Football Manager  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Football Manager  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Starting on the Right Foot: A Beginner's Guide to Football Manager 2017 Fri, 04 Nov 2016 00:50:30 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

The latest installment in the hyper-popular Football Manager series has arrived, much to the delight of fans worldwide. That said, despite your feelings on the game, the fact of the matter is that Football Manager games have a bit of a... well... let's call it a "reputation". They're very in-depth games, and Football Manager 2017 is no different. Though this year's edition takes some much-needed strides forward in making the game a bit more friendly to newcomers, the game can still be incredibly overwhelming. Luckily, we've put together a beginner's guide to help you get started in Football Manager 2017.

Don't jump right in.

Seriously. Before you start playing the game -- hell, before you even consider buying the game -- make sure that you're very, very familiar with soccer. This isn't like other sports games, where you can pick up the subtleties of the game by playing it. This is because you're not really playing the games themselves, you're managing them and putting your players in the best position to succeed. If you're not familiar with roles, formations, and playing styles already, this might not be the game for you. But if you still want to give it a shot, there's a guide to some of the essentials of real-world soccer right here that will be a must-read before you start your managerial career.

It would also be helpful for you to have a team in mind to manage before you start. Again, if you're a soccer fan, you don't need me to tell you this, but you'll want to be familiar with your chosen team's roster, favored play styles, and schemes. You'll be able to futz with all of that later, but it's always helpful to have a starting point.

Read your emails

If you're a first-timer to the Football Manager series, after you create your manager and start your career, you'll probably be a bit overwhelmed. Just breathe for a second. You'll be fine.

The first thing you'll see is your home screen, where most of the game action takes place. To start with, focus on your email inbox. Read all your emails. If you take nothing else from this guide, remember that. I'll say it again: read all your emails. Your coaching staff will alert you if something needs attention, and they'll actually do a pretty good job of explaining whatever is going on to you, and then suggesting a course of action. Whether it's players they think should be transferred, press conferences, or even a run-down of your team's roster and history, these emails should be your go-to if you ever have a kind of "what do I do next?" moment.

Most of the time, you can actually put your staff's advice into effect with a simple button click right from the email screen -- don't be afraid to do that if you're a bit confused. Speaking of which...

Don't be afraid to use suggestions

There are two functions you'll want to use incredibly frequently during your first-ever Football Manager 2017 season. One of them we went over above, and that is taking the advice of your staff whenever you're a bit confused as to how to proceed. The second is delegation. One of the very first things you'll do as a newly minted manager is to have a meeting with an assistant, who will go over your duties, expectations, and goals.

If it's your first time playing, you might want to start by delegating pretty much every task other than setting your lineup to your staff. I know it's tempting to have your fingers in every single aspect of your team, but managing your U-18 squad, managing contracts, motivating players, appearing at press conferences... It all adds up. You can always take on more responsibilities later with a simple button click, but when you're starting out, it's best to focus on the on-field aspects of management. That way, when you're ready to add on more responsibilities and become a more hands-on manager, you'll have ideally mastered the strategies that lead to on-field success.

Fortunately, the game does a pretty good job of letting you know if your strategic decisions will play out well or not. Pay attention to the color-coded markers that indicate player morale, whether you're playing a player out of position, and overall offensive and defensive strategies. You'll have to be flexible and change these strategies often during each match, so be sure to pay attention to what your players and staff are telling you about the game.

Motivating your players

Motivating players is key to get them to perform at their peak level, and this can be done in a bunch of different ways. Your pep talks before matches have a huge effect on this, as do your individual meetings with players (as well as your contract negotiations with them). Be aware that you'll have to be flexible depending on the situation -- sometimes your players will need a bit of tough love in order to really give it their all. 

Your press conferences can also affect how your team views you as well, so pay attention to them. Sure, they're mostly simple dialogue options, but your team and staff are listening. You can also keep tabs on how you're viewed in the social feed tab, so make sure you take a look over there occasionally as well.

Building yourself up

As a first-timer, this is what you really should be focusing on, and if you're delegating correctly, you should be able to have a lot more time to get comfortable with these elements of the game. But once you've mastered them, you're going to want to get in touch with your assistants and take on some more responsibility.

Little by little, start taking control of more elements of the team, whether it's your youth development teams, transfers, contract negotiations, or anything else. And once you're comfortable with those elements, start adding more. It's like learning anything else -- you'll be most comfortable if you take this on one step at a time.

Have you been enjoying Football Manager 2017? Let us know what you think in the comments, and make sure you check out our Football Manager 2017 review here on GameSkinny.

Everything You Need to Know about Football Manager 2017 Wed, 02 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Lydia M

The Football Manager franchise aims to allow you to take complete control of your favorite football team. With the the 13th Football Manager installment from Sports Interactive, Football Manager 2017 will fully immerse you like never before in the most realistic version yet.

This latest Football Manager includes an insane amount of updates from it’s predecessor. Improvement in AI decision making, along with new camera angles puts you dead center to witness the full football experience during matches.

With the number of decisions made by the AI players per second nearly doubled and more than 1500 reactive modes, AI players are more aware of their actions, enhancing last minute decision making.

Personal avatars were a fan-favorite from 2016 and will now be upgraded for more details. In FM2017, you’ll be able to directly take a photo of yourself, with far more customizing detail to give a life-like custom manager avatar.

Off the pitch, the interface to managing your club has been greatly improved.
The way certain information is presented to you has been changed, with any information directly related to the club going to your inbox. This will allow for more information in a central location instead of needing to navigate elsewhere to make important decisions.

As the world evolves, so does football. The Social Media tab will show you reactions from fans, other clubs, and media sharing news and views pertaining to you and the rest of the FM17 world. On the flip side, you’ll be able to see how your managerial decisions have a positive, or negative effect on the football community.

The system of contracts and trades for players has greatly improved as well. You’ll deal deeper with pre-contract conversations with players and agents. You’ll also be allowed to see how they will set in a team and opinions about them from your staff, along with trying to pitch your club to them.

Viewing players will be much easier, as you will now have a screen dedicated to every single player that has ever played for your club.

Personality traits of players have also been enhanced, as there will be a larger effect on how you treat your players. If they disagree with a decision you make to not play them, they can run to local media and let their opinions be known to sway in their favor.

This is just a short look at what Football Manager offers for you in the new year. With major improvements from the previous version, the hope to give players a fully immersive experience into the world of football management.

Football Manager 2017 is available November 4th and with a pre-purchase you’ll also receive a range of free downloadable content for Touch including ‘Board Override’, ‘No Firing’, and more!

Football Manager 2017 is available in 15 different languages, not including Chinese. This has been the source of much controversy in some pre-release reviews of the game on Steam -- those reviews being mostly negative before the official release of the game.

SEGA actually just announced that it has begun work on translating Football Manager 2017 and Football Manager Touch 2017 into Traditional Chinese. There is no release date yet, but Chinese fans are assured their version will be coming.

Tips and Tricks for a Football Manager 2016 Virgin Sat, 21 Nov 2015 08:39:21 -0500 Justin Andress

On the real, Football Manager 2016 is freaking tough. As a whole, the series is pretty notorious for it’s learning curve, even to the extent that in previous iterations it simply wasn’t worth buying the thing unless you wanted to spend about 80 hours of gameplay time lost in a cycle of complete confusion and total annihilation. Fortunately, FM16 is a little kinder to its players, which can only make the premier sports simulator more enticing to series virgins. 

Of course, the series doesn’t exactly need new people to maintain its popularity. Ever since it’s launch on November 13, the game has maintained a consistent place on Steam’s list of most popular games, averaging about 50,000 active users at any given moment during the day. The good news for those thinking about diving into the simulated action is that the game’s popularity has given rise to large community willing to help ease newcomers into the glorious mess.

Make no mistake, though, the competition on this pitch is still unforgiving. Thankfully for you, we’ve gone to the trouble of scouring the Interwebs in search of some tips and tricks that’ll help you get your football career off on the right foot. A wise player — especially a Football Manager newcomer — would do well heed our advice.

If You Don’t Know Soccer, Learn Soccer

Football Manager 2015, the laws of soccer

Okay, so this one is totally obvious, but … if for some strange reason you just picked up Football Manager 2016 and you don’t know a cleat from a shin guard, it might do you some good to actually learn the laws of soccer. FM16 expects that you’ll know them, so it doesn’t waste time familiarizing you with them. 

Of course, people who bought a soccer simulator without knowing a thing about soccer are probably few and far between … you’d hope. At any rate, if you are a soccer fan (though you most likely call it football), then you’d do well to brush up on the actual strategies used by professional teams in the real world. Football Manager strives for total realism, and this year’s iteration is closer to the mark than ever. In other words, if it works on a real pitch, the odds are good it’ll work on your virtual one, too.

Start big and move down the line

Football Manager 2016 on the pitch

Yeah, obviously you want to start with a pip squeak village team and watch their meteoric rise to the heights of the Champion’s League, and you definitely can. Your first time out of the gate, though, you should probably take over one of the sports larger, more established franchises like Real Madrid, Chelsea or Man. U. These teams will offer new players a larger margin for error which will make your inevitable mistakes a bit less costly as you’re moving through your first few seasons. Once you’ve gotten the hang of satisfying a team of superstars (and even pulling off some wins with them), then you can move down the ladder to less established teams and give them a shot at greatness.

While we’re there, don’t start out using Football Manager 2016’s new Create-A-Club mode. It’s awesome, but it’s also totally overwhelming to new players. Stick with the story mode for a few seasons until you’ve got the gist of the gameplay. At that point you can dive into the Create-A-Club mode and really get the most out of it. 

Hold Your Money

Football Manager 2016 on the pitch

This one is simple: don’t spend your money. Hold on to it as tightly as possible, only letting go of it in extreme cases.

“But what if -?” you ask. No, don’t spend it.

“Okay, but one of my -?” Forget ‘em. Don’t spend it.

“Yeah, but surely -?” No! Keep your money.

Moving on …

Morale: it matters

Football Manager 2016 on the pitch

Just because your team is populated with a bunch AI-run pixels doesn’t mean they don’t care about happiness. As such, morale is a huge factor when running a squad in Football Manager 2016; that’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your squad (and your board) as happy as possible.

Fortunately, keeping people happy in FM16 follows the same basic rules as being a decent human being in real life. In other words, you should be good if you follow these simple steps: don’t lie, don’t play favorites and keep your voice down.

Don’t lie. Essentially, this just means that you should always be straight with your organization. Don’t promise things to a player that you know you can’t deliver. Don’t tell your board that your team is going to win when you know your squad is filled with a bunch of bumbling hacks. Just be honest with the people around you; sure, you might get some blowback initially, but people will always be happier that you were honest than if you rolled the dice on a lie and got caught.

Don’t play favorites. The AI in Football Manager 2016 knows when you’re cutting one player more slack than the others, and they know when you’re coming down too hard on a squadmate. In other words, just try to pretend these pixels have real feelings and treat them accordingly. If a teammate wants to leave the team, let them go. You don’t need an unhappy player ruining morale. When you’re designing your team, make sure you pick solid, all-around players rather than shooting your payroll on one star. Think well-rounded; think fair.

Keep your voice down. Who wants to deal with the coach who’s about to have a stroke in the locker room during the halftime of a losing game? Nobody, that’s who. Here’s an insider secret: if you bawl out your team when they’re losing big in a game, it won’t help. Ever. Discipline is important, but it’s got its place (and that place is rarely on game day). If you want to keep your squad pushing their hardest, just stop and count to ten before you start screaming.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Football Manager 2016 on the pitch

Finally, the most important piece of advice we can give is this: don’t be afraid to fail. Football Manager 2016 is a big game. It’s long, too. It’s meant to be played for dozens of hours; you’re supposed to sink a large amount of time into governing your team properly. And no soccer team in the history of the sport has ever had a flawless season.

In other words, expect to spend a lot of your time (especially at the beginning) getting the crap kicked out of you. FM16 has a learning curve of about 40-50 hours, which means you can’t call yourself a pro until you’ve sunk in several days of gameplay time. Again: a lot of that 40-50 hours will be spent getting creamed, so just be sure to spend it experimenting, paying attention, and — perhaps most of all — keeping your cool. At the end of the day, it’s just a game.

And, hey, if you’ve gotten to the end of this list, implemented these tactics and you still find yourself failing at every opportunity, then cheat. If you’re one of those do-gooder types who refuses to bend the rules to your own gains (square), then you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that the Internet is filled with people who are both similarly confused and willing to help you out.

10 Prospects To Draft Onto Your Squad in Football Manager 2016 Wed, 11 Nov 2015 04:14:16 -0500 Justin Andress

Can you feel the excitement building? Can you hear the roar of the crowds? The shouts and hollers of players on the field? Can you feel the anticipation for another year of the best sports simulation around? That’s right, we’re just a few days away from the release of Football Manager 2016! This year’s iteration promises to be something really special. The good folks at Sega and Sports Interactive are delivering a ton of new changes that are designed to make FM16 the most popular release yet.

Chief among the changes being made — at least according to series fans — is the inclusion of the “Create-A-Club” mode, a game mode that “allows you to name the club, add yourself and friends to the line-up, edit the squad to your heart’s content and even choose the colours.”

Sure, you know what you want your team name to be, and you know what colors your players will rock as they race onto the field. Now all you need is some quality players to round out your squad.

This is Football Manager, though, so you can’t actually expect the developers to take it easy on you, can you? Of course not! While you’re fighting your way to the top of your chosen league, you’ll have to deal with the same issues any manager would encounter, both on and off the pitch. One of those issues: the salary cap. That’s right, there’s no such thing as an unbeatable squad right out of the gate. You’ll have to manage your finances and make the most of your purchases. Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of names that are certain to put you on the road to a title.

Abel Ruiz

Abel Ruiz

Don’t sleep on the FC Barcelona youth striker. In real life, the goal-scoring machine is set to be a really valuable player, but that hardly compares to his value in FM16. Pick him up early if you want to give your squad the best chances at being a contender down the line.

Anton Mitryushkin

Anton Mitryushkin

Nineteen-year-old Russian goalkeeper Anton Mitryushkin is something to behold on the pitch. Year after year, the up-and-comer has proven himself to be a wall that no soccer ball can pass.

The youth player won’t be an amateur for much longer, so it’s absolutely necessary to get him on your team if you’re in the market for a cheap goalie early on (and if you’re not, you should be).

Riechedly Bazoer

Riechedly Bazoer

On the field, Bazoer still has some maturing to do. In FM16, he’s like the next Pelé. He excels at a tough-to-find position (the Regista), and he’ll only improve as you play him. Expect to pay $15 million for him right out of the gate, but considering how much FM16 loves the guy, that’s a steal.

Considering how his price (and talent) soars as the game progresses, you’re doing yourself a favor nabbing him early, especially before he’s drafted by an opponent and he becomes a problem for your defense.

Carlos Gruezo

Carlos Gruezo

Midfielder Carlos Gruezo comes from a tradition of football players. The son of a former footballer, the people behind Football Manager 2016 clearly expect great things from the Ecuadorian.

His success is assured in the game, so you’re only cheating yourself if you don’t nab the youngster from Stuttgart as soon as humanly possible.

Simone Scuffet

Simone Scuffet

If you passed on Mitryushkin, then you should definitely keep Italian firebrand Simone Scuffet in your sights. Obviously, a high-performing goalie is key to a top notch squad. Unfortunately, great goalies are few and far between, and organizations who have one tend to pay top dollar to keep them.

So, keep an eye on the youngest goalkeeping talent out there, and make sure that Calcio Como’s Simone Scuffet is near the top of your list.

Toni Trograncic

Toni Trograncic

Bayern Munich’s teenage star Toni Trograncic is still unshaped, it’s true. He’s what you’d consider a long term investment. Especially since the kid is so young that there’s no telling which position he’ll play when he comes of age.

What is certain, though, is that Trograncic is one of the most technically skilled players of his age group. In other words, it doesn’t really matter where he’ll end up, because he’s going to dominate.

Ike Ugbo

Ike Ugbo

On the off chance you’re an under-18 footballer in Europe, you’re probably already very afraid of Ike Ugbo. This season, he opened Chelsea’s Youth season by knocking out a hat trick right out of the gate, a number that put him on path to becoming one of the organization’s leading all-time scorers.

And he’s only 16. Get him now, people, while the getting is good!

Joel Asoro

Joel Asoro

Sunderland’s 16-year-old acquisition is certainly one to grab first thing. The club has placed a lot of importance on his development, and for good reason.

Described as a “fox in the box,” Asoro is swift-footed and deadly from the inside. He’s already shown a lot of talent as both a striker and an attacking midfielder, so he’s certain to fit into your squad wherever you need him.

Jonathan Silva

Jonathan Silva

Series vets will recognize the name Jonathan Silva. The defensive wunderkind has repeatedly been the bane of club owners who haven’t drafted him early on (you know he made your life miserable in FM15).

The Argentinian’s value is guaranteed to spike after the first season, so be sure to invest some cash in him while he’s young and feel that much more confident that your defense has an extra layer of protection. 

Andrija Zivkovic

Andrija Zivkovic

In the case of Andrija Zivkovic, we need only prove our point by doing a little simple math. If you pick up the playmaker in your inaugural season, you’ll drop about $1.1 million to acquire him.

If you pass on the potential winger and wait until 2017 to acquire him, then that price tag jumps to about $40 million. So … yeah, buy him. It’s just common sense.

If you play it smart and use some of these players before they become big names, you can be dominating Create-A-Club mode without breaking the bank. 

Back onto the pitch: 'Football Manager 2016' beta impressions Tue, 03 Nov 2015 20:02:51 -0500 Justin Andress

We’re just a little over a week away from the November 13 release of Football Manager 2016. And while fans are salivating in anticipation of the game’s official release next Friday, the good folks at Sports Interactive have continued their annual tradition of gifting a beta to those gamers who pre-ordered. It’s really more of a soft launch than a beta, since the game will be playable up until the official release date and any progress gamers make will be transferrable to the full game.

As of October 28, anyone who pre-purchases Football Manager 2016 will be eligible to jump into the beta and start crafting the club of their dreams. For the first time ever, players can customize their manager and create their very own club from scratch. In short, FM16 is shaping up to be one of the good ones.

A screen shot of Football Manager 2016's customize a manager screen.

If you’re not one of those people who absolutely needed access to the newest version of the PC mega-franchise right this instant, then allow us to weigh in! You see, ever since the 28th, those happy few who’ve already bought the game and immersed themselves in all of its simulation glory, well, they’ve been just clamoring to tell anyone and everyone about how this year’s iteration of the classic sim series feels in their hands.

Fortunately for you, fair reader, we’ve combed through the comments, the feedback, and the usual assortment of gamers who just like to complain to bring you the most relevant user critiques from this year’s beta. Without further ado, let’s hit the pitch.

How’s It Looking?

In a sports simulation, looks aren’t usually on the top of people’s wish lists. After all, you spend a significant portion of your time in any Football Manager game just looking at menus and screens filled with random names and stats. How pretty can a developer really make that?

As it turns out, pretty darn pretty.

Screen shot of Football Manager's new UI.

As one person put it, “The UI is sexy as h*ll.” That’s fairly cut and dry in terms of praise. That redditor wasn’t alone, however, as  Sky Sports host Pete Graves echoed that sentiment on Twitter:

Of course, the interface upgrade may also have some folks wondering if there’s a bit too much information on the screen at one time. The overall effect of all the new information can be a bit daunting for some players.

In Summary: The new version of Football Manager 2016 is gorgeous to behold, but you’d better be prepared to read your way through the Champion’s League. 

More screen shots of Football Manager 2016's UI.

How’s It Playing? 

So, sure the game is pretty. That’s almost a given, even with games that are released annually like Football Manager. The gameplay is really where it’s at, and with a series like Football Manager that tends to mix up its gameplay year after year, that aspect of the game can be kind of a question mark.

Football Manager 2016 simulation gameplay.

Thankfully, users have been incredibly kind in their critiques of the notoriously difficult sim. One player proclaimed:

“Seen some dodgy keeping still though, especially when you see it in 3D. One on ones still seem to be missed more than scored. Overall though, I'd tentatively say its a good improvement.”

When it comes to individual player skills, the title still plays favorites (hope you’re a Rooney fan!) as much as any other sports game. From nation to nation, the level of detail can be surprisingly hit-and-miss. 

For example, the French leagues (notoriously under-represented in past titles) have finally been updated. As one gamer wrote:

“I want to highlight the fantastic work made on french leagues … I'm a Bordeaux fan, and this year, it is so good to finally have 60 players in my squad. All the stats were realistically updated!”

Unfortunately, the initial rumblings from players indicate that Australian leagues may not have fared quite as well, at least in terms of the level of detail available in the beta.

Fans of the series should be relieved (or disheartened, as the case may be) to find out that the game’s historically high level of difficulty is unchanged

Of course, one Fulham fan actually stated, “Overall Rating: 11/10 best game ever... I can now forget how crap my team is in real life and live through this video game.” If you can win with those guys, FM16 can’t be that hard.

Just a heads up, players hoping to get a jump on the top potential in Football Manager 2016 can check out this reddit thread, which is sure to expand in the coming weeks.

In summary: Most people are pleased with the gameplay changes, and Football Manager 2016 is still hard as crap, especially if you’re trying to win with Leeds United.

How’s that Software Working? 

Football Manager 2016's Create a Club mode

Gameplay improvements are only worthwhile if the game actually works on your machine. In a world where games are launched seemingly half-finished on an increasing basis, how is Football Manager 2016 doing while it’s in beta?

On this note, you might be pretty surprised by the answer. Several users have actually stated that the newest version in the franchise plays better on their machine than the last. Even in the beta, the game seems to be playing quite well for most. Though some people have cited issues with multiple crashes, these bugs seem easily remedied (at least according to the comments...we have had zero issue with the game’s performance).

In summary: Works good.

In short — assuming you just scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the article in order to get the gist of the beta — all you need to know is this: If the initial user feedback is any indication, Football Manager 2016 is one of the best iterations in the franchise’s history. Developer Sports Interactive has clearly swung for the fences in their quest to deliver the ultimate in sports management sims, and the result is largely successful. If you’re the type of gamer who simply loves to get lost on the pitch, then this is definitely the game you’ve been waiting for. Prepare to get your life destroyed.

Football Manager 2014 Beta is now available for pre-orders! Wed, 16 Oct 2013 21:14:20 -0400 Ford James

Sports Interactive have today announced that the beta for the upcoming version of the popular Football Manager franchise is now available for customers who have pre-ordered the game. For those who pre-ordered on Steam, all you need to do is install the game. However, for those who pre-ordered with another retailer: you should have an email from them with the key to download it. If not, it's advised that you contact the customer support for that retailer.

As it's a beta, bugs are to be expected and you can report them by heading over to the forums at You'll be able to play the beta until October 31st, and the full game releases on November 4th. Any careers you start on the beta will be able to be continued in the full release.

If you haven't pre-ordered the game yet, you still can to receive access to the beta. A full list of participating retailers is available at