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Dr. Hook

Frequently Asked Questions

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Note: This is very much a work in progress at the moment. As this is by the community and for the community, any suggestions are welcome. Please post them below. If they are added to the FAQ, we will remove the post in order to keep the thread clean and accessible.

Here you will find a distillation of FM knowledge from the forums as well information passed along by the game developers concerning issues that are frequently brought up or have caused confusion in the past. Please see if your question is here before starting a new thread or asking in the "stupid questions" thread.



1. What Does Retain Possession Do?

Retain Possession reduces tempo, shortens passing length for all players and reduces risky passes (formerly known as through balls).

2. What does Shorter Passing do?

Shorter Passing reduces passing length for all players and slightly lowers tempo.

3. What does Direct Passing do?

It increases passing length for all players and slightly increases tempo.

4. What does Look for Overlap do?

Look for Overlap instructs your wide players in the ML/R or AML/R positions to hold the ball up and wait for an overlapping fullback or wingback. Note that this can cause a little pace to be taken out of an attack which you may or may not want. Attacking fullbacks and wingbacks, especially in higher mentalities, will tend to overlap more advanced players anyway without the need for this shout.

5. What does Exploit the Flanks / Middle do?

Can help to increase forward runs made by players positioned in the respective areas of the pitch and focus passing through those areas. May also encourage crosses (Exploit the Flanks) or through balls (Exploit the Middle).

6. How does Use the Offside Trap work?

Your defenders will attempt to anticipate a pass from an opponent by stepping up at the right time to catch an attacker offside. This will usually be for your central defenders. Both central defenders should have the same duty set, and they should ideally have good mental attributes to help them position themselves correctly, anticipate the pass and decide when to play offside.

7. Work Ball Into Box?

Work Ball Into Box means players become a little less likely to take risky shots, preferring to make better opportunities.  And reduces crossing.


1. Moves Into Channels (Also a PPM).

An attacking player will look to move vertically up between defenders, then drag them apart with his movement by going sideways. He will tend to move from the middle to a wider position, though not as far out as the flanks.


1. Should I use OIs?

Entirely up to you. Some people love them, others hate them. Just remember that OIs can overwrite your tactical settings and cause players to deviate from your planned system, so use with care.


1. What is Mentality?

Mentality is nothing more than risk. It is how much risk you are willing to take in both attack and defence. The Defensive mentality is very low risk, whilst the Attacking mentality is very high risk. Each mentality change in between these are merely just a step change in the amount of defined risk to take. So, Control mentality is quite high risk, Counter is quite low risk and Standard is slap bang in the middle.

Contain and Overload still follow this pattern, they are just at the extreme opposite ends.

2. What do you mean by "Risk"?

Defensively, risk relates to how willing players are to make tackles, press the opposition, sit deep and make long clearances from dangerous situations. The lower the risk from the chosen mentality, the more likely players are to stand off the opposition, sitting deep and holding their shape. Defenders will also clear the ball long to relieve pressure. In more risky mentalities, the opposite is true - your defensive line will be set higher, players will close down more aggressively and look to play the ball out from the back.

When in possession, risk dictates how patient your build up play will be, how narrow your team will play and the rate at which they go about their business. Less risky mentalities will encourage your more advanced players to pass the ball at a slower tempo, making shorter passes to each other and playing without any great width. Overall this should result in fewer goal scoring opportunities, but of better quality. More risky mentalities are the opposite - players will move the ball around with greater urgency and length, playing wider to stretch the opposition. The number of shots may be greater, but can generally be of lesser quality.


1. What Exactly Does Team Shape Do?

Team shape sets the mentality difference between players to either closer together (Fluid) or further apart (Structured). This is applied after the mentality differences for each role/duty, so your attacking players are still more attacking than defenders etc. Flexible shape retains the mentality splits exactly as dictated by your roles and duties. With lesser mentality splits in a fluid system, this encourages more of a "total football" style approach. The second major effect of shape is on creative freedom. The more fluid the shape, the more creative freedom. As with mentality, Flexible is a neutral setting.

2. What is Creative Freedom?

Creative Freedom affects how willing and by how much a player will deviate from their assigned task. With more Creative Freedom, a player can rely more on his own mental attributes (eg. decision making) to decide when to attempt something "outside of the box" which would more usually be dictated by your own tactical settings. You may see a player attempt more risky passes; dribble more; off the ball runs. This can lead to a loss of structure in your team but of course can lead to greater rewards.


1. What does the Formation in the Tactics Creator relate to?

This is your defensive formation. From there, they will close down / mark as per their instructions and attributes.

2. What impact does using the DM position have?

If you place a player in one of the DM positions, your defensive line will naturally drop a little deeper.

3. What about players tracking back?

Mentality, Team Shape, a players' role/duty/attributes and their position in your formation will all have an impact on how well they track back for defensive work. Don't expect too much tracking back from a player with low work rate in the AML position as a Raumdeuter with an Attacking mentality for example.

4. But my favourite team uses x-y-z formation?

The formation you see on TV is different to how FM uses formations. On TV, the more attacking the team is, the more attacking their formation is usually described.

5. Won't playing players out of position hurt their performance?

Not really. The only impact of putting a player into a position that is not "Natural" to them is a slight reduction in their decision making.

6. I want to use X role but its not available in Y position

Typically you can recreate that role through player instructions. For example, you can "create" an Inside Forward in the ML or MR position by using the Wide Midfielder role and adjusting PIs. A change of starting position will make them transition to attack differently but the actions they try to take (dribbling, risky passes, cutting inside etc) are dictated by the instructions the role has.


1. The game says a player is not suitable for a role. Should I still use him in that role?

Yes! As long as the player has the skills you want for the role, then go ahead and play him there. Some roles, such as the Complete Forward, have a minimum current ability requirement, while others have a minimum ability requirement in the key attributes for the role. Whether a player is suitable is up to you- if you are playing lower league football, then most of your players will not be seen as suitable for most roles, but will do just fine there. Each role has key attributes highlighted, as well as a separate color for desirable (but not essential) attributes.



1. I have players complaining they aren't getting enough attention from coaches.

Check the Training > Coaches screen. Make adjustments so that no coaches have a heavy workload.

2. Why are my players moaning about their training workload?

The ones moaning may have low professionalism.  Unprofessional players may not train as well or as hard and can complain.  However professional players can also complain and so their complaints may be valid.  Don't ignore unhappy players as their morale can have an impact on their progression.

3. How do I adjust player training workload? I can't find the option.

This changed for FM16. Workload is now simply an addition of all training a player is asked to undertake. You can still change the overall Team General Training intensity.

4. What do each of the General Training categories cover?

Fitness - all physical attributes + Work Rate.

Tactical - Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Concentration, Teamwork.

Ball Control - Dribbling, First Touch, Heading, Technique, Flair.

Defending - Marking, Tackling, Positioning.

Attacking - Crossing, Finishing, Long Shots, Passing, Off the Ball, Vision.

Balanced - all of the above.

5. Does Determination Affect Training?

Yes.  It's one of many factors that influences a players' progression and directly impacts how well a player may train.

6. Which Other Attributes Affect Training?

Professionalism and Ambition (both hidden attributes) are primary drivers of good training performance. Players with low values in either or both may struggle to get the most out of training.

7. What makes the best Coaches?

Ideally all of your coaches will have high attributes in Determination, Motivation and Discipline. They should also have high attributes in relevant coaching categories:

- Your Attacking coach should score well in Attacking + Tactical

- Your Defensive coach should score well in Defending + Tactical

- Your Ball Control coach needs Mentality and Technique

- Your Shooting coach needs Attacking and Technique

- Your Tactical coach needs good Tactical Coaching (not Tactical Knowledge)

- Your Fitness coach requires Fitness

- Your Handling Goalkeeping coach requires Goalkeeping + Technical; for Shot Stopping it's Goalkeeping + Tactical

For top clubs, you should be aiming for 15+ in everything mentioned above and 20 in Fitness and Goalkeeping for those coaches.  An even spread of attributes is preferable to very high in one area but low in another.

Note - Youth coaches should also have a good rating for Working with Youngsters.

8. Can staff personalities affect Newgen players?

Yes, especially your Head of Youth Development. Their personality can have a direct impact on the personality of your Newgen youth players you receive on Youth Intake Day. Try to make sure that at last your HOYD has a personality with high levels of Professionalism (eg., Professional or Resolute). Other coaches may also have an influence, but not to the extent of your HOYD.


Match Prep provides a small boost for the next match only to the chosen option.  Only the last one prepared has an impact, so you can't set all 6 over the course of a week and hope they all have an impact.

Attacking set pieces - small improvement to the chance of scoring (so an ME modifier)

Defending set pieces - small improvement to the chance of preventing a goal

Attacking movement - small improvement to Decisions and Off the Ball (attribute modifier)

Def. positioning - small improvement to Decisions and Positioning

Teamwork - small improvement to Teamwork and Team Blend (attribute and ME modifier)

Match prep - improves tactical familiarity 

*note - "Team Blend" is a Match Engine modifier.  Many things contribute to this, such as tactical familiarity and team cohesion.  So if we ignore such things, Team Blend goes down which has a negative impact on the our team during matches.  Improve Team Blend and improve how our team plays.


1. What's the difference between the 2 tutoring options?


The top one will attempt to alter a players' Personality and Media Handling skills (by changing hidden attributes); Determination; and can transfer a PPM.

The bottom one does the same except does not transfer a PPM.

2. Tutoring Requirements

All the following must be met to begin Tutoring:

Tutor must be at least 24 years old (unless he’s the club captain, in which case he can be under 24).

Tutee must be younger than 24 and younger than the Tutor.

Each player can only tutor, or be tutored by, one player at a time.

Neither Tutor nor Tutee can be badly injured when tutoring commences.

Tutor or Tutee cannot be training a Player Trait.

Tutees cannot be an established member of the first team squad (played 75 or more senior matches).

Tutor and tutee must share similar positions. Similar means the same or in some situations adjacent.

Tutor must have a higher World Reputation than the Tutee.

Once Tutoring has finished, either running its natural course or through being cancelled, there is a "cooling-off period" in which the tutor cannot undertake any further tutoring. This lasts up to 7 months.

Tutor must be of at least "Backup" squad status.

Tutee must be of "Rotation" or below and have a lower status than the Tutor.

They must both have more than 6 months left on their contract/s.

Tutoring can be ended by serious injury.


1. Is Adaptability an important attribute for Scouts?

Neil Brock said:
Adaptability is used when the scout is determining which nation to choose. When the scout is left roaming it's also used to determine when they should quit a nation as it hasn't got any suitable players.

2. I'm managing a top team, I have loads of scouts with an extensive global knowledge, but can't find any 4/5 star newgens?

Neil Brock said:
If your team is very good, you may struggle to find 4.5/5 star potential players. Bear in mind all star ratings are relative to the strength of your squad, the highest level competition you're competing in (ie Champs League, Europa League) and the strength of your domestic league.

In other words, if you've got a 180-190CA player in your squad, it would be impossible to find a 'better' potential player than that one. You may find 3-4 star potential players are actually the best Newgens available.

Also remember the younger the player, the less accurate your scout will be. It's only as they age does their CA/PA ability become more accurate for even a top level scout.


1. Acronyms and Abbreviations


2. How do I add screenshots to the forum?

You use the link the image hosting site gives you (you can't upload to SI it needs to be an image hosting site like imageshack.us or http://imgur.com/) and then you add it here using the 'image' option on the options when you post. So you click the 'image' icon, choose from URL and add the link you got from the image hosting site into the empty box. Also untick the box that says 'Retrieve remote file and reference locally

3. I’ve downloaded a Tactic but don’t know what folder they go in?

C:\Users\Name\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 20xx\tactics

Then go to the tactic’s screen in game and you can access any tactics you’ve added via that screen.

4. I’ve downloaded a Tactic but it doesn't work or its a FMF file not a TAC one, how can I load it in game?

You keep it as a FMF file and import it. So put it in the tactics folder, then in game do this tactics >manage tactics>import>select the tactic then it'll appear at the top where you can select tactics to use.

If you seek official help then please be sure to check out the online manual first. This can be found by following the "Online Manual" tab at the top of the forum.

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I want to be 100% sure I am interpreting the Move into channels explanation correctly. Can we get the Move into channels explanation clarified to something more like "move into the vertical space between a defender and a midfielder, 'then drag them apart with his movement by going sideways'". That would help me out.

Edited by WizbaII

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11 hours ago, WizbaII said:

I want to be 100% sure I am interpreting the Move into channels explanation correctly. Can we get the Move into channels explanation clarified to something more like "move into the vertical space between a defender and a midfielder, 'then drag them apart with his movement by going sideways'". That would help me out.

How's this?


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It does help, yes. Thank you. A lot of people are saying it makes the player move into vertical spaces, so I'm interpreting that as between a central defender and a midfielder (for example). After moving into that space, the player then looks to LEAVE that space by going either left or right (moving horizontally) in order to be free for a pass. And as a side bonus, this movement may attract defenders to the player that is moving into channels. Now I need to watch some FM and learn when the game is showing me a player moving into channels.

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I'd suggest changing the wording of WBIB.  Rather than saying it will reduce long shots and crosses and look for other opportunity's. I prefer to say it reduces the rating a player will give that option, but it could still be the best option or chosen by the player depending on what other options he see's.

Edited by summatsupeer

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