FIFA 21 early access experiencing issues on Microsoft Store, EA Play the cause

FIFA 21 (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Update, October 1, 2020 (12 pm CT): Xbox Support confirms the issue seems to be mostly with the EA Play app.

What you need to know

  • FIFA 21 is almost upon us, but players who pre-ordered the higher-end editions are able to gain early access to the title.
  • At least, this was the plan, but issues with EA Play and the Microsoft Store on Xbox have prevented people from downloading or accessing the game.
  • The Xbox Support team has acknowledged the issues and are working on them.
  • There's a potential workaround that seems to have worked for some players.

FIFA 21 is only a few days away, coming October 9, 2020, but players who pre-ordered the Champion or Ultimate Edition are able to access the game a little earlier than others. For many players, this has been a fantastic perk, but FIFA fans on Xbox or through EA Play have been running into obstacles trying to access the game. FIFA 21 isn't appearing on EA Play for lots of people, and we've even seen reports of the service crashing for subscribers, while players on Xbox are running into even more issues with the Microsoft Store.

The Xbox support team has acknowledged the issues and are working to resolve them as quickly as possible, but this can still be frustrating for players who were waiting for this. If you're running into any of these problems, we've seen reports that ignoring EA Play and accessing the Microsoft Store directly can yield better results, although you may have to refresh multiple times or wait for the Store to load the FIFA 21 page. Hopefully it won't be too long until all these issues are fixed.

If you're waiting for next-gen to get your hands on FIFA 21, digital editions of the game do support Dual Entitlement, so once FIFA 21's next-gen update launches, you'll be able to play the best version of the game on your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.

Update, October 1, 2020 (12 pm CT)—Xbox Support confirms the issue seems to lie with EA Play, more details coming soon

Xbox Support has reached out on Twitter with further confirmation that the issues regarding FIFA 21's early access seem to be related to the EA Play app. While they don't have a permanent solution yet, this would explain why trying to load FIFA 21 directly from the Microsoft Store has fared better for players. If you're still having issues, trying searching "FIFA 21" directly from the Microsoft Store, and patiently wait for it to load. Xbox Support will update us when they have a more permanent fix or update.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.