Game Guides

Madden 21 Next-Gen Update Details: PS5 and Xbox Series X|S Enhancements

The next generation of Madden is finally here.

by Diego Perez

madden-21-1

The next-generation version of Madden NFL 21 is finally here, and the game boasts an impressive set of enhancements on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. If you already own the game on PS4 or Xbox One, you can upgrade to the next-gen version of Madden NFL 21 using what EA calls “dual-entitlement,” which is basically just a fancy way of saying cross-buy. The next-gen version of the game takes advantage of all the features on both next-gen consoles. Here’s everything new in the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S version of Madden NFL 21.

Madden 21 PS5 Enhancements

Madden NFL 21 on PS5 will feature the following enhancements.

  • 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.
  • 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-Gen Gameplay & 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
    • 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
    • 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.
  • Next-Gen Stats
    • NFL player tracking, also known as Next Gen Stats, is the capture of real time location data, speed and acceleration for every player, every play on every inch of the field. Sensors throughout the stadium track RFID tags placed on players’ shoulder pads, charting individual movements within inches in every NFL stadium.
  • Next-Gen Player Movement
    • Leveraging the power of NFL Next Gen Stats, Next Gen Player Movement is fueled by real athlete-data, route paths, and acceleration rates, allowing the next generation of Madden NFL to deliver the most realistic, authentic, and fluid player movement in franchise history. Feel the most elite NFL athletes at every position move on the virtual field like they do in the real world.
  • Next-Gen Stats Powered Replays
    • To surface some of this data to our players, we’ve also added presentation elements to our instant replays, so players can relive the thrill of game-changing plays, all backed by Next Gen Stats. Next Gen Stats-powered replays can be triggered by certain statistical moments and then they are presented in beautifully rendered cinematics throughout the gameplay experience.
  • Next-Gen Play Calling
    • To provide a solid foundation for the player movement system, we’ve also made a significant update to our play-call system, giving players more control to call the best plays for the right players on every down, via ‘By Player’ play-calling. And you can now keep all of your preferred plays on speed-dial with the new favorite play marker and playbook tab, which provides an intuitive way to save your favorites and easily find them later. An easily accessible go-to play feature is something our fans have requested for a long time and we’re excited to deliver it on next gen.
  • Additional Gameplay Improvements
    • Because Next Gen Player Movement has had such a significant impact on the pace of play in Madden NFL 21, here’s some other gameplay improvements that come along with the new gameplay system:
      • Pass Lead
      • Run Game
      • OB Movement
      • Head Tracking
      • Tackling
      • Improved Pass Rush Timing
      • Blazing Fast Load Times

Madden 21 Xbox Series X|S Enhancements

Madden NFL 21 on Xbox Series X|S will feature the following enhancements.

  • 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-Gen Gameplay & 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
    • 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
    • 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.
  • Next-Gen Stats
    • NFL player tracking, also known as Next Gen Stats, is the capture of real time location data, speed and acceleration for every player, every play on every inch of the field. Sensors throughout the stadium track RFID tags placed on players’ shoulder pads, charting individual movements within inches in every NFL stadium.
  • Next-Gen Player Movement
    • Leveraging the power of NFL Next Gen Stats, Next Gen Player Movement is fueled by real athlete-data, route paths, and acceleration rates, allowing the next generation of Madden NFL to deliver the most realistic, authentic, and fluid player movement in franchise history. Feel the most elite NFL athletes at every position move on the virtual field like they do in the real world.
  • Next-Gen Stats Powered Replays
    • To surface some of this data to our players, we’ve also added presentation elements to our instant replays, so players can relive the thrill of game-changing plays, all backed by Next Gen Stats. Next Gen Stats-powered replays can be triggered by certain statistical moments and then they are presented in beautifully rendered cinematics throughout the gameplay experience.
  • Next-Gen Play Calling
    • To provide a solid foundation for the player movement system, we’ve also made a significant update to our play-call system, giving players more control to call the best plays for the right players on every down, via ‘By Player’ play-calling. And you can now keep all of your preferred plays on speed-dial with the new favorite play marker and playbook tab, which provides an intuitive way to save your favorites and easily find them later. An easily accessible go-to play feature is something our fans have requested for a long time and we’re excited to deliver it on next gen.
  • Additional Gameplay Improvements
    • Because Next Gen Player Movement has had such a significant impact on the pace of play in Madden NFL 21, here’s some other gameplay improvements that come along with the new gameplay system:
      • Pass Lead
      • Run Game
      • OB Movement
      • Head Tracking
      • Tackling
      • Improved Pass Rush Timing
      • Blazing Fast Load Times

How to Upgrade Madden 21 to Next-Gen

To upgrade Madden 21 on PlayStation 5, you’ll have to download the PlayStation 5 version of the game separately. Find Madden 21 on your PS5 menu, press Options, and select Game Version. From there, you’ll be able to download the PS5 version of the game. On Xbox Series X|S, an update will be automatically downloaded that will upgrade Madden 21 to the next-gen version. If you buy the game after it launches on Xbox Series X|S, the next-gen version will automatically install. If you have a physical disc for either system, simply insert it into your next-gen console and you’ll be prompted to download the next-gen version of the game.

Madden NFL 21 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. For more information on the next-gen version of Madden 21 and dual-entitlement, visit the official Madden site.

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