How to Increase The Scouting Knowledge in Football Manager by An Efficient Scouting Network
In part 2 of our series, where we are delving into how to master the art of Football Manager Scouting, the time has come to utilize the Football Manager scouting network in order to improve world knowledge.
In the world of any Football Manager career, scouting is and should be at every manager’s core. The ability to create a reliable and efficient network of scouts is highly probable to decide your fate as a top manager or a failure. It doesn’t matter whether you rely solely on your youth products, find bright talents for the future or buy established players. It doesn’t matter whether you are Wigan, AFC Ajax, Boca Juniors or Hajduk Split.
You will need a good scouting program in order to succeed. Our aim is to make you one step closer to be able to set up an worldwide efficient scouting network who have comprehensive knowledge of all parts of the world and who updates you on the most promising talents before everyone else!
With the improvements to scouting in Football Manager 2015, the importance of increasing the clubs scouting knowledge in Football Manager is as important as ever. By taking advantage of the marvelous tips below, you will be able to set up an efficient scouting network in Football Manager. The questions we like to answer is how to increase the world knowledge with the help of the best Football Manager scouts and set a plan to utilizing the clubs Football Manager scouting network.
The main aim of setting up a network of scouts is to rapidly gain broad scouting knowledge in order to track down the best talents and 5 star regens as soon as they come through in a long term save, or simply let the fog of war disappear bit by bit. The fun of improving the clubs world knowledge will be to delve into every corner of the earth, from Asia in east to Panama in west, Norway in north to South Africa in south.
On the road to 100% world knowledge, if it’s doable at all(!), you will need to sort through thousands of scout reports on potential new signings, monitor and setup scouting assignments which let’s you find the best transfer targets for your playing style and transfer budget.
In order to build from the knowledge from part 1, where we looked at how to find the best scouts, the next step will focus on configuring a world efficient scouting network with the help of excellent scouts. As you may remember, we handed you 3 different scouting roles, who will become vital when setting up a successful scouting network and finally increase the clubs world knowledge. With different responsibilities and tasks they will require different key attributes. Below we will bring it all together.
The tips and recommendations we shared in part 1 and which we will continue on here, will be based on my personal experiences on how I set up an efficient scouting network, and how I get the best results in finding players for all over the world for my teams; being able to snap up the best talent in the world before everyone else.
What is the Fog of War? The Benefits of Improving World Scouting Knowledge
The Football Manager Player attribute masking, otherwise known as the fog of war in FM Handheld series, is a concept where player information such as player attributes and hidden attributes – each players strength and weaknesses, their positional abilities and contract clauses are invisible to the human manager, amongst other important aspects of his player profile.
With the Football Manager player attribute masking enabled you will not know everything about the players or backroom staffs from outside leagues / nations you have not knowledge of, while everything will be visible once it’s ticked (apart from current and potential ability star rating or a more detailed scout report).
With the new Football Manager 2015 ranged player attributes the knowledge level within the game have become even more realistic, as FM assumes a manager of the current level of experience and age will not necessarily know everything about every player in the world.
When starting a normal Football Manager save, there will be a limited amount of nations (players, backroom staff, AI Managers, clubs or leagues) you have knowledge of. Which nations your current club has knowledge of can be discovered under Scouting – Knowledge as seen in the screenshot below.
The level of the clubs world scouting knowledge will provide you with more details about the game. There are many benefits of improving the world scouting knowledge – the most important aspects is highlighted below;
- increase the amount of “All Known Players or Staff”. The pool of players and backroom staff when doing a filtered search will increase, giving you the answer to why some backroom staff or players are not visible in a team. For example choosing a database size of 50,000 players you may not have more than 20% of that number visible when starting a new save.
- with more players you have some percentage of knowledge about, you will automatically increase the amount of transfer targets or the pool of players who may improve the current squad depth.
- without 100% knowledge on a player this information will not be accurate or visible;
- get accurate player attributes or discover hidden attributes
- natural positional abilities
- current happiness and short term plans
- track his current form
- discover contract clauses or potential asking price
- player preferred moves
- current and potential ability star rating
- Note! Potential ability (division) is calculated at the last percentage before the scout report with pros and cons is complete (from 99% to 100%)
- With more information available about each clubs’ players you will get the required information to setup opposition instructions and analyze the opposition teams strength and weaknesses.
- With none or less knowledge of a particular nation you will not be able to get more in-depth information about the teams in that country (for example full squad lists, which may be proficient when your team plays continental tournaments such as Euro Cup or UEFA Champions league.
With 100% knowledge of a nation you are more likely to get regens from that specific country in the yearly youth intake – of course depending on the level of youth recruitment and the skills, personality and preferences of the backroom staff responsible for youth recruitment – normally managed by the Football Manager staff role head of youth development.
You can read more about how to get a better youth intake, with the aim of getting better regens, here.
In general, no matter which league you play in or the level of clubs knowledge it’s vital to try to maximize it in order to broaden your world knowledge; the depth in every nation. As you saw above, there are many benefits of always looking to increase your scouting knowledge. Below we will take a closer look at how you can increase the scouting knowledge with the help of setting up a scouting network.
How to Increase Scouting Knowledge
You can increase your Football Manager scouting knowledge easily by;
1) being sly and creative enough to choose a home nation and a secondary nation which is different from the nation of the managing club, such as choosing the nationality of Brazil and secondary nationality to Italian, when managing in Spain, in your manager profile. This means that you will already have an average knowledge of at least three different nations.
2) broaden your club’s team of backroom staff with coaching staff and administrative staff from different parts of the world, such as hiring youth coaches, coaches or assistant manager with scouting knowledge from different nations and regions.
3) by making a boardroom request to increase the number of affiliated clubs. Your club’s feeder and parent clubs will let you have complete knowledge of a nation. Feeder and parent clubs will not only add depth to the level of nation knowledge but also be useful when the annual youth intake happens, increasing the chance of getting regens from feeder club nation.
4) and finally, the main core of this article, by setting up a team of scouts and send them out to all the different parts of the world; increasing your scouting knowledge with an efficient scouting network.
Increasing Scouting Knowledge by Scouting Regions
How you setup your scouting network will be based on many factors. Your network should be as expansive as possible. In order to expand your knowledge, it’s worthy to learn more about regional scouting. It is one of the simplest and greatest way to quickly give you tremendous results on many players and increase the clubs world scouting knowledge rapidly.
As you might’ve experienced from reading part 1 of our Football Manager Scouting guides How to find the best scouts, we introduced you to the term Roaming scouts and what they require. You will now experience how we take advantages of the regional or roaming scouts to both increase scouting knowledge and find the “hidden wonderkids” and bargains from all over the world in Football Manager!
Which Areas of The World / Nations Are Proficient to scout?
Before you start setting up scout assignments and take advantage of your highly efficient scouting network, it is important to set yourself as responsible for setting up the assignments. You can do that in the staff responsibilities screen found under main tab Staff. Then let your chief scout be responsible for delivering the scout reports and update you on the recommended players found.
Which regions you are allowed to send your scouts to, can be found in the overview section of the clubs boardroom. This is usually divided between being able to:
- Scout the entire world – no restrictions
- Scout the continent you’re on
- Scout the region you’re in
- Scout the country you’re in
Most often a lower league club or a minor club will only be allowed to scout their own region, for example UK and Ireland.
Recommended Regions to Scout
Football Manager comes with 20 regions as seen in our overview of the Football Manager scouting regions. You might immediately wonder where should I start my hunt for the best players for my team? How shall I set up the best assignments to increase the pool of players and more important the players level of potential?
Based on the article about scouting regions and nations youth rating (linked to above) we will build on this knowledge on the current guide. There you will discover each nations average level of quality regen production according to which nations who have the best youth ration – literally it determines the preferred scouting order of each nations / regions.
In the end, will the list let you get more substance to why you should scout the different regions and nations; why it’s useful to have 100% or complete knowledge in that country.
There is a huge difference between the 20 regions: Some are bigger and more demanding, some are fairly small and involve fewer countries like Southern Europe, while others are huge and more comprehensive like Eastern Europe which is made of as many as 22(!) different nations. Of course, this will require more scouts assigned to this part of the world than North America.
The regions are divided as follows:
- Central Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Southern Europe
- UK & Ireland
- South America
- Central America
- North America
- Middle East
- North Africa
- East Africa
- Central Africa
- Western Africa
- Southern Africa
- South Asia
- Southeast Asia
- East Asia
- Central Asia
Recommended Scouting Priority
Your order of setting up assignment for the different scouting regions is important as well. There are several things you will have to consider when choosing the order and priority;
Your priorities in terms of assignments will also influence which scouts you target, as you want scouts who complement each others scouting knowledge.
1. Where is the managing club located in the world?
Scouting your local region should be your first priority, as it is the cheapest option to find new players and increase scouting knowledge of countries close to your club to improve youth intakes. For example if you manage in England you should focus on UK & Ireland and if you manage in Mexico you should focus on North America as your first priority.
2. How many scouts are you allowed to have?
This is easily done by checking the staff box in the boardroom section. Since you always have a limited amount of scouts – depending on your finances and club reputation – the order of region priority should be considered. As most Football Manager players manage in Europe. Here is the region priority list you should consider:
1. Whichever region of Europe you are managing in, for example Central Europe if managing in France.
2. All the other regions in Europe: (But in this order)
A. Central Europe
B. Southern Europe
C. Eastern Europe
D. UK and Ireland
3. South America
4. North America
5. North Africa
6. Central America
7. Western Africa
8. Middle East
9. Southern Africa
10. East Africa
11. Central Africa
13. East Asia
14. Southeast Asia
15. South Asia
16. Central Asia
This means you should assign your scouts according to this recommendation, until you hit the maximum allowed by your board. It may seem futile to scout the entire world and regions such as Central Asia, but please consider it. The regen production in the game is highly unpredictable, you never know when you spot a gem of a player somewhere you never thought of. This has happened to me several times with world beaters from Saudi Arabia for example. In addition, don’t underestimate the value of scouting knowledge and what it delivers in terms of youth intakes.
The list of priority is given, because it is difficult to maximize the amount of scouts. Clubs usually start with 5-9 allowed in the beginning, where the top clubs usually can have 11-14 when you start the game. For LLM the amount of scouts can be 1-3, so there is often little to work with. That’s why the region roaming scouting is the best way to accumulate massive amounts of reports on players you might choose to sign.
Now, when deciding whom to scout regions you should look at their current knowledge of nation(s). If you see that he already has good knowledge of several countries in a region, you might want to send him there, so that he adapts more quickly and uses less time to get maximum knowledge of the countries involved. What attributes to consider in a scout to get the maximum out of them is already covered in part 1. When you choose the desired region(s) you have options on how the scout should filter the results. My recommendation is to set the scout to find you players with at least 3 star potential, but this of course is up to you to decide – of course depending on your squads average of ability / potential.
Below we will hand you two different approaches used to improve world knowledge by setting up scouting assignments. What you prefer may depend on the scouting restrictions and the playing level of your club.
Approach 1: Scouting Regions
This approach may be beneficial for a club with no restrictions, but it will give you some tips on how a well organized network should look like. Below you can see the 20 scouts I have and their attributes, their scouting regions and my current amount of knowledge of regions and countries. You will notice that it takes four screenshots to cover my complete scouting knowledge. The best thing about this, is that it expands every day!
The basic idea is to send one scout out to each scouting region letting them roam the areas for the best players. You will then need 20 roaming scouts with excellent adaptability and determination.
As you also can easily notice – some regions have low amounts of knowledge, in this example South America and Eastern Europe, arguably the two biggest regions in the game. Those are incredibly difficult to get a full knowledge of and I have never achieved it. Personally, I love having massive regional knowledge and whenever I get more then 20 scouts allowed, I tend to double up on assignments in regions I have poor knowledge of.
An Example to Roaming Scouting
Let’s say you’re Swansea. You can scout the entire globe, but only have 9 scouts at your disposal. How do you distribute them?
My recommendations is to always have at least one in every region of the world, until you reach the maximum allowed 20, where all of them is scouting in each specific region.
But, in the start, with only 9 scouts, start with Europe. The entire continent covers 5 regions: Central, Eastern- and Southern Europe, as well as Scandinavia and UK & Ireland.
My personal recommendation is to always focus on Europe first, then expanding across continents if you have more than 5 scouts. With four position left to distribute you can look closer to a more obvious choice as America and more specifically South America, where proficient nations are Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay.
There may not be a better talent production line than South America, so having a complete Scouting knowledge of Brazil and Argentina can be favorable.
In Central and North America, your program will benefit from knowledge of Mexico and USA which should not be underestimated, as a lot of talent comes from there. After Europe and America, I usually tend to start scouting Africa, and every regions there. My personal recommendation would be to start with North Africa, as a lot of good regens tend to originate there.
Your scouting network should now be thriving, as it’s enveloping half the world, with reports storming in from Europe, Africa and the Americas. Your board decides to grant you even more scouts.
You should then finish of your hunt for a comprehensive scouting knowledge by setting up one staff to cover Middle East and then every region in Asia. You’ve now covered every region of the world except Oceania and Caribbean, where you should put the last two scouts you get.
Approach 2: Scouting Regional Areas of the Best Nations With Highest Youth Rating
The second approach is one that I personally use from save to save as I find it highly beneficial to track down the best players. The basic idea is to get 100% knowledge on the top nations in the world – those who produce regens with higher average quality (CA / PA), looking to scout regional areas of 2-5 nations (depending on size).
The setup I use – and the scouts’ nation knowledge I target is:
- 1 x Next Opposition Scout (normally chief scout with high JPA / JPP.
The next opposition scout / chief scout will scout the nation I’m in and the border countries.
For example if managing in England, the chief scout will scout teams in England and the region of UK & Ireland such as Scotland and Ireland.
- If scout number 2 is from Holland, he will scout the Benelux region; Holland, Belgium in additional to France.
- If scout number 3 is from Denmark, he will scout Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) to pick up bargains there
- If scout number 4 is from Germany, he will scout that nation pluss Switzerland, Austria and Poland.
- If scout number 5 is from Spain, he will scout that nation pluss Portugal and perhaps Morocco and Algeria
- The scout from Italy will focus on that nation pluss Croatia and Serbia
- Then I target a scout with knowledge of Brazil, who will roam that nation pluss Paraguay and Uruguay.
- The scout with knowledge of Argentina will scout that nation pluss Chile and Peru
- If there are available scouts left, they will focus on regions, for example a scout with high adaptability will scout the region of Eastern Europe, one will scout Mexico, Colombia and USA, while another might scout Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria.
I use the Google Maps in the process of setting up the scouting assignments in order to let scouts travel as short distances as possible between each nations according to their current world knowledge for the scouts with “average” adaptability and determination.
I feel splitting up a big region such as Eastern Europe or America at 3-4 different scouts let’s me increase scouting knowledge faster than one scout for that particular region, as scouts have to re-visit the nations in order to keep them 100%. By using this method it might be impossible to reach 100% world knowledge (as you would need over 24 scouts to fully gain broad world knowledge), and you might miss out from some amazing regens / newgens, but at least you keeps track of the top nations.
This list is vital in terms of snatching up the best regens as quickly as possible, sometimes making you able to offer new wonderkids a contract before they have signed a professional contract with their current club. By approaching them early, you can save a lot of money both in wages and transfer fee. But do notice that youth talents with much potential will demand more wages than regular youth players with decent potential.
How to setup your scouting Network – a Summary
When deciding your scouting network program, which can be scouting for youth talents only, first team players who can add depth to your squad, or both options, it is important to think about which regions you’re looking to assign your excellent scouts to. Your network should be a setup of the best roaming scouts there are, with knowledge of different nations and parts of the world. Depending on the amount of scouts allowed, I also tend to find 3 or 4 “free-runner scouts”; possesses excellent adaptability, determination, fairly good judging player ability and potential. The idea is that you can always rely on them when sending them all over the world, as they will constantly provide you with a decent number of scout reports. They will increase your managing clubs scouting knowledge quickly, often making them responsible for scouting very unfamiliar and exotic regions (Africa, Asia, Oceania and Middle East.
Before hiring additional scouts, it may be important to setup a scouting network who can increase the knowledge of the regions which regularly produces the best regens in the long term. One of these regions is Central Europe with countries like Germany, Holland, Italy and Spain.
This means you need to target scouts with the scouting knowledge of some of these different European nations, such as John Steen Olsen (Ajax / Scandinavia), Paul Montgomery (free agent / UK & Ireland), Norbert Ziegler (free Agent / Germany), Aurelio Pereira (Sporting (POR) / Portugal and Spain) or Ernesto Varnier (Udinese / Italy).
How you set up your scouting network and scouting program is up to you.
We can recommend two different types of setup for your Scouting network:
- Target solely roaming scouts, who will travel to all the different parts of the world looking to increase the clubs scouting knowledge rapidly.
- Use a setup of one “Next opposition scout” (normally the chief-scout), two regular-scouts, who only target individual players; in terms of player attributes required, age or player potential for all players within a region/nation/league, and appoint roaming scouts for the remaining positions.
With our recommendations given we hope you will benefit from our knowledge so you can determine a scouting network plan which fits your football philosophy (for example if the board requests you to sign players for first team solely or focusing on youth development) and preferred plan for increasing the amount of transfer targets.