Search
On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

The Definitive Guide to Current Ability in Football Manager

In this guide, we'll show you how current ability (CA) is calculated based on a player's attributes and position. We also provide a handy chart showing the attribute weights for all positions and a tool for calculating your squad's current ability.

By Updated on Jan 05, 2021   97920 views   22 comments
Football Manager Guides - The Definitive Guide to Current Ability in Football Manager

Current Ability

Players in Football Manager have current abilities (CA) in the range of 1 to 200. The CA is essentially the weighted sum of their attributes. The higher the attributes, the better the player and higher the CA. You can use the figures below as a rough benchmark:

  • 130 - Decent Premier League player
  • 140 - Good Premier League player
  • 150 - A leading Premier League player
  • 170 - A world-class player
The CA of a player can increase (and decrease) during the game, usually as a result of game time and training. However, not all players are able to reach a CA of 200. All players in the game are also assigned a potential ability (PA), also in the range of 1 to 200. This represents the upper limit of their CA. As a player develops and their attributes increase, the game keeps track of their CA and ensures that is never exceeds their PA. Players whose CA is the same as their PA could be said to have reached their maximum potential and are playing at their peak so you shouldn't expect much change to attributes at this point. Some players have a fixed PA. This means that they will be given the same PA for every save. Others have random PA’s that will mean their PA is randomly assigned for each save, usually within a particular band.

Recommended Current Ability

Since a player's CA depends on their attributes, the Editor and in-game editor (IGE) shows the recommended current ability (RCA) for each player.


This is essentially what value of CA is required in order to sustain their current attributes. So if you use one of the editors to increase an attribute, you'll also need to increase the CA to the RCA. Otherwise the attribute value will quickly fall back to a level that matches the CA.

It appears that the game periodically checks the attributes/CA balance and makes any adjustments required. It seems this happens particularly at the start of the game in order to account for any discrepencies with the player data in the database. You can also see it for yourself if you use the IGE. If you give a player a CA boost but do not increase the attributes, after a period of time (can be a few days or up to a month) the attributes will rise to match the increased CA. Similarly, if you decrease the CA but do not decrease the attributes after a period of time they'll fall to balance the lowered CA.



Your content on FM Scout

We are always looking for quality content creators, capable of producing insightful articles. Being published here means more exposure and recognition for you.

Do YOU have what it takes?
Like & Subscribe

Like our Facebook page & Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Discussion: The Definitive Guide to Current Ability in Football Manager

22 comments have been posted so far.

  • Prejudice182's avatar
    I get an error when loading the layout file.

    List index out of bounds (8193)
  • emmedue94's avatar
    @CAE Sorry, could you write down the math operation that needs to be done to get a player's CA?
    Because in words I did not understand how to reproduce it.
  • CAE's avatar
    @killkenny2015 Thanks! Will check when on laptop later and update the file. Eagle eyes!
  • Killkenny2015's avatar
    I think there is a small bug in the recommended rating file for Genie Scout. DC-Positioning is there 4, but has to be 8.
  • CAE's avatar
    @Kraiden Thanks for the info. We'll investigate the Firefox issue.

    As for weaker foot, that is from the Overview/Information page. The game doesn't show a numeric value (1-20) for this attribute so we had to work out the range of each category and picked the middle value.

    For example, reasonable is 10, strong is 16 etc.

    This means there can be a few CA units inaccuracy as someone with reasonable can actually be 8-12.
  • Kraiden's avatar
    @CAE With both, go back and back in browser. But it seems to work with chrome now, just not with firefox which is my main browser. I will use chrome then. Another question, what does "Very strong" or "Strong" mean for weak foot? Which value? 15? 19? This matters with the attribute weight.
  • CAE's avatar
    @jrodadov I doubt it is possible to calculate the PA. It is a number (or a number in a range) assigned to each player in the pre-game editor based on the researchers opinion, not any formula.
  • jrodadov's avatar
    How can I calculate the PA???. what factors are keys to do it???
  • CAE's avatar
    @Kraiden Did you press back on the browser or the ‘Go Back’ button under the displayed RCA?
  • Kraiden's avatar
    If I use the calculator and press the button to calculate and then wanna go back to do another calculation it resets all the values and I have to put them in again. Can this be solved so it remembers the values?
  • CAE's avatar
    @Jervaj I've posted some thoughts in the forum.
  • CAE's avatar
    @Jervaj Wow, what an insightful and well thought out comment. A lot of food for thought! I’ll post it on the forum and answer there as I feel there is a lot of things to discuss!

    Thanks!
    1
  • Jervaj's avatar
    Great work and study. The planned claculator looks like it would be quite useful. It would be good if it could include some way of evalauting different roles to account for the differences in exigency. As you mention and it was clear in game (sepcially in some cases) not all roles are equally demanding. Some are more specialized or focus on "cheaper" attributes which makes easier to get higher ratings on them with lower CA. A pretty notable case is complete forward due to been so generalist and demanding in varying areas, so for most players it gets notable lower ratings in such a role than in their "best" ones.
    Where Im going with this, is that this may happen to some degree with other roles and it may be good to know how relativelly good a player is for a certain role where the game can be misleading. Like going back to the extreme example, one striker can be relativelly pretty good as a Complete Forward and worth using as such, but it may show ingame that you aren't using well his potential been only his 3rd/4th best role. But that may not be due to bad attribute alignment, just due to how demanding the role is.
    Also, does it seem from the study that some positions thesmelves are more demanding? As in needing higher CA overall to have good stats in that position? Or is that balanced out? Seems like it at first sight, but with so many numbers it may not.

    Aside from this suggestion the study does pose me question. Until now I though CA was absolute given the game only has 1 value for each player, and then the quality on a given position depended on the spread of such CA. But with CA been calculated differently based on position, what CA does the game take then to interact with potential and development? Just the best possible for a given player even if its not the position he plays in? Will players whose potential has capped but are not at their max for the poistion they play in start to lose secondary attributes and gain on main ones as training continues?

    Also, would you conclude after this study that some attributes may be very worth it to look out for/develop because of their "cheapness" and the little opportunity cost in main attributes? Theres things like flair and agression that, while somewhat double edged, I belive are considered to be net positives by a fair margin, specially if the accompanying attributes for a gvien are good enough.
    Then you have things like jumping reach and heading which are very cheap outside of SCT and CD, which may make them very good to have outside those position if you expect the player to use them at all. any kind of attacking midfielder that gets into the box seems great to make a header according to this as it wont cost him much in other attributes.

    On a similar note, may this make some duty/role/position combinations more efficient? In the sense of behaving very similar on the field to another combination on a different position, yet been able to have higher attributes with less CA. Like, having a defensive oriented midfielder been cheaper as MC than as DM, or having a attacking oriented winback been cheaper if playing as DRL insted of WBRL.
    1
  • CAE's avatar
    @ssupkane

    Those are great questions and to be honest, I do not know the answer! From my current interpretation, it means it is harder to train a striker for an AF position as it is a more demanding role.

    I think we need to think in terms of 'spending' CA points. AF has something like 15 key/preferable attributes, so the CA points will be more diluted across those 15 attributes. On the other hand a Poacher is more limited/focussed on 9 attributes, so the CA points can be 'spent' on less attributes leading to higher values.

    For example, AF has Dribbling as a key attribute. But it is not for a Poacher. So for a Poacher, any Dribbling points are 'wasted' and could be better spent on attributes required for a Poacher.

    p.s. I've never trained a GK for set-pieces but it would be an interesting experiment!
    2
  • ssupkane's avatar
    P.S.: Since Penalty Taking and Free Kicks don't use up GK's CA and PA, does it make it a good idea to train these attributes for a Goalkeeper older than 30?
  • ssupkane's avatar
    @CAE

    Great analysis.

    My question is: how do Key Attributes (highlighted green) and Preferable Attributes (highlighted blue) work then?

    I.e. if you put a striker on the Poacher role, the game only highlightes acceleration attribute, basically saying that physical attributes aren't required for that specific role. At the same time the Advanced Forward role got the entire Physical column highlighted blue (except Jumping Reach and Strength). But the sheet you made says physical attributes are the must-have for any striker, since they are all heavily weighted.

    Another example is Pressing Forward. The role requires great mental attributes, which are "cheap" for strikers since they are lightly weighted; and only Finishing and First touch is highlighted under Technical.
  • CAE's avatar
    @Evo Thanks!

    Yes, it will be. RCA goes up as you add more positions in so as you say, it likely uses the highest weight for those positions. At the moment I've stuck to players with a single position, but am looking at multiple positions now!

    Consistency and Important Matches do not affect RCA, you can actually see this in the pre-game Editor - it shows 'Current Ability-Dependent Attributes'. It is only the ones in the chart i.e. visible attributes and foot strength.
  • Evo's avatar
    Excellent work, that chart is really useful. I wonder if this is why when I retrain a player to natural in a new position his attributes go down slightly? I'm guessing RCA takes the highest weighting for each of their natural positions, a bit of a shame that making a player more versatile makes them a worse player in each of their individual positions. I wonder if consistency and important matches also affects RCA.
    2
  • Stam's avatar
    Mind blowing research! Top notch effort! Looking forward to what comes next! :beer:
  • Rober's avatar
    Amazing work Prof! Walter Bishop would be proud!
    1
  • fc.cadoni's avatar
    Congratulations CAE! Amazing stuff!
    1
  • GfxJG's avatar
    Interesting article! I've always thought that Teamwork was a "free attribute", so to speak, as well, but apprently I was wrong!
FMS Chat

Stam
hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.