2016-07-08 12:00

Chapter 04 - Training your players
Version 1.2.0 - 02.07.2018

Training your initial roster is almost like training a matured roster with coaches and all other fancy stuff. The difference is only that you do train with slower pace on all positions and your players will therefore most likely not reach their maximum or at least those high skill regions you would like them to have in.
The priority as a new manager with a bunch of no-good-players is also different at the start, since with a matured roster you get certain things for “free” or have them already, because those things were dealt with seasons ago or over season rollover.

Before I start with the real training issues, here a needed explanation up front.

The dependency between PC training on season rollover and TW
I monitored a bit the PC gains during the offseason and it seems the mechanism works this way that there is a gauss function with a max and min value on PC gain and the values do depend on the TW values with TW = 25 being the middle where the gain can be -5% to +5% during rollover and with each TW higher the gain values does add 0.5% and with each TW lower the gain value does decrease 0.5%.


TWmin gainmax gain

This is not 100% proven, but I think as guideline it works.

So that means with TW = 35+ you can be sure to not lose any PC during rollover and to gain some. Don’t count on gaining the max gain, it’s a value you will get only sometimes, if ever.

And there is another thing which needs some explanation (if I’m possible to give it) or at least it’s worth to mention it.

The age driven training
Since season 30 the training was changed dramatically. Main reason for that was (as I understood it) that many managers were frustrated by the speed of player development and therefore quit the game. Peter did react with the mentioned training speed change, which seems to have the following impacts:
- young players do gain more skill values per training u p d a t e than older one.
- old players do lose PC faster when playing than younger players.
- physical skills get a bigger training boost than non-physical skills.

The manual says some very old players might even lose skills, but so far we did not came across such players.
So far it looks that way (with rough numbers, which of course do also depend on TW and choaches setup)
- 16 year old players do get 1.5 times more non-physical skill gain than before the change (In the past I had around 0.6 per u p d a t e at 90%, now it’s 0.9+).
- 16 year old players do get 2.0 time more physical skill gain than before the change (In the past I had around 0.6 per u p d a t e at 90%, now it’s 1.2+).
- 30 year old players do get about the same amount of training as before on non-physical skills (in the past I has 0.3 on non supported skills at 90% and this looks still the same now, supported skills are most of the time already maxed out, so I do not train them that much and therefore no values for those available.)
- 30 year old players do get more physical then before, it looks like 2.0 time as much, so eventually this stays regardless of the age or decrease to age of 30 only slowly. (I did train for old player from time to time 50% PC to gain roughly 4% to 5% per u p d a t e if needed, now it seems 20% to 30% are enough to have that effect)

Older player seem to lose fast PC and they also seem to get not that much of a gain, so it might be that this bonus on physical training decreases fast when the player is older than 30.
Overall, with this change, the estimation of training progress is harder to calculate, since the formulas are not give (as they were before), so there is only an estimation possible.
It looks like the formula of training before season 30 was not touch, but only a multiplier was introduced based on age, like this:
Agephysical multipliernon-physical multiplier

THIS ARE MADE UP NUMBERS! The real numbers are not known, but they seemed to be more or less fitting with the results my players get. Because auf TW and Consistency of coaches this could be misleading, but I think you get at least the picture.
So if your 18 year old players had so far 0.4 gain per u p d a t e last season, multiply it with the numbers are you get the rough number you can expect now.

The bottom line of this change is, that
- your young players in Youth Academy will find their physical caps faster now and you can start training non-physical skills earlier.
- your young capped players will gain more non-physical skill points until they get promoted will therefore be much higher skilled than pior season 30 it was possible. (my aim in the past was an average of 20 to 22 in all A-skills, now it seems 25 to 30 could be possible)
- you will have much faster players trained to the max in several skills than in the past
- your older players will need much more PC training than before, but since they are maxed out on all other skills anyway, that doesn’t hurt much.

This change will have a huge impact on the described training methods and results and will change the game in a manner no change did before, at least from the management point of view.

With this in mind, we start now with the training.

An initial roster is more like starting with a bunch of youth academy players only that your players do have all kind of ages from 18 to 30+ and you are forced to bring them up to acceptable levels with the goal to have at some point the aimed matured roster.

So I would like to treat the initial roster players like youth players from training point of view and will explain you the differences. In general the goal for a youth player and a player from the initial roster is quite similar:
- knowing the physicals
- s e l e c t a position
- train him into that position.

Youth player:
Assuming you get a 16 year old youth player, then you only know his fixed values already, means INT and TW and you know his current skill values, most of the time with no cap signs.
Assuming further you did chose that youth player, because his TW being high enough, PC is not an issue until he gets a roster spot on the senior team or even a spot in the main depth chart.
It's best to train his physical skills and even without coaches, facilities and staff members the first goal should always be to find his caps. That means you would need to train SPE or STR at 90% intensity and you can decide to use the remaining 10% intensity on VIS or POS (my suggestion for youth players) or to train position specific A-skills (my suggestion for youth players which are quite certain regarding their career path; I will get to those A-Skills and B-Skills later, don’t worry).

Most of the time you don’t know the career path of your player not yet, since you don’t know his physicals, so think twice, before you start wasting training on an A-skill the player never needs.
And don’t think that existing traits do already hint they will be good on the positions the trait does effect. Traits are randomly given, as all initial values and caps, so you might end up with a Track Star player (gives bonus on speed) who caps on speed at 35.
With coaches, facilities and staff you will train you player faster and you might get between 10 to almost 20 skill points on top of his skills at season rollover per season, depended on his age, without a coach and facility this is down to 6 to maybe 16 points per season.
It’s best to have a good scouting staff (level 20) available to find the yellow caps early, means 5 skill points before red cap. This will give you the chance to switch the training early to find the yellow cap on the other physical skill (either SPE or STR) as fast as possible. When you have both yellow cap values, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the effort to train him further and get to the red caps. (As a completely new manager I would NOT add a level 20 scout as fast as possible, but it should be an addition you should think about, once you have a good feeling about the financial aspect of the game.)
For example did you find the STR yellow cap at 31 (means red cap at 36 for strength with a level 20 scout) and you do switch him to SPE training. The player gets a yellow cap at 32 for SPE (means he will red cap at 37 for speed, again level 20 scout). It’s up to you whether a STR 36 / SPE 37 player is worth development, but my suggestion here is to cut him.
The situation might be different, if the player caps SPE at 45 for yellow, because a STR 36 / SPE 50 player might become a great WR, CB or SF or whatever you like him to be.
If you would have decided to first get his red cap at STR developed and then focus on SPE, you might have wasted a lot of training on a player not worth the effort. So better look for both yellow caps and then train them further if they are worth a shot.
To get the yellow caps early you need the scout level 20, early.

Once you did find his red caps, at some age between 16 and 20, depended on his starting values and all the other factors which do influence the training, you can start training his other skills.
For youth players it can be wise to skip a total red capping on SPE or STR, if the positions are clear very early, but I do tend to find them anyway to make the best decision on all players of that class when they will specialize later, usually now at age of 18 to 20.
Don't bother with training PC in the youth academy, because each season rollover he will gain some PC as bonus, based on his TW (if you did s e l e c t a player with high enough TW value, like over 35 ;-) ) and by the time he hits the senior team and gets a depth chart spot, he might be already at 100% or be almost there, for free!
Players with less TW than 35 will likely not increase their PC at season rollover as much or might even LOSE it, which is the reason to think about those twice. For one they train slower and at second they need extra training on top for PC. Still, some players with TW < 35 might be worth a shot, it all depends on his other skills, his future position and your personal approach on that topic.
I had and still have some TW < 35 players, but most of them because I got that player from the draft.

Next, when the physicals are capped and the position is not clear at all, I suggest training AGI and VIS or AGI and POS, depends on a rough position plan you might want him to play, like offense (more POS) or defense (more VIS). The intensity can be split or favour the physical skill or the non-physical. Just remember that those skill values do influence the wage.
I did try to train my youth players in AGI, POS AND VIS up to 20+ regardless of their future position until they have to get into senior team, plus the position relevant skills like TAC, BLO or CAT also to 20+. With the new increase training speed those numbers will likely be on a higher level, like 25 to even 30, depended on their start of non-physical-skill training and their desired position.
It’s up to you how you want to approach that aspect of the game. Later you will see which approaches are possible from that point on. I always try to have them balanced.

Assuming you did the same, which is not a must, you now have a 21 year old player on the senior roster on a position with some capped physicals in SPE and STR and around 20 to 25 in AGI, VIS, POS and whatever skill is needed.

Initial Roster training (at the start):
On the Initial roster each player is for sure older than a youth player and he already has some kind of position on the roster. Depended on your plan regarding your initial roster you might have already decided on most of their fates and you know who will play.
You will want to train the PC of the players destined to play on regular basis up to 90%+ (if you did decide to NOT play the player on regular basis ignore them at all) and you might still have some players with TW < 35, but let’s assume you did train them already to that PC value of 90% + and you can now try to improve them further.

It's best to find his caps first as I did describe in case for the Youth Academy player. Train as non-physical skill a position specific A-skills (my suggestion for players with fixed position) or VIS/POS (if that guy might change the position later).
Be aware that without a scout at level 20 you will see his yellow caps quite late, around 0.2 to 0.3 before capping! So it can happen that you train them directly to a red cap.
The whole process to find the caps can take some time, since you will likely not have the coaches and they might need a lot of training to cap, so don’t forget to evaluate your roster from time to time, after the draft for example, and cut or sell players you see now as a waste of time.

Once you did find his red caps, I suggest reviewing his position, since you might have found stronger players for the line or faster players for backs and so on.
Some players will need seasons to find their limits and it might be wise to skip a B-skill physical training in favour of the other A-Skills. For example it doesn’t make sense to find the SPE caps on your OL, if it’s clear he will stay OL and will play for a few seasons. It also doesn’t make sense to train STR, if your WR has some certain STR already and is a speedster.
The guys which should NOT play at the moment should not get PC training and instead should be treated like youth players and wait for the rollover bonus on PC, as long as they have TW of 35+. If they have less TW, it’s a gamble, but I still suggest to ignore the PC for now.
When SPE and/or STR are capped you should also try to balance the players a bit, training AGI at least to the value of the best A-Skill. But that’s up to you.

You do find here now the complete package for training, which is way more than needed as your first few training sessions do need.
But if you do look here for a tip or two for your initial roster, read this guide on training as well and at any point were training gets more detailed with coaches and facilities, you need to remind yourself, that your training can do the same but will be at first as “no coach” and “no facilities” training, which means slower in general.

Training Physicals:
I know, the text above did end with all physicals capped, but there are some more things to talk about. The physicals are essential in this game and you have to understand that they are sometimes a bit confusing.
Overall SPE and STR don’t have wage impact, so try to train them to the max, which is a hidden cap (red cap).
That cap can only be found by pushing them over that red cap or if you have a good staff, which does warn you up to 5 skill points before that cap appears, depended on your scout level.
AGI on the other hand does have wage impact and does also have a hidden cap, which means, on one hand you will try to keep the skill on the same level as you’re other A-Skills or B-Skills and on the other hand, they will cap between 35 and 50 at some point, unrelated to the players talent level. The staff will also show you the cap up to 5 skill points before the red cap.
PC as last physical skill has no wage impact and is measured in percentage and is always best to be kept between 90% and 100% for playing players. Prospects and Youth Players can have any value it won’t have a negative effect. PC Training does not add skill points like all other skills, but does add percent values, usually between 1% (without coaches, facilities and/or low TW) to 10%+ (good coach on that position, higher TW) and even more with facilities activated.

Here is a nice trick for your physical training:
You know already that the 3 physical skills STR, SPE and AGI do have hidden caps. Check.
A player always does have a minimum value of 35 in those skills and a maximum of 50. Check.
With a level 20 scout you can get a warning for the upcoming cap when you are 5 skill points or less from the hidden cap away.
This is normally named yellow cap, because of the yellow "!" which is shown next to the skill.
That means you have to watch out for the next full integer increment on a training and the integer value of the current value is the yellow cap value, marked with the yellow “!”. (means if the value is trained from 35.9 to 36.6 -> 36 is the yellow cap, if it is up from 35.4 to 36.0 -> 36 is also the yellow cap).
Please be aware that with the increase training speed training gains of 1.2+ points a possible now, so it can happen that you had no cap sign at 34.9 and the next raining pushes your player to 36.1 with a yellow cap. Now it is possible that the red cap is at 35 or 36! To avoid such uncertainties train players near the next high integer values (in my example 35) only on 50% to avoid big jumps. Once the cap is known or the skill value ends with .5 or .6, the training can be increases again. Be aware that the higher the TW is and the CP-values of your position coach, the more will the training give you, even 1.4+ points in gain are possible now!
The red cap value is the yellow cap value +5 (if you have a level 20 scout, with a lower level scout the yellow cap does show up later and the red cap does come earlier AFTER that cap.)
If you train to that red cap value or beyond that value, the skill is marked with a red "!", called red cap (in my example with yellow cap at 36, the red cap would happen at 41, assuming a level 20 scout when the yellow cap appeared).
Did I say ‘Training beyond the red cap’? Yes.
You can surpass that red cap by 2 ways:

Method 1 - Train it like hell
If you put a lot of training into that already capped skill, it will still increase, slowly.
I don't have real live figures any more, but if I remember correctly, a 90% training on that skill would increase the real value by 0.1 every 5 to 10 trainings. Now the increase speed maybe faster, but since the training gets slowed down for older players and this need of training is usually only needed for old players, it could be that you even need more training sessions to get the 0.1 increase.
Overall that’s not very efficient. Assuming every 5 trainings, which I think would need a really good AC and a best TW value, it would be 0.02 per training with 90% intensity and that would mean around 0.0022 at 10% every u p d a t e or every 45 u p d a t e a pop of 0.1. Best case.
I don't recommend that, but you are free to try.

Method 2 - Train them once over the top
Assuming you don't want to push them regularly over the red cap, so every training, but you still want the best available, right? A player with STR 45.5 is for sure a bit stronger than one with STR = 45, right?
You can have that quite easily.
First you need a level 20 scout (it also works with a few levels less, but level 20 will give you the best warning period) to know the exact red cap value. In this example the value is 45, first seen after a training, which did bring the player over STR = 40, marked with a yellow “!”.
Now train him further until he reaches the integer or a bit better BEFORE the red cap, in this example 44 to 44.5.
Now reduce the intensity of STR training and bring that player to .8 or .9 BEFORE the red cap, in this example 44.9. Please be aware that for young players even 10% training can increase the skill by more than 0.1 points, so to be sure that you do not train your player from 44.8 to 45 (red cap), better stop now at .8 instead of .9.
Now increase the training the last time to 90% intensity training and wait for the update. In this example 90% STR training.
After the update, the player has a real value above the red cap, depended on coaches and TW between 0.2 and 1.2+ ABOVE the cap. In this example 45.5.
With the increase training speed this basically mean, if you perform this “trick” you get an extra skill point for free. In above example the red cap was at 45, so if you train 90% STR with 44.8 and a good AC and TW you actually get 1.2 points, so after the u p d a t e it is at 46.0, 1.0 points above the cap. That’s huge, but needs some additional micro management.

Please be aware that this only works for values < 50 as red cap, so 49, 48 and so on. At 50 there is a hard cap inside the system, so if you do as I did describe and train a player at 49.9 with 90% he will only get to 50, never 50.5 or so. There seems to be some rare players with higher numbers as 50, but they cannot be produced by this training method and I really don’t know how they came to be in the first place, likely by some routine of the game itself.

If you like to gamble and can calculate your expected training very well, you can try to even push near .99, which is a guessing game and might backfire. Adding then the last 90% training can even push the value to red cap plus 1.3+ (in our example it would be 46.1) or more. You’re decision whether it is worth the risk. If this backfires, the player will hit red cap at the full integer and you can’t train him further without the described additional effort. From that point on (red capped), you can't do anything further on that skill except "Train it like hell" to increase it (valid for SPE, STR or AGI training).
My recommendation for that situation is to switch to a different physical if there is still one open to train. If that all is not possible or you don't want to increase the skill (so NO SPE, NO STR and NO AGI; that would be the case for AGI, which has wage implications or a physical with no real position impact, like SPE on OL), train 10% PC which saves you a lot of trouble during the season and it might be a bit of a waste of training, but is a much more laid back approach than managing already capped skills the best way to NOT lose any training.

Up to you, how to proceed.

Training Physicals which are not SPE or STR:
At some point in the game, the physical training will be reduced to AGI and PC training for your players on the senior roster (with the exception of some drafted players who needs still some capping on SPE and/or STR) and a wider range of physical training on your Youth Academy roster.

Agility and PC will be always in a switching position and it’s up to you how to approach that task on your senior team.
Some teams do treat AGI in training blocks (means 90% AGI training on that block and 10% AGI or PC training an all other blocks), based on facilities active and maximum trained skill values in all other, non-physical skills. Some do train them on almost every training in a small portion (means 20% to 40%+ on every training) to avoid heavy switching (and with that, many intense reviews on the whole training setup of the roster).
Depended on your coaches setup, it can happen that most of your players get capped on AGI during their playing career by red capping or by a self-forced stopped training, because the AGI value did reach the talent level cap of all other skills and training it further would mean an increase in wages.
As example take a talent level cap of 42.5 (Talent = 2.5*). If your AGI red cap value is 47 you will very likely not like to train him further 42.5 in AGI until it’s known the player will retire at season end, because if he trains to 43+, the wage will rise based on that skill value (and the next skill value of 42.5, since the highest 2 skills are taken for the wage calculation), a training stopped at 42.5 will result in a stable wage level for the rest of the career (except the increase based on EXP gain).
When that happens, you can decide how to proceed with the physical training. Train PC on every u p d a t e with 10% intensity will save you some blocks of 50% or even 90% training blocks on PC during the season for starters. But it can also mean you do waste some training, because the backups do keep their PC at almost 100% over the whole season and you still train PC. You can also switch to SPE or STR again and wait for that tiny 0.1 pop in those skills over the next 1 to 2 seasons and might need to train PC once in a while during the season.

My approach is to train PC and take it easy, but I do know managers who can’t stand wasted training and do train SPE or STR.

For all other skills, the Talent level does decide the cap and that cap can’t be surpassed.

The positions do have some skills they do profit of very much and some skills they do profit from not so much or not at all. For example will a WR for sure need catching, but punting is not needed, right?

Here is a list of positions and their skills, based on my experience. I did put here AGI in as non-physical trainable skill, since it has to be treated some way as such, but of course it is still a physical skill and has to be trained under that area.

For Gunners (G) I recommend to use LB, CB or SF and for Kick Returners (KR) I recommend to use RB or FB. The skill set are included in those positions and you don’t have to waste specialist spots on such seldom used players. Better use your starters or backups on more often used positions as special team players. There is no out-of-position-penalty on doing so!

The skill set list has to be read this way:
A-Skills should be high and the player do profit from them in a big way.
B-Skills should be also trained in the med run and the player should profit from it in a good way
C-Skills can be trained in the long run and the player might profit from it a bit, maybe.

Especially Footwork is a skill which is highly discussed and it might be useful for many positions, a little bit useful for most, or maybe not.
Also some skills are discussed whether they are A-Skills or B-Skills, for example SPE on QB, because it might help big time to avoid Sacks. I did switch SPE for QBs now from B-Skill to A-Skill.
In general this list will work quite well.
Please remember that more on SPE, STR, INT and TW is usually always good for every position, but there is no infinite pool of supermen, so if you have one, this list gives you a hint where he can play the best way, but if you have however one more and still a position to fill, which does not require one, you can still use him on that position.

Now you know my standing on which skills should be trained, so it's time to discuss how to train in general in the long run.

Remember, short term the goal was to get PC up, then to finding the physical caps of STR and SPE and then start training the players in the wanted skills.

Long term is a bit different, but the basic rule is the same.

You hopefully recall we got that youth player example with all caps on SPE and STR found and trained in his A-Skills and maybe some B-Skills to 20 to 25. The initial roster guys will just be a bit older and might have some more skill points on some A-Skills. And Draft players do also come with some different setups, but in general, at some point you do concentrate on the non-physical skills.

You should concentrate on the A-Skills and train the B-Skills from time to time a bit up to get two effects.
1. you have a more balanced player from skill point of view
2. your players wage will not rise as fast as if you would train only the A-skills, because the wage is highly dependable on the two max skills (beside the 2 physical skills STR and SPE, which do have no wage effect) and if you develop the B-skills from time to time, the max does not rise during that time.
At least not so fast.
Since you always have to train non-physical-skill and physical skill with a percentage of the total training, you cannot stop training physical 100%.
So while you train a B-Skill, you might train also AGI at 10% and it will rise, a bit.
Or you switch to PC training and avoid an eventually rise in the wages because of a higher AGI value.

General 2:
I do not often see players which don't have SPE or STR capped.
It happens that a player has only one of those skills capped, because it's the most important one, like SPE for WR or STR for OL.
The other skill is then ignored, which might be a good thing or not, depends on the point of views and training philosophies.
So my suggestion is to at least train one skill to the caps, my personal view is, that almost every position does benefit from both skills, so better cap both.

I did see a lot of training tactics for players, but these are the most common ones:

Every position has a primary skill that is needed most, like QB with PAS, a LB with TAC or a WR with CAT.
The player does need those skills and does profit the most from it.
A One-Skill-Wonder is trained primary on that one skill, sometimes to the talent max, sometimes to a certain level.
The pro on that technique is that the player gets good results out of this, quite fast, since he does benefit the most of that skill.
The con of this is that on higher levels, the other skills do work as deciding factors on the game engine, so a player with a more balanced approach might get better results even if the primary skills are not equal.
Think about an Engine decision where TAC, AGI and VIS are summed up and the tackle is successful if that sum is higher than the CAR, AGI and POS sum of the offense player.
At lower levels such a sum can be in favour of your one-skill-wonder, if that one skill is high enough to make that sum bigger than the balances skill sum of the opponent, like for example 40+15+15 > 20+20+20.
On the higher levels, the room to have a higher one-skill-wonder value than the sum of several high trained skills is slim and at some point, impossible, like for example 50+15+15 < 30+30+30.
Those example calculation is not real engine math, but does show the problem with high values on one value and small ones on all other against higher values in all skills.
Another con is that the wage of the player will increase fast, because the wages are dependent on the two highest trained non-physical skills plus AGI.
It's quite clear that using this technique to the extreme will not help in the long run.
Wages will kill you and performance will suffer on the highest level.
What might work is a mixed approach of doing One-Skill-Wonder-Training up to a certain level (like 30, 35 or 40, up to you) and then focus on other skills.

A-Skills first:
As you can see on my position list, most players do have around 2 A-Skills and 2 B-Skills to work with.
This technique does focus on the A-skills as primary goal and training the B-skills with less effort.
That means that you bring one A-Skill to the next level, like from 31 to 32 and then switch the trained skill to the next A-Skill.
Do that until all A-Skills have the same level, in this example it’s 32, then start again.
Once in a while you do train the B-Skills the same way, but their level stays behind the max level of the A-Skills.
How far you like to have that gap is up to you.
Some do prefer 10% (so A-Skill at 40 means B-Skill at 36), some prefer fix 5 points (so A-Skill at 40 means B-Skill at 35), some even 10 points (so A-Skill at 40 means B-Skill at 30) and some stop B-Skill training when they hit a certain level, like 20 or 25.
The pro of this is having a more balanced player, but progressing fast enough to get into the top level before he considers retirement.
Once he reaches his talent caps or a certain level you are fine with, the B-Skills can be trained further to catch up, or sometimes the C-Skills are trained.
The Con of that technique is also a quite fast increasing wage level.
With the new wage system of season 21 this approach might even be more expensive than the “one Skill Wonder” approach since at least 2 skills will have a high value here, while the “One Skill Wonder”-boy gets a discount with one high level skill and the next highest much lower, lowering the average of both skills.

Balance it out:
This is a quite easy one.
Train every A-Skill and B-Skill equally (some might even consider the C-Skills in that rotation), skill after skill from one limit to the next, like 30 to 31, and once you have all on the same level, start again.
If you reach the cap level before the player does consider retirement, you can start training c-skills also.
The pro on that technique is clearly the wage. The player will improve slowly and therefore the team wage overall will increase also quite slowly.
The con of that technique is that the player might never reach his caps or will reach a sufficient level to compete on the highest level, but that depends also on the coaches.
With the new increase training speed, it gets more likely the players reaches a certain level with all skills.

Best of all worlds:
Of course a mixture of those techniques is possible and is used very often.
Some do for example train the A-Skills first until they reach a pre-defined level and do than catch up with the B-skills to that level and then switch to C-skills. They do aim for fast progress at the start and a stable wage development later on. Remember that the wages get very high with max skills over 40, so somewhere between 40 and 50 every manager will have to make a business decision.
Some decide to train the player to the max, some do train them only that way in their retirement year, some do train them that way as franchise player and once the contract is up for an expensive prolongation they are sold or cut, some do set a pre-defined limit and won’t go over that.

There are some tricks for training on a basic level:
- if a normal skill is near a cap, start training other skills and train the last few points when you train him PC during the season or a big training block of AGI is needed. This will reduce the lost training amount, since you can’t train over the cap.
Example: Your player caps in PAS at 45. You have him at 44.7, the next training at 90% would waste probably 0.2+ skill points of training, because you might get 0.5 per update.
Switch to a different skill, like VIS and start training PAS again, once your QB needs PC training. Dependent on the need and your PC-training tactics, you train 50-90% PC in that training and train then 10%-50% on PAS.
The skill might not even increase much, but slowly the skill will increase over several of those trainings to 45, which is than a red capped skill.

- train PC only if the player is in your standard depth chart and does play regularly. If the player is a prospect and has high enough TW, the player will gain PC over season rollover, which will save a few trainings on PC-training and give more skill training on other skills.
Example: your young CB has 70% PC but does not play on your standard roster. He will gain some % on season rollover (have to look that up) and over time he will get to 100%, which saves around 3 to 4 trainings. 3 to 4 trainings can be in total 1.0 to 4.0 in skill value.

- if players need training on skills which are primary on other positions than he is at the moment and his current position assistant coach is not good or there is even non on that position, shift the player to that other position and train him on that skill on that position a lot faster.
But there are some things to consider: if switching period is over, each switch will let the player lose TC and Moral (50% of his current values). If the player plays in a game on his regular position and is on the roster on another one, he gets an out-of-position-penalty.
So it's wise to think about it twice and build up a strategy behind it, if you want to go that way.
Example: You have no TE coach and you TE needs blocking. You have a great OL coach, so switch him to OL and train his BLO skill with much faster progress than it would have had as TE. If he plays as OL, no problem, if he plays as TE, he will get an out of position penalty as TE.
And since season 25 there are also limits on players on senior roster an AC can support in training, otherwise you will get much less training for ALL players on that positions, so be careful to put all players on your super LB-AC or so. More on that in the next chapter 05 with the focus on coaches.

OK fine, physical training, check, regular training, check. So that’s it? NO!
The training of a player is influenced by several factors.
TW does increase the trainings bonus, the more the player has, the higher the bonus.
ACs do also increase the trainings bonus. The higher the CP of the AC, the higher the bonus. No AC means simply no bonus from that part.
On top of that there is another bonus you can get when performing training, the facility bonus.
You can find more details on facilities in the Chapter 06 for facilities, but to give a short overview, each facility does support training on specific skills and other parameters and you can activate 2 facilities per training update.
Each facility does multiply the training points granted by 1,1 (which means 10% bonus) if that skill is supported by that facility and the skill is trained. If both facilities do support that skill which is trained the factor is even 1,21 (means a bonus of 21%).
That’s big, especially if you do this over several updates per season, up to 24 time trained that way are possible, and you can do that over several seasons, which can be 10+ seasons.

The problem is that the facility does only support a few skills, normally 1 to 3 skills, so it’s impossible to train all skills on a single u p d a t e with all skills getting a bonus.
You need to focus or you need to build training blocks.

Focus on specific skills:
This approach makes you think about money, progress, needs, laziness and greed.
Money is a factor here, because you might not want to build and maintain all facilities.
Progress is a factor here, because if you cut back on facilities, which skills will never get a bonus on training? Those skills will simply progress slower on training, or in other words, you will need more training updates to increase them the same way as supported skills.
Needs are a big factor, since with less skills supported and therefore less progress you have to think about which skills are trained often and which are trained only sometimes or only for a few players?
A lazy manager might not like to switch training regularly, so he would like to have the most out of the least effort in controlling and changes training setups and facilities.
And at last, the greed is a factor for all of the above factors, since you always want the most or the least.
Take a look in the facility chapter, there is a list of the most likely used and trained skills, which will help you to make up your mind regarding this approach.
In general managers which do this more or less 100% will try to get that 10% on those selected skills on almost every training, except when they do train those skills which were marked as non-supported. Those positions, which do need those skills, will need a quite high TW value, which will compensate the missed bonus a bit.

Built training blocks:
This approach is also very simple.
Since only 2 facilities are active per u p d a t e and they might support only a hand full of skills, you will try to get the most out of every training.
For example you will set up training to get the most out of BLO and TAC with 10% bonus and you do train 80% of your player in those skills. Or you want the most out of POS training with a 21% Bonus and you will train 90% or more of your players in that skill.
You do this mechanism over an u p d a t e or a few more and then you switch the training and you switch the activated facilities.
Almost every skill is supported for a bonus. If you like to, you can do this with every skill.
The problem here is that you focus on a specific set of skills per u p d a t e and that leaves all other skills for that u p d a t e without a bonus. To stay in the example, if you train BLO and TAC you will for sure not train your QB in those skills. He will have to settle with some other skill, without the bonus. Same is valid for WR, RB, K and P on that example.
Another aspect is that this plan is not in synch with your player development strategy. You might be forced to train a B-Skill or even a C-Skill to get the most, and now you can argue about, whether this training does at the end help you the most, if your player does gain some skills quite fast, but does not get better with the same speed, because every skill increase on B-Skills or C-Skills do help only a fraction of an increase on an A-Skill.

Best of both worlds:
Most managers do a combination of both approaches, do limit their facility setup to maybe 2 to 5 facilities and do training in blocks based on need and other factors, like status of the season (because of coming contract talks) or already capped players.
Especially with a matured roster you will face an interesting situation.
As example we look at TAC. It’s needed for the whole defense, so quite a lot players. It’s even possible to get a 21% bonus with a 2 facility setup and activated. Great?
Not necessarily with a matured roster.
You will have several older player. Assuming 35 defense players and a wide spread range of age you will have easily have 4 to 10 old players, 28+ years old, high trained, many of them either capped on A-skills or forced to stop training on those skills because of wage issues.
That means from those 35 players effected, suddenly 4 to 10 are no longer in the mix, which does change the calculation of benefits of the 21% and slower training on other skills completely.
Some might argue that they don’t care, because the goal of training is to get the players on a high level and once they are on that level, training is not that important any more. Fine.
But if you aim for the biggest bang for your setup, this calculation DID change and maybe a different setup is needed.
This is the truth: You will find your training style and you will do it your way. This guide is only to show you ways to think about this topic. There is no BEST training, because with a matured roster there are so many factors to think about, that it’s getting hard to get the BEST per u p d a t e and still getting the BEST out of every player, given their different needs, playing times, amount of players on the roster and their individual parameters like TW.

The formula for training is in the manual on the coaches page, so that’s transparent. At least until the age bonus was introduced.
What I would like to add to that is a long term view on development.
As said, there are 3 factors on the training, TW, ACs CPs and facilities.
In general that’s true, but there are some minor factors, which can spoil the fun.
Your real training per u p d a t e does have a variation, every update.

There is the ACs Consistency, which does work this way: The higher the CON, the less wide the deviation of the normal training value. This is done by a random number generator based on the CON value. Each CON value of 0,5* is worth 5 points, as it is for the EXP.
If you look for the consequences out of the formula you get:

CONmin gainmax gain

So an AC with a low Consistency of 0,5* = 5 points will give you at one training a +/-10% deviation from 1,0 while a 5,0* = 50 points AC will give you a deviation of just +/- 1% from 1,0 on that factor.
At the end you can’t influence the outcome so it makes sense to ignore the outcome on a long term planning and calculate with 1,0. Just be aware that this deviation exists.

There is also a factor based on the ACs Experience which does basically means, the higher the EXP, the more training you get.
An EXP value of 0,5* = 5 points in the math, an EXP value of 5,0* = 50 and you do have 0,5* steps.
Combined with the formula out of the manual you get:


As you can see, the EXP-Factor does become only 1,0 with an EXP value of 40 = 4*, otherwise it’s below 1,0!

Final longterm CP
Both factors are used for the training progress together as a product and are multiplied with the CP or the ACs. With ignoring the Consistency factor you get a quite simple formula
Final longterm CP = CP * Exp-Factor, which can now be used for training calculation.

Dealing with the loss of progress due PC training and injuries
There is another factor over the season. Players which do play a lot will need a lot of PC training, which will cut down his other skills development.

So you can assume to give up a certain amount of updates or parts of those updates to PC-training.
There are 24 updates per season and I did always calculate quite conservative with losing 4 updates on PC training. That’s really conservative, because normally you don’t train 8 times a season 50% PC and you also don’t train 4 times 100% PC (which could only be 90% anyway, so 10% are always real skill progress in that calculation). But I do also cover with those 4 trainings the next risk, which is injury.

And Injuries will keep your player out of training, as long as he is not healthy.
That does not happen very often and depended on your staff setup the player does also heal fast, but it CAN happen and it CAN also happen that the player misses 2 trainings a season because of this.
Feel free to use different numbers, I did calculate with 20 real updates since ages and it works quite well. The real accomplished training is a bit higher, but I see that as a bonus. For long term planning, it’s not really relevant, because I wanted to know how far my 20 year old player will go in 10 seasons and when he does exceed this after 10 seasons, I will not complain. But when he was 20 it did show me, whether he will be a player reaching an average of 35 in all skills or 40 and it will also show me how he will train compared to my other players, based on the same formula.

Long term calculation
But how to do that long term calculation?
You have the long term CP already, so the training value per u p d a t e can also be calculated.
The AC is a huge factor in this and the manual does offer the AC-Formular with being 1 for all positions without a coach and longterm-CP-40 for all others.
So as examples:

CP-Levelworst (lowest EXP)best (highest EXP)

You can see, how big the differences can be.

Now the possible skill points per u p d a t e can be calculated and you have to remember that you can only train a fraction of the total value at non-physicals and the rest goes to physicals.
There is another random value between 25 and 40 in this training, which I suggest to ignore again for long term calculations, substituting it with a value in the middle which is 32 or 33. I did take 33.
For each player now has to be calculated INDIVIDUALLY (because of TW):
(33 + TW + AC-CP-Formular ) / 2 /100
That has already with that setup based on EXP and TW on a wide possible range a lot of values.
But as examples:

no AC with TW = 1
AC-typeTW worst (lowest EXP)best (highest EXP)
No AC10,1750,175
No AC500,420,42
Best AC10,3783750,48975
Best AC500,6233750,73475

As you can see, TW does have a great influence, as does the AC and the EXP.

For long term calculation you should now take your value per u p d a t e and multiply it with the amount of updates per season (that was 20 updates for me).
Now multiply this per year with the age multiplier from the start of the chapter (see topic “The age driven training”), based on the current age of the player and the ages he will have until he reaches age of 30 and sum it all up. Like Calculated value * year 18 multiplier + calculated value * year 19 multiplier + … + calculated values * year 30 multiplier.
The problem here is, that you need only 1 value, while the age multiplier has 2, 1 for non-physicals and 1 for physicals. Since physicals are at some point done, I suggest to work with the non-physical value and keeping in mind that training will likely progress even faster.
I do calculate always up to the season he turns 30, because with 31 he might retire. But chances are good the player plays longer.

Now you have a life time skill value amount you can put on his current values (and don’t forget to add the remaining updates of the current season) and you can see, how high he can be trained as base value.

But that’s not the last step!

Scale on facility impact
You can now multiply the lifetime skill value with a factor between 1,0 and 1,21, based on your facility setup and training plan. A value of 1,0 would mean no bonus from facilities and would be very conservative, a value of 1,21 would be the best you could get, if you only train him in skills which are supported by 2 facilities and getting that 21% bonus every update, every season, which is unrealistic.

My personal factor is a bit lower than 1,1, because sometime you can’t get the 10% on every training for all trained skills.

That’s it. If you do that on an excel sheet you can use that for your roster and for the draft prospects, even for free agents. By that you can actually see, whether that 21 year old draft player is worse than the 20 year old one you prefer because of age. It might be that over time the 21 year old not only gets better, he might even get there faster.

And at last we have the age factor. Older players will need more PC training, which will also lower the progress on the other skills. But that is really a minor factor and I did decide to ignore that for long term planning. The old guys are usually almost capped anyway, so it doesn’t matter that much at that point. That’s why I left that out of the calculation.

Training on certain formation:
If you want to speed up your training on some positions which do need many A- und B-skills one possibility is to ignore some skills and focus on certain roles and from there forward on certain formations.
TE: They do block and catch.
FB: The do block and rush

If you focus on one of the needed skills and ignore the other one, you get some limits, but maybe also a better player ON that role.

Blocking TE:
Almost every formation does include a TE, but if you focus on a blocking TE, you do restrict yourself on those formations for rushing and passing has to happen out of the WR only Formations.

Shotgun 4WRXX
Singleback SpreadXX
Pro SetXXX
Goalline OXXX
Shotgun 2WRXXX
Singleback BigXXX

Shotgun 4WRXX
Singleback SpreadXX

That will give only 4 formations which can be used on both options and those don’t use any TE at all.

Catching TE:

A catching TE is used on passing situations, but you can’t use him in blocking situations. So he is basically a WR.
So all TE using formations can’t be used for rushing. On the other hand can all formations be used for passing.

Shotgun 4WRXX
Singleback SpreadXX

Shotgun 4WRXX
Singleback SpreadXX
Pro SetXXX
Goalline OXXX
Shotgun 2WRXXX
Singleback BigXXX

And the end you come up with the same formations for rushing AND passing, again, they don’t use a TE at all.

Blocking FB:
Many formations do use the FB only as blocking Back. This can be a bit confusing, because the back might work as a lead blocker on rushing plays also can work as pass blocker on pass plays. If you focus on those you have a smaller selection of formations to choose from. You can use all formations for rushing and passing, but if you do like the extra blocker in pass situations, avoid the formations without a FB.

Singleback SpreadXX
Pro SetXXX
Singleback BigXXX

Rushing FB:

There are not many formations for a rushing FB and you have to keep in mind that this guy can block, so in pass plays you should eventually avoid formations with FB.

Goalline OXXX
Shotgun 4WRXX
Shotgun 2WRXXX

Singleback SpreadXX
Pro SetXXX

There is no formation for both play types.

Overall it looks like a limitation, if you decide to not train one of the A-skills of a TE or FB, but there might be some tactical issues which do help to give this a second thought. Beside the training bonus there is not only also the recruiting issue (you might find easier fitting players) but also a surprising element if you try a play NOT designed for such formations and roster setups.

I hope you got some inspiration for your training setups and strategies.

forward to Chapter 05 - Manage your coaches and Coaching
back to Chapter 03 - Rework the initial roster

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