FM Guide: The 5-step approach to read Scout Reports and uncover a hidden Wonderkid

by @guidosteve

Ever glossed over a scout report in FM17 without knowing what to look for?

If you are you’re not the only one, ‘cause I was there a few FM’s ago until I decided to really read them to figure out what was in them.

And today, I’ll share what I figured out with this guide to scout reports.

So, if you want to know more about hidden attributes, current ability, potential ability and how to uncover the next Wonderkid, then read on.​

1

Get as much information as possible

The first thing to ensure is that you have a scouting knowledge of 100%.

This parameter can be found in the top left corner of the scout report screen as highlighted in the screenshot below.

FM: Low knowledge scouting report

Here you can see we have a scouting knowledge of 62% with 9 areas yet to assess.

This is not ideal and you can see there is a lot of uncertainty in the scouting report as evidenced by the black stars above.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YELLOW AND BLACK STARS IN SCOUT REPORTS

Yellow stars: These are ratings that your scout is sure of.

Black stars: This indicates the uncertainty of the scout. The higher your scouting knowledge about the player, the less black stars there will be.

Basically, at this moment, the player could be very good or not that special.

You can also see on the player attribute page, that there is a lot of guesswork at play.

FM: Low knowledge attributes

So, we want to get rid of that uncertainty.

To do so, go to the assign scout tab and scout until full knowledge.

FM: Scout until full knowledge

SET UP SCOUTING SO YOUR BEST SCOUT IS FREE

Your best scout should not have any assignments other than doing scout reports on players.

If you have followed our guide to scouting in FM this should already be the case.

Now you have to wait a little bit before getting your “100%” report. Once the report is done, you will get a notification in your newsfeed.

Reading the scout report to sign the best possible players

We now have a scout that report that’s “as good as it gets”.

When I have the scout report, these are the things I look for.

2

Look to the stars! How good is the player / how good can he get?

The first place my eyes gravitate to is always current and potential ability.

These are shown in the top right corner of the scout report.

FM: 100% scout report

Current ability is basically “how good is the player now” and potential ability is “how good can the player get”. The former is of course relevant for established players while the latter is more important for developing young players.

We see that his current ability is either 2½ or 3 stars, while his potential ability is between 2½-3½ stars.

We thus uncovered that the player might not be as good as we thought when we had 62% knowledge of the player. Back then his range was 2½-4 stars.

3

Hidden attributes – the most important attributes in the game?

The next thing I look for is something I believe is underrated by many.

I will now look for hidden attributes, which has a large impact on the player, and which you can only get an idea about through scout reports.

The seven hidden attributes in scout reports

· Adaptability: Shows how good a player is at settling in a foreign country

· Consistency: A high consistency rating ensures the player plays up to his potential every game

· Dirtiness: Shows how many cards the player will get

· Important matches: How well the player performs in derbies and cup finals

· Injury proneness: A high rating means the player is more likely to get injured

· Selfishness: Probably self explanatory. How likely the player is too play for the team and not look to get the goals himself

· Versatility: How easily the player can learn a new position

So, let’s take a look at our scout report and look for the hidden attributes.

FM: Consistency and important matches

First: There are two shades of green.

Consistency and versatility are dark green which means the ratings are very high. Big matches is in a lighter green which means it is “higher than his ability” (3 stars) but not exceptionally high.

So, three of the seven hidden attributes are highlighted by the scout, but what about the other four?

If these were bad they would be highlighted under cons, and if they were good we would have already covered them. So, it means they are “as expected”.

Let’s take a look at another scout report.

I present, Nicklas Bendtner!

Against all odds, The Great Dane actually has negative traits. As highlighted, he’s selfish, he’s prone to injuries and he’s inconsistent...

​... if only Arsene Wenger had a FM scout report available when he signed Nicklas Bendtner he probably wouldn't have.

With that said he also has positive hidden attributes in that he’s great at big games. 

After all, we are dealing with a player who has scored a hattrick in a Champions League knockout game.

So, all hidden attributes are extremely important? No

Not all hidden attributes are born equal.

MOST IMPORTANT HIDDEN ATTRIBUTES

First of all, you want your players to consistently play well. Consistency is very important.

You want your players to be at your best in the big games, so you don’t go all Michael Ballack on the game, always being in 2nd place. Important matches is very important.

And you wan’t your player to be available. Don't sign a player with high injury proneness.

These three attributes are extremely important and having negative attributes here is a big red flag for me.

Lastly, for foreign players, adaptability shows how quickly they settle in a country. If they already know the language, the attribute doesn’t matter. However, even for a foreign player I find the other three hidden attributes to be far more important.

4

A personality to match the team

Let me be perfectly clear: By now I am 90% done with reading the scout report, and I will have decided whether or not I want a player.

However, there is still the matter of personality, although if the player is a good player, this is rarely an issue.

What you want to make sure is that:

1. The player has a good personality

2. It fits with the team

There two parameters are hidden under individual personality and dressing room in the scout report as highlighted below.

FM: Personality in scout report

As stated, these are rarely an issue and as you can see, he has an ok but not stellar personality. However, his mentality fits very well with the dressing room and he should blend right in.

5

Getting the last value out of your scout report

By now I will know whether I want to buy a player or not.

However, there is still information to be had in the scout report.

And that is actually extremely important: It covers, whether or not the club wants to sell and whether the player wants to join your club.

And more importantly, the price the scout thinks you’ll have to pay and what salary the player will demand.

These estimates by the scout are what I will usually for my opening bid both in the transfer and contract talks...

... and if the price of the player is way too high now, you can use this to get updates on the player frequently to see when he becomes available at a price you want to pay.​

​So to sum up...

Summary

How to read scout reports in Football Manager

  1. Make sure you have scouted the player 100%
  2. Check what the current and potential ability is (the stars!)
  3. Get information on hidden attributes
  4. Make sure the player personality matches the team
  5. See what the player costs and what his wage demands are​

Now it’s your turn

I hope this guide has been helpful and you can see the potential of using scout reports to their full potential.

It is really an awesome tool and long term using the scout reports correctly can have a huge impact on your team.

So, if you’ve liked the article please leave a comment below.

Or maybe you think I’ve left something out?

Either way, leave a comment and I’ll be around to answer it.

- Steve

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