Scouting is key to Football Manager 2023. Finding the right player at the right time for the right amount is often pivotal to your success as a manager.
Whether you’re looking for a player to buy or simply want to check out the competition, you’ll need to know how to search for players in Football Manager 2023. Whether you’re simply searching or scouting, there’s a lot you need to know, and hopefully we’ve got everything you need to know covered right here.
Use the search function to find players in Football Manager 2023
If you are looking for a specific player, you can simply search for them using Football Manager 2023‘s search function. Click the magnifying glass at the top of your screen and type their name.
If they aren’t there then this could be because of spelling or because the database doesn’t include them. This is likely to happen if the player is less reputable and in a league that is not simulated.
Search for players in Football Manager 2023 by scouting
Scouting for players is another beast entirely in Football Manager 2023. Scouting for players is all about gaining knowledge of them, which is important if you’re looking for new players for your club. You’ll want to learn what their attributes are, their statistics and what their hidden traits are before you sign them.
Player Attribute Masking and How to Turn it Off
For a long time, the Football Manager series has had ‘player attribute masking’ on as default. This makes the player’s attributes disguised unless you have scouted the player in question. If your recruitment team has limited knowledge of the player then you will be shown only a possible range instead of the actual value of the attribute. For example, if the player has 12 composure, you may see ‘6-15’. Sometimes you won’t even see a range: it’ll just be blank.
Most players are now used to player attribute masking, but it is possible to turn it off in Football Manager 2023. When starting a new game, go to ‘Advanced Set-up’ and towards the bottom of the list you’ll find ‘Disable player attribute masking’. Doing this means you’ll see all base attributes of a player, no matter your knowledge of them. Be warned, though: you can only change this option when starting a new game.
This makes scouting in Football Manager 2023 significantly easier as you have a god’s eye perspective of all players. When you’re searching, it also means you can be quite sure you haven’t missed a wonderkid.
Forming a Recruitment Team and Hiring Staff in Football Manager 2023
If, like most Football Manager 2023 players, you still have player attribute masking turned on, you’ll need to set up a scouting network in order to unfurl the haze of players that you can sign.
First, you will need a team of scouts. Access the staff panel by clicking ‘Staff’ on the left of the screen. Here you will see your coaching, scouting and medical teams, any vacancies and bar charts representing their ability.
Looking at the recruitment team, you may see that you have vacancies that you need to fill. You will also be able to see see how your recruitment team fares against the league average. Make a note of the vacancies and those you want to replace. In order to find new staff, click ‘Staff search’ along the top of the staff panel. In this area you can filter potential new staff by their job role, their attributes and their interest in joining.
To do so, click ‘New search’ and choose how you want to filter down the staff. We recommend starting with the job role, followed by picking attributes that are important for the role. If you press ‘Pick’ for attributes you are given an option to highlight the values that are important to that role. From there, you can add or reduce the threshold of these attributes to give you more or less options.
If you feel like you need a bigger staff budget or more scouts then you have the option to ask your board from the main staff panel. Here you can also put out an advert for staff. This takes time and doesn’t throw out amazing results, but it’s worth a try if you can’t find the right fit in the staff search.
Scouting Assignments and Focuses
Once you have your recruitment team assembled, then it is time to put them to use to search for players in Football Manager 2023. The term ‘recruitment team’ can be misleading as you may want to gain knowledge of players and teams for various reasons and not just recruitment. But the way they are deployed for other purposes is the same.
Clicking on ‘Scouting’ will take you to the overview of your scouting. Here you will have a simplified summary of your recruitment focuses, a diagram of where you have scouting coverage, and a list of scouting recommendations. You’ll also see your budgets for transfer, wage and recruitment. This will all become very useful shorthand once you have your scouting set up.
Next, go to the ‘Recruitment focuses’ tab where you can set up a focus for a scout. A focus consists of instructions to look for certain players and then come back with suggestions. You can choose the specific role and position of the player you want to find or leave this blank if you want to be open to any player. There’s also the option to change the age range, ability and their interest in loan or transfer. You may want a scout constantly looking for developing talent.
Where to send a scout and setting their priorities
You will also have to choose which scout to use, where the scout is sent and the focus priority. When picking an area to scout, think about of the scouts you have available. Scouts are better at gaining player knowledge in areas they already know.
If the scout isn’t familiar with where you are sending them, it’ll take longer for them to make progress. Scouts that have high adaptability or speak the language of the area are better at gaining that familiarity. You can pick the scouting pool if you just want the next available scout.
Setting the priority to ‘high’ will mean that the assigned scout will do this over any other assignments they may have.
Scouting for a specific player and match and team analysis in Football Manager 2023
If you want to have more knowledge of a specific player in Football Manager 2023, then you can ask your scouts to scout them individually. This will allow you to get a significant increase in knowledge of them in a shorter amount of time. The same caveats apply though, and a scout that is out of their comfort zone will be slower.
If the player is outside of your scouting range then you will need to spend your scouting budget on getting your scouts there.
The last type of assignment you can make is match and team analysis. This is making your scouts and analysts report on specific teams or matches in order to get more information about the teams, not just the individuals. There is an option for a rolling assignment of your next opponent but you can request that more games are looked at if you need more detail of a specific team.
All of this will improve your overall knowledge of players and what they have to offer. If this seems a bit too tedious or difficult, there is the option to delegate assigning scouts to other staff. Go to ‘Staff’, ‘Staff responsibilities’ and finally to ‘Scouting’. There you can change how much you want to delegate.
Finding the Right Player in Football Manager 2023
Now, having increased your player knowledge, it’s time to sift through them. You can start with scout suggestions. By clicking the scouting centre you can sweep through all the scouting suggestions and choose whether or not any of these suggestions should be acted upon.
There is also the choice to shortlist players. You can have several shortlists and they are accessed by the ‘Shortlist’ tab.
If you still haven’t found the right person, then you can see a full list of players you have knowledge of. Within the ‘Scouting’ tab, click on ‘Players’, and you’ll see a list of all the players in your scouting range or all those you have scouted. Hover over the players to pick which.
You will likely have lots of results and need to filter through what players are important. Firstly there are the tick options for interest. You can narrow down those players who would likely want to join your team either permanently or on loan. They may have other limiting factors to joining your club, but they are at least interested.
Search and filter for the right player
Then you can filter further by the search button. There are a few pre-set quick searches, like searching only for those who are free agents. But you can filter to your heart’s content.
If you are filtering by attributes that are either hidden or masked, then the overall knowledge you have of the player will impact whether they are on the list or not. Essentially, the more knowledge you have of players the better you will be at finding the exact person you want. If you have masking off then this becomes that bit easier.
You can also change what aspects of each player you view. By clicking the overview dropdown list (indicated with an eye icon) you will be able to switch through several pre-made views. You can also right click to add or remove certain aspects. You can save your views and use them in any area you come across lists of players.
By setting up your network of scouts and deploying them to get good knowledge of potential targets, you will be able to search for and find the perfect players in Football Manager 2023.