Sick and tired of getting a poor players coming through your youth system?
It’s time to find out how to improve your youth intake and potentially bring through the next generation of wonderkid regens.
Let’s dig in to one of the most exciting aspects of Football Manager.
What Are Regens?
Regens and newgens are exactly the same thing. The only different is the name, and different members of the FM community refer to the same thing with these terms.
Previously when players were reincarnated so to speak, they were referred to as regens, but as FM has become more advanced, the newly generated players started to be called newgens.
In this guide, I will use the term regen as it’s become more dominant in recent years.
A regen is simply a player or staff member that has been generated by the game – a fictional player.
As our database of real life players grow old, turn into staff or retire, they become redundant within the game and are replaced by regens.
If they weren’t, we would eventually run out of players and staff and the game would be awful.
How Are Regens Generated?
Long ago, regens were simply a retired player recreated, with the exact same quality and other variables such as attributes, player position, nationality and so on.
This means that If Ibrohimovic retired, the game would recreate Ibrohimovic using all of his attributes and potential – the only thing that changed was the name.
Today Football Manager looks at the quality of the player retiring, and instead replaces them with someone who can reach a similar potential, meaning their stats, nationality etc aren’t exactly the same.
If Football Manager did this completely randomly, there would be some imbalances within the game. There could end up being too many players in one position and a lack of players in another for example, so there are multiple factors to stop this from happening.
As the in-game years go by, FM tries to recreate the quality of players evenly, so that there isn’t randomly thousands of incredible players created one year compared with the previous.
Whilst this doesn’t happen in obvious amounts, if your game save goes on for a lot of time, and we’re talking decades, there can sometimes be slight discrepancies and positions that struggle to have a wealth of talent.
The dates that regens are added into the game are known as Youth Intake days.
When Are Regens Generated?
Regens enter your game’s database on specific dates throughout the season.
These dates tend to be called regen day or Youth Intake Day by the Football Manager community.
Every club in a country’s regen day will receive brand new sparkling youths on a trial contract ready for assessment.
Each country will add regens once per year. Usually this is on a random date within a small time frame around the same period each year.
For example, English regens are refreshed anywhere between the end of February and the first couple weeks of March.
In the past, Football Manager would use the same dates for any save created, but more recently, the youth intake date is more random within a certain period of the year.
It’s believed that regens are hidden in your club for at least a year before the youth intake day. This is due to the recent addition of the youth intake preview, which you usually receive six months before youth intake day.
To get a rough idea of when your country’s youth intake day will be, go to the Dev Center and select Youth Candidates in the navigation. A staff member should give an indication here of when to expect your fresh youth intake.
Youth Intake Preview
Around six months before your youth intake day, an inbox message will come through providing a brief preview of your upcoming regens.
The problem is, this isn’t the most informative message you’ll ever receive in your inbox.
You can find out at any time of the year what your youth intake is going to look like by going to the Dev Center. Click on Youth Candidates on the menu and you’ll see what I mean…
The message will often give you an indication as to how many players you have per position, as well as an idea of the quality each player may possess.
It’s difficult to gain anything more than a rough idea of what you’ll receive eventually.
You can use the information to plan ahead if you rely on your youth intake bringing players into your club though.
For example, if there is a lack of players in a certain position at your club already, and there are no youths on the way to fulfil that position, it may be worth dipping into the transfer market.
I personally use this preview message as a reminder to request upgrades to my junior coaching and youth recruitment from the board if I have the funds available.
How To Generate Better Regens
To generate your own world class talent, you’ll need world class facilities, and a few other things will help too!
The higher the reputation your team has, the more youth candidates will want to join your setup.
This means that you’ll have an advantage over other clubs.
Ever wonder why the big teams consistently get quality youth players?
Who doesn’t want to play for the biggest teams in the world?
How do you build your reputation?
Quite simply, win football matches and compete at a higher level than you are currently at.
You as a manager will also need a good reputation. This will make your club much more attractive to join.
To see your reputation go to Home, My Profile, Profile and take a look. Win more and win often to increase your reputation.
Reputation is probably the most important factor for getting a higher quality youth intake.
Each nation or country has a Youth Rating.
This rating determines the quality of regens that a nation generates on average.
For example, Brazil and Germany have the highest Youth Ratings, which means they generate better players on average.
Nations also have a Game Importance level. Countries such as England, Spain, Italy, France, Argentina, Brazil etc all have a very important rating.
Combining the Youth Rating with the game importance creates an average quality level for regens, meaning you’re more likely to find better regens in these countries.
That’s not to say you won’t find the next Messi in Cyprus though…
You can find the Youth Rating and Game Importance within the FM Editor, here’s the top 20 nations for highest Youth Rating – no surprise that Brazil has the highest…
(out of 200)
Improve Your Facilities
It’s important to upgrade the below facilities to improve your chances of generating better regens at your club.
Always look to be upgrading these facilities at the earliest opportunities to get your wonderkid factory up and running earlier on in your game save.
According to Seb Wassell at Sports Interactive, youth facilities only have an effect on players that aren’t visible at your club.
This means that every player that is visible uses the normal training facilities.
Therefore, improving your youth facilities means that the chances of having higher quality regens is increased.
Youth Facility levels from worst to best:
- Below Average
- State of the Art
You can request the board to spend more money on junior coaching.
This will increase the chances of having higher ability youth candidates as they will have been coached at a higher level before arriving on youth intake day.
If your board members object to this, try saying that the club will get left behind by rivals. Sadly though, this isn’t always successful.
Junior Coaching levels from worst to best:
- Fairly Basic
This is another request that can be made to the board and is similar to your scouting budget.
It is another expenditure that can be increased to improve the likelihood of recruiting better youth prospects, meaning you can find higher potential players.
The more you’re spending on youth recruitment, the wider your youth net is, meaning you’ll be able to pick out the best potential youths from a wider pool.
Wassell at Sports Interactive is believed to have explained youth recruitment as a priority level for getting the best regens.
Those who are spending the most on youth recruitment will be at the top of the list and therefore have a higher chance to receive better regens, but that doesn’t mean a team lower down doesn’t have a chance at obtataining a world class talent.
Clubs who spend the same on youth recruitment are then sorted by their reputation.
Youth Recruitment levels from worst to best:
- Fairly Basic
Your staff can often influence the type of regen that is created for your club.
On Youth Intake Day, the Head of Youth Development will even provide a comment letting you know if they’ve managed to have an effect on a youth candidate coming through the system.
The best Head of Youth Development staff will have a high reputation, judging player potential, working with youngsters as well as a professional or valuable personality. Less important are determination, motivation and level of discipline.
Tactical style and preferred formation can also have an effect on the type of player that’s generated, but don’t worry if this doesn’t match your system exactly.
The Head of Youth Development should also have good scouting knowledge in the country you’re operating in.
Other staff members such as coaches may also have an influence on the personality and ability of a regen. The more determined and more professional your staff are, the more likely your youth candidates will adopt a similar personality.
Exploit For Signing Regens On Youth Intake Day
When youth intake day rolls around, for any country, it’s a great time to snap up some phenomenal youth talent.
In the past snatching top talent on youth intake day has been a popular tactic for many Football Manager players, however has become more difficult recently.
When a regen is generated at a club on youth intake day, they will often sign a contract within the next couple of days at that club.
The timeframe to try and steal these youth players has historically been between the youth intake and the day they sign a professional contract.
This period of time still exists and is where you can use an exploit to try and sign amazing youth talent before they commit to a club.
As soon as the youth regens have been generated for a country, you will need to go to World, Transfers, change the view to Youth intake and then use the filter to select the country you’re scouting.
Look through the list of regens, you can quickly view each person by holding your cursor over the little person icon next to the player’s name in the list.
This can take a while, so look for those that are high in value. If you’re a Premier League team, look for 16-18 year olds who are worth a few hundred thousand pounds or even in the millions.
Upon spotting a player you like the look of, offer them a trial. The club will always agree to the trial, this may be a glitch that wasn’t intended to be in-game, but it allows you to buy time to sit down with the player and offer a contract.
You’ll need to offer a pretty great deal if you’re attempting to lure a player away from a more reputable club than your own, so be wise and think about how this player’s value will rise over time.
Don’t forget that you will have to pay compensation to the club too due to the age of the player.
This can be fairly expensive at the time depending on your club finances, however as I’ve just mentioned, if the player is World Class its worth the hit in the long run.
It’s A Game Of Chance
Once you’ve actioned all of the above to your club’s potential, there’s still no guarantee of the next Cristiano Ronaldo being generated at your club.
All of the above significantly improves your chances of getting better wonderkids, but don’t be too disheartened if your Youth Intake isn’t as great as you were hoping for.
These factors can take time to improve, so try and begin your improvements to a club’s facilities early on if you’re planning on sticking around for a while at a club in FM.
On the other hand, you may encounter a superb wonderkid that all of the big clubs want to snap up. Why not prepare for the day PSG swoop in, with our guide on how to hold on to your star players.
May the FM Gods bless you.