Last updated on September 29th, 2022
When scouting a player on Football Manager, you may focus on their physical and technical attributes. The moment you realise that the 18-year-old Brazilian wonder-kid they’ve been scouting has 14+ ratings on his dribbling, finishing, tackling, or marking stats, you may immediately submit a transfer bid.
While there’s nothing wrong with recruiting the best young talents for your squad, you should be careful about one powerful stat, determination. Many people know of its importance; some believe it’s irrelevant but believe me, I’ve been playing FM long enough to know that determination is one of the most important stat in the game!
The vital role determination plays in the success of a footballer shouldn’t come as a surprise to any fan of the sport. Over the years, we’ve seen potential world-class talents fail to reach their potential because of poor determination. Names like Ben Arfa and Dele Alli come to mind.
In Football Manager, a player’s level of determination will show you how much he’s willing to give his all on and off the pitch. If you have a youngster with great stats but poor determination, worry no longer, as there are ways you can make him improve.
What is Determination in Football Manager?
In Football Manager, determination is the level to which a player is willing to give their all both on and off the pitch.
In matches, players with high determination stats will work the hardest—covering the most distance, winning more tackles, chasing after loose balls, and playing their hearts out. These players will always play like they have something to prove and are, frankly, the best set of talents to have on your team.
The good thing about determination is that even when the player isn’t as talented as the world’s best stars, he’ll still find a way to impact any game he plays.
A real-life example is the longtime captain of the English side, Chelsea, Cesar Azpiculueta.
The Spanish international isn’t the most gifted player in the league, but over time, he has cemented himself amongst the legends, and this is all down to his inert desire to give his all whenever he plays. His determination and professionalism are why he’s currently captaining one of Europe’s most elite clubs.
This applies to Football Manager; I have had many players with average ratings outperform my star players regularly. Personally, when I’m scouting, determination is a huge deal for me, especially in fullback and defensive midfielder positions. I won’t care if you can occasionally score from 40 yards out or you can make Trent Arnold-Esque crosses; if you have low determination ratings, I will find it difficult to buy you!
I need good ratings on both bravery and determination. This is mainly because my formation requires my fullbacks to run up and down the wings constantly for the entire length of the game, and only players with high determination can efficiently do this.
The same applies to the DM role. Someone who’s not afraid to run miles to win the ball or tackle any player proving too dangerous.
These players will end every game with 7+ ratings without a goal contribution; these are the true gems of Football Manager.
How Important Is Determination In Football Manager?
By now, you should already have a hint on the importance of determination in Football Manager.
When your custom gegenpressing tactic is no longer yielding your desired results, determination will tell you how much your players are willing to fight for the team. When your team is a goal down in the FA Cup final, the level of determination among your players is how much they’re ready to dig in and turn the game around.
Players with low determination ratings will likely give in and concede more goals while waiting for something magical to happen.
That’s why it’s very important to pick players with high determination and leadership ratings as your captain or vice-captain. Players always rally around their captains; if yours doesn’t care about the team’s performance, expect your players to behave the same way!
Asides from its impact on match performances, determination also influences a player’s development. A player with high determination and professionalism ratings will develop faster and better.
However, since it’s impossible to view a player’s professionalism rating without the FM Editor, determination is the go-to rating.
How To Improve Determination In Football Manager
In previous Football Manager versions, determination was very easy to improve. All a player needed was a quality tutor, and you’ll watch his ratings go through the roof.
However, SI has changed a lot of the game mechanics, and it’s become a bit harder to improve determination!
Nevertheless, it’s very much possible to do it, and here are some tips to help you:
#1 Game Time
This tip is best suited for youngsters with great potential and low determination ratings. If you want to make a player determined, show him that you believe in him.
Even in real life, when coaches pull out players from the academy and play them in first-team matches, you can always see their motivation and zest. It stems from being grateful they were given an opportunity and a strong desire to repay the manager’s trust.
The same applies to Football Manager. Giving a youngster or fringe player game time will only see his determination go through the roof. When playing Football Manager, I always follow up on my U23 and U18 squads. I keep track of the best players and call them up to the first team for League Cup or games against low-profile teams.
That was how I discovered an absolute regen gem named Marc Porter. At just 18, he was one of the best players in the Championship, was top three in the assists ranking, won the EFL Championship Young Player award, and was pivotal in my team’s promotion to the Premier League.
Football Manager didn’t scrape the entire tutoring program; they only replaced it with mentoring. With mentoring, you can group highly determined players with low determination. Over time, they’ll pick up on these traits.
In my Newcastle save, right after my promotion to the Premier League, I signed many old players from the top teams on free transfers. I signed Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita, and Vincent Garcia, all above 35.
The reason I signed these guys was that my team is filled with lots of youngsters. I believe in the “Play the Youth” mantra, which also aligns with my club’s vision. So I needed experienced veterans to help shape my youngsters and carefully guide them to the top.
I created a mentor group for my young forwards with Salah leading it. I did the same for my midfielders, with Keita being in charge. Garcia, a veteran left-back, headed the mentoring group for defenders. I’ve seen massive improvements in terms of professionalism and determination.
Every feature on Football Manager was added for a reason. Even if you don’t know them, they still play their role in the overall running of the game! One particular feature that’s very important but yet ignored is the Player Interaction feature.
Many people don’t interact with their players, forgetting that it helps team cohesion, squad relationships, and player determination. The better your relationship with your squad, the more they’ll want to impress you.
So don’t just ignore your players after a good or bad performance. Praise them if they played well; I’m talking 8+ ratings or 7.5 if it was against tough opposition. And if they were awful, check their game stats, confirm where they were lacking and criticise them accordingly.
Never ignore poor performances, no matter the player’s age. You’ll only be encouraging mediocrity in your team, which will affect you in the long run!
For performances below 6.3, you can fine the player half his weekly wage. If he has a good attitude, he might apologise and improve himself. If he has a bad attitude, he’ll probably act up and might even ask to leave. Either way, you’ll at least have a player willing to improve or get rid of a terrible one—a win either way for you.
The Bottom Line
Determination in Football Manager is critical in determining how well your players are willing to play to their best. A great talent with poor determination will only yield inconsistent results.
If you have a bunch of youngsters with 5-star potential but low determination stats, you can help them improve by giving them game time. No one is telling you to start them in a UCL knockout game, but minutes in a League Cup game against teams in the lower league can’t hurt.
Moreover, create a mentoring group where your players can learn from veterans and never forget to praise/criticise them based on their match and training performance.
Improving your player’s determination is one way to help them reach their potential, and you can find out more about that here.
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