FIFA 18 scouting & youth academy guide part 1: how to pick a scout

FIFA 18 scouting guide: how to pick a good scout

Key points:

  • Experience = how many players you get on each report, and whether they’re the type you want
  • Judgment = the quality of players your scout finds
  • Platinum players have a maximum potential of 95; for bronze players, it’s only 80

Welcome to the FIFA 18 scouting guide!

The most in-depth and authoritative youth academy guide out there

Whether you’re a youth academy veteran or are yet to send your scout on his first mission, my guides will help you discover the next generation of superstars in FIFA 18.

This guide will show you how to hire the best scout you can. If you want to know where you should send your scouts, what type of players you should be looking for and the best ways to develop your players, you’ll want to check out my FIFA 18 scouting guide hub page. I’ll be adding more guides over the next couple of weeks, so make sure to keep checking back.

Scouting in FIFA 18

While there have been a number of changes to career mode in FIFA 18, the fundamentals of scouting remain largely the same as in FIFA 17.

If you’re new to scouting, that means you’ll be given objectives by your board to scout and train new youth players. You’ll have to pick a scout, decide where to send him and choose which players to recruit to your academy. That’s what this guide will help you to do.

FIFA 18 scouting & youth academy guide part 1

Picking a highly rated scout increases your chances of finding top youth players

I’ll also be explaining a few other key concepts, like whether it’s worth picking the best scout you can afford, and what the difference is between a scout’s experience and judgment rating. Let’s get started.

Experience vs judgment

When you go to pick a scout, you’ll immediately notice he has two ratings: one for experience, and one for judgment. What do each of those ratings mean? We’ll start with experience.


A scout with a high experience rating is more likely to find the type of player you want him to than a scout with a lower rating. In other words, if you tell a scout to search for wingers, you don’t want him to bring you a load of goalkeepers – a higher experience rating will help with that.

Experience also influences how many players you get on each scouting report. The more players you get per report, the higher the chances are that there will be a gem in amongst them.

Here’s how many players you’ll get in each report based on your scout’s experience rating:

  • 1 star experience: 1-2 players per report
  • 2 stars experience: 2-3 players per report
  • 3 stars experience: 3-5 players per report
  • 4 stars experience: 4-6 players per report
  • 5 stars experience: 5-7 players per report

That alone means it’s worth going for a scout with as high an experience rating as you can afford. He’ll give you more players to choose from on each report, thereby increasing the chances that you’ll find a top player.

FIFA 18 scouting & youth academy guide part 1

The better your scout’s experience rating, the more players he’ll give you in each report

There are a couple of things to note, though. The first is that a scout will always find nothing but goalkeepers if you tell him to look for goalkeepers, and that remains true whatever his experience level is.

The other thing is that if you tell your scout to find ‘Any’ type of player, his experience level is irrelevant, because he’s not actively searching for a particular player type. So if you’re not too bothered by the type of player your scout finds, you could save a bit of money by buying a cheaper scout and setting the player type to ‘Any’.

As we can see from the table below, if your scout has a poor experience level then he is far more likely to find the wrong type of player than a high-rated scout. All these values are from the game files, so we know they’re accurate:

ExperienceExact match?Chance
5 starsYes80%
5 stars2nd choice14%
5 stars3rd choice11%
5 stars4th choice5%
4 starsYes65%
4 stars2nd choice20%
4 stars3rd choice10%
4 stars4th choice5%
3 starsYes58%
3 stars2nd choice24%
3 stars3rd choice14%
3 stars4th choice12%
2 starsYes45%
2 stars2nd choice25%
2 stars3rd choice15%
2 stars4th choice15%
1 starYes30%
1 star2nd choice27%
1 star3rd choice24%
1 star4th choice19%

A scout with five stars in experience has an 80% chance of finding exactly the type of player you’re looking for. Compare that to a one-star experience scout, who only has a 30% chance of finding the right type of player. That’s a huge difference, and well worth paying for.

You’ll probably have noticed that the percentages for five-star and three-star scouts don’t add up to 100%. I’m not sure why this is, but what is clear is that experience rating can make a big difference.

FIFA 18 scouting & youth academy guide part 1

The higher the experience rating, the more players you’ll get in each report


While experience determines whether your scout finds what you’re looking for and how many players you get on each report, judgment is a little different.

It’s used to decide the quality of players that your scout finds. Simply put, the higher the judgment rating, the more likely your scout is to find high-quality players.

FIFA 18 calls the best players ‘platinum’ players (tier 1 in the table below), while the worst ones are ‘bronze’ players (tier 4). How likely is each scout to find the best players? The table below, taken from the game files, explains it:

JudgmentPlayer qualityChance
5 starsPlatinum10%
5 starsGold12%
5 starsSilver64%
5 starsBronze14%
4 starsPlatinum6%
4 starsGold8%
4 starsSilver50%
4 starsBronze36%
3 starsPlatinum4%
3 starsGold6%
3 starsSilver36%
3 starsBronze54%
2 starsPlatinum2%
2 starsGold3%
2 starsSilver30%
2 starsBronze65%
1 starPlatinum1%
1 starGold2%
1 starSilver15%
1 starBronze82%

All scouts will struggle to find platinum players, which makes sense – they’re the best of the best, so should be rare.

However, there is a clear difference between scout judgment ratings. A one-star judgment scout only has a 1% chance of finding a platinum player, while a five-star judgment scout has a 10% chance, which is quite a bit more.

FIFA 18 scouting & youth academy guide part 1

The higher the judgment rating, the more likely you are to get high quality players

If you remember that a five-star experience scout will give you 5-7 players per report, if you have a scout with five stars in both experience and judgment then you could end up finding platinum players every other scouting report, which is a very good return.

Conversely, a scout with one star in both experience and judgment will only give you 1-2 players per report, and there’s only a 1% chance that either of those players will be platinum rated. That doesn’t exactly give you much chance of finding the next Lionel Messi.

Which scouts find the best players? What is a platinum player?

Let’s dig a little deeper and take a look at what exactly counts as a platinum player.

Here’s how FIFA 18 defines them:

  • Platinum player: potential 75-95
  • Gold player: potential 65-90
  • Silver player: potential 60-85
  • Bronze player: potential 55-80
FIFA 18 scouting & youth academy guide part 1

The better your scout’s judgment rating, the higher quality players he’ll find

The game files also have this line: YOUTH_PLAYER_ATTRIBUTES_MODIFIER = 10. This basically means that youth player ‘attributes’ will be modified by a random number from 0-10. However, what isn’t clear is whether this means potential can also be modified by this number, or just stats like ball control, vision, etc.

If potential can be modified, then a low-rated scout could find a bronze player with potential 80, then that potential could get boosted (or lowered) by up to 10 points, meaning that scouts don’t even have to find platinum players in order to get good result.

If you have an opinion on this or think you can shed some light, be sure to have your say in the comments.

Getting better scouts in FIFA 18

There’s nothing worse than getting excited to scout in FIFA 18, then finding that all the scouts you have to choose from are low rated. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways you can get better scouts.

The first is to save and reload. The list of available scouts refreshes every 7 days, so the first thing to do is work out what day this happens on. Once you’ve done that, save your game the day before. Advance one day and look at the list of scouts – if it’s still no good, reload your save and advance again. This time, the list of scouts will be different and might contain some better options.

FIFA 18 scouting & youth academy guide part 1

If you buy this scout, there’s a 25% chance he’ll be replaced by a better scout

The second option is to buy your way to success. There’s a 25% chance that a scout you buy will be replaced by a higher-rated one. If you have enough cash, try buying a decent scout and seeing who he’s replaced with. If you get one with four stars in experience and judgment, there’s a 25% chance he’ll be replaced by one with five stars in both categories.

Obviously this method is only recommended if you have cash to blow, but it may prove to be a little quicker than the save-and-reload method.

Comments 5

  1. I just wanted to say this is an amazing article and I bet you help a lot more people than you realise!!! I love this website and keep it up dude honestly.

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  2. THANKS SO MUCH MAN!!! Love the breakdowns mathematically!!!! Helps alot to know what’s the best to purchase when money is scarce for us here at Accrington Stanley FC.

    1. Post

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