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Why so many FIFA 18 players think the computer cheats

For years now, FIFA players have wondered whether the all-conquering football game is cheating them. Some are convinced it is.


Ever felt like the computer cheats in FIFA? You’re not alone.

The FIFA community calls this “momentum”, or “scripting”. The idea is that under the hood, FIFA creates “dramatic moments” by giving the losing team a helping hand or making life harder for the winning team.

Have you lost inexplicably while playing FIFA? Have you ever conceded an equaliser to an opponent who all of a sudden turns it on in the last second? Do your players decide they’ve had enough for no good reason and run as if they’re stuck in the mud? Most FIFA players – and I include myself in this – will remember times when the game has done something that doesn’t seem fair.

The debate around momentum has bubbled under the surface of the FIFA community for years (earlier this year a redditor claimed to have found mention of momentum in the FIFA 17 game files), but it’s risen to the top with the release of FIFA 18. That’s because of the popularity of a new mode: Squad Battles.

Squad Battles is a player versus computer mode for FIFA Ultimate Team. You take your FUT team and play against other players’ squads, which are controlled by the AI. It’s a great mode for getting FIFA coins, but on higher difficulties it’s pretty tough.

There are lots of players who reckon the computer cheats in Squad Battles in a variety of ways. Whether it’s offside goals or improbable shots, hitting the post repeatedly to inconsistent refereeing decisions, Squad Battles has come under fire for, well, feeling unfair.