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:
Your assistant manager and coaches provide you with current ability and potential ability star ratings for every player in your squad in their coach reports, while you can obtain star ratings for other players from your scouts as part of their scout reports. These reports can be accessed from a player's Reports tab.
For most players, ratings are given in multiples of half a gold star, ranging from a single half gold star for players with the lowest ability to five full gold stars for players with the highest ability. Those youth players who would otherwise be given a single half gold star rating are instead assessed by silver stars to enable you to judge and compare their abilities more easily.
A player's current and potential ability star ratings are determined by:
Because ability star ratings are relative, the star ratings of a particular player may change over time as the overall ability of your squad changes. For example, if you join a club and sign new players to improve your squad then the ratings of your original players may fall. Therefore, a falling current ability star rating does not necessarily mean that a player is declining or that the staff member has a lower opinion of the player.
However, ability star ratings given in scout reports will not automatically change over time and so a new report will need to be requested to obtain an updated rating. You can check the date of the last scout report on the report itself.