A team is the virtual football team one owns and manages in Hattrick. It consists of a number of virtual football players, usually between 20 and 30 (maximum 50). The manager chooses a formation with 11 of these players for each game, plus 5 substitutes. If the 50-players limit is exceeded, Training is lost for that week. Please take note that the Coach is considered a player, as he may well play (and often does) and does get regular Training.
Each player has 8 basic abilities, and there are also some additional factors affecting their performance in different situations. Let's have a rundown on the various abilities first :
This skill is absolutely vital for any players who use playmaking. If a player does not have enough stamina, a serious drop in their playmaking contribution will be noticed, particularly during the second half of matches.
This is the most important skill for all midfielders, especially the inner ones. It is also used by defensive forwards and offensive defenders. Offensive wingbacks use a tiny bit as well. As noted above, this skill is used in conjunction with stamina.
Almost every successful team needs good playmakers or else the team won't have a lot of ball possession, which will lead to fewer scoring opportunities. The only exception are teams who specialize in using the Counter Attack tactic.
The ability to create scoring opportunities by advancing down the sides. This is obviously most useful for wingers, although Wingbacks also profit from it. A forward played towards the wing will also benefit a lot from this skill.
The ball is supposed to go into the net. Most important ability for forwards. Any player with good scoring skill combined with good set pieces skill can score on a long shot special event.
This is ability that goalkeepers use (and they need it a lot!) However, as it is the only skill they need, they rarely have any ability in other areas.
The scorer gets the credit, but the player giving him the decisive pass is just as important. Both forwards and midfielders, including wingers, profit from being good at this. Passing is also very important for use with tactics. It helps to compute ratings for Counter Attack, Attack on Wings and Attack in the Middle.
Inner midfielders, and forwards contribute to the central attack rating by their passing ability. Wingers played offensively, normal or defensively use their passing to contribute to side attacks. There is some debate about the contribution of passing on a winger towards middle.
The ability to stop opponent's attacks. Unconditionally the most important ability for all types of defenders. Midfielders may also put this ability to good use.
It is also relevant on all players when using the Pressing tactic.
One player is appointed for set pieces. He'll take all free kicks, penalties, and in case of a penalty shoot-out, he'll take the first penalty. In all cases, lots of skill is needed in this area.
There is also the possibility of a long shot Special Event related to set pieces.
Change in abilities
The 8 abilities can all change. They may be improved by training, and they decline with age. Young players are able to improve their abilities much more quickly than old players through training.
As a player reaches 27 his abilities may start decreasing. This process doesn't occur constantly, and there is no guarantee it will happen at all. Typically, very small decreases occur for players around 30, considerably larger leaps for players around 35. For some reason, these decreases in abilities always surface on Mondays. Certain skills are harder to maintain as players grow older - scoring ability is the hardest to maintain, whilst goalkeeping is the easiest.
It's very hard to maintain stamina above the level of "excellent" for a long period of time. All players just above the dividing line between "excellent" and the level under it are successively pressed downwards. There's a limit to how well the human body can perform.
Each player has an experience level which goes up slowly week-by-week depending upon which kind of match he played in and how involved he was in it. Experience counts for quite a lot in match ratings - for example a player with "passable" experience will play better in a certain position than another with "weak" experience but with similar or even slightly better basic footballing skills. The most marked position where experience seems to count most is Defender. It can help in penalty shoot-outs also.
Players (not all of them, about half of them) have a characteristic called speciality. There are 5 different specialities available for players: Technical, Quick, Head, Powerful and Unpredictable.Every speciality, while sounding useful, has a good and bad side. A player with good technique will place his trust in his awesome control of the ball. At times he'll run rings round a big and clumsy defender. On a really waterlogged pitch, however, he'll have problems with players placing their trust in other abilities.
The specialties have impact on matches as described in the section about Special Event in Chapter 10 (The Match). In addition, they can be useful for certain tactic types.
It won't matter how good a player really is if he's not on form or is injured.
Sometimes players get injured. If this is the case, the injury, unless very slight, will put them on the treatment table for a couple of games. The risk of injuries increases as the team increases the intensity of training. Older players take longer to heal than young ones. You should also remember that the injury times stated are only estimates. A +1 injury could heal within 3 days with the assistance of doctors, but equally if your 35 year old star forward has a week-long injury, it might take him 10 or 11 days to get fit again.
For more information, see Injury
Yellow and red cards
Players may get booked or sent off during games. Two bookings during a match will automatically lead to the player being sent off. Bookings and Sending - Offs during competitive games eventually lead to a suspensions. A player will be suspended for the next match if he is sent off, or if he has accumulated 3 bookings during a season. This is shown by a red card symbol on the player page. You can also see how many yellow cards have been received so far. At the end of the season all cards are cleared.
Whilst a player can receive cards during friendly matches, they have no other effects than those seen during the game.
Highly aggressive players will tend to be booked more often than other players. Especially if they're also dishonest or lacking in experience.
Players move in and out of form, and there is not a lot that can be done about this, apart from exchanging players in bad form for those in good form. You can also make sure that players with bad form get to play in friendlies, as this increases their chance of improving their form. Every player has an attribute that shows his "current form" (the real figure at the moment) and another one that is hidden, called "background form", which shows where his form is heading. The current form is the figure applied for matches, while the background form is used by the program to compute where the player's form is heading.
Each week, during training, the current form figure (simply called form) of every player will change, moving towards the hidden background form figure. The exceptions are those players where the current form is already at the exact same figure as their background form. Current form is not changed at once to the figure of background form. Instead it moves in steps over several weeks, though the further away from background form they are the larger the steps will be.
After current form has been changed during training, there is a chance that background form is changed for each player. Every player has the same individual chance of having his background form change, and there is nothing you can do to influence this chance. In fact the only factor that decides whether or not the background form of a player is changed is a random chance. This means that the background form might change several weeks in a row for some players, but for other players it might not change at all for weeks.
However, when chance decrees that a player's background form will change, there are several factors that influence what the new background form will be. The most important one is whether or not the player has played a match during the week. If he has not his new background form will probably be lower than for those that did play. This is partly because it should not pay to have an enormous squad - if you do you will soon have a large number of discontented players not receiving proper match training and being constantly out of form. Besides, having many bench-warmers on the payroll is a bad investment. When the new background form is computed the following is taken into consideration:
- How hard you train (intensity of training)
- How good your coach is
- How many assistant coaches you use (and how many goalkeeping coaches you use for keepers)
- If a player has participated in a match during the week. This is very important!
- A random factor
Note that in Hattrick form doesn't mean form in a physical context. It's not about a player having trained well or not. This affects stamina. Rather, form reflects a combination of all other aspects making it possible for, or preventing a player, from reaching his full potential. A player may be off form due to a loss of self-confidence or not having scored any goals lately. Maybe he's got some private problems. You could also imagine debilitating physical factors such as colds or similar, not simulated by injuries. In the same way, players in good form at the moment are on a roll.
An "excellent" player in "wretched" form is usually worse off than a "passable" player in "solid" form.
The intensity of training affects form. Players in a squad with a high level of intensity at training are generally in better form than players from a squad with a lower level of training intensity. Players' form is also affected by what kind of special training you choose.
Does this seem complicated? Remember, it's just as complicated for your opponent! You don't really need to compose the perfect team to win a game. The main issue is to assign players to positions they seem most suited for, and keep an eye on their form. Substitute players in bad form with players "on a roll". Give reserves in great form a chance to prove themselves. A simple system goes a long way.