Different to what happens on other game modes, the FUT players aren’t automatically updated throughout the season according to their appearances in real life. Some may receive In Form cards, but most players remain with the characteristics they were given at the start of the season. In Ultimate Team, upgrades are made through the release of new cards in two specific times: Summer and Winter upgrades. The first one happens within the transition of one FIFA to another looking to reflect the player’s evolution between two seasons. The second one, in February, rewards the players who stood out the most along the first half of the season with the release of new improved cards.
When a player is upgraded, the cards that start coming in packs have got the new ratings and attributes according to their performance on the real life pitch.
Player's ratings are not the only one to be upgraded. EA also releases skills upgrades in the mid season.