FAQ's & Useful Resources - READ THIS FIRST!!!

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Welcome to the Graphics and Skinning hideout, the place to come for all your FM customisation help and advice. This thread is full of the most commonly asked questions here in the hideout. It's a good place to start for those with absolutely no idea what they're doing but still well worth a read even if you've customised your game with graphics before.

Introduction topics


Fixes and Resources

Problem Solving

To suggest something to be added please use the Skinning suggestions and improvements thread

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The Rules

I'd like to think that this place largely governs itself but there are some rules and guidelines people need to abide by to help this place run smoothly.

What you can do:

Ask for advice and help from fellow members, that's what we're here for.

Post your own advice or guides for other members.

General FM graphics/skinning discussion.

Submit and showcase your own work. If you produce a skin, a mod or a template (a new kit style for example) then show it off.

What you can't do:

Requests. Please do not request graphical items or download links.

Discuss 'fake' teams or how to disable them.

Abuse, belittle or make fun of other community members (See Also '
it's all about community

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It's All About Community

The FM skinning and graphics community is only as good as the members that contribute to it. What we like to see is users looking out for other users and a helpful, friendly attitude:

  • If someone is in need of help and you know the answer then take a few minutes to give them a hand.
  • Don't just get what you want and run. Become an active poster and spread what you've learnt.
  • Try and remain calm and sensible. It's easy to become frustrated when similar questions come up again and again.
  • Respect other people's work. Don't steal it, don't sell it and don't pass it off as your own. Always ask first.

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Useful Posting Resources

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

BB Code List - A reference for the codes to use for posting in these forums. Gives information on formatting and inserting images or links. Vital for explaining problems or giving solutions.

Picture hosting - You may wish to include screenshots of your new skin or show a problem you're having. Here are a few free image hosts:

You can also take and host screenshots directly with Steam, instructions on how to do that are [iNSERT LINK]

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

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.

(Note: These are only examples, there are other file and image hosts out there. You aren't limited to these)

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. A comprehensive (ish) list:

  • 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

  • Balls - You can change the look of the ball in the 2D match engine.

  • Nets - You can add custom goal nets to the 2D match engine.

  • Players - You can even skin the 2D players that appear on the pitch in the match engine.

  • Popups - 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. Take a look at the default files and see what else you can change.

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I play on a Mac or Linux - can I still customise?

Yes. Files are compatible with all platforms (PC, Mac, Linux). The only difference is the location you put things. If a user creates a skin on a Mac for the Mac version of Football Manager, then it will work on a PC and vice versa.

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Where can I download graphics and skins?

On these forums we allow users to show off the skins they produce. Try having a look through the forum for threads devoted to skins. Obviously the longer into a version we go, the more skins get produced so the more choice you have.

One of the other stickied threads should contain a list of the showcased skins for the current version of the game.

For other types of graphics there are several Football Manager Fansites dotted around the internet. Try searching Google for them or seeing if they are listed in the fansites sub-forum: Football Manager Fansites or one of the Affiliates named in the game or on the footballmanager website.

And remember, we don't allow requests for downloads of badges, kits, backgrounds or any content like that.

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How do I add my downloaded graphics and 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:

Guide: How to Install Skins and Graphics

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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 stickied 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:

Guide: How to Install Skins and Graphics

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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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Where is my User Data Folder or Saving Location.

There is no actual folder called 'User Data' when we refer to your User Data folder we mean the folder that you add custom content to and where your save games are located. The alternative name for this in the last few versions was Saving Location, however both locations are the same thing.

The location of your User Data folder varies depending upon which Operating System you are using, by default these are:

Winows Vista/7/8/10: C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 20XX\

Windows 2000/XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 20XX\

Windows 98/ME: C:\My Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 20XX\

Mac OS X: /Users/<username>/Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2XX/

Linux: /home/documents/Sports Interactive/FM20XX/

Where <username> corresponds to the name of the Windows/Mac account you are logged into on your computer, and 20XX corresponds to the game version i.e. Football Manager 2016.

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I've tried to add a new skin and now the game won't load.

If you have installed a skin incorrectly first make sure you delete that skin.

The first thing to try to fix the game is to delete your cache files:

How to delete your Cache files

For Football Manager 2014 onwards:

Windows XP:

- Click "Start" then click "Run"

- Type the following into the run box and press "Enter": %appdata%

- Go into the "Sports Interactive" Folder.

- Go to the "Football Manager 2014" Folder.

- Delete the "Cache" and "Preferences" Folders found inside here.

Windows Vista and Windows 7:

- Click "Start"

- Within the "Search Programs and Files" box, paste the following then press "Enter": %localappdata%/sports interactive/football manager 2014

- Delete "Cache" and "Preferences" Folders

Windows 8

- Click "Desktop."

- Launch a file explorer window (a folder for example or just press the windows key + the letter "E" at the same time)

- In the address bar at the top copy and paste the following then press "Enter": %localappdata%/sports interactive/football manager 2014

- Delete the "Cache" and "Preferences" Folders


*Please note that on Mac OS X Lion the Macintosh HD is hidden: Open a Finder window then at the top click on 'Go' then 'Go to folder' which should be second from bottom. Hold down your 'Alt' key whilst 'Go' is selected and 'Library' will appear and you can now follow the steps below.

Remove the Cache by following the instructions below:

- Go to Finder

- Go to Macintosh HD

- Go to Users

- Go to your home (Shape of a house) folder

- Go to Library

- Go to Application Support

- Go to Sports Interactive

- Go to Football Manager 2014,

- Delete the Cache folder


- Go to home

- Go to <user>

- Go to .local

- Go to share

- Go to Sports Interactive

From within here, delete the cache & preferences folders.

For Earlier Versions FM2013 and before:

(First you may need to enable hidden files/folders, in Windows this is done through Control Panel -> Folder Options -> View -> Advanced Settings, then select 'Show hidden files and folders' you may also need to untick 'hide protected Operating System files')

Windows XP:

1. Open “My Computer”

2. Navigate to : “Documents and Settings\<Username>\Application Data\

3. Go into the “Sports Interactive” Folder.

4. Go Into the “Football Manager 2012” Folder.

5. Delete the "Cache" folder inside.

Wndows Vista/7:

1. Click “Start”

2. Click your username on the start Menu

3. Click on “AppData” and then “Roaming”

4. Go into the “Sports Interactive” Folder

5. Go into the “Football Manager 2012” Folder.

6. Delete the "Cache" Folder inside.


1. Open Finder.

2. Select <User>

3. Navigate to Library\Caches\Sports Interactive

4. Delete the the "Sports Interactive” Folder.

5. In the Library folder find the folder called "Preferences"

6. Delete the "Sports Interactive" Folder.

If that doesn't help you may need to reset your preferences:

Reset Preferences

To reset your preferences for FM2012 follow these instructions:

  • With Steam Open go to your Library and right click on Football Manager 2012 and select properties.
  • In the General Tab select the option that says 'Set Launch Options...'
  • In the box that appears type this in ' --reset_preferences' (without the ').
  • Click OK and close the Properties box.
  • Now when you run FM2012 it will reset the preferences back to default.

You'll want to remove the command after you run the game, as otherwise it will continue to reset your preferences every time you launch.

If you are still using FM2011 and have a shortcut on your desktop you can do the following:

  • Right-click on the FM shortcut.
  • Choose "Properties" from the pop-up menu.
  • In the "Target" field, add the --reset_preferences command line option after "fm.exe", so it should look like this:
    "C:\Program Files\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2011\fm.exe" --reset_preferences
  • Press OK and then try to run the game as normal, using the shortcut.

You'll want to remove the command after you run the game, as otherwise it will continue to reset your preferences every time you launch.

If you don't have a shortcut you can make one and then perform the instructions on the shortcut you've made.

  • If you purchased and installed the game through Steam you should be able to find the fm.exe in the following directory:
    C:/Program Files/Steam/SteamApps/Common/Football Manager 2011/
  • If you purchased and installed the game from a boxed DVD copy you should be able to find the fm.exe in the following directory:
    C:/Program Files/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2011/

Another solution is to delete your settings files:

Delete Settings

First of all you need to turn on hidden files and folders. Go to My Computer and at the top select 'Tools' the 'Folder Options'. The go to the 'View' tab and select 'Show hidden files and folders'

Delete the following folder:

Football Manager 2014 onwards:

XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012\settings

Vista/7/8: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012\settings

Previous Versions (FM13 and earlier):

XP: C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012\settings

Vista/7: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012\settings

The above solutions may also solve some xml problems (ones that aren't related to incorrect config files with logos/kits etc you have downloaded).

If none of the above works you may need to uninstall the game, delete the cache files and delete some registry settings:

How to Delete your Registry Files

Windows XP:

1. Click “Start”

2. Click "Run"

3. Type in "Regedit"

4. Go into the HKEY_CURRENT_USER Folder

5. Go into the 'Software Folder'

6. Delete the Sports Interactive Folder

7. Go into the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Folder

8. Go into the 'Software Folder'

9. Delete the Sports Interactive Ltd Folder

Windows Vista/7:

1. Click “Start”

2. Type in the search box "Regedit"

3. Go into the HKEY_CURRENT_USER Folder

4. Go into the 'Software Folder'

5. Delete the Sports Interactive Folder

6. Go into the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Folder

7. Go into the 'Software Folder'

8. Delete the Sports Interactive Ltd Folder

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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

Large Flags: 180x180

Small Logos: 25x18

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.

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: 1024x768 (or whatever resolution you play in).

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How to Verify Your Game Files in Steam

If your Football Manager install has become corrupted or you accidentaly overwrote some of the default game files, steam has a built in option to verify your game files and redownload 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.

- On the left side Games List select ther 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 redownload any corrupted or missing game files it finds.

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How to Download the Resource Archiver Tool

The Resource Archiver Tool is a seperate download in Steam. It can be found in the Tools section within Steam once the game has been fully released. To get to it do the following;

Open Steam -> Library -> Tools -> Football Manager 20XX Resource Archiver. And then double-click to Install.

Where 20XX is for the version of the Resource Tool you wish to use.

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.

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With the release of FM16 now is a good time to revise the posting guidelines and maybe even enforce them, with the idea to adopt some sort of proper standardisation when it comes to showcasing your work on this forum or if posting a request for help, to make it easier to find things.

Thread Titles

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

[FM16][sKIN/MOD][RELEASED] Name of your skin or graphics pack or whatever

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

[FM16][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 skin/graphics are 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].

For logos, kits, faces that don't really need a WIP/released thread just name them like [FM16][LOGOS\3DKITS\2DKITS\FACES]

WIP to Release/Multiple Versions

As a change this year as the forum isn't that busy we'll see how it goes having a [WIP] thread whilst you are working on an item and possibly wanting feedback, but then closing that and opening a new [RELEASED] thread when you are happy to release the item to the wild, this should then give a nice cleaner released thread for any issues/comments that come up after the item has been released. (whilst adding a further updates to the released thread).

Once you have made a released thread then make a final post in your WIP thread with a link to the released thread and PM me and I'll close the old 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, if the images are large (greater than 1024x768) consider posting thumbnails, also for kits, faces, logos try and also include some in-game screenshots.

Description - A quick description of what your item does.

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).

Help Threads

Before posting a thread for help first check and read the stickied threads in case your question has already been answered, also have a check of the first page of the forum or do a search if the search function is working.

When creating a thread give your thread a descriptive thread title and refer to which version of fm you are using.

In your opening post please provide as much information as possible - what you are wanting in detail, what you have already tried and where possible relevant screenshots.

The more information you provide the more chance of you getting some help, and don't bump your threads especially not within 24 hours or you might find yourself being ignored.

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