Football Manager Guides Player Positional Ability

Player Positional Ability

Ever wondered how the positional ability of a player is built? In this Football Manager guide we will explain what it means if a player is accomplished in a position and what effect it has to play someone out of his role or position.

Player Positional Ability

The player positional ability indicates the positions a player is able to play in. Each position has its own colour-code to represent the level of ability playing there.

A complete breakdown of the player’s positional ability is found in the player’s profile in the Development > Tactics Area.

Here you will see a graphical display of a football pitch, which shows all the positions available in Football Manager. For every single player this panel then shows the positions can fulfil and each available position is colour-coded to represent a level of ability playing there.

Each position has five ability tiers in addition to the player’s Natural Position.

These are:


The player is able to perform in an accomplished and successful manner more often than not.


The player is able to put in convincing performances on this position based on his experience and ability.


The player is able to do a decent job for a short period (for example due to a suspension or injury) but will not be able to perform on his best over a longer period.


The player will be having troubles playing in this position. He could fill in for an emergency, but will not be able to put in a solid perfmorance.


The player is not able to play in this position. While you can let a player play here, he will not perform well and will probably have a negative effect on your tactics.

Positional levels

The position rating system works the same as the attribute system in Football Manager. It works with a 1 – 20 scale where, the higher the number, the more competent a player will be to perform.

The levels are:

  • Natural: 19-20
  • Accomplished: 13-17
  • Competent: 10-12
  • Unconvincing: 6-8
  • Awkward: 1-5

A player’s ability will be directly affected by the player’s comfort in that position. A player with 20 for any position will not see a negative effect on his attributes. The lower the rating for a position, the more a player will struggle, particularly with his Positioning and Decisions. However, a high versatility could help him adapt to his new position more quickly than others.

Playing out of position

In an ideal world you will have a squad that can cover every position on an Accomplished level. That way players will feel more comfortable, they will perform better and more consistent and they will be less likely targeted as a weakness by the opposition.

However, this does not mean you can’t play someone out of position, either as an emergency or on a regular basis. Especially in case of an emergency a player can perform well enough to get by, particularly if the rest of the team has enough quality and a good tactical familiarity.

Also, playing someone out of their position for a longer period could work if the player’s attributes are good enough for the position and role assigned to him. And the player will gradually learn to play in his new position if he plays there on a regular basis and you set his individual training to learn that position & role. Manage this in Development > Training from a player’s profile. The better a player is to adept to a new position (high adaptability), the quicker he will learn a new position. But be aware that an older player will have more difficulty to learn a new position.

Owner at FMInside. Mostly FM-addict & journeyman preacher


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