FIFA 21 free kicks guide: master the most important set pieces

FIFA 21 free kicks guide
(Image credit: EA)
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FIFA 21 is here, and while it boasts some new features, a lot of the same-old mechanics that you may be used to are still very much baked in. If you’re new to the franchise, then figuring out FIFA 21 free kick should be one of the first things you do – even as a series veteran, it would be difficult to deny that set-pieces constitute some of the most skill-based parts of the game, and can quickly turn a tense match on its head. 

This guide is going to cover the entire free kick system in FIFA 21, taking you step-by-step through the process so you can start taking advantage of these crucial match moments and stop wasting important chances to secure a victory. Follow along as we explain spin, Free Kick statistics and the best practice for making it over the wall and putting the ball in top bins.

How to set up free kicks in FIFA 21

When you suffer a foul and the referee pulls out the vanishing spray, the first thing you want to do is check that you’re using the right player for the job. Normally, as long as you haven’t changed anything, the game should choose the best free-kick taker from your team. 

If not, or if you want to specialize in a certain statistic, hold R2/RT to swap the player out. The stats you’re looking for are Power (PWR), Free Kick Accuracy (FKA) and Curve (CRV.) Pick who takes it depending on what the situation requires – if you need more power or curve, make sure that’s reflected by your choice. 

Once that’s sorted, you can flick the right stick left, right or up to change how the free-kick taker is positioned around the ball. You can also pull L2/LT and then R1/RB to call for a second and third player to take the free-kick from an angle that might trick your opponent. 

How to score free kicks in FIFA 21

Once you've got the setup down, carefully move the left stick to the top corners of the goal, using the reticle. Train this movement in Skill Games because it doesn’t feel natural, but once you commit it to muscle memory it gets a lot easier. Now hold the Circle/B button to charge your shot. Be careful that you don't use too much power here, especially if you’re up close – all it takes is a short tap to get enough charge to send it over the wall. 

You’ll notice another bar appear as you charge your shot, a little shooting minigame. This is ultimately optional, but if you’re feeling brave, you can add to the chance of your shot going in if you time it properly and tap Circle/B again as you hit the ball with your laces.

You can also add spin to the ball to confuse the keeper. Here you have four options: Top Spin, Side Spin, Mixed and Knuckle Ball. The game will show you all of the gestures on screen as you prepare to take your shot.

Remember to gesture in the opposite direction of your target if you’re using Side Spin, and be very light across all spin inputs to get the curve just right. Try to register the spin rather than overdo it, or the ball will curve too hard out of shot, in spite of your reticule placement. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a lot of spin to score, remember to account for the curvature by targeting closer to the middle of the goal to get enough momentum to pull the ball into the top corners, making sure the keeper can’t reach it.

Jordan Oloman

Jordan Oloman is a journalist and documentarian with experience across the pop culture/tech spectrum writing reported features, reviews. news, guides, op-eds and more for a wide variety of outlets. He is also an affiliate streamer on Twitch and have previous experience in scriptwriting, podcasting, game consultation and creating video content.