Are you curious about “Madden NFL 21,” but don’t want to spend $60 to find out if you’ll enjoy it? Then you’re in luck because EA Sports is making Madden 21 free to play this weekend in honor of the NFL season kicking off.
You may have seen updates from EA Sports this year promoting its new game mode The Yard, or maybe you saw the revamped Face of the Franchise and thought it looked interesting. But you may have also seen the many, many negative reviews throughout the game’s first week of release and it scared you off from purchasing.
Now, you get a full weekend to test out if Madden 21 is right for you.
Madden 21 free to play weekend
EA Sports is making Madden 21 free to play from September 10-13. The company says it is making the game available to everyone to “celebrate Colin Kaepernick’s return [in the video game] and the start of the NFL season.” A free trial of Madden 21 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam for PC.
The free trial should be available starting at 12:01 a.m. PST on Sept. 10 through 11:59 p.m. PST on Sept. 13. EA Sports states you need an EA account and a premium console account in order to play the free trial.
Madden 21 free trial on Xbox One
According to Xbox.com, you must have an Xbox Live Gold account or an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate account to download the Madden 21 free trial.
Clicking through will send you to the Microsoft Store, where you must be signed in to see the option to install with your Xbox Live Gold membership. To download on console, click on the Gold member area on the home dashboard on your Xbox One.
Madden 21 free trial on PlayStation 4
When you visit the PlayStation store, you should see an option for a free “Full Game Trial” of Madden 21.
There’s also an option for PlayStation Plus members to play the game for free, but this is not the free to play weekend trial. The PlayStation Plus version requires you to purchase PlayStation Plus, which means the trial wouldn’t exactly be free.
Madden 21 free trial on Steam
EA Sports promotes the Steam version of Madden 21 as an option for its free to play weekend, but I was unable to find out how to access it. When you go to the Madden 21 page for Steam there are no options for a free trial. The only choice is an option for a 10-hour trial with EA Play, but that’s always been available. And you also have to pay for EA Play, so that doesn’t make this free.
We’ll update this post if more information becomes available regarding the free trial on Steam.
UPDATE: EA Sports has removed Steam as an option from its website as a free to play option.
Madden 21 free trial message for existing users
If you’ve already purchased Madden 21 and booted it up Thursday morning, you probably received a strange message. As soon as you start the game you’re faced with a pop up that reads, “Welcome to the Madden NFL 21 trial.” You are then given two options: Continue trial and upgrade to the full version of Madden NFL 21.
This is a concerning message considering this is showing up to people who have already purchased the game. Seeing this would probably make the user concerned that all of their previously saved data will go away if they select one of these options.
When asked about this message by a customer, EA Help provided the following response:
After doing a little bit of investigating, I have found that this is something our game team is now aware of and they are investigating it further. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t affect the hours that you have already played. Please keep an eye on our social media pages and forums for Madden NFL 21 for any further updates.
Based on comments from users on Reddit, it seems as if you can click “Continue trial” and things should be fine.