Recruitment and Scouting on FM23

Football Manager 2023 has seen the biggest change to scouting in years with the introduction of a recruitment focus and there hasn’t been much information released about it. In this post, I’m going to talk about the changes and also explain how to scout on FM23 and use recruitment focus to guide your transfer strategies. The main way to approach scouting on FM23 has changed the idea now is to use the recruitment focuses to streamline your scouting teams searches for players. You can now leave the scouting assignments to your chief scout

(you can take control of this and it still works like Pre FM23) and the chief scout will set assignments for the scouting team and search for players within the scouting range. Now you shouldn’t see 100+ scouting cards returned to you in your inbox. The thought process seems to be more aligned with real life in that you have a group of scouts constantly scouting and building up a database of players so that when the manager (you) wants to find a player they already have a database to pick from and then can narrow any further search depending on your criteria. For this post, I’ve taken over Manchester City as they have a great scouting setup to show how this works.


I’ve set this 433 and City doesn’t really have any Left backs, Having to play Cancelo there.

Recruitment focus

Here is where you come in, you’ve decided you want a new left-back, so you set a recruitment focus of that position and role and select the criteria that you want the scouting team to search for, So for the purpose of this post, I’m going to set up two focuses. The first will be a top priority in which we want to find a long-term player to play Left back and the second which will be a standard priority in which we want to find an immediate option. So first of all we need to help with the scouting screen and select the Recruitment Focus.

From here we will select to create a recruitment focus

Here we then set up the focus

I’ve named this LB Long Term so I can easily identify the assignment later on. First of all i select the box to choose our tactic (pink arrow) I’ve selected the 433 above, I then select D(L) for the position. Next up I select the role and how well he can play the role (green arrow) So I’m looking for a player who can play Full back to a good proficiency. I’ve set it as transfer only then the minimum current ability as we’re looking for a young player who hopefully potentially will develop to a 4 star player (red box) we have selected the ages for the search between 15 and 23 (blue box) I’ve also selected the areas I want us to scout.

I’ve asked them to focus on South America and Europe, you can search right down to a certain division should you wish.

As I mentioned above I’ve set this as a top priority (yellow arrow) And I’ve assigned the scouts myself and asked them to include any players already found by scouts, this is where the Chief scout setting assignments comes into play as they will quickly add players they have already found that fit the criteria. (orange arrow)

Here I’ve chosen which scouts I want to focus on in this search. The ones selected cover the areas in the search. Once confirmed it then gets added

Next up I wanted to focus on a more immediate option.

Same as above we have selected the tactic, position and role. A current ability of two stars and a potential of 3 as we have to remember we are Manchester City so the stars are relevant against the quality of my squad a two star is still going to be a really good player. We’ve set the age of the search between 24-50 and for them to search South America and Europe. We have set the priority to be standard but 9 scouts are to join this search. But due to our tactic, I want a player who gets forward when possible so I have selected further details

From here you have a whole range of criteria you can use in the search right down to defensive stats to really help refine your searches. But for this search, I’m just looking for the trait

So now I’ve confirmed this focus.

As you can see it’s been added to the screen.

In the list, we now have all the assignments set. As I mentioned earlier I have left the scouting assignments to the Chief Scout and here is the full list of his searches, you can see he is building up a database of all positions and ages across our scouting ranges. They are colour coded as well.

Yellow – Top Priority (Top priority will get you faster results, I recommend using this for during transfer windows only)
Blue – Standard Priority (Results normally within a month)
White – Ongoing Priority

When setting priorities you have to allocate more scouts or you can leave it to the Chief Scout to auto-assign. The minimum requirement is
Top – 2
Standard – 1

With these focuses set, they will then go out and find players within those criteria and report back. But when reporting back they will also highlight “near matches” players who were close to making the cut but just missed out.
They also show the progress of the players they are currently scouting. You can set the frequency of updates you want on your assignments between weekly or monthly. During transfer windows Weekly seems sensible and during the season monthly.


The first team’s immediate focus has returned with 2 players they recommend that are first team ready.


Two realistic options for Manchester City to sign that fit the criteria I set for them to search for. As you can see there is still one left in progress, you can select that menu and see who they are scouting.

This is handy to keep an eye on who else they are scouting for the search.


I’ve seen people mention that they’re not getting players to show up through the searches even though it shows as in progress before and then they disappear and here I’ll explain why. From the Long term LB search I checked up on it during the in progress.

Here we have the in-progress results for 50 players but none of these will end up recommended as I set the criteria to be a 4-star potential. I did this on purpose to show why. A 4-star for Manchester City is a world-class player the best my scouts are finding are these two

Who are 3-star potential with a chance of being 4. So they don’t fully meet the criteria. If this is happening I would recommend lowering the search parameters that you are searching for. If I had set it as 3 stars it would have recommended these two.

I like the look of Lara so what I do here is add to shortlist

Just so I don’t lose him from my searches but remember if you haven’t got much money a FM Tip (Trademarked by FMStag) is to untick the keep scout reports up to date (Green Arrow) just saves your scouts scouting the same player and costing money especially if its out of range.

Now above I mentioned leaving the assignments to the Chief Scout and this builds a database of players for you. So I bet you’re now wondering “how do I access this database?”

On the scouting screen select scouted players

Here it shows all the players your scouts have found. So if we look for players under the same criteria as the youth search earlier

It already returned some results based on the database formed.

The same with the first team Left Back we were looking for

The database already had options

What If I was worried about a lack of Striker cover in case Haaland got injured. We’d look at the database

Recruitment and Scouting on FM23

Not happy with the results then we can select “create a recruitment focus based on these searches” at the top of the screen.

Recruitment and Scouting on FM23

And as you can see its automatically added to your assignments

For me, the real benefit of this comes within the transfer window if you get a player poached you can search for immediate replacements if you need one. The scouting staff have a database ready for you to search and filter through. This feels more in line with real-life recruitment these days where the manager decides “We need a left back” and is presented with already scouted players. If they aren’t satisfied then the scouting team are set an assignment to narrow their search on one particular position/role then once completed they go back to improving and updating their database. Hopefully, this guide helps you understand scouting on FM23 better now. As I mentioned you don’t have to delegate assignments to staff and you can assume control and set them all yourself and it works the same way as building up a database of players that you wish to have. The benefit for me is the staff seem to generate a really good database of players for us to use.
I hope this guide is helpful and if you have any questions feel free to ask on Twitter (link) or our discord (link). If you liked the views I used on the search screens they can be downloaded here (FMStaglink). For more information about the recruitment revamp including the experience matrix and squad planner the team at SI did release this post. (link)

Thanks for reading.


  • Daniel Gear

    Dan Gear is a vibrant member of the Football Manager (FM) community, renowned for his engaging content and insightful tutorials. He illuminates complex FM concepts on "View From The Touchline" and shares engaging narratives through his unique European Journeyman save reveals. Dan's collaborative spirit shines in partnerships with fellow creators like FM Stag, unraveling new FM features. He's a co-host of the engaging "Grass N Gear" podcast, making the FM experience more enjoyable for many. With a blend of humor, expertise, and a knack for community engagement, Dan Gear's contributions significantly enrich the Football Manager community, making him a cherished figure among enthusiasts.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *