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Friday, October 25, 2013

Starting A New Football Manager Save - Customizing Game Details

Hints and tips to Improve Game Details for Your Football Manager Career

Football Manager 2014 New Save

It's only days left before you can setup your first official Football Manager 2014 save. Many of you might wonder who to start out with, while some of you are already enjoying the beta. No matter your level of expertise in Football Manager 2014 and how you like to play it, you all will need to go through some steps before you can delve into your new FM14 career.

Starting a new Football Manager save doesn't really need a walkthrough as the steps are often very descriptive, but as the game often requires more and more from your Computer performance, we found it worthy to hand you this guide on setting up a new save. Here you will discover our tips and tricks, decisions, and customizing you will need to look into when setting up new Football Manager saves. Part 1 of this series talks about how you can customize and setup game details, both to run Football Manager faster, or to simply be able to customize the game to take full advantage of its features.

This ultimate walkthrough on setting up a new Football Manager save set attention to some of its hidden features, such as how to sort the German real name fix and replace the fake names of German players, to name an example. By publishing our Football Manager walkthrough we aims to reveal some of the under-the-hood assignements every manager have to deal with in order to increase game speed and assessments which will influence your game and managerial career. By improving the detail-level of Football Manager you can spot more players, find even more best FM 2014 staff and finally increase game experience.

This guide to setting up a new Football Manager save is written for the Football Manager 2014 Career Mode.

Creating Your Manager Profile

FM14 Add New Manager

One of the first assignments you will need to attend to, is to customize your unique manager profile to your own preferences. This can either be done in Preferences or when starting a new save. Information such as your name, date of birth and favorite team are some of the more basics, which may not need any consideration at all, but may influence on your save throughout. Lets look at the decisions you should consider to take when creating your manager profile.

Selecting Nationality / Second Nationality

The first important decision to make is when selecting your nationality and/or second nationality (which can be blank). Whatever nationality you choose, it will influence on your new clubs scouting knowledge, so if you don't want to be true to your original birth nationality, it may be advantageous to pick a nation you want maximum knowledge of (100% knowledge), both in terms of regens coming through in the annual youth intake and for increasing the availability of some players and backroom staff with same nationality as yours. Perhaps you've found some excellent staff in our FM14 staff recommendation that you want eligible.

When setting up my nationality I normally pick a nation which has a good quality level of regen productions found in our guide to scouting regions and youth ratings, which is in the same region as my managing club. Perhaps there is a nationality you want full knowledge of, that your managing club has no prior knowledge of. If I also got preferences to become a national manager for one specific nation in the future, this will be selected as my main nationality, while my second nationality is added only to add little more depth to the scouting knowledge (50% knowledge).

Past Playing Experience
FM14 Past Playing Experience

The past playing experience is of absolute importance to consider when starting a new save. Your settings of past playing experience will influence on your difficulty level so to speak. Each of the five different levels will determine your job suitability when starting unemployed, in additional to how well the footballing world (its players, fans, press and backroom staff) have knowledge of you and have heard of you before.

Automatic - default choice. Entering the managerial world with no prior experience. Your reputation will be assigned automatically to the lowest level of club reputation within your managing league. This means it can range from for example regional to national depending on the area of the world you're playing in.
Sunday League Professional - is the general choice when starting a lower league management career, or when starting unemployed. Reputation will be set to local.
Semi-Professional Footballer - will set reputation to regional.
Professional Footballer - will set reputation to national.
International Footballer - normally used when managing a top flight club (read Real Madrid, Barcelona or etc), clubs with either continental or worldwide reputation. Your reputation will be set to continental, which is on the same level as Jürgen Klopp and Marcello Lippi.

How Past Playing Experience will affect your manager character

Your starting experience should be consider according to type of career you're starting on. The "difficulty level" will influence on a wide sort of different areas throughout Football Manager.

A low reputation stature is mostly used for the lower leagues management. It will be less pressure and expectations from board, media, fans and players, for getting results right away, as they will have more patience with you. When starting unemployed it will be easier to get jobs as there are more options available.

As the reputation stature increases, so will the pressure and expectations on you. The boards patience will decrease demanding better results agreed in the job interview. By increasing your reputation you will have more players who wants to play under you. The job availability increases as more clubs wants your services because of your well-known name. Depending on the stature of your club, your boards personalities and your manager reputation, it will determine how much leeway you will get and the goals that will be expected by you.

A high reputation stature (read: Professional or International Footballer) might make you come under pressure quicklier. Keep providing good results will be of more importance. If the board expectations are not fulfilled within the first season, it may be harder to keep your job. This will of course be a general matter about the board confidence in you, and what has really happen in the course of the season (Several key injuries, departures of key players because of bad economic, and so on.)

FM14 Manager Profile

Some of you might think that choosing a Professional Reputation or International reputation will be better no matter league chosen. But thats not quite true. Things may quickly backfire if chosen a higher reputation when managing in the lower leagues, as higher reputated clubs will more frequently want your services, and fans, media and board will have higher expectations from you. Choosing a Sunday League Footballer or Semi-Professional Footballer when managing in the top leagues is not quite correct either, as it will become harder to sign players and staff for your managing clubs. They won't have the interest to play under you. The fans, media and staff will look at you as to inexperience for the job and jugde your results by it, while the players might look at you as to inexperienced too, which may decrease their morale and happiness, making it even harder to get results, and take even more time before they listen to you in the pre-match / half-time team talk.

In general, you can say that the level of reputation will determine how the board, press, fans, players, backroom staff and AI managers interacts with you on a daily basis; through team talks, media handling, private talks and board promises/requests, making things easier or harder to address to.

NOTE! Your choice when picking your favorite team may influence on some events in the game, which interacts with the chosen club and its players/staff. You will be automatically subscribed to new items about your favorite club, making you able to keep tabs of their records.

Your age might be in the spotlight by the media and their description of you because of your past playing experience.
Favorite Formation

Your favorite formation should be set to your preferred formation. When going on job hunting, clubs will determine your suitability for the new manager job according to your records and achievements, but also your style of play and preferred formation. When starting unemployed your favorite formation and reputation is the only things clubs can judge you by. Clubs with similar football philosophy will be more likely to approach you.

We look at this new Football Manager 2014 feature as a way to set more expectations and limits in your Football Manager career.

Choose Playable Nations

Choose nations in FM14

Choosing the amount of playable nations will be the actual first step of any New Save customizing. This must be done every time you start a new save. In Football Manager 2014 you will have the option to choose from 51 nations from 5 different regions of the world. Your choice of playable nations will determine the detail-level in the new save database of available players and backroom staff. When a nation is selected, you will be able to see player records, tournaments and more players and staff within that nation. Adding more playable nations will increase the amount of players counted within the database, which lastly influence on your game performance and how quickly the game speed will be, in terms of loading and progressing from one day to another.

When selecting the amount of playable nations, I would recommend to choose nations of your preferences which will increase the amount of available transfer targets. I tend to select nations within the same regions and with similar reputations as my managing club. I aim for nations which has decent youth rating in additional to nations who has the potential to produce quality regens in the future.

For example when managing a club in England, I would select nations such as France, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, Holland, Belgium and Germany as the main playable nations. Of course I will add some more nations such as Brazil, Spain and Argeninta, but I try to pick nations where I can find bargains and affordable players who wants to join my club.

The amount of nations chosen will make you able to get higher detail level of these specific nations such as more players and staff from Under-18 and reserves clubs, in additional to the ability to enjoy stats and records from these specific leagues and tournaments as well.

Of course are you free to enjoy Football Manager 2014 with a lower detail-level, as you can increase your level of knowledge of non-playable nations by scouting. But the size of database loaded determines the level of realism and user experience for your new save game. Naturally, a larger database will include more players and teams from the football world, whereas a smaller one will include what are considered the core and most important items.

Read More: How to Add / Remove Playable Nations [Football Manager Guide]

Choosing amount of Leagues [Advanced Options]

FM14 Choosing amount of leagues

After you've selected the playable nations for your new career, you can customize your estimated game speed further and control which nations to play with. You will also be able to finetune each nations amount of leagues chosen. Some nations will only be one division, while others may have up to three and four tiers in the official database. By selecting the lowest active league for the specific nations and change each nations from "Playable" to "View-Only" you will not only increase the game speed, but also decrease the detail-level of your new save.
NOTE! You will not be able to manage clubs within a View-Only nation.

Choosing Database Size [Advanced Setup]

To alter your estimated game speed and detail-level even further you have the option to select your preferred database size. While Small, Medium and Large only differs from a couple of thousand players, the advanced option will make you able to increase your database even further, adding tenths of thousands players and staff to your database!

Here you can add even further players and clubs from specific continents, regions, nations and divisions, which will be in additional to the playable nations selected in the first step.

FM14 Advanced database settings

Under all the different sub-categories you will have the option to add:
- Only international players will be loaded for the specific continent, region or nation. This will be a great choice if you're managing a national job and want higher competitiveness. This will load all international players when selected.
- Players based in nation will load all players playing in the specific nations of that continent, region or division, no matter of their nationality.
- Players of nationality will load all players of the specific nationality within the specific continent, region, nation or division, who are based anywhere in the world! This will be a great tool both for you and the AI manager when managing a national job, as you all will get access to more players.
- Players from top division clubs loads all players from the top division within a continent, region, nation or division. This means that you don't need to make a nation playable in order to get access to all players from top divisions.
- Players from top clubs will load all players from clubs with highest reputation for the specific continent, region or nation.
- Players with continental reputation will load all players with continental reputation for the specific continent, region or nation.
- Players with national reputation will load all players with national reputation for the specific continent, region or nation.
- Players from clubs in continental competitions will load all players from clubs who will participate in continental competitions from a specific continent, region, division or nation. Continental competitions can for example be UEFA Champions league in Europe, or other similar tournaments around the world.

Here you can also choose Small, Medium and Large database size of your customized advanced settings, which will fine-tune the amount of players even further.

Approximately Players counted
As you will notice, the approximately players counted for my new save has now exceeded from 65000 to 82000.

Important notice to the database size:
Your preferred size of database size will not only influence on the processing speed, but if chosen a small database the competitive level among teams will increase as there will be fewer good players to pick from, raizing the difficulty level even higher!

Select Game Start Date
Football Manager Game Start Date

Selecting your game start date is one of the more important assignments to address to when starting a new save. You can select a game start date from the playable nations choosed before. The game start date will determine when your save will start.

If you have preferences of managing in Germany, it may be important to choose its start date (June) in order to experience a full pre-season. Some leagues, such as Norway and Brazil will have a totally different start date (Januar and December) than England (July). These two leagues will start off in the middle of the normal footballing season of the world (which normally lasts from July to May/June), so you will be able to choose between two different game start dates.

Brief Information about Advanced Options

In additional to this you can also select some of the advanced options, which will do some important changes to the database. The advanced options will sometimes improve the realism of your new save.

Use Fake Players will turn all players and backroom staff into generated personnel. Players like Lionel Messi, Andrea Pirlo and Maximilian Meyer will not be found. Football Manager will be totally obscure to you and you will need to operate in Football Manager by scouting and gaining knowledge as you play it.

The database will be loaded with fake players with unreal names. This option will make the database unrecognised, and forces you to do scouting in order to find the best players in different to a real database.

Do not use Real fixtures will generate a "fake" schedule. This means that there will be some changes to when matches are being played and who your opponent will be.

Do not add key staff will add key backroom staff such as coaches and scouts to teams which do not have all backroom staff roles assigned, when disabled. This is beneficial when managing in clubs either created in the editor or nations and leagues which lacks backroom staff, as the pool of backroom staff will increase with more generated staff from the first day off.

Add Players to Playable Teams will add generated players to specific clubs immediately when starting a new save. As most players in the top leagues has great squad depth, this option is often more relevant and beneficial when managing in areas of the world, or in lower leagues, which lacks sufficient amount of youth players and/or reserves.

Disable First Window Transfer Budget disallows you being handed a transfer budget to spend in the first transfer window. When this option is disabled Football Manager will use the real transfer budget of the clubs having available before the first pre-season. By ticking this option you will make your game even more realistic, as the clubs will not be allowed to spend money they never spend in real life.

Disable Player Attribute Masking will make some or even all attributes not visibile to the human manager. By ticking this option, Football Manager will assume that the human manager will not necessarily know everything about every players in the footballing world, and will add more obscurity to the playable database. Invisible attributes can only be revealed through scouting or interacting with the players; playing for the opposition team or playing in the same division which will make you know some about their information and attributes.

This option will be beneficial to tick if you like to discover Football Manager as how real managers does, and will certainly increase the difficulty level as you will need to trust your excellent Football Manager 2014 scouts and scouting network.

Prevent Teams which already have managers from being controlled will not make you able to take charge of a club who already has a manager on contract. You can only choose clubs with no manager at all, when adding a new human manager.

Adding Editor Data Files

FM14 Preferences Extra files

Editor data files are either downloaded or created databases, competitions and/or real name fixes created in the Football Manager 2014 edtitor. Selecting which editor data files to use within your new save is selected under the sub-tab "Editor Data Files", when choosing playable nations.

Throughout the FM14 season, you will get access to many tranfer databases, competitions databases and player databases which you've perhaps downloaded. All the downloaded and created databases of yours will be placed here. Make sure to check which editor data files that will be loaded when starting a new save.

Extra Files - Preferences

There are several extra files loaded within every save you start. While some disable licencing, others will address certain changes happening in the footballing world such as the transfer embargo, Start in adminstration and Sugardaddy files.

FM14 German National Team Fix
One of these files is the well-known Fake.lnc file. The fake.lnc file is put into Football Manager 2014 due to Sports Interactive has not the allowed licencing for the German National team. In additional this file will disable player pics of Holland and France.

How you can solve this problem:

1) Deleting the fake.lnc file within the folder
- PC: Programfiles (x86) > Steam > Steamapps > common > Football Manager 2014 > data > db > 1400 > Inc > all
- MAC: [username] > library > Application support > Steam > steamapps > common > Football Manager 2014 > data > updates > update-14XX > db > 14XX > lnc > all

This file will need to be deleted whenever a new major patch has been updated f.ex 14.1, 14.2 or so on. A new save will need to be started in order to make the changes into effect.

Selecting Managing Team for your first Football Manager Career

Selecting Teams in Football Manager

We have now come to the end of our step by step guide of setting up a new career. I guess you might have an idea of which team to select for your first Football Manager career. If not, you can either start unemployed, let Football Manager pick a Team for you or check out the Team information available of the Team Overiew.

The playable nations and leagues will make you able to select a team from the different available divisions and/or the job as National Manager. Each team will be presented with an overview of their most important information and past history.

Information such as training/youth facility, finances and continental competition will be some of the most worthy information to check. Your clubs youth facility will be important for youth development and progression of youth talents in order to develop the best Football Manager 2014 wonderkids by yourself.

Good luck when picking a team to managing in Football Manager 2014. Enjoy your first Football Manager 2014 career!

PART 2 - First Days of Managing - Top Assignments and setting up screen flow

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