Football Manager 2022 (PC) Preview

By Chris Leebody 05.11.2021

Review for Football Manager 2022 on PC

It's that time of year again, with the latest iteration of Football Manager by Sports Interactive. This year's title comes at a rather interesting time for annual sports entries as well, with radical changes having happened to Konami with their new eFootball title, replacing Pro Evolution Soccer - and radical change on the way with FIFA and EA reportedly set to end their decades long partnership. Things are much more settled over in the SI camp with Football Manager 2022. The ultimate simulation and representation are back in a new shiny coat with a few bells and whistles on show alongside it. Currently in its beta, FM22 launches on November 9 on PC.

Anyone familiar with the setup here will probably feel right at home. UI design generally has been perfected at this stage and the bread and butter of going through the menus, scouting players, buying new stars, setting up tactics and the plethora of other buttons and screens to press all look comfortingly similar to last year.

So, what's new then? Well, the standout thing many will pick up on immediately are the changes to the 3D match engine experience. Even in 2021 there are still some FM purists who still use the 2D screen and swear by the engine as the perfect representation of the beautiful game. This possibly comes down to the sometimes imperfect state the 3D engine has turned out as for previous releases.

Well, 2D is no more; prepare to enter the 3D engine. Yes, this is indeed the best Football Manager has ever looked, but more than that, it is the best the game has felt. It's the subtle things that really build together. The 'jankiness' of players receiving their ball from a pass is no more, instead the ball neatly cushions under their spell as they then pick out a pass and start an attack.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2022 on PC

The improvements are really noticeable when looking at the turning motion of players. Again, instead of taking control of the ball and going on a run up the wing before awkwardly turning on a dime, players will use their sense of motion, take the ball on the turn and actually twist their bodies when crossing a delicious ball for a striker to bury.

There's a whole host of unique little touches that players have access to now, from passes they make, to movements of the ball when pressing the opposition. A striker one-on-one with a keeper and slotting the ball in the back of the net just feels brilliant now. That said, the keepers are well balanced too, not suffering from the notorious errors they sometimes launched with.

It'll be interesting to see how much this develops, both outside of the beta and in future iterations of the series. Sports Interactive could really get the match engine to a very high standard, which would be pleasing after a few years when improvements were possibly a bit thinner on the ground.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2022 on PC

The other headline feature off the pitch is the new data hub introduced this year. Yes, that's right, as if there wasn't enough there's even more data to devour in FM22. Like many features added to the game each year, the hub ultimately acts as a neat way of condensing lots of useful information in one place.

That's not to say it's all superficial. It's fantastic to see the amount of work that has gone into bringing together a system that replicates much of the work being done in real-life clubs.

The main use of the hub is to see the selection of key metrics that help the day-to-day work of a budding manager. Analysis of the player's team's shots on goal, xG tables and opposition insights all help in order to craft a winning side.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2022 on PC

It can go as deep as needed, for example to see how strikers are performing in aerial battles compared to the rest of the league, there are easy to use buttons that bring up a raft of key information related to that, all with visual data that presents it in an easy-to-read format.

Team analysis, player performance, comparisons - it's actually easy to get lost in just how deep the simulation is going. The important thing to remember is all this is optional. For those who do just want to 'manage from afar', the great thing is it is possible to do just that, while also enjoying the experience just as much as those who plan to spend hours working out the most efficient training schedules and tactics.

Elsewhere, there are some new positions added to give more tactical choices, alongside some added spice for that deadline day transfer rush and an ever more detailed manager avatar creation tool.

Screenshot for Football Manager 2022 on PC

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Football Manager 2022 seems to be on track to be another excellent entry into Sports Interactive's repertoire of titles. There's definitely enough here in terms of new additions to be excited about. Like always, it just depends how much people value the changes and whether they feel there is enough there to justify upgrading every year. At the end of it all, it still promises to be the best simulation of football management on the market.


Sports Interactive







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

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I love this series, but sometimes find it too hard to setup, so started to sway towards the Touch editions. Sounds like it's shaping up to be an impressive beast, though! Thanks for the preview, Chris.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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