Guide to FM

Welcome to Guide to FM – your comprehensive guide to Football Manager. Learn how to become a top manager and master tactics, training and much more.

Latest Update

20/01/2019: Added analysis of central attack responsibilities to Choosing Roles & Duties guide.

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Recommended Reading

Tactics Guide Contents

FM 2019 Tactics Guides

Choosing a Tactical Style

How to set a suitable tactical style for your players.

Choosing Roles & Duties

How to assign balanced roles and duties that suit your tactical style and players.

FM 2018 Tactics Guides


Starter Guide

A walkthrough of the main aspects of creating a tactic to help you get started.

Example Tactics

A selection of example tactics created using this guide. As a quick start to using the guide you may wish to firstly choose a suitable example tactic, before then modifying the tactic as appropriate by using the different parts of the guide that are summarised below.

Tactical Instructions

An analysis of the tactical instructions that you can use to create your tactic, including:

System Fluidity

How to implement system fluidity for your team.

Playing Styles

How to create a suitable playing style for your team, including:

Playing System Balance

How to balance your team's playing system, including:

Players Guide Contents

Player Ability

Explanations of the various aspects of player ability on the pitch, player ability off the pitch and the dynamics of player ability.

Player Attributes

Explanations of all attributes and details of Attribute Combinations needed for different abilities.

Player Personalities

Explanations of all personality attributes, personality descriptions and media handling style descriptions, as well as advice on how to learn and manage player personalities.

Player Traits

Explanations of all the player traits and suggested types of player they can be useful for.
The Player Ability and Player Personalities guides are based on the FM 2018 interface. Other Players guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

Staff Guide Contents


An introduction to staff.

Staff Roles

Explanations of the responsibilities and required qualities of each role, including detailed analyses of the manager, coaches, scouts and physios.

Signing Staff

What to consider when hiring a backroom team.
Staff guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

Training Guide Contents


An introduction to training your players.

Team Training

How to use General Training and Match Preparation Training.

Individual Training

How to use Training Reports and improve your players with Additional Focuses, Position Training and Player Trait Training.

Assigning Coaches

How to allocate training categories to your coaching staff.
Training guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

Squad Guide Contents

Squad Building

How to put together and maintain a well balanced squad structure.

Player Wages

How and why to maintain a good wage structure and when to renew contracts.

Player Morale & Relationships

How to manage your squad's morale, build relationships and improve team cohesion.

Player Fitness

How to manage the fitness of your squad.

Pre-Season Preparation

How to prepare your squad effectively for the start of a new season using training and friendly matches.

Player Development

Advice on how to improve your players, including recruiting youth, optimising progression, moulding players and developing older players, with separate guides on how to use Player Tutoring and how to give players Match Experience.


How to optimise your club's Scouting Knowledge, when and where to send your scouts on Scouting Assignments, how to use your Scout Reports to assess potential transfer targets and how to find players using Player Search.

Signing Players

How to sign players for your club, including advice on Making Transfer Offers, Making Loan Offers and Contract Negotiations.

Selling Players

When and how to sell players from your squad.
The Player Development guides are based on the FM 2018 interface. Other Squad guides are based on the FM 2015 interface, except for Signing Players and Selling Players which are based on the FM 2014 interface.

Match Day Guide Contents

Preparing for Matches

How to prepare your team for each match and select your starting line-up, and how to make use of Tactical Planning to exploit opposition weaknesses and counter opposition strengths.

Team Talks

How to choose team talks in different scenarios, along with a reference guide for Team Talk Examples.

Opposition Instructions

Which instructions to use against which players.

Making Tactical Changes

How to make tactical changes in response to different match scenarios.
Match Day guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.