FM 2010 Beginner's Guide - FAQs


Jun 29, 2010

Please read these short pointers before you start reading the FAQs. Thanks!

  • Type "Ctrl+F" or "Cmd+F" (on Macs) to search the thread with a keyword and skip to a section quickly.
  • This thread is a constant work in progress. I am adding and editing often, so bookmark and check back.
  • Sincere thanks to Aannddyy for the sticky
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  • If you think I have made a mistake or would like to ask a question or add something to the FAQ, please comment! I am very open and will give you due credit if I add your tip.
  • If I was of help, please click the like button below. This FAQ took quite a long time to write and check and is my way of thanking the community for all it has given me.

Contents (Use Ctrl+F to skip to a section by typing the name)

1 - Tactics and Gameplay
2 - Players, Motivation, and Transfers
3 - Training
4 - Cheating
5 - Staff
6 - Computer Settings, Troubleshooting, Skins, Add-Ons, and Performance
7 - FM-Base and the Forum


Again, FEEL FREE TO CONTRIBUTE! I will add good suggestions to the first post and give due credit.

Last update - August 1, 2010




Tactics and Gameplay

NOTE - This section is intricately linked with the Players, Motivation, and Transfers section. Please read both!

I'm just starting off. What do I need to know?
FM 2010 is a complex game. If you're starting off with your own tactics and plan not to seek help from this forum or download a proven tactic from the site, expect a few bad results and know that you will need to tweak your tactic for better results. Transfers can be confusing and rather unrealistic at times, this is explored in more detail below. Read on for more in-depth answers.

So, what do I do to avoid these bad results?
If you're looking to understand the game and become truly good at it - start at a club in the lower leagues. A club with secure finances and ~okay training facilities would be a good choice. In England, Spain, and Italy, there are many lower league clubs that provide a good challenge but will also open up career paths - for example, if you start out in the championship and prove yourself to be a good manager in England, you may soon receive an offer from a Premier League club. Jobs and applying for jobs is covered in more detail below, too.

If you don't want to invest that much time in what you believe is "just a game", go for one of the tactics on this site. There are plenty in the forum and in the download section, and these are proven tactics that will net you consistently good results. I particularly like Mr Hough's 4-1-2-3 Unbeaten, which exploits a glitch in FM 2010 making scoring from corners much easier, especially with good teams and players with high finishing stats. JP Woody is another "celebrity" of the FM world and has several good tactics which worked for me when I started out with the game. Goal Glut and Goal Demolition are other tactics which have worked well for the community. Search the site and web for these tactics and you'll get downloads and feedback.

YOU WILL NEED to give the tactics at least four or five matches before you declare them bad or stop using them. It takes time for players to "gel in" and learn the tactic.

We have a thread in which you can ask the community what tactic would be suitable for you,
Also have a look at the official Football Manager 2010 Guide, posted on this very site.

What are all these player roles and team related settings? They confuse me.
There are many sticky threads outlining the best players for each role and what stats are needed to be a good player in a certain role. These links should help -

The aforementioned official guide also has sections on tactical instructions.

You can also ask the community for guidance in the Tactics section or the specific player roles thread.

What kind of team talks should I be giving?
Wolfsong has a fantastic team talk guide here. In general, praise your players after victories which you expected with a Well Done. If most players performed above 7-7.5 with a few 8-10 ratings as well, tell them they were sensational. If they lost a match you were not clear favourites for, sympathise with them. Only tell them you were disappointed if they lose a match they were very clear favourites for. If there is a bad run of form due to overconfidence, telling them you are angry can be effective, but can also backfire since they will loose morale. All players are different and players in lower leagues are less determined and will react worse to negative comments. Determined players may strive to do better.

Telling them that they can win is usually effective in overturning a half-time deficit.

The tactic I used the whole season simply isn't working, and towards the end of the season my results become worse.
The AI (Artificial Intelligence) will eventually learn your tactic and find ways to counter it. It will not be as effective, especially if it is a fragile tactic. To counter this, look at the pre-match advice screen and make small tweaks depending on the other team. If you can, change tactics completely, though beware that this may cause a few meagre results during the initial "gelling in" period. Even more effective is changing the touchline shouts. If you are passing to feet, pass to space instead. If you are exploiting the middle, exploit the flanks instead - and so on.

What kind of shouts do I use?
This depends on the opponents and your players. Traditionally, I start with an Attacking/Overload formation and tell the players to Get Ball Forward, Pass to Space, and Work Ball into Box. However, this will need to be changed later as the opponent will learn your methods. If you are against a brilliant team, you will need to rely on the counter attack and tell players to wait for opportune moments or look for overlap. With practice, you will find what works best for your team. Don't be disheartened by defeats, especially against better teams.

Mind games and press conferences are tiring... what do I do?
I rarely take part in mind games. They're a pointless waste of time as far as I'm concerned. If you've got a good assistant manager, use the Team Settings menu to make him responsible for all press conferences.

What about opposition instructions?

If your assistant manager has reasonably good tactical knowledge, use him for every match.

You mention good assistant managers. Who do I go for?
Anyone with good motivation, man management, and tactical knowledge. Mauro Tassotti, Pat Rice, and Gianpiero Ventrone are a few personal favourites.

Will I ever be taken over?
It depends. For a lot of people, this has never happened. However, I have been taken over a few times. It can be a good or bad thing - a rich tycoon will give you a meaty transfer budget and financial security, but a supporter's trust takeover will leave you with very little money to spend. It can be a blessing or a curse, and if you already have good finances then don't worry about it. If you're doing well, people who take over will not replace you as a manager, either.


Players, Motivation, Team and Transfers

NOTE - This section is intricately linked with the Tactics and Gameplay section. Please read both!

I'm looking for a _____ for ______. Who do I go for?

I've been offered _____ for _____ from _______. Is this a good deal?

I want a certain player, but he is simply too expensive. What do I do?

Look for short-term alternatives if the player is needed urgently. Someone old but with good skills - for example, Raul as a short-term striker. Give them a one year contract.

You will need to be patient. Wait till the player has a shorter amount of time left on their contract. If you are lucky, they will be offered to you. Unsettle the player by declaring interest or telling him you are an admirer of his talents. If you are short on cash, offer to pay monthly installments as well or trade a player you don't need. Commenting positively on the manager of another team will mean he will be more likely to sell to you.

Why does ___________ (player name) not show up in my game?
This depends on your database size. If you selected few leagues at the start, many players will be missing. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done about this except for starting a new game and choosing more leagues. A common missing player is Oscar Cardozo, who can be added by selecting Portugal as part of the playable leagues.

Who are your top players, and which players will mature into good ones?
If I had to make a dream team from my own personal experience with the game, it would look something like this - Casillas, Lahm, Kjaer, Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi, Kaka, Messi, Aguero, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pato, David Villa.

There are countless wonderkid lists on the web, but this - - is one of my favourites. You can also ask who to sign in the thread linked above.

You can also use a software like FM Genie Scout to search for good players, though keep in mind this does take away from the fun.

A player is demotivated / wants to leave / wants to join.
If a player is suffering motivational issues, then offer a new contract. If this doesn't work, praise his form or ask him for a staff/signing recommendation then sign the person he recommends if you can. If he's looking for first-team opportunities, play him more often, if only as a substitute. If a player wants to join, you should be able to get him for a good transfer fee and wage, especially if he is unsettled at his other club.

How do I search for good players?
Simply use the search tab and use the specific filters. You can change countless options. If you're looking for a good striker, choose "Attacking" from the "VIEW" options and compare stats or sort the best. A player's value often reflects his ability, except in certain cases. Always use a scout with a good judgement to scout the player before signing him, and make sure he can fit in well with your tactics. Changing your whole formation for one player isn't feasibly.

There are several lists, such as the one above, on the web outlining the best players in each position and potential wonderkids, and shortlists are also available. Use the links at the top of this page to browse through player shortlists - sort by the "Total Downloaded" for the most popular ones or ask on the forum.

How do I solve squad harmony problems?
Win. Winning will mean you'll never get squad harmony problems. However, if you can't then ensure you're doing team talks properly and press conferences, too. If your assistant manager isn't up to the task, going on holiday will mean that your players will lose morale quickly since he won't give good team talks or play the right people. A big name signing can boost morale amongst the squad. Sell players who are constantly suffering from problems as they drag down harmony. Make sure you don't shuffle around captains too often, especially if he is favoured by the other players. Do not single out players for praise unless they are favourites - only players like Cristiano Ronaldo can be praised singularly since the rest of the team are boosted by their good performances.

Where can I get a pack of player faces?



How do I shuffle my training schedules and what kind of settings am I looking at?
This, too, is a very complex part of the FM universe. It depends on your team. If you feel a certain player has bad stamina, lower his workload so he is fitter for matches. However, ensure that this doesn't affect his performances too much. This is a very delicate balance, and you'll only learn with time and patience. For most players, I'd recommend downloading either -

Dan's Training Schedules -
Tug's Training Schedules -

These are proven training schedules within the community, and usually a "plug and play" will do wonders for your team since it is a far cry from the "general" default settings. Ensure you select the appropriate schedule for each player.

Players are dropping stats / gaining.
Most players will start to suffer in training as they get older - this is normal and will be reported to you in the backroom advice screen. Personally, I do not keep any player (except the goalie, or a wonder player such as Kaka who keeps his form till he is around 31-32) older than 30 years old. They become slower and more lethargic - and A.C. Milan and its aging squad are a good example of why this is not a good thing. Many young players with potential will gain attribute points during training.

How do I train younger players to be better and fulfill potential?
Having good training facilities will help immensely. Downloading one of the training schedules mentioned above can be helpful, too. Play them in the first team as often as you can, even if you are only substituting. Players like Romelu Lukaku (one of my favourite wonderkids) are fit to play for the bigger clubs even at the start of the game. If the player is young and you cannot find a spot for him in the first team, send him to the under 19 team to gain some experience. However, this should not be done if you can manage to find him some first team play as it will not accelerate development as quickly. If you can, get an experienced player to tutor the player - this, too, will aid development immensely if it is a success.

What kind of staff should I use?
See the "Staff" section below.


Eh? What cheating?
When I started playing FM, I used a program called FMRTE to give myself a transfer budget of a billion pounds and a similar wage budget. I signed the best players in the world and won nearly every match by a huge margin. Soon, though, this became very boring and I realised I was stupid. Football Management is an art and there's no fun in it if there's no challenge.

I'm interested. What kind of things can I do?
Change your budgets, give your players new abilities, change their nationality, register them for competitions they are not eligible for... pretty much anything, really. You can also use FM Genie Scout to search for the best players and find out what players have the best potential abilties.

That sounds nice. Where do I obtain these things?
BEFORE YOU DOWNLOAD this software, keep in mind your experience will be better off without them, especially FMRTE. Then, you will feel truly jubilant when you win and know it was all due to your hard work and not just the magic of a software. If this doesn't deter you -

Download FMRTE -
Download FM Genie Scout -

How do you use this software? I'm lost.
Both FMTE and GS have dedicated help guides and communities on the sites linked above.



Note - a few of these questions are crossposted from the Tactics and Players section of the FAQ

How do I search for good staff?
Use the staff search option and click a staff members name to see their stats. Search the forums, there are many threads relating to staff members.

A few great threads -

Best Staff -
Best Backroom Staff for Lower Leagues -
Ultimate Backroom Staff Guide -
Training and Coaching Staff in Detail -

You mention good assistant managers. Who do I go for?
Anyone with good motivation, man management, and tactical knowledge. Mauro Tassotti, Pat Rice, and Gianpiero Ventrone are a few personal favourites.

Will I ever be taken over?
It depends. For a lot of people, this has never happened. However, I have been taken over a few times. It can be a good or bad thing - a rich tycoon will give you a meaty transfer budget and financial security, but a supporter's trust takeover will leave you with very little money to spend. It can be a blessing or a curse, and if you already have good finances then don't worry about it. If you're doing well, people who take over will not replace you as a manager, either.

Why does ___________ (staff member) not show up in my game?
This depends on your database size. If you selected few leagues at the start, many members will be missing. Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done about this except for starting a new game and choosing more leagues. A common missing staff member is Mauro Tassotti, who is not available if Italy is not among the playable leagues - since he is at A.C. Milan.

How do I choose what staff member does what? Just key in their attributes and it'll tell you which role they are best suited to.


Computer Settings, Troubleshooting, Skins, Add-Ons, and Performance

I am suffering from crash dumps. Help?

I am getting an XML Parsing error.

How do I take a screenshot?

How do I enable the Germany national team and remove fake leagues?

How can I remove a transfer embargo (or Chelsea's at the start)?

Can I run the game on my netbook?
Sort of - it won't be the optimum experience, though -

I'm having issues of some sort with Steam.

What are these stars signifying performance?
The stars indicating computer performance always stay constant. They are a general indicator of how good your computer's graphics and processing power (mainly) is.

The Game Speed stars signify how fast the game will run and process fixtures. If you choose a lot of leagues, the stars will decrease since the computer has to use more processing power.

The 3D match view is choppy, help?
Go to preferences, and disable the sky, stadiums, and crowd. Try setting detail levels to low. If this doesn't help, go to Match View Controls while in a match and change the view to a 2D one to aid performance.

What's your favourite skin?

We also have a designated skins section where you can discuss this in further detail.

Where can I get a pack of real club logos?

Where can I get a pack of player faces?

Are there kits available for download?

Yum. Anything else?
Scroll to the top and browse through the download sections for interesting stuff - there's loads. You can also request kits in our graphics section.


FM-Base and the Forum

I'm new to the forums. What do I need to know?
SEARCH, SEARCH, SEARCH. There is a HUGE probability the question you are about to ask has been asked before. Do not open new threads for questions since they can be answered in one of the dedicated subthreads or the help thread.

Use common sense and good judgement. Take time to settle in and get used to how things work around here. Generally the people and staff are extremely friendly, as long as you abide by the rules.

If you must open a new thread or ask a question, give us as many details as possible so we can help you.

Example of a bad thread title - HALPPP!!!111!!!! striker
Example of a good thread title - Looking for a $5-10 million striker for Madrid, 2013

Post in the appropriate section. Take time to get used to all the subsections and threads and post where you need to. You'll get answers pretty quickly, but don't bump unnecessarily or be annoying. It won't help. Thank people if they do you a favour or "like" their posts. Use PM if you need to ask someone something, and don't clutter threads with offtopic responses.

We also have a few offtopic sections where you can unwind. Do drop by! :)

Lastly, have fun around here and take a look at the official guidelines.


This FAQ is not yet complete. More questions will be added in due course, thanks for looking! If I helped, please click the like button below to show your appreciation.


Lastly, thank you and happy managing!
Last edited:


Super Duper Moderator
Jun 30, 2009
Good start mate, looking forward to you adding more FAQ's to it. I've stickied it as well, very good yet simple answers - it certainly looks like you've put a lot of effort it.


Jun 29, 2010
There has been a slew of updates and the FAQ is much more complete now.

Thanks for the feedback guys!


Sep 6, 2010
this is extremely helpful. One thing I would like to see being added there is where to put the database and etc in which folder and that kind of information.