Football Manager is a game of imperfect realism. It’s based on the premise that you can build any team and win any league by putting in the right amount of hard work and tactical know-how. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting wrinkles to stay interested in along the way. Football Manager is a constant battlefield for its users, and it can often feel like every other snap of your virtual football season is an ambush or a trick. There are cheats as well as strategies that let you win games without putting in much work at all. When someone finds out what you did, you suddenly have to defend yourself against accusations of how easy it was to fool everyone with so little effort. Incidentally, these are some of the best ways to enjoy Football Manager more than ever if you want to stay one step ahead of everyone else and take no prisoners when it comes to gaining an edge over your rivals. Keep reading for our top 10 tips that will get you excited about playing again after every defeat and make sure you never see red again from frustration.
Start thinking about your tactics before the games start
The very first step when planning your Football Manager tactics is to look at your current squad and their attributes. If you can, get a few of your own players to look over their statistics and make sure they’re not just being under-performed by their real-life counterparts. You want to make sure you’re looking at the right things so you know where to make the most of your current squad. You’re not going to get it right the first time, so don’t be put off by any early failures. Try out new tactics and formations and see how they work before committing to any long-term changes.
Stay flexible, even in the build up to matches
You’ve got about 15 minutes to get your tactics ready and the players warmed up with their usual warm-up routines. Why spend that time fussing over your tactics and formations when you could do something else with that time? When the game is almost ready to start, take a look at the teams and make sure both of your sides are going to have a few players missing. If so, make sure you have a few scratches on the bench who aren’t likely to play that well but can still help you in an emergency. There’s no need to rush. You can plan for the worst-case scenario each time you play. For example, if there’s a good chance you’ll end up in extra time, try and make sure you have a few subs ready to help you if things get out of hand.
Don’t get caught up in unrealistic team talks
When you’re deciding on your starting line-up, don’t just pick the best players. Make sure you give them some kind of team talk that makes them feel involved in the match ahead. This might mean putting your best striker up front with a backup who doesn’t normally play in his position. It’s not cheating, just a change in tactics that works to your advantage. If your goalkeeper is usually fantastic but you know he’ll be benched because of an injury, try and talk him up a little. Have him remind the rest of the team that there’s no better man between the sticks.
Always have a backup plan for when things go wrong
Football Manager is a game of constant short-term risk. You don’t want to always be walking on a tightrope, but you also want to take every risk possible when it comes to building your reputation and reputation of your team. If you sign a player and he ends up being a bust, don’t be afraid to leave him out of your starting lineup for future games. He’ll be plenty aware that he’s not playing well and should be happy to move on to the next challenge. You’ll never be able to predict every single challenge you’ll be up against. Don’t get too hyped up over one victory and get too deflated by one defeat.
Take advantage of any luck you get and make it work for you
Remember that every game in Football Manager is a random draw. That means that you can’t gain an advantage over your rivals by out-performing them week to week. You need some luck on your side to get you those wins that help you get a reputation and improve your transfer budget for the next campaign. But don’t just let luck decide your fate. There are always ways to turn those lucky wins into advantages that help you achieve your goals with the team in front of you. For example, if you’re playing a team on the bottom of the league, try and have a player who’s eligible for a cup tie play for them. You can still get the win, but you’ll have a player in a higher division to help you with your transfer strategy.
Don’t be afraid to leave players out of your starting lineup if they’re not having a good game
You’re going to make mistakes when building your tactics, and you’re also going to make mistakes when picking your starting lineup. At the end of the day, those are the two things you have the most control over. If someone is having a bad game, don’t be afraid to leave him out of your starting lineup for the next game. If someone is having a bad game, they’ll be plenty aware that they’re not playing well and should be happy to move on to the next challenge.
Link your console to Steam so you can see how performances affect transfers and player morale at a glance
There’s nothing worse than seeing a team you’ve worked hard on fall apart in front of you. You can always link your Steam account to the Football Manager 12 client to see how performances affect transfer budgets and player morale. You can do this in the Steam client under the Contacts menu. It’s a great way to keep yourself informed and ready to deal with any issues that arise.
Don’t lose hope if a certain player consistently underperforms
There’s no point getting frustrated if a certain player consistently underperforms in your team. You can always try and sign a new player from that squad, but that’s a longer-term project that can wait until the next transfer window. Even though you might be disappointed, don’t let that feeling get the better of you. You can always try and turn it around later on by making sure you support those players when things aren’t going well in the game and remind the rest of the team that they should never be written off.
Football Manager is a game of imperfect realism. It’s based on the premise that you can build any team and win any league by putting in the right amount of hard work and tactical know-how. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting wrinkles to stay interested in along the way.