The next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are finally here, and that means EA Sports will be bringing Madden 21 to the new platforms.

Here are 10 things you need to know about Madden 21 on next gen before picking it up.

Celebrate with the Crowd

The first thing isn’t that big, but it’s still pretty cool nonetheless. Thanks to the improved power and performance of the new systems, Madden 21 will see players have the ability to celebrate in the crowd inside a number of stadiums.

At launch, those stadiums include:

  • Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati Bengals
  • Empower Field at Mile High – Denver Broncos
  • FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland Browns
  • Raymond James Stadium – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City Chiefs
  • MetLife Stadium – New York Giants and New York Jets
  • TIAA Bank Field – Jacksonville Jaguars (one endzone)
  • Lambeau Field – Green Bay Packers
  • Pro Bowl (one endzone)
  • Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas Raiders (one endzone)
  • Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans Saints
  • NRG Stadium – Houston Texans
  • Nissan Stadium – Tennessee Titans

PS5 Controller Benefits

One of the new features of the next-gen hardware comes in the form of the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller. The controller features haptic feedback which the team at EA Sports has taken full advantage of for Madden 21.

Players will be able to feel the ball hitting a players hands, getting hit by a blitzing linebacker, and even sense a blitz without looking for it. The adaptive triggers will also give players resistance in various situations like when trying to break a tackle or when trying to separate from a defender.

More Dynamic Sidelines

For the longest time, sidelines in Madden NFL have been boring, static places where nothing happens. In Madden 21 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, that all changes thanks to a new dynamic sideline experience.

Players on the sidelines will now have accurate player likenesses, names, skin tones, and body types. And rather than just standing still, you’ll see the players jump out of the way of a ball or player rushing out of bounds. There will even be instances of players reacting to the play on the field and interacting more with players along the sidelines.

When you hit that game-winning field goal as time expires, you’ll see your team now celebrate appropriately as opposed to just standing there swaying back and forth.

Weather Improvements

In Madden 21, weather sees a large-scale improvement over the current generation of games. While in game players will see water standing on the sidelines during downpours, snow accumulating around the perimeter of the field, and even see how the weather effects the uniforms throughout the game.

Madden 21 Next Gen PreviewFully Featured From Gen 8

When a game jumps between generations, many expect the absolute worst in the first installment. After all, just go back and look at Madden 06 when it made the leap to the Xbox 360. That was a watered down abysmal mess that left a sour taste in the mouths of Madden fans for years.

Then, go look at NHL 15 on the Gen 8 systems. That was almost as bad as Madden 06 was.

Luckily, with Madden 21, players don’t have to worry about anything being removed. All of the features that are in the current version of the game will be found in the next-gen version, including the newly introduced The Yard mode.

No Major New Modes

Piggy-backing off the fact that the game will be fully featured, it’s time for something that may disappoint many but surprise no one. There are no new major modes coming into Madden 21 on the next-gen platforms.

Again, everything from Gen 8 is here, leaving you with a full experience. But, if you were expecting something new to be added akin to what NBA 2K21 did, you are going to be left feeling empty.

New Play Calling System

After years of the same system, the game’s play calling has been tweaked with a new playcalling experience along with some added features.

You’ll now have the ability to call plays by player, making it easier to get the ball into the hands of the best players on field. If you also have specific plays you like to call in different moments, the option to save favorite plays in the play call screen has been added. Players will even be able to see X-Factors and game goals right from the newly designed play call screen.

It’s a streamlined experience designed to help new players get comfortable while still being deep enough for the most experienced Madden veteran.

Data Powers Player Movement

Arguably the biggest new feature coming to the next-gen version of Madden 21 is the inclusion of NFL Next Gen Player Movement that is powered by NFL Next Gen Stats.

Using data gathered from each and every player in every game over the last handful of years, Madden 21 on the new consoles will feature more fluid, authentic and realistic player movement. At least, that’s what EA Sports is pulling for.

To help utilize the data, thousands of new animations were captured based on a variety of body types to help bring more fluid motion. Offensive linemen will move properly for blocking, receivers will run routes accurate to their real-life counterparts, ball carriers will adjust properly, and defensive backs will move more naturally when backpedaling and strafing.

Stat Powered Replays

With the introduction of NFL Next Gen Stats to the Madden series, the developers have also utilized them to power the in-game replay systems.

Rather than just major plays like touchdowns or interceptions triggering replays, various actions within a game will also receive replay recognition. Things like a player’s yards after catch (YAC) or the time it took to sack the quarterback will now trigger a replay.

Other Next Gen Stat replay triggers include:

  • Completed Air Distance
  • Rushing Distance
  • Ball Carrier Speed
  • Tackle Length
  • Time To Throw
  • Time Behind LOS (for rushing plays)
  • Broken Tackles
  • Yards After Contact
  • Run After Catch
  • Completed Air Distance
  • Air Yards To Sticks
  • QB Speed at time of throw
  • Carry Distance
  • Distance To Endzone
  • Distance From Own Endzone
  • Carrying Speed

Free For Current-Gen Owners

With the new generation, EA Sports introduced what it calls Dual Entitlement. This program allows those who own Madden 21 on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4 to upgrade to the next-gen version free of cost. And while that sounds all well and good, there are a couple catches.

The first is that you have to upgrade from Xbox One to Xbox Series X|S or from PS4 to PS5. The second catch is that the offer is only available until the launch of Madden 22. So, basically, you have until August 2021 to get your free copy of Madden 21.


So sports gamers, those are 10 things you need to know about the next-gen version of Madden 21. What are you looking forward to with the update game? Let us know in the comment section below and stick with Sports Gamers Online for more.

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Michael Straw
Michael Straw is a gamer who just happens to be an experienced journalist. In his near decade-long career, Mike has traveled across the United States to cover some of the biggest events in gaming and sports, including E3, PAX, as well as the NFL and NHL Drafts. His work covering gaming and sports led his content being featured on Fox Sports 1, SI.com and others. He was once the second-ranked player in the world in NHL 09 on Xbox Live, and is a huge pro wrestling junkie.