How to upgrade to Madden NFL 21 next-gen version

Madden NFL 20
Madden NFL 20 (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

With the PS5 officially out and players getting the chance to experience some next-gen titles, sports games like Madden NFL 21 are about to release their own next-gen upgrades to give players the opportunity to experience their favorite sports in next-gen. The Madden NFL 21 next-gen upgrade is set to release on Dec. 4, and luckily for those who own a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S, figuring out how to upgrade Madden 21 to the PS5 version is fairly easy.

How to upgrade your version of Madden NFL 21

Thanks to EA's Dual Entitlement feature, players will be able to download the next-gen version of Madden NFL 21 for no extra cost. If you've already purchased Madden NFL 21, you can head straight to the PlayStation or Microsoft Store on your console and download the next-gen version.

This process works the same whether you've purchased a physical or digital copy of Madden NFL 21, although if you've purchased a physical copy of Madden NFL 21 but are upgrading to a discless PS5 or Xbox Series S, you'll need to get in touch with EA support in order to validate your purchase using your account information in order to receive the free upgrade.

Better yet, all of your data — including Madden Ultimate Team, Franchise Mode, The Yard, and other modes — will transfer to the next-gen versions.

In order to find the upgraded version of Madden NFL 21 in the PlayStation or Microsoft Store, simply follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to the PlayStation Store or the Microsoft Store, depending on which console you have.
  2. Once there, find the search tab in the store and type in Madden NFL 21.
  3. On Dec. 4, a new tile should appear allowing you to download the "Next Level" version of the game.
  4. Download the game and get ready to play!

What's so different about next-gen Madden NFL 21?

Some of the biggest changes that Madden NFL 21 will see in its next-gen upgrade involve how players move and react on the field. For years now, the NFL has been using RFID chips in players' jerseys to track movement and study other data, and now those things will be incorporated into Madden NFL 21. Because of these next-gen stats, things like player movement, acceleration, change of direction, and style of movement are going to be affected, making for a distinctly different feel than in previous games.

In a recent interview with Polygon, Madden NFL 21's creative director Connor Dougan used physics as an example of what to expect, noting that players will no longer simply change direction on a whim, but instead will properly lean into runs and use their own momentum to carry them on plays.

It seems like EA is striving to give players an even more lifelike feel to how Madden plays, and while they've come closer with each new iteration, it seems as if the incorporation of real-time data from the NFL could be what gets them there.

Anthony J Nash

Anthony Nash has been writing about games and the gaming industry for nearly a decade. When he’s not writing about games, he’s usually playing them. You can find him on Twitter talking about games or sports at @_anthonynash.