We’ve got a little over a week before Madden 21 drops on the Xbox Series S|X and PlayStation 5. As we enter the final stretch, EA is giving us a tease of the last details surrounding next-gen Madden. A new entry in its Gridiron Notes series outlines the presentation of Madden 21 on next-gen consolesHow will next-gen technology improve the way sun enters the stadium, or what a game looks like in the rain? How close can I get to recreating November 15’s Pats Ravens game?

Nov 15, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk (6) kicks a field goal during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

We touched on some of this earlier this month when previews of next-gen Madden 21 hit the internet. Now, we’ve got a full deep dive on what to expect from the next-gen aesthetics of Madden 21. Check out the full Gridiron Notes below.

Next Level Game Day: Presentation Deep Dive

Welcome back to another Gridiron Notes! Today we will cover Next Level Game Day and everything you need to know about presentation in the next generation of Madden NFL 21.

Feel game day come to life with authentic new environments in NFL stadiums, unlocked by a new deferred lighting system that improves player fidelity and enhances the details of the game in every part of the stadium. Immerse yourself in the sounds of the game with spatialized location-based audio and brave the elements as stunning weather detail powered by next gen tech adds a new level of realism. We’re excited to share all of these new features in detail.

Did you miss our Next Gen Stats Deep Dive? That means you missed a massive upgrade around Next Gen Player Movement. Now, let’s get into the presentation details.

Deferred Lighting & Rendering

Authentic new environments, unlocked by a new deferred lighting system create ultra-realistic football experiences and player fidelity, enhancing the game in every part of the stadium. See more detail everywhere.

Everything looks more realistic with the newly crafted next gen lighting model. Players have never looked better and shine even at more challenging scenarios like nighttime, non-clear weather types, and dome stadiums. Pyro VFX casts dynamic shadows which dramatically improve the fidelity on player runout tunnels. Deferred lighting allows for more lighting sources in our NFL environments creating beautifully lit details.

Next Level Gameday & Sidelines

New contextual player, bench and fan reactions let you feel the explosive passion of the last-minute winner or a game-clinching touchdown. And pre-game cinematics deliver an unprecedented matchday experience to immerse you in the sights and sounds of the NFL.

In-game experiences deliver authentic, dense sidelines and beautifully rendered crowds that you can interact with alongside post-play player movement and reactions true to the NFL. Your teammates, who once only sat on the sidelines, now have more meaningful interactions during the game.

The improved hardware provided by next generation consoles has allowed us to greatly increase the number of unique sideline entities while simultaneously adding levels of interactivity, authenticity, and reactivity never before showcased in Madden NFL.

  • Players on the sidelines have player likeness, name, body type, and skin type
  • Players will jump out of the way of a ball out of bounds or move out of the way when a player runs or is pushed out of bounds. Sideline characters are set up to watch and react to the play.
  • Improved head-tracking and unique interactions for all characters in the player box without twinning

Celebrate with the Crowd

The following stadiums give you the ability to celebrate in the crowd:

  • 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

Next Gen Player Bodies

NFL athletes are built differently depending on the positions they play, and these differences are more distinct thanks to next generation technology that delivers new levels of detail and realism. All player bodies in the next generation of Madden NFL are brand new to accurately represent the various athletic body types across the league. See deeper definition in player physiques while dynamic lighting accentuates details such as faces, hair, and uniforms to take athletes to a whole new level of realism.

With the higher processing power of the next gen hardware, we can visually represent the player bodies to match their real-life counterparts. The number of vertices and texture resolutions have nearly doubled and have been authored to fully utilize the graphics processor of the next gen consoles. Along with the outer appearance of the player bodies, the next gen consoles have also opened up opportunities to upgrade our render skeleton to better demonstrate secondary body motions and real-life muscle deformations.

Players will also look and feel different with improved animations that will be noticeable on their bodies, impacting things like muscle movement and padding.

Location-Based Audio

Whether you’re running out of the tunnel in Atlanta or leaping into the stands in Green Bay, hear the spine-tingling roar of the stadium thanks to spatialized audio technology new to Madden that wraps you around for a completely immersive experience.

Utilizing crowd placement data that provides one-to-one fidelity of crowd members in the stands, we are able to accurately place cone outputs utilizing spatialization effects and precise orientation. This means you will hear the impact of spatialized sound FX, especially in the huddle and when the crowd roars. Audio is an underrated attribute of the total gaming experience, and location-based audio allows you to feel more like a player on the field the audio soundscape wraps around you authentically as it would in a stadium environment.

Stunning Weather Detail

Mother Nature comes alive in Madden like never before. In stunning new detail, see standing water on rain-drenched sidelines and cold winter snow in the atmosphere. Visually enhanced weather conditions also affect cloth definition on athletes to match environmental variables.

With the improved graphical power of next generation consoles, we can render 10-times more particles while keeping our game running at 60 FPS. The real-time surface and material shaders have been upgraded to fully utilize the higher processing power of the CPU and GPU to represent surfaces that react to weather. See new rain and snow impacts specifically on helmets and jerseys where it affects the fabrics and sideline floors.

Controller Haptics

Sense the impact of every catch, tackle, and kick with immersive controller haptics. A new PS5™ DualSense™ controller with rich and responsive haptic feedback deepens the gameplay experience letting you feel the rhythm of the game in your hands.

Players will get audio and haptic feedback that can teach them the game and immerse them in the experience. Imagine feeling a warning for an oncoming blitzing linebacker or feeling the thud of a game-winning catch in your hand. Thanks to new dual-channel vibration tech driven by haptic waves, feedback can be delivered to each hand separately to let you feel what the players feel on the field. With the use of adaptive triggers, users feel resistance on the trigger to give feedback on a player breaking a tackle or running low on stamina.


How do you feel about next-gen Madden? Let us know in the forums. Wanna know more about Madden 21, like how the NFL will be using this year’s game to host the Pro Bowl virtually? Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss a thing. You can find our review of Madden 21 on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 here.