Scout Reports; How To Use Them Properly

With the scouting system receiving a major overhaul with the appearance of FM15, you’re going to have to rely on your scouts more than ever, especially if you have enabled the attribute masking ability. This article however isn’t about the scouts, but about what they produce… The scout reports, FM’s way of helping you discover how good a player is and can become.

In this article, we will focus on a number of things.

  • Where can we find these reports?
  • What are the contents of a report?
  • How do we interpret these reports?

Where to find the reports?

Once a player has been scouted, you can view all scout reports on him from the Scout Reports section of his Reports screen. To see older reports and reports by different scouts you can use the drop-down menu on the top-left of the report. You can also access a list of all players that one of your scouts has scouted from the Reports screen of that scout.

reports002

What are the contents of a scout’s report?

When you find an actual scout report, it will generally look a little like this. You can see the build-up, the various columns and the data overload on display.

reports001

As you can see, the panel at the top of a report gives your scout’s opinion of the player’s current and potential ability in his best position. The star ratings given by a scout will be more accurate the higher his Judging Player Ability and Judging Player Potential attributes are. A more comprehensive interpretation of these stars will take place in the next section of this article.

The scout report will also detail pros and cons for signing a specific player. These pros and cons start off as generic comments, but the better your scouts and the more thorough their research, the more detailed these comments become. These comments focus on a wide range of subjects, including a players attributes, both hidden and visible ones, a players position, his personality, his interest in joining the club and his financial demands.

How do we interpret these reports?

That leads us to the most important part, how do we interpret these lines of text? We have to look at a few uncertainties and what certain lines of text actually mean before we can actually assess their usefulness. For instance…

What are black stars?

SI have determined in their infinite wisdom that you’re not supposed to know a players’ true PA (set when they are created), but ultimately it defines the upper limit the player could ever have. If a player will ever reach this upper limit is dependant on a great many variables.

Because predicting the exact value of a players potential is incredibly difficult, even for professional scouts, SI have come up with so-called “negative PAs” for players (that is, the database value is negative) and this then sets a PA for each new save, defining one from a set range (-10; 170-200, -9; 150-180, -8, 130-160, etc.) when the database for the save is generated from the master database.

The next step after the PA though is what the scouts see. This is generally called PCA (perceived current ability) and PPA (perceived potential ability). The scouts only get a general idea of this, and it’s a relative value to the team. For example, a 3 star player for Ajax could be only a 1.5 star player for Chelsea, but a 5 star player for Fortuna Sittard.

Ultimately though, one of the biggest complains they got through the forums was that the scout “the stars got lower” for people’s young players. This happened for two reasons normally. The first is that their first team got stronger, and as such these young players’ potential against the club got lower. The other reason was that the scouts do have this inbuilt error in them to add realism. The problem was that people didn’t like that there was nothing to state these uncertainties from the scouts. So SI have added the black stars.

The idea is that to the human player, you should see the black stars as as indication of what might have been, even though for some they never could have. That’s the whole point though, there is uncertainty. The point ultimately is though that black stars are meant to represent the uncertainty the scouts/coaches have in their PPA, while the gold stars are meant to what they are at least certain of.

Using the scout report to discover hidden attributes

Any manager worth their salt looks beyond the attributes of a player and tries to look inside a players head. A players’ hidden stats (which partially determines his personality) are at least as important as a players attributes. Sometimes, seemingly brilliant players fail to live up to expectations, which is usually when the hidden stats come into play. The scout reports tend to give an indication of hidden attributes.

Some of these hidden attributes can be learned by looking at a players personality. I’m simply nicking these personality settings off SI Sports Centre, so you can have a look yourself. If you follow the link, you can find more detailed information on the subject.

Newgens

  • Model Citizen Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Pre 18-20, Amb 18-20, Loy 18-20, Spo 18-20, Tem 18-20
  • Model Professional Pro 20, Tem 10-20
  • Professional Pro 18-19, Tem 10-20
  • Perfectionist Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Amb 18-20, Tem 1-9
  • Resolute Pro 15-20, Det 15-20, Pre 1-16 Spo 5-20
  • Temperamental Tem 1-4, Pro 1-10
  • Driven Det 20, Amb 10-20
  • Determined Det 18-19, Amb 10-20
  • Slack Pro 1, Det 1-9, Tem 5-20
  • Casual Pro 2-4, Det 1-9, Tem 5-20
  • Very Ambitious Amb 20, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • Amibitous Amb 16-19, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • Unambitious Amb 1-5, Loy 11-20
  • Honest Spo 20, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20
  • Sporting Spo 18-19, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20
  • Easily Discouraged Det 1, Amb 1-9, Spo 1-17, Pro 5-20
  • Low Determination Det 2-5, Amb 1-9, Spo 1-17, Pro 5-20
  • Unsporting Spo 1, Det 11-20
  • Realist Spo 2-4, Det 11-20
  • Very Loyal Loy 20, Amb 6-7, Det 6-20
  • Loyal Loy 18-19, Amb 6-7, Det 6-20
  • Iron Willed Pre 20, Det 15-20, Spo 5-20
  • Resilient Pre 17-19, Det 15-20, Spo 5-20
  • Spineless Pre 1, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20, Spo 1-17
  • Low Self-Belief Pre 2-3, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20, Spo 1-17
  • Light-Hearted Pre 15-20, Spo 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-17
  • Spirited Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 11-17, Spo 1-14
  • Jovial Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-10, Spo 1-14
  • Fairly Professional Pro 15-20, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Determined Det 15-20, Pro 1-14, Spo 5-20, Pre 1-16
  • Fairly Amibitous Amb 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Loyal Loy 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 6-14
  • Fairly Sporting Spo 15-20, Pro & Det & Amb & Loy all 1-14
  • Balanced Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 1-14, Loy & Spo 1-14
  • Born Leader Inf 20 & Det 20. Age needs to be 23+ (if age requirement not met, he would be Driven).
  • Devoted Loy 20 & Amb 6-7
  • Leader Inf 19 or Inf 20 & Det < 20

None Newgen’s

  • Model Citizen Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Pre 18-20, Amb 18-20, Loy 18-20, Spo 18-20, Tem 18-20
  • Model Professional Pro 20, Tem 10-20
  • Professional Pro 18-19, Tem 10-20
  • Perfectionist Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Amb 18-20, Tem 1-9
  • Driven Det 20, Amb 10-20
  • Determined Det 18-19, Amb 10-20
  • Very Ambitious Amb 20, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • Amibitous Amb 16-19, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • Honest Spo 20, Det 1-9
  • Sporting Spo 18-19, Det 1-9
  • Very Loyal Loy 20, Amb 6-7
  • Loyal Loy 18-19, Amb 6-7
  • Iron Willed Pre 20, Det 15-20
  • Resilient Pre 17-19, Det 15-20
  • Light-Hearted Pre 15-20, Spo 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-17
  • Spirited Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 11-17, Spo 1-14
  • Jovial Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-10, Spo 1-14
  • Resolute Pro 15-20, Det 15-20, Pre 1-16
  • Fairly Professional Pro 15-20, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Determined Det 15-20, Pro 1-14, Pre 1-16
  • Fairly Amibitous Amb 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Loyal Loy 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 1-14
  • Fairly Sporting Spo 15-20, Pro & Det & Amb & Loy all 1-14
  • Balanced Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 1-14, Loy & Spo 1-14
  • Born Leader Inf 20 & Det 20. Age needs to be 23+ (if age requirement not met, he would be Driven).
  • Devoted Loy 20 & Amb 6-7
  • Leader Inf 19 or Inf 20 & Det < 20

The scout report also gives you information on various other factors, such as:

  • Consistency; how likely the player is going to perform to his maximum ability in virtually any specific match. Consistency just influences on technical as well as mental attributes. As a result players who have superior physical attributes are going to be significantly less suffering from weak Consistency.
  • Controversy; the measure of exactly how outspoken player is going to be with the press. Very outspoken players could disrupt the dressing room atmosphere or cause rifts within the squad, especially when their team mates have more introvert personalities.
  • Dirtiness; how frequently is this player going to look to break the rules to win in the match.
  • Important matches; how effectively can this player deal with the stress of playing big, high-pressure matches.
  • Injury proneness; how likely is this player to get injured while in the match.
  • Loyalty; this would be the way of measuring  player’s wish to remain at his club. It could actually affect whether he stays at his club whenever a bigger team or perhaps a more financially rewarding offer occurs.
  • Pressure; what is the players’ mental ability to manage difficult circumstances.
  • Professionalism; this determines how a player approaches his career as a professional footballer. There is a direct correlation between high professionalism and a players development.
  • Sportsmanship; what’s a player’s approach to fair play?
  • Temperament; this influences a players’ calmness while involved with specific match situations – things like tackles, fouls as well as bookings.
  • Versatility; how good will a player perform when he is fielded outside of his natural position.

So how do we interpret these reports?

With all the variables known, it’s important to once again stress that your scouts do not know everything, nor are they always 100% correct. They do give you an insight in what a players potential is however, which is probably their most useful feature. Even with the calculated margin of error and the relative assessment compared to the strength of your own squad, the potential ability predictions from your scouts are absolutely crucial when you’re scouting for youngsters.

When it comes to first teamers, I find it more useful to ignore the scout ratings and go by attributes. Sometimes, the scouts are quite right in identifying weaknesses, but these weaknesses are not necessarily exploitable within the role a player is supposed to fulfil within the tactic you use.

What is useful is the ability for a scout to tell you more about a players hidden attributes, especially when it comes to Professionalism, which is the key attribute to determine how fast a player will develop his skills. Naturally, the other hidden stats are useful as well and the scout reports are generally the only way to find out about these ratings before you actually buy and field a specific player.

Naturally, the scout reports also help to unearth a players attributes. This only applies when you’re using the attribute masking function, but when you do use this function, you really need your scouts to just make the attributes of players visible.

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