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Poll: Scouting Tools and Editors - Is it Really Cheating?

The likes of FMSE and Genie Scout are excellent tools for our use; however there is always the debate if it is cheating... is it?
Started on 4 November 2019 by seabas3
Latest Reply on 7 November 2019 by garyharry13
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What Do You Think is Cheating? (60 votes)
Cheating, what exactly is it?

Back in 2016 I wrote an article bringing up this very topic; what do you think is cheating when you are playing Football Manager? I highlighted several components in a poll on the article; using lists, downloading tactics, exploiting the match engine or reloading to avoid defeat.

We could always debate about these topics if they really are cheating or not; many managers copy tactics, there are endless lists of best players and wonder kids coming through in real life. While everyone has their own opinion, I was curious about many people’s views on Genie Scout and FMSE; many people who “do not cheat” in their opinion use these tools – so what exactly is cheating?

The very thought of using an editor such as the in-game one provided by SI or FMSE, people view that as cheating. Some people view the scouting tools such as FMSE and Genie Scout is cheating as you get an indication of player abilities, what their potential is, how well they can function in a particular role and much more.

Editor’s are needed though for many of our saves; creating unique databases or tweaking something in order to create a story is not uncommon. Therefore, is editing the database to experiment really cheating? After all, FM is a simulation – but it also can be a sandbox simulation as well allowing us to have fun and simulate these funky but weird ideas that we see all over the FM community.

Editor’s are powerful tools though; in FMSE you are able to adjust player’s abilities, their potentials, positions, adjust club balances and so much more. Yes, many people use this as tools to build experiments and databases but it can also be used to “cheat”. However, some can make the argument that it really is not cheating because you as a manager can still fail despite having everything on a ‘silver-platter’.

Manager’s even in real life can fail despite having large budgets or gifted players. Their philosophies can contradict that of a player or the club’s finances and everything can fall apart. Also, a player can easily get injured, so while you adjust their abilities – next game they could get injured and be out for months. Is it cheating then?

Editor’s like FMSE or the in-game editor or database editor can be beneficial for creating unique experiments – but it can also be deemed as “cheating” depending on how it is used. What about scouting tools like Genie Scout and FMSE, would that be cheating?

Scouting Tools
Scouting tools have lots of data available too them; its basically like FIFA – you can see all the numerical values but in greater detail and have percentages detailing how one player performs in a certain role or area of the pitch. Seems like a lot but in reality, is that not what real-life scouts have?
It is well documented that scouts not only use the FM database but other scouting tools and information banks to highlight players of interest. Is it really cheating?

With the scouting tool you can find who the next big newgen is; you can then go buy them and eventually develop them yourself. Does this not happen in real life though? Also, well you could go out and buy the next wonderkid, just as easily you could fail to develop them. Not all scouting tools allow you to edit players data; therefore, is it really cheating?

You can bring in the next big newgen and he could never reach the heights that you have dreamed about when bringing him along. Despite all the effort of trying to develop the player and loaning him out, maybe you or your staff made mistakes or simply was not good enough and he did not develop properly. You could find the next great wonderkid but maybe he does not want to join your club, maybe you cannot afford him, or you could be limited by work permits and not receive the player till several years later.

Other Forms of Cheating?
Many people also feel that you can cheat on FM without using either the Scouting tools or Editors. There are lists that people use to help guide them to good looking wonderkids and top free agents; but in reality do we not already have that? Think of Transfermarkt and databases that are used by professional scouting businesses and clubs to build information on available and players of interest.

Some people think downloading tactics is cheating; but do not managers copy other more successful managers in order to try something new or give their own team a boost? The demands of fans and clubs may force your hand to try a different style of football and therefore mimic a team or manager already?

Real life teams already "cheat" do they not? Do they not have scouts who go out and 'spy' on the opposition or watch countless hours of video footage to get an understanding on the opponent? Do they not try and tempt youngsters with some promise with more money or use the media and other players to try and recruit players of interest?

We all know too that managers have friends and give hints to each other. It is known that friends can tip each other off of who is playing or of upcoming good wonderkids that they could take out on loan and develop. Take a look at Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard on their respective signings or players that they use; Gerrard has a Liverpool bias and Lampard at Derby utilized Chelsea's youth players. Is that not unfair to other clubs and managers who are looking for players?

So, the question is over to you the reader; what do you find cheating? You have people on either side of the spectrum or have a comfort zone somewhere along the line. Do you as a manager play some of your saves with or without tools? Do you only use the scouting tools to find out how good players were when they are about to retire? Or maybe you edit the database completely to your benefit – do you find that cheating?

Discuss below and vote above; it is always interesting to see what the FM community has to say on this matter.
I do understand the use of editor's like FMSE.
It's still a game and people in my opinion are allowed to change this game or any other to what and how they want it to be.
That being said, i do not use it myself and i will never use it.
I see it as a form of destroying the realism and simulation this game is intended to provide.

Genie Scout is something else, i been using it for years.
I see it as a database with all stats and information that real scouts and teams use.
I like to take as an example.
Real clubs and scouts use this website to gather information about possible signings.

GS shows you what they can be, not what they will be.
A 190PA will not be a 190CA if you screw op the development of said player.

Exploiting the match engine, i do consider that as cheating.
It is or was not intended to be part of the game.
Have i used this exploit myself, off course... nobody likes losing.

Reloading to avoid previous results, is for me a no go.
Never done this and will never do this.
This destroys everything this game should be.
For me personally, I think the use of editors or scouting tools to see certain things like hidden attributes and what not is fine but if you're using them to change attributes for the better that to me is a bit dodgy. All of the different lists for wonderkids, cheap bargains etc those are all fine as is downloading tactics if that's your preference.

Exploiting the match engine is a tricky one, if people find something that is working for them and they're happy with it why not just stick with it. Certain things can cause the match engine problems and they may not even be aware of it so that to me is subjective, but I don't completely frown upon it.

Saving and reloading as well as adding managers is proper cheating for me and I don't know how people expect to get any sort of longevity out of any FM cycle if they make it that easy for themselves.
In the last few years I have never reloaded to avoid defeat. I have reloaded to prevent log term injuries. I know this is cheating. Long term injuries can really hamper a young players development or really detriment the physicals of a senior player. I also want to see what the player can do and long term injuries prevent this. Reloaded twice, sometimes going back almost a couple of weeks, when Trent broke his leg and Fabinho also broke a leg. Managed to win everything first season with Liverpool. Ended up playing 68 games so definitely needed all players fit for most of the season.
For me, I sometimes download tactics and often refer player lists (free agents, potential wonderkids). I have not used Genie Scout before but may do in the future.

For me, the real cheating is editing data, reloading, adding managers and exploiting the match engine.

I must confess that in fm19 I edited my latest career and it was the most fun save I have had in a long time. I swapped Cumbernauld Colts from low level leagues in Scotland (which is unplayable) with Clyde FC in Scottish League 2 so I could manage them. I have really enjoyed this challenge. I didn't edit anything about the club (apart from move them to the lowest playable league) so its been really tough but very fun.

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