Technology

FIFA 21 Ultimate Team introduces a Division Rivals weekly match cap

EA has implemented a cap on the number of games that will contribute to the Weekly Score accumulation in FIFA 21’s Division Rivals.

In FIFA 21, after completing your first 30 games of Rivals – Ultimate Team’s popular online competitive multiplayer mode – the matches will stop adding to your Weekly Score.

If you play Rivals more than 30 times per week you can continue to make progress against Objectives, earn higher Skill Ratings, and climb to new Divisions, but post-30 matches won’t make it harder for players with tighter play schedules to compete in the weekly leaderboard.

“This change is being made after seeing positive results in Squad Battles as a way to ensure that those who play in the Division Rivals weekly competition have a more predictable experience week to week,” EA said.

Currently, your Division Rivals weekly rewards are determined by your position on the weekly leaderboard – aka your rank. And, currently, you can continue to add points to your Weekly Score by playing as many games as you want.

The problem with this system is it means those who pump loads of hours into Division Rivals each week earn more Weekly Score than those who play less. Division Rivals rewards are more of a test of how much time you put into the mode, rather than your results.

This significant change comes alongside the addition of a new rank in the leaderboards used to balance the efforts required to reach some of the middle rank rewards. So, Division Rivals will now feature six ranks instead of five to split players a bit more, making their results and weekly matches a slightly higher factor in where they finish in the competition.

FIFA 21 also has a different way of working out your initial Division Rivals placement. In previous years, online Skill Rating was only measured through your placement matches and then further match to match as you continued to play Division Rivals. “For many players who came from primarily playing against the AI, this was at times a challenging transition,” EA said.

This year you will have an alternative placement method to help you find your level in Division Rivals. The results of the first 30 matches played in Squad Battles (FUT’s player versus AI mode), as well as the difficulty played at, will determine your placement Division.

“In FUT 21 one of the things we’re looking to create is a friendlier path that Squad Battles players can take when they’re ready to transition from a single player experience to online play in Division Rivals,” EA said.

“The aim here is to identify the right Division for you through single-player gameplay. We believe that this alternative placement method will lead to a better overall online experience for those players who are not used to playing head-to-head, and for those who prefer to learn the game through single-player before heading online.”

Those who want to jump straight into Rivals have the regular five placement match method as an option. EA said it had improved the placement logic here.

It’s also worth noting that in FIFA 21, each time you reach a new Division in Rivals, you get a one-time coin reward added to your club immediately upon promotion. Once your placement is completed you get coins for each division you passed through. So if you finish your placements in Division 5, you’ll get the coins for Divisions 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 all at once, which sounds quite good.