Football Manager 2020: 5 things we learned playing the Beta

The full game is not yet here, but there are some key lessons to be learned from the beta.

The Football Manager 2020 beta has been available for over a week, and while there has been a patch and the full game is still seven days away there has been enough time to get a true measure of what will be important to know and concentrate on this year.

FM20 boasted plenty of new features and tweaks in the build-up to release, with the main trailer focusing on the impact of user choice this year.

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But which of these is truly the most impactful to your success or failure?

These are the main takeaways from the beta so far.

Club Vision matters

TARGETS: The board have far more targets for you to hit in FM20

This new feature is the one you will encounter immediately and will have to pay attention to the most.

Previous versions of Football Manager have basically focused on results. While the board may tell you to adhere to playing “possession football”, it wouldn’t really matter as long as the results came in.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about FM20

Now, things are a bit more serious. Historic clubs like Liverpool ask that you develop local players and young talent to bring into the first team. Manchester United want you to maintain their financial dominance and global reputation.

These tasks away from the field highlight more parts of the manager’s job than ever before and are something the board will really focus on. Results are still important, but the Arsenal board can forgive a 5th place if you are playing attractive football and signing talented young players, but if you are only seeking veteran players and have a more defensive style you’ll find yourself dragged into an awkward conversation.

Player chemistry is crucial to success

Developing that unspoken relationship between midfielders or winger and full back can take years, but the results can be massively impactful on your place in the league table, and seem to be buffed this year.

What this means is that you should be careful selling off players and bringing in new ones. Marginal improvements in talent to your midfield can be negated by a resetting of the chemistry of your pair or trio in the middle.

READ MORE: All the best players in Football Manager 2020

That can lead to missed passes, or defensive assignments falling through the net as your players are on a different page to each other.

By all means get active in the transfer market, but trying to completely reset one position can lead to poor form early on.

It’s best to work your team in units during pre-season, such as making sure a new right winger gets his starts with your #1 right back, so chemistry can develop a little quicker.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.


I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.