Stadia’s biggest sports game to date has arrived in the form of the EA’s classic FIFA 21. And as a game that relies heavily on reactions, quick decisions, and squad control, one of the biggest questions is just how FIFA 21 will run on the cloud-based Stadia.

We’ve played dozens of games at various difficulty levels to work out just how it runs on Google’s game streaming platform and answer what will likely be some of your most prominent queries if you were looking to pick up the game despite that fact that the global football season is fairly close to coming to a close.

Obviously, there are no spoilers to worry about, nor will two matches ever be quite the same, but we can at least help you understand just how world’s most popular sports sim runs directly from the cloud.

Video — How well does FIFA 21 run on Google Stadia?

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What resolution does FIFA run at natively on Stadia?

There is some really great news for hardcore football fans: We have been able to verify that FIFA 21 runs at a native 4K 60fps. This makes gameplay feel silky smooth and, in many cases, smoother than the real thing will look courtesy of lower Hz TV broadcasts. Like many games ported over, there are no graphical options to tweak, adjust or fine-tune. That means that if your monitor, smartphone, or TV supports the highest resolution, then it will revert to that — all at 60fps.

Visuals

  • 4K/60fps
  • 1080p/60fps

No matter what resolution you display, the frame rate stays at a consistent 60fps, which is essential for the best experience with FIFA 21.

How do the graphics stack up?

Great for a sports game. FIFA 21 looks excellent on Stadia and is only really rivaled by high-end gaming PCs. When you’re in a match and taking control of your favorite team, the visuals are crisp, and although graphically FIFA is not the best in the industry, player likenesses are still incredibly accurate. Other presentation elements help push the realism further than any other sports game to the point that at first glance — and in 4K — things will look almost like they do on TV.

How long are the loading times?

Very quick — although this will vary depending on the game mode you happen to play, and we didn’t time these to the second. Unlike an open-world game, FIFA 21 is loads individual stadiums, players and assets, but the game hides them well behind mini-games and skill challenges. These can be instantly skipped, cutting load times instantly.

Did we see any noticeable frame drops or stutters?

While it’s sometimes impossible to see individual frame drops when playing FIFA 21 on Stadia using a Gigabit connection over Wi-Fi and when playing in Chrome, there were no major frame drops of note, which is especially important if you are in an online game. Unfortuately, during the pre-release period the online versus features were limited meaning that we have been unable to confirm just how multiplayer games fare.

We would highly recommend using a gamepad or controller if you want to get the most out of FIFA 21 on Stadia, though – this is a console-first game, after all. That said, it’s still very smooth with a keyboard + mouse combo.

Are there really no downloads or updates?

Yep, right from launch, FIFA 21 on Stadia is ready to go, but it will grab the latest squads and player stat updates each time you start a new online game or wish to start a Career mode season. Although, this process is fast, and there is no need to download anything other than the Stadia app for Android or iOS.

Can I play from my iPhone or iPad?

Yes, with Stadia now officially available on iOS as a dedicated web app, you can play every game, including FIFA 21 on Stadia.

Have a question of your own about FIFA 21 on Stadia?

Drop your questions down in the comments section below, and we’ll do our utmost to answer as many as humanly possible – and in the process, maybe save you some money if you were on the fence about a purchase.

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