When FIFA 19 was released in September, every single player in the game was given their own unique rating, with individual stats for every aspect of their game from pace to passing, dribbling to tackling, shooting and strength.
As the 2018-19 season progressed, it became clear that many of the players were overperforming compared to their individual rating. EA Sports tracks how players perform in real life and then update FIFA 19 accordingly so that the game reflects a player's individual ability and value.
Last season, many of the world's top performers received winter upgrades as part of the Ratings Refresh, including Kevin De Bruyne, Paulo Dybala and Kylian Mbappe. It is not just highly-rated players who are part of the ratings refresh, however - even players in lower leagues can receive boosts to their overall statistics.
When are the Winter Upgrades happening?
Once the transfer window closes at the end of January, EA Sports start making updates to the FIFA database. In Ultimate Team, this sees new versions of players released in packs with their new club (and perhaps new league) replacing their previous one. In the past, they have also released new versions of transferred players during the window itself.
The Ratings Refresh for FIFA 18 started on February 25, beginning with upgrades for the Premier League and then additional leagues were added every two to three days. Each of the five major European leagues is released separately and then players from the rest of the world are released in a large batch at the end.
Some players also get their positions updated in addition to new clubs or updated ratings, especially if they played a lot of their games at a position other than the one assigned to them at the start of FIFA 19. In addition, players may also have their skill move or weak foot ratings changed. For example, last year, Real Madrid's Lucas Vazquez received a bump in his skill move rating, while Marcus Rashford was changed from a striker to a left midfielder.
Which players will receive upgrades?
The best way to see which players will receive upgrades is to check the current online seasons database. This is constantly updated throughout the year, with amended ratings automatically downloaded to the console every time you play Online Seasons mode.
Another indicator that a player will receive an upgrade is the amount of special cards he has gained throughout the season. For example, Marco Reus has been named in Team of the Week twice so far in FIFA 19 and has also been named Bundesliga Player of the Month twice. As a result, he is likely to receive an upgrade from his basic 85-rated card, with the latest database giving him an 88 rating.
|Player||Club||September Rating||January Rating|
|David Silva||Man City||89||90|
|Marco Reus||Borussia Dortmund||85||88|
|Virgil van Dijk||Liverpool||85||87|
|Raheem Sterling||Man City||85||86|
|Bernardo Silva||Man City||84||86|
|Axel Witsel||Borussia Dortmund||82||85|
|Felipe Anderson||West Ham||82||83|
|Serge Gnabry||Bayern Munich||82||83|
|Roman Burki||Borussia Dortmund||81||83|
|Matthijs de Ligt||Ajax||80||83|
|Wissam Ben Yedder||Sevilla||81||82|
|Thorgan Hazard||Borussia M'gladbach||81||82|
|Marcus Rashford||Man Utd||81||82|
|Paco Alcacer||Borussia Dortmund||79||82|
|Thomas Delaney||Borussia Dortmund||79||82|
|Frenkie de Jong||Ajax||77||82|
|Kai Havertz||Bayer Leverkusen||79||81|
|Manuel Akanji||Borussia Dortmund||78||81|
|Sebastien Haller||Eintracht Frankfurt||78||81|
|Luka Jovic||Eintracht Frankfurt||75||80|
|Davide Calabria||AC Milan||77||78|
|Hector Moreno||Real Sociedad||76||78|
|Achraf Hakimi||Borussia Dortmund||75||78|
|Jadon Sancho||Borussia Dortmund||72||78|
|Junior Firpo||Real Betis||75||76|
|Declan Rice||West Ham||69||74|
Will my current players be upgraded?
The rosters in Online Seasons and new Career Modes are automaticaly updated when your console connects to the EA servers. Online Seasons squads are upgraded regularly, while you must start a new game in Career Mode for the upgrades to take effect.
Any normal cards you have in your FIFA Ultimate Team club will not be upgraded, but there is the potential that some of the special versions could be upgraded automatically. This includes Team of the Week, Ultimate Scream, FUTmas, Champions League and Europa League live editions, as well as Ones to Watch players. However, if their base card only receives a small upgrade, there is a chance that the special card will not be upgraded.
All new players found in packs will be upgraded, but the special players in your club will only increase if an upgraded player’s new overall rating equals or surpasses his existing first Team of the Week version’s rating. If a player has multiple special edition cards, all these will be improved if they meet this criteria.