If you’re new to football, new to Football Manager™, or just fancy a little bit of a refresher on some core game principles and information, this section should provide some assistance on how best to go about your managerial career. It also contains information about some of the more complicated leagues available to manage in as well as a glossary of terms that you’re likely to encounter as you play.
Welcome to Football Manager™ 2023! We’ve created a beginner’s guide to walk newcomers through getting to grips with the various aspects of management, and to hopefully answer any questions that might come up along the way.
Your first step is to create your managerial profile and begin a new Career. Follow the steps in the Quick Start guide to get stuck right in.
Football Manager™ is, as the name suggests, a football management simulation in which time advances upon clicking the ‘Continue’ button found in the top right corner of the screen. Although time exists as a fundamental concept, whenever the game returns from processing time forward, the ‘clock’ effectively stops for you to go about your business in as much (or as little) depth as required to action the items of the day. ‘Continue’ moves through your calendar incrementally; days become weeks, weeks become months, months become years, and so on.
Football Manager™ 2023 features a host of specifically tailored in-game tutorials designed to help you better understand some of your more common day-to-day managerial duties. Your Assistant Manager (or an appropriate member of the club hierarchy if an Assistant isn’t in place) will come to you at various junctures in your first few days and weeks on the job to guide you through the mechanics of things like scouting and making transfer offers, getting to know your players, playing your first match, navigating around the game, and more. They are fully immersive and will hopefully improve your level of comfort with everything you need in order to be a success and more importantly, enjoy playing the game.
Please note that these are only sent to you if you have selected ‘No’ from the ‘Experienced’ section during the Create a Manager process. If you selected ‘Yes’, you can find them by clicking on the ‘?’ icon in the title bar.
Your Inbox, Your Home
Your ‘Inbox’ is the central point around which your experience with the game is built. Communication crucial to the management of your chosen team is delivered to you in a prompt and timely fashion – the game brings you back from processing whenever your input is required – and the majority of your key decisions and actions are taken in response to content arriving here.
Look at things that interest you
When you move the mouse cursor around the screen, it highlights people, clubs, and other entities you can click on and interact with. Take some time to do this to familiarise yourself with the layout of various screens and with the scope of what you are able to do, and what the consequences – both positive and negative – are.
The Side Bar on the left of the screen is the primary navigational tool providing you with quick access to all key areas of your team. Each screen also has a horizontal bar containing tab menus sitting below the ‘menu bar’ at the top of the screen, which features a contextual menu as well as a free text search box for swift navigation around your game world. Please refer to the ‘User Interface’ section of the manual for a more detailed breakdown.
After reading through the first few items in your Inbox, it’s a good idea to come up with a tactic and pick your first team. This is where the Tactics Tutorial should be of tremendous assistance: it guides you through picking a playing style, formation, and first team selection.
Taking the time to explore each section of the Side Bar and the many sub-options on each screen will help you become acquainted with Football Manager™. Additionally, there is more integrated assistance in the form of delegation/automation to and from your capable backroom staff team.
Help is close at hand
The ‘Responsibilities’ tab on the ‘Staff’ section of the Side Bar allows you to delegate any number of tasks to your responsible and reliable backroom team. It is advisable to do this in the short-term while getting to grips with the scale of your managerial task before taking back some of the responsibilities when you feel more attuned to handling them, though it’s not mandatory to do so, and your mileage may vary.
The more you explore and the more you play, the more comfortable you’ll become with some of the more complicated areas of management, and hopefully your enjoyment will continue to increase!
Keep your players happy
A happy team is a winning team, and a winning team is a happy team. Your chances of success hinge more than anything on ensuring that your players remain happy. Pay close attention to each individual’s (and therefore the squad’s overall) morale and personality and be aware of their short- and long-term happiness, details of which can be found on their ‘Information’ screens. They often come to you directly with their concerns, and how successfully you deal with them goes a long way to determining whether you succeed in your job. The frequency of this is partly governed by the number Level of Discipline points you assign to your managerial profile, as is described on that screen.
The ‘Players’ section of this guide also walks you through everything you need to know about managing them and finding the right approach for you.
Be patiently ambitious! There is a learning curve involved here as there is in any game, but the greatest enjoyment can be teased out by following this instruction manual as a companion piece to finding your way through the game on your steam.