FIFA 20 game-breaking glitch penalizes players for Windows notifications

FIFA 20 game-breaking glitch penalizes players for Windows notifications

EA’s FIFA series is consistently one of the best-selling franchises each year, and FIFA 20 appears to have kept the ball rolling with generally positive reviews. This is great news for us PC gamers with an Origin Access subscription, who can either download the game now with a “premium” membership or try the game out for 10 hours with a “basic” membership. Unfortunately, FIFA 20 for PC includes game-breaking incompatibilities with Windows 10 that severely penalize players for not giving it all their attention.

A penalty is a cowardly way to score

The issues come while playing online in the popular Ultimate Team mode. If the game window loses focus — regardless of whether the game is in fullscreen or borderless fullscreen mode — the player will instantly be kicked from the game and penalized with a cooldown.

The game never warns the player of the issue and can rear its head if the player does anything that causes the game to “lose focus,” from changing music volume to receiving Windows notifications.

The following penalties will be applied to your account if FIFA 20 “loses focus” at any time during a match:

  • A DNF modifier will be applied to your account. This reduces the amount of coins received from future matches by around 10 percent. You need to stay in 10 complete games to start making 100 percent of the coins again. For each disconnection, the coin value drops by a seemingly random amount, until you begin losing a stupid amount of coins.
  • You lose a contract point used by each player within a team. Once these points are gone, they must be refilled using either real money or in-game coins by purchasing loot boxes or buying them on the in-game market.
  • Your account will be credited with a loss.
  • You may lose access to the FIFA Draft, if you are currently in that mode. The draft costs around 15,000 coins to enter, which is valued at around $3.90 according to a FIFA coin reseller.

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The following Windows actions have been shown to cause issues:

  • Any activity on Origin, from friend messages to game install notifications
  • Any activity from Windows, such as skipping songs using keyboard media keys or Windows notifications
  • A friend message from Steam
  • A message on Skype/Discord

A window to the soul

EA acknowledged this issue on their website back in April in reference to FIFA 18, claiming, “The disconnections happen when the game loses focus on the game and turns its attention to the notification. This is because there are certain limitations that could cause other issues in the game if it was able to switch focus mid-match.”

Unfortunately, the error persisted through last year’s FIFA 19 and has persisted into FIFA 20. Their original solution was to add a “borderless windowed” mode, and while that worked in FIFA 19, the issues with this year’s release appear to be rooted elsewhere.

Some fans have theorized that this is EA’s method of combating cheating, as older cheating programs would require you to start a match prior to launching an exploit. Other fans have claimed the glitch is a carryover from consoles, citing a shoddy PC port as the reason.

Regardless of the motive, EA’s recommendation to close every background process — including its own Origin service — has not sat well with fans.

FIFA 20 is out now on Origin, but it appears that this one might be better suited for consoles.