FIFA 20 pre-season guide: Ultimate Team campaign bridges gap to FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 20 pre-season is EA's way of bringing the curtain down on the most unconventional real-life campaign in living memory, while bridging the gap to next year's game. it sees myriad top FIFA 20 cards from the last 11 months released back into packs, and offers freebies for FIFA 21 at the same time. New Road To The Final players include Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde, and Weekend League rewards get a refresh too. Here's your FIFA 20 pre-season guide.

FIFA 20 pre-season guide: unlock FIFA 21 free items

(Image credit: EA)

In gaming’s least surprising news, there’s a sequel to FIFA 20 coming imminently. FIFA 21 is released on 9 October, slightly later than usual owing to the coronavirus pandemic. But you can start earning items for that game now, as part of the FIFA 20 pre-season campaign. Squad Building Challenges across the first two weeks of August can be completed for the FIFA 21 rewards below: 

  • x2 Coin boosts (5 games x 500 coins)
  • FUT 20 Icon Home Kit
  • FUT 20 Future Stars Kit
  • Anchor Chemistry Style 
  • Engine Chemistry Style

FIFA 20 pre-season rewards will be granted in FIFA 21 on or before 16 October. If you don’t have the game by then, note that they need to be claimed by 23 November.

FIFA 20 pre-season guide: free TOTY loan cards

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The best bit of FIFA 20 pre-season occurs automatically the next time you log into the game or FIFA 20 Web App. It’s a free loan pack containing five elite 99-rated TOTY players, each of whom you have for five matches. They are Cristiano Ronaldo (Piemonte Calcio), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (PSG). Not much more to add on this entry, other than: enjoy!

FIFA 20 pre-season guide: ‘best of’ cards

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Continuing the theme of FIFA 20 Summer Heat, FIFA 20 pre-season adds a tonne of sexy cards back into packs. 50 were made available on Wednesday 29 July, including ten TOTY items: Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Cristiano Ronaldo (Piemonte Calcio), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio), Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Alisson (Liverpool) and Andy Robertson (Liverpool).

A handful of those cards feature in our rundown of the FIFA 20 best players – click that link if you want to know how they play in game. (Incredibly, for the most part.) For the full list of re-released 'best of' cards as of 29 July, visit the official EA website.

FIFA 20 pre-season guide: Road To The Final (RTTF)

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Road To The Final cards are dynamically updated based on performances in the Europa League and Champions League. Those competitions came to a climax in August – the Champions League final on 23 August, the Europa League final two days beforehand on 21 August. 

To celebrate, EA released new RTTF items as part of FIFA 20 pre-season. The first of these was Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde, only available as part of a limited-time SBC. Other Champions League content included half-time SBCs, and new ‘Showdown’ items. “Inspired by a real-world football match, SBCs will be made available for a limited time up until match day with one player representing each team from the highlighted matchup,” says EA. “The special Champions League Showdown item from the team that advances from the matchup will get a one-time permanent +3 OVR stats boost.”

FIFA 20 pre-season guide: new weekend league rewards

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Weekend league rewards are changing again, and so they should at this stage of the season where everyone is packing endgame squads. Below are what you can expect on Thursday mornings, based upon your performance across the previous Friday to Sunday. 

  • Top 100: The 'Best of' 11 Players Pack is replaced with the TOTSSF 11 Players Pack containing 11 TOTSSF player items from the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.
  • Elite 3 - Elite 1: The 'Best Of' 3 Players Pack is replaced with the TOTTSF 3 Player Pack containing 3 TOTSSF player items from the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.
  • Gold 2+: A minimum of 1 TOTSSF item from the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 can be found in any Player Pick earned.
  • Silver 1+: Any player items earned from Player Pick packs are TOTSSF items.
  • Silver 2 and 3: Any player items earned from Player Pick packs are TOTSSF items capped at 88 OVR.

FIFA 20 pre-season guide: new summer signings

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“Throughout Pre-Season, we’ll be showcasing a selection of the most exciting moves of the summer with special player items in FUT 20, released for those players after they land at their new clubs,” says EA. To that end, Chelsea new boys Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech have already had new rare gold items added to packs following their summer moves.

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Ben Wilson

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.