FIFA 16 scouting guide

FIFA 16 scouting guide part 3: Player types


Key points:

  • Searching for ‘Any’ means your scout’s experience rating doesn’t matter
  • You can now find fast players – and ‘physically strong’ can produce players who are fast and strong
  • There is some variation based on a player’s position, even within the same player type

Welcome to the FIFA 16 scouting guide!

The only guide you need to youth scouting in FIFA 16


New to scouting in FIFA games and wondering what it’s all about? Or maybe you’re a seasoned scout and want to know what’s changed in FIFA 16? Whatever your situation, my guides will help you become a pro at scouting the next generation of superstars.

This guide will explain what each player type means and what type of players you’ll get if you search for each one. If you want to know where the best places are to scout, how to spot the best players, how to use the player training feature and more, head over to my FIFA 16 scouting guide hub page – I’ll be adding more guides soon, so keep checking back.

Contents

Before we get started, a quick note: a player’s position now seems to be as important as his type. Wide players with the ‘winger’ player type now seem to be faster than attacking midfield ‘winger’ types, for example. This ‘positional awareness’ of different scouted player types, as it were, is a big improvement on previous FIFA games – sprint speed and acceleration are now among wingers’ best stats, as opposed to the sluggish-but-skilled wide players we’ve been cursed with over the past few years.

Anyway, let’s dive in and examine the different player types that you can scout.

Any

Although it’s not a player type, it’s worth mentioning the ‘Any’ category. Telling your scout to search for this will mean he’s not limited to looking for one player type, so you can get all sorts on your reports.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Searching for ‘Any’ means your scout’s experience rating isn’t important

It also means that your scout’s experience rating is irrelevant. Experience determines how likely your scout is to find the player type you’re after, but if you tell your scout not to worry about player types then obviously his experience doesn’t matter.

That means that if you want to save a bit of cash and aren’t looking for any particular player type, you can hire a scout with good judgment but a lower experience rating and won’t be negatively affected.

Attacker

Attackers seem to come in three varieties: wingers, central midfielders (including CAM) and (very rarely) full backs. And yes, you read that right – once again it appears that you cannot find strikers by searching for attackers. EA still have not fixed this (either that or they’re happy with it being this way). I suggest if you’re looking for strikers, you search for technically gifted or physically strong players, or perhaps wingers.

Attackers who end up on the wing (as RW, LW, RM or LM) tend to have fairly decent pace – not usually in the 80s, but acceleration and sprint speed in the mid 70s is not uncommon. This is a huge boost over FIFA 15, where we used to find wide players with pace in the 60s and even 50s.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Attackers who play on the wing usually have decent pace

As well as that, winger attackers will usually (but not often) have better shooting stats than dribbling and crossing stats. Think of them as wide strikers, as players more likely to score goals than to create them for teammates.

Central midfield attackers (those with the CM or CAM positions) are slightly different. They aren’t usually as fast as winger attackers, but their technical stats are roughly similar. Again, they’re usually better at shooting than passing and crossing. You may find that this means attacker player types with the CM position are quite low rated – because their passing is not great, their OVR gets negatively affected. If you find a player like this who nevertheless has good potential, it might be worth pushing him forward as a CAM or striker.

As I mentioned above, you can also get full backs with the attacker player type. These players are heavily mispositioned – although their pace may be OK, they are far, far better at shooting and dribbling than they are at tackling, meaning their OVRs are almost always low. And because there’s no May update in FIFA 16, they won’t get a massive stat boost any time, so they’ll have an excruciatingly low OVR even if they have high potential. Your best bet in this case is, unfortunately, to discard them.

Defensive minded

Like the attacker player type, defensive minded players can usually be found in three positions: full back, defensive midfield and central midfield. And also like attackers, there seems to be a major omission – I found it impossible to find centre backs with the defensive minded player type (please let me know if you’ve had any more luck). This is a big change from FIFA 15 (and a bizarre one) – last year you could easily find defensive minded centre backs. Why you can’t any more is a mystery to me, but it seems to mean that if you want to find centre backs, look for physically strong players.

Anyway, let’s start with defensive minded full backs – and here we have some good news. Back in FIFA 15, defensive minded full backs were basically mispositioned centre backs – extremely slow but with excellent tackling stats. Now, however, that seems to have been fixed. In FIFA 16 they have decent (but not usually amazing) pace, hovering around the late 60s and early 70s (and mid 70s if you’re lucky).

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Defensive minded players’ technical and physical stats are well balanced

As well as that, their strength is usually fairly good and their technical stats are quite well balanced between attack and defence. In other words, they’re a bit more like real full backs (albeit slightly lacking in pace). In FIFA 15 it was impossible to find realistic full backs – you either got mispositioned centre backs or mispositioned wingers. Now, however, EA seem to have fixed that.

As for defensive minded central and defensive midfielders, the stats for these two positions are very similar – so similar, in fact, as to be almost identical. Physical stats tend to be broadly average (although they are usually among the players’ best stats), while technical stats seem to be focused on defending (with decent tackling and marking stats) but with other stats being OK as well. However, because their dribbling stats are poor and their passing stats are average, defensive minded players who are central midfielders tend to have lower OVRs than their CDM counterparts.

Compare this player type to last year, where you would get players with amazing defending stats and terrible stats everywhere else, and you’ll see that defensive minded players are much more balanced in FIFA 16.

Goalkeeper

Unlike with other positions, it seems like you will only get goalkeepers on your reports if you search for them. What I mean by that is when searching for, say, playmakers, you’ll often get other player types on your reports. When you search for goalkeepers, you only get goalkeepers, so your scouts seem to be much more accurate here. That means that you could have a scout with poor experience (the attribute that determines how likely he is to find the player type you’re looking for) and you’d still get 100% goalkeepers, which will help overcome his bad experience.

In terms of their goalkeeper stats, there can be quite a lot of variation. Some goalkeepers are very well balanced across all their GK stats, while some specialise in certain stats at the expense of others, but there are a couple of standout points. Firstly, diving and kicking usually seem to be a little better than their other stats. Secondly, positioning usually seems to be worse than their other stats – sometimes by quite a long way. This is where player training can be useful to bring their positioning up to scratch.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Goalkeepers’ positioning always seems to be their worst stat

One final thing to note is that you shouldn’t be alarmed if you have a 16 year old keeper who is pretty short – players now grow up to their 17th birthday in FIFA 16, as opposed to their 16th birthday in FIFA 15. So if you have, say, a 5’9” 16 year old goalkeeper, he should grow to over 6’0” when he hits 17. Funnily enough, if you promote him when he’s 16 then he’ll grow to the height he was going to be at age 17 anyway – so that 5’9” goalkeeper in my save grew to 6’5” when I promoted him, even though he was still 16.

Oh, and goalkeepers can still have weirdly good skill move ratings – even five star skill moves – although it’s rare. So if you’re feeling daring, why not take on a few outfield players with your keeper’s tricks? What could possibly go wrong…

Physically strong

Physically strong players can be found in any central outfield position on the pitch (CB, CDM, CM, CAM, CF and ST), as well as at full back.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Physically strong full backs are both strong and fast

The first thing you’re likely to notice with this player type is their physical stats are usually pretty good. It’s now not uncommon to find physically strong players who are both fast and strong, as well as being great in the air and having strong stamina. In FIFA 15 they’d pretty much just be strong, if you were lucky. If you weren’t they’d be extremely slow and have strength in the 60s. This is a great improvement and is particularly good for physically strong full backs, who can now have both the pace and strength to deal with opposition threats.

In terms of technical stats, in previous versions of FIFA physically strong players would be just as good at defending as they were at attacking. This is because the game only had one ‘template’ for this player type, and applied it to all players whether they were centre backs or strikers.

That’s still true – sort of. Whereas before, all physically strong players would be equally good at finishing and at tackling, now it seems the best technical stats of almost all physically strong players are long shots, stand tackling and dribbling. So they’re still good at attacking and defending, but not quite in the same way as in FIFA 15.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Physically strong players often have powerful shots, making them useful attackers

This has a concerning implication for physically strong strikers, though, as it means they aren’t as deadly as they used to be. While they often have decent heading in FIFA 16, for some reason their finishing can be pretty poor. The game doesn’t seem to take account of their position, so you may struggle to score with them. Whether their excellent physical stats counterbalance this and make them a decent threat in the air remains to be seen.

Playmaker

In the past, playmaker was the worst player type to scout because it produced broken players. You’d find midfielders with insane vision and reactions (in the early to mid 90s), but all their other stats would be garbage. I’m talking all physical stats in the 40s, for example. They were next to useless. Thankfully, EA have fixed this and playmakers are now very viable players to use in your team.

You will mainly find playmakers in three positions: central midfield, attacking midfield or either right or left midfield. The good thing about this type of player is they are very well rounded in terms of the technical stats, usually possessing good passing, dribbling and crossing skills. This makes them ideal central midfielders who can be used to dictate the play and create chances for teammates.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Playmakers make excellent dead ball specialists

Unfortunately their physical stats aren’t quite as good – they’re not usually bad, per se, and are nowhere near as diabolical as in earlier versions of FIFA, but they’re nothing special. Expect to find acceleration and sprint speed in the 60s, for example. The one physical stat that playmakers often seem to do well in is agility. However, because of their lacklustre pace, they’re not ideally suited to playing on the wing (despite their good crossing).

Interestingly, you quite often find playmakers who have good FK accuracy and curve stats, making them ideal dead ball specialists. Develop them over time and you could end up with some very capable free kick takers.

Also note that it is possible to find playmakers at full back, although it is very rare. Unfortunately, their OVRs are usually pretty low as they’re not very good at tackling, but they quite often have very good passing and FK accuracy stats to make up for it. If you simply put them at central midfield instead of full back, you could find that they’re pretty useful players.

Technically gifted

Technically gifted players can be found in pretty much any midfield position, as well as up front as strikers. No matter what position they’re in, their best stats are usually their ball control and dribbling, followed by their passing stats. This makes them excellent attacking midfielders or centre forwards, able to use their good dribbling to beat defenders and get into dangerous positions.

It also makes them good wide players. They can come with pace in the 70s, which combines well with their strong ball control and dribbling. This is the type of player to look for if you like creating goals by beating defenders, rather than through passing moves or crosses.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Technically gifted players make good wide midfielders thanks to their good dribbling and ball control

You can get technically gifted strikers, and given their strengths you might consider this position to be a natural fit. However, their finishing stat can frequently be below par, and their heading is always very poor. While they can beat defenders, they may not be able to finish the chances they create, so I’d stick to playing them in midfield instead.

It is also possible to find technically gifted players at defensive midfield. However, they not suited to this at all because their tackling stats are very low, and the game punishes them with low OVRs accordingly. If you do find a technically gifted defensive midfielder, play them higher up the pitch and they should be fine.

Winger

Hallelujah, praise be, wingers are finally fixed! Yes, you can actually get pacey wide players now in FIFA. That surely is worth celebrating. In fact, wingers can even be fast if they have poor technical stats – in previous FIFA games, weak technical stats were a guarantee of lousy physical stats.

Most wingers you find will be either right/left midfielders or right/left wingers. Most that you find will have pace in the mid 70s, and it’s possible to get players with acceleration and sprint speed in the late 70s and even 80s. Strangely, occasionally you will find a player with one high speed stat and one low one, like 80 acceleration and 65 sprint speed. Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to happen to often.

As for technical stats, wingers usually have good crossing and curve stats, making them ideal chance creators for your team. They can also have good dribbling stats too. Thanks to all this, the idea of having two scouted wingers and a scouted target man up front is now a genuine reality (as long as the target man can head the ball – see the physically strong section). In the past, scouted wingers would usually have pace in the 60s (or early 70s if you were incredibly lucky), meaning you had to rely on regens if you were looking for fast players. Happily, that should now be a thing of the past.

FIFA 16 scouting guide

Wingers can have really good pace in FIFA 16, making them much more useful than in previous games

You can also get wingers up front and at centre forward. As with wingers in other positions, crossing and dribbling are their main attributes (alongside their pace), and their finishing isn’t great. You could put them up front and train their finishing, and eventually they could be deadly. It might take a bit of patience, though.

However, it appears that you can no longer get winger full backs. In FIFA 15 and earlier this type of player could be insane – they’d start with an awful OVR, but then the May update would come along and their technical and physical stats would all skyrocket, making them absolute world beaters. But I searched and I searched in FIFA 16 and could find no trace of them at all. But don’t be too sad, it’s probably a good thing – seeing as there’s no longer a May update, they’d never get that huge stat boost and so would likely always have poor OVRs. And they’re not the only way of getting fast players any more either, so you probably won’t miss them too much – if you can find a defensive minded full back with good pace then you’re set.


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.

Make sure you connect with me on social media. I’ve just launched the FIFA Scouting Tips YouTube channel, and you can follow me on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest updates.

Comments 23

  1. Yeah, you’re right, it isn’t easy to get high work rate players, but I’ve got a boy called Fabio Ribeiro. He’s 16,from Brazil. He’s a CAM, but can be used as LM, CM, RB! he’s work rate is low-low, but he’s amazing. It seems EA just wrote sth, not to let that field empty. As well as Díaz : he’s a low-work-rated, too, but he gives assists, heads goals, makes tackles. Don’t care about work rate, that’s sth useless

  2. What happens to a youth player’s physical stats (i.e. acceleration, sprint speed, strength, reactions) if you train him? I’ve heard that training doesn’t allow a player’s physicals to grow… and I don’t want to be stuck with slow wingers with amazing technical stats

    1. Post
      Author

      If you just train them 1-2 sessions per week then it should be fine. It’s just if you train them like 5 sessions a week every week that their physical stats stop growing. But they don’t stop permanently – if you stopped training them then they should start growing physical stats again.

        1. Post
          Author

          It shouldn’t do. The reason is that both physical and technical stats contribute to a player’s growth. If he grows loads of technical stats then the game thinks he doesn’t need physical growth in order to boost his OVR (and that the technical stat growth is enough), so his physicals don’t grow.

          The good news is that suggests that players’ physical stats don’t get permanently ‘broken’, and that if you stop over-training them then the game will start taking physical stats into consideration again (i.e. physicals can resume growing).

          Hope that all makes sense. Kinda hard to explain!

    1. Post
      Author

      Defensive minded seems to be the best bet. Very, very rarely you’ll find a full back with the winger type, but I wouldn’t recommend them – they have extremely low OVRs and there’s no May boost to help them. Although you can train them, they would need so much training that you wouldn’t be able to train any other players, so they’re probably not worth it.

      Defensive minded full backs are better than last year, as now you can find ones with decent pace (in the 70s sometimes, as opposed to pace in the 40s or 50s).

  3. Great Guide, but I do have one point to make:

    On the issue of Attacking Fullbacks, you say that they are often not very useful and even with high potential they are most likely not worth the time.

    With the introduction of training, I have found in some cases (not all, of course) that “Attacker” full-backs can end up being incredible prospects. The trick is finding one with solid enough starting physical stats (high enough that you don’t mind stunting their growth) and giving them dedicated training in their technical stats. A FB with low defending technicals can improve his OVR very quickly through training, and given some additional attention to more offensive technicals that are already stronger (Long Shots, Shot Power, even crossing and FK’s are usually stronger) you can have an explosive fullback who cuts in from the wing to support your attack and even take a shot or two.

    Anyways, just a thought. For the most part you are probably right about their viability, but I would say that people shouldn’t be afraid to invest the time in creating the type of player they want.

    1. Post
      Author

      Well one reason I said they’re probably not worth it is actually kind of mentioned in your comment – they take so much effort to develop that you can’t really train any other players. So you might end up with an amazing full back, but is it worth sacrificing the training of other players to get there? I guess that’s something each player needs to decide for themselves, but I’m not sure it is personally.

  4. How is the skills weak foot stars and working rates of the youth players is it really difficult to find good players with good working rates skills and weak foot stars on 16 like it was on 15 ?

    1. Post
      Author

      It seems to be very similar to FIFA 15 – I’ve found plenty of promising players with 1* weak foot or skill moves. Same with work rates – lots of low/low players. The only change is that it seems like goalkeepers are more likely to have 1* skill moves than any other rating of skill moves (which makes sense), but you can still get GKs with 2* skills and higher (it’s just less likely than in FIFA 15, it seems).

      1. That needs to be fixed as well i mean it at least needs to be average with promising young players 3 stars for skills and weak foot at least ! and medium work rate also it would have been better if players improved that aspect of their overall as they become older don’t you think ?

  5. Thanks for writing the guide mate it’s been very useful over the years. I just wanted to ask if the player types and may update are removed/changed on xbox 360 because we don’t have all features

    1. Post
      Author

      The May update is still in the Xbox 360 version, and player types will probably be the same as in FIFA 15, from the sound of things.

  6. Nice stuff, quite helpful. Also I personally managed to find 2 goalkeepers with 80-90 potential when searching for defensive- minded players in Sweden. Does the country I searched them in possibly affect this or was this a random event? Please tell me what you think.

  7. Great info Alex
    Did you come across any Playmaker CB’s? I currently have one at 56 overall (after training his defensive stats), his lack of strength may cause me to push him to a full back though, his technical stats are extremely well rounded though, all high 50’s and low 60’s, so he may make a good box to box midfielder.
    Goalkeepers shocking positioning seems to be a blessing in disguise. It seems, like previous years, GK’s don’t grow until there older. The lack of positioning gives you something to train to keep there overall ticking along until they grow naturally.
    I feel like technically gifted players are better suited centrally than out wide. With the defending and interceptions update, trying to find room in the centre of the park is difficult, and usually when you manage to take the ball wide, your wingers have acres of space. Technically gifted players will control driven passes alot better due to there higher ball control stat, there dribbling will help them keep the ball from there marker and there passing will make it alot easier to thread the needle to get the ball to your ST or wide players. You can also train there defensive stats (which grow rapidly due to there low starting point) to make them excellent box to box midfielders.
    I’ve yet to find any pacey physically strong or defensive minded players so I’m really struggling trying to get a strong defence.
    I feel like attackers make really good, pacey, agile strikers (even if they don’t appear in that position) and physically strong players are great for strong, tall strikers. Attackers have better strength than technically gifted players so they’d be a better bet for a striker. Yet to find an fast and strong strikers, you might luck out on a physically strong one as you said, but I feel like this is a long shot and may be more worthwhile trying to find a regen.
    Its really difficult to find players great across all physical stats, reactions are nearly always horrifically low on all player types. If a player has good agility/balance than jumping/strength is nearly always terrible and vice versa. Defensive minded players are the only ones that seem to be even across all physical stats except reactions, which is arguably the most important for a defender.
    As for imbalanced Sprint Speed and Acceleration stats, I feel its realistic that some players are better in one than the other. For example, I play Sunday league, and almost everybody on my team will beat me in a short 20-50 metre sprint. However I will almost always win a full 100 metre sprint. Some people are really quick off the mark but don’t have the muscle to power to high speeds, while others are slow to get going, but build up to a much higher top speed.
    It might be a bit annoying but can also be useful. Faster acceleration players can go from standing to full sprint alot faster, and thus catch defenders sleeping, while higher sprint speed players can be used for long runs down the wing when in acres of space, while slower off the mark, they will eventually outpace anybody else.

  8. This is the best part of the guide so far! So much info to take in. Really appreciate this topic in particular, as it’s the first section that deals with a concept that I wasn’t familiar with before (whether because it never occurred to me to look for this info or because it’s new in FIFA 16… did you have a guide on this last year?). Keep up the great work!

    1. Yea there has been guides for Fifa 15 and Fifa 14 (though he changed the site after 14 so you can’t find them anymore). I can’t remember if there were earlier guides, I think the first ones I saw were Fifa 12 but that may have been something else.

    2. Post
      Author

      Thanks 🙂

      Well I definitely covered it last year, but before that I did the scouting guide in one big article, rather than as separate parts. The benefit of doing it this way, aside from making it more manageable for readers, is that I can go more in depth on each topic. So I would have covered player types in the past, but probably wouldn’t have given them as much space as I do now.

  9. How viable is it to fix a scouted player’s bad stat with training? Such as finishing stat for strikers of many different types.

    1. Should be very viable in increase there finishing/att position/ volleys/ heading accuracy. Training key stats for a position seems to grow it faster than non-key stats. For example, doing defence training on a CB and a ST, even if both start with the exact same tackling stats and u get the same results in training, the CB’s tackling will grow faster.
      One your key stats start nearing 70 though, it gets difficult to train them and see meaningful results, but if they are freshly scouted with 40 finished, you definitely can grow it really quick to that 70ish mark.

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