Handicap, Does That Exist in FIFA 15?

Handicap, Does That Exist in FIFA 15?


Welcome to Tête-à-Tête with Silvio Teixeira: a very special opinionated area that we are proud to include on our website.

Follow the wise, intelligent, humorous and insightful comments from Silvio. At the end of the article you may know him a bit better too.

In this episode, “Handicap, Does That Exist?”, the author defends the existence of handicap. Or does he not? Keep on reading and find out.


Silvio Teixeira


Handicap, Does That Exist in FIFA 15?


At least once a week someone calls upon me to start talking about this handicap thing. So we spent one hour in a conversation revolving around this theme. But it’s just that this has come to a point where it gets a bit tiring for me. You see, this has been done several times, and sometimes I don’t even have the patience to say all the things that I’ve already said, and then explain all the causes and reasons, so I end up being succinct, really; brief, and even a bit colder, as I see the stupidity revolving around the opinions of people who have no idea of how many times we’ve actually approached this subject. So I decided to write an article about it, which may still not convince those who are not willing to change their minds, but it’ll be easier, because when someone asks me about this, I’ll just give them the link to this and the person will get to know about my opinion and the motives that led me to it. Clever, huh? It’s the coffee I just had, probably.

Before anything I do consider explaining what handicap really is. Handicap is a term used in a few sports to determine a level of advantage or disadvantage, which will make it a fair game for everyone. Suppose that you’re about to place a bet in a fight where the champion Jon Jones is up against the brazilian Minotauro, which is a good fighter overall but is currently within a very different category or level. He’s close to ending his career and suppose he had lost his last two fights. He’s not a bad fighter, he’s got experience, but facing Jon Jones is almost suicide. Who would you bet on? Almost everybody would go for Jon Jones, but if I apply a 50 x 1 handicap, that being for every one dollar you bet for Jon Jones you’ll get one more, but for every one dollar you bet for Minotauro, in case he wins, you’ll get 50 dollars! This makes people bet on Minotauro. The same goes for any sport where you want to give the weaker more chances to win. Who’s never gave the weaker team a chance in a street football friendly game, for example, by giving them a little advantage so the game would get more fun? On golf, handicap allows players of different levels to play against each other. Nobody would face Tiger Woods (is he still the best, though?) if there wasn’t handicap. In this case it wouldn’t be interesting for Tiger to not have any opponents because this way he wouldn’t win any money, so he chooses to give his opponents a certain advantage, and the game becomes fair. Is that clear?

Now let’s try and see what people claim on FIFA. That handicap would favour the weaker. And that this would be according to the squad’s rating. Because of that, people will use the lowest rated possible bronze players on the bench, lowering the squad’s rating. Some will even avoid using the most top-rated players and build modest teams because this supposedly gives them the advantage.

As you can see, it all even starts the wrong way. This shouldn’t be called handicap, because it’s apparently a change that would favour the weaker without giving the stronger any benefits. In this case, it’s not handicap. Okay, but leaving semantics aside, let’s try to understand what’s the reason why people think this exists. Basically, their ”proof” is that, in some matches, they lose when they weren’t supposed to, having way more shots on target and ridiculous chances thrown away while it was just them and the goalkeeper. And that the opposing team was weak but still won.

These arguments get downgraded easily, you just need to observe players in Division 1. You’ll hardly see people using simple or low-rated squads, they’re all excellent. Usually full of the best players from all kinds of leagues.


Handicap, Does That Exist in FIFA 15?


Not satisfied, I decided to go deeper on this. So I made several tests. In the first one, we built two really strong squads (85 rated) plus one more, but this one was quite simple yet well built and 78 rated (using several 49/50 rated bronze substitutes). I chose to play against my friend Eduardo Romário, the guy is a beast. Normally, with our teams set, out of 10 matches he wins 8, draws 1 and I win just 1, so he’s pretty much absolutely better than me. However, will I be able to win if I pick the team that was built supposed to “give me the advantage”?

We played 6 matches, myself with the strong and high rated team while he used the weaker team that was supposed to get the handicap advantage (besides, he’s already good). However, handicap didn’t seem to help him, because although he did beat me once, I won 3 and we drew twice. Conclusion, he wasn’t helped enough to win 5 matches, the one he won it was actually because he’s really good and that over-powered my strong team, there was no advantage whatsoever, it was all on him.

We switched teams, shall now handicap help me win using the weaker team while he’s the best player? Not in my dreams, I lost 5 matches, only managed to get a draw after some serious bus parking. Handicap didn’t even care to show up and say hello.

I thought to myself, maybe this just happened because we’re playing friendlies, maybe it only works when it’s an actual Ultimate Team competition.

And this is where my second mate comes in, who’s been thinking about giving up on the game and even offered me his players because he’s just sick of all this handicap thing that makes him lose every match. By some of nature’s randomness we managed to find each other on Seasons. He actually built a squad named Handcap EA Lixo (Portuguese for “Crap EA Handcap”, indeed missing the i), it had Seria A players, nothing special, plus several bronze substitutes and no actual brilliant player. That ended up as a 76 rated squad. I thought it would be a good test to see if he was going to have handicap on his side, however what happened next only gave this story an end. The game was relatively evenly-matched but he had the best chances, he actually missed one inside of the area, then he hit the post on the 88th minute and I “found” a goal that gave me the win. Well, if handicap did help anyone that seemed to be me, because I clearly didn’t deserve to win!

We can now conclude this with no doubt. Lowering your squad’s rating won’t help you win. Settled!

Now, if you’re wondering if there’s in fact some force that influences your game play making you lose when you probably didn’t deserve to, the answer is YES, without a doubt. It’s just not related to squad rating. How did I come to this conclusion? It was simple, yet pretty tough to settle. On certain matches where I felt like there was some disadvantage going on I’d usually lose 3 or 4-0. In cases like this, I’d explain my intentions to the opponent and then add them for a rematch using the same teams, except that on a friendly. On both rematch situations where I managed to win, one of which I showed absolute superiority, it didn’t even seem like I was playing against the same person.

It happened the other way around, too. I won a few but then I wouldn’t be able to make a good appearance on friendly rematches, and the opponent and I would even try squad rating variations. Nothing changed.


Handicap, Does That Exist in FIFA 15?


It’s already known that EA seems to favour the 45th and 90th minute goals, and they’ve actually got a wonderful explanation for that. A huge rage of emotions, they say, the players will put some extra effort in the last minutes. Just like what happens in these moments, I’m sure there’s some mechanic behind determining if you’re getting an advantage or disadvantage. Every time I’m at the start of a season the first game is easier, but considering I’m on Division 3 or 2 there should be no such thing as an easy game, so it’s most likely that I’m being given a hand. Other factors should contribute to this, but the fact is that it’s not handicap and it doesn’t have direct relation to ratings, and finally (and most important) this is not going to change! EA understands that this is the best thing to be done and, if you don’t accept it, you might as well just quit playing, go play some Tetris or any other game that hasn’t got any certain manipulation. It happens on FIFA, and it will probably stay the same on FIFA 16 and 17. Maybe in the future things could change, but until then your complaints about handicap (or whatever that might be called) won’t do you any good. In the best hypothesis it’ll make you feel better, just like it is for people that go to a football game to swear at the players realising they can’t even hear the insults anyway.

Yes, you’ll still find websites claiming A or B, so my objective here is not to convince people who don’t accept a reasonable explanation. Some people desperately go after some excuse for their loss. They’ll blame anything but themselves. Among the players you’ll face in Division 1, you’ll see excellent ones playing with great squads. They’ll easily notice when they’re about to start a “losing match”. When this happens it’s time to drastically change tactics, because you know the system is trying to give you a hard time, so avoid long passes. Even short passes will get sloppy sometimes, so make sure your players are very close to each other (that will make possession easier) and use dribbling. Of all the actions where we were able to notice some kind manipulation going on, dribbling is the one that will hardly get some. Try getting to the opponent’s area dribbling, don’t shoot straight away even if the goal appears easy, pass to your team mate on the last moment to take away any chances of save from the keeper.

The win won’t be always possible in cases like this, but your chances are significantly better, and if you look at this in a positive way you can take it as a new challenge to be beaten. Beat your opponent and the system.

Now when someone asks me about my opinion on this, here’s the link J

That’s it for today, see you later!


79 thoughts on “Handicap, Does That Exist in FIFA 15?”

  1. Handicap does exist

    Anyone who is trying to defend saying that handicap does not exist is delusional. EA developers have come out and said that competitive gameplay is, in fact, in the game. That means that lower rated teams get a hand from EA to make the matches more competitive so someone with a 90 rated team will not win all the matches easily. So what is the point of higher rated players. It’s about selling packs and keeping everyone engaged by making the game more unpredictable.

  2. I mostly play Seasons, and you can kind of feel when an advantage is being given to either you or your opponent. You start seeing more post shots, misses on easy shots, and more dumb luck type of moments. Regardless, it’s a lot of fun and I still enjoy playing. I just try to not take it too seriously and not worry about it one way or the other.

  3. The better my squad is the harder I find it to win games in online season and that’s the top and bottom of it for me.
    I’ve bought millions and millions of coins before the market changed and I’ve also bought hundreds of £££ worth of FIFA points, none of this has any consistency with my gameplay only the better my team the harder it is to win.
    My legends side was well beaten by a bronze card side in the past. All I know is it enfuryates me beyond belief

  4. Pretty Much?

    First, your going to want to be incompetent and purchase the game while having 0 understanding of how to play the sport. ( a good 9 out of 10 players)

    Second, your going to want to buy the highest rated team possible. Requires spending a ignorant amount of money on something which is pay to win.

    Third, find the worst bench possible or lowest rating possible. Enjoy your predetermined algorithm. May require starting 3 bronzes to really lower the rating below 5 star.

    Fourth, acknowledge your were just exploited for money and quit playing the game or start selling coins yourself to prey on people.

    Thank you signed EA

  5. I don’t really think there is a handicap in the sense that this article defines it. I think rating affects the teams you match up against, but I don’t think it handicaps the game itself. That said, I do think there is some type of script or momentum feature. For me it always seems to kick in when I get close to promotion or titles. I’m in division 1 right now, but I’ve noticed it all through out my rise to division 1. It was very common me to win the first 4-6 games by 3 or 4 goals and then when it was time to get promoted or win the title, BAM my team felt like they just dropped to a whole worse level. Their passes were off target and either too slow or way over powered. My players stopped going to the ball (even with me holding the left analog towards the ball). Their first touches were poor or slow to react. I hit the post or missed the net completely way too often or my opponents keeper saved virtually everything – a couple games my players would have wide open net and I’d tap shoot both with and without holding R1 for an easy goal and they’d blast it out of the park or off to the side or into the post. Defensively, I would have trouble getting the ball off my opponents feet – it’s like the ball was a magnet to their feet. My keepers (Neuer, Lloris, Bravo) would let pretty much any shot in or they would start deflecting shots out in front of net to the other team. My opponents would get 100 rebounds… etc.

    Could this all have just been me messing up under pressure? Maybe. I doubt it because I don’t take this game serious enough to get upset about it, but I could definitely notice it when it’d happen. I also noticed when my opponent would have similar issues and I was getting favored.

    Like I said, it only happened after I’d win several games in a row and was near promotion or winning a title. I don’t notice it as much in division 1 though unless I’m near the title, but if I get demoted to div 2 I’ll notice it again. The way I got past the divisions 3-5 was after I won those first 4-5 games and I started noticing the stuff I mentioned above, I would pause the game – change my tactics, formation, and instructions to basically be super defensive and I would just intentionally possess the ball and try to draw the games out and get my 1 point. It was boring but effective. Occasionally, I’d sneak out some 1 goal wins. Maybe other people don’t think it exists, but personally, I notice way too many little things suddenly change about my team for me not to think something is going on.

  6. I agree that there may not be a handicap but there is most defiantly some scripting involved! my last season I had a shocker lost 6 games on the trot in Div 4 (where iv been stuck for a while) mostly to doumbia or other pace whores, however that’s beside the point, I managed three wins and a draw from the final games! funny that was exactly the amount of points i need to stay up! you may say random chance of opponents as this is not an extensive test however I have not seen sirigu play that well over a period of games since I brought him!

  7. I appreciate your thoughts and share some of them, whereas others appears to be based on a weaker foundation. Did you ever manage to read any of my articles on subject?


    In particularly with regards to 90th minute goals, I think there is a natural explanation but that it has little to do with psychology.

  8. Not sure about the handicap and without statistics it’s all subjective. Lost to players (friends little brothers) with a 85/86 rated teams (against my 80/81 teams) who were less experienced (I started playing Fifa when they were born). Had a lot more control, speed and ultimately scoring chances than them. Playing against a good player with million dollar strikers and goalkeeper can very difficult no matter how well you feel you are playing.

    However what is funny is that divisions don’t seem to matter much. Div9 did not seem any easier or more difficult than my current division 4. In clubs it’s the same. We have played in div1 and yet div10 teams can feel just as tricky. Yesterday in FUT I played against someone in the same division and we started messaging after and it turned out he plays in division 7. He won with his 85 rated team (vs my 81 team), yet the tables were turned with even teams.

    I have played and won div1 in Fifa 13 so I feel recognise the excellent players from the mediocre (or maybe the same existed there already). Sometimes in Fifa15 it feels like my opponent is from div1, sometimes from div9-10 (with a bought club) and yet we are both playing in div 4/5 etc.

    1. Wrt seasons, there are no difference in difficulty other than the number of points you need to get promoted, The opponents are always just picked randomly.

  9. I missed to comment that if Fifa choose who will win based on errror made by player, then this manouver thing is totally unfair and missleading. It does not reflect the life. In real futbol, errors does not have an statistical effect on the immediate behavior of team. Unless we enter in sicologycal interpretations, if I was not focused in a moment and made a mistake, and that mistake did not cause a goal, then the mistake is like never existed. And if I regain concentration and do not make mistakes, the error that I made should not have direct effect on the game result. This is just to comment about how Fifa decides who wins, which it unfortunatelly seems that it is what is going on. Which is something that we should not accept

  10. I agree that handicap is not what is going on but of course there is manipulation on the EA side.
    I think it depends more on a pattern on how are you performing. I generally play Seassons and particularly you can see series of very easy games and series of very tough games. The series are of 3 to 5 or more very good games or very bad games, combined with some ties and so on mixed with your opportunity to ascend or descent of division or with how new are you to that division. The algorithm should not be easy but the pattern is clearly identified.
    I regret that you accept this as something that we should accept because EA thinks that is the best for the game. I do not think that this is the best for the game since it causes so many outrageous cticism from the player that cause them to call EA programmers retarded or stupid. I rather think that the algorithm should select the opponent accordingly to your recent/current level of game, and mix this wiht some eventual random very though/easy opponent- or some other method that makes us less unhappy- which of course may not be a trivial challenge to do in programming, but that will make their salaries to be deserved.

  11. I literally just played a game i’m in Div 3 and i had 12 shots 10 on target with my opponents joe hart getting a 9.6 match rating and man of the match, this seems to happen alot i feel lie fifa doesn’t want me to score i end up hitting the bar or the post or a shot that would go in any other game. Its really frustrating becuse i know i should be winning the game comfortably, and im pretty sure I’m not the only one this happens to but god danm its annoying especially when its in the later stages and a push for promotion is on the cards.

  12. Can't you just shut up and play

    I have to comment for sanity sake. It’s a game. Meant to emulate the real life game of football. Of course everybody wants to win all the time. And everybody wants to have their way all the time. But that’s not how life is. And that’s not how this game should be. If you hit the post. You hit the post. If you get scored on twice in the 90′. You got scored on twice in the 90′. I’ve played well over 1000 games. I win the D1 title regularly and I have an 87 rated Messi squad to do it with. This stuff happens to me. But not very often. I win way more often than I lose. But sometimes I lose. And sometimes I get unlucky. THIS IS THE GAME OF FOOTBALL. Play another game if you can’t handle losing and you want GOD mode on all the time. Unbelievable.

    1. I agree that is a game where you wn and lose sometimes. The discussion is about EA deciding who wins and who lose. This should not be a EA algorithm decision. And of course they are doing it. I prefer to lose many times against a very good player thatn to lose against a software manipulation. Same for wining, that some times is so easy that becomes boring.

      1. EA doesn’t decide who is winning. Sometimes the randomness of the game does it, but that’s another story.

  13. Finding wheter there is handicap or not ia simple.How can anyone know that me going left left left and suddenly right long ball is there to defend me. Its calle switch button. Im frustraded because i try to trick players just like in real life but its impossible because everyone uses auto switch to defend. I find myself sometimes defending the right player because o auto switch when i have no idea of opponents long pass i find it unfair and think to when im attacking i do confuse players but auto switch is there. I refuse to so I defend with analog. It gives me a feeling im playing real one on one and help me to take loosing easy. I know im better and could of scored 5-6 goals with out the opponent having auto switch to know when im doing 70yard passes meaning i trying to reach players off the screen and i know i can happen beacause no matter if ball goes out or control it n dribble a defender is already there. Make everyone switch what defender they want to defend ball not auto switch. It will end all doubts who is better atvthe game who has an imagination to play soccer. Simple is pks u can score 5 out of 5 with top players because theres no way to place any sort of handicap just like in real soccer. So in game I should be able to trick 5 out 5 on any kind of pass unless the only real defending should be left to will i shoot left or right does ur goalie know where to go by pressing left or right and center yes thats another handicap let us even control gk saves not save balls close to gk. Because in real soccer a gk does not know as well as we or opponent the matter will be to decide on shot where to defend or save thats if u quik enough to move ur defender to defend not let x get u close. Even X is a handicap real players can juke 2feet away but because of X to defend I cant dribble past players 2 feet away because i go left and right ladt moment we dont know where opponent will drible. Computer should never steal or block shots or run same pace let us control all that because in ways they are implemented in game just not right as it happens in real life. We need to defend when it mattera when we tackle when slide when wanting to get ball not when i pressure with computer because when i know thats how opponent is doing it makes game boring for me. I play because im addicted to soccer and i can win 51% of time with all this auto switch and auto defende and Ultimate team is a pure tell of handicap just because Luis is better defender does not mean the actual player controlling luis is. Im sure we can have same fun having any player do what ever we make it do. I would love to have Neur as my top ST and maybe this game will make be buy more packs with real money if we are given full control of like in the setting called manual.

  14. team
    Busquets (try a hybrid only)
    Rated 83

    Right, started div 4, ratio 3-1-0
    Playing gd players with gd teams with ease
    Then go on a losing streak 3-1-3
    So fighting for survival
    Play the next game,
    Rated 86
    Toty neauer,sweinsteiger
    I go 4-0 up in 30 mins, all of a sudden my team breaks up, like they’re drunk or summat, by 60 mins it’s 4-4, I fetch Juanfran on for Montoya with an injury colliding wi cassilas for no reason, out of nowhere in 90+4 Juanfran skins schweinsteiger, if hummels (with coach cards) if alaba and goes past neuer like as if he wa messi on roids
    After this game, they all are a struggle against teams wi no chemistry till the last game which was a must win for promotion, 1-0 down in 2secs but win in the end 2-1, happens every season, it’s not pressure, it’s a game, Iraq was pressure not fut 15, some kinda engine manipulation somewhere

  15. I think something to do with the engine gets manipulated somewhere, earlier with my 82 bbva team, 41212(2) with navas and Costa, Isco and Torres to keep chemistry with Montoya behind, benzema and James etc on the bench, coasted div 4 3-1-0, then lost 4 on the bounce to 70 chem 80 teams wi red lines everywhere, it took the promotion to the last game, as it does every time, I go one nil down and arrowy scrape through, I don’t feel pressure, it’s a game, Iraq was pressure haha, it just does seem very weird like there’s a 6th sense or something controlling proceedings, just now, against a team rated 87 with toty bundesliga everyone, 4-0 up in 30 mins, ended up 5-4 to me, just n that was Juanfran skinnin toty schweinsteiger, Thiago silva, and destroying neauer, carrying an injury lol something had t b goin off, I got nasty messages aswel haha

  16. Thanks Francesco.

    Now look at this.

    I played a game against a real good player (consider me average). This was his lineup:

    Team: Supreme Club
    Rate: 86
    Chemistry: 97
    Player: CrooksXCastles23 (I hope you or someone who knows you read this)

    Marcelo – Ramos – Thiago Silva – Dani Alves
    Schweinsteiger – Kroos – James Rodriguez
    Reus – Benzema – Bale

    On the Bench: Sterling, Isco, Alaba, Iniesta, Xavi, Pique & Casillas.

    MY TEAM: Aztec Warrior
    Rate: 82 (LOOK AT MY RATE VS HIS… 86 vs 82)

    Marcelo – Ramos (TOTY) – Mathieu – Alves
    Kroos & Rakitic (Both TOTW)
    Isco (TOTW) & Iniesta
    Benzema (TOTW) & Messi

    I have 1 Blue Player and 4 Black Players.

    Final Result 3-3

    He failed so many easy shots and his players were so terrible, but in the end he was able to get the draw (min. 86 I was winning 3-1). He scored 2 goals in the last part of the game because he was a much much better player than I am.

    Check this stats, they are a proof to me that HANDICAP does exists:
    He shot 13 times and I was able to shot only 8.

    — Shots on target: I had 5 and scored 3 goals . He had 8 and scored only 3 goals —

    Now, this is amazing….

    Pass Precision: Mine – 88%!!!!…. His – Only 66%


    Answer: MY BENCH. I only had BRONZE players in my bench. This lowered my TEAM RATE to 82 so the system CHEATED my rival by giving me a HANDICAP.

    I was able to almost feel his frustration when he was one-on-one in front of my GK 3 or 4 times and Benzema or Bale shoot the ball out of the field when it was easier to score, the system, EA SPORTS system, did not want him to score.

    If I had my regular bench with Alba, James Rodriguez, Luis Suarez, Griezmann (TOTW), Carvajal (TOTW), Pique and Modric, he would’ve won easily because he is a better player than me and our teams would’ve more even.

    With this being said, when I use my ELITE TEAM I lose more than I win. When I have an alternative team with all Mexican players (mostly silver ones) I win most of my games against much better rivals thanks to the HANDICAP I get, and now that I tried this mix of my best players with only bronze substitutes I have an 88% pass precision rate and I can see how the players of the rival team play like if they had 2 left foot.

    EA should let the ability of the players determine who wins. If I have the money to buy any player that I want (I don’t have Ronaldo, Bale or Neymar because I don’t use RW or LW in my formation but I could buy them), if I play against a better player than me, it shouldn’t matter if I have the best players available, if my rival plays better than me, he will win and I will lose, that would be fair and honest.


  17. I agree with Axel.
    I would like to add that, unfortunately, handicap is only a small part of a big “cheat” called FIFA Ultimate Team. We should never forget that this is a game where people are pushed to spend real money with the hope to improve their team to win matches (many times without clear results): so the more people spend, the more money the EA company earns. But there is also a lot of money around the game: there are companies and people who sell credits, advertisments promoting autobuyers and cheating programs, a lot of independent or official web sites (who pays for them ?), manuals for buying, people stealing credits and players …
    There would be nothing strange if the game was loyal (the skilled and the best team wins, the worst doesn’t). But it isn’t.
    This is a game where:
    -from the beginning a player could bet on the final results because every match is clearly fixed before playing
    -during one match your players can appear handicapped or doped: once they move slow, do not run in free space, do not create opportunities, do wrong crosses or shots, hit the post (while those belonging to the opponent squad plays like Gods)………and during the following it happens the opposite.
    – sometimes you notice that you cannot control your player because he plays alone (good or bad) and everything that happens (you win or lose) in the match is not a part of your ability.
    You may answer that even in real football a strong and skilled squad loses against a bad one. The difference is that during a real match the real performance of the players decides the final results while in FIFA UTit’s up to EA Sport.
    How could it be different when you and your opponent can control only 1 player at a time, while a computer program moves all the others?
    I belong to a young generation which grew up without videogame (I am almost 50) and I started playing with my kids to get the opportunity to spend some time with them. Playing is therapeutic, is funny and, for old guys like me, is also an opportunity to become child for a few hours. I also wanted to approach something I did not know but also to explore the hiddens risks of these kind of games.
    I also see the passion of the people managing this web site (I hope not to be wrong) and I share a great love for football with all the fifa players.
    On the other hand I know that FIFA is the most profitable game among those from EA Sport and I imagine that their strategy must be winning if they go on this way. It could have been a wonderful game…. but it is not only a lost chance. I am worried about the dangers of this game ( hazard and addiction ) and I am sorry because a beautiful game changed in something different: a real swindle!! If you are skilled, if you invest money and time….. you cannot be deceived.
    I have never bought my sons a single pack nor fifa coins and I never will. I also recognize that you have always recommended the same.
    “So what does he wants from us, why does he bother us ?” you might be asking.
    I think that these topics would deserve at least an article …………if you are really independent…. if you take care of you readers….above all naive children…..
    Thanks for your attention

    1. You are absolutely right!!! Thanks for adding that.

      I’ll play in a few minutes with:

      Alves Mathieu Ramos (TOTY) Marcelo
      CDM. Rakitic & Kross Black
      CAM. Isco Black & Iniesta
      ST. Messi & Benzema Black

      In the bench… All BRONZE players.

      Notice. Left players are all Real Madrid and right players all Barcelona.

      This team with all over 80 rated players in the bench lost 6 games in a row. We’ll see if lowering the rating in the bench reduces the handicap.

  18. Handicap DOES exists, it’s stupid and it sucks!

    I have 2 teams created.

    Team A is La Liga players including Gold Messi, Suarez, Alba, Alves, Bravo and Iniesta. Benzema, Griezman, Kroos and Rakitic TOTW Black and if that is not enough, Ramos TOTY.

    Team B is made out of Mexican players. Mainly Silver. The best I have here is Chicharito, Gio and Ochoa. The rest, just local players even we Mexicans have a hard time to remember their names.

    When I use team A, from 5 games I lose 4. It is frustrating to see how Messi in front of the GK will hit his head or how a pass from Iniesta will hit Suarez on the calf. Absurd.

    When I use team B. I win 4 out of 5. Teams that play against me using Neymar, Bale, Tevez, Aguero, Rooney or Balotelli fail goals one-on-one against Ochoa. I can feel the frustration from my rivals when they fail because I’ve felt it too.

    It’s not absurd, it’s stupid to see how my CB’s Rodriguez or Marquez who are slower than an 89 year old woman can run and catch up someone like Sturridge and take the ball out of him.

    If I’m spending REAL money to buy packs, I feel I’m being robbed when I invest in someone like Messi or Ramos TOTY and in the end Oribe Peralta and Rafa Marquez are better players.

    My Team A might be worth over 10 million coins and Team B might be under 10,000 coins so it should be ours, the FIFA15 human players ability with the game the one that should prevail and decide who wins or loses and EA shouldn’t be messing with the game with this obvious handicap that they always deny to comment about.

  19. How does the matchmaking work? Becoz everytime I go online, my squad is just 4.5, yet I get 5 star team just as 84. Its abit too much of a gap to bridge

      1. So I will still mainly challenge 5 star teams? So would it be better for me to use my ultimate squad for online? However, I feel my 5 star tram isnt good enough to beat other 5 star teams.

        1. Yes, we suggest you to use your best squad no matter which star rating you have. Sometimes even with lower star teams you will play against top squads because of your region, pin and form.

  20. I know everyone has their own opinion on handicap ect, my opinion is handicap is real, I play fifa a lot and I know when and when not I am being handicapped,

    85 rating team division 4

    78 rating team
    Got me to division 2 and holding there comftably.

    Many people do not want to believe in handicap ect.
    There is proof of some sort of handicap,
    as my “di Maria” “walker” “aguero” Jordi Alba” have enough pace to out run many players. BUT
    Aguero can not outrun mertasaker
    Di Maria can not out run Barkley
    Jori Alba and walker get outrun by 80 pace wingers like santi Cazorla

    If you watch your defenders in slow motion you can see they create gaps and they run forward to let their striker have a massive head start.
    Then all it takes is for EA to make your keeper act as a blind sloth!

    But with my 78 rating team I can see the exact same thing happen to the opponent, I know you might be thinking why I am complaining if u can win with a 78 rating team ? But I pay money and save up for the good rating players, and now their just sitting in my club not being used at all.

    EA has put handicap into the game for a whole big money scheme.

    New player – losses – doesn’t want to play fifa again- less points purchased- less money ea is having .

    Instead they balance the games, well at least try to.
    So it keeps everyone from quitting and keeps us spending.

    The reason they don’t admit to having such a programme in the game is because they would know people will complain and quit the game until ea solves it.

    But they rather keep us debating and keeping it as a conspiracy!
    I wish I could click my fingers and make everyone realise what they are doing and watch fifa get run to the ground and stamped on 🙂

    1. Thank you Sunil… this video is from my channel… I could not link this video here…

      Rodrigo… anything seriously you don’t like about me?

      I’m also a fan of yours… I can associate my youtube videos to your website… I just need the beautiful game to be original… fairplay is all I want..

      Even advantage is accepted for balance of play… but causing disadvantage to one’s team is wrong, atleast they should let one’s player stats work for themselves, while giving other player any advantage..

      1. Hi again.
        Of course we don’t have nothing against you.
        As I already said you posted the URL in the details field and not in the body message. As you can see Sunil posted the URL.
        No one can post videos in comments but you can insert the URL.

  21. I think FIFA handicap will not affect you when you are already a skillful and good player. handicap kicked in when you and your opponent’s skills are at the same level. this is from my experience. i stuck on div 1 again and again because my opponent is as good as me. for example, i play fut seasons on div 1 and the score 1-1 throughout the match. then comes the 80th minute. my team suddenly become sluggish and out of position FFS. the match ended 2-1 where i lost on the 90th minute!!

    i felt like something is wrong because when you play an intense match like that, it’s like there is ‘someone’ decides who wins at the very last minute.

    btw my opponent use ronaldo, bale, messi and the gang (if you know what i mean). so IMO handicap will not affect you if your level of skill is top notch.

      1. I try to submit video link of youtube to prove scripting.. Is that not allowed here?

  22. Really…. How much did Ea pay you to write this ?

    Fifa 15 is blatantly scripted handicapped … The outcome of any ultimate team game is decided even before kick off, if played in the correct way.. eg. Not purposely scoring own goals ect .. both playing to win..

    EA apply the handicap because of poor players who cant win who have no idea how to play the game correctly. ..which is about 85% of players …. And lets face it Who would buy and play a game they dont enjoy playing ? Hence EA would loose all those sales because people wont buy a game they dont like playing.. so EA introduction handicapping.. to make the weaker player have fun winning to maximise sales… Its not rocket science .. its profiteering and illegal …

    So yes handicapping does exist and I for one will never buy a ea product again…

    And anyone who believes it doesn’t exist is a fool .

  23. In seasons they always match u for title matches or promotion against opponents 2 divisions up. Ie div8 vs div 6…. Infact rarely during regular play are u matched with opponents from the exact division u play in. I check my match history after every match becuSe I felt disAdvantaged especially as I gt closer to promotion…it’s such an unfair match making… I want to play opponents in my division not higher or lower… So many times I feel sorry when I check the history after feeling proud about a win in a higher division only to see I was matched to a poor bastard two divisions lower.. I suspect FUT match making works the same way but there isn’t way to check since those stats are hidden from us.

  24. I disagree with you, there is something during a match, some kind of force that provoques your players make any kind of mistakes, some of the most evident, are the “stamina” downagraded so fast. When player starts to run “so slowly” or funny. You forget about the handicap to keep you in certain division, there is no way to avoid that and get the promotion, and is not about a player skills.
    other thinks:
    1.- Recently I got 8 players injured in just 3 matches even when in game they dont get injured!
    2.- There is allways in my team a player affecting the overall performance.
    3.- Sometimes the passing is so erratic or they cant control a easy ball or to turn around they need a year.
    4.- Sometimes i feel i dont have any control over my team.

    Its quite simple to demostrate the handicap is there, take the exact same team on a match, you would see a huge difference between “messi” and “messi”.

    1. Absolutely spot on. This has been happening since at least fifa 13. I just won fifa 16 draft 4 times in a row and now I cannot win a game to save my life. I have Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar ect and none of them can control a ball that’s passed 5mph at them. This fifa game is disgrace and should be banned for simply robbing people of there money. They are hypocrites as well because apparently they don’t want people cheating by buying coins. But they can sell packs lmao. Sluggish game play is so obvious after you win a few tournaments. If u create a new account my team is unbelievably good, then, if I go on a long streak, the sluggish game play kicks in. No control, passing awful ect ect ect. Each you have bored me with your game

  25. This is a plausible explanation (and it would fit to my terrible game statistics against weaker team) as I have never bought fifa coins.
    As I am very interested in this topic, you can count on me among the volunteers in the second arm arm of this study protocol.
    On the contrary, I remember a comment on the Italian FIFA 14 UT forum in which a guy alerted all the compulsive players with his personal experience: He had spent 3.000 euros(!!! !!!!) in packs getting a very high rated squad (with many blue cards of top players) but he continued losing matches. I don’t know if he was true but I remember I was very impressed about the potential dangers of “game addiction” of FIFA.

  26. All the arguments that I’ve seen so far, both for and against the existence of handicap, have focused on what I feel is the WRONG thing.

    All the arguments have centred around whether or not EA gives an advantage to WEAKER teams, so as to level the playing field.

    I don’t think this is the case.

    MY take on this, is that EA gives an advantage to players who have spent MORE on FIFA POINTS (i.e. CASH) over those who have spent less (or not spent at all, i.e. those whose sole cash outlay to EA has been the purchase of FIFA 15 itself).

    To understand why this might be the case, we have to see from the perspective of EA, and what would benefit them most. Now, how does EA profit from FIFA 15. There’s the advertising and sponsorship, but that’s all said and done already. Then there’s the price of the game itself, but that’s also sunk cost (i.e. if you have already bought the game, whether or not, and how much you played the game would not matter), and then there’s FIFA points. Now that’s variable, and the more they can get people to spend real hard cash on FIFA points, the better for their profit margin.

    We have already seen two ways in which EA seeks to promote the purchase of FIFA points.

    1. Making coin sales and purchase illegal. Why? Because the cash doesn’t flow to EA, but rather, the profits are to the coin traders.

    2. Making it easier to get good packs if purchased by FIFA points as compared to with coins. For this, I have actually did a study. The difference is pretty significant (but my sample size may not be large enough). The short of it is that, packs bought with FIFA points tend to be better (in terms of money made from selling + quick-selling the content) compared to those bought with coins, which in turn tends to be better that those got for free (e.g. the weekly pre-order free pack).

    Now, with those already in place, why would EA also give an on-field advantage towards players who spent more cash?

    If you look at the price of players (indirectly caused by their respective supply of course), correlated with their quality (i.e. rating), you can see that if you want to improve your squad, it’s basically a diminishing marginal returns kind of thing. e.g. to assemble a 78-rated squad is pretty easy. You can get it at at most 400 coins per player. To assemble a 82-rated squad (78 + 4) is somewhat harder, but still not that hard, probably about 2000 coins per player. But to assemble a 86-rated squad (82 + another 4)… woah! you’ll have to look for 5-figure coins per player at least.

    This means that if you’ve had a disappointing season in a particular higher division (say div 2 or 3), maybe just avoiding relegation… and you want to aim for promotion or the title, to improve your squad to be able to do that would take a hell lot of FIFA points (remember that your squad is probably already 80+ish). You may end up spending cash but not getting a lot of more positive result. EA wouldn’t want that. They want to reinforce your behaviour (of spending cash) through positive feedback. so you spend some cash, get some, well, just marginally better players, but you seem to then play better in games, then later when you meet a tougher opponent, what do you do? you think that you’ll need to improve your squad further (by spending more cash).

    Won’t that irritate those who have not spent (or spent very little) on FIFA points?

    Yes! Which might lead to one of three things:

    1. If you can’t beat them, join them. Buy FIFA coins. EA wins.

    2. Continue playing at a disadvantage. EA doesn’t care.

    3. Give up, stop playing. Stop buying FIFA 16, 17, 18… Well, you can sod off… what are you (and the price of FIFA) compared to the players who perhaps spend THAT amount on FIFA points week in week out?

    How does EA “rig” matches to give an advantage to certain players? (OK this is just what I think)

    Some people (who say that there IS a handicapping going on), seem to suggest that EA rigs the game engine (why is it that my shots hit the post so often? why is it that when I make a successful tackle, the ball goes back to the opponent?)

    I don’t think that’s how they do it (by directly rigging the game engine and physics). To engineer a realistic game engine is VERY DIFFICULT. To rig it and still have it look natural and realistic is almost impossible.

    The easier way would be to give bonus points to players stats during game time (for those who did spend on FIFA points), or perhaps penalty points to those who did not (or spent far less).

    This would be programmatically easier and actually, all the gameplay “quirks” that you experienced can be explained that way. Why do you hit the post often instead of scoring? Your finishing attribute has been hit by a penalty. Why is it that often, when you make a successful tackle, the ball goes back to the opponent? Your standing tackle has been hit by a penalty, or the opponent’s interception attribute has been boosted.

    Part of what I wrote above is based on observations. Part has been studied (the one on using FIFA coins to buy packs). But part of it is based on hypothesis (based on economics and psychology). So it may be correct or wrong. I would love for a (disgruntled) ex-EA employee to come out and give the lowdown on what actually happens. Or perhaps some study can be done (many games played between players who bought FIFA points and players who haven’t?)

    1. I totally disagree
      I bought a lot of points and still feeling is something wrong in at least 50% of tha games. For sure is something there but I am 100% that if you buy fut points will not help you…
      In fut14 I had a club worth 850 000 000
      Made only buying points.

  27. I agree handicapping doesnt exist… Last night my mertasacker was outrunning op team’s oxlade chamberlane…

    Mertasacker ruled with one header and two shots… Scoring hat trick…

  28. Dear sirs, thanks for your interesting work but this articles and the answers to your readers concerns seem to show that you are not so independent nor so mentally honest as you would like to appear.
    People who play FUT well know what happen to their players when they met the low rated squads: low speed, wrong passes, shots out or on the wood………and the match is lost…….
    Among your readers there are surely graduated in statistics which would laugh at Silvio Texeira’ concepts regarding statistics. Anyway this is a game and just for fun i collected my experience:
    My squad 80 rate, 100% chemistry and trainer from the same league; opponents squads satisfying all the 3 following criteria: <75 rate, < 50 chemistry and no trainer;
    Results after 50 matches : won 3, draw 2 lost 45…………do I need to comment ?
    Why don't you write a true article about this topic ? Are you afraid of you the title "How to build a winning squad against all the rules we have just showed" ?
    It was not long time ago that a scientific article demonstrated that surgeons who use the playstation operate better with robotic technique than those who don't use it. If I operate my patients like I (am supposed to) play with low rate squads in FUT I think I would kill the majority of them!!!!!!!!!!!
    That's all for this night ……..See you laaaaaaater Silvio!!!!!!

    1. Hi.
      We respect your opinion but we do not agree with “(…)well know what happen to their players when they met the low rated squads: low speed, wrong passes, shots out or on the wood………and the match is lost…….”. We have hundreds or even thousands of readers who shares with us that they think handicap doesn’t exist. There is no way to know if there is or not.

  29. It worries me that people that play the game for a long time accept handicap and scripting as a “good thing” or a challenge.
    Divisions are supposed to already adjust the matchmaking. For friendlies/cups there could be a factoring, like w/l ratio, to adjust matchmaking. And why EA doesn’t make public the UT leaderboards, or the factoring for matchmaking? Why so much secrecy?

    Momentum could be ok if you had indicators, like player morale. But it doesn’t make sense at all how it’s implemented. Also the way the game helps one team or the other is ridiculous. Either your players pass it straight to a perfectly positioned opponent, or the ball bounces several times until it falls at the feet of an opponent.

    One thing is handicap, or trying to even out the field, and a whole different thing is rigging the game so that the winner is who the AI decides. That’s a disgrace, a travestite.

    I think some of us that have been playing FIFA and PES since the first versions, have enough knowledge and feel for the game to know if the game is fair, or the game is rigged, and it becomes pointless to play.

    And to the people that laugh at those of us that play SP… I think we deserve to have a decent single player mode. Many of us like to play career mode or play at times where matchmaking is difficult, so it’d be nice to have a decent single player mode. Instead the single player mode is a big pos. I used to enjoy playing sp, but now it’s just a pos. The AI is extremely inconsistent and disregards whatever level of difficulty you select.

  30. Why i lose with 84 rated squad and win with 79 rated almost everytime?

    Squad 4-2-2-2
    Filip luis
    Juan mata
    Rooney (cam)
    Van persie

    I play passing game more inclined to attack with possession

      1. that’s not the case… when I actually play with my low rated team (79)… my shots almost find the back of the net… but when I play with my this squad, which is 84 rated.. my shots always find the bar and cannon back at the feet of a defender or hands of goalkeeper..

        c’mon.. I am not such a bad shooter… when vargas shoots, its goal.. when van persie, falcao, rooney try… bummm… and the ball is back.

          1. Comment deleted. It was against the comments rules. Next time, user will be banned.

  31. This article is very disappointing. You’ve expressed an opinion on handicapping and have very little evidence to backup your claims but you are happy to question the intelligence of everyone that forms a different opinion to your own… The ‘statistics’ you have used to back up your argument are flimsy at best and do nothing to back up the opinions you have made in this article. How about sharing some useful statistics like pass accuracy, shot accuracy, possession and other quantitative stats? Then also look at qualitative things like are 90 pace players getting run by 30 pace players? or do great dribblers like Messi or Ozil feel like they have a pair of concrete boots on?

    At the end of the day, I have not seen anyone that can prove or disprove anything about a FIFA handicap. You have just expressed an opinion on topic and basically told everyone with a different opinion that they are an idiot. With persuasion and communication skills like that you should consider a career in politics.

    A word of advice, if you’re going to write an opinion piece and don’t have any concrete evidence to back up your opinions, it’s probably not a good to insult everyone that has a different view on the topic.

      1. A very kind and coated piece too… I dont even see how any parties could be offended. Anyone want to befriend a lvl 96 exp fut founder for xbox one? Speaks english and bad spanish…looking for any way to bring enjoyment back to this game… whether it be 2v2, clubs, or friendlies. Would really prefer that you are over the age of 21 as I am in my mid to late 20s…I only play this game with class and to mimic real life, in 15 years ive never played a game with ronaldo or messi. If you glimpse at my tactics you will see my chance creation will be almost twice that of the speed of my build up play, hence i play the game like essentially no one you have ever seen. (PS I cant play 41212 with wingers because it holds no validity in real life, it was used for a time in the bundesliga and was considered a 4132 with three playmakers.) Add gamertag countrynerman on xbox one.

  32. Looks like it’s coincident, but I wasn’t able to win the tournament (offline) ‘Among the giants’ today 3 time in a row. I started again the game 3 times (you can do it on Xbox One if quit offline), but always my players didn’t play at all.
    Mata and IF Wilshere were not able to pass to each other within 10 meters, IF Jagielka ran away from the box, when I only moved LS slightly in jockeying mode, IF Welbeck wasn’t able to tap the ball into empty net, he fell near the ball instead.
    And here I supposed that the problem is in IF players… I took a team with non-rare players and easily won the match from my first attempt. I’m in late 30s and all the above is not just complaining about stupid EA programmers 🙂

  33. I’ve suspected some sort of handicapping though I don’t think it is based on the level of team you are using, more down to the skill of the player (maybe worked out by form or win percentages compared to the opponent).

    I’ve played in matches with my averaged 4.5* team, against a team that is clearly bought by someone wealthy who is not good at the game (full of top top players, messi, bale etc.) I won a match, but manage to hit the post more than 5 times with chances that would normally go in.

    I played against someone I know is far better than me and every single shot he hit seemed to go off the post. I also totally wiped out his striker from behind in the box and no penalty was given, along with some other strange decisions.

    I’m convinced dodgy refereeing and shots hitting the post are part of some sort of handicapping, but haven’t seen it too often. It is funny to win this way though.

  34. Rodrigo, it’s the first time I write here on your website, despite reading it on a regular basis, so congratulations on the great work you guys have been doing here.

    While I understand there is no point in lowering your team’s rating to be handicapped by the “system”, wouldn’t I face weaker teams (lower rating) by fielding weaker players?

    At the beginning of a season I usually play against 80-82 teams (mine is 80, with a 54 player in the bench), but after winning 5 consecutive matches I usually get a tougher team, around 88. How does FIFA choose the teams I’ll play against?


    1. Thank you very much.
      You have a Portuguese name, I think. So, if you want you can visit our Portuguese website too: pt.fifauteam.com
      Yes, I think you could and you should lowering your team’s rating face lower rating teams. However, most of the times it doesn’t happen because there are other factors: ping, form, etc…
      I don’t have 100% sure about how it works, so I will nanswer about how matchmaking works. As soon I get an answer from EA (I’m waiting it since this Summer), I will publish it.

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