Madden NFL 21 Patch Notes: All The Big Changes On PS5, Xbox Series X, PC, And More

Just in time for the Super Bowl, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL 21 with a variety of changes.

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EA Sports has announced the details of the next patch for Madden NFL 21, and it's a big one. The update includes a variety of fixes and tweaks for numerous elements of the professional football game, including pass coverage, tackling, blocking, passing, abilities, and more.

There are different patch notes for PS5/Xbox Series X|S, as well as Xbox One, PS4, PC, Stadia, all of which you can see at the bottom of this story.

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The big takeaways for the next-gen patch include "extensive" coverage fixes for the Cover 3, 4, and Man formations, along with improvements to blocking to help contain DBs. The patch also fixes occurrences where penalties from DL could happen when they shouldn't. And in the Competitive mode, the "Reach For It" ability has been tuned so only players who actually have the ability can trigger the key move in certain circumstances.

In terms of bug fixes, the patch fixes "various issues" that could cause the coach or other players on the sideline to be able to "ghost through" opposing players.

The key changes for last-gen, PC, and Stadia, meanwhile, include fixes for blitzes with nickel corner and contain formations, while issues related to man coverage and RPOs have been fixed as well. You can see the complete patch notes below, as posted by EA Sports.

This updates arrives as the sporting world turns its attention to football with Super Bowl LV coming up this weekend. EA Sports has not yet released the results of its Super Bowl simulation to predict a winner, but that should happen any day now. Super Bowl LV sees the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the title.

Madden NFL 21 (Xbox Series X|S & PS5)

Key Highlights:

  • In Competitive only, only players with the ‘Reach For It’ ability will trigger certain reaches
  • Extensive Coverage fixes for Cover 3, 4, and Man
  • Locomotion and Pursuit improvements
  • Made Blocking improvements to handle DBs
  • Fixed unintended penalties from DL

Gameplay Updates:

Pass Coverage:

  • Tuning to outside deep-zone defenders in Cover 3 to improve the timing of the drop to get to the appropriate coverage depth when aligned over an outside receiver running a short route (Drag, Smoke Screen, etc.). This adjustment will allow them to get deeper and play any deep routes coming from the slot.
  • Tuning to outside deep-zone defenders in Cover 3 to reduce the frequency of jumping inside to cover an out-route from the slot, allowing an outside receiver on a Streak/Fade to get behind them. The outside deep-zone defender will now keep his width and continue to leverage his zone-drop accordingly.
  • Fixed an issue causing receivers to sometimes run into the back of a slower defender playing a deep-zone assignment, leading to an avoidance animation disrupting the route.
  • Updated Cover 4 Quarters to use more Man Matching principles against Trip formations and improved transitioning from zone to man when matching certain vertical routes.
  • Fixed an issue causing deep-zone defenders in Cover 4 Quarters and Palms to let streaking receivers run by them on the outside. Now the defenders will backpedal and transition to turn and run with the correct timing.
  • Tuning to Cover 4 Drop to better cover deep post routes, by improving deep-zone anticipation of vertical routes moving to the middle of the field to reduce the likelihood of big plays over the top of all the deep zone defenders.
  • Added logic to make the reaction of linebackers in man-coverage more authentic when covering a running back in a block-and-release assignment. The LB’s will have the option to either trigger a pass rush and transition to a QB Spy assignment when they see the running-back block, and the timing they use to make the decision will be scaled by their play-recognition rating.
  • Fixed an issue sometimes causing cornerbacks to instantly rush the passer when playing man-coverage on RPO Screen plays.
  • Fixed an issue causing all the underneath zone defenders to break out of coverage and rush the Quarterback when he rolled out of the pocket, even if he was not close to the line of scrimmage.
  • Tuning to improve Jam/Press criteria so user-controlled defenders will be able to trigger the appropriate animations for all angles and situations.

Tackling and Blocking:

  • Fixed an issue allowing an exploit blitz with nickel corners in the contain assignment. New logic and movement has been implemented for pass blockers to better react to this exploit blitz which is most commonly run out of formations like Dime 1-4-6.
  • Fixed an issue sometimes causing defenders to get stuck in a breakdown fake-out when the ball carrier was being tackled within close proximity.
  • Fixed an issue causing unintended ‘Roughing the Passer’ penalties when pass rushers could obviously see the ball had been released.
  • Fixed a rare issue with a reach-sack animation that could get misaligned, and make it appear like the QB would be tackled by air.
  • Tuning to reduce the amount of broken tackles that were triggering from defenders being out of position, with the most significant tuning being done for the Competitive game style. This should result in far less broken tackles from over/under-pursuit defender alignments.

Locomotion:

  • Tuning to reduce steerability while in Truck animations.
  • Fixed a rare issue causing ball carriers to get stuck in the running assignment and run out of bounds.
  • Fixed an issue causing defenders to sometimes use the ‘Option Quarterback’ carry-style when switching ball hands after an INT.
  • Fixed an issue causing defenders to sometimes hitch in the transition from pre-play to during-play movement in pass coverage.
  • Fixed an issue causing Tight Ends to sometimes slide on the cut when running corner routes against certain coverages.
  • Tuning to improve ball-carrier ability to get through the line when running routes from the backfield.
  • Fixed a rare issue sometimes causing the ball carrier to freeze up after two spin moves were used in quick succession.

Passing:

  • Fixed an issue causing the running back’s receiver icon to disappear after the handoff when running Gun Doubles Y Off RPO Zone Y Peek.
  • Fixed a rare issue causing the QB to throw an odd push pass when running Singleback Wing Pair HB Dive Alert Smoke
  • Fixed an issue causing the QB’s arm to get caught up on the running back when attempting to pass during the handoff when running Gun Wing Slot Offset PA Jailbreak Screen.

Abilities:

  • Tuning to only allow players with the ‘Reach For it’ Ability equipped to be able to trigger successful pylon/first-down marker reach-tackles for Competitive game style.
  • Fixed a visual issue allowing the in-game indicators to remain visible during the entire play when using the ‘Blitz Radar’ and ‘Threat Detector’ abilities.

Environment:

  • Fixed various issues sometimes causing the coach or other sideline players to ghost through an opposing player during various sideline interactions with players running or falling out of bounds.
  • Fixed an issue preventing sideline ‘help-up’ animations from triggering in situations where they should.

General Gameplay Improvements:

  • Fixed an issue sometimes causing a new field to load with invisible players after switching Practice type from the Practice Pause menu.
  • Fixed an issue causing the punter to line up too close to the line of scrimmage when punting from inside the 5-yard line, allowing the punt to be blocked too frequently.

Madden NFL 21 (Xbox One, PS4, PC, Stadia)

Key Highlights:

  • In Competitive only, only players with the ‘Reach For It’ ability will trigger certain reaches
  • Fixed blitz’s with Nickel Corners in Contain
  • Fine-tuned deep-zone defenders in Cover 3
  • Tuned the distance-based receiver abilities vs. Man-Coverage
  • Addressed Man-Coverage issues with RPOs and Receiver motion
  • Fixed frequency of defenders doing QB Slide avoidance

Gameplay Updates:

  • Fixed an issue causing the tight end to stay in his 3-point stance after being motioned to the slot on running plays out of the Gun Doubles formation.
  • Fixed a visual issue allowing the in-game indicators to remain visible during the entire play when using the ‘Blitz Radar’ and ‘Threat Detector’ abilities.
  • Fixed an issue causing the QB’s arm to get caught on the pulling guard when throwing the ball early on I-Form Slot Flex Power Alert Smoke.
  • Tuning to the distance-based receiver abilities so the Receivers to increase the receiver’s win-chance on the cut vs. man-coverage defenders without a counter-ability, as long the cut is performed in the designated area of the field.
  • Fixed an issue sometimes causing cornerbacks to instantly rush the passer when playing man-coverage on RPO Screen plays.
  • Tuning to outside deep-zone defenders in Cover 3 to improve the timing of the drop to get to the appropriate coverage depth when aligned over an outside receiver running a short route (Drag, Smoke Screen, etc.). This adjustment will allow them to get deeper and play any deep routes coming from the slot.
  • Fixed an exploit allowing the offensive user to manipulate a man-coverage defender by using motion directly after a hot-route.
  • Fixed an issue causing defenders to trigger avoidance animations any time any ball carrier would dive.
  • Fixed an issue allowing an exploit blitz with nickel corners in the contain assignment. New logic and movement has been implemented for pass blockers to better react to this exploit blitz which is most commonly run out of formations like Dime 1-4-6.
  • Tuning to pass-blocking logic to improve ‘blocking handoffs’ for left tackles when facing two rushers in the outside gap.

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