So after a long break, I have decided to write another blog article. Hope you all enjoy reading it.What is XP?
As you all know, XP or the "Experience" attribute of a player is one of the most important attributes of a player.
There are three types of attributes for a player in F4Football:
1. Regular attributes (eg. Passing, Tackling): These attributes can be improved by regular training. Players gain these attributes during every training session (once every round) based on the level of training centre and the skills of the coaches.
2. Hidden attributes (eg. Potential, Learning): These are fixed attributes and do not change during a player's career. These attributes can be revealed using a Scout
3. Experience or XP: XP can be gained by playing matches, so giving playing time to your players that need XP is very important in the game. A basic overview of gaining xp is given in this tutorial
The rating of a player depends on his regular attributes and the XP. You can read more about how rating is calculated in this tutorial
section.Why your players need XP
As mentioned earlier, you can only improve a player's "regular attributes" through training. But training any of a player's regular attribute above his XP only gives 50% increase in the effective value of that attribute. Which means a player with 60 passing and 40 xp is only as good as a player with 50 passing and 50 xp. And when the difference is more between XP and regular attributes, it is much worse.
Further more, training a regular attribute slows down as the attribute gets closer to the player's Potential. So improving the player's XP becomes important to maximize his potential and to get him to maximum rating. Also there is a common misconception that improving XP above a player's Potential attribute is a waste since it won't contribute to his rating anymore as the other regular attributes can't go much above the Potential. But unless you are planning to sell the player, every point on XP is worth it as it can be used later to improve XP on lower XP players in your team.Factors affecting XP gains during a match
From the tutorial, there are a few factors that affect how much XP a player earns per match. These include the number of minutes they play, the average XP of other players, and their current XP level. Exact XP gains from every match (including other teams' matches) can be seen if you have a Plus membership, this way you can have a look at the most successful teams in doing that and their team composition, and learn a lot from them.
1. Minutes Played
A player will earn more XP if you play more minutes. So giving your low XP players plenty of minutes is very important. There is no excuse to not give full 90 minutes in custom tournaments and friendly matches to all players you are developing. And if possible, bring them in as a sub in your regular competitive matches too, whenever you feel confident that weakening the team due to this will not have a big impact on the result. Personally I would happily bring all my trainees on as subs whenever my team was winning or losing by a big margin (depends on how weak your lower XP players are and how strong your opponent is).
2. Average XP of other players
XP gained by a player from a match depends heavily on other players who are on the pitch during the time he is on the pitch. In friendly/custom matches, only the average XP of other players on your team matters, while in competitive matches average XP of all players (both your team's and the opponent's) is counted. So, if you want to maximize XP gains from matches, you should try to field a relatively high average XP squad alongside the players you are training.
3. The current XP of the player
A player with a higher value in XP gets less XP gains from a match than another player with a lower XP value. In other terms, gaining XP slows down as a player improves his XP more and more (given all other factors are the same).XP Gains For Players on Loan
The XP gains of your players who are on loan at another club will solely depend on the XP gained by players at your club during your own matches. This makes it even more important to maximize XP gains from your own matches, so that your on-loan players will also gain decent XP. I will discuss more about who to send on loans and who to train yourself in another section below.
So how to lineup in matches to maximize XP gains? Read on ...Identifying and Selecting Trainees
The first and most important part is deciding clearly who you want to train. As we have seen in point #2 on factors affecting XP gains, there is no point in going into a friendly with 11 players having low XP. It will make your squad's average XP too low and the ceiling for XP gains for each player will be considerably low as a result. Similarly, if you go with 11 high XP players, your squad will have a high average XP but the ceiling for XP gains will still be low due to their already high XP value. So finding the right mix is key to get the maximum XP out of every single match. Here I will focus only on lining up for your friendlies, since you cannot follow these for regular matches and still be competitive (unless you are willing to sacrifice your results for XP gains).
Theoretically, the sweetest spot is having a squad average XP exactly mid-way between the maximum and minimum XP possible. Which is an average lineup of 55 (100+10/2). You also need to have 5.5 players of maximum XP(100) and 5.5 players of minimum XP(10) to achieve this (I know number of players cannot be 5.5 it can only be either 5 or 6, but here I am talking about theory). This is the ideal lineup where you can get the maximum total XP from a match, which will be equally divided between the 5.5 players with 10XP. Now if you want to maximize the XP gained by a single player, then obviously playing a 10 XP player along with 10 other 100 XP players is the best, but that will not give the maximum total XP for the whole team.
This is a theoretical balancing point , and cannot be achieved realistically, but this idea should be in your mind so that you can work somewhere close to this sweet spot. Ideally, 3-5 players with low XP alongside 6-8 high XP players will be good with an average squad XP of above 50 atleast. Identify these 3-5 low XP players and focus on giving them maximum playing time, rather than trying to improve a bunch of low XP players. Of course there are other factors like Potential and Learning attributes of those players while selecting your trainees, there is no point in giving XP to a 3.5 star potential and 1 star learning player over a 5 star/5 star player even if the latter has slightly more XP and is likely to gain less XP from matches, but you know what I am trying to convey here so make your choice wisely. Also, new teams just starting out might not be able to achieve this high average squad rating, but you should have this as your goal going forward.
If you do not have enough high XP players in your team then look out in the market for really high XP old players with low rating on the market. These old players can be considered as "XP coaches" even though they do not make your team any stronger, so investing in them in not a bad idea at all for a better generation of players in future. I would not advice on spending a lot on buying these old players, but generally they are cheap. Also do not buy them if they are close to retiring, do some maths to see how many seasons is left of them and how much they cost per season, a 30 year old at 60million(10 million per season) is better than a 34 year old at 30 million (15 million per season) assuming they both retire at 35. Also the lower their rating the better, it helps you save on wages (their value will also be lower so you might get them cheaper).
If your trainees are slightly higher in XP already, then you might also want to increase your average squad XP accordingly. I would say an approximate method to work this out is to find the difference between average XP of your trainees and the squad average XP. So if you have an average squad XP of 50 and the average XP of your trainees is 15, you might need to look to increase the average squad XP to 60 to get similar results when your trainees have an average of 25 XP.Choosing the "XP Coaches"
This is a no-brainer, the high XP players that play along side your trainees (or "XP coaches") should be the highest XP players available to you. Yes, these players will gain very little XP themselves. But that should not matter, they are just "coaches" and your focus should be to maximize XP gains on your trainees.Enabling/Disabling XP Gains in Friendly Matches
Your team only gains XP from 30 friendly matches every season. So the option to enable/disable XP gains in a friendly match comes in very handy. By default, your first 30 friendlies of the season are enabled for XP gains. But you can change this in the "My Matches" page under the "Custom Matches" tab. Disable XP gains for any friendly that you do not want to be counted for XP gains. You might not want to use a particular friendly match for XP gains due to many reasons:
1. Not able to field your preferred lineup for friendlies due to injuries to one or more of your trainees or "coaches"
2. Morale gains after a loss - if you lose a competitive match leading to morale drop for your players, you might want your first eleven to play in the next friendly to improve player morale. So disabling XP gains on these matches will be wise.
3. Early Season - all players start a season with 85 morale. So it is a cool idea to use friendlies for morale gains to your first eleven and get them to 100 morale as soon as possible. Disable XP gains for these friendlies so that you can use the gains on your trainees later.
4. Low fitness on key players - sometimes one of your "XP coaches" might also be an important part of your first eleven. So if they are low on fitness, you might not want them to play in the next friendly. Disable XP and play fit players in these friendlies and save XP gains for future.Deciding Who To Loan Out
You can send 2 players on loan to another club every season. While this is very important to get the "free XP" from loan on two additional players every season, it is more important to choose which players to send out wisely.
Players on loan gain XP based on the XP gained by your own players from your own matches. So to maximize XP gains on players who are on loan, you should maximize XP gains on players that play in your team. So do not make the wrong decision to send out one of your lowest XP players on loan, send a higher XP player out instead. The reason for this is that the lower XP player has the potential to gain more XP from playing in your own team than the higher XP one, so your higher XP player will also indirectly get more XP gains. If you send your lowest XP player on loan instead, the higher XP player will gain less from playing in your own team and your lower XP player will also suffer due to this. Best strategy is to keep them when they are low XP, and send them on loan when they get better and have slightly higher XP and start training another low XP player in his place. Higher XP players are also likely to have higher rating, so are more attractive in the market and getting a loan bid for them is easier, not to mentioned the slightly higher signing fee you will receive from that.Final Thoughts, Tips And Tricks
1. Don't be afraid to play a player out of position in a friendly. Regardless of where they play, they get the same XP gains. And results due to them not performing don't matter. So if you are training two GKs, include both in the squad, don't shy off from playing only one since there can only be one in goal.
2. Rotate your "coaches" if needed, not your trainees. Sometimes "XP coaches" will also be an important player in your first eleven, so if you want to save fitness on them, you can use substitutions in a friendly to replace one coach with another having similar XP. But never sub out your trainees, give them the full 90 minutes every match.
3. Try to get more competitive matches if you can. A typical example would be play-offs in a lower division. If you do not have tight competition, then finish 2nd/3rd and play the extra 5 play-off matches instead of finishing 1st and getting promoted directly.
4. Create a balanced team - Gaining XP is tough when you start off with a new team. But once you get to that decent squad average, then XP flow starts more effortlessly. Try to maintain that balance in the long run, loan out players to other teams when they are slightly higher XP and start training new ones. When your loanees are good enough to make it to first team, start loaning out one of your trainees. Figure out what's best to maintain that balance, but do keep the flow.
5. Never have more than 6-8 players with XP above squad average, or less than 3-5 players below squad average. While it might seem that your low XP players gain more XP, the total XP gains suffer and it is much better gaining more XP in total and distributing it among more trainees.
Hope the information in this blog was helpful for you. If you have anything to add to what I said, or disagree with anything, please comment below.