Fifa 18 Career mode hack: Know the best players to look for.

“two people playing Sony PS4 game console” by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Why mix the Beautiful Game with Data Visualization?

FIFA 18 Career mode is the best possible way to live the life of a club manager (if you are not a PES Fan!!!). You can make CR7 and Messi play side by side or make Neymar a defender and simulate many of your fantasy as you go through season after season as manager of your favorite club.

But to assemble such a “Galactico” squad, obviously you need a humongous budget that your favorite club may not afford. This is precisely the reason I thought of an alternative idea (surely you may have thought it also): Why not build a squad with players who have the potential to be the next global star.

“photo of bulb artwork” by G. Crescoli on Unsplash

The advantages being,

1. These players are cheap to buy as they are not world class at the moment.

2. They have a very potential.

3. They are usually young, so have a long illustrious career ahead of them.

But FIFA (the game) is smart. With its evolution, FIFA have made it difficult for us to spot these Gems. For players, who do not follow real-life football, get a hard time to know which players they should buy for the future.

So I built this Viz in Tableau to spot which young talented player I need and what is their potential.

The Procedure

I got the database from here.

I converted the CompleteDataset.csv to .xlsx format. I did some manual data preprocessing on the excel itself, like giving a header to the Col A, Changing the format from General to Number for all the columns containing numeric Data. After that I loaded that excel file in Tableau.

I created 3 calculated fields: Physical, Skill and Growth which are defined as

Skill = (Agility + Ball control + Vision + Balance + Composure + Positioning)/6

Physicality = (Acceleration + Sprint speed + Strength + Jumping + Stamina)/5

Growth = (Potential — Overall)

Obviously plotting Skill vs Physicality Scatter plot showed Messi as the most skillful player while Ronaldo, as expected, came out as the player with highest Physical ability. Other top players like Hazard, Sanchez, Modric and many others also scored a high rating in both the category.

Now comes the interesting part, the search for youth talents showing high Potential to grow. I have set a minimum growth parameter value as 5, i.e. Potential should be at least 5 more than Overall. For example World Cup 2018 sensation K. Mbappe has an Overall rating of 83 and Potential of 94, which makes his Growth as 11.

Also I have not included the players in Growth Calculation that have Overall below 60 for obvious reasons.

I have created 3 sliders for Physicality, Skill (both with minimum value of 70) and Growth(minimum value of 5) for catering to specific needs. Increasing the sliders to a higher value would apply a higher filter value and more and more players would turn grey while only the very best players would remain after that filtering.

The Observation

Ø The Red Diamonds: The players that have a good Overall (i.e. 70 or more attributes in Skill and Physicality) as well as a minimum Growth value of 5. These are the future stars that one manager should target to buy as early as possible as with going seasons there value would increase rapidly. Players like Mbappe, Gabriel Jesus, Ryan Sessegnon, etc. falls under this category.

Ø The Orange Circles: Players having good Overall (i.e. 70 or more attributes in Skill and Physicality) who have almost already achieved their Potential falls under this category. These players demands a high budget and should be bought for only for short term success (like CR7’s transfer to Juventus).

Ø The Blue Diamonds: Players having less than 70 attributes in Skill and Physicality but have a high potential to grow in future. The only risk that these players carry is that often the Potential estimation is wrong and these players just turn out to be at best average. As a manager you have to train these players as often as possible to achieve the estimated prospect.

Ø The Grey Circles: These players have below 70 ratings in Skill and Physicality and also have almost no potential. If you have them in your squad sell them (unless they are fan favorite or one club players).

Also I have made an analysis of which club provides the most talent, so that starting your career with that club will not require you buying a lot of players for the future. Barcelona B have 29 players with accumulated potential of 323 making the average potential more than a whopping 11.

Finally, I have joined the 2 analysis into a dashboard where clicking on the club shows the Players of that club along with their Name, Age, Overall, Potential, Skill and Physicality.

The complete interactive Tableau analysis is available at here

P.S. All the findings are as per FIFA 18 Database. Don’t get surprised if Gabriel Jesus turn out to be a better player than Kylian Mbappe!!!

Also I have not used attributes like Finishing, Marking, Standing and Sliding Tackles, GK attributes etc. as they are position dependent.

If you have found this post useful in enhancing your FIFA career mode, please like the post. All Suggestions are appreciated.