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Posting Guidelines & FAQ's - PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE POSTING


michaeltmurrayuk
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Welcome to the Skinning Hideout, the place for all your Football Manager customisation help and advice.

This thread contains some general FAQ's that apply across most versions of Football Manager, though for help with the current version please check out the other pinned threads as they will contain information relevant to that version of the game.

Whilst if you are still using an older version of the game then have a look at the following thread as it collects together the pinned threads from previous versions:

Information for Previous Versions

This thread also contains some posting guidelines to help with the smooth running of the Skinning Forum (as the more time we spend moderating the less time we can spend producing content) in addition you should also make sure you are familiar with the Standard Forum Rules before posting.

 

Posting Guidelines

FAQ's

How To's

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What Can I Post

The Skinning Hideout has two main purposes;

First it is a place for users to get help and support on how to modify or apply content they have created to the game.

Second it is also a place for Skinners to showcase their work whether this be a full skin, a modification of certain game screens or a new graphic style.

However the forum is not a place to request graphics or download links, nor is it a resource to download/index third party graphics and as such any threads requesting or supplying links may be closed without notice.

 

In addition to the guidelines on what you post also consider how you post in this forum.

The goal of the forum is to be a place to help people skin the game and then showcase what they have made with that help. The community grows best when people share their ideas and knowledge and use that to build and improve the community which then hopefully inspires the next generation of skin makers.

To do that successfully the forum has to be a safe and welcoming place, the easiest way to do this is to treat other people how you'd like to be treated.

So think before posting a response to something on the forum, it is fine not to like someone else's work however if you don't have anything constructive to add then just consider ignoring the thread, similarly if you like someone's work then consider using the Upvote button to show your appreciation rather than bumping or cluttering up the thread (especially in the more popular threads).

In addition if you are making a request of a skin maker to modify their skin to your liking, be considerate and patient it takes a lot of work to create a skin (especially when you aren't getting paid to do so) it is also a good idea to ensure you have read through the existing posts in the thread in case your query has already been answered and remember there is no expectation or requirement for skin makers to alter their skin to suit you, if they are unable to assist then instead use the resources on the forum to learn how to edit the skin yourself.

For skin makers whilst we don't expect you to modify your skin at the whim of every user, we do expect a basic level of support especially if you want people to download and use your skin. Please do your best to fix any bugs that pop-up in your skin and it is always a good idea to check your skin after any patches (as they will at some point break something) and make clear what resolution your skin supports as the majority of players don't have a 1080p screen.

Finally if you have an issue with a user or a post then use the Report function instead of arguing with the user, as engaging in an argument will likely see both of you infracted.

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Thread Guidelines for Content Creators

When creating a thread for an item you have made or are making please try to follow the below guidelines as it makes it easier for users to find your content and easier to differentiate between different versions of the game.

 

Thread Titles

Here's an example of what we'd like to see when posting stuff:

[FM21][SKIN/MOD][RELEASED] Name of your skin or graphics pack or whatever

If it's still a work in progress then you'd have

[FM21][SKIN/MOD][WIP] Name of your skin or graphics pack or whatever

Obviously the RELEASED and WIP bits are important but it would be a massive help if the version of FM the content is designed for is included too. When it comes to a new release it'll be far easier to see what's compatible. And if someone sorts the forum by thread title all the released items for one version should be together rather than all over the place.

Use [SKIN] if you are releasing something that is selectable as a skin in game, if its not then use [MOD].

 

WIP to Release/Multiple Versions

If you want to showcase an item you are working on but aren't quite ready to release yet but want feedback on it then you are free to create a Work In Progress Thread.

However it is generally a good idea to only open a WIP thread when you are nearly done or if you are genuinely looking for feedback, suggestions or ideas rather than creating a thread when you only have a mock up or concept art.

When creating your Work in Progress Thread please use the [WIP] designation as noted above.

Once you are ready to release your work please create a separate Release Thread, make a final post in your WIP Thread linking to your Released Thread and PM one of the mods so we can close your WIP thread.

 

Released Opening Post Guidelines

When you create a released thread please include the following information where possible:

Images - Provide a variety to showcase your item, the current forum software should allow you to upload several images to your post so please use the forum function instead of uploading images to third parties where possible, if the images are large (greater than 1024x768) consider posting thumbnails, (double clicking on the image will give you image editing options).

Description - A quick description of what your item does. Also include any special instructions your item might have.

Download link - As per other guidelines please provide either a direct download link or a link to the download page that includes a free download option. As long as that information is provided you can also provide a link to an active thread on other forum where your item is worked on or to your FM website, provided it isn't abused (i.e. don't provide a link to your site and nothing else).

Please note that paid only downloads, PM only links or links that require you to sign up to download are not allowed and will be removed, also if using a third party file hosting website please use a family friendly host and one that doesn't disguise it's free download link. If end-users have an issue with a download link then please report the post so it can be brought to our attention.

Donations - For the moment we will allow you to request optional donations on the forum, however these need to be 100% optional and no content is to be locked (or delayed) behind a donation. In addition please restrict donation requests to the opening post of your thread and ensure you are only asking for donations on content you have made yourself. Though we reserve the right to remove donation links if we feel you are abusing our trust.

Also note that skins and mods are provided as is, and links to third party sites are out of our control, whilst we will do our best to check the links, you are advised as always to run a virus scan on any file downloaded from the internet. They are nothing to do with Sports Interactive or SEGA and won't be supported by them.

In addition for Content Creators when releasing work to the public please ensure you have obtained all necessary permissions and licenses to distribute the work contained within your Skin or Mod.

Just because something was posted on the internet doesn't mean it is free to use, so if you have included things such as graphics, icons, backgrounds or fonts with your skin please ensure you have checked the licensing requirements for those items.

For game files you are generally free to include these with your item, outside of using the SI or Sega branding or claiming your item is in anyway endorsed or supported by SI or Sega, unless told otherwise by Sports Interactive or Sega.

Also whilst it is fine to take inspiration from other skins (as there is only so much we can change) there is a difference between taking inspiration and stealing - liking a feature from another skin and implementing it yourself is perfectly fine, as is looking at the code to see how something was done and using that as the basis for your work. What isn't acceptable is lifting graphics or codes from other skins if you plan on releasing your work.

If you are planning on releasing your work and have used content from other skins then you need to ensure you have obtained permission to use that content before releasing your skin, outside of situations where the skinner has some standard terms.

 

Tagging Threads

Now we have the tagging system please also tag your threads once your content has been released and use the Item Prefix option this makes released content stand out and it is easier to search for stuff via tags. For WIP threads please don't tag those threads only do it for release threads.

Also please use fm2021 skin for skins and fm2021 mod for mods.

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Thread Guidelines for when you have Problems or Questions

If you have a question or need some help then you are free to open up a new thread, however to enable us to better help you it would be helpful if you could follow the below guidelines.

Before Posting

- If your issue is with third party graphics then the best place to obtain help is from the site where you downloaded the content.

- If your issue is with a skin that has a thread here then please post your issue in that thread rather than create a new thread as the skin maker is more likely to see your post if it is in their thread.

- Also for most issues please first look through the pinned threads or do a quick search of the forum as in most cases your query may have already been answered.

 

When Posting

If you haven't found the answer to your issue then when posting;

- When creating a new thread please give your thread a descriptive title and refer to which version of FM you are using.

- Also supply as much information as possible - what you are wanting to do in detail, what you have already tried and in most cases it is also very helpful to provide some screenshots as it makes it a lot easier to narrow down what part of the game you are referring to or what your trouble is.

The more information you provide the better the chance someone will be able to help you, and please don't bump your threads especially not within 24 hours as the forum isn't that busy and it can take time for someone to find the answer to your query.

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Useful Posting Resources

Some useful links that might help you when posting on these forums:

 

How To Take A Screenshot

There are several ways to take a screenshot for Football Manager.

You can use the in-game shortcut which is Alt+S by default to take a Screenshot and this will save your screenshot in the Screenshots folder inside your User Data Location. Though if using the game to take screenshots please open them in an imaging program and re-save them as jpgs before uploading them as bmp/png file sizes can be rather large especially if you are supplying several screenshots.

You can also use Steam to take a Screenshot by pressing F12 by default. To find where you screenshot is saved on your Computer, from the games library page in Steam in the Screenshots section select the Manage my screenshot link (or right click on the image) and on the popup window select the Show on Disk option.

Windows 10 users can also use the Gamebar to take screenshots, and there are various other third party programs that can do so also.

 

Picture Hosting - Where possible include screenshots of your new skin or show a problem you're having.

With the forum update the easiest way to upload a picture to your post is to use the attachment option found at the bottom of the posting box, drag the image(s) you want to upload where it says and when the images have uploaded click on the plus sign to add them into your post.

You can also take and host screenshots directly with Steam. To take a screenshot with Steam press F12 by default, then from the Game Library Game for Football Manager right click on your image and click Manage Screenshots, then select Upload in the popup, once uploaded select View Online and on the Steam page for the screenshot you can change the options and click the share option to get a link to it.

 

File Hosting - You may wish to upload an edited file, a skin or something else for others to share (your own work of course).

With the forum update the easiest way to upload your file is to use the attachment option found at the bottom of the posting box. Drag the file(s) you want to upload where it says and when the files have uploaded click on the plus sign to add them into your post.

If the files are bigger than the allowed size then if you have a Google or Microsoft (outlook/live/hotmail) account you can use the free file hosting services they offer to upload your screenshots or files.

You can also upload various items directly to the Steam Workshop. Steam Workshop instructions can vary depending on which version of the game you are using, a current guide to the Workshop should generally be found within the other pinned threads.

There are also plenty of other picture and file hosting websites around for you to pick from, if you use another one please try and pick one that doesn't hide the download links nor contain non-family friendly ads.

When providing a link to a file please ensure at least one of the links you provide is to a free download and one that doesn't require registration and when linking please link directly to the file or to the download page, do not just provide a link to your websites front page or forum. Any links not following these guidelines will be removed.

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What graphics can I change in Football Manager?

You can change most things graphically in Football Manager. Including but not limited to:

  • Skins - You can change the entire interface of the game. A 'skin' changes the graphics and even the layout of things like the buttons, menus, panels and text. With time and skill you can make huge changes to how the game looks making it feel totally different.
  • Logos/Badges - You can add your own team and competition badges to the game.
  • Faces - You can assign pictures to players.
  • Kits - You can add kit pictures to the game to show in the team information screen and even change the kits shown in the 3D matches.
  • Balls - You can change the look of the ball in the 2D and 3D match engines.
  • Nets - You can add custom goal nets to the 2D match engine.
  • Popups/Scoreboards - You can change the look of pop-ups during a match (showing a yellow card etc).

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg, most if not all graphics in the game can be modified take a look at the default files and see what else you can change.

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I Use The Steam/Epic/Gamepass/Stadia/Boxed/Touch Version

In the majority of cases it doesn't matter how you obtained or which store you use for the PC version of Football Manager as the instructions will generally be the same, and instructions will generally point out any differences.

Below are a couple of differences between the various versions and stores;

Note that apart from a slightly different User Data Location there is no difference in installing graphics/skins between the different versions/stores.

User Data Location.

For the Touch and Gamepass versions of Football Manager this location is found within a slightly different folder within your Sports Interactive Folder.

Pre-Game Editor

Previous versions of Football Manager released on Gamepass (Microsoft Store) and Epic Store didn't include access to the Pre-Game Editor.

FM21 details will be available after release.

Resource Archiver Tool

Previous versions of Football Manager released on Gamepass (Microsoft Store) and Epic Store didn't include access to the Resource Archiver Tool.

FM21 details will be available after release.

Stadia

Due to the streaming nature of Stadia it is not possible to modify the game files or install third party content on this version of the game.

Mobile/Console Versions

The Mobile/Touch versions of the game designed for phones/tablets/consoles are not generally compatible with content from the PC versions of the game, and any questions regarding the skinning or custom graphics on those versions are better directed towards the General Discussion Forums for those games.

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Do I need to start a new game when I add graphics or skins?

No. Unlike editing the database you don't need to start a new game for a skin or graphics to work show. All you need to do is install them to the right place and then restart Football Manager.

However if your download came with an edt file (such as a colour change file for kits) then you might need to start a new game to get the full benefit of your download (i.e. the kit graphics will show regardless but in an existing save game the game will still think your kit colours are the old colours, possibly causing kit clash problems).

Also some items might require you to exit and restart FM to load rather than just requiring you to reload the skin cache.

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What Sizes Do I Make My Custom Graphics?

All sizes are in pixels and correspond to the sizes for the default skin.

Background Logos: 300x100

Huge Logos: 180x180

Normal Logos: 180x180

Small Logos: 25x18

Large Flags: 180x110

Small Flags: 25x11

Huge and Normal logos (and the Large Flags) don't need to be exactly 180x180, just the largest dimension (i.e. 180x150 or 50x180) Background and Small logos do need to be exact for them to be aligned correctly in skins.

@2x Logos - These are used when you enable one of the zoom options from the preferences menu and are used for the small logs and small flags and these have double the dimensions of the normal small logos/flags so should be 50x36 for Small Logos and 50x22 for Small Flags.

2D Kits Front: 130x130 (Club Info Screen)

2D Kits Back: 80x80 (Tactics Screen)

Player Faces Normal: 180x180

Player Faces Small: 25x18

Ad Boards: 1024x128

Backgrounds: At least 1024x768 but best made for the resolution you use or above.

Similar to logos 2D kits and Normal Faces don't need to be exact sizes as the game will resize them, and if possible it might be better to make them (and Normal Logos) with dimensions twice the default so they look better with custom screens that have increased the size of the graphics.

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Where Is My User Data Location?

There is no actual folder called User Data when we refer to your User Data Location we mean the folder where items such as save games and tactics are saved to in-game and where you install custom content such as skins to.

The location of your User Data folder varies depending upon which Operating System you are using and which version of the game you have.

For the most part the default location is within the Sports Interactive folder that is located within your Documents folder, and inside the Sports Interactive folder is a Football Manager folder for each version of the game you have run on that computer.

For a more detailed guide on how to locate and move your User Data Location then please refer to this thread:

 

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How Do I Add My Downloaded Graphics & Skins To The Game?

If you have downloaded graphics or skins made by other people then first you should check the download page or forum thread for the item you downloaded for any install instructions, if the item you downloaded didn't include any specific install instructions then follow the steps outlined in the below guide:

 

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How Do I Make My Own Skins Or Graphics And Add Them To The Game?

To make things easier for people wishing to add things they have made themselves, we are hoping to create plenty of guides. This will have information to get people started in the world of skinning and graphics as well as information on installation etc. The FM graphics and skinning community is all about getting involved.

For the most up-to-date information check the other pinned threads as they will contain information specific to the most recent version of Football Manager.

Once you have created your items to get them to display in game follow the steps outlined in the below guide:

 

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How To Verify Your Game Files

If your Football Manager install has become corrupted or you accidentally overwrote some of the default game files, Steam & Epic have a built in option to verify your game files and re-download any corrupt files which should save you having to uninstall and then reinstall the game.

To access this feature, first ensure Football Manager is not running then open up your Steam Client Window and browse to the Library view.

Steam

  • Browse to the Main Library view.
  • On the left side Games List select the version of Football Manager you having trouble with.
  • Right Click on the Football Manager title in question and select Properties.
  • Browse to the Local Files tab.
  • Select the 'Verify Integrity of Game Cache...' option.
  • Steam should now check your files.
  • Once it has finished it will then re-download any corrupted or missing game files it finds.

Epic

  • Click on the Library Option.
  • Click the three dots next to Football Manager.
  • Click Verify.

Gamepass/Microsoft Store

  • This store lacks a verify option so you may be forced to uninstall and reinstall the game to fix any issues with the default game files.
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How To Delete Your Skin Cache Files

If something has gone wrong when adding or modifying game content then you may need to manually delete your cache files.

The instructions on how to do this can vary depending on the version of the game you are using and your OS, so for best results it is better to refer to the Official Sega Troubleshooting Knowledge Base for Football Manager:

https://support.sega.com/hc/en-gb/categories/200345231-Football-Manager

To use this Knowledge Base:

  • Select the Version of Football Manager you are using
  • For Older Versions next select your OS then the How To Option.
  • For FM21 select the How To Option.
  • Then Locate the Option for Deleting Preferences/Cache Folder.

Note in most cases you should only need to delete the Cache folder, and that the Preferences folder generally stores your custom views, so before deleting the Preferences folder it's a good idea to use the in-game option to export any custom views you want keeping.

Edited by michaeltmurrayuk
updated support link
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How to Download the Resource Archiver Tool

The Resource Archiver Tool is a separate download in Steam. The Resource Tool is needed to extract the default game files which you generally need access to to modify the game.

It can be found in the Tools section within Steam once the game has been fully released. To get to it do the following;

Steam

  • Open the Main Library View
  • A Search box should be on the Top Left.
  • In this type Football Manager
  • Expand the Tools category
  • Listed should be a Resource Archiver (and Editor) for each version of Football Manager you own on Steam.
  • Generally you want to select the one for the version of the game you are using.
  • Then just click the Install/Launch button as you would with the main game to run it.

Epic

  • Instructions to follow

Gamepass

  • Instructions to follow

 

The initial run may require to install direct X files.

Also some of the Resource Tools can be used across different versions of Football Manager, however if you preferred tool isn't working then you may need to use the tool released for that version of Football Manager.

For instructions on how to use the Resource Tool please refer to the other pinned threads as instructions may differ depending on the version of Football Manager you are using.

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