The FootStar gaming experience is based on a football simulation program named Match Engine (or simply ME). The ME takes into account all the information relevant about a player (including skills, talents, equipment, fitness, moral, confidence and adaptability) and uses it to simulate a real football match.
A match game is played in 90 minutes, and the FS ME simulates this entire period, which means that a FS game lasts for 90 real-life minutes and can be watched as a real-time experience. However, one does not need to accompany the game minute by minute, as a report is generated after the match is over and can be accessed at any time. It is, however, more excited to watch the game as it is played and cheer for that win with your fellow mates! A list containing the dates and hours of all game categories is available here Match Schedules to know when a game is scheduled to begin. You should also notice a warning on the home page, telling you when will be your next match.
You can also access your teams schedule and see when and where your games will be played. This is an important tool to keep track of all the game related events, which includes travelling and training. It may happen that a match is scheduled to be played at another city. A description on the travelling system can be read on Chapter 13.
Fitness, Moral and Confidence
Each player´s performance is highly dependent on the conditions in which he presents himself for the match. Fitness, Moral and Confidence, are the 3 most easily controlled variables and can set the different on the field. Both Fitness and Moral vary from 0 to 100%. They affect all the skills proportionally, which means that any value below 100% will result in skill penalties. Confidence, however, has discrete levels, with "High" and "Very High" representing the desired confidence. Unlike the other 2, Fitness varies during the match, depending on the player Stamina and match occurrences. Therefore, even if a player starts with 100% Fitness, it will drop during the game. Moral and Confidence, on the other hand, are only affected after the match is concluded. Better performances can increase these two variables, while team defeats or bad performances may decrease their values.
Position / Side Experience
Each time a player plays on a certain position (goalkeeper, defender, midfield, forward) or side (left, right, center) he´ll gain experience for that position and/or side. A player position will be set as the one with the most experience. It is possible to have 100% at different sides, thus being proficient in more than one side at the same time. However, this does not apply to positions. Playing at a different side or position than your original ones, you are playing repositioned. This means that you´ll suffer penalties on your individual match skills. We also differ side and position repositioning. When you play on a "wrong" side the ME takes 20% out of your short passes, long passes and technique skills and also 50% of your crosses ability. If you´re put on a "wrong" position, the ME takes 20% out of your short passes and long passes ability, 40% of your game vision ability and 50% of your positioning ability.
The Individual Orders (IOs, also known as Match Orders - MOs) are a set of guidelines for your player on how to behave on the field. These must be pre-set before a match and will determine most of the actions your player performs. However, experience plays a part in this, as less experienced players will not always follow the IOs. Here follows a description of the current IOs:
1 - Shoot from distance - whether a player shoots more frequently from long range or not.
2 - Run with Ball Direction - once you´re with the ball, it decides to where you run (middle or sides).
3 - Hold up ball - How frequently a player will try to hold up the ball and, therefore, lose time or wait for better passing opportunities.
4 - Passing type/Distribution (GKs) - Whether the player will opt for short, long or mixed passes.
5 - Dribbling/tricks - Whether the player will frequently try to dribble other players or avoid such confrontations.
6 - Avoid getting tired - Whether the player will play on the maximum of his efforts or avoid getting tired, taking all the consequences from it (experience hits, etc).
7 - Defensive corner position - Where the player will position himself during a corner kick situation against his team.
8 - Offensive corner position - Where the player will position himself during a corner kick situation favouring his team.
9 - Free kick action - Whether the player will pass or shoot the goal more frequently from a free kick situation.
10 - Penalty kick side - To what side of the goal the player will take his penalty shots.
11 - Close Marking/Pressing - Whether the player will try to press his opponents tightly or not.
12 - Pass side preference - Whether the player will try to pass to player in the flanks, to players in the center, or mixed.
13 - Cross from - Whether the player will try to cross from the end line or from 3/4 of the pitch.
14 - Cross type - Whether players will cross the ball near the ground or try high balls (that is, an option to favor attackers´ heading/finishing skills).
15 - Movements - A very important order: whether the player will run up or down the field in attacking or defensive situations.
16 - Passes to open spaces - Whether players will try to pass to the front of players in good attacking positions or to their feet.
17 - Try to run from marker - Whether players will try to find open spaces away from their opponents or stay in position.
18 - Run to the area during crosses - Whether players will try to run to the heart of the area in good cross situations or not.
19 - Type of commemoration after goal - How the player will commemorate when he scores a goal, from a set of possible options.
20 - Try curve balls - Whether the player will try curve balls when shooting or crossing.
21 - Tackling Intensity - Easy, hard or normal tackling. The type of tackling will influence the probability of winning a tackle but also increase or decrease the probability of committing fouls (and, in the future, injuries).
22 - Pass to the front - Whether a player will try more frequently to pass to players in more offensive situations than him on the pitch or not.
23 - Position on crosses (GK) - A GK only option: if the keeper will stay on the line or move upwards.
24 - Clear ball - Whether players will try more frequently to clear the ball when they have no passing or dribbling options, instead of holding up the ball.
25 - First Touch Plays - Whether the player will try to play at first touch or try and control the ball first.
Tactics and Match Events
A manager can pre-set tactics and events for any match. Alongside with the starting 11, a manager has the option to select Team Orders. These include:
1 - Vertical spread - Whether the team will spread more or less vertically in the field. This will be a "slider"-type option.
2 - Horizontal spread - Whether the team will spread more or less horizontally in the field. This will also be a "slider"-type option.
3 - Corner kick taker - Which player is the team´s corner kick taker. 2 options, one for each side of the field.
4 - Free kick taker - Which player is the team´s free kick taker. 2 options, one for each side of the field. Only for attacking situations.
5 - Penalty kick taker - Which player is the team´s penalty kick taker. 5 options, one for each penalty "slot" during a penalty shoot-out. First one will take penalties during normal gameplay.
6 - Playmaker - Which player is the team´s preferred playmaker. A playmaker will see other players passing more frequently to him (as he will have a bit more weight when other players consider their passing options). This option should be used wisely.
7 - Hold up ball - How frequently the team will try to hold up the ball, in different game situations (always, never, only when winning).
If options 3 to 5 are not set, the player closest to the ball will be chosen instead. If option 6 is not set, the team won´t have a preferred playmaker. For close range free kicks, finishing and technique will be the most important. For long rage free kicks, player will need good values for long shots and technique. Penalties will require finishing and technique. Free kicks in crossing zones / corners will obviously require the crossing skill (only).
The manager can also pre-set events that can be used to reposition or substitute players during the match. A maximum of 3 substitutions is allowed for any official game, while friendlies (both in teams and national teams) allow for 11 subs to be made. There is no limit to the number of reposition events that can be made. It´s also possible to set any event to happen in specific conditions, such as minute, score or after disciplinary actions/injuries.
A walk-over (WO) happens when a team fails to select 11 players to the match, thus resulting in a 3-0 victory to the other team. If both teams fail to present 11 players on the field, both will be awarded with a defeat. If this happens in an elimination round though (as a cup match) where one of the teams has to go through to the next round, one of the teams will be selected randomly to go through and will "virtually" win 1-0, although it will still count as a defeat in what the team´s stats are concerned.
After each game you´ll be able to view a match report, containing vital information about your player´s (or team´s) efforts. The match report is the place to look if you want to know how well your player did for himself. The match report contains a lot of information. It is divided in 5 parts that you can check selecting on the right information panel:
1 - The starting eleven and ratings part (the default view)
2 - The match comments part, where you can see the most important plays of the match
3 - The statistics part with info about shots, ball possession, amongst others
4 - The player statistics part with all the stats concerning individual players
5 - The Match Analyzer, useful tool in order to see lot of data, player by player..like passes direction, shots, zones with and without ball.
6 - The 2D view of the match (only for FS Fans though) where you can watch the full outcome of the match. The viewer is similar to the Football Manager® series viewer.
National Team 2D matches are visible to all users.
Each player performance is rated in a scale of 0-10, starting at 5. This rate is visible only after the match has ended and is thus the result of all the player actions during the match. At the end of the match the player with the higher rating will win the Man of the Match award. This rating might also have an influence on your morale. Good matches will raise your morale but bad performances will ruin it.
As far as types of suspensions are concerned, these are be grouped as follows: national competitions (league and cup matches), youth competitions (youth matches, regardless of whether the tournament is international or not), international club competitions (future international club competitions yet to be released) and international competitions (national team matches). This means that if a player is sent off during a youth match, he’ll be suspended for youth competitions only; he’ll still be able to play in national team matches or league matches for his club, for example.
A player that sees a straight red card will be suspended for 2 matches (note straight red cards do not happen yet, but this will be the rule once they’re implemented), a player that is sent off after two yellow cards is suspended for 1 match, and a player that collects 3 yellow cards during a competition is suspended for 1 match; afterwards the counter is reset and, after 3 more yellow cards, he’ll be suspended for another match, and so on. If a player is sent off after picking two yellow cards, those yellow cards do not count towards the 3-yellow-card suspension rule; he’ll only be suspended for the red card he picked.
Players will injury themselves during matches only. Fitness plays an important role: the lower the fitness level of a player is, the likelier it is that he might get injured. Injuries may only happen when players perform actions during a match, such as tackling an opponent (or be tackled), take a shot at goal, make a pass or make a save (keepers). Players will not get injured just by running around doing nothing. Obviously it is far, far more likely to get injured by being tackled than by making a simple pass!, and fitness really plays a very important role on the chance of getting injured.