Fifa 21 gameplay trailer: Agile dribbling and new features

EA Sports

There’s loads of changes to gameplay in the new Fifa game

The official gameplay trailer for Fifa 21 has been released showing off loads of new features.

The new game comes out in October and follows Fifa 20 which received a lot of criticism after its release last year, with some players unhappy about overpowered player abilities, bugs and glitches.

EA Sports – which makes the game – says Fifa 21 will reward players for their “creativity and control with new features, in the most intelligent Fifa gameplay to date”.

Let us know what you think of the changes in the comments.

Agile dribbling

Agile dribbling is a new way to keep close control of the ball, so that players can perform quick feet and touches, especially with more skilful players such as Kylian Mbappe or Marcus Rashford.

To perform agile dribbling, players will have to hold R1/RB while moving the left stick, the dribbler will move the ball with rapid and precise touches.

However, some gamers have commented saying the feature looks “ridiculous”, “too fast” and “broken”. Others have compared it to Fifa 20’s drag back controls or ‘strafe dribbling’, which made it almost impossible to take the ball off some players.

Positioning personality

New positioning personality means players who are tactically aware in real life will have a bigger impact by being in the right place at the right time to shoot, pass, or block the ball.

Think Kevin De Bruyne in attack or Virgil van Dijk in defence.

Attacking positioning

Computer-controlled artificial intelligence (AI) varies, with some players better at some things than others, for example:

  • Onside and offside runs – Awareness to know when to slow down and time the run to stay onside.
  • “Passer readiness” runs – Understanding when players in possession of the ball are ready to make a pass so the player can time their run perfectly.
  • Decision making time and intelligence – The ability to make faster and accurate decisions on where and when to run.
  • Passing lane analysis – Understanding and finding space on the pitch to receive a pass.

Fifa 21.EA Sports

In the new Fifa game you can make creative runs, choosing how players who aren’t on the ball run into space

Off-ball runs

Fifa 21 has a new creative runs feature, where you can decide how your AI teammates move off the ball:

  • Directed runs – You can now control the direction of the runs of your teammates by flicking the right stick after triggering a run (L1/LB then flick right stick), or after calling a team-mate short (R1/RB then flick right stick)
  • Directed pass and go – This is a good way to perform quick one-two passes, by deciding where your team-mate runs to after receiving a pass. This can be performed by quickly flicking the right stick in any direction.


Crossing has also been changed in Fifa 21, and gives you different ways to zip a ball into the box.

  • Whipped cross – (R1/RB + L1/LB + ⬜/X) – This has arguably been inspired by the technique of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, these fast and dangerous crosses travel through the box and are perfect for a team-mate to just poke the ball into the net with their foot or head.
  • Driven cross – (R1/RB + ⬜/X) – Another fast ball into the box, similar to whipped crosses but slightly higher up at waist level meaning it’s perfect for diving headers or volleys.
  • Ground-driven cross – (R1/RB + ⬜/X then ⬜/X ) – A ground driven cross, does what you expect. A fast cross, low on the ground.

van-Dijk-Trent-Alexander-Arnold.Getty Images

Changes in Fifa 21 mean you can replicate the intelligence of players like van Dijk or the technique of Trent Alexander-Arnold

Natural collision system

EA Sports says that the days of crashing into defenders and goalkeepers, falling over and losing the ball, are over.

Developers have created a new animation system where players bump into each other in a more natural way, also meaning AI will jump over, or try to avoid falling over other players.

New competitor mode

In Fifa 21 you can still select difficulty settings such as Legendary or Ultimate.

However there is an option to select ‘competitor mode’. Competitor mode will see the computer AI copy some of the best Fifa players in the world, making the computer better at performing skill moves, using space and making scoring opportunities.

Dele-Alli-Fifa-20-A-Ok.EA Sports

Some celebrations like Dele’ Alli’s A-Ok have been left out of the new game


Some celebrations have been removed from the game for Fifa 21 which might good news for fans who don’t like them and think they’re mean.

EA say they’ve gone for “toxicity” reasons.

Sam Rivera, lead gameplay producer for Fifa 21, said two celebrations have been removed including the ‘Shhh’. This is when the player holds his finger to his/her lips and it’s sometimes seen as a way to provoke another player.

Another to be banned is the ‘A-OK’ – a finger challenge celebration made popular by Tottenham Hotspur player Dele Alli, which only lasted one season.


While many football fans have probably wished they could ‘rage quit’ thanks to VAR in real life this season, the controversial video assistant ref won’t be making a virtual appearance in the new Fifa.

Speaking about the decision, Sam Rivera said: “This year we decided to focus on other features that the community was requesting. We think that VAR, in terms of a video game, may not be adding as much as we wished.”

Two-images-of-football-shirts-plus-Ronaldo's-faceTwitter: @HarrisonDZN / EA Sports

For the second year in a row, Juventus won’t be in Fifa

What else to expect

  • Career mode – In the new game you can simulate the majority of a game through the new Interactive Match Sim, deciding to jump into the match during a key moment if things are going badly. It’s a system that has been copied from the Madden games, also made by EA Sports.
  • Ultimate team – You can now play in co-op with a friend, plus there will be new ways to customise your team’s look, both on and off the pitch.
  • Licensing – Unfortunately for Fifa, Juventus are not in the game for the second season running. Once again they’ll be replaced by a fake team called Piemonte Calcio. The name Piemonte is nothing to do with Fifa being ‘pied-off’ by Juve. It’s actually the area of Italy where Juventus play. Calcio is the Italian word for football.


The new Pro Evo will be a downloadable update rather than a brand new game

Pro Evolution Soccer

Fifa’s main competitor when it comes to football game supremacy is doing things a little differently this year too.

But unlike Fifa, the new Pro Evo game won’t be a brand new instalment. Instead, makers Konami announced that PES 2021 will be a cheaper than normal downloadable update for PES 2020.

The decision was made after development slowed down due to coronavirus and has been praised by many gamers online.