Every player has a current ability and a potential ability that, in simple terms, reflect how good he supposedly is now and how good he may supposedly become in the future.
A player’s current ability indicates to a large extent how well he will perform. It will generally increase for a player as he develops before falling later in his career after he passes his natural peak. A player's potential ability, on the other hand, is static and represents the maximum that his current ability can theoretically reach, although the level it actually reaches will depend on his personal development.
The true values of current ability and potential ability are hidden, but your coaches and scouts will provide you with ability star ratings for each player that reflect their own opinions of what the player's current ability and potential ability may be.
However, a player's current ability does not take into account all the factors that may affect his performances in matches, while there are also various factors that affect how likely he is to reach his potential ability that are not taken into account by your staff. In addition the accuracy of your staff's ability star ratings in reflecting both current and potential ability can vary. Therefore, you should use your own judgement of a player, combined with his ability star ratings, to properly assess him.
To help you with this, the factors that determine a player's current ability, the factors that influence how much of his potential ability he fulfils and the factors that affect his performance are explained below. Ability star ratings are also discussed in detail to help you understand how accurate they are likely to be and how they work.
A player’s current ability is determined by the following factors:
When a player improves one of the above factors (for example, in training) it will cost him some of his current ability. Therefore, unless his current ability has also improved as part of his development, it will need to be redistributed and so he will lose ratings in other attributes.
Each attribute, as well as weaker foot strength, is given a different weighting in the current ability calculation for a player according to its supposed importance for the player's natural position. In particular, Acceleration and Pace are weighted heavily for all outfield positions, while weaker foot strength is also weighted fairly heavily.
Therefore, an improvement in an attribute considered more important for his position will cost a player more of his current ability than an improvement in an attribute considered less important. An improvement in any of the attributes that are not included in the current ability calculation, as detailed above, will not cost a player any current ability.
It is important not to assume that a player's currrent ability will definitely reach his potential ability. How much of his potential ability a player actually fulfils depends on his development, which is affected by factors such as:
These factors are discussed in more detail in the Player Development guide.
A player's match performances are affected by more than just the attribute ratings and weaker foot strength that determine his current ability. Understanding the different influences on match performances will enable you to more efficiently assess the suitability of a player for your squad and tactics, and help you to get the best out of your individual players and your team as a whole in every match.
The factors that affect a player’s match performances include:
In addition to the above factors that affect the performances of individual players, the performances of your team as a whole will be affected by factors such as: