Football Manager 2023 is out now. Fully out, that is, after weeks of being available as an early access beta. This also means it’s now available via PC Game Pass, for those who want to stick their hand into management experimentally like a virtual Paul Scholes.
This year’s new features include a “Squad Planner and Experience Matrix”. This is a new screen that gathers together information about your squad to allow you to see at a glance how many players deep you are at each position, and what the squad might look like one and two seasons in advance. From here, you can theoretically make decisions about recruitment, spotting that your right-back position will need reinforcements 18 months in the future and directing your staff to start scouting replacements or developing youngsters.
FM2023 also brags that it has improved AI managers, new player animations, and a new “fan confidence” rating to go alongside the longstanding “board confidence” meter. As a collection of features, it’s not groundbreaking – but Football Manager never is. It’s a resolutely incrementalist series. I’d rank this year’s collection of updates as marginally better than that one year they made a big deal about having burger stands outside the stadiums.
I’ve played a lot of Football Manager over the past, oh no, 26 years. More recently, I’ve played it most in its “Classic” edition, which stripped back much of the modern faff of digital management – press conferences, training sessions, more press conferences – in favour of a version more closely aligned with the Championship Manager of old.
That edition was renamed Football Manager Touch and more recently has not been released on PC. This year, it’s available on Nintendo Switch and iOS devices via Apple Arcade.
If you’re patient enough for the full fat experience however, you can find Football Manager 2023 via Steam and Epic for £45/€60, or via PC Game Pass for the price of your monthly subscription.