in the past year in what looks like to be an effort to emulate the broadcast packages we see on TV.
Despite this, many, especially competitive players prefer the zoomed out view where you can see virtually every angle. Fair play to them, it’s your game so you’re entitled to play it how you like. Still, on the graphics front, the further you zoom out the less detail you see, negating the power of high-end video cards and next-gen consoles. Through the power of Sider, camera modders have put in countless hours to bring you more cameras and enough customization to help you find your favorite playing angle.
Jeremiah Cameras, Stadiums, and Turfs
One of the few paid mods I have personally splurged on, Jeremiah Osoba’s camera mods are a thing of beauty. If you want to experience the Premier League as you travel from ground to ground not only playing against away sides but also battling the away crowd through the lens of an away fan, this is the camera mod for you. Road matches suddenly become that much more difficult as you have to tweak your passing, shooting, and defending to account for the different angles.
Some stadiums offer zoomed out experiences where you can see more of the pitch, where as others are more zoomed in. Take A.F.C. Bournemouth as an example. Their camera angle is very low and close to the action, making for less of the total pitch in your frame. Because of the low angle, the players seem bigger and you’re not able to see all 20 outfield players on the pitch at one time. Seeing this in action and playing a video game representation is a unique experience, one that can be replicated due to certain camera mods for PES 2021.
Where you can find it:
Nesa24 is a pretty under the radar individual. You won’t find a YouTube channel or any other social media site where he promotes his work, but he collaborates with Juce (maker of Sider), and what he adds to the PES community is legendary. Through Sider (which can be activated by pressing space bar), Nesa24 has configured a way for you to edit every default camera eFootball PES 2021 Season Update has. Once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly easy.
Where you can find it:
Nesa24 Camera Modules (need a user name to get to this link)
So you have your kits, presentation packages, and cameras all set, but you’re put off by the lack of effort that Konami generally puts into the tactics department. If you’ve followed my PES stuff before, you know that the “Deep Defensive Line” tactic is one of the foremost game destroying pieces of code there is in the game.
When PES 2021 released, over half of the Premier League teams had this tactic assigned with Fluid Formations turned off, making the gameplay repetitive and vanilla. Folks like Klashman69 have been doing the people’s work for years on the console side of things, but what gives when it comes to the modded game?
ThirdEyeKidman’s BigBrother PassMaps
For his first edition of tactics, Kidman collected the analytical data of the positions the players take when in possession to give all teams a diverse approach — but most of all their identity in the attacking phase (think “When in Possession” in Fluid Formations). This allows for unpredictability from the AI in their behavior on the pitch because it applies to their tactics as well.
Each team has three different sets of tactics (Fluid Formations), each containing a different passmap scenario for their kickoff, in possession, and out of possession phase, with the third set being an alternative attack — or to put it bluntly, an ultra attacking phase to complement their first set of attack and second set of defense.
Again, this adds another layer to the depth of this project and how the AI behaves. This eight month project is based off of 2020/2021 data, but his 21/22 tactics should be available shortly as he needs the 2021/2022 data to apply the updates.
Where you can find it:
The harsh reality is that eFootball PES 2021 Season Update was released over 500 days ago. The gameplay fluctuated some during its first year with each Data Pack, but since then it has largely remained the same. As is the case with most sports games, the longer you play a game the more you pick up on the AI’s behaviors and patterns of play. This can make the gameplay a bit stale, but luckily there are some folks out there who have modded and enhanced the gameplay, mostly for the better while trying to remove the vaunted scripting that plagues PES.
Holland’s Gameplay Mod
One of the most popular gameplay mods out, Holland’s work is one of the better gameplay enhancers out there. Renowned for his capability, Holland makes several mods available, each offering a unique experience, and often picking and choosing gameplay elements from past releases and incorporating them into the 2021 code. Some of the gameplay enhancements Holland has targeted are:
- Reduced scripting by decreasing the AI’s ability in front of goal leading to more shot error
- Increasing the physicality and referee logic to better represent real-life fouls
- Decreasing the “on-rails” feeling that often plagues soccer games to allow for more freedom of movement for both the player and the ball, creating more dynamic moments where anything can happen
- Increased the pass error by the AI
Where you can find it:
Gentleman’s Club Experience
Piggybacking off Holland’s gameplay file (.exe), the Gentleman’s Club Experience mod is for those who enjoy the challenge and freedom of playing with full manual (FUMA) controls. Of course, you can play this mod with assisted controls, but to get the full effect you need to turn those assists off, crank the difficulty up to Superstar, and have a go! So what exactly does this mod do?
Well, here’s the breakdown:
- Script removed from Superstar
- CPU is no more lethal in front of goal (a byproduct of starting with Holland’s .exe file)
- AI now has human decision making and smart approaches in all areas of the pitch (incorporates Big Brother’s Passmaps)*
- AI respecting tactic’s instructions using a more patient and calculated CPU
- Improved players responsiveness**
- Improved goalkeepers to make them more aggressive when needed (Offensive Goalkeeper trait)
- Improved ball physics
- Improved chip s and through balls with more lifelike trajectories
- Revamped passing system ***
*- One of my favorite areas of this mod is how improved the AI plays. Instead of hoofing the ball up the pitch when it’s not necessary, the AI is capable of realistically playing the ball on the ground and out of trouble. However, with increased AI pass error the AI is punished for trying to be too cheeky, and the mishit passes that you see in real life can pop up here on occasion.
**- Another area that has plagued PES for years and turned away those who have tried to make the switch from FIFA is centered around the player responsiveness. PES is a series that is heavy on momentum and player weight, so for newcomers it can feel a little bogged down. The stumble animations, especially when you’re tackled, are not only visually ugly but also frustrating as your players get “stuck” for a second. A lot of these transitional animations have been smoothed out so 50-50 balls against the AI actually feel like you could win them. This enhanced player responsiveness also helps things like fouls, which aren’t as common on the consoles. I’ve had matches using this gameplay mod with multiple penalties awarded in one match (on the console I had one or two penalties in over 100 matches played against the AI).
*** – Last on this list, but something that is immediately noticeable, is the revamped passing system that is very welcome for FUMA players. Nothing is more frustrating and off-putting than playing an aggressive high-pressing AI and not being able to play simple short passes without over-hitting them due to Konami’s inconsistent default passing speed. Those who like to play tiki-taka are now able to, and the difference between great passers and those who aren’t so good is more noticeable. You’re finally able to get more out of players like Toni Kroos who are technically elite but physically average.
Where can you find this mod:
Gentleman’s Club Mod (you will need a user name to get to this link)
There’s a lot in here and getting into modding is like going down a beautiful rabbit’s hole. PC mods are mainly for the offline crowds who enjoy the thrill of building a team through Master League, although it is possible to play online friendlies through Parsec. Until eFootball 2022 finds its footing and FIFA embraces the request that offline and online gameplay be two separate beasts, eFootball PES 2021 Season Update is still the best footy game out.