FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (2024)

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (1)

FIFA 23 career mode is enjoying a resurgence in popularity after some fallow years, and deservedly so. If the sweat of Ultimate Team has you considering a break from FIFA 23, it may be just what you need. One of the best inclusions is being able to play as a real manager. More details on that below, along with scouting secrets, the best teams to manage, and more. All your dugout needs are covered in GR's FIFA 23 career mode guide.

FIFA 23 career mode best teams to manage

Can’t decide on who to manage in FIFA 23? We’ve curated a quick list of five teams to take over. They range from sleeping giants to brand-new teams. Career Mode also lets you take over any club as a real manager – such as Liverpool legend and former Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard – so we’ve put together some fun dream scenarios and unlikely manager/club combos for you to start your FIFA 23 Career Mode with. Whoever you go with, be sure to use our FIFA 23 skill moves guide to help with gameplay – and our FIFA 23 celebrations list to mark the most memorable moments.

A surprise European tour: Royal Union Saint-Gilloise

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Royal Union Saint-Gilloise shocked Belgium football by becoming the first promoted team in league history to top the standings at the end of the regular season. While they eventually faltered, they booked their ticket to Europe in their first top-flight season in almost half a century. Building on that success will be tough. With the best players hovering around the low-mid 70 rating, it will be a real fairytale if you bring home European silverware come May.

Build a legacy: Charlotte FC

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Charlotte FC made their MLS bow earlier this year and are a complete blank slate: no history, no legends, no trophies. That’s where you come in. Thanks to a fairly sizeable budget, there’s some leeway in the transfer market. The first order of business is to slowly work your way up the table with a squad that ranks among the weakest in the MLS. From there, the world – or North America, at the very least – is your oyster. Exciting times.

Sleeping giant: St. Etienne

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As the joint-record holder for most Ligue 1 wins, St. Etienne aren’t much more than the answer to a devilish pub quiz question for most football fans. In reality, they now find themselves languishing in Ligue 2 after a pitiful season that saw them win only one of their first 15 games. Can you take the modest £8m transfer budget– with the wonderfully named goalkeeper Etienne Green in nets – and mould a team capable of taking on powerhouse PSG in pursuit of an 11th Ligue 1 title?

Youth development challenge: Benfica

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Consecutive seasons outside the top two may have Benfica fans feeling a little edgy after a sustained period of success, but this challenge mixes the pressure of domestic dominance with the chance to nurture a group of starlets. Enzo Fernandez, Goncalo Ramos, Antonio Silva, and Diego Moreira can each blossom into some of the best young players in FIFA 23. The board will be breathing down your neck for immediate success, so you’ll have to decide whether to throw the quartet in the deep end early or play it safe.

Splash the cash: Juventus

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (6)

Juventus are officially licensed once again in FIFA – and they’ve got a suitably bulky war chest to accompany their return. You’ll have £150m to replace Pablo Dybala, Matthijs de Ligt, and club legend Giorgio Chiellini. With Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria already brought in on frees, there’s every chance you could put together a team of Galacticos – or whatever the Italian equivalent is called – to help Juve overcome a relatively barren few seasons and challenge on all fronts. Bellissimo.

FIFA 23 career mode best real-life managers

For the first time ever, FIFA 23 enables you to use real-life managers, rather than being forced to create your own avatar. Below are five we reckon you'll have a tonne of fun with – alongside potential scenarios you might wish to drop them into.

Patrick Vieira: Arsenal

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Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp may have dazzled the Premier League with their improvisational genius across Arsenal’s iconic 2003/04 unbeaten season, but midfield enforcer Patrick Vieira was the man who made everything tick. Your job here? Become Invincible again as a manager at the Emirates – or at least pick up a league title on the way.

Carlo Ancelotti: Ajax

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Carlo Ancelotti has done it all in football and, whisper it, might just be the thinking fan’s choice for the greatest manager in history – at least in European competitions. He could turn that gap into a chasm by becoming the first manager to win the Champions League with three different clubs. And what better way to do it than with former European giants Ajax?

Jurgen Klopp: Mainz

Jurgen Klopp is an old romantic at heart. Going back to his old stomping ground at Mainz isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Dethroning Bayern Munich and another of his old clubs, Dortmund, might be. Are you up for the challenge?

Steven Gerrard: Liverpool

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (10)

The days of the infamous Boot Room are long gone, but their one-time talisman Steven Gerrard is dripping with Liverpool DNA and the perfect man to take a seat in the Anfield dugout one day. Can you finally land a Premier League title with Stevie G at the helm?

Gennaro Gattuso: Rangers

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (11)

Sometimes maybe good, sometimes maybe… you know the rest. The tough-tackling, tough-talking Italian is synonymous with AC Milan, but spent one year plying his trade at Ibrox. A return – and finally wrestling back Old Firm dominance from Celtic – is tempting. Expect fireworks.

FIFA 23 Career Mode Scouting

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (12)

Your starting squad might not cut it. If that’s the case, it’s time to look far and wide for new players and wonderkids. Below, we’ll run you through the Global Transfer Network to help you scout players more efficiently. We’ll also advise on which scouts you should be using, the best way to scout wonderkids, and how to make sense of those obscured scouting reports.

Global Transfer Network explained

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The Global Transfer Network sounds complicated, but it’s easy to use once you know how.

As with everything scouting-wise in Career Mode, it’s best to dive into this immediately upon starting a new save. A) It’s pre-season, so you can buy players and B) It’ll take a few in-game weeks to see effective results.

You can find the Global Transfer Network by heading to the Transfers tab, selecting the Scouts grid, and clicking Scout Instructions. Your scouts will already have pre-set tasks, which you can change to suit your squad’s needs.

First, use Instructions to tell your scouts which players to identify. You can narrow down the field by finding players by positions, attributes (traits such as Free Kick Specialist), time left on their contract, and their age.

Once that’s done, you can send your scouts out across the world. You can hire up to six scouts and each scout has a star rating out of five for two categories: Experience and Judgment.

In essence, it’s quantity over quality. Ideally, you want someone adept in both skills, but a scout with higher Experience will bring you a larger number of players in each report. Those with a high Judgment rating will find higher quality players. Be warned, however: scouting costs come out of your transfer budget.

Once you’ve bought as many scouts as you need/can afford, you can send them out to different regions around the world. As a quick starting point, we’d recommend Central Europe and Southern Europe countries. Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Belgium are packed with cheap, good players of all ages.

After a few days/weeks, your scouts will return with a large selection of players. These are viewable on the main Transfers menu and by scrolling through each category using the right stick and then clicking Scout Report.

From there, you’ll be given a brief summary of each player but will need to scout them further by clicking on the player’s report. We also recommend shortlisting them in the Transfer Hub so you don’t lose track of players that catch your eye. After a short period, the full scout report – including overall rating, market value and expected transfer fee – will be available to view.

FIFA 23 scouting youth players

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (14)

Finding youth players for your academy functions in much the same way as with senior pros. There’s a slight change as it’s now under Youth Staff in the Transfers tab in FIFA 23. There, you can send scouts on excursions of up to nine months – and can even find players with specific traits such as Playmaker or Technically Gifted. Don’t go too in-depth with the traits, however, as it can seriously limit the amount of players your scouts can find.

Once they return, head into the Youth Staff menu to read the youth players’ scouting reports. There, you’re given a rough outline of their current overall rating as well as their potential. The better the Judgment of the scout, the more accurate the rating. You can sign players to your Youth Academy here too and can then train them into senior pros.

FIFA 23 who to sign

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This is nice and simple, once you've followed all the advice above. Focus on those ‘Showing Great Potential’, ‘An exciting prospect’, or ‘Potential to be something special’ – that means they have the chance to be rated 80-85, 86-90, and 91+ respectively. It's also worth scanning our look at the best FIFA 23 signings, for potential additions who match your budget.

FIFA 23 wonderkids

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (16)

To help find real-life wonderkids for your senior squad, set an age parameter to 16-20 while setting up scouting instructions, with the ‘Promising’ Attribute box ticked in the menus. If you want a more specific list, check out our FIFA 23 best young players guide.

FIFA 23 transfers

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (17)

Transfers have been largely untouched in FIFA 23, career mode though there are a few minor changes that ratchet up the tension in negotiations – and explain whether your shiny new purchase is a good fit for your team. Here’s what you need to know about buying, selling, and loaning players.

FIFA 23 buying and loaning players

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (18)

Before you fire off a bid in anger, make sure you scout the player you want to buy – more on that on the previous page – so you have a rough guideline on how much the player will cost. Without that at your disposal, the upcoming negotiation with the player’s club could be a very short one.

Once you press ‘Approach to buy’ on the player’s transfer screen, you’ll enter a cutscene with the player’s manager. Here, you can submit an offer (including player swaps and sell-on clauses). You can also delegate to the AI if you want to save time, but there’s no guarantee of success or a good deal being struck.

If you’re taking the reins, the offer could be accepted immediately or, if the club isn’t happy, they’ll counter with a suitable offer. This year’s new feature – the tension meter – will then start to rise. If it fills up completely, the talks will break down. You can either accept their demands or counter with your own. In truth, it’s rare to have transfers fail. A sizeable sell-on clause or a few million pounds near the club’s asking price should be enough.

You’ll then have to negotiate the plater’s contract from their player page. It’s much the same as a transfer negotiation – but without a tension meter. Offer them a suitable wage, contract length, and bonus and they’ll sign for your club.

There’s now an additional screen once you have completed transfers this year. The Transfer Analyst page will fill you in on how your new purchase will fit in at the club’s current formation, as well as grading him and providing financial advice on whether you could have snapped him up for cheaper.

FIFA 23 selling players

FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (19)

Selling a player is essentially the same as buying a player. This time, however, the ball is in your court.

Head to the Squad Hub and add a player to the Transfer List to start getting offers for them. You may also get offers out of the blue, even if a player isn’t transfer listed. Over the coming days, offers should flood in via the Received Offers tab in the Transfer Hub. Here, you can accept or reject an offer, our negotiate for a better deal.

If you choose to negotiate, you’ll be brought into a cutscene to propose a new fee, add player swaps into the deal, or bolt on a sell-on fee. Push a manager too hard with an extortionate fee, though, and he’ll put an end to the deal. Try and aim for around no more than 20% of their current transfer bid – unless you’re desperate to get rid.

Once a bid is accepted, you’ll have to wait a few days for the other team to sort out a contract. You’ll then get a (pretty hilarious) cutscene of the player walking out the door, plus the Transfer Analyst providing a breakdown on whether it was a good deal and if you have enough squad depth to replace him.

FIFA 23 Career Mode general tips

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Transfer negotiations aren’t just limited to the usual transfer windows. You can buy and sell players at any time of a season and they’ll join during the first available transfer window. Don’t be scared to delegate to your assistant manager either. They rarely fail to settle outgoings, and you can set another parameters that they often get a good deal (if not better) without you having to get involved.

Be sure to utilise options that don’t impact your initial budget. Player swaps are cost-efficient makeweights, while sell-on fees when buying often sway clubs more than you might think – and you can swing a lower fee as part of the package.

The final need-to-know transfer tidbit involves your initial Career Mode settings. After selecting a club, you’re presented with eight career settings to toggle. Go to Negotiation Strictness and choose whether you want the default ‘Loose’ option or ‘Strict.’ Loose gives a serious amount of leeway for negotiations with other clubs. Strict, as the name would apply, turns these meetings into tense, Daniel Levy-style face-offs. One wrong move and the deal is off. Your call.

If your career mode club choice is based simply on which club has the best strip, then it's well worth dipping into our FIFA 23 best kits guide.

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FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (21)

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.

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FIFA 23 Career Mode guide to scouting the best players and mastering transfers (2024)

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