- Found a player with potential 70-94 or higher? Sign him up!
- Player OVRs are now just as important as potential – make sure your players are good at both
- Player statuses give you a clue as to how good a player will become in the future
- You can’t boost a player’s potential when promoting him (but you can by loaning him out and recalling him)
Welcome to the FIFA 16 scouting guide!
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 show you what a good OVR rating is for a youth player and how to spot a player with high potential. If you want to know where the best places are to scout, what the different player types mean, 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.
- What do the OVR, potential and strength ranges mean?
- How to instantly see your players’ OVRs
- Is OVR or potential more important? What is a good OVR to look out for?
- How to see a player’s potential once he’s been promoted
- Can you still boost a youth player’s potential?
What do the OVR, potential and strength ranges mean?
The first thing you’ll notice when you open up your scout’s monthly report is that he doesn’t have much of an idea how good the players are – everything’s a little vague. Both the ‘overall’ (the player’s current ability) and ‘potential’ (the player’s future ability) sections will display a range of numbers. For example, a player might have 44-60 as his overall (or OVR) range and 63-85 as his potential range.
These numbers are your scout’s initial estimation of each player’s current and future ability. When the scout first finds a player, these ranges will be very wide. However, if you ask your scout to look at the player for another month, the ranges will have shrunk on the next report a month later. For example, the player mentioned above may show 47-57 as his OVR range next month and 67-81 as his potential range.
It’s a similar situation when it comes to a player’s strengths. Your scout will list the player’s five best attributes and a range of numbers next to each – this is his estimation of how good the player is at each attribute. If you press RB/R2, you’ll open up a screen showing all of the player’s stats and associated stat ranges. Not all stats will have a range next to them – in this case, your scout has no idea how good the player is at these parts of his game. As the months go on, your scout will get a better idea of each player’s strengths and the numbers will narrow down, until eventually you’ll just have a single number for each.
How to instantly see your players’ OVRs
There is, however, a quick way to see exactly how good your scouted players are – sign them to the academy. In previous FIFA games, you wouldn’t know your scouted players’ OVRs for sure until you promoted them. That’s all changed in FIFA 16, and now all your youth players’ stats and OVRs will be revealed the moment they enter the academy.
Signing a player to the academy costs £18,000 from your transfer budget and £500 from your wage budget each time. Depending on what club you are, that may or may not be a very cheap amount. If you are a fairly wealthy team, it makes sense to sign any players you think might be good – if, when you go to the academy, you find they’re not up to scratch, you can simply release them and it won’t have cost you very much at all. This is much better than waiting for several months until your scout gets a better idea of how good the players are.
If, on the other hand, you can’t afford to sign lots of youth players just to see how good they are, it’s probably a better bet to wait for your scout to whittle down their OVR and potential ranges. However, there is one risk of doing this – other clubs can come in and sign the players that you’re still scouting but haven’t yet signed.
Luckily, there is a way to avoid this. First, make sure you save your game often and alternate between to save files – so save your first file one week, then save the other one the next week, then go back to the first save, etc. This ensures you always have a backup.
Now, if you get a message saying a youth player has been signed by another club, go back to an older save and advance forward again. Chances are the youth player will not be stolen – other clubs randomly sign players you’re looking at, so if you try again then chances are you won’t have your player signed by another team.
Is OVR or potential more important? What is a good OVR to look out for?
Back in FIFA 15, I said that potential was by far the most important thing to look out for. This was because of one very simple fact: the May update would massively increase a youth player’s OVR if he had high potential. So you could find a player with a ridiculously low OVR, but if he had high potential then you knew that the May update would balance everything out and make him an excellent player.
That’s no longer the case because EA have removed the May update from the game. Now, youth players grow month-to-month just like first team players, so you can’t count on that boost helping players with low OVRs to grow quickly. And now, OVR is just as important as potential – in some ways, it’s more important.
Because youth players don’t grow so suddenly once a year any more, you have to work a lot harder to help them grow. The player training feature can really help with this (and I’ll be doing a guide solely devoted to this feature soon), but it means that you want your youth players to have a decent OVR when you first find them to help make that work manageable. A 17 year old with 40 OVR but 85 potential probably isn’t going to be worth it, as he’ll need to grow 45 points to meet his potential – that’s a ridiculous amount.
So as a rough guide, I wouldn’t advise signing players with OVRs lower than the following:
- 15 year olds: 45 OVR
- 16 year olds: 50 OVR
- 17 year olds: 55 OVR
You probably could get away with signing players with OVRs a few points below those markers, but with each OVR point lower you go, you’re increasing the amount of work required to get them to their potential.
In contrast, find players as good as the ones below and you’ve found a seriously good player:
- 15 year olds: 55 OVR
- 16 year olds: 60 OVR
- 17 year olds: 65 OVR
As you’ve probably noticed, this is all very different to FIFA 15. No longer are we likely to find 16 year old players rated 75 or above on the first scouting report. EA have tweaked scouting so that players start out with much lower OVRs.
However, for one thing EA have tweaked the player stats so that you can now find fast players and strong players, even in player types that used to always result in slow weaklings in FIFA 15. For example, if you find a defensive minded full back he’s unlikely to have tackling in the 80s any more, but could have pace in the 70s. This can partially help overcome the lower OVRs, as players can have more useful individual stats than was often the case in FIFA 15.
And for another thing, developing your youth players is great helped by the player training feature. As I said, I’ll cover this in more depth in a future guide, but it is a very good way to counter these lower OVRs – train a player enough and they can grow heaps before you even promote them.
In terms of potential, this year it seems players can have higher potential ranges that in FIFA 15. Last year, the maximum was 90-94, but this year it appears it can go up to 93-94. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to find better players (the top end of the potential range is still 94, it does give you slightly more certainty if that you’ve found an insanely good player.
If you see any player on your reports with an upper potential range value in the 90s (such as 67-91), keep scouting him as he could will probably have potential in the mid 70s to early 80s, and could be worth signing up.
Any player with a lower potential range value in the 70s (such as 70-94) is definitely worth signing, as they will probably end up with potential in the 80s at the very least. These are the players you want to look out for, so make sure you get them quickly before another club steals them!
How to see a player’s potential once he’s been promoted
The first thing I’d say is that it’s very important to track your youth players and keep a note of their OVRs and potentials. For example, I use a spreadsheet to record all this data. It ensures you always know which are your best youth players and which have the best potentials.
However, there is a way in-game to see your youth player’s future potentials. Once they’re promoted, go to the Squad tab, then go to the Squad report screen. Find the promoted youth player you’re interested in, and look under the ‘Status’ heading in the top right corner. If he has 80 potential or above, he’ll have a status relating to his potential; see below to see what each one means:
- Showing great potential: the player has potential 80-85
- An exciting prospect: the player has potential 86-90
- Has potential to be special: the player has potential 91 or higher
If the player doesn’t have one of these statuses and it just says something like ‘At the club since 2017’, then it means his potential is under 80.
Not that some players (but not youth players) will have a status saying ‘Has that special something’. This is unrelated to potential and means the player has the Flair trait; promoted youth players can’t have traits, but just make sure you know the distinction.
Also note that your player has to have an OVR of 60 or above to get one of these messages; similarly, once he’s 22 or older the status will disappear. However, neither of these events mean that his potential has changed, it’s just that the game won’t give you a hint as to what it is until his OVR hits 60 and before he turns 22.
Can you still boost a youth player’s potential?
In FIFA 15, the problem with promoting youth players was that it could randomise a player’s potential. This was especially disappointing if you had a player with huge potential in your academy, and who then didn’t get a potential status when you promoted him. It meant that his potential had been randomised and was less than 80, despite him showing so much promise in the academy.
It could also work the other way, though. Because potentials could get randomly changed, all you had to do was save before promoting a player, then quit and reload your save if he didn’t end up with a potential status. This would players who had terribly potentials in the academy to come out with ‘Has potential to be special’ (or any other potential status), meaning you could get a whole team of Messis with enough reloading.
In FIFA 16, however, EA seem to have taken this potential randomising out of the game – at least when you promote youth players. I tested several 60+ OVR players again and again, and each time their potential status was exactly the same. I wasn’t able to get them to have any different potentials (lower or higher).
Note that this potential randomisation does seem to work for players you’ve bought – just loan them out and recall them to see it in action – just not for promoted youth players. So once you’ve promoted a player, just loan them out then instantly recall them to boost their potential (make sure you save before recalling them, though, as this method can also decrease their potential).
Still, you apparently can’t boost youth players’ potentials when you promote them. This is good and bad, in a way. While it means that you now can’t boost any player’s potential to epic proportions, it does at least give you a bit more certainty that when you promote a promising player, they’re not going to end up a complete dud. You don’t have to wait for a few months for a player’s potential range to narrow down, if you feel he’s good enough for your squad you can promote him and instantly get a clue as to his potential, regardless of how wide his potential range was when he was in the academy.
It also gives you more confidence in players with high potentials but OVRs below 60. In FIFA 15, there was no way to know what their potential was (because their OVR was less than 60 and they wouldn’t get a potential status), so you had to just pray that they were good until they hit 60 OVR, at which point you would know. This could mean a lot of wasted time developing a player who may not even get a potential status. In FIFA 16, if you have a player with 55 OVR but 80+ potential, you’ll know he’s worth keeping and developing even though he won’t have a potential status until he’s grown to 60+ OVR.
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.