As every year, FIFA 18 Winter Upgrades are expected to go live in mid-February 2018. Until FIFA 16 there were only winter upgrades. So player cards could only be upgraded, only get better values. However, in FIFA 17, the Ratings Refresh was introduced and there have been downgrades since then. Presumably, FUT 18 will again provide Ratings Refresh with upgrades and downgrades. The Ratings Refresh apply to the standard cards (Bronze, Silver, Gold).
Generally, the gold cards are upgraded by 1-2 points in the rating. Silver and Bronze players receive upgrades of about 4 points. In rare cases, the upgrades in Bronze players can reach a whopping 15 points.
Winter Upgrades Release dates / Ratings Refresh in the FUT
Official Winter Upgrades Release dates are not yet known. However, the upgrades and downgrades have always taken place in February in the last few years. The upgraded cards don’t all appear simultaneously, but in packs.
Most likely the EA Sports will proceed as in FIFA 17 and publish the rating refreshment charts sorted by leagues one after the other.
- The first set of ratings will appear on February 16, 2018 (Friday). The other packs come in sets every 2 days. (But this is not officially confirmed).
How To Get An Upgrade Card With A Higher Overall Rating
The players who are affected by the rating refresh will be completed as soon as they are known. Over the last few years, hundreds of professionals have been upgraded and downgraded.
Once the winter upgrade cards appear, they can be pulled in the sets. The only requirement is that the set can contain players. The "old" cards of each player are from this moment no longer in the sets to find.
If you already own a card of a player who is upgraded, it will remain unchanged. It will not be updated automatically. If you want the player's card with improved attributes, you have to draw them from a set. It is also possible to purchase the winter upgrade cards from other players in the transfer market.
In other words, after the Ratings Refresh, two versions of each player's standard cards coexist in FUT.
How Do The In Form (IF) Cards Work During The Winter Upgrades?
The "IF" cards, such as the "Team of the Week" cards, are a bit complicated in winter upgrades.
In short: If the player's winter upgrade card is better than or equal to the previous IF card (s), the IF cards will be automatically revalued. These should continue to be better than the regular cards.
However, if a player changes his quality during the winter upgrade (eg from silver to gold) and the previous IF card was a silver card, it remains unchanged.
An example of Agureo's IF cards from the past (no current cards):
The regular card for the launch had a rating of 87. After the winter upgrade Aguero received a regular card with 88. Since one of his IF cards already had 88, this is increased to 89. His TOTW card, which was two points better than 87 at 89, turns 90 to be 2 points better than the new regular card.
By the way: not only TOTW cards, but also hero cards and other special cards are considered IF cards.