FM2017: Don’t forget these 2 simple steps when starting a new game

by @guidosteve

So, when does a game of Football Manager start?

I used to think it started when you had created the game.

But the reality is that it starts when you hit the “career” option.

This part of the “game” decides how fast the game runs. This, of course, directly impacts the enjoyment you get from the game.

But in this part of the game, you also create your manager, which has some real implications when you get going.

In this FM Guide, we will take a dive into this often-overlooked area of the game and show you how to set yourself up for success.


Step #1: Making sure the game runs smoothly

First off, you select a club to coach and it is tempting to click the quick start button.

That is what we don’t want to do and instead we go to advanced setup.

You will be taken to the screen below, where you have some decisions to make.

FM: Advanced setup

Based on the numbers in the screenshots there are some decisions to make:

1# Estimated game speed:

What is advisable to load depends on your computer. My recommendation is to not go below four stars in estimated game speed.

The way to improve this measure is to have fewer leagues loaded or play with a smaller database.

Other factors to consider with large gameplay effect:

2# Disable first window transfer budgets: If ticked, there will be no transfers in the first transfer window. Ensures all teams play with the same team they have in real life.

3# Disable player attribute masking: If ticked, you can see all attributes of all players. Makes the game easier to play and makes scouting less important (although you still have to scout to get hidden player attributes).

4# Game start date: You can select different dates if you want to skip the pre-season and get straight to the games. I don’t recommend this as the pre-season is important for getting the team to know your tactic.

I recommend the following setup:

FM17: Recommended setup

Bonus tip: You can cheese the game for an even longer pre-season by selecting a start date from one of the other countries selected.


Creating the perfect manager

If setting up the game was basic, this area is where you can really set yourself up for success.

It is in fact extremely important to master this step.

And how do you do that?

The answer is quite simple.

You want to distribute your attributes so they work best within the game.

Here’s how do to do it:

FM17: Default manager

First off, I recommend selecting the license and playing experience that fits the club you want to play in by ticking the box, as shown below.

What you see is that you have an all-round manager.

Now, all-round is good if you’re doing all kinds of stuff.

But we don’t intend to do that.

Creating the perfect coach

In terms of coaching, you want to set yourself up to be a beast at attacking and shooting training.

Why is that?

The answer is these coaches are the hardest to find in the game, and thus, your avatar will handle this part of training.

Here I am to coach Manchester United so I want to set myself up to have a 5-star rating in these areas.

To read how to do so, you can go see our Guide to FM coaches, but here it is enough to follow the screenshot below.

This manager is a monster manager.

First off, on the coaching side:

  1. This manager will have a 5-star coach rating in attacking and shooting
  2. He will also be very good at working with youngsters

On the mental side this manager is perhaps even better.

  1. Determination of 20 ensures board requests are more likely to be granted
  2. High level of discipline ensures player will be less likely to complain to you
  3. Motivating at 20 makes your team talks more effective

A comment on the poor stats:

  1. Defending, fitness, goalkeepers and mental don’t matter. Only reason mental is at 4 is that I had to allocate three extra points to coaching
  2. Player and youngster knowledge is at 11. This only determines, how good your knowledge of players will be at the start of the game.

And note, that you can use the slider to allocate more points to tactical stuff.

If you have less points to allocate

If you start at a club that is in lower divisions, you will have less points to allocate. Here is a guide to distribute what you have:

  1. Don’t allocate points to mental, player knowledge and youngster knowledge
  2. If you intend to stay in the same country for the entire save, don’t allocate points to adaptability
  3. After that, I will do so I have the same level for the remaining attributes

Now go do it

We hope this has provided some food for thought and you can see the long-term importance of these small things.

It really does have a long-term impact on your game and helps tremendously.

I hope you’ve liked the guide and I’ll be around to reply to comments and answer questions.

So, if you have a question or thought, leave a comment right now.


Daniel Vilan - June 20, 2017

When I want to start a career as a manager I put in everything that is needed. Whilst this I’m able to manage teams in and around England, but… If I want to create a Mallorca save (La Liga 1|2|3) it doesn’t allow me; saying that, “Your’e unable to manage …. (Mallorca)” Have you come up against these situations…? I’d really like to make career modes outside of England, so if you read this and you’re amazing enough to tell me the solution to the problem I’d be very happy!

    GuidoSteve - June 20, 2017

    Hi Daniel,

    I have heard of this problem before and there are two known sources to it:
    1: Check if you have “start unemployed selected”. If it is, that is why you can’t select it.
    2: On the game status screen, the ‘assign random clubs’ is selected which will choose a club for you for any new manager, leaving the other teams greyed out because the club choice has already been made foe you.

    If this doesn’t help the only other advice I can offer is to un-install and re-install the game. Hope it helps – although I find England the most interesting league structure to play it’s nice to try something else as well!

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