Five things the FIFA 21 FUT trailer didn’t tell you

Trent Alexander-Arnold looks off-camera to the left in FIFA 21

Another year, another evolution of Ultimate Team – the FIFA franchise’s most profitable and important mode. On August 10, the official FUT 21 trailer dropped, showing off everything from community-driven FUT Events, to FUT co-op, to some of FIFA 21’s new icons.

However, a massive amount of new features and improvements were also announced outside of the flashy trailer. A lengthy Pitch Notes article, as well as a short Q&A on the FIFA Direct Communication Twitter account, revealed there are a lot more changes coming to FIFA 21 Ultimate Team than we first thought. There will be new ways to view your Ultimate Team squad, changes to some of FUT’s most annoying items, and information about the all new FUT Co-Op that may change how you feel about the mode.

We’ve already covered the top changes you may have missed from FIFA 21’s gameplay reveal, but here we are again, taking you through some tweaks to the game’s iconic online mode that flew under the radar.

Fitness and training items are being scrapped

Let’s start with a great change that we’re surprised didn’t get shouted about much more – the removal of fitness and training items.

EA Sports says it’s scrapping the items to “streamline” the FUT experience and also because the constant management of your squad’s fitness (and the coins you had to spend in doing so) sucked some of the enjoyment out of the game.

This means you won’t have to rotate players or sit on the transfer market trying to snipe a cheap squad fitness card anymore. Excellent.

Co-op has no 2v2 capability

With the promise from EA Sports that FUT 21 will be the most social the mode has ever been, the ability to play meaningfully with a friend has been introduced with a co-op mode in FUT.

However, while you can pair up with a mate and take on some random opponents, you won’t be able to matchmake with your friends. That’s right, FUT co-op will “not have support for game invites from co-op sessions,” including FUT Friendlies, according to the Q&A hosted after the trailer reveal.

Like with the limited matchmaking capabilities in FIFA 20’s Volta mode, fans have been left a little deflated by this one.

Expanded FUT Champions and Squad Battles rewards and leaderboards

With more and more players piling into FUT each year, the decision has been made to extend rewards and leaderboards in two of Ultimate Team’s most competitive modes: Squad Battles and FUT Champions.

The respective leaderboards for each mode on each platform will grow from showing the top 100 to the top 200 players each week. This is due to there being a high concentration of players, particularly in FUT Champions, getting the maximum amount of wins and still not being shown as Top 100 due to the volume of people winning all their games.

Reward tiers will also be restructured, and the table below that was featured in the Pitch Notes article shows the respective changes for FUT Champions and Squad Battles.

Not everything is cross-generation in FUT 21

OK, so this is going to be a bit confusing so bear with us. As we all know, the new game will be coming to next-generation consoles at some point after the initial FIFA 21 release date. While you’ll be able to upgrade your PS4/ Xbox One version to the PS5/ Xbox Series X version at no extra cost, there are some things that PS4/ Xbox One players won’t be able to do with their PS5/ Xbox Series X counterparts.

While transfer markets and the FUT Champions leaderboard will be cross-generation, the Ultimate Team’s new co-op mode will not be. Sadly that means players on the older generation of consoles will not be able to play with those who’ve had the opportunity to upgrade to the shinier consoles.

This also means that PS4/ Xbox One players will be competing against other older generation players in modes like FUT Champions, but will be represented on the same leaderboards as the next-gen players.

There will be a new list view for your Ultimate Team squad

A nice little quality of life feature is that as well as the usual interface we’re used to from FIFA 20, there will be a new way to view the players in your Ultimate Team club.

List view is, well, what it says on the tin, really. It might not sound like much, but the new layout manages to squeeze a bit more information about your players onto the screen than the traditional card view.

In list view, aspects such as work rates, weak foot and skill move ratings, height, and strongest foot are all shown alongside their six main stats, club, nationality, etc.

So there we have it, five changes, hidden nuggets of information, and new features for FIFA 21 Ultimate Team. While the trailer showed off some of the headline changes, these are just as important to know as we close in on the FIFA 21 release date.