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How to set up Player Instructions on Football Manager

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With the player instructions, you can really customise and get creative with the tendencies each player carries out on Football Manager.
How to set up Player Instructions on Football Manager

Guide on understanding and utilising tactical player instructions in Football Manager.


As Football Manager players, we all want that perfect tactic. Hell, some of us will settle for useful or unpredictable, something that the opposition can’t figure out. While we are somewhat limited to the positions, formations and roles set out by SI, there is one way the FM player can truly innovate. With player instructions, you can really customise and get creative with each player’s duty on the pitch.

Creating or finding a tactic that fires you through the season is one thing but seeing something on the pitch that is of our own work or tactical vision, gives some sense of achievement, right? Let’s go through the ins and outs of player instructions and the things you will need to be mindful of.

Tactical Suitability


There are a few important things to remember when adding individual role/player instructions;

  • Does it suit the tactic you are using?
  • Does it fit in with the roles of other players around them? For example, will the left-back and left-winger work well together with their newly assigned instructions
  • The main thing – DOES IT BENEFIT THE TEAM?


Tactical fit


Let’s take a closer look at these points above to break it down a bit. In terms of suiting the tactic, the player instructions need to fit in with what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re trying to implement a gegenpress, but you’re telling your striker to press less often, his personalised instructions are directly contradicting the team’s overall tactical style. This can be useful if you’re trying to hide a player’s shortcoming (telling one midfielder with weak passing to take fewer risks, for example), but be careful not to undermine your overall gameplan.

Player instructions need to fit the roles of players around


Now when we’re making a link between roles, there is always a knock-on effect. Let’s look at a 4-3-3 and focus on the left-back, left-winger and striker.

Player Instructions Football Manager

The left-back in this tactic is set on support as the left winger is an inside forward on attack. The striker is a target forward also on attack. With the inside forward moving inside to attack the chaneel, there’s an empty space on the left flank to attack, which is the wing back’s job. To aid this, I ask him to run wide with the ball and cross more often. These instructions encourage him to remain out wide on the left, stretching the defence, and also make the most of the target forward’s aerial prowess.

In terms of the Inside Forward, his role is already fairly well-defined by default, but I’ve added two more instructions to help what I’m trying to achieve. Shoot More Often is because I expect him to be my main goal threat, and I want him to be selfish when through on goal rather than hesitant; and Sit Narrower encourages him to drift centrally, creating even more space for the wing back to attack on the flank.

Finally, for the Target Forward, by default he doesn’t have many instructions, but I’m happy enough with that. I’m happy for him to have a degree of freedom within the tactic to make his own decisions: whether to pass or shoot; come deep or stay high. The only instruction I’ve added is to tackle harder, as I want him to be the first line of defence in a physical and robust press.




READ ALSO: How to Make a Comeback in Football Manager

General Tips & Tricks


There are a few things to think about to make things easier when using additional player instructions.

1. Use Pre-season


This is a great time to learn more about the effects of player instructions and test them in games that are uncompetitive, meaning it won’t have a big effect on the coming season as it will give time to make any amendments. I tend not to use any player instructions in the first game of preseason, then gradually add them as I notice individual weaknesses. One of my defenders is terrible at passing? Take fewer risks. One of my full-backs is an elite crosser? Cross more often. My DM is getting caught out of position? Hold position.

2. Extended Highlights


To know if everything is working or at least coming together, it’s advisable to not rely solely on the goals that your team score. Seeing how chances are created and if players are managing with the assigned instructions, general match play is a great way to gauge this. Once you’re happy or confident with how things are working, you can settle back to your original settings for match viewing.

READ ALSO: Guide to Opposition Instructions on Football Manager

Closing Thoughts


Player instructions are the main way for you, the manager, to leave your stamp on your tactic. By tweaking and changing a player’s individual role, you move away from the standard-issue tactical layouts provided by SI, and begin to truly innovate for yourself and your team’s needs.

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FM Blog | FM24: How to set up Player Instructions on Football Manager
How to set up Player Instructions on Football Manager
With the player instructions, you can really customise and get creative with the tendencies each player carries out on Football Manager.
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