Once again it’s that time to take a good look at the scouting system in FIFA 13.
The scouting system in FIFA 13 is very similar to FIFA 12, albeit with some important modifications. Here I’ll briefly run through the process of hiring a scout, sending him off around the world, and finding players.
To hire a scout, go to Manager’s Office -> Youth Academy -> Scouting Network. You will have three slots available for scouts. If you click on one you will be presented with a list of five scouts to choose from. Each will have a rating of one to five in experience and judgement, and the higher the rating the more expensive the scout will be.
What you may notice is that every month the nationalities of the available scouts are grouped by continent and that they rotate. Let’s say your team plays in England. One month you might have two English scouts available, plus one from Bolivia, one from Brazil and one from Peru. Next month you may have two English scouts again (different ones, though), but this time you may have an American scout, a Canadian scout and a Mexican scout. The order they rotate in is this: Northern Europe > Southern Europe > Central Europe > Rest of Europe > Asia > Australia > Africa > South America > North America, before heading back to Northern Europe again. The “core” scout nationality that doesn’t change is set by the league your team plays in. So if you’re looking for a top Brazilian scout and what him to find the next star from his home nation, make sure you manage a Brazilian team!
The quality of scouts shouldn’t depend on which league your team is in. There are ways to get better rated scouts – see the following articles I did on this subject for FIFA 12 (they apply to FIFA 13 as well seeing as the core of the system is the same) – guide 1, guide 2 and guide 3. As I will explain, the list of scouts changes every Saturday, so if you want to start scouting as soon as possible (in game time), save on a Friday and just reload until you get a good one. It’s quicker than advancing months down the line looking for a good scout.
In the FIFA 12 scouting guide I said that experience determines the quality of players the scout will find, whereas judgement determines how accurate his estimations of players’ talents will be. I think I was slightly wrong – a player who examined the code of the game found that experience actually determines whether the scout finds the type of player you’re looking for – playmaker, defensive minded, etc – whilst better judgement means better players will probably be found. However, this is not to say that lower rated scouts will always find worse players than higher rated ones, it’s just that higher rated scouts are probably more likely to find great players. It’s entirely possible that you could find the next Messi with a poor scout, but it’s not as likely to happen as with a very good scout. It gets harder to find great players the fewer stars your scout has.
If you don’t like the look of any of the scouts in the list, don’t worry, as they change every Saturday (they would reload every Friday in FIFA 12). If you’re really desperate for a good scout then just save your game on a Friday and then advance to Saturday. If you don’t like the look of the scouts then just quit your game, reload it and advance again – because the list of scouts is randomly generated, it means you’ll get a different set each time you reload and advance to Saturday.
Once you’ve chosen a scout you can choose to send him to various countries around the world. Every month you’ll be presented with a list of players that he’s found, and from there you can look at each player and choose whether you want to sign him, reject him or keep watching him. If you choose the latter option your scout will report back next month with a more detailed picture of the player – his list of positions will get narrower, as will his potential and OVR ranges. If you watch a player too long, though, he might get poached by another team’s academy. Below is an example of what a player looks like when you first find him (we will return to this particular player later) :
If you press RB (Xbox 360) or R1 (PS3) then you can see some more of their stats (see below) :
The longer you watch a player, the better idea your scout has of his abilities. More stat ranges will appear over the months that you tell your scout to keep watching him, and those that already existed will narrow down. Over time you’ll get a more and more complete picture of the player. If you feel he’s what you’re looking for, press A (Xbox 360) or X (PS3) and sign him to your academy. It’ll cost a small amount of money (around £20,000), so if you’re short on cash it may be sensible not to sign too many youth players!
Once a player is in your youth academy he must stay in there until he is at least 16 years old. I would actually recommend leaving him in there until he is 17, as it seems it is extremely difficult to get teams to take 16 year olds on loan. In fact you won’t be able to loan out a youth player within about half a year to a year after promoting him at all. This is because the game thinks he’s a newly-purchased player, and thinks that you can’t get rid of him after just signing him (even though you only want to loan him). At least if you promote him once he’s 17 there’s a chance you could get a loan deal 6 months after promoting him; this would be extremely hard to do if he was 16.
In addition to this, leaving him in as late as possible means he will grow well. Although the growth system is greatly improved in FIFA 13, you may still not be able to offer a youth player much game time due to his low starting OVR. The youth academy seems to work on the idea that players in there are actually playing matches every week, and thus their growth is good.
However – and this is important – youth players only ever seem to grow in the May academy report. They will experience all their growth in one go, so could grow 8+ points in one go if you’re lucky. So whatever you do, don’t promote your youth players in April if you can help if or you may lose all that growth that was waiting to happen!
Here’s another big change from FIFA 12 – reloading your scout reports is nowhere near as straightforward as it used to be. In FIFA 12 you used to be able to save the day before your monthly scouting report. If you didn’t like the players on the report, you could simply quit, reload the game and advance to the report day, whereupon you’d have a totally new set of players on the report. This no longer works. In FIFA 13, in contrast, the scouting reports are fixed during the last game before your scout reports back to you. So for me my scout reports on the 10th of the month. Let’s say I have a game on the 8th. If my save point is the 6th of the month I can advance up to the 8th, sim the game and then advance to the 10th. If I reload back to the 6th and advance through to the 10th the report will (probably; see below) be different. However, if I save on the 9th (i.e. after the game) and then advance, the report will always be the same.
However, there’s another twist. When you reload you don’t get totally random players each time. There seem to be around 5 or 6 ‘sets’ of players each month, and every time you reload one of these sets will come up. So you could reload, get Set 1, then after a few more reloads get Set 1 again. They don’t rotate in order, the set that’s picked is random every reload, so you could get the same set twice in a row, then a different one. Once you’ve worked out which is the best set you can just reload until it comes up (if you so desire). Then in the next month the sets will be full of fresh batches of players.
So basically you can reload, but it’s not as simple as it was in FIFA 12. However, as I describe later, the scouting system is so good this year that you really don’t need to reload.
The final thing I will touch on in this section is that another feature from last year’s guide has been removed – you can no longer release players to find out their OVR. Let’s say in FIFA 12 your scout found a player with an OVR range of 55-75. That’s quite a big range. If you wanted to find out the player’s actual OVR you could save the game as a test save, release the player, then go look in the free agents. He’d be in there (albeit under a different name and, regardless of his age when you found him, he’d be 16 in the free agents) and you’d be able to see his actual OVR, not just a range. Actual OVR of 65? Sign him. Actual OVR of 55? Don’t bother.
Unfortunately this year you can’t do that – release a player and he just disappears from the game. In most cases you have to wait until you promote a player to find out his OVR, making it all a bit more of a gamble (and more realistic, you might say). There is actually one way you can find out a player’s OVR though. If you’re scouting in, say, Norway, and you get offered the job of Norway national coach, take it. When you go to choose players to call up to the national squad, you can actually see players you’ve signed to your youth academy, as long as they’re from that nation and regardless if they’re old enough for a professional contract. That’s really useful, but obviously it depends on the happy coincidence of you getting the job for the nation you’re scouting!
The first thing to say on this topic is that certain countries do not “specialise” in any type of player. Certain countries may have reputations in real life for, say, producing many great defenders. Unfortunately, FIFA 13’s scouting system isn’t very predictable – you could find an amazing defender in China, in Italy or in Paraguay. It may be that you found some brilliant technically gifted players in Austria – that doesn’t necessarily mean other players will have the same experience, that’s just how it worked out for you this time. However, there is one thing that can help you find what you’re looking for. As stated before, a scout’s experience level decides how likely he is to find the type of player you’re looking for (e.g. a playmaker), and the higher his rating the better.
Certain countries are more likely to produce great talents, and it’s useful knowing which ones they are. The commenter I previously mentioned has provided some very useful information regarding this topic. Although they mined their data from FIFA 12, the scouting system in FIFA 13 is built around the same core as the system in FIFA 12 (in many ways it’s actually exactly the same), so it’s very likely to be accurate. Just don’t take it as gospel.
Anyway, I’ll quote him directly (see the original post here) :
“And about the country output, you can access the file that dictates the chances of finding certain tiers of players – there are four: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Naturally, Platinum are the best youngsters out there. Each set of regions have different probabilities for each kind of player. As found in youth_scout.ini the odds are:
Where each number is:
// 0 = SUBREGION_ARGENTINA_BRAZIL,
// 1 = SUBREGION_REST_OF_SOUTH_AMERICA,
// 2 = SUBREGION_NORTH_AMERICA,
// 3 = SUBREGION_NORTHERN_EUROPE,
// 4 = SUBREGION_ITALY_SPAIN_PORTUGAL,
// 5 = SUBREGION_REST_OF_SOUTHERN_EUROPE,
// 6 = SUBREGION_CENTRAL_EUROPE,
// 7 = SUBREGION_REST_OF_EUROPE,
// 8 = SUBREGION_JAPAN_CHINA,
// 9 = SUBREGION_REST_OF_ASIA,
// 10 = SUBREGION_AUSTRALIA,
// 11 = SUBREGION_AFRICA,
So it can be seen that Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Portugal and every Central European country (including Switzerland and Austria!) is where you’re the most likely to find elite youngsters. On the other hand, it’s quite unlikely you’ll find an EPL star in Australia, Asia or North America and you’ll be better off looking elsewhere!”
Here, the first number refers to the region you send a scout to, whilst the second number represents the odds of finding good players (the higher the second number the better). So for example, 0 represents Brazil and Argentina, so YOUTH_PLAYER_PLATINUM_0=15 means that Brazil and Argentina have an excellent chance of finding good players (the best chance, in fact, seeing as region 0 has the highest second number). Regions 9 and 10, the Rest of Asia and Australia, have the worst chances, only being rated 1.
Of course, as I said, don’t give up on some of the lesser known regions. I’ve scouted Paraguay and China and found truly great players there, so it is possible. Sending a scout to Brazil will not automatically result in him finding dozens of amazing players; the players he brings back will not necessarily be qualitatively better than players he finds in South Africa, for example. He’s more likely to find amazing players in Brazil, but you can find fantastic talents anywhere in the world.
Lelouch has also done some great work and found out exactly what difference each star rating makes to your scouting results. Here’s what he found: (original post here)
Another point is that from datas, the game can select up to 3 scouts out of 5 to be of the nationality of your current league (not trainer’s one).
I don’t see if you talk about knowledge [judgement], but it is really important because it affects the success rate of finding higher tier of players :
Stars Bronze Silver Gold Platinum 1 75% 17% 5% 3% 2 67% 22% 7% 4% 3 50% 36% 9% 5% 4 30% 52% 11% 7% 5 20% 53% 17% 10%
This table refers to a scout’s odds of finding good players based on his judgement rating (as opposed to the odds of finding good players in any given region). The first number represents the number of stars the scout has for his judgement rating. The next four numbers show the percentage of player qualities each scout will find (bronze being the worst players, platinum being the best). So a scout with 1 star for judgement will have a 75% chance of finding bronze players, a 17% chance of finding silver players, a 5% chance of finding gold players and a 3% chance of finding platinum players. I don’t know exactly how good a bronze player is compared to a platinum player (i.e. where the boundaries are set), but platinum players will certainly be much, much better.
The final thing to note is that in theory sending a scout to his home country helps. Let’s say you’ve hired and English scout. When choosing where to send him, when you select England a little gold star appears in the text box. In FIFA 12 this meant that his results would be more accurate – when he said a player had amazing potential then he was more likely to be right if he was in his home country. Seeing as the scouting system in FIFA 13 is built around the same setup as in FIFA 12 this is likely to remain true. I don’t believe it makes a huge amount of difference though, so don’t be afraid to scout elsewhere if that’s what you want to do.
Last year I would have said a good scouted player is one whose OVR was 60+ when you found him. A truly great player would be 62+ ish at age 14. This year things are a little different. The growth system is insane – players shoot up and can grow 7, 8, 9 points a season (much like growth in FIFA 12 before the November patch – hopefully there will be no repeat). Whilst before I would have dismissed any youth player who didn’t have an OVR of at least 55, now I’m willing to be a bit more lenient. So if you find a player whose OVR is probably around the late 40s, give him a go. Chances are his OVR will skyrocket and even if he doesn’t turn into the next big thing, you could still sell him on for a good amount of money, or else have a solid squad player. However, don’t worry too much. For the test results below I was using a scout with 3 stars for experience and judgement and he was still bringing me exciting talents every month, so you may find yourself flooded with amazing players in any case.
Let’s have a look at a couple of players I found. As I said, bear in mind that I was using a scout who had 3 stars for both experience and judgement, so these results are probably about average in terms of scout ability.
Alright, he’s 16 so he’s at the older end of the scale (players you find will always be aged 14-16), but look at his OVR and potential. That potential is right at the top end of initial potential projections, so he’s going to be a great talent in the future. His OVR is also very good. I signed him and instantly promoted him, and as it turns out he was a RW with an OVR of 62 (probably a mispositioned striker as he had finishing 74, but his winger stats were pretty good anyway). In the scout report it said he was “an exciting prospect” which, as I will come to shortly, means his potential is 86-90. Yep, he’s definitely a keeper! Now let’s look at another player on the same report:
This player’s OVR is likely to be at the lower end of the scale. In addition to that, his potential really isn’t great – his actual potential is probably somewhere in the mid 60s. Thanks to the sheer amount of promising players you will probably find, it’s probably not worth signing this player.
Players can, however, go over their potential, sometimes by incredible amounts. Just have a look at this video, for example – Luke James, potential 74, but this guy got him to OVR 90! This, he says, was just through playing him consistently. This would have been absolutely, 100% unimaginable in FIFA 12, where players frequently didn’t even hit their potential, despite playing all the time. This is good news for anyone looking for good scouted players. If you’ve found a guy like the one above whose potential isn’t great and you haven’t found anyone better, then maybe try him anyway. If you play him enough then who knows where his growth will stop? This is especially great for teams with low budgets – a low-rated scout may not find as many great players as an expensive one would, so it’s worth pushing players with lower potential just to see how they grow. Just have faith and play them as much as you can, and you could be handsomely rewarded.
Another thing that has really improved is that attacking players are much more likely to have high skill moves. In FIFA 12 you could find a 65 rated winger at age 14, potential 85-91, only to find he had 1 star skill moves. That meant he couldn’t even do a feint. Now, though, you’ll be finding wingers and CAMs with 3, 4 or even 5 star skill moves left, right and centre. I’m not entirely sure whether the skill moves rating is linked to potential, but it seems logical. Either way, a player with 4 or 5 star skill moves is going to turn into a great player simply because he can beat defenders so easily, so watch out for them. Two things to note: you can’t see skill moves until a player is promoted, and they don’t improve. A player with 2 star skills will always have 2 star skills. The same goes for weak foot rating.
This year you actually get hints as to a player’s potential in your squad report (in the team management tab), under the “Status” heading. Here’s what people have found out the messages mean so far:
• “Has the potential to be special” – potential 91+
• “An exciting prospect” – potential 86-90
• “Showing great potential” – potential 80-85
So clearly if you find one that says “has the potential to be special” then you’ve hit the jackpot. All of these statuses are good news, though. It also seems that if it says “has that special something”, then that player has the Flair trait. However, on the negative side youth players can’t actually have traits (although they can get specialities, see here), so you’ll only ever find this status in real players. Still, it’s useful info.
Also worth noting is that there have been reports that youth player potential can change. MooseyPoo on the FIFA 13 forums has said that they found a youth player whose status was originally “an exciting prospect”, but that this later changed to “has the potential to be special” after the player in question received lots of game time (see original post here). With players frequently exceeding their potentials, this makes sense – if a player performs well and grows quickly then his potential could well improve, so keep an eye on these status messages.
From the start of the second season onwards, check the free agents. You will see a whole host of young players, usually aged 16-18, some with very good OVRs and values. ‘Hang on’, I hear you say, ‘I thought rejected players didn’t end up in the free agents.’ You’d be right – that’s because these are regens. For example at the start of my second season there are two free agents worth taking note of – a Welsh CAM and an English CM. A quick check on Manchester United’s squad list shows Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are missing and there are no young players in there to replace them (in previous FIFAs, once a player retired he’d be replaced by a younger clone of himself). Giggs and Scholes have regenerated, but luckily for us they’ve appeared in the free agents, where we can get them for nothing!
It’s not quite scouting in the traditional sense, but this is a great way to get new young talent that’s not in the game when you first start a career. I don’t think every player who retires and regens ends up in the free agents, but you never know who will, so it’s always worth checking out.
Note that it’s much easier to reload these players than it is to reload your scouting reports. What you have to do is just save right before your season ends, then advance and let it set up the next season. This only takes a minute or so. Each time you do this the regens will be slightly different in some respects. Some things will always be the same simply because certain players are retiring, so for me there will always be a Welsh CAM and an English CM in there because Giggs and Scholes always retire at the end of the first season on my career. However, details like OVR, skill moves, work rates, stats, etc will be different each time. The OVR only changes by a range of roughly 1-3 points. However, you could reload to find one of the players has a great OVR and five star skills moves and weak foot ability, so it could be worth a try. However, some stats seem to remain constant – the English CM always had stamina 65 and strength 62, for example.
The more seasons you go through, (theoretically) the more players there will be in the free agents as more and more players retire. Of course, it all depends on whether computer-controlled (AI) teams sign these free agents. The bottom line is that if you’re struggling to find good scouted players, this could be a useful resource for you.
So let’s review what we’ve found. Unlike last year, you can’t reload your scout reports (or at least, not very easily) and nor can you release your players to find out their OVR. However, you don’t really need to do that any longer. The scouting system is much, much better this year. You are much more likely to find great players, even with average scouts, and those players’ growth will be such that even players with mediocre starting OVRs can become very useful players.
Bear in mind that some countries are more likely to produce good players, but it is not the case that all the players on your reports from that country will be better than the players on a report from, say, Japan. You’re more likely to find an amazing player in Argentina than in New Zealand, but you could still find the next big thing in the latter country.
Finally, don’t forget to check the free agents for some nice surprises!
I hope this guide has been useful and that you’re able to find some incredible players. If you have any comments or questions, be sure to leave them below. Thanks for all your support!