We all love a good free download and especially where Football Manager is involved, there’s tonnes of options out there but how do you know which ones are good and which are worth avoiding? Read on, that’s how.
The amount of free stuff on the net, blogs giving you advice and lists for this that and the other can be daunting, especially when you don’t know who to trust or are just starting out with FM.
So we have cut the wheat from the chaff and put together the ultimate cheat-sheet for you.
The one big bug-bear with FM is the lack of imagery, be it player faces, badges or league images, they are all lacking and for many it’s a big problem so there is no better place to start than that.
Note: We are in no way associated to any of the websites we recommend, we just think the content we have linked to is the best online for that category.
Talk to anyone about face-packs for Football Manager and they will probably tell you to get the DF11 mega-pack from FM Scout, it’s the best out there by far, only problem is its size. At over 5GB it can be daunting and cumbersome to newbies trying to keep a ‘clean’ laptop.
Another notable mention is the ‘Cut out player faces mega-pack‘ from Sortitoutsi.net, there’s almost twice the amount of faces compared to the FM Scout version, but it also a bigger download. For no reason whatsoever I have always used the FM Scout version, not to say it’s better, just personal preference.
You can’t really go wrong with Sortitoutsi.net for face-packs and their section dedicated to single club face-pack downloads is second to none, if you just want to get the faces of your team, this is the place for you.
FM-base is also fairly good for face-packs, especially for single clubs or leagues. There are a couple of not-so-good packs thrown in so just look at the comments before you download, there’s loads of packs here.
The badges are clean, crisp and fit in to the game perfectly. This pack also contains every badge/icon for every team on the game, it’s a fairly big download, but its well worth it.
You can download the pack here.
I’m not going to recommend anyone else’s packs, there is no doubt some good ones, but I only use this one so it’s the only one I can vouch for.
The world is your oyster for skins, there’s thousands about and everyone will like what they like so its difficult to recommend individual skins, but here is the one I use, it’s a fairly dark model from Football Manager Story.
You can pretty much find whatever you like, just beware with some skins not working with certain patches especially if you are using the latest updates, they will nearly all work but some will have some gnarly positioning if they are older models.
FM Scout have a really good index of potential themes, most are just colour changes, but there is certainly a lot to choose from on this page.
How to install this shizz
Just a quick note, if you’re downloading all these packs for the first time, you are going to need to install them.
Unfortunately it’s not as easy as uploading to the game (there’s one for you SI), you have to actually place the files in the right place within the games’ folders. It sounds complicated, but its fine if you have the right guide showing you how, I nicked most of this from True Football Manager, thanks dude.
- Download the file.
- Unpack the download archive file via WinZip, 7-Zip, or WinRar ignoring warning messages.
- Go to My Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2013/Graphics
- If there is no “Graphics” folder, create one.
- Put the now un-archived files into the “Graphics” subfolder.
- Load up the game, go to settings/preferances and set “Use caching to decrease page loading times” to “Off “
- Then set “Reload skin when confirming changes in Preferences” to “On”
You’re done, once reloaded this should put all the new images in to the game.
For the player list section I am only going to recommend one for each category, there are literally hundreds to choose from and each one contains thousands of players, most of which are duplicated so you would just be getting the same lists with a few additions each time.
So, the lists I recommend offer the biggest and best collection of players while also offering the most accurate and most diverse player-profiles.
Now, I realise that ‘best players’ is relative to what team you’re using so rather than give you a huge list that you would have no idea of who fits what team and you spending days scouting the players to find that you are not worthy of his services, these two suggestions have taken the statement literally.
The first selection from Football Manager Story is a great resource, it literally shows you the best 200+ players in the game according to in-game ability. So these are literally, the best players on the game, here’s the link.
The second ‘list’ is one of our own, it isn’ a best players list like the above, its a free e-book that we put together fairly recently that identifies 12 players that perform better than Messi. They don’t have stats better or better star ratings, they just perform this week in week out on the pitch and most will go to ANY top-flight team in Europe. Here’s the link.
You can’t go in to any game on FM without checking out who is available on a free transfer, every team from CL winners to semi-pro teams are in need of free transfers and there is some great finds to be had.
Because of that, there’s hundreds of these lists about but IMO, this is the best one.
It’s another list from FM Scout, they’re shit-hot aint they!?
You can get your hands on it here.
Lower league players
If you, unlike me, like the challenge of taking on lower league teams there can be a lack of information and resources around for you to find the players that suit your expectations in that division.
I have found a couple that look pretty good and the players they recommend are certainly awesome in the lower-leagues.
Heres a great guide from Football Manager Story, you can skip over the first half of the page unless you need some help setting up the databases.
I also saw this small collection of players, but after scouting them, they’re great finds that will certainly perform well in the lower leagues.
We have covered the collection of wonderkids’ lists loads over here and to be honest, that is a great place to find some wonderkids, theres thousands of them on that page.
But if you had to push me on one list that is the best around, I would definitely say this one from True Football Manager.
Formations are a huge consideration, especially when you’re trying to fit all these new awesome players in straight away and still get some results.
I tend to stick to the same 2 formations but have a 3rd ‘winger’ tactic that is something new and out of the box, take my current 1-2-1-3-1-2 formation for example!
I know a lot of you out there like playing around with formations more than me and some of you have even published some awesome results online, these are available for download if you’re interested and I reckon this and this are your best option.
We’re pretty much there, you are all set and now have the best collection of downloadable content available online but I just wanted to give you one quick nudge towards our e-book, which gives you all the strategy you need to win every single penalty shootout on any FM game.
It’s here and well worth a look, especially if you are in lots of finals!