Welcome to the FIFA 18 scouting guide!
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 exactly what types of players you should be looking for to add to your youth academy. If you want to know how to hire a good scout, where to send your scouts in order to find the best players and the best ways to develop your players, you’ll want to check out my FIFA 18 scouting guide hub page.
You don’t have to pick a player type when you want to add players to your youth academy in FIFA 18. Instead, you can just select ‘any’ in the player type section. This will bring back players of all kinds, with no filter in place on their type.
And seeing as you haven’t told your scout to look for any particular type of player, it means his experience rating is irrelevant. This rating determines how good he is at finding the type of player you want, but seeing as searching for ‘any’ bypasses that, it never comes into play. That means that if you’re set on always just scouting ‘any’, you could save a bit of money by buying a scout with a lower experience rating.
The ‘attacker’ player type has had one glaring problem for years: it won’t actually find you any strikers. It seems stupid, right? You want to find a striker, so you send your scout off to find attackers. But no, doing this will get you wingers, attacking midfielders, even central midfielders, but no strikers. If you need that, search for ‘physically strong’, ‘technically gifted’ or ‘winger’.
So what do you get with attackers? Generally speaking, this type of player is fast, with an emphasis on finishing, shot power and dribbling. Ironically, despite not being listed as strikers, these players are actually pretty good in that position thanks to their stats. So if you don’t mind fielding these players out of position, it’s OK to scout for attackers if you want to find a striker.
‘Defensive minded’ is another annoyingly misleading category. While you’ll find full backs, defensive midfielders and central midfielders, you won’t find any centre backs at all (you’ll need to scout ‘physically strong’ for that).
The players you do find will have well-rounded (but average) physical stats, usually in the 60s or 70s rather than 80s. That poses a particular problem for defensive minded full backs, who will lack the pace you need in that position. For central and defensive midfielders, it’s not so bad.
Their strongest technical stats will be their marking and tackling ones. These players are ideal ball-winners – their good stamina and tackling makes them great for harrying opponents off the ball, much like N’Golo Kanté does at Chelsea.
That means that ‘defensive minded’ is an excellent option if you’re lacking punch in the middle of midfield. Find a good one of these players and you should be able to harass the opposition much better than before.
Searching for a goalkeeper is very straightforward – no matter your scout’s rating, he’ll only ever scout goalkeepers if you tell him find goalkeepers. There will be no other player types added into the mix on your scout reports. If you have a good scout who will find high-quality players, that means you probably only need to go on a three-month scouting trip if you want to find a good goalkeeper. The number of players a good scout has on each report, combined with the lack of any other player types when you scout goalkeepers, means it shouldn’t take long before you find a good one.
In terms of stats, for some reason positioning seems to be a weak stat for scouted goalkeepers. Many of the players you find will be noticeably worse here than with their other stats. Other than that, most scouted goalkeepers will have fairly equal goalkeeping stats, with reactions also being fairly strong
That lacklustre positioning stat means you might need to do a bit of training to build it up. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, though – goalkeepers can be trained a lot without a huge negative impact. Overtraining can stunt physical stat growth, but this area is not very important for goalkeepers, so it’s less of a problem.
Another good thing about goalkeepers is you’re unlikely to ever find one under 5’11”. Unlike ‘physically strong’ players, who can sometimes clock in at 5’7″, you’re not at much risk of finding a goalkeeper that’s too small to reach the crossbar.
As with goalkeepers, ‘physically strong’ is a fairly self-explanatory category. Scout for this player type and you’ll get players who have excellent physical stats. Not only will they be strong and good in the air, but they’ll be fast and have good stamina and aggression. That makes them real powerhouses, able to compete with fully developed players right out of the academy.
‘Physically strong’ is one of the best scouted player categories for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s incredibly versatile. Scouting this type will get you players in any outfield position down the centre of the pitch (CB, CDM, CM, CAM, CF, ST), plus full backs.
The second reason is that physically strong players are extremely well-rounded. My guess is that because they have to cover so many positions, EA created a template that ends up being very balanced. That way, the ‘physically strong’ template works for centre backs as much as it does for strikers. You thus end up with players who can do a bit of everything, and are thus very flexible. So if you want some good jacks-of-all-trades, search for ‘physically strong’.
As the name would suggest, playmakers aim to be your creative outlets on the pitch. There tend to be two types of playmaker in FIFA 18: passers and dead ball specialists. The passers come with strong passing (obviously) and good ball control and long shots. They are just as good sitting behind a striker as they are playing deeper in midfield.
The second type, dead ball specialists, come with excellent free kick and curve stats. However, their passing stats aren’t usually as strong as the other type of playmaker, so bear that in mind. But if you lack a decent free kick taker in your team, have a look for playmakers.
You’ll want to stay away from playmaker wide midfielders, though. These are basically mispositioned central midfielders. Their pace and dribbling stats are poor, while their strongest attributes are their passing stats. Stick to playmakers if you want to find some creative midfielders to play in the centre of the pitch.
Even worse, you can occasionally find playmaker full backs and centre backs. These are heavily mispositioned players, and should be avoided – they have poor defending stats and won’t be much use at the back.
You can find technically gifted players in almost any midfield and forward position. That includes CDM, CM, CAM, CF, ST, plus wingers and wide players. They’re usually fairly fast, with good ball control and dribbling. They’re often not as fast as the ‘winger’ type, though, so if you want to play them out wide, use them as creative players who supply crosses rather than as goal-minded attackers.
It’s probably best to avoid technically gifted strikers, though, as their finishing is often fairly poor. While ‘attacker’ players are basically strikers playing on the flanks, ‘technically gifted’ scouted strikers are wingers playing up front. You’ll be better off playing them out wide, where their dribbling and crossing can be of use.
As a support forward who uses his dribbling ability to beat defenders, however, a technically gifted forward could be very useful. In that regard, they function well as attacking midfielders.
If you need fast players, tell your scout to search for the ‘winger’ player type. They’re usually very fast and have good balance, plus excellent dribbling, crossing and ball control. Their pace will continue to grow as they develop, too. Their passing and free kick stats are also pretty good.
Searching for ‘winger’ will get you wingers (unsurprisingly), wide midfielders, centre forwards and strikers. You’ll get the best players on the wing, where their good speed and dribbling will be most useful.
However, winger strikers won’t be that great, as their crossing is usually better than their finishing. If you do find one, though, you can always just play them on the wing.
Finally, if you’re the type of player who enjoys using wingers to beat defenders with skill moves, don’t hold your breath. Wingers don’t seem to automatically have high skill move ratings, so you may end up with a promising winger who can’t even do a step over (if you’re really unlucky!).