How pack odds in FIFA 19 work

EA has opened up about pack probability in FIFA Ultimate Team.

As reported by Eurogamer in June, EA Sports has introduced pack odds disclosures across its sports games this year, including in FIFA 19’s Ultimate Team mode.

In a post on the EA Sports website, the company showed an image of how the pack odds disclosure will look in FIFA 19. You can now view the pack probabilities of any pack sold on the store before buying.

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Here we see the minimum probability of getting a certain gold rated player from a premium gold pack, which costs 7500 FUT Coins or 150 FIFA Points (roughly £1.20). There’s a 100 per cent chance of getting at least one 75+ gold rated player, a 20 per cent chance of getting one or more 82+ gold rated players, and a 4.5 per cent chance of getting one or more 84+ gold rated players.

Of note: some campaign specific categories, such as Ones to Watch cards, are extremely rare. EA said in some packs, the rarity of cards such as these may be less than one per cent, “and within that there will be a wide range of probabilities”. That’s a sobering thought for anyone who spends money trying to get these kinds of cards.

Surprisingly, EA uses a simulation to work out pack odds (surely someone at EA determines the chances of getting certain cards, rather than some all-powerful AI?). Pack probabilities are calculated by simulating the opening of a “very large” number of packs, for each pack in the store. “The number of packs opened in a simulation varies based on rarity, but it will always be enough to be statistically valid,” EA said. This process is then re-run with every content update.

Also of note: the percentages you see are on a pack-by-pack basis, and so are not cumulative. This means each pack opening is an independent event, and opening multiple packs does not affect the likelihood of being awarded an item.

While the pack probabilities revealed are a little vague (are the chances of getting an 84-rated player the same as getting a 90-rated player?), it’s certainly a good thing that FUT is now more transparent. But the mechanics revolving around FUT packs remain problematic, and governments worldwide have taken notice. EA’s decision to disclose pack odds comes at a time of increased scrutiny of loot boxes in video games from authorities. In a bid to protect its billion dollar business, EA is currently contesting a decision by Belgium that loot boxes are gambling. Some have seen the pack odds disclosure across EA Sports titles as an attempt to stave off legislation, but the developers of FIFA recently told Eurogamer they were “a voluntary decision”.

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