FIFA (EA) is a game that we use a lot at SpecialEffect. It has some features and settings that can make the game more accessible to some players.
In this post we will look at the options we use with players through our projects. We tested FIFA 21 primarily on the PlayStation, but the control options are also available on Xbox and PC, and the equivalent inputs are also used on Xbox and PC too (when playing with a controller). When the PlayStation controls are mentioned here, the equivalent Xbox controls will be put in brackets afterwards e.g. Circle (B).
The information in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing (November 2020).
FIFA 21 has an accessibility menu which has several options to help with input access to menus, including remap buttons and stick functionality.
You can access this from the home menu by going across to the Customise tab > Settings > Accessibility.
You can also access it directly from the home screen by selecting the accessibility icon, and you can reach it during a match by pressing the Options button and selecting Settings.
Remap Right Stick Functionality:
Turning this setting on switches the functionality of the Right Stick to the Left Stick. This allows you to navigate through many of the main menus using just the Left Stick. This only applies to the menus and will not change the controls required for gameplay.
Remap L1/R1 Buttons and L2/R2 Buttons Functionality:
Turning this setting on changes the functionality of the L1/R1 and L2/R2 buttons in many of the menus to the Left Stick. This allows you to navigate through all the setting options with the Left Stick. Again, this only applies to the menus and will not change the controls required for gameplay.
FIFA 21 allows you to remap the buttons in-game, so if you find a button hard to reach/press you could remap it to a one that you find easier. An example would be if you find it difficult to press Triangle (Y) for Through Ball but could more easily press Square (X), you could swap these two controls.
You do this by going into Customise > Settings > Customise Controls.
You would then press the X (A) button on the control you want to change.
You then press X (A) again on the control you want to change it to.
You can also access this menu during a match by pressing the Options (Menu) button and selecting Settings, then Customisable Controls.
Bear in mind that when swapping buttons, the original function of that button will be swapped. If you are swapping a button to one you cannot activate on the controller, you will need to play the game without that button.
FIFA 21 has four preset control options – Classic, Alternate, Two Button and One Button. The Classic control mode requires the following buttons:
If using all of the buttons in Classic Mode is difficult, One and Two Button Mode may provide an alternative.
Two Button Mode
We have used Two Button Mode with many of the people we have worked with. It enables you to play offline and online matches with just a Left Joystick and Cross and Circle (A and B on Xbox).
Your pass button, which is Cross (A), will do a ground pass or a through pass depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. If you hold the pass button you will do a lob, again depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. When you do not have the ball your pass button will become your standing tackle, and your shoot button, which is Circle (B), will become your sliding tackle.
When you are out of possession you will need to press L1 (LB) to change player. By default, Auto Switch is set to Air Balls and Loose Balls. Auto Switching can be made full Auto which means that the game will switch player for you, removing the need for L1 (LB). How to turn this option on is explained later in this post under ‘Auto Switching’.
In Two Button Mode ‘auto sprinting’ is always turned on. This means that the game will sprint for you when there is space to do so and the situation may benefit from it. However, if you have access to the sprint button (R2 or RT) you can still use this to sprint manually.
One Button Mode
One Button Mode enables you to fully play FIFA with just one joystick (Left Joystick) and one button which is Cross on PlayStation and A on Xbox.
In a standard game, the Left Joystick acts as player movement. When you are in possession, the Cross (A) button is used for all types of kick, including passing and shooting. The type of kick played will depend on the situation you are in, the direction you are aiming and how long you hold the button for. Sometimes you may be expecting to shoot but a pass will be played instead, but with practice you learn in which situations a certain type of kick will likely be played.
When out of procession the button will act as both sliding and light tackle depending on the circumstance. When out of possession the game will auto switch your player to the individual nearest the ball.
When your player has the space to run it will automatically sprint whether you are in or out of possession.
To select One or Two Button Mode, go into Customise > Settings > Customise Controls. You then, by default, use the R2/L2 (LT/RT) to scroll through this menu until the controller mode you want is selected. If you then press Back (Circle on PlayStation or B on Xbox) the game will automatically save this mode selection.
If using the R2/L2 (RT/LT) buttons for the menus is difficult you can change this to the left joystick by going into the accessibility menu which is mentioned previously in this post.
In both One and Two Button Mode you still need to press the Options (Menu) button to start the game.
One and Two Button Mode will work for offline and online play. It will also work in all the different game modes in FIFA (Volta, Career etc.) but you might find you need some additional buttons in menus and certain game modes.
*Update* Jan 2021 – A video was created by SpecialEffect Occupational Therapist Joe on FIFA 21’s One and Two Button modes, which has been added here:
Auto Switch Player
Auto Switching is a controller setting that enables you to dictate how much the game helps you to switch player when you are not in possession of the ball. The three options are Manual, Air Balls and Loose Balls, and Auto. If you have your controller set to Classic, then Auto Switching will default to Air Balls and Loose Balls. This means that the game will switch player during Lobs, Crosses and Loose Balls. In all other situations you will need to press the L1 (LB) button to change player.
If you want to play in Classic Mode but find switching your player difficult you can set the game to switch player for you. You can find this option under Settings > Customise Controls > Auto Switching and scroll right to select Auto.
In One and Two Button Mode the game will automatically carry out Auto Switching. This means that the game will choose the best player for you to control.
Timed Finishing has the potential to increase a shot’s accuracy and power and can enable you to score from positions that may not be possible with standard shooting. To trigger a timed finish, you need to be able to press the Shoot button twice, with good timing. The precision and timing of the second button tap determines the result; a perfectly timed tap will increase the shot’s accuracy, while a poorly timed tap makes the shot more likely to miss.
Tactical and Legacy Defending
Tactical and Legacy are two different types of defending available in FIFA 21. Tactical Defending gives you the ability to time your tackles and maintain your position. However, timing and player position are a lot more important in this mode.
Legacy Defending gives you the familiar defending controls of past FIFA titles. The position of players is less important, and it is the easier of the two defending options, but it is also easier for the AI to predict your movements. If you are a beginner, it might be worth starting with Legacy Defending and then moving onto Tactical.
These options are only available in offline play.
Assisted Passing Options
You can change how much assistance your various passes have. The pass options that can be altered are Ground, Through Ball, Shot Assistance, Cross and Lob. There are three levels to choose from: Manual, Semi and Assisted. Having Assisted turned on means that pass direction and power will help you play passes into the receiver’s path and avoid opponent players. Having Shot Assistance set to Assisted means that shot direction always aim towards the goal.
There are some game play settings that can be changed to make the game more accessible. These options are available for offline play and when you are playing against the computer. To access game settings, from the home screen, go into Customise > Settings > Game Settings.
On the first Match screen there are a couple of game settings that might be helpful to change.
If you are new to paying FIFA or have a new controller layout, you can change the difficulty of the game. There are six difficulty levels to choose from and the options go from Beginner through to Legendary.
This option allows you to slow down or speed up the gameplay to suit your needs. By default, the game is set to Normal, but you can also select Slow and Fast.
To move through the Game Setting menus by default you need to use R2/L2 (RT/LT). However, you can change this to Left Stick in the Accessibility menu which is mentioned in this post.
If you move through the Game Settings menu by pressing R2 (RT) you will come to the User Gameplay Customisation menu and CPU Gameplay Customisation. These menus use sliders which enable you to speed up and slow down how quickly your team and the computer do things such as sprint, take shots etc.
By changing these sliders, you can give yourself an advantage by speeding up your team and slowing down the computer.
In the User Gameplay Customisation menu there is also an option for Power Bar. This modifies how quickly/slowly the power bar fills up when you pass or shoot. If you seem to be putting too much power into your shots and they are flying over the goal, it might be helpful to turn this down.
If you are not used to your controls or are new to FIFA, a good place to start is in the Practice Arena. This game mode allows you to run freely around the pitch and practice dribbling, shooting and free kick skills. There is no time pressure, and you can take as many shots at goal as you like.
To access the Practice Arena, go to the main menu and select the Play tab.
When you are in the Play menu, go down to the bottom right and select Skill Games.
When this menu is highlighted by default, use the Right Stick and scroll across until Practice Arena is visible. You can then select it.
If using the Right Stick is difficult you can change this to use the Left Stick by going into the Accessibility menu which is mentioned in this post.
We hope that this post has been useful. If you have any questions, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page.
Transcript for Video:
FIFA is one of the games that we are most commonly asked for help with playing and the default controls require the use of the majority of the controller. However, there are two other control schemes: Two Button Mode and One Button Mode that can potentially help make the game accessible to many players by reducing the number of inputs required. This video will look at how these control schemes work on Xbox, Playstation and also PC if using a controller. The Nintendo Switch version of the game plays differently and will not be covered in this video. If you are going to be playing with either Two or One Button Modes you may find that it could also be helpful to reduce the number of inputs required to access the in-game menus. For example, by default, to access the practice arena you use the Left Stick to get to the Skill Games Menu and then have to use the Right Stick to move across to Practice Arena. Other parts of the menus require the use of the triggers such as moving from Settings to choose your preset in the Controller Settings menu. Within Settings if you go to Accessibility you can remap the Right Stick functionality. This means that you can navigate through many of the menu options with just the Left Stick. Press Cross or A to select this option. You can also remap the bumpers and triggers needed in the menus to the Left Stick, meaning that you can navigate through Game Settings and the Customise Controls screens using the Left Stick. Press Cross or A to select this option. There are several opportunities to select your control scheme, such as just before a match or by pausing mid-game. Here we will change from Classic Controls to Two Button Mode in the main menu. Go to Customise, then Settings, then Customise Controls. Move across until Attack appears. Now press Down and you can move from Classic to Alternate and then across to Two Button Mode. You will see that Circle will be as Shoot, Cross or A is Pass and Left Stick is to Move Player. R2 or Right Trigger to Sprint is optional as within this game mode Auto Sprint is enabled. This means that the AI will decide when would be best to start sprinting. L1 or Left Bumper can be used to Change Player, but it is possible to remove the need to use this button which we will look at a bit later on in the video. When a match is loading you will first enter a training game. You do not need to play this – you can wait for the game to load. Once the training game is finished you do need to press the Options button to move to the match. Left Stick is used to control player movement as well as direct and aim passes and shots. If you press your Pass button which is Cross or A, you will do a ground pass or a through pass depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. If you hold the button down you will do a lob, again, depending on the direction of your pass and the situation with the player you are passing to. Circle or B act as your Shoot button and the longer you hold the button down the more power you will put into your shot. When you do not have the ball your Pass button will become your Standing Tackle and your Shoot button, which is Circle or B, will become your Sliding Tackle. If you find pressing R2 or Right Trigger difficult the game will automatically sprint for you at times that it deems to be appropriate such as when there is space to run into when attacking or tracking back in defence. By default the game is set to automatically switch to the nearest player if you do not have the ball when the ball is in the air or if the ball is loose. This means if the opponent has the ball you need to press L1 to switch player. If you wish to have it set so that the game switches automatically for you in all situations, then you can go to Settings and change this to Auto. You can still override this by pressing L1 if you want to in certain situations. Career Mode gives you the option to play as a single player so you would not be controlling the entire team. When playing this mode you can press or hold the Pass button to call teammates to pass the ball to you. If you press the Shoot button when the teammate has the ball they will take the shot. If accessing two buttons during gameplay is difficult then there is the option for One Button Mode. You can select this mode in the same way that you would on Two Button Mode either via the main menu, just before a match or by pausing the game. Go to Customise Controls, move across until Attack appears, press Down to select the Preset and move across to find One Button Mode. When loading a game you will still need to press the Options or Menu button to get past the training game. When in gameplay Left Stick is Player Movement and the Cross or A button will act as Action. When you’re in possession the Action button is used for all types of kick including passing and shooting. Left stick is used to direct and aim passes and shots as well as move your players. The type of kick played will depend on the situation you are in, the direction you are aiming and how long you hold the button down for. In many situations if you have the ball it will act as a ground or through pass. In some situations, by holding the button down, you may be able to do a long pass or a lob but if the AI feels that a ground pass is more appropriate it may override this and do a ground pass instead. Once you approach the goal your Action button now becomes the Shoot button. Sometimes you may be expecting to shoot but a pass will be played instead but with practice you learn in which situation certain type of kick will likely be played. When you don’t have the ball the Action button will alternate between acting as either Defender Press or Sliding Tackle depending on the situation. As with Two Button Mode, Auto Sprint will be enabled by holding down R2 or Right Trigger will allow you to manually sprint if you choose to do so. As with Two Button Mode pressing L1 or LB will enable you to automatically switch player when you don’t have the ball. However, if you set this to Auto you may find that there isn’t a need to press this button. You can also play Career Mode matches with one button controls and when playing as a single player pressing or holding your action button will call teammates to pass the ball to you or take a shot, depending on the situation they are in. There are some situations that even when using two button or one button control schemes the game may offer prompts to press other buttons. An example would be during a free kick. However, it is possible to play matches on FIFA 21 without using any more than either one or two buttons and a single joystick. If at any point you would like to pause the game when using either two button or one button controls, you will need to press the Options or Menu button. In order to have full control of menus please note that you do need access to at least one joystick and two buttons and also that the Options or Menu button is required to start matches. These control schemes can help to make the game more accessible for many players. We hope that this video has been helpful. If you would like to play FIFA 21 but find that accessing one or two buttons and one analog stick on a standard controller is difficult there are a range of other ways to play that might work best for you. If you would like to speak to SpecialEffect about video game accessibility, then please get in touch.