Fifa 21: EA Play early access release date and time, how to pre-download the trial - and when the game is out
There will be no ‘traditional’ demo version of the game this year, but here’s how to get your hands on FIFA 21 early through EA Play
FIFA 21 promises brand new features and even more impressive graphics as the famed footballing series of games makes its debut on next-generation consoles – and it’s just around the corner.
The game is scheduled to release on Tuesday 6 October, but there is a way to get your hands on it before release.
While there will be no ‘traditional’ demo version of the game this year, fans can get their hands on FIFA 21 through EA Play.
FIFA’s footballing foundation is arguably the strongest out there, each year giving fans of the beautiful game an authentic virtual recreation of what it’s like to step out onto the turf of some of the world’s most hallowed pitches.
But each yeah, the developers introduce subtle new tweaks to improve the overall experience, so fans are understandably excited to give it a go.
Here's everything you need to know.
How can I play FIFA 21 early?
FIFA 21 is scheduled to release on Tuesday 6 October, but there is a way to get your hands on it over a week before release through EA Play.
EA Play is EA Games’ subscription service, which allows fans access to older titles in their catalogue, as well as trials of select upcoming games.
Signing up to the service will get you access to a 10-hour trial ahead of the game’s release, which you can take advantage of from 1 October onward.
You’ll also be awarded another 10 hours of free play upon FIFA 21’s full release on 6 October, and your progress in the trial will carry over to the full game should you choose to purchase it.
It costs £3.99 a month, or £19.99 for an annual subscription.
What time will the trial be available?
It's been confirmed that you’ll be able to begin your first 10-hour trial of FIFA 21 through EA Play from 4pm in the UK on Thursday 1 October.
What’s included in the trial?
The EA Play ‘demo’ will actually grant you full access to FIFA 21.
That means that unlike a more traditional demo – which would usually only provide you with a few teams to play with – you’ll be able to jump in and try out any of the game’s modes.
But you’ll want to use your time wisely: while 10 hours sounds like a lot of time, it’s easy to sink much more time into FIFA’s addictive gameplay than you originally intended.
Can I preload the trial?
Obviously, giving you full access to the game, the ‘trial’ is going to be a hefty download weighing in at many GBs.
That means downloading it could take a while depending on your internet speed, and you might not be able to kick-off on the dot at 4pm.
Thankfully, you can pre-install all of the relevant data on your console ahead of time to get you into the action as quickly as possible.
If you're playing on Xbox and have EA Play or a preorder of FIFA 21, you can download and preload FIFA 21 now, likewise those on Origin (PC) with EA Play can do the same.
However, if you're on Steam (PC) or PS4, there's no official preload time for downloading the game.
How can I play FIFA 21 on next-gen consoles?
Obviously, until the next generation of games consoles officially launch (that’s 10 November for Xbox Series X|S and 19 November for PlayStation 5), there will be no way of playing FIFA 21 on them.
But once they are here, it won’t matter which version of the game you go for.
Thanks to EA’s ‘Dual Entitlement’ scheme, players who purchase FIFA 21 on PS4 or Xbox One will be able to upgrade to the corresponding next-generation version free of charge.