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EA tackles FIFA 21 Squad Battles glitch that let people put the pad down to win

Home banker.

EA has patched a popular glitch in FIFA 21's Squad Battles mode that let people put their pad down to win matches.

FIFA 21's ninth title update, available now for the PC version and set for consoles soon, scrubs the glitch that had been made popular after it emerged on Reddit.

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Here's how the glitch worked: in any Squad Battles match, score a goal, then make sure all the players on your opponent's team are in their own half by passing the ball about. Then, pass the ball back to your goalkeeper. With your keeper in possession, aim towards the corner flag and tap the pass button so your keeper passes the ball into space before running over to trap the ball.

For some reason, this prevented the opponent AI players from attempting to get the ball from the goalkeeper, letting you put the controller down and running down the clock. After the restart, pass back to the goalkeeper to repeat the process. Job done.

The video below from YouTuber VirgilDanDijk shows how it works:

Players used this glitch to game the Squad Battles mode, which is one of the best ways to obtain packs and coins in FIFA Ultimate Team. It was also a popular method of speeding up the Icon Swaps grind.

The FIFA 21 update patch notes reveal this glitch has now been scrubbed from the game:

"Following a specific type of goalkeeper pass during an offline match, the defending team's CPU AI would not attempt to pressure the attacking side in order to recover the ball."

That's that for the Squad Battles glitch, then. It's a change that's sparked an interesting debate within the FIFA community, and a lot of that has to do with a sense that Squad Battles isn't particularly good fun because the AI retains so much possession and spams skill moves. Squad Battles can often feel like pulling teeth, particularly on the higher difficulty levels where it's almost impossible to regain possession.

So, there are some who lament the removal of this glitch, as it made Squad Battles less "sweaty". But this was an exploit after all, so it's not surprising to see it nuked.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.