As the FIFA World Cup pulls in global attention to the most-followed sport on Earth, football games take center stage, reeling in both casual and diehard fans. Fittingly, Sega poured fuel to the craze when they served Football Manager 2023 Mobile.
This latest installment to the successful Football Manager game franchise brings to mobile some sweet features that are only previously available to PC and console versions. Players now have access to the Development Hub (an overseer view to track improvements on player’s training, skills, and list status), Team Talks (pep talk opportunity doable twice per match), and better controls in manager-related details and player recruitment.
We reckon the features mentioned above may not make a lot of sense yet if you’re new to the game, so allow to us lock you in with an assurance that this guide is made for gamers like you. In this guide, we will discuss all the fundamentals you need to know to get a club running like a well-oiled machine. And as always, we’ll include some tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you in your journey.
Football Manager 2023 Mobile is a complicated game with quite a learning curve to it. This curve is something that we have dealt with ourselves to serve you this guide, so you can count that we will share here everything you need to know about meeting Board expectations, reading players, maintaining a team, and winning matches. All of it–we got you covered.
Hang tight, wear your manager’s suit and prepare to impress the board, we will show you the way toward seizing your first cup in Football Manager 2023 Mobile!
1. HAVE A SMOOTH START
If you are new to the game and wish to have a path with lesser rough patches as you learn, the smartest way is to go with the plainest option, which is to pick Career. You may opt to explore the offerings in Challenge and even have a bare start with My Club, but do trust us when we say that it will take you a couple of career seasons first before you’d be ready for them.
Upon choosing Career, proceed to pick just one nation and select which league you want to participate in. To ensure that you will have a decent chance to win matches and advance your career (with little fear of being sacked), we suggest picking a strong team that you know of in whichever league you choose. This path is the equivalent of adjusting the difficulty slider to “easy.”
But make no mistake, even the strongest teams can fail and lose; you may learn that it only takes one to two mistakes for that to happen. If your favorite team is not the top-of-the-table kind, below are the reasons why you should bump off your plans of picking them and go for a team of higher caliber instead.
- Presence of high-rated players, legends, and Wonderkids (attributes advantage)
- Big budget allocation from the Board
- High probability that other clubs will be interested in your players (loan, poach, or transfer)
- Great “fighting chance” to meet the Board’s target finish
- Good base reputation; there will be little to no external preference issues when recruiting
- Barely any need to recruit players in the initial season
- Steep expectations from the Board
- Low tolerance from the Board if a season becomes a huge failure
- Other clubs may poach your players and catch you by surprise (release clause trigger)
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons and that is why beginners and casual players will be better off starting with a top-tier club. With that angle established, proceed to the next action and ensure that the only item checked is the “Budgets in First Window” to stay in the default lane.
The next phase is to make selections for Coaching Style, Coaching Badge, and Reputation. Coaching Style mainly lets you declare your specialty and initial designation. As the Manager, you can appoint yourself to be a coach too. There will be preset coaches under your management and you can simply assign them to fill the four possible areas; naturally, you will want to take on an unoccupied role yourself.
Picking Defensive, Attacking, Goalkeeping, or Youth will somewhat make players in those designations gravitate toward you (win their favor easier). Choosing Fitness will allow you to talk to players about their fitness level allowing you to praise or criticize them when circumstances allow. Meanwhile, selecting Motivational gives an extra oomph to your Team Talks. There is no right or wrong choice here, just go for the one that you wish to have a tiny edge in.
For Coaching Badge, immediately go for Gold right away. It will ensure that the community will esteem you with respect and authority. Shall you select a lower option, you will need to meet some conditions and earn certifications to grade up. The Reputation selector does have a cart icon, but it’s free to use the maxed-out one off the bat, Household Name (Continental). Go for it, by all means, unless you are keen to make the climb first to achieve it. Just one more page of confirmation and you’re set to begin a season.
Our first tip then is to go with simpler options and pick a team that carries good potential. Doing so will make the beginning of your Football Manager 2023 Mobile career easier.
2. NAVIGATION AND HANDLING PROMPTS
Football Manager boasts a well-organized main interface; it’s practically impossible to be ‘lost’ here. Compared to, say, Soccer Manager, where a tap on a menu item will warp you to a separate control screen. In Football Manager 2023 Mobile, the main icons on the left side of the screen are fixed. They will always be there except when you’re in a match or viewing an achievement/certificate.
The forward path will only require you to do three things: 1) check for any news, 2) see any reports or must-do actions if there is a button by the bottom-left-hand side of the screen, and 3) tap on Next/Proceed whenever you’re ready or has responded to a required action/decision.
Take your time to explore the sub-menu items when you tap on the main menu icons. The one that you will likely use the most would be the button that shows your club’s logo. That is because it houses the shortcuts to check your First Team, Second Team, and Tactics—features you must use when rearranging your line-ups and laying your team’s tactical blueprint.
Speaking of tactics, your Team B/Second Team can assume a different tactic and formation but they will initially copy what you have laid out for the First Team. If you assign a coach to your Second Team, the only standard actions you will make for them will be for approving or rejecting loan offers and giving contracts to the players you intend to keep. Practically, most of the prompts you will get on your first season will be of this nature.
3. LEARN THE TRUTHS ABOUT TACTICS
The thing that separates pure management from pitch-action football games is that tactics are much more influential. Simply put, in Football Manager 2023 Mobile, you have to be sharp in this aspect to thrive. Learning which tactics are best for your team usually involves trial and error. Don’t fret, however, because this section of our guide is meant to save you exactly from that.
To be sharp with tactics, you must first learn every detail within the tabs of Tactics and those are Formation, Shape, Defence, Attack, Set Pieces, and Captain. When not yet on a match, you can explore the Tactics section by tapping on your club’s logo and then selecting Tactics.
Before we digest this game element, if you’re specifically looking for effective tactics and formation combos, check out our Football Manager 2023 tactics and formation guide. Meanwhile, for a more in-depth look at this feature, stick here and read along.
In the Formation tab, you will see a scrollable list of your roster on the right and a pitch representation of your players on the left. Sitting at the lower left corner of the pitch preview is a toggle for Relationships. Tapping on it will let you see any chemistry links between the deployed players. The presence of links implies that the connected players will likely have a passing preference between them and that they can predict each other’s movement patterns.
Think of it as a targeting priority. In the screenshot above, you can see a link between Tchouameni and Valverde. The link suggests that if Valverde and Traore are both open to receive a pass, Tchouameni has a greater tendency to deliver the ball to his closer fellow; except if your chosen tactic is Wing Play or your Passing protocol on Attack is set to Both Flanks.
The advantage of having a relationship link is that the connected players will take little time to transfer the ball. Without links, players will often stop to execute and receive passes, rendering them much more vulnerable to tackles and interceptions. This chemistry dynamic also ensures that passes between linked players have a high success rate, which is beneficial regardless if you allow Through Balls in the Final Third protocol or not.
When un-toggled, what you will instead see are movement hints based on the roles of your players. You can explore and read the different roles you can assign by double tapping them on the pitch preview.
At the opposite corner is the formation identifier. Tapping on it will let you restart your tactical selections with an option to save what is currently set. It will proceed to pull up the list of tactics. There are 11 tactics usable in Football Manager 2023 Mobile, but you do not have to be versed in all of them. As we stated in our tactics and formation guide, all you need to master is four.
There will always be three tactics marked as recommended by your Assistant Manager. The recommended tactics do not guarantee a better performance; they are purely based on the capabilities of the majority of your available roster.
Do not limit yourself to selecting only the recommended ones because there will be times that you may face a team whose defensive setup can negate all of them. Referring to the previous screenshot, you can see that the recommended tactics for us are Tiki-Taka, Vertical Tiki-Taka, and Control Possession.
While they are all potent tactics and our team has high-rated players to make any of the three work, a team with 3 to 4 elite defenders can choke and shut them down, simply because they are all dependent on short-range passes. We learned this the hard way when we absorbed our first defeat. The screenshot above illustrates how a pure Tiki-Taka game ended against a defense-oriented team. Despite having better offensive players and being esteemed as the favorite to win, our team failed to attempt a single shot in the entire match.
Our foremost tip in terms of formation and tactics is to be versed with at least four–ideally two of the recommended and another two that are not. Nominate a base formation then switch to a secondary tactic when you are unable to secure a goal in the first half.
Selecting the right protocols in Shape is vital in making tactics work. Each tactic will have a default set of protocols in Shape, Defence, and Attack, but feel free to tweak them especially when you are trying to maintain the integrity of your defense and ensure the purity of your attacking efforts.
Team Mentality sets the distance of your players from one another with or without the ball. Technically, this dictates your team’s vertical spacing and how tightly packed or loosely spread they will be on the pitch, with Contain as the most constricted and Overload as the most scattered.
Generally, we don’t recommend selecting Contain, Defensive, and Overload because the first two will slow up-field coverage and the last will render you vulnerable to through balls and long-range finishers.
Width pertains to the horizontal spread of your players. You should adjust the protocols here based on your line-up. You can opt to go Narrow if your offense pattern involves a lot of in-field passing or make it Wide to position Wingers closer to the flanks. Picking Balanced would be the safest and often the most ideal choice because it allows quicker spreading compared to Narrow and faster traffic creation when on defense.
Tempo dictates how fast or slow you want your team in moving up and down the pitch especially when attacking. Think of this as your instruction to your players on how they must behave when passing the ball; the faster the protocol, the lesser time they will spend dribbling and aiming passes.
Tactics that require a build-up or take time to ‘mature’ would usually work best with Slow, while the ones designed for quick attacks or counter-attacking will always be fit to go Fast.
The Tempo that you will pick should match your Passing Style protocol. As a rule of thumb, go Fast for Long passes (high-risk, high reward) or be Slow in short-distance ball crossing. Mixed is a fine choice if most of your team have at least good ratings (blue numbers) for their Decisions and Creativity attributes. Direct is the one that we don’t advise picking because players down the pitch will skip passing to nearer teammates in a bid to send the ball to those higher on the pitch; it practically makes all passes risky.
Creative Freedom serves as your ‘blessing’ to your players on how much they can swerve from all the protocols you set. For example, if you set this to Expressive, you may see your goalkeeper kicking out long ball passes even if you set the Goalkeeper Distribution protocol to Short.
As for the rest of the players, an Expressive setup may be fruitful if the majority has decent Creativity, Decisions, and Aggression attributes. Meanwhile, if you select Balanced, only aggressive and creative players will likely break protocols whenever they see openings while on the attack.
The rest who are not-so-gifted will rather act as a conduit for ball movement and will only attempt to finish if they’re within the penalty box. Should you be keen to make players maintain their spacing based on your formation, the Disciplined protocol will then be suitable.
There is no best option when it comes to Creative Freedom. It all boils down to your confidence in your team’s scoring ability or any defensive necessity. If your tactic permits, start with Expressive and then dial it down to Balanced or Disciplined if you notice that the opposition is frequently breaking into your own Final Third. Conversely, if your chosen tactic is reliant on counterattack opportunities, it will be smart to immediately assume a Disciplined protocol.
The terms and visual representations of the protocols in Defence are clear and self-explanatory, especially for Defensive Line and Closing Down. The former shows the approximate area where your back-liners will seat and the latter dictates the range of their defensive coverage (or how soon they will engage attackers).
Tackling protocols will be your instructions on how persistent your players be when attacking the ball handler. This command applies to all players, meaning even Strikers, Wingers, and Advanced Midfielders will be equally intense as Defenders when they tackle.
Activating Offside Trap and Time Wasting offers their own pair of pros and cons. When Offside Trap is switched on, your players will swarm to the side your opponent is driving at. It can win you possessions (or earn free kicks) quicker at the expense of transferring the majority of your players to one side; this means you may become vulnerable on the less-crowded side, especially if your opponent’s Strikers are prolific Poachers/Trequartistas.
Time Wasting is only a preset for Park the Bus, which should not come as a surprise given the tactic’s name and real-world reputation. Using this is a rather niche decision. If you’re playing in a top-tier league, this has a high chance to backfire because of the abundance of Strikers and Wingers that can undercut the defense line. We don’t advise using this, unless, say, you’re just less than 10 game minutes away from the end of the first half or the standard regulation and when you’re already satisfied with the score.
Final Third has six options wherein you can activate up to three at a time. Don’t feel obligated to activate three, especially when it’s not necessary or if it will paint even the slightest contradiction to your chosen tactic. You have to discern which options are synergistic with your ideal attacking template.
3.4.1 Early Cross vs Look For Overlap
Your selection here will exclusively affect Wingers–whether they would attack the box from the infield or encroach the spaces beside the penalty box in hopes to loosen up the defense. Except for Vertical Tiki-Taka, activating Look For Overlap should be a chief choice in all tactics. Utilizing the flanks is a smart thing to do because defensive pressure can often win you corner kicks or at least the privilege to position your team each time you’re awarded a throw-in.
3.4.2 Shoot On Sight vs Work Into Box
These two, in terms of how they function, act merely as suggestions. Work Into Box implies that your team will only attempt to finish once the ball is in the box. The reality, however, especially if you have aggressive Strikers and Wingers, is that they will shoot even before they touch the penalty box’s line. Thus, barely creating a difference from Shoot On Sight. Overall, it is still a helpful protocol to limit shots from crazy distances.
To enforce the intent of exclusively finishing just within the box, it may help to set Creative Freedom to Disciplined. To its credit, Work Into Box will at least give your team some restraint to take low-percentage shots from insane distances.
Conversely, allowing your team to Shoot on Sight means everyone has a go signal to finish as long as the goal is within their range (influenced by Shooting, Aggression, and Decisions) and when no defender stands between them and the goal.
Utterly risky, but can be a blessing at times. In our experience playing as a team in a lesser league, we’re able to score 30 to 50-footers a few times. Activating it mainly depends if you’re the kind who likes gambling possessions for goals that require less work (translation: a playstyle that can save your team’s stamina).
In contrast to Early Crosses and Look For Overlap, ignoring to make a selection here is not a crime and would barely cause any drawbacks. Still, since there is a means to encourage your team to prefer higher percentage shots, you might as well tick Work Into Box.
3.4.3 Run At Defence vs Through Balls
We’re opening this part by saying that choosing either from this pair is purely optional. It is almost choosing between a rock and a hard place because these two sets the type of risk you will want your players to take as they advance up the pitch.
Run At Defence makes your players do as the name suggests–instead of pausing or traveling in diagonals, they would almost always charge forward and stay close to defenders. Due to that, turning it on renders your team extra vulnerable to tackle attempts.
Should you get lucky in this fearless approach, you’ll earn more free kicks than you usually would; if not, somebody in your team will be injured. Injuries are a real pain especially if it happens to your main scorers. It becomes extra painful especially in your first season when you have not yet acquired an extra high-rate Striker or Winger.
This maverick protocol should only be used when you’re running Gegenpress. Then again, this isn’t a magical switch that can make the tactic work—your deployed 11 should have decent numbers in Strength, Technique, Dribbling, and Movement attributes to be worth the risk.
Through Balls, on the other hand, is inherent to Vertical Tiki-Taka because it prioritizes shortcut passes to a receiver up-field even if two or more defenders are looming by the passing lane. Its drawback would be an increased chance to be intercepted.
Our advice here is to exclusively activate Run At Defence or Through Balls if you’re going for Gegenpress or Vertical Tiki-Taka, respectively. Turning them on while running other tactical templates would likely compromise your offensive flow.
The protocol options for Passing Style, Passing Focus, and Goalkeeper Distribution are self-explanatory. You may opt to go purist–exclusively selecting an exclusive range and direction that favors your chosen tactic or pick Mixed where available, especially if you trust your players’ Passing skills.
3.5 Set Pieces, and Captain
Designating specific players in Set Pieces is optional. If you don’t tweak anything, the player who got fouled will take the free kick from the spot of contact; as for throw-ins/corner kicks, the last ball carrier when an opponent sent the ball out of bounds will be in charge.
We don’t suggest assigning your strikers to take free kicks since the scenario offers a low probability of conversion anyway. Their shooting and finishing potential can be better tapped if they’re free to receive inbounds or take second-chance kicks.
Selecting a Captain and Vice-Captain is also optional, it will be best to let the game decide. What normally happens is that the oldest player with a good overall rating will be given the captain’s armband. Manually assigning captains may cause morale drawbacks if you have mistakenly delegated a younger player or someone who hasn’t been in the club longer than the rest.
Now that you’re familiar with the protocols within Tactics, you already know what to adjust when refining your game plan. The effectiveness of a tactic differs from opponent to opponent and Football Manager 2023 Mobile is seemingly outfitted with an algorithm that allows your next opponent to be adaptive toward a tactic you used in a previous match. Given those, you must expand your perspective to negotiate the tactical turns of the game.
3.6 Tactical Considerations
Knowledge about tactics and the terms around it are not enough, you have to do extra measures to make your plans work, be it your plan A or plan B. Below are what you need to remember as you draw your approach to each game.
Bring The Right Backup –In our Formation and Tactics Guide, we mentioned shifting to a different tactic if your team is unable to score within the first 30 minutes or if they are unable to deliver the ball up-field to get some Shots On Target.
To welcome any tactical shifts, you need to make sure that your Backup squad (S1 to S9) can hold your secondary tactic. For example, if your primary tactic requires an infield-heavy formation (like Vertical Tiki-Taka), make sure that you have trusty wingers as spare players so you can shift to Wing Play or a flank-targeting Route One.
Load Your Lineup – Regardless if your primary tactic works or not, always see to it that there is a fitting substitute for the key pieces of your strategy. The substitutes do not have to be bright green on the spots they may take. Versatile players are quite rare; as long as one assumes a post they won’t sport orange or red, he’ll be fine. To make things uncomplicated, here is our suggested minimum number of players per position that your squad of 20 should have.
- 3 Strikers (pure ST): If your first 11 has two STs, sub-out the one that will reach below 85% condition first OR whoever is unyielding/scoreless. Shall they both tire before the 75-minute mark, put the fresh one in and then position a capable AM to play as Shadow Striker. Since strikers are your team’s primary scoring options, you will always want to have a spare striker on your bench.
- 5 Wingers (AM R/L, M L/R): Unlocking both flanks is highly encouraged because those are the paths where you can bring the ball up-field with ‘thinner’ defensive pressure. The issue with Wingers is that they tend to tire out a bit faster than the rest due to the additional distance they have to cover and how frequently they have to run with or without the ball. Five is the ideal number or you can opt to have more to ensure there is a substitute for the offensive and defensive wingers of both sides.
- 6 Defenders (DC, D WB L/R): It is quite a standard to have at least four defenders deployed at a time, two Centre Backs and two by the sides. Centre Backs tend to tire the less each game because they cover the least distance and would only encroach upon the opponent’s final third on prolonged possessions, direct free kicks, and corner kicks. The spare two should ideally be versatile but primarily comfortable (bright green or dark green on pitch preview) when placed on the flanks because Wingbacks/Defensive Wingers are meant to run a lot and actively engage attackers.p
- 4 Midfielders (AM C, M C, DM C): Depending on your Team Mentality and Tempo protocols, midfielders may tire out faster than the rest because they always stay active both on offensive and defensive ends. Whether you’re sporting a formation with two central midfielders or three, don’t let the game close out with any of them in orange stamina; use a reserve so someone at the heart of the pitch will stay fresh to link your defenders and attackers.
The unaccounted slot left in the 20 will be according to your preference and it should be a preemptive response to situations your team may encounter. For this, you have to observe if any of your players are prone to sustain injuries, commit fouls, or inexplicably shift moods. If you have a player who has such tendencies, set him as a backup or have a backup specifically for him if he is a starter.
Never Back Down – If you find yourself in a tight match and up by just a goal, be it 1-0 or 3-4, never cower and turtle up by switching to defensive mode. Sure, there is a logic in going purely defense-minded (to nurse a lead and close the match with it), but there is a greater reason why you should not dial your attacks down—your players’ attributes.
Strikers and Attacking Midfielders (offensive wingers included), no matter how many stars they got for ratings, aren’t naturally good defenders so they won’t really contribute as much in an all-defense scenario. Pacy players can help apply pressure, but their offense-oriented attributes and natural lack of tackling ability will offer very little in sealing the match. Simply put, shifting to a playstyle with a passive offense and rigid defense will essentially mean nerfing half of your team.
Additionally, if you cease to offer scoring threats, it can make things favorable for your opponent to mount a comeback. The AI in Football Manager 2023 Mobile will hammer you for what you lack. In the match we were in for the screenshots below, we were rendered stale after a sole goal. Since our attackers can’t get open looks, we thought it would be wise to just play defense—boy, we were wrong.
Our opponents turned sweaty in the second half. As you can see in the timeline, we have a player who sustained an injury, they have a player slapped with a yellow card (as their tackles become intense), and worse, they were able to even the match with still about 5 minutes in standard regulation.
In response to the apparent shift in tide, we decided to play offense again, utilizing Wing Play. It was a productive move as both of our wingers were able to score shortly after, clinching the game to a 3-1. To further support our example, refer to the endgame stats below.
The main point here is to not allow the AI to outsmart you. Use your sentient gift to utilize tactical shifts whenever conducive and necessary. Look for signs like checking the opponent’s weak side or the height of their defensive line and then tailor an approach to take advantage of it.
Focus on Your Own Strength – The most you should do when ‘worrying’ what your opponent can dish out is check their formation (your Assistant Manager will tell you about this ahead of each match) and the ones we just mentioned: seeing which flank is weak and their defensive line placement. Beyond that, you should keep your attention on tapping your team’s own strengths.
If you have elite wingmen, don’t hesitate to go Wing Play even if it is not included in the recommended tactics of your Assistant Manager. If the majority of your team has decent Strength, Tackling, and Movement attributes, Gegenpress could work excellently for you. The point here is to solely focus on your players to identify what kind of primary and secondary strategies you can implement and not how you can withstand whatever threat your opponents present. Keep in mind, the aim is victory; not survival.
To paint an example, Gegenpress is one of our club’s default recommended tactics, but we faced a club that is equally versed in it and carried that very strategy. Instead of fighting fire with fire, we avoided most of the heat and went for a Route One playstyle. The decision bagged us our first UEFA Super Cup.
To recap this section, our main tip is to master at least four tactics and be keen on what micro-adjustments to make when it comes to protocols and manually positioning your players’ spots on the pitch.
The adjustments you make shall take into account their attributes and suitable roles. With the right players, tactics, and protocols, you will be on your way to dominating matches and raking in titles for your club!
4. UNDERSTANDING PLAYER DYNAMICS
In all of the previous sections, we never ceased to mention players, positions, or attributes. That is because we want to emphasize their importance. Your level of familiarity with what your players can offer will be an instrumental part of your success in Football Manager 2023 Mobile.
4.1 Be Keen with Attributes
Let’s first take a look at attributes and what they tell about a player. For that purpose, let’s check one of the best Strikers in the game, Erling Haaland. His attributes support why he is such a superb Center Forward. See below what each attribute means in the game.
Aerial – refers to the jumping ability when receiving the ball from high and lofted pass to convert it to a shot or another pass; this suggests one’s capacity to execute headers.
Crossing – the ability to dish clean passes to teammates through and into tight spaces.
Dribbling – the ability to carry alone and bring the ball across and up the pitch despite defensive pressure.
Passing – quite self-explanatory; it refers to how proficient a player is with his passes.
Shooting – the ability to finish; likely based on a player’s real-life goal percentage.
Tackling – the ability to dispossess the ball carrier while applying defensive pressure.
Technique – refers to a player’s comfort level when the ball is in his possession; think of juggling skills and the knack of adjusting his kicks when shooting, passing, and preserving the ball.
Aggression – refers to the killer instinct of a player when attacking or defending; the lack of it implies that one may often act passively unless he is in possession of the ball when on offense or only if the ball enters his proximity when on defense.
Creativity – the ability to swerve from the basics; it dictates how well one can shoot or pass from difficult angles on offense and wisely lay pressure on defense.
Decisions – refers to the ability to calculate the situation on the pitch and fit a decision on-the-fly; affects one’s discernment in passing and tackling with regard to distance and timing.
Leadership – refers to how one’s presence can encourage teammates to press forward as an attacker or intensely guard as a defender.
Movement – refers to how fluid a player is in moving through the channels following a tactic, making his offensive and defensive efforts extra efficient.
Positioning – refers to a player’s ability to pre-position himself in adherence to a chosen tactic, especially when looking for open spaces to receive a pass or reading the passing lanes when trying to intercept.
Teamwork – refers to how faithful a player can be in following set protocols for Tactics and sticking to the role assigned to him.
Pace – straight up, the movement speed of the player.
Stamina – the condition burn rate of a player; affects how long he can efficiently fulfill his role before his shots, passes, and tackle attempts dwindle due to fatigue. Take note that stamina consumption also takes into account actual movement and activity—those who run a lot will naturally tire quicker.
Strength – the ability of a player to survive and execute tackle attempts; this also dictates one’s effective kicking range.
Attributes predetermine a player’s capacity to perform in his position and each position has a set of recommended and preferred attributes. Upon checking the in-game data available for the top players worldwide plus our experience in fielding players of different skill levels, below are what we deem as essential and ideal for players in different positions, arranged in order of importance. Take note of them so you know what attributes you can make your players focus to train.
Essential: Shooting > Technique > Movement > Decisions
Ideal: Pace > Dribbling > Aerial > Creativity
Wingers (including AM Cs that can play as Shadow Strikers)
Essential: Pace > Dribbling > Passing > Technique
Ideal: Shooting > Stamina > Aggression > Positioning
Essential: Passing > Decisions > Teamwork > Positioning
Ideal: Crossing > Movement > Dribbling > Leadership
Essential: Decisions > Aggression > Passing > Tackling
Ideal: Leadership > Teamwork > Technique > Strength
Essential: Tackling > Strength > Aerial > Passing
Ideal: Pace > Aggression > Positioning > Technique
Essential: Handling > Reflexes > Decisions > Positioning
Ideal: Pace > Aerial > Kicking > Throwing
Noticeably, goalkeepers have a different set of attributes. Generally, as long as a GK has good ratings on the essential four, he would be dependable enough to guard the goal.
A player can still perform decently in his position even if he doesn’t have a green or at least blue rating in all of the eight attributes. Then again, someone with complete checks in those areas will naturally deliver on his duties better.
Taking into account the impact of attributes, it’s a rudimentary move to put the ones with the best ratings as your starting 11. Provided, of course, that your chosen formation will not alienate them away from their comfort zones.
4.2 Plot Pitch Positions Wisely
When switching from one tactic or formation to another, the players get shuffled on the pitch preview. As such, make sure to manually rearrange your players before you hit the Continue/Go To Match.
You may notice that, as you drag and drop players into different slots, their markers change colors. The color indicates their proficiency level on that spot. The rule of thumb is that you should ideally only place players on slots they would sport bright or dark green in. They can still play at an OK level as a yellow-green, but it will greatly hamper their talent.
To give you an idea, take a look at the list in the image above. Karim Benzema, by default, is a 5-star player whose native position is ST. He can be stretched as a left-side winger, but doing so will only make him perform as a 2.5-star AM L. Our advice then is to stretch with caution and only consider doing it for defensive positions or for particular attacking roles that will have a short time with the ball (Poacher, Trequarista and Shadow Striker).
4.3 Check Compatible Roles
Selecting specific roles is a subtlety you should not ignore if you wish to maximize your players. The brief description of each role that you can view from the Tactics path will give you a surface idea of what each role does.
You may have tinkered with the different roles but ended up wondering, does it make any difference at all? Despite choosing what is recommended by the Assistant Manager, a player may not yield what is expected of him. The reason behind that will be the lack of compatibility between the player’s actual traits and the set of traits required in a role.
To get a better view of the different roles and see what is most fitting for every man in your roster, go to the First Team view and browse each of your key players. Just three swipe lefts and you will get the Player Positions view. From there, browse each role and see which one will have the most traits in green text. It will be best to set a player with that role regardless of what scenario the Tactic-Formation combo creates.
This isn’t exactly going renegade; treat it as giving a player access to all of his weapons. In the screenshot above, we assigned Benzema to be an Advanced Forward. The swerve from the Complete Forward suggestion for the solo striker in a 4-5-1 Gegenpress paid off pretty quickly, he was able to secure two goals within the first 20 minutes of the match.
There is no guarantee that giving each player their native, preferred roles will assure victory, but it will at least allow you to maximize their potentials—with their direct impact in each match and the form/ratings they can achieve. Note that players develop (or maintain their skill level) when they reach at least a rating of 7 in a match.
We have to note, however, that assigning the best-matching role is something you should limit to your attackers (STs and AMs). They are the ones who can capitalize the most on freedom and position-trait synergy.
For Midfielders, delegate the following depending on how many of them are used in your formation at a time. Note that these are arranged in order of importance: Anchor > Central Midfielder > Defensive Midfielder > Ball-Winning Midfielder.
As for defenders, leave them as they are; their roles are laid out in a preset that offers a decent defensive backbone to support the selected formation. The exemption will only be for those formations with three Central Defenders where you must appoint the centermost one as a Libero.
4.4 Boost Your Team’s Morale
The treatment of morale in Football Manager 2023 Mobile works in the same way as in other sports management games. Morale affects a player’s performance in a way that their output can be consistent with their ratings or traits and even exceed them. However, unlike in Soccer Manager 2023, you cannot pay your way to improve a player’s morale with an in-game currency or ad-watching phases.
Morale is shaped by winning, losing, individual performances, and other factors outside of matches. Some players have naturally high morale while others tend to be unstable because they are either moody or sensitive (they feel bad if they didn’t see action or were underwhelming in a previous match). Fortunately, there are a couple of ways you can manage your player’s morale and mitigate downturns.
4.4.1 Team Talk
Before a match begins and during the half-time break, you have an opportunity to have a pep talk with your team. There are three constant options, Relaxed, Balanced, and Demanding. Each has a different effect and suitability. Picking the wrong Team Talk Mood might negatively sway the mood and morale of your players and that is something you will always want to avoid. Here then is a little cheat sheet that may hopefully help you minimize mistakes.
When to pick Relaxed?
Relaxed talk is the most ideal when your players are worried before the match or feeling uncertain of victory after the first half. Should the match result in a win, your players will attribute the win to your relaxed attitude and this helps you win their loyalty and respect.
You essentially wear the ‘good guy’ shoes offering no pressure. As a result, your team will be more comfortable playing their hearts out, setting a tendency to make already confident ones feel over-confident. This occurs more often at half-time, but don’t worry because it is a small price to pay, as it usually only happens to players who have scored, contributed assists, or have the most tackles.
When to pick Balanced?
In most occasions, Balanced is the safest pre-match choice. Consider it as your way to tell your team that they have to work for the win. This usually applies when your team holds a form advantage—an ample reminder that you trust their abilities, but they should not underestimate the opponent.
At half-time, it usually becomes an even safer option, as it is equally applicable whether you’re ahead, behind, or the match is at a draw. It may be the most harmless path, but don’t fall into the trap of monotony because you will eventually get a message that your team is no longer interested in your Team Talks.
When to pick Demanding?
The trickiest of the three, but tends to be the most positively impactful when chosen at the right moment. A Demanding talk is a perfect choice by half-time if your team is behind and you notice that even your high-rated players are making poor shots and passes. If your team is ahead just by a goal and there have been too many misplays, a fiery manager’s speech may work wonders to get everyone in line.
Its pre-game application is slim–only go for it if you are pitted against a team recognized as your club’s rival. Beyond that, stay away from it. Also, holding a Demanding talk if there is a newcomer in your team (even if that player is a veteran) is highly discouraged. A player with a suddenly broken morale is contagious, especially if he is a part of your starting 11.
4.4.2. Individual Talks
At almost any point in the game, you can visit your First and Second Teams and select a player you wish to talk to. Almost all the time, there is one selectable option. If you have selected Training or Motivational as your Coaching Style way back in the career creation phase, there is a higher probability that there will be an open talk agenda (Current Form or Training).
Upon selecting an agenda, there are only two options, praise or criticize. Praising would often work to boost the morale of a player, but don’t do it too frequently. The ideal spacing is after every other match. If you happened to praise players too often, your talk would lose its effect and this perspective of being saturated with attention may only go away after a couple of weeks.
In rare instances, some players appreciate being criticized. This normally applies to the top-tier ones who are perfectionists. Such players, even if they played decently in a recent game, will not appreciate being praised. They will think you’re patronizing them as evidenced by a message that says you must hold them in higher esteem.
If you notice that you have such players, take note of who they are and make sure to only commend them next time if and when they have been clearly outstanding in a game. In the same way, if you notice players who are receptive to praise regardless of their performance or form, make sure to remember them and talk with them regularly.
An awesome manager pays attention to the mood and morale of every single player in his club, so make sure to maximize your limited means to address this angle. Your players hold your club’s fate on the pitch, stay connected with them and see them repay you with a performance that can make you proud.
5. GAINING BOARD CONFIDENCE
If you faithfully follow our tips, tricks, and strategies from choosing a smooth start to mastering tactics, making sound decisions, and mobilizing your players in the best way possible (a.k.a. our winning formula), your road to gaining board confidence is clear and straight. That is because Football Manager 2023 Mobile adheres to the reality of how winning solves everything.
This is a logical contrast to how things are in Soccer Manager 2023 where you are given unrealistic targets even if you only picked a middle-tier club. In Football Manager 2023 Mobile, as long as you are winning, the Board will respect you even if you aren’t perfect in all six areas.
Winning directly addresses the Competitions and Matches criteria because they look at your trophies/finishes and career win rate, respectively. Meanwhile, Transfers, Finances, and Squad Harmony heavily rely on your decisions outside of the pitch, but they, too, greatly benefit from your club’s form.
5.1 Improving Transfers
Transfers become easier when you finish a solid season or have won at least a national cup. That is because your accomplishments make your club an attractive destination for players. If you consistently win domestic and international league titles, your club’s appeal extends over your Second Team and even youth recruits. You will get transfer and loan offers and occasional poaching (extravagant transfers that trigger an auto-release clause).
Both outgoing and incoming transfers are counted in the criteria. To fare relatively well here, allow the transfers of players you don’t need—the ones who have monetary value but are not sharp enough to be part of your regular rotation.
You will be judged by who you acquire and who you let go and the perspective of the board would always be objective. If you can net high-value players below their actual prize, expect that your Transfer rating will increase a notch. To fish for this purpose, utilize your scouts to look for players you need in certain positions and you will be notified whenever they voice interest to leave their teams or if their contracts are about to expire.
5.2 ‘Fixing’ Finances
We’re quickly looping back to what we said earlier in this guide: choose a top-tier team. Being at the helm of a top-of-the-table club means you instantly have access to a stellar budget. With deep pockets and an already stable team, you will have enormous room for salary thresholds and a substantial transfer budget to acquire better players.
Just be wise when shooting for the stars. Unloading your club’s coffers to recruit players that cost upwards of £100M may appeal to fans but may backfire in multiple ways. Think of injuries, red cards, and the impending salary adjustment and match time demands from your original players that will be bumped off when newcomers roll in.
Your Finances rating factors in your acquisition spending and, for the most part, the weekly wages. Compared to the other areas, it is the one that takes a while to recover and increase. Fortunately, there’s a little trick we can offer to see a better score in this area INSTANTLY. When you’re already contented with your First Team, Backup, and Rotation players, pull the slider to the left to give more room for wage budget.
Doing the trick above allowed us to climb from C to B right away without selling or releasing any excess players. You can reinstate the slider back anyway in case you’re gearing to bag a prized recruit as the board will never recall any unused funds.
Now, how does winning affect this dynamic? Well, being a club that consistently achieves outstanding finishes in leagues, the Board will have no hesitation to dispense the same amount of large budget for the next season and they may even increase it. On opportune occasions, a billionaire benefactor may contribute a huge sum of money to your club out of nowhere, simply because you’re excellent. Imagine that!
5.3 Establishing a Sound Squad Harmony
Squad Harmony is a reflection of your players’ moods and morale. Every single player, regardless of status, is factored in this area. As the screenshot above suggests, your first-team players greatly impact this dynamic.
Quite obviously, winning lifts everyone’s mood, so if you can achieve a winning form, there is no need to worry about this criterion. Furthermore, constantly talking to players who performed well after matches or those that your Assistant Manager mentions that are working extra hard on training will be key to keeping things up.
Apart from winning matches and your interventions through talks, a trick to be solid in this criteria is to establish partnerships. You can access this feature by tapping on your club’s logo > Development Hub and swiping left until you see Mentoring.
Your Assistant Manager may sometimes recommend partnerships. We suggest establishing those whenever there’s a recommendation present. If there is none, you may proactively set up a partnership. The principle here is to have a senior player mentor a younger player, ideally pairing those who play the same positions or at least have similar playstyles.
Mentoring, if successful, builds chemistry between the mentor and mentee and this bond will help even if they are in separate squads (i.e., the mentor is a First Team player and the mentee is from the Second Team). Mood and morale will always be contagious, praising a player will not only increase his morale but that of his friends too. Such friends will always include his mentee and, eventually, the friends of the mentee too.
Again, meeting any targets set by the board will be directly or indirectly influenced by winning. So be sharp on those tactics, take care of your players, and watch your Board Confidence rating show green grades.
6. LOAN DYNAMICS
Football, perhaps, is the only sport where loaning is standard practice. To loan means letting a player with a contract in a club play in another. The main premise behind it is to let players have exposure and potentially grant them pitch time.
As the manager, the players you must loan list or allow to go on loan are the ones who are unlikely to see action in the First Team or Second Team; basically, your spares. When you pick a team, regardless of their overall strength, there will be players who will need to develop and refine their skills first before they can be considered worthy of a First Team, Backup, or Rotation status.
Putting the focus on loan-listing players is usually a post-season ritual because those who have returned from their loan duties will be back on your roster. We reckon that the focus of this guide is to lead you toward a solid first season, but we’re touching up on this matter because loaning is a part of your responsibility as a manager. With that matter cleared, let us tackle the two modes of loaning a player.
6.1 Loan Listing
As hinted previously, you must check your roster and see which players are unlikely to see first-team action. To loan list a player, simply browse the player’s profile, select Transfer Status and then toggle the Listed for loan switch.
The chances of teams taking interest in your loan-listed players are based on the player’s value, attributes, and your club’s reputation. If you are a champion-caliber club, even if the player you signed is just a youth player, tapping advancing on the next date may quickly feed a loan offer.
Putting someone on the loan list is totally safe; it will not affect the player’s morale or mood, unlike how getting loan-listed is an issue in Soccer Manager 2023. Moreover, if your genuine intent to loan a player is to see him develop (as opposed to simply lessening your roster’s excess), you may choose to safeguard that player from being poached by re-signing him on a contract with a high minimum release fee. If a club still attempts to poach, it’s your choice to sell him for profit or extend a better offer.
6.2 Accepting Loan Offers
This is the more direct and certain option. Promising players that have a Rotation or Backup status in your First and Second Teams will be on the radar of some teams. If the team offering a loan has such intent to buy the player, there will be an indication in the notice.
Again, you may opt to make a valued prospect harder to poach by increasing his value and then proceeding to sell if an offer persists. Treat this as a business move, managing a club is a business after all. Any player that you sell above their actual value will be a score for your Finances and the Board will appreciate you for it.
The main concept in loaning is to utilize it to your club’s advantage either to groom a future First Team member or increase a spare player’s stock with exposure, then sell him when the opportunity allows. Make sure to always take advantage of this dynamic.
And that pretty much caps our Football Manager 2023 Mobile guide! If you have read from the top up to this part, we’re amply confident that you are already equipped to lead a winning franchise of your own.
We have poured a serious amount of time to master the game trying out multiple clubs and theories to compile the information we have shared here. You can be sure that the knowledge contained in this article has been tried and tested to near perfection.
We hope that you have picked up something here that you can use in your careers. After all, the true reward for our dedication that we consider here in Level Winner is to see the members of our community excel in their games.
If you like what you have read, do share this article with your friends. They too deserve to know that after conquering the learning curve, Football Manager 2023 Mobile is actually an engaging game. Yes, the pitch animation may just be pegs plus a ball—a watered-down version of how the PC and console versions are—but the features are pretty much consistent on all platforms. The challenges, the drama, and the crucial decisions are all the same.
Thank you for the time you spent reading our guide and please know that it is our pleasure to help our fellow gamers and football fans in realizing their own fruitful management careers. Have a great run, champs!
Friday 13th of January 2023
But training guide ?
Friday 24th of February 2023
Hi! FMM 20203 is not like Soccer Manager Mobile 2023 where you pick an array of training for your team. Players will be trained according to schedule focusing on attributes the assistant manager "thinks" a player needs,
You can however change the set of attributes being honed. Please refer tp 4.1. Also, you must mind adjusting the intensity of training sessions for aging players or the injury prone ones. Hope this helps!