This website has been moved to www.passion4FM.com!
We are currently moving all old content onto the new site. Discover all new articles for FM15 on our new domain. Thanks for your patience.

FMH / Football Manager Handheld – How to Play Guide for PSP

FMH2013 – My guide to playing Football Manager Handheld 2013 on PSP

Football Manager Handheld 2013 FMH2013

Hello there. I’m Marc Gisby, the owner of FMH career, a blog created for the fabolous game of FMH2013. I got the opportunity to write a piece about FM Handheld and share my passion for the game. This guide to Football Manager Handheld 2013 on PSP, also referred to as FMH2013, aims to increase your knowledge to FM Handheld. If you have not downloaded and tried it, you should!

Football Manager Handheld is a lighter version of Football Manager and is designed to use for Sony PSP, Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or Android mobile phones and devices. You can purchase Football Manager Handheld as an app to your mobile device for around $10USD, which is rather cheap. FMH2013 was released by Sega 13.December 2012, and the latest update was the 4.3 patch released May 7th 2013, which makes some crucial improvements to Football Manager Handheld 2013. You can read more about the patch here.

As I write this piece I am going to be under the assumption you have never played Football Manager on handheld device such as PSP before. I will delve deeper into the handheld version by dealing with the following topics;

  • Nations available
  • Tactics/Formation
  • Scouting
  • Players Database/Transfers
  • Training Players/Team Tactics

The final thing I will say before going further into the piece is that although I have dabbled with FMH before (notably FMH12), it has only been since October 2012 that I have properly got into any FMH game so this is my first foray! So if there are any inaccuracies this is solely down to inexperience. I encourage you to share your tips and experience about Football Manager Handheld in the comment field below.

Available Nations

As the hallmark of all football games, the question becomes who do I start off with? In the PSP version (this is what this piece is based on) you have 10 playable nations to choose from;

Australia, Brazil, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scotland and Holland.

You may load up to 4 nations, 1 being the main nation i.e. all leagues within that nation, and with the other 3 you only have access to the top league of those nations. So for example, in my career save I loaded the following nations; England, Holland, Belgium and Scotland. Of these 4, England is the main nation and I have all leagues from the Blue Square Premier up to the Premier League. Therefore I would only be able to manage any team from the top league in the other 3 nations inclusive of promoted sides.

Tactics/Formation Creator

Any great football team needs tactics, and in all honesty who doesn’t enjoy trying to create an all conquering tactic? For me this is part of the allure of FMH. Like any other football game whether it is FIFA, PES or FMH there are plenty of default tactics to choose from or the armchair footballer’s paradise; create a tactic.

As you can see from the screen below, on the left you have your default tactics and on the right how the tactic is set up. From here you can edit any player position and the runs they make (illustrated by the arrows). As you may also be able to see on the far left, is the custom options available.

Football Manager Handheld Tactic creator

These options allow you to select specific instruction for your players and general team instructions.

Tactic Creator – Team Instructions:

FMH Tactic Team Instructions

The above screen shows the team instructions for my Newcastle United save. As you can see you have a large degree of influence over how your team plays. Are you defensive minded? Would you like to counter attack? Should you keep the ball away from the opposition a la Barcelona or Spain?

From experience, I strongly recommend keeping the ball, press and keep a balanced mentality. All my clubs have had these traits and I have won numerous titles so I must be doing something right!

What though, if you want your right winger to run with the ball and a striker to hold it up? Enter player instruction options.

Tactic Creator – Player Instructions:

Player instructions passing Player instructions forward runs
Player instructions set pieces

The last 3 screenshots are just some of the options you have when allowing your players freedom within your chosen formation. I have fast players with excellent dribbling skills and good crossing/passing abilities. Therefore I choose to have players making lots of runs with the ball at their feet. I also like to overload teams in their own half and so my entire front 6 make runs and allow passing options.

If this isn’t for you then have a player with full creative free role or a DMC that makes all the passes. If this doesn’t work for you then go back to the team instruction screen and set yourself a playmaker. There are lots of options and ways to customise your formation in how you want to play.

I have found in Football Manager Handheld that preferred tactics and formations only work to their full potential if you have the players with the abilities to carry out your instructions. How do you get and locate these players?

Scouting in FMH2013

It is pointless playing a ‘tiki-taka’ style of football if you have players with terrible passing attributes or playing a direct game with a striker with poor heading and strength. It is therefore imperative that when you create a tactic/formation, you have a clear plan on how you want to play and then stick with it (reasoning for that part will come later), while recruiting players with this in mind.

This is where the scouting and transfer portion of the game comes into it. I have 3 main player attributes I look for; speed, passing and heading.

90% of the players that play for have to have high attributes in at least two of these areas. I love playing with width and players running at the defence. My midfielders are the creative hub, but are required to score as well. My defenders need to be speedy as they cover a lot of ground, and good in the air as I deal with a lot of crosses. How do I get these players?

Football Manager Handheld scouting settings

This is your scouting screen. You can use this screen to send your head scout and general scout out to find players. If you select youth players they will go out and find the best young talents under 20 (I believe). Otherwise you can just select a region for them to explore for example South America, Asia or the UK & Ireland. It must be noted here that if you select youth you then can’t select a region i.e. youth players only in South America.

When their scouting assignements are completed, hopefully you will have a lot of targets and players to choose from!

Football Manager Handheld scouting results

This is my scout result screen. You can remove players you don’t like the look of and then try to buy players you find interesting. As with the Football Manager Handheld version you can set a specific search filter to track suitable players according to your preferences.

FMH2013 player search filter

If you don’t like using the scouting network (which I don’t) then you can manually find a particular player.

As you can see you can really fine tune a search. Looking for players from England for an English players only team? Players for less than £5k a week? Left sided attacker? Or players based in a specific area of the world? This filter allows any of those searches and brings up a list of people fitting the criteria (see below).

FMH2013 player search result

This is the results screen for the above filter. I strongly recommend looking through all available players and there is further scope at this time at looking more in depth at these players. By pressing the circle button I can put them in order by a certain attribute. For example if I am looking for an attacker with high pace, then I can put them in order highest to lowest. This allows a more in depth way of finding players suited to your teams needs.

So what do you do when you have found said person? This leads me on to transfers in Football Manager Handheld 2013.

FMH2013 Transfers and Negotiations

Football Manager Handheld 2013 Transfers / negotiations

This is the bid screen. On the left side of this panel you are able to see his positional abilities, the specific positions the player can play in, his contract status (when it expires, specific clauses, current wage).

From here you can then offer to transfer or loan the player, the amount you wish to bid, when the transfer will happen and if you want to add a sell on percentage. I find the last part very important for getting better players. I find that if I offer them a specific percentage of any future sale, they are more inclined to sell. Also if I take them at the end of the season they will be more inclined to sell, especially young players.

At the bottom you will see what the assistant manager thinks. I personally never listen to him to be honest! I have found that I can buy players he has told me would have no interest in coming to play for me. This is your choice and I expect may vary from save to save.

So you have the players, tactics and how you want them to play. The final thing I shall talk about is training the players in your preferred tactic and playing style.

Football Manager Handheld – Training and Learning the preferred tactic and formation

I am going to point out right at the beginning of this part, this is solely my opinion and only how I train my players. Everyone if different on their save and some people may have found another way with better results.

As soon as the new season is upon me I begin in pre-season to make my squad ready for competitive matches by setting specific training for my players. I immediately put all my players on fitness training and closer to the season we get the more intense it becomes.

Two weeks before our first pre-season game, I lower the fitness regime and add tactics. This becomes my season long training regime, of which the screenshot below proves.

Football Manager Handheld Training

As you can see, for the entire season I focus on tactics, as I like to keep the ball and focus on pressing. By training all my clubs this way, I have found we become more consistent and the player’s attributes improve greatly. Even the ones who are squad players have their attributes increase, albeit at a slower pace. I find it helps greatly if you have new players come in at the end of transfer windows as well. If you do not like this way, or it is not working for you, you can use the general training screen to customize certain player’s traits, similar to the Football Manager 2013 individual training

FMH2013 Training overview

Using this screen you have access to your entire squads training regime. Have a left back with poor tackling? Stick him on a defensive only regime.

FMH2013 Individual Training Player development

As you can see, this is how I have customised my defensive training for players. All the training regimes are like this and I simply have to alter what I want them to learn or focus on. Increase attacking, and there attacking attributes increase (heading, shooting, technique), increase goalkeeping and his reflexes, kicking and handling increases.

You may be wondering about motivational and what it does. To be honest I am not 100% sure. I believe it is to be used for big games to increase the morale. For example if you are in a Champions Cup or FA Cup final and are the weaker team, if you have your players on motivational training they play better in said game. Do not overuse this as your player’s burnout. Same can be said if you set everything to intensive. It is a balancing act. If you have plenty of games all at one time, then just do their fitness regime and lower everything else.


I really hope this piece has been of use, and yet again I just want to re-iterate that if there are any inaccuracies you have my apologies, but I am still a relative novice to the Football Manager Family.

I encourage you to leave your feedback and tips about how you play Football Manager Handheld and what you find the most interesting and fun with it!

Thank you for your time and check out my Football Manager Handheld Career at FMHCareer. This FMH Guide was written by Marc Gisby – twitter @gisby_marc

Do you like to become a guest writer for Passion for Football Manager or got an interesting piece from yur blog that you would like to share with more followers?
Contact Passion4FM today!


  • marc gisby

    I dont have the iOS version mate so I wouldnt no any differences, how it runs or its features :( <br /><br />Thank yiu for taking the time to read and the comment

  • Lord British

    Thanks brother, still a great read. Your FM blog is pretty great as well