It also depends on your performence.

"If you're the top earner, you get first priority over anyone else. You want money, you want fame, then you have to outdo our ace here" - Commander Goodfellow

Basically, you should aim for scoring the most points in a game. Being a MVP means you had scored the most points. Taking out valued targets, or more basic targets then your rivals will earn you more research and credits. 

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