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FIFA 20 Squad Battles explained: how you can get Elite rewards

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Ultimate Team has changed dramatically in recent times thanks to FIFA 20 Squad Battles. First introduced in FIFA 18, they see you rewarded on a weekly basis for results and performances against a series of AI squads – and ensure that you earn a wealth of gold packs in FIFA 20 without ever having to shell out real cash. (So don’t!) Wondering how you can maximise these goodies? Bookmark GamesRadar’s FIFA 20 Squad Battles guide and revisit regularly throughout the season.

What are the basics of FIFA 20 Squad Battles?

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This is the bit anyone can remember. Each week you play between one and 45 games against the AI, on varying degrees of difficulty. Then at the end of the seven-day period you’re rewarded for your performances as well as results. Points are awarded for achievements such as goals and clean sheets, in addition to wins and draws. A key risk-reward wrinkle is being able to choose your difficulty setting before each match, with more points on the line if you win on Ultimate or Legendary. 

Opponent teams are mostly created by fellow FIFA players. There are six you can choose to play at any one time: a celebrity-created team, the current FIFA 20 TOTW, and four fan-made squads. You can compare all six on the Opponent Select screen within Squad Battles, using a large rectangular panel that shows each side’s kits, stadium, tactical set-up, three key players, rating and chemistry. Note that overall ratings can be deceiving: if an opponent has an 81 ‘OVR’ but 100 ‘CHEM’, it’s likely to still prove formidable. Bear this in mind when choosing your difficulty setting for each fixture. 

What time do FIFA 20 Squad Battles refresh?

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Last year you were limited to eight games per sitting: four ‘current’ fixtures, and four from the previous day if you’d not already played them. 

Now there’s no such daily limit: you can request your fixture list at any time by pressing R2/RT. 

Before you do that take note of two important things. First up, only your first 40 fixtures per week affect your leaderboard placing. Any played after that earn you match coins, but have no bearing on Squad Battles rewards. Secondly, any matches unplayed when you refresh with R2/RT are forfeited, and still count towards that 40-match cap. 

Another great new element of Ultimate Team is that you can replay the two featured matches as many times as you like. These replays don’t count against the 40-match cap, but there is a significant risk-reward element in that only the most recent result counts. Win 4-0 on Professional difficulty and you might be tempted to try again on World Class or Legendary – but lose and there’s no way to get 4-0 win, or the leaderboard points that came with it, back. Spicy.

How do FIFA 20 Squad Battles leaderboards work?

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Squad Battles leaderboards are split into 17 tiers. The top 100 players in the world during any given week share five tiers between them; from the player ranked 101st downwards, the tiers become much more broad. For instance, 20% of all players make in into ‘Gold 1’ – the ninth tier – or above each week. Here’s a full breakdown:

1. Rank 1

2. Rank 2-10

3. Rank 11-20

4. Rank 21-50

5. Rank 51-100

6. Elite 1 (3% of all players)

7. Elite 2 (6% of all players)

8. Elite 3 (10% of all players)

9. Gold 1 (20% of all players)

10. Gold 2 (30% of all players)

11. Gold 3 (40% of all players)

12. Silver 1 (50% of all players)

13. Silver 2 (60% of all players)

14. Silver 3 (70% of all players)

15. Bronze 1 (80% of all players)

16. Bronze 2 (90% of all players)

17. Bronze 3 (100% of all players)

How can I get the best FIFA 20 Squad Battles rewards?

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TL;DR answer: play all 40 games and win as many as possible on Ultimate difficulty.

More detailed, and realistic, answer: accept that a top 100 placing is highly unlikely unless you’re close to the level of an eSports pro and/or have an all-Icons super squad. Also understand that the computer does infuriatingly cheaty things on Ultimate difficulty. I scored 749 wins online and offline in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team, with a win percentage of 87%, yet never won a Squad Battles game on Ultimate difficulty. In FIFA 19 my record was better, but some defeats still felt ‘scripted’. It’s the part of Ultimate Team most likely to have you launching controllers at walls. 

My tip is to play every game on World Class difficulty while you’re building your dream squad and/or confidence, then switch to Legendary difficulty once you’re reeling off the World Class wins. Elite 1 is still a challenge under these circumstances, but after a month, if not a fortnight, you find yourself regularly securing Elite 2 or Elite 3 finishes. 

That’s sufficient to secure at least 12000 coins and three monster gold packs – and the nature of packs being random means that while the top 100 rewards appear sexier, you can just as easily score big-name players from the Elite tiers. For instance, my FIFA 20 Squad Battles packs so far this season have included Ilkay Gundogan (84), Memphis Depay (84) and Lucas Hernadez (84). All three are solid choices to build a team around in the game’s early weeks.

When do FIFA 20 Squad Battles weekly rewards come out?

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Squad Battles rewards drop shortly after midnight UK time/7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific on a Sunday night. They’re available both in game and via the web app (more on which in our FIFA 20 Web App guide). 

Because they’re mostly gold cards this has a huge effect on the transfer market over the following 24 hours, which you should bear in mind when using another of GR’s guides – this one on making FIFA 20 Ultimate Team coins, which will appear here on 30 September. Monday is therefore a terrible time to sell, because everyone is looking to offload their unwanted reward cards, but a brilliant window in which to buy, precisely for this reason. Desperation sellers = lower prices = a perfect time to cherry pick your most desired players. 

Are there FIFA 20 Squad Battles monthly rewards?

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No. Barring a sudden and highly unlikely change of policy midway through the FIFA 20 life cycle, Squad Battles rewards are weekly. 

What are the minimum points I need for FIFA 20 Squad Battles rewards?

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One point. Although so far as I can ascertain it’s actually impossible to get one point. If you play one Squad Battles match in any given week, you are guaranteed to earn the minimum Bronze 3 award, which at the time of writing [September 2019] is a Premium Loan Player Reward pack.

FIFA 20 is out now. Just picked it up and in the need for more Ultimate Team guidance? Check out our FIFA 20 ratings guide, tracking the top 100 players in this year’s game.

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