Football Manager 2022 review (2022)

Our Verdict

The veteran playmaker is still banging them in and deserves that new contract.

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Need to know

What is it? The latest instalment of the long-running Football management sim.

Expect to pay From £40/$60

Developer Sports Interactive

(Video) Football Manager 2022 Review - The Final Verdict

Publisher Sega

Release November 9, 2021

Reviewed on GTX 980 Ti, Intel i5-4690K, 32GB RAM

Multiplayer? Yes

Link Official site (opens in new tab)

When Ossie Ardiles returned to manage Spurs, he decided to play to their strengths. They had five world-class strikers, so they all started. It was breathtaking... and a disaster. I find that kind of devil-may-care, joie-de-vivre irresistible, and that's why I've sucked at football manager sims all these years, since the Kevin Toms classic on the 16k ZX81. I'm a fan, and the intricacies of the game are often too arcane. Just play better, I scream, occasionally out loud.

So, the Football Manager series has always frightened me. There are menus and charts and significant obfuscation of the systems by which it functions. It's the big and clever simulation for the statistician and the connoisseur whose dish is data. Sports Interactive's commitment to quality is an extravagant feast for those with the patience and acumen to get to the bottom of the bowl.

Yet the tutorial system that made last year's game more beginner-friendly returns, fooling you into thinking you know what's going on. You start with the club philosophy, which is ideal. I chose the gegenpress, the high-tempo blend of "get into 'em" and possession football, and this establishes the formation, the instructions to the players and the training sessions for your staff to conduct.

Football Manager 2022 review (1)

Then you're up and running. All the other areas—transfers, scouting, staff recruitment, finances and so on—are then introduced over a few in-game weeks. You can do everything, or just delegate and follow advice from your backroom team. This is sensible stuff you've forgotten, things you don't want to bother with, and guidance that may or may not make sense. It's tempting to think you can do better, but you ignore them at your peril. Cautious mindset, versus Luton? No way, you think, before attacking and getting stuffed two-nil. The new Data Hub provides an astounding quantity of visualisations and analyses. I didn’t really understand what I was seeing though. This functionality is not for the faint-hearted. I ordered a report from my analytics team, and they replied: here is a mysterious picture and contained within, the secret of your failure. I was none the wiser, so I ignored it.

Five hours in and I was still in the first week of my mismanagement of my childhood team.

(Video) Is FM22 Good?

Football Manager unfolds at a snail's pace. Five hours in and I was still in the first week of my mismanagement of my childhood team. I got to my first competitive match after 13 hours, still unsure of how the team would perform in the league. I began to delegate huge swathes of admin and yet, real world days were passing me by. And I kept clicking continue. On to the next match, and the next. It is compelling, like thirst is compelling.

Last year, the arrival of a proper match animation was the moment that the veil was removed between what you thought was happening and what was actually going on. This year there's a whole new match engine. Player movement, the passage of play and animation quality are all improved, but it's an incremental development. You need to interpret it like another graph. It might be more fluid on release, as the Match Engine reviewed wasn't final, but you see players gliding diagonally, as they turn. No one seems to tackle anyone when you're watching. The extended highlights seem somewhat random, making me question what I'm missing. I see players become tired, their positions and movement, but there's no chance of believing what you're seeing. Nevertheless it's thrilling, in the way that radio commentary, the vidiprinter or the noise of the crowd heard in the concourse can be. When the net bulges, the emotions are real.

Football Manager 2022 review (2)

The transfer market is tremendous stuff. The most basic option gives you 20,000+ players who can be scouted and refuse your offers, and deadline day is edge-of-the-seat stuff. I tried to get good money for a player running down his contract, knowing he'd be upset if I got in his way, and yet lining up a replacement that I could only afford once the wantaway left-back had been sold. Executing that piece of business was like three points away to the league-leaders. The fans moaned on the social media feed, but haters gonna hate.

The illusion breaks down elsewhere, mostly when interacting with the players. I congratulated the dressing room on a decent performance, and they were all instantly demotivated. A player complained that he hadn't been offered a new contract, but there was no option to tell him that the club's finances meant I couldn't offer him anything even though I wanted to. I promised he'd get a new contract next season, but he had a big strop out anyway, making trouble in the dressing room. You want to be Ted Lasso, but you'll find yourself swiftly corralled into being Alex Ferguson by events and dialogue trees that are out of your control.

A season into the game and my team played out of its skin one week, and sank into themselves the next, my job saved only by the club's low expectations. Somewhere in the layers of data, scattergrams, radar flowers and bar charts was the answer, but I had to accept that while the game was deep and smart, I just wasn't.

Football Manager 2022 review (3)

I did notice that my team had 19 points after 15 games, precisely what the real thing had accrued in the same time, and I suffered the same ennui—that crawling sense of dread and misery, that, yet again, the season was coming to nothing. Normally I block that out, but here I was looking at my inbox, about to be interviewed by a journo who had developed inexplicable hatred of my positivity, that no sudden nastiness on my part could assuage and I just upset the rest of the press corps. You can apparently influence journos, I just didn't have much luck doing it. I started biting my nails, something I only do watching live games.

If you want to share such misery, there’s the fantasy draft system allowing you to take that fantasy football league with your mates to another, professional level. With more options in competition complexity and budget, and improvements to the draft itself, there’s never been a better time to share out the humiliation of failure.

If it were a team, Football Manager 2022 would be Liverpool. No big new signings, but there's already a star in every position and some real talent coming out of the youth team, if you're patient. If it were a player, it would be world-class, the kind of signing that excites the dourest of fan. But without appropriate management, it's Gareth Bale. Flashes of godlike genius interspersed with periods of mysterious mediocrity. It's a vocation rather than a game, but as the saying goes: if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.

Matt Killeen

(Video) Football Manager 2022 - 9 Things You Need To Know Before You Buy


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Is it worth buying Football Manager 2022? ›

Football Manager 2022 is the absolute best game in the series, adding great new features to already solid foundations. The likes of the Data Hub and Staff Meetings may not alter the fundamentals of the game, but they do help to heighten the immersion while also making some quality-of-life improvements.

Is F1 Manager 2022 worth it? ›

Despite its quirks and the fact that it's missing some features that experienced sim fans might expect, F1 Manager 2022 is more than worth the long, 22-year wait since EA's similarly named, but unrelated, F1 Manager.

Is Football Manager 2022 hard? ›

Football Manager 22 has a tough learning curve for newcomers. Here's how beginners can get the most out of the game, and take their team to the top. Football Manager 22 was released on November 9, 2021 to a positive reception by critics.

What is the best Football Manager game 2022? ›

Below, are the top 5 football manager games:
  • Soccer Manager- Android and iOS. ...
  • Top Football Manager- Android and iOS. ...
  • Top Eleven Football Manager- Android and iOS. ...
  • PES Club Manager- Android and iOS. ...
  • Football Manager- Android, iOS, Windows, and Switch.
22 Mar 2022

Is FM better than FIFA? ›

Let's be clear on something: when it comes to simply being a 'manager' in the debate of Football Manager vs FIFA, FM wins without contest. The game is far more in-depth, has a much bigger database, and is tactically more flexible. Unlike FIFA, you simulate games, you don't actually play as the players.

Is FM22 worth the money? ›

That (very sports game-centric) caveat aside, FM22 is one of the best, recent series releases. This edition brings advanced analytics, noticeable upgrades to the match engine, and an attractive visual overhaul, all of which heightens the experience.

Which is better F1 22 or F1 Manager 22? ›

If you're wanting to get in the car and drive a season of Formula 1, then F1 22 is your best bet. If you're wanting to experience something different, by "driving" the strategy from the pit wall, F1 Manager 2022 is a good idea.

Can you drive the car in F1 Manager 22? ›

F1 Manager 22 is a game that focuses on team principals, and this is why there is no driving in this game. You will be responsible for almost everything about the team, including managing team budgets, hiring drivers and staff, creating race strategies, and more.

Why is Football Manager so hard? ›

It goes without saying that Football Manager 2021 is a challenging game that requires players to devote a lot of their time and attention to understand many of its intricacies and unleash the full potential of the teams they manage.

Which is the best Football Manager version? ›

Despite incremental upgrades, FM 2022 retains the addictive gameplay for which the franchise is famed. If you are a football fan, this is one game you should definitely buy.

What is the most realistic Football Manager game? ›

PES CLUB MANAGER is a free game for Android and iOS that simulates soccer game in your mobile. You can enjoy realistic gameplay with the solo mode or online with players worldwide, and also manage the whole team.

Which is No 1 football game? ›

If you want to download a football game, which boasts a lot of best-in-class features, then you must undoubtedly go for eFootball PES 2021. The PES here means Pro Evolution Soccer, and in case you didn't already know, it is the primary competitor of the legendary FIFA.

Which football game has the best career mode? ›

The best football game for android surely is Pes(pro evolution soccer). Fifa is lagging behind pes in android. Pes 2021 is coming soon this October.

Do you actually play in Football Manager? ›

Players themselves play it, people who aren't really into soccer play it, it's a real phenomenon. Football Manager is also a soccer simulation game, but instead of focusing on playing as the players in a real sim, you play the manager and do the work.

Does FM have better sound quality? ›

"FM, which stands for Frequency Modulation, has better sound quality due to higher bandwidth. Also, the way the audio is encoded for FM makes it less sensitive to interference from electrical activity from storms or electrical devices than AM.

Can you play FIFA 22 like Football Manager? ›

FIFA 22 Career Mode tips: Use interactive match sim

This feature arrived in FIFA 21 but it's still just as revolutionary. If you choose to simulate a Career Mode match you can now watch over it on a Football Manager-style screen, and jump in whenever things aren't going as well as you might have hoped.

Is FM22 going to be free? ›

Football Manager 2022 is now fully playable for free on a variety of platforms.

What is controversy in FM22? ›

Controversy. Description: how outspoken a player is.

How realistic is FM22? ›

Not all of them are in reality, but they are essential for the balance of the game. Even in the base game, some awards are fictional. In smaller nations or youth tournaments, awards are not always given in real life. However, they receive a lot of media attention, which leads to a higher reputation of the players.

Is Football Manager a fun game? ›

Fun Factor: 9.5

Football Manager 2023 caters to its audience and gives zero craps if you're not part of this minute niche. If you're part of it, it's the most engrossing game ever, even though the addition of improvements is really minute. In fact, the main addition in this version is a music track…

Can you play Football Manager 2022 offline? ›

While offline you'll be able to access Versus Mode, set up and play a competition against either the AI or a local hotseat manager.

Can you make money playing Football Manager? ›

Signing players on a free transfer or for a low fee could earn you money when you eventually sell them. However, there is also another way to earn money on transfers: loan fees.

Is motorsport manager better than F1 manager? ›

F1 Manager 2022 doesn't have the same level of freedom and range of possibilities as Motorsport Manager, isn't as granular as Football Manager, and requires much more time to be invested into it than in previous officially licensed F1 management games.

Is F1 22 manager a separate game? ›

F1 Manager 2022 is the official racing management simulation game of the 2022 Formula One, Formula 2 and Formula 3 Championships developed and published by Frontier Developments. It is the first installment in the F1 Manager series and the first licensed manager game since F1 Manager by EA Sports.

Do you get to drive in F1 manager? ›

F1 Manager 2022 Opens Up A New Perspective

Until now, you could only get behind the wheel yourself in various games, but that's not possible in this game. In F1 Manager you can't drive yourself, you're only a manager.

How many seasons can you do in F1 manager 22? ›

Unlike several other F1 games out there, F1 Manager 2022 won't limit the number of seasons you have to play with. This means you can develop your chosen team until the heat death of the universe. This means that you can, if you so choose, play well beyond the 2022 season, and into the future of the sport.

How much slower is 22 F1? ›

The 2022 Formula One cars were supposed to be three to five seconds slower than the 2021 cars, but it turns out that's not quite the case. The designers have already done a good job this year, as the top has stayed pretty close to last year's times.

Is 4 wheel steering allowed in F1? ›

Of all the exotic technologies to be banned from Formula 1 through the years, four wheel steering could perhaps be the only innovation to have been developed after it was outlawed.

Is fm21 better than FM22? ›

Is there any big changes in FM 22 over FM 21 or is it more of the same? I always think of skipping a year but always end up buying it, i've bought every FM game since 2009. It's better, engine is improved, new dialogues and the transfers are a bit more polished too.

What is the difference between Football Manager 2022 and Football Manager 2022 Xbox? ›

Modelled on Touch, the Xbox Edition is streamlined for faster play and fully optimised for console play. Stripped-back and simplified for speedier seasons, with a focus on the managerial essentials.

Is Football Manager 2022 Good Reddit? ›

It is a very good management game and it is still very fun to tinker with the tactics and all the numbers. Even with very limited football knowledge I can have very fun with this game series.

How long will FM22 be on Game Pass? ›

Football Manager 2022 and Football Manager 2022 Xbox Edition will be departing Xbox Game Pass and the Microsoft Store on Monday, 7th November.

Will There Be a Football Manager 2023? ›

The Football Manager 2023 release date is Tuesday, 8th November 2022, the developers of FM 23 have confirmed. That's right, Football Manager 2023 is out today.

Can you end Football Manager? ›

The 30 seasons limit exists to prevent the save file from becoming too big, as there are regulations on different devices on how much space a game or application can occupy.

Do coaches get better FM22? ›

Coaches will develop their abilities in the coaching area they are in charge of. A coach being put on Attacking-Tactical assignment will most likely improve Attacking and Tactical Coaching attributes as they gain experience in that area.

Do stars matter FM22? ›

It's used as a way to further differentiate between younger players – and disappears as they either get older or develop into better players. If you order players by ability and scroll down the players with silver stars are ranked below the single gold star players.

Do you need a graphics card for Football Manager 2022? ›

GPU. At the very least, you should have an Intel GMA X4500, an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT, or an AMD/ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650. Most of these GPUs are integrated graphics and honestly speaking, they are not good for gaming.


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