FIFA 19 scouting guide: should you ever buy a cheap scout?

FIFA 19 scouting guide: should you ever buy a cheap scout?

Key points:

  • Both experience and judgment are very important for scouting
  • Experience determines how many players you get on each report, and whether they match the type you’re looking for
  • Judgment influences the quality of players on your scout reports

Welcome to the FIFA 19 scouting guide!

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

If you’re looking for some tips to take your FIFA 19 career to the next level, you’ve come to the right place.

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 19 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 19

Scouting is a fairly straightforward process – at least on the surface. You pick a scout, tell him where to look and what to look for, then send him on his merry way.

Even though it may seem simple, there’s actually quite a lot of nuance to choosing the right scout. Is experience more important than judgment? How many players will you get back on each report? And can you get good results with a cheap scout, or should you invest in a higher rated one? These are all questions that this guide aims to answer.

How to get a better scout

When you first go to hire a scout, you’re presented with a list of five options. But what if they’re all frankly terrible, with one-star and two-star ratings as far as the eye can see? Well, worry not, because there are two things you can do to get better scouts.

The first method is to save and reload. The list of scouts refreshes every 7 in-game days, so you’ll first need to work out what day of the week the list changes. Now, save the day before that. Advance forward a day and check the list of scouts. If they’re no good, quit to the main menu, fire your save back up again, advance a day and check again. Keep doing this until you get a better scout. (We’ll come back to this save-and-reload method later in this guide.)

FIFA 19 scouting guide: should you ever buy a cheap scout?

You should always hire the best scout you can afford

The second method is more expensive, but potentially quicker. Every time you buy a scout, he gets replaced, and there’s a 25% chance his replacement will be rated higher. So if you see a scout with four stars for both experience and judgment, try buying him – his replacement could be rated five stars in judgment.

Experience vs judgment in FIFA 19

But what exactly do experience and judgment do in FIFA 19? This year, EA has made it a bit easier to know what each of these things mean. When you go to pick a scout, there’s a short explainer for both:

  • Experience: A more experienced scout will find a larger number of players
  • Judgment: A scout with better judgment will find higher quality players

Let’s dig a little deeper, starting with experience.

Experience

So, according to FIFA 19, a scout with more experience will bring back more players on each report. But how much of a difference is there between a one-star scout and a five-star scout? And is it worth paying extra for the better scout?

Here are how many new players you can expect to get on each monthly 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

There is a big difference here between the best and worst scouts. The more players you get on each report, the better your chances of finding a great player among them. In this case, I’d say it definitely is worth it to pay for a more experienced scout.

Note that the maximum number of players you can have on a report at any one time is 15 (including players carried over from the last month that you’ve decided to keep scouting).

FIFA 19 scouting guide: should you ever buy a cheap scout?

The number and quality of players on your reports will be influenced by your scout’s quality

But this isn’t all that a scout’s experience counts for. Although FIFA 19 doesn’t say it, a scout’s experience also determines how likely he is to find the type of player you tell him to look for.

When you first send a scout out to look for youth players, you tell him what sort of player you want him to prioritise – goalkeepers, for example, or physically strong players. The better his experience rating, the more likely he is to come back with a bunch of players that match those requirements.

Below is a table indicating the chances each tier of scout has of finding the type of player you ask him to. Note that this is from the game code and is unchanged from FIFA 18.

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%

This table tells us that a scout with one star for experience only has a 30% chance of getting an exact match with the player type you tell him to look for. A scout with five stars for experience, on the other hand, has an 80% chance of getting an exact match. That’s a massive difference, and means a more expensive scout will mean less hassle sifting through irrelevant players on your reports.

There are a couple of other things to take note of. The first is that if you search for goalkeepers your scout will always come back with 100% goalkeepers on his reports, no other player types, regardless of his experience rating.

The other thing is that if you select ‘Any’ under the player type when sending a scout out to look for players, his experience is actually irrelevant. That’s because you’re not telling him to find a specific type of player; instead, you just want him to bring you any players he thinks are promising, regardless of their player type.

So if you’re not fussed about what sort of player you get on your reports, you could save a bit of money by buying a scout with high judgment but low experience – although remember that that means you’ll get fewer players on your reports every month.

Judgment

As FIFA 19 explains, a scout’s judgment determines the quality of players he’ll bring back on his reports. Generally speaking, the better the scout’s judgment, the better players you’ll get.

FIFA 19 puts scouted players into one of four categories: bronze, silver, gold and platinum players. These labels reflect their potential ability, broken down as follows:

  • Platinum player: potential 75-95
  • Gold player: potential 65-90
  • Silver player: potential 60-85
  • Bronze player: potential 55-80

Obviously platinum players are the ones you want to find, but naturally they’re the rarest ones to come across. This is where the differences between good and bad scouts are less clear cut. While scouts with better judgment have a better chance of finding those ultra-rare platinum players, even they will struggle.

Here are the chances each tier of scout has of finding bronze, silver, gold and platinum players:

JudgmentPlayer qualityChance
5 starsPlatinum0.1
5 starsGold0.12
5 starsSilver0.64
5 starsBronze0.14
4 starsPlatinum0.06
4 starsGold0.08
4 starsSilver0.5
4 starsBronze0.36
3 starsPlatinum0.04
3 starsGold0.06
3 starsSilver0.36
3 starsBronze0.54
2 starsPlatinum0.02
2 starsGold0.03
2 starsSilver0.3
2 starsBronze0.65
1 starPlatinum0.01
1 starGold0.02
1 starSilver0.15
1 starBronze0.82

For scouts with 1-3 stars in judgment, most of the players they find will be bronze, AKA those with 55-80 potential. It’s not until you hit four stars in judgment that your scout will start to mostly bring back better players, and even then they’ll most likely be silver players with potential 60-85.

In fact, the largest difference between a four-star scout and a five-star scout is that the latter will find fewer bronze and more silver players. Both scouts have almost the same chance of finding gold and platinum players.

Given these figures, every scout will struggle to find the top players – and that’s the way it should be, as these players are meant to be extra special. But if you want to avoid having your monthly reports fill up with mediocre players, spend a bit extra on a better scout. The difference between a one-star scout (82% chance of finding bronze players) and a five-star scout (14% chance) here is stark.

How to find the best players in FIFA 19, even on a budget

Of course, your team’s budget may be so low that you simply can’t afford the best scouts. In that case, is there anything you can do to increase your chances of scouting the next Cristiano Ronaldo?

As it happens, there is.

This is something I’ve taught people how to do ever since FIFA 12, and it still works seven years later. It’s the reloading method, and it’ll guarantee you’ll find good players – as long as you have the patience.

It’s not for everyone, and you don’t have to do it to find good players (as any scout can potentially find great players). But if you want to cut down on wasted money paying for mediocre scouting reports, give it a try.

FIFA 19 scouting guide: should you ever buy a cheap scout?

If you save the day before this message appears, you can reload your scout’s reports to get better players

The first thing you need to do is work out what day of the month your scout sends you his report, then save your game the day before.

Advance one day, open the report and have a look at the players you’ve got. If they’re no good, quit to the main menu and reload the save. You’ll now be back to where you were before, one day before your scout send you his report.

Now here’s the difference. Advance one day forward again and open your report – the players will be different.

If you have a bad scout then there’s no guarantee the players will be better this time, but you’re essentially giving yourself another roll of the dice. With enough patience you’ll be able to get a report with some players worth keeping.

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