- You can start scouting as soon as you hire a scout
- Youth player stats are revealed as soon as they’re in the youth academy
- The May update no longer exists
- A scout’s experience determines whether he’ll find the player type you’re looking for
- A scout’s judgment rating refers to whether he’ll find the top rated youth players
- Buying a scout will generate a replacement of roughly equal quality
Welcome to the FIFA 16 scouting guide!
This guide will cover the basics and how to pick a good scout, but if you want to know where to scout, how to spot the best players, how to develop your players and more, head over to my FIFA 16 scouting guide hub page – I’ll be adding more guides soon, so keep checking back.
The basics of scouting
For the first time in many years, it seems that in FIFA 16 EA have really paid attention to career mode. The new player training feature and pre-season tournaments were two additions that players have been asking for for years.
Youth scouting has not had the same major overhaul that other aspects of career mode have, but don’t worry – there are some small but hugely important tweaks to scouting in FIFA 16 that solve some major problems in previous games.
So in part 1 of my FIFA 16 scouting guide, I’m looking at one of the most important parts of scouting: choosing a good scout. How do you know which one to go for? What’s the difference between a scout’s experience and judgment? And is a scout with five stars in both really that much better than a low-rated scout?
Let’s start with the basics of scouting in FIFA 16. You start with a list of five scouts to choose from, and can hire a maximum of three. You then send these scouts around the globe looking for promising youth players, and can sign the best ones to your academy. Unlike in FIFA 15, you can send scouts on missions on the same day that you hired them in FIFA 16. Each month your scout will return with a list of players he’s found, aged between 15 and 17.
Your youth academy can hold a maximum of 16 players. It will cost you £25,000 from your transfer budget to sign each youth player, and they will have a wage of £500 per week.
In previous FIFA games, your scouts wouldn’t immediately know how good your youth players were, and it would take several months for them to narrow down their estimation of the players’ abilities; even then, you’d only get a rough outline of each player’s OVR rating.
In FIFA 16, however, that’s all changed. As soon as you sign a player to your academy, you can see his exact OVR and all of his stats (you still only get a rough estimation of his potential, though). This is a fantastic development over previous FIFA games, as it means you instantly know how good your youth players are, what their positions are and whether it’s worth keeping hold of them. No more guesswork, as this takes a lot of the pain out of the youth academy.
However, you need to be careful – youth players can threaten to quit the academy unless you offer them a first team contract, although they will not do this within the first three months of being signed to the academy. If you get an email saying a player is threatening to quit, you’ll have around 7 days to promote him or you’ll lose him forever.
The May update – no longer in FIFA 16
Once you think your players are good enough, you can promote them to the first team. However, in another very important development to scouting in FIFA 16, there is no longer a May update.
In the past, your youth players would only grow once per month – on 1st May. This meant that if they quit the academy before 1st May, you’d lose an entire year’s worth of growth. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, as youth players now grow month-to-month just like first team players. Keep checking back, because I’ll be looking at this in much more depth in a future part of my FIFA 16 scouting guide.
Experience vs judgment
When it comes to picking a scout, there are two different criteria on which they are rated: experience and judgment. These can have a huge impact on the quality and quantity of youth players your scout discovers.
Experience determines a number of things. First, it determines how many players your scout will find per report. This is something I didn’t realise in previous FIFA scouting guides I’ve written, but it is very important as it can increase your chances of finding good players. Here’s the breakdown of how many players each quality of scout will find per report:
- Scouts with 1 star in experience will return 1-3 new players per report
- Scouts with 2 stars in experience will return 2-4 new players per report
- Scouts with 3 stars in experience will return 2-5 new players per report
- Scouts with 4 stars in experience will return 3-5 new players per report
- Scouts with 5 stars in experience will return 4-6 new players per report
So the better the scout, the more players you’ll have to choose from on each report – and thus the greater the chance that a top notch platinum player will be among them.
Secondly, experience determines how likely the scout is to find the type of player you’re searching for. So if you want a goalkeeper, a scout with high experience is unlikely to bring back loads of wingers.
If your scout can’t find the player type you’re after, he’ll find an alternative player type. The higher the choice (‘4th choice’ is the highest), the further from the player type you were looking for. The following table shows how likely each scout rating is to find the player type you’re after:
|5 stars||2nd choice||12%|
|5 stars||3rd choice||10%|
|5 stars||4th choice||3%|
|4 stars||2nd choice||20%|
|4 stars||3rd choice||10%|
|4 stars||4th choice||5%|
|3 stars||2nd choice||25%|
|3 stars||3rd choice||15%|
|3 stars||4th choice||10%|
|2 stars||2nd choice||25%|
|2 stars||3rd choice||15%|
|2 stars||4th choice||15%|
|1 star||2nd choice||30%|
|1 star||3rd choice||20%|
|1 star||4th choice||15%|
So a scout with 1 star in experience only has a 35% chance of finding the player type you’re after, and a 65% chance of finding one of three alternative player types. In contrast, a scout with 5 stars in experience has a reassuring 75% chance of finding the player type you’re after, and just a 25% chance of finding another player type.
Judgment, on the other hand, determines the quality of players on your reports. The higher a scout’s judgment, the better chance he has of finding the best players
What this table tells us that it is difficult for good and bad scouts alike to find platinum (tier 1) players. A scout with 1 star in judgment has a 1% chance of finding a platinum player, but a scout with 5 stars in judgment only has a 6% chance.
Where the differences lie is in the lower rated (silver and bronze) players. A scout with 1 star in judgment has an 82% chance of finding bronze players, while a scout with 5 stars in judgment only has a 23% chance.
How much does scouting cost?
There are three tiers of scout – low, medium and high:
- A low level scout will have between 1 and 2 stars in judgment and experience. He will cost between £14,000 and £72,000
- A medium level scout will have between 2 and 3 stars in judgment and experience. He will cost between £72,000 and £324,000
- A high level scout will have between 3 and 5 stars in judgment and experience. He will cost between £324,000 and £2,880,000. That’s significantly lower than in FIFA 15, when a top level scout would cost you £7,650,000
In these calculations, judgment is ranked more highly than experience. For example, a scout with 3 stars in judgment and 2 in experience will cost £245,000, whereas the reverse costs £151,000.
Sending a scout to different places will cost you different amounts based on how good your scout is. For example, sending a scout on a scouting trip to England will cost the following amounts based on your scout’s rating:
- A scout with 5 stars in judgment and experience (i.e. a 5*/5* scout)
- 3 months: £43,000
- 6 months: £86,000
- 9 months: £130,000
- 3*/3* scout
- 3 months: £35,000
- 6 months: £69,000
- 9 months: £104,000
- 1*/1* scout
- 3 months: £26,000
- 6 months: £52,000
- 9 months: £78,000
The length of trip you send your scout on will obviously depend on your budget, but interestingly there is not a huge amount of difference in the scouting costs between a 1*/1* scout and a 5*/5* one. So if you can afford the initial cost of hiring the scout, you’re over a major hurdle and should be able to afford the scouting trips.
Which scouts find the best players?
- Bronze: 55-80 potential
- Silver: 60-85 potential
- Gold: 65-90 potential
- Platinum: 75-95 potential
This shows that a bronze player can have a maximum unmodified (more on this below) potential of 80. Likewise if you find a platinum player on your scouting report, he will have a potential between 75 and 95. By this I mean his actual potential – this will be hidden, and instead you will see a potential range. For example, if his actual potential is 80, his potential range may say 75-85.
However, there is also a potential modifier of +/- 10. So this means that even a bronze player could theoretically get his potential boosted up to 90 by the modifier – so the age-old adage that even the worst scouts can find world class players still rings true.
If we recall the scout judgment table from earlier, scouts with 1 star in judgment only have a 1% chance of finding platinum players and an 82% chance of finding bronze players. Given that scouts with 5 stars in judgment have a higher chance of finding platinum players, it’s worth investing in a five star scout if you can afford it – although low-rated scouts can still find top players, but of course you’ll just have to work harder to find them.
But picking a good scout isn’t just about the quality of players they will find – it’s also about the quantity. As we noted earlier, higher rated scouts bring back more players per report, giving you better odds of finding a real gem among them. So having a top quality scout brings a double advantage over a lower-rated equivalent, making it absolutely worth hiring a better one if you can afford it.
Scouts change every seven days. So if your season starts on a Wednesday, the pool of available scouts to choose from will change on the following Tuesday. If you start on a Sunday, the scouts will change on the next Saturday. If the initial batch of scouts you get to choose from is no good, just wait a week and you’ll have a new selection to choose from.
However, there is a quicker way of getting better scouts – hiring them. What I mean by that is every time you hire a scout, they are replaced by another one. But not just any old scout – in most cases they are replaced by one roughly as good as the one you just hired, and there is a 25% chance that a scout you hire will be replaced by one of a higher level. So if you’ve got enough money, this is a quick way to rack up lots of good scouts in a very short amount of time.
Thanks for reading part one of the FIFA 16 scouting guide. If you have any thoughts on this or the YouTube video, make sure you let me know in the comments below.