The Definitive Guide to Player Attributes; Understanding Match Engine Behavior
Welcome to this guide to Football Manager player attributes. Here we’ll delve into one of the most important areas of Football Manager; the visible and hidden player attributes and lets you understand how they affect various parts of the game (e.g the match engine). This definitive guide to player attributes is part of a wider series of beginners guides to Football Manager.
The Football Manager player attributes describes a player’s characteristics and skills. You can say a specific set of attributes describes a player’s competency within a specific situation, whether it’s shooting the ball with accuracy, running with the ball by dribbling, or their overall quality on a stand-alone basis.
Content of Index
It’s one of the most basic parts of Football Manager, but also the most vital to understand. Our aim is to make it easier for you to understand the different attributes, how they work and how they are attached to each other. You’ll also be able to understand their effect on match performance, training progress and development and how they separate a decent player from an average one or a superb player from a bad one. This knowledge will also make it easier for you to analyze player performance within matches through understanding what’s necessary of the player to successfully come through different scenarios and situations.
Continue reading to learn more about the definitions to all the attributes in Football Manager and how they affects various parts of the game, especially in regard to the match engine AND tactical instructions.
Football Manager distinguish attributes into three different categories, which are visible within the player profiles.
You got the technical abilities which focuses on a players qualities with the ball, either it’s in the defensive phase or the attacking phase. It can determine a players level of performance and general skills in possession of the ball.
They are the most important playing attributes, which affects how well the players are doing in the matches in terms of being in possession of the ball, either retaining it or taking advantage of it. Of course will all players require mental and physical skills in order to perform successfully, but the players technical skills will be the main tool to separate good players from bad, from general average performances to superb. Higher ratings in this category will most often lead to better performances on the pitch.
There are 14 technical player attributes in Football Manager spread across typical attributes important for whether the player is in possession, out of possession or at set-pieces.
The mental attributes describes a players characteristics both out of possession, in possession and overall mental approach to movement and creativity, as well as general tactical understanding. It can determine a player’s hunger for success. All managers would like to have mentally strong players within their squad, as they are more capable to handle the pressure, be more consistent and make less faults. You can say they are important on your road to success. You will want professional players who are always looking to develop and improve, who can lead their teammates and are committed to the team strategy; works for the team and team success. There are 14 mental attributes in Football Manager.
It describes a players level of physic and overall capabilities relating to quickness and endurance, jumping and balance. Players with better physical attributes can more easily fit into any squad rather than a player only strong in one of the areas covered above. A player with high physic will be more likely to play a competent game and won’t be embarrassed much, as he’s able to perform for a longer time.
If the player also possess excellent skills in technical and mental attributes as well as good physical attributes, he can be considered as a world class player, as he is more likely to perform consistently in the modern world of football, where teams often play 2 to 3 matches a week and at a high tempo. There are 8 different physical attributes.
Apart from these you’ll have the unique technical goalkeeping attributes, which is covered in this specific guide.
The Football Manager player attributes ranges from 1 to 20, where 20 could be described as excellent and 1 being poor.
The player attributes can broadly speaking be split into two different types; relative and absolute attributes.
The relative attributes can be improved on and influenced through match experience, training and player development, while the absolute attributes are locked to an individual and can’t be developed that easily as they are specific to an individual. Instead, the absolute attributes, such as Determination, Work Rate, Natural Fitness and Leadership, will only develop as the player matures off the field.
Earlier I said that we could distinguish it between visible and hidden attributes. While the visible player attributes are viewable within the player profile, the hidden ones can only be revealed through scouting and will be visible not until you’ve received a scouting report of that particular player. You can find these hidden attributes, depending on whether they possess some, in the scout report; pros and cons.
What sets them apart is that the hidden attributes are specific characteristics of the player, like his consistency, versatility or injury proneness. But more on that later!
That does not mean the visible attributes can be ‘hidden’. By default, without ticking the disable player attribute masking when setting up your save, the player attributes of players who aren’t at your club and you’ve got little or no knowledge of, will either be greyed out or displayed in a range to indicate a rough idea of their ability in that area, until his abilities are clearly identified.
These attributes will only become visible or reduced the range of by scouting, either you improve the scouting knowledge of the nation and/or competition, individual player scouting of that particular player or getting knowledge of that player by facing them in a match.
As you will discover throughout playing Football Manager, the level of attributes influence on player performance throughout the game in all sorts of situations; from set-pieces to movements, through interactions with fellow teammates in defensive and attacking situations, ball control, and last but not least to each players individual tactical intelligent.
In other words, the level of player attributes will influence on how good or bad a player will behave in certain match situations, and can determine the overall success of your tactic as they affect how well the player will interpret specific team and player instructions, take advantage of traits and how they will play their part in combinations with the other players within the team.
Attributes vs Player Ability
Any player in Football Manager has both attributes and a current player ability level. The player ability ranges from 1 to 200, or translated in star ratings from half a star to 5 stars. The current ability describes the current level of football the player is at and the star rating is set according to the other players at your squad in the opinion of the coach, scout or assistant manager.
Attributes and player ability is linked, since the distribution of attributes effectively determines his Current Ability.
A player with 20 in a number of areas is closer to his maximum current ability level compared to one with 5 in the same areas. Whether or not he has reached his current ability depends on his positional abilities (how many positions he can play) and his competency with either foot, can affect the score.
Then you got some attributes that are more heavily weighted towards a player’s overall ability as they are fundamentally important to succeed in any position or in a player role / duty.
Important Attributes to succeed in any positions are;
- Majority of Physical Attributes incl. Work Rate and Team Work
Important Attributes for a particular area of the pitch is visible for each position by ticking the ‘Highlight Key Attributes‘ button on a player’s profile. Here you’ll get an overview of appropriate weightings for attributes crucial to performing to a high standard in that area of the pitch, split up in key and preferable attributes for the role and position.
These weightings describes the player role and duty and basically distinguish one player role from another, according to the different requirements of their tactical priority, in-match behaviour and overall playing style. It’s important to evaluate a players skills when creating your tactics or determine your preferred playing style.
Improving your knowledge about how the different player attributes affect a player’s performance, on its own or in cooperation with others can be the difference between a successful tactic, or getting average results. While the overall tactic might be excellent and you’re doing everything right, its success may be hindered by the players ability and level of skills to perform in that role or area of the pitch relating to your opponents.
Conclusion: A player’s characteristics and best skills must relate to the position he’s playing in, his best suited player role must relate to the tactical plan and football philosophy and finally his player traits must base itself on his biggest strengths. Everything relates to each other. The effect is a combination of all!
How Does the Attributes Make A Difference in Matches?
The effect of the attribute score can have a major effect in matches, even if the number differs with 1 or 2 levels (e.g 10 versus 12 in vision). Generally speaking we can say that a higher number produces a more consistent and high-quality outcome with every increase up the attribute scale.
For example, a pass will be more likely to find its target, a shot will more likely be on target, a tackle will more often win the ball and etc.
The differences in performance are more easily noticeable when the difference is higher, but the effect is a bit more difficult to analyze
if the difference is minimal. In situations where a single attribute differs with 1 digit the easiest way to reflect on it is to say that over the course of 90 minutes a player is more likely to make a better choice with every decision he makes if Player A had Decisions of 10 while Player B had Decisions of 11.
It’s a marginal and isolated example which doesn’t take into account the nuances of how game situation and other attributes affect it, but shows how the marginal gain is important in the longer run.
In reality, it could be the difference between a pass that successfully unlocks a defence that another player might not have chosen to make.
Conclusion: The minor advantages adds up to a much bigger advantage when applied across the entire team! If you ever should be in doubt, you shall always go for the player with the better attributes, especially in the key attributes for any position, his position or role as the overall performance will be better!
In fact, it’s how the attribute model of Football Manager works.
How Does the Attributes Work in Combination With Each Other?
No matter if they are technical, mental or physical attributes, they often work in conjunction with each other. It can be two attributes which affects each other to produce an outcome, or it may be a combination of several attributes and other external game-by-game factors which determines the success of the player to get out of a situation successfully.
Isolated, a certain winger may have superb crossing. He will typically deliver consistently dangerous crosses into attacking positions in perfect circumstances. But take into account situations where he may not have full control of the ball and in perfect balance. Add in an opponent who closes him down, an opponent inside the box who are waiting to clear the ball or the effect of pitch conditions and weather have on his ability to cross. These external factors makes everything differ.
His combination of other attributes, such as quickness, dribbling, long shots and passing, will then decide whether he has other ways to succeed in the match, as he’s not solely dependent on his crossing abilities.
In a match, a player will make thousands of mental calculations based around the best option available to him at any given moment. These calculations are based on his attributes and all-around competency. The decisions they make will not always be right, nor will the right decisions always be the successful one, but his level of Decisions will play a major part!
The combination of attributes important for each other will be more thoroughly depicted below, but if it helps, it’s useful to look at the Key Attributes for the positions or role as it let’s you see attributes which works well together.
To help you understand you can think of these attribute combinations as templates. Football Manager have included these templates within their search filters in order to help you track down specific types of players with a specific playing style more easily. If you delegate control of scouting to your chief scout or director or football, you’ll be able to set up a general scouting focus which let’s you scout for players with a specific playing style.
These templates or labels of players are;
- athletic players
- creative players
- intelligent players
- technical players
- Physical players
On the other hand, you’ll need to assess the attributes with common sense and a process of elimination. For example, Finishing does not require positioning (since it’s purely a attribute important for defensive actions and following a tactical setup) to ensure the player can record shots on target time and time again, nor are vision and tackling, or strength and crossing associated. And you don’t need to be a genius to understand that pace and jumping reach or passing and heading are linked to each other.
This quickly eliminates your need to consider certain attributes for a position, role or duty as there are differences with the tasks and instructions between the players in the attacking and defensive units, between a destroyer and runner, between a goal scorer and a defender.
Football Manager Attributes; The Complete list
Key Attributes (Any Position / Role)
Determination is one of the most important single attributes for any players. It describes a players commitment and hunger to succeed both on and off the pitch. He will give everything in order to win. This ties in with Bravery as it predicts a players commitment (e.g to win the ball, score goals or simply do his best for the team by putting himself into risky situations.
Normally a player with high Determination will also have high Bravery, or vice versa, as the traits inevitable are similar.
A player with high determination is often described as a mentally strong player and is used in conjunction with his Ambition, Pressure, Sportsmanship, Professionalism and Loyalty to affect his personality.
Determined players will also have a hunger to improve himself and may be more inclined to develop faster with the right training and personality. Players with low determination will most often react more negative when going one down.
Anticipation is another of the most important attributes for any football player, no matter the position he’s playing in or the phase of play. Anticipation refers to how well a player can predict and react to an event.
A high number indicates that the player can read the game well and react to situations quicker than others.
It also has a significant effect on a player’s awareness and whether they identify space for themselves to play in as well as reacting to signs of danger created by the opponent.
Decisions refers to a players ability to make the correct choice both with and without the ball a majority of times. Similar to anticipation it’s an important attribute for all the players, and reflects how likely a player is to feel under pressure at any given moment, and to make the best choice accordingly.
A player will high Decisions will make less mistakes and be more able to do the right thing within each situation. A player’s Decision is important in all phases of play whether it’s to picking out passing options, play through balls in the right moment, decide to close down or not, run forward or stay put, shoot from outside the penalty area or dribble. Basically it’s one of the most important attributes linked to tactical instructions, movement and the effect of player traits.
Team Commitment & Team Work
Teamwork reflects how well a player follows tactical instructions whilst working for and alongside his team mates. Having a squad of players with higher ratings in Teamwork will work better as a unit, while player’s with lower ratings will be more individual, both on and off the pitch. They will often slack off and not ‘buy in’ to the team ethos compared to one with higher ratings who will enhance the team unity and be more willing to co-operate with fellow teammates and staff.
These players with low Teamwork will basically not provide adequate support for their team-mates in match scenarios or prefer to run with the ball and look to finish off the attacks himself rather than playing in others, in perhaps a better position.
It is also used to help decide whether or not a player opts to use one of his Player Traits ahead of a tactical instruction.
Work Rate reflects the player’s mental drive to work to his full capacities. A player with higher rating will want to work his socks off throughout the entire playing time, but will need the necessary physical attributes to actually be able to pull it off. It does not merely represent a willingness to run – something that would be inappropriate in many positions – but rather the urgency with which a player gets to where they’re supposed to be in all situations, going above or beyond what he need to do or is instructed to do.
Linked to: Stamina
While Determination is part of a players personality and his commitment to succeed on and of the pitch, Bravery mainly reflects how committed the player is on the pitch. A player with high Bravery is more willing to put himself into risky situations which may cause an injury. Brave players will head into situations where lesser minded will shy away from, such as battling for the ball, jump in with his head first to score a goal at set-pieces or just be so determined to be first on the ball that he doesn’t consider his other options.
The player will go all in in every situation and lay the line for the team. A brave player will also need Aggression, Decisions and Determination to go all in, in the right situations.
Linked to: Determination
Leadership refers to a players ability to influence players around them on the pitch. It describes the player’s ability to affect events or other players making them often rally around him. He will have a positive effect on his teammates as they are more likely to perform better when playing with him and will therefore affect the line he’s playing in (either making the defensive-, midfield- or attacking line stronger.
It is one of the primary attribute for a good captain.
Linked to: Teamwork and Player Age
Technical – In Possession
Technique refers to how refined the player appear to be with the ball – their aesthetic quality with the ball, either it’s the competency to pass the ball, shoot, cross or dribble with the ball.
A player with high ratings in Technique will be more likely to pull off a tricky pass or a cross-field ball with greater ease than someone less technically able. It can also be a barometer for whether or not the player will rely on and use their preferred foot in situations where their weaker one would appear to be easier.
A player with high Technique will more often succeed in any situations, while one with poor Technique will often be let down by his technical skills in more difficult situations, either he needs to put a curl on the ball to find his target or have great ball control so as the opponent is closing him down.
Linked to: Passing, Crossing, Finishing, Long Shots and Free-Kicks
This competency reflects a player’s ability to successfully find a teammate with the ball – how good the player is at passing the ball. A player with high ratings in Passing will normally be more accurate with his passes and produce more consistent success over a variety of passing opportunities.
The player needs the vision to to spot different passing options, while Technique affects the quality of his execution. A player with high ratings in Passing, Technique and Vision is better able to play difficult through balls where the pass lands perfectly for a player to collect it, either it’s to his feet, in front of the player or aimed at a different body part which makes the receiver able to take advantage of the ball.
This means that a player with higher ratings coupled with Technique will be more accurate over longer distances and be able to pull off tricky passes, but it doesn’t mean that a player with lower ratings will be able to find a target if the pass is short, since it still can be played with accuracy.
Having players with good passing will be worthy no matter their positioning and role, but is most vital for midfielders; playmakers and creative players who shall create chances by unlocking the opposition defensive lines with through balls, key passes and assists.
Linked to: Vision and Technique
First Touch refers to how good a player is at receiving the ball and immediately get control of it when passed to his feet. A player with higher ratings will be able to control the ball quicker put it in a useful position to then act upon, whether it is to picking out a pass, run or turn with the ball, shoot or dribble, no matter the amount of pressure from the opposition.
A player with low First Touch will more often struggle to control the ball as adeptly and may be prone to losing the ball if closed down quickly. These players should be a target to close down often when setting up your opposition instructions.
Linked to: Technique
It refers to a player’s ability to run with the ball and manipulate it under close control. It describes purely his proficiency at moving with the ball at his feet. In order to get past his marker successfully, the player requires Pace, Acceleration, Agility and Balance, as this will aid his dribbling in different circumstances.
A player with higher ratings in Dribbling, Agility and Balance will be able to move in more directions more fluidly with the ball compared to one with lower ratings. His acceleration and pace determines how quickly he’ll be able to get past his marker and advance away from him.
Linked to: Pace, Acceleration, Agility and Balance
This solely refers to the player’s competency at heading the ball and dealing with aerial situations. It applies to all situations with the ball in the air and determines how well the player will head the ball well.
A good header will need the height or Jumping Reach in order to be able to head the ball (depending on how high in the air the ball is). Secondly when he’s in the air, he will require a bit of Strength in order to head the ball over a greater distance.
Having tall players with good Jumping Reach and Heading will be worthy in any set-piece situations. It is as vital for your defenders as your forward(s), both in order to defend and attack.
A player with poor Heading but higher ratings in Jumping Reach and who are tall may be able to reach the ball in the air, but he will not utilize the cross, corner or free kick to a greater effect as he’s not technically adept at Heading the ball on the target as the heading will be inaccurate and perhaps without force or without the quality needed to lure the goalkeeper.
Linked to: Height, Jumping Reach and to a lesser extent Strength
Out of Possession – Technical
Tackling reflects how well the player will be at winning the ball cleanly without conceding fouls when tackling another player. Players with a higher ratings in Tackling will consistently win the ball cleanly when trying to regain possession of the ball.
A good tackler will also need great positioning and decision in order to put in the right tackle at the right time.
It’s primarily a defensive attribute which describes how capable the player is in the defensive phase and defensive transition phase, and is an highly important attribute for players within the defensive line and midfield line; typically players with support and defend duty.
Utilizing the tactical instruction of ‘Get Stuck In’ or opposition instructions of Tackle harder requires that your players got higher ratings in Tackling in overall.
Linked to: Positioning and Decisions
Marking describes how well the player sticks close to his direct opposition in defensive situations. Isolated, a high rating in Marking will see them do well identifying, tracking, reacting to and denying opponents the ball, but in order to effectively mark the opponent, he requires Strength, Positioning and Anticipation, in order to spot how the situation may develop and who will get the ball, visualize a players movement, be on the right place to the right time and refrain the opposite player to get possession of the ball, or to take advantage of it.
In additional to these attributes, we have to take into account the comparable physical statures of the two players, as a stronger or quicker player will better move off his marker.
Linked to: Positioning, Anticipation and Strength
Technical – Attacking
It describes a player’s ability to put the ball in the back of the net when presented with a chance. A player with higher ratings in Finishing increases the chance to put the shot on target several times compared to a player with low Finishing.
A good finisher will spot the places where the goalkeeper can’t save the shot and refers purely to a player’s ability to perform an accurate shot. Whether or not the player will score on a consistent manner depends on his level of Composure and Decisions.
This attribute is most important for your strikers or inside forwards, but can also be profitable for attacking midfielders who are present in the box when attacking.
Linked With: Composure and Decisions
Isolated reflects Crossing a player’s competency to cross the ball predominantly but not exclusively from wide areas accurately. It’s therefore a useful trait for wingers and fullbacks, wide midfielders and wing backs – all those working the wider channels, but can also be a great skill for players you’d favor to cross from deep earlier by getting the ball into dangerous goalscoring positions from the half spaces.
A player with a greater ability of Crossing will be more proficient at crossing the ball from wide into the penalty box utilizing low, whipped or floating crosses (depending on his instructions and duties).
It’s also an important attribute for anyone in charge of Indirect Free-kicks.
Linked with: Technique and Balance
This attribute reflects a player’s quality in shooting from distance or more accurately from outside the penalty area. Long Shots is one of few stand-alone attributes but is further affected by his Player Traits and which may complement his Long Shots rating, such as ‘tries first time shots‘ or ‘shoots with power‘.
Tactical – Defending
Positioning reflects a player’s ability to read situations and position himself accordingly and in the best possible manner to deal with the unfolding events. The attribute is only effective in defensive situations and is not used in attacking situations.
A player with higher ratings in Positioning will be able to maneuver himself into the best possible location of the pitch and whether or not they’re in the best position within their current tactical set up according to the situation.
It also determines how well a player identifies who to mark, when and how and where to mark them.
Linked with: Anticipation, Concentration and Marking
The level of Concentration reflects a player’s mental focus and attention to detail on an event-by-event basis, where players with high concentration will be able to concentrate better for a longer time and respond to incidents both early as well as late in the game.
A high rating here will mean the player will be more consistent on a move-by-move basis during a match (e.g both defensive and attacking situations). They will also react better under pressure, position themselves correctly in all phases of play, and make better judgment calls in tight situations.
Players with lower Concentration will struggle more in the same situations and are more prone to making mistakes at crucial times in the match. That’s right! These are the players who might make mistakes leading to goals or who might not be positioned correctly according to the other team-mates as they ruin the offside trap, does not track a run behind him or squander with possession as the pass is poorly executed or gifted to the opposition by not keeping his focus.
Aggression reflects a player’s attitude in terms of playing mentality but is not necessarily a dirtiness indicator.
An aggressive player will look to be more involved in every incident and press more often, tackle harder, foul more often, and engage in other parts of the game such as showing dissent towards the match officials, perhaps at the expense of giving away more fouls.
It’s a vital asset for playing styles relying on high intensity, such as much pressure and closing down, trying to regain possession quickly.
While a player with higher aggression might make more fouls, a less aggressive player will often shy away from situations and drop into his comfort zones, waiting for the play to find him.
Linked with: Determination and Bravery
Tactical – Attacking; Movement and Etc.
Off the Ball
Off the ball can be described as a player’s ability to move when not in possession of the ball, making them available to receive a pass in a more dangerous position.
Similar to Anticipation, this is how well players, particularly attacking ones, can assess a situation and then move off the ball, making themselves available to perform another action after making a pass themselves or to move in position to receive the ball from a team-mate.
A player with good Off the ball will also require Decision, Anticipation and Acceleration to pick the right moment to move forward at the right time.
It’s a vital attribute for a number of player traits and is highly important for tactical systems using Run At Defence instructions.
Vision refers to a player’s ability to spot a potential opportunity. The player will not necessarily exploit the opening but will have the advantage to see a potential chance, which someone with less creativity don’t.
Even though he may see something to take advantage of, the player requires the technical proficiency to pull it off.
A player with a high rating of Vision will more likely visualize something developing or spot something that another player might not, whether it is seeing an opportunity to play a through ball or spot a run.
Linked with: Technique and Decisions
It’s the natural talent of the individual of being creative and occasionally unpredictable. Flair determines whether or not a player is likely to choose to dribble, to take on long-range shooting opportunities or spectacular overhead kick efforts, or generally to take risks with the ball.
A player with much flair can both be a great attacking outlet to possess in all teams, but will require tactical restraints in order to take advantage of him, as he often may try to pull off some excellent movements and tricks, going outside the tactical instructions and pull off some individual actions that might unlock the opponent’s defensive block.
Linked with: Off the ball and Vision
Composure is a mental attribute highly important in all situations and all phases of play.
It reflects the player’s steadiness of mind and ability, particularly with the ball but also without it, to make more intelligent decisions. Partly it deals with the player’s ability to keep a cool head in stressful situations for example when presented with a big scoring chance when he’s closed down, or put under heavy pressure at defensive situations.
A player with higher ratings in Composure will be able to keep his head and more often than not make an intelligent decision that is beneficial to the team. In general play, they will appear to have more time on the ball, make smarter and more successful decisions with it, and generally be more aware of their surroundings in all phases of play.
Free Kick Taking
Free Kick Taking reflects the competency of the player to strike a dead ball. This attribute applies mainly to direct shots at goal, but can also play a tiny factor in wide or deep free-kicks, where the aim is to put the ball into more dangerous areas or aim it directly at the goal.
Linked with: Technique
- Direct Free-kicks requires Free Kick Taking, Long Shots and/or Finishing
- In-Direct Wide Free-kicks requires Free Kick Taking, Crossing and/or Passing* plus Vision
- Deep Free-kicks requires Free Kick Taking, Crossing, Passing* plus Vision
* Depending on the in-direct wide free-kick shall be aimed short or long, towards best header or cross center.
P.S. Take into account a player’s preferred foot, as it will determine if the ball will be played inwards or outwards of the penalty area.
This attribute reflects how well the player takes a corner kick and how accurately the corner is taken (according to the corner routines you’ve selected. A good corner taker is always able to set the ball into key areas and will need good technique and crossing in order to pull it off. Tied to a player’s preferred foot.
Linked with: Technique
Penalty Taking refers to a player’s ability from the penalty spot, and determines the success and failure of the penalty kick, as a player with higher levels of Penalty Taking will be more confident in these situations.
The success of the penalty kick is further influenced by his level of composure, his finishing technique and other mental attributes such as determination, decisions, visions, anticipation and concentration, in order to be successful from the 12 yard line. A player’s mental state of mind during the match should be considered as well before a penalty shoot out or before letting a player take the penalty. Here the body language can be a reference point.
Linked with: Finishing and Composure
This attribute determines a players ability to be confident from the penalty spot. He will require both good finishing, technique and composure, but also excellent concentration and decision
This refers to a player’s ability to perform a long throw, which can be beneficial in attacking situations or to get the ball out of defensive areas and into the final third quicker. Basically, it describes the player’s ability to throw the ball long.
A suitable long thrower will require decent strength, as this factor will also determine how long he will be able to throw the ball.
Linked with: Strength
Physical Attributes – Player’s Level of Fitness
Strength reflects a player’s ability to exert his physical force on an opponent to his benefit. A player with much strength will be able to use his strength to his advantage against weaker opponents. This attribute is important for players who are marking opposite players, but also for strikers who need to use their strength in the air or on the ground to get away of his marker.
Stamina refers to how well a player can endure high-level physical activities for a long period of time. Not only will the player perform at top level for a longer time throughout the season, but is more likely to lose less match fitness and don’t get tired out despite playing surface, such as soaking pitches.
A player with less Stamina will not only tire quicker, but the quality of his execution in all phases of play will decrease the more tired he becomes.
Natural fitness and stamina are closely linked, and both indicate a players level of general fitness.
It’s often used to describe tireless players, those who can endure the full 90 minutes and even more.
Linked with: Natural Fitness
Natural fitness is not a typical attribute in regard to competency on the pitch, but describes more his genes and level of physic. The level of Natural fitness indicates how well the player stays fit when injured or not training – like maintaining his form.
A player with higher natural fitness is not only able to recover quicker from injuries, but is also more likely to be able to perform better for a higher amount of matches throughout the prolonged season AND recover faster between matches meaning their condition will likely increase faster than one with lower Natural Fitness.
It’s also an indicator of how well they retain their physical attributes as they go past their peak, meaning a player with abysmal ratings in Natural Fitness will decline faster once they turn 30 or more and see their attributes in Stamina, Quickness and Strength decrease faster.
It’s an important factor in the modern footballing world where the schedule is tough playing over 40 matches per season.
This refers to how quickly the player reaches top speed from a standing start. Such players are valuable in positions where the players should change position quickly in an event-by-event basis, both off the ball and with the ball. It’s a valuable trait for player’s you’d like to give ‘Plays One-Twos’ and is a necessity for wide players and attacking players as they take on the opponent with either frequent forward runs into the opposition area or dribbles.
Players with excellent acceleration and pace is more capable to take on his markers and move quickly around the pitch.
Linked with: Pace
Pace refers to a players top speed. Whereas Acceleration reflects how quickly a player can attain their top speed, Pace is that top speed. A players quickness is also determined by his stamina and natural fitness, which is decisive for how long time the player can maintain top speed, both in terms of short bursts and over the course of the match.
A player with low acceleration but high pace can be quick, but will need longer time (and more space) to reach his full quickness.
Players will always be a little quicker without the ball, than running with it. A quick player will also need good balance when running with the ball.
Linked with: Stamina, Natural Fitness, Balance and Acceleration
Agility reflects how well a player can start, stop, and move in different directions at varying levels of speed (pace), both with or without the ball.
An agile player will need Pace, Acceleration and Balance in order to move around quickly, start and stop in a various amount of times, as they work together in the match engine, especially when a player is running with the ball.
Links with: Balance, Dribbling, Pace, Acceleration
Balance describes how well the player is able to keep his balance and stay on his feet with and without the ball whilst being in control of their actions when moving, turning, or changing directions. In fact, a player requires good balance to withstand pressure and retain control of the ball when put under pressure. Off the ball, the players require great levels of balance when running at full speed or when making quick turns to lure the opposing marker.
This means that the attribute is as important for playmakers and target men as wingers, attacking midfielders and wingbacks. Balance is essential for playmakers and other creators such as the Enganche or the Trequartista. They require good levels of balance when retaining possession or moving the ball around the park by making through balls and more direct passes. Since they are closed down regularly and are put under pressure by the opposing defenders, it’s important they keep their balance on the ball to make accurate passes to player’s around them.
Similarly, requires wingers or attacking midfielders good balance in order to stay on their feet and evade opponents when changing direction when in possession of the ball. Balance is essential in scenarios where the player is dribbling forward and has to zigzag between opponents.
Another aspect of the game is crossing situations. Wingers require decent levels of crossing to maintain balance before making crosses. They are often required to get in crosses from the byline running at a great pace before taking the cross.
Linked with: Strength, Agility, Pace and Dribbling
Jumping Reach reflects how good a player is at reaching the ball in the air. It indicates the highest point an outfield player can reach with his head, influenced by a player’s height.
A player’s height must also be taken into account when determining his jumping reach, as a tall player won’t require as high jumping reach as a shorter. This means that a player at around 170cm will struggle to compete against a player who are 20 to 30cm taller no matter his level of jumping reach. Of course isn’t the jumping reach reflective of a player’s height, as two players with the same height and different jumping reach can differ in quality in aerial situations.
Players who shall be good in the air must need Heading, Balance and Strength in addition to being tall and have a great level of Jumping Reach to be a great weapon at all dead ball situations.
The Attribute Analysis – The polygon
Before we end this guide on player attributes I’d like to assess the Attribute Analysis, the persona Characteristic spider web or whatever you’d call it. I’ll keep it brief, by looking only at the attributes which affect each of the eight different corners of the web for outfield players and goalkeepers
Defending: Tackling (50%), Marking (25%) and Positioning (25%)
Physical: Strength (25%), Stamina (25%), Balance (25%) and Agility(25%)
Speed: Acceleration (50%) and Pace (50%)
Vision: Vision (33%), Flair (33%), Passing (34%)
Attacking: Finishing (34%), Off the ball (33%) and Composure (33%)
Technique: Technique (34%), First Touch (33%) and Dribbling (33%)
Aerial: Heading (50%) and Jumping Reach (50%)
Mental: Determination (16,6%), Decisions (16,6%), Anticipation (16,6%), Teamwork (16,6%), Bravery (16,6%) and Concentration (16,6%)
Shot Stopping: Reflexes (50%) and One on Ones (50%)
Aerial: Handling (50%) and Aerial Reach (50%),
Communication: Communication (50%) and Command of Area (50%)
Distribution: Throwing (50%) and Kicking (50%)
Mental: Anticipation (16,67%), Bravery (16,67%), Concentration (16,67%), Decisions (16,67%), Determination (16,67%) and Teamwork (16,67%)
Eccentricity: Eccentricity (100%)
Physical: Balance (25%), Agility (25%), Strength (25%) and Stamina (25%)
Speed: Acceleration (50%) and Pace (50%)
Rushing Out (Tendency)
Off the ball
Understanding how the different attributes are tied to the on-pitch behavior and their specific player role will be important for creating a successful tactic.
Player attributes will be the primarily element to influence, when developing players. It is worthy to understand what each specific attribute mean for the players’ performances according to their preferred player role and duty.
You can read more about training in Football Manager here.
These hidden attributes can only be revealed through scouting and requires a scout report of the player to be visible. It does not matter if you’ve got knowledge of the player by general knowledge of the league or nation or you’ve got 70% knowledge of the player but has never send your scout to look closer at the player.
Some of these hidden attributes are highly important in regard to the performances of the player, while others affect how likely they will be to learn new positions or get injured.
Adaptability is the competency of the player to adept to a new country, culture or settle down in a new club quicker.
Signing a promising talent from South America when managing in England could become a problem as the player will need time to settle in and get adjusted to the playing style in England. If he is fairly adaptable when it comes to living in another country, he will become a great asset far quicker. He will gel with the team mates quicker and be able to perform better earlier than one who is incapable of adapting to living in a new country.
This attribute reflects how likely the player is to perform consistently on the pitch. Instead of varying in his performances, the player is more like to keep the standard and level of ability by recording a more regular average rating.
He’s a player you can put your trust in, every week in and out as he will perform decent without major ups and downs in his form.
It’s a positive trait, as an inconsistent player will perform good in one game while being poorer in the next – not 100% reliable.
This trait describes how likely the player is natural in several positions OR be able to learn new positions quite easily. He will be more likely to be played out of position if needed to, but remember that his positional abilities will affect both his current ability and average rating (overall performance).
But these players will more likely be interested to be re-trained from a striker to an attacking midfielder, from a central midfielder to an inverted wing back or from a striker to a central defender.
You can recognize a versatile player as he’s often natural or fairly adept at playing in a number of positions already.
A player who enjoys the big matches will be more likely to thrive under the extra pressure by improving his performances in important matches, whether it’s local derbies, cup matches and finals.
A player with poor important matches will buckle under the pressure and might play below par in similar situations and is labeled as ‘Doesn’t feel comfortable playing in big matches’.
It’s a highly positive attribute to look for players who enjoy big matches, especially if you’re playing in European tournaments or plays regularly in important tournaments.
Dirtiness describes a players tendency to bending the rules. A player with higher dirtiness will have a competitive streak which can occasionally lead him to make more fouls and get more cards. Couple it with Argues with Officials and you’ll certain to have a player who will receive lots of cards (yellow and/or red cards).
It’s a negative personality attribute.
The Injury Proneness describes how likely and how often the player is to get injured and is translated into his level of injury susceptibility. A player with high injury susceptibility will be fairly susceptible for injuries and may get injured more often than one with lower injury susceptibility.
It’s not a factor of whether the player will be more likely to encounter more severe injuries than another player, but may indicate he will get injured more often, either it’s both minor and major injuries.
It’s a negative attribute where you should avoid signing player with this trait.