(extracted from the forums)
Every single player on Football Manager has a Current Ability, also known as CA. This is a number ranging from 1-200, 1 being a very low ability, 200 being the highest. A players currentability changes throughout the game, depending on training, game time, and injuries. A player’s current ability can also naturally go up, as a player gets older.
A players Current Ability CAN change throughout the game.
Every player also has a Potential Ability, commenly known as PA. PlayerAbility is a number that players are assigned to before the save game starts, and a players potential ability is the same on everyones game. This number also ranges from 1-200. A potential ability of 1 means the player is more than likely to be awful, a potential ability of 200 has the potential to be one of the worlds best. Although most players have set potential abilities, some players have varying potential abilities. These potential abilities are negative potentials. At the start of a new game players with negative potentials are assigned potentials, ranging from one number to another.
A players Potential Ability cannot change in the game
Essentially a player plays to his PA cap and his CA cannot exceed his PA. SO current ability is the players level ability at the moment of game start . It is up to you to choose how good you want him to be at the start of your games, but if you have him for 17 at dribbling and a current ability of say, 120 with potential of about 170, its likely his dribbling at the start will be a lot less, possibly around 11 to 14. but 17 will be the highest his dribbling attribute can be raised through training and reaching potential ability. its completely up to you how you want him to be at the start of the game as long as his current ability doesnt exceed his potential ability. i think that no matter what the potential ability is, the CA attributes you give him in the editor are the max he can be.
I don’t want to get fixated with CA and PA too much, since players can still be great players if they have great attributes but low CA. So essentially I will always treat CA and PA as a guide since the formula for the linkage will always be hidden by SI and everything is merely a best guess. Essentially CA acts as a set of points that is distributed for attributes, but since FM13 there is now an interrelationship between match performance and training as they all lead to knock on effects. So my goal will be to ensure that players are given ample chances to develop
The screenshots above act as an illustration for a player who was training in my club without the benefit of top facilities.
Ake a player who came through the ranks joining us when we were at the Championship I seriously doubt if he had much by way of improvements. Without the benefit of good training facilities his experience came mainly from matches, and his biggest development was in the area of mental attributes. He is still a mainstay of the main team and was one of the first players to be retrained as an midfielder.
At the age of 19 he had loads of potential but i didn’t manage him right, he played below what I would consider an optimal amount of games. Playing below the 25 match mark. Whilst his ability was still 5 star, he started showing fitness issues so I started staggering his appearances. He was one of the players who would frequently get injured and cop big ones too.. by the time he was 24, I hadn’t done him justice. So now I need to focus on the key areas I want improvements in and hope to God I save myself. Its a lesson learnt in playing time. So my focus on him is going to be purely as an attacking midfielder, it may get back some of his acceleration, and hopefully my lil Maradona matures.
Now this is another 5 star player I picked up when he was 17, but the difference is how I played him… I even retrained him to play as an ML
He’s a player I intend to keep playing a minimum of 25 games a season or more..He’s proving to be a massive player for me and his PA hasn’t shifted in fact his CA=PA atm…
This is one player who came in hot, had buckets of ability but was ripped by a season ending injury, my concern is his proneness to injury and will be monitoring him closely
The coaching report suggests that he’s playing to near his current ability cap, he’s another player that had to learn new positions before he was 18.
His biggest weakness is his lack of consistency, I can only hope that i can find the right tutor for him that will increase his “pressure” rating, or he gets the big match attribute. I plan to keep a close eye on Santisban, he needs to keep playing 25 games a season and hopefully he becomes an important part of my team
I will continue working on this and tracking the players development, but one think I am fairly sure of now is the minimum number of top level games is 25.