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Here’s how Apex Legends, Star Wars: Squadrons, and other EA games work on PS5, Xbox Series X

EA lays out how backward compatibility will work

A TIE Interceptor bears down on a New Republic frigate in a blue nebula in Star Wars: Squadrons Image: Motive Studios, Lucasfilm/Electronic Arts
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Electronic Arts revealed its backward compatibility plans for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X on Thursday, laying out how its current-generation games will play on the next-generation consoles. The publisher will have a host of upgrades available for its recent and popular games — here’s a look at how things will work.

Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21 are getting next-gen upgrades on Dec. 4. As with many current-gen-to-next-gen games, players who already own them on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will be able to get the upgraded versions for free. Madden players will be able to carry over progress in Ultimate Team, The Yard, and both franchise modes; FIFA players will be able to maintain progress in Ultimate Team and the street soccer mode, Volta Football.

Those games, as well as NHL 21 and EA Sports UFC 4, will be playable on the next-gen consoles via backward compatibility. EA says that all four games will run slightly better than their last-gen cousins — the Xbox Series X like the Xbox One X, the Xbox Series S to the Xbox One S, and the PlayStation 5 like the PlayStation 4 Pro — with “improvements to load times as well as better framerates.” Asked for specifics on resolution and frame rate, an EA Sports representative told Polygon that they could not provide that information.

Star Wars: Squadrons will see a different kind of upgrade. The most recent Star Wars game will offer two modes on Xbox consoles: better visuals (dynamic 4K resolution at 60 frames per second on the Series X, and dynamic 1440p at 60 fps on the Series S) or better performance (dynamic 4K at up to 120 fps on the Series X, and dynamic 1440p at up to 120 fps on the Series S). However, the game will not offer any significant upgrade on PlayStation 5 — while that version will features “improved lighting,” it will run and look like it does on a PlayStation 4 Pro, which runs the game with a dynamic resolution somewhere north of 1440p at 60 fps. EA does say that Squadrons will support cross-platform and cross-generation play.

Apex Legends will see a “performance boost” and run at 1440p on both next-gen consoles. But EA says the battle royale game will see more improvements next year. Like Squadrons, Apex will have cross-platform and cross-generation play.

EA isn’t as specific as with its other titles when it comes to The Sims 4. Sims players can play the base game and all of its add-ons on the next gen consoles with “faster loading times and smoother frame rates.”

Finally, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered — which EA will launch on Friday — will work on the next-generation consoles via backward compatibility. Like the sports games, Hot Pursuit Remastered will operate similarly on next-gen as it does on the correlating current-gen console (although EA doesn’t mention a load time or frame rate improvement for this one).

Of the games listed here, the only ones getting their own next-gen upgrades are Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21.

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