Starting a New Game Hints and Tips

With the new winter transfer update on FM16 now live have you ever wondered what the best way to start a new FM save is? What you should start by doing? or how you can get the best out of your players from the get go? Well the following blog will take you through some areas which should help you get started e.g. shortlists, tactics, coaching team and your squads. There are certain habits you develop when starting a new save in FM and you might not even realise you do the same things each time or you may wonder why you’re not doing as well as you could do. So I am going to take you through the process I go through of starting a new game. When starting a new FM save, there is always the temptation to just get on with the game and press ‘Continue’. But I think to get off to the best start possible and maximise your pre-season, there are certain elements you need to look at, especially if you want to achieve the highest fitness levels, have your team comfortable with the tactics you want to play and to not miss out on that key player who is going to improve you team.


Setting your shortlist up as early as possible, identifying the targets you would like to pursue makes sure that you do not miss out on a club making a bid or being interested in them without you knowing. Obviously you can add to your shortlist as the season goes on and you will do with your scouts recommending players to you but the main thing is to come up with a list of players you would like to monitor and potentially make a bid for. The earlier you can make your signings the more time they have to settle in your club and get to know their teammates.  Imagine getting to the end of the summer window, your main striker picks up a long term injury,  you need to find a new prolific goalscorer and are devastated to realise that Emile Heskey has already signed for your arch rivals for £15million. Season over before it’s even begun.

At this stage you could also assign your scouts to go out and find players for you but I leave that responsibility to my chief scout to organise who goes where.


I tend to set up 2 formations at the start of the game that are likely to be the main ones you use through the season; this enables your squad to immediately start training on and becoming more comfortable with them. Once they become accomplished with the formations add a third tactic for them to train so that you have different options available to you but this may not be until the season starts which is fine. My preferred formations are a 4-2-3-1 with 2 holding midfielders protecting the back 4 allowing your fullbacks to attack and overlap the attacking midfielders. The second tactic I set up is a 4-5-1, this is a tactic I like to deploy against the bigger teams when you need to bolster the midfield and try to dominate possession.

Coaching team

Have a look at your coaching team and how many staff your board allows you for each staffing position. This helps you understand where you can expand and improve on. The more high quality coaches you have, the more your players will reap the rewards and make improvements to their attributes. The coaching team’s workload should be 3½ stars/light work load, this allows more specialised coaching for your players from the youth team through to the first team. The earlier in the game you set this up the earlier you see improvements and developments in your players. If you enjoy bringing youth team players through then make sure your youth team coaches are good enough to develop the players, if you don’t focus on this then don’t worry too much about who you employ for the your lower ranks.

Squads – First Team, U21, U18

Evaluating your first team, U21’s and youth teams is a good way to begin before deciding on which areas you need to improve on. You may have a gem in your U18’s that you decide you would like to develop and introduce him them to the first team rather than spend your transfer budget on a proven player. Your U21 squad may have a couple of fringe players, who you want to be more involved with the first team as squad players. You could put these players into your first team squad but make them available for the U21’s to allow them game time and match fitness. Analyse each position and work out if you have enough cover or whether you need to dip into the transfer market. Make the players who you don’t see being involved in your first squad available for loan and offer them to clubs. When offers come in make sure they are going to a club their ability suits. You can see which league they should be playing in by looking at the report for the player. Also when the offers do come in for them, make sure they are getting a minimum of regular first team football.

There are plenty of other parts of game which you can do to set yourself up and have a great season but the above points are a good start to get you up and running. If you set your FM save up differently or have any other tips then please comment below.



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Football Manager 2017 Blog: Starting a New Game Hints and Tips
Starting a New Game Hints and Tips
Ever thought what the best way to start a new FM save is? What you should start by doing? or how you can get the best out of your players from the get go? Well the following blog will take you through some areas which should help you get started e.g. shortlists, tactics, coaching team and your squads.
Football Manager 2017 Blog
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