Connect with us

Post-Patch FIFA 21 - Has It Improved After Two Major Updates?

post-patch fifa 21

FIFA 21

Post-Patch FIFA 21 - Has It Improved After Two Major Updates?

To say I was disappointed in FIFA 21 would be an understatement. Leading up to its release, EA was extremely transparent in its Pitch Notes series, which built up expectations that they mostly did not deliver on for me (at least on the pitch). While Career mode got some great upgrades, the gameplay on the pitch suffered from some pretty glaring issues, namely the lack of midfield awareness by the AI (both your teammate AI and the CPU). While the slider guys are working overtime to ensure that we have a realistic experience that mirrors what we hold near and dear to our OS hearts, the truth is that they shouldn’t have to. Sure, issues like positioning and runs off the ball always need a little love and attention, but glaring issues shouldn’t fall to the feet of the community to address. Be that as it may, post-patch FIFA 21 now includes two major patches (Title Updates 3.1 & 4), so it’s time to see if FIFA 21 has improved.

In looking at the two sets of patch notes, there’s a lot to address. Much like Madden 21, FIFA 21 seemed to release with a host of bugs. For the sake of brevity and there not being enough coffee in the world to get through them all, we’re going to focus on the major fixes aimed at gameplay. Career mode has also received quite a few updates, which we’ll get to at some point when we take our deep dive into that mode once again

Post-Patch FIFA 21 – What I Like

Fouls

Adjusted referee logic in potential yellow card scenarios, with the intent of reducing the likelihood of a yellow card being given.

FIFA 21 had a real issue at release with fouls. For starters, they were far and few between. Given how responsive FIFA is in general and aided by the new agile dribbling system, it’s very hard at times to get close to the AI players when they’re on the ball. They’re typically no-nonsense in the midfield when it comes to dribbling, opting for quick passes while saving the dribbling for wingers and fullbacks. Well, post patches, fouls are noticeably better. Not only in the highlighted change from Title Update 4 noted above, but just in general fouls seem to be called more frequently when they actually occur. “Afters” (leaving a foot in after a tackle) seem to draw the ire of the referee more frequently:

Passing

Through passes would sometimes result in a short pass in inappropriate situations. Made adjustments to receiver selection for through passes, to result in more desirable receiver targets.

These two changes from Title Update 3.1 are immense, especially for Pro Clubs players like myself. The amount of times your through ball would either go short or to the unintended target was enough to frustrate the most patient of players. This issue would always pop up at the worst time — just as you were trying to play that killer through ball to unlock the defense — and the directional arrow available through replay would often show you pressing the right direction for your pass only to see it go elsewhere (see Pro Clubs teammates, it wasn’t my fault!).

Improved Awareness

Sometimes, players would not follow the optimal running route when approaching the ball for a shot or pass, resulting in an unresponsive action.

No matter how much EA wants you to control nearly every action on the pitch, there’s still a huge reliance on “locking on” out there. You rely on these moments where your player locks on for 50-50 balls as you would rarely get there first if the game didn’t give you a “nudge” in the right direction. Having your player start off with the optimal route/angle only helps to even the playing field.

Post-Patch FIFA 21 – What I Don’t Like

Ball Physics

Sometimes a requested clearance would result in the ball trajectory going in an unintended direction. The ball would sometimes have an unrealistic vertical trajectory in situations where two players contested a header.

One of the legacy issues that plagues FIFA to this day relates to ball physics. Unnatural ball trajectories, the infatuation with goal posts and many other “FIFA Moments” show how poor ball physics are. Just searching YouTube and Twitter brings back these kind of results

Until EA figures out ball physics, something the developers had done fairly well in the past, FIFA will continue to struggle to visually resemble soccer.

Responsiveness

Reduced the amount of time it takes for a player to recover from a block animation.

One of my least favorite things about FIFA 21 is the overpowered ability by the AI to block shots. CPU defenders are downright psychic when it comes to sticking a foot/leg out while you’re shooting. Perhaps it was done as a way to help balance the attacking side vs. defending, but not only do defenders still stick out legs like a prime Carlos Puyol, they also recover in no time.

The Instant Hard Tackle would sometimes result in the player lunging further forward than intended due to an animation inconsistency. 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.

I’m lumping these two together as they both are aimed at addressing tackling, something I’m not too fond of this year for many reasons. First and foremost, the input lag when tackling is the reason why many players try to literally take the ball off the foot of the attacker. FIFA’s attempted to make tackling more stat based, as in players with higher tackling ratings get access to tackle animations at a more rapid speed. While it’s a good idea in theory, any player from the heights of the Premier League to League 2 is capable of putting in a challenge. Tackling skills should be a combination of timing (button input) and ratings (how cleanly the player should attempt to take the ball).

What Was Not Addressed

Man Marking

Unfortunately, the main issues in FIFA 21 have not been addressed. Firstly, man-marking, particularly by midfielders tracking runs as well as defenders having trouble with deciding who to mark while taking poor angles, have not been fixed. While the slider guys are still hard at work trying to improve the game for us, there’s little they can do without an assist by EA.

The community, as always, seems to be split on this. The esports crowd wants everything to be centered around user control and having the smallest amount of assistance, while offline users want a little more help from their AI teammates. Look, I make no bones about it, I’m firmly with the offline crowd on this one.

I have no issue with esports, but I would like the game to reflect actual real footy. FIFA’s not a soccer simulation. It’s more of a card trading arcade game now, which is fine as long as EA gives us the tools to customize the game to our liking offline. What is disappointing is the notion that it’s okay for your AI teammates to basically be bystanders.

Imagine playing NBA 2K and having your teammates slack off when defending. Off-ball help? Nope! Defensive rotations? That’s on you now! Legacy defending definitely helps out in this area, but what often occurs as a result of poor AI is you end up using the second pressure button, which pulls your players out of position and leaves gaping holes for the AI to exploit. There’s no Band-Aid solution for this. If it’s tied to ratings, which is the belief of a lot of folks, the ratings threshold needs to be reduced so that top defensive players like Achraf Hakimi aren’t the only midfielders tracking runs.

Is FIFA 21 better after these two patches?

Yes, it is. Apart from the laundry list of bugs that are fixed, the gameplay is better off now compared to release. At times, the game plays really well, especially when playing with more recognizable teams and players as that’s normally where the ratings focus is centered. It’s just the few moments here and there where the game breaks down because of its suspect defensive AI that still bugs me. Going back into replay to see where your defense broke down is frustrating when this issue pops up. It’s unknown how the move to next-gen systems will affect post-release updates but it’s hard to imagine EA ignoring its cash cow, FUT. But, hey, maybe they throw us all a bone and turn up the defensive AI!

How are you enjoying FIFA 21 post patches?

16 Comments

Leave a Reply

Discussion
  1. Glad that the Adidas All Star glitch was fixed and now you can transfer Messi/Pogba etc. Still half of the top flight clubs are missing their third strips.
    This is only about CM mode on PS4 Pro, while using the latest set of OS sliders:
    I am tired of scoring 3 or 4 goals per game without ever having a single really good play. Goals are just scored randomly, they somehow happen.
    I am tired of forwards, wingers and offensive midfielders running on the most moronic routes, either offside or straight into a defender, instead of into open space.
    I am tired of my defensive midfielders just standing around and watching in awe, as the CPU team passes the ball to and fro right in front of my box. If I select them to be controlled by me, it works for a few seconds, before the game inevitably switches to a central back.
    I am tired of the CPU team combining for ten passes inside my box, without any of my tackles ever being successful, and if it is, it is inevitably a penalty, at least if my team is ahead.
    I am tired of conceding near post goals with an excellent goalkeeper with top reaction values and foot saves as his speciality.
    I am tired of high pressure teams scoring directly off tackles inside my box, when my 89 strength defender, who has just secured the ball is actually shielding the d...m thing.
    I am tired of the fact that it takes an act of God to score from outside the box.
    I am tired of the fact that no matter how you change the sliders, no matter how you change team tactics and indvidual player instructions, it is simply not possible to play my kind of football with this game, which would be: the team as a whole attacks and defends, as a unit.
    Im going back to fifa 17 for now and I will wait for further updates and what people around here think of them.
    I cannot believe that it is possible to make a game, which comes out every year, actually worse, when the developpers were able to get it right before (for instance in 14 and 17).
    I'm having a hard time finding my difficulty offline this year.  I've been on World Class for many years now, in fact last year I finally played some matches on Legendary because I went on a WC winning streak and the game was shaming me into moving up.  I truly believed that the scripting was gone , I wasn't seeing those cheap stoppage time goals and really had zero rage fits I can recall off hand.  It was fun, better than PES 2020 in my opinion, even despite the player movement being so cringey at times.
    This year World Class just seems to score sooo many cheap, BS goals, it has basically forced me to play Professional.  I'm still enjoying the game, just wish I could play a more formidable difficulty level without feeling like I'm being cheated, or having to constantly tinker with the sliders.  Tried full manual for awhile, hoping for a sweet spot between Pro and WC,  but ultimately found it to be too tedious and slow.
    DBMcGee3
    I'm having a hard time finding my difficulty offline this year.* I've been on World Class for many years now, in fact last year I finally played some matches on Legendary because I went on a WC winning streak and the game was shaming me into moving up.* I truly believed that the scripting was gone , I wasn't seeing those cheap stoppage time goals and really had zero rage fits I can recall off hand.* It was fun, better than PES 2020 in my opinion, even despite the player movement being so cringey at times.
    This year World Class just seems to score sooo many cheap, BS goals, it has basically forced me to play Professional.* I'm still enjoying the game, just wish I could play a more formidable difficulty level without feeling like I'm being cheated, or having to constantly tinker with the sliders.* Tried full manual for awhile, hoping for a sweet spot between Pro and WC,* but ultimately found it to be too tedious and slow.

    I just got the game recently. I use the OS Community sliders on legendary. (Haven't played FIFA since the '16 edition). I remember I played on legendary for '16 but so far after about 7 matches on 21, I am having a rough go at it. I have yet to try to play on world class but I fear it may be too "easy". I may have to just play on WC and like you, I just want to find a sweet spot.
    I noticed I can't just sprint down the edges of the pitch with my fullback and cross the ball inside. And also that CPU blocks so many more shots before the ball even reaches the keeper. I am still willing to give it a try though.
    I firmly believe that FIFA needs to have different game modes as in Madden like arcade, competitor, and simulation. That is the only way for EA to satisfy both online and offline crowds. Now that they have created competitor mode, and Madden has had that feature for a few years, there is no excuse...
    In career manager mode, the manager still wears the team kit on the sidlines, when it is raining.
    There was a time, many many years ago, when I found EA Sports games really good.
    Quakesfan
    I firmly believe that FIFA needs to have different game modes as in Madden like arcade, competitor, and simulation. That is the only way for EA to satisfy both online and offline crowds. Now that they have created competitor mode, and Madden has had that feature for a few years, there is no excuse...

    Definitely. If only we can YouTubers/Game Changers to pitch that idea to EA.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Its just amazing how the CPU Press destroys this game. When you play balanced tactic teams, its a good temp, a good game of football. When the CPU presses because they dont call fouls, its just the CPU going 100 miles an hour running your players over to get the ball and get a cheap goal. That has to be fixed, FIFA has to do a better job of recreating presses in single player games. It hasnt changed in years or they need to get a foul sensitivity like every other sports game. . That simple
    Most years i've been able to find a way to play this game. This game is broken. Mids not tracking is a huge problem, but i found a way to over look it. Scripted games......just ridiculous.
    The games that AI decides i should lose; my players will take a few steps in the wrong direction while defending, passing forward looks like i'm hulk (over passing everyone) or a baby (the pass only going half the distance/speed it should) and i'm on assisted passing!, every shot the CPU makes is a goal, every shot i make is easily saved.
    If the AI decides i should/will lose a game, just light it up and i will sim it. No reason to get my BP up and strongly consider destroying my controller. I'm not the type to say that "i won't buy another ea title again", but here i am.
    Absolutely ridiculous.
    Krebstar
    No, it has not.

    Well, one could argue, that "improved" can mean a lot of things, when you start with a complete wreck.
    In that sense, it has improved somewhat.
    But it is still broken.
    Fifa 21 is a huge disappointment..Copy of Fifa 20.
    -goalkeepers react like a bag of bad potatoes and are the main issue - no patch to fix this
    -the running of the players: hord of zombies running around the place
    -headers are ok
    -crossing: better
    ...all in all not worth buying - could have stayed on 20 with minor adjustments..

More in FIFA 21

Poll

Recent Forum Threads


Top Esports News

Related

To Top