Football Manager 2021: Match Engine receives HUGE overhaul

With Football Manager 2021 arriving later this month, there have been major changes to the Match Engine.

Keep reading for more.


We can’t wait to see the new Match Engine in Football Manager 2021.

Both players and officials constantly assess situations and make decisions that they think is best based on their own attributes.

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ADVANCED AI! The new Match Engine has been revealed

However, this year they can change their decisions while assessing! This will increase reactiveness and speed up decision making to enhance match realism.

This pairs with the improved animation and will make the overall gameplay smoother.

Defensive Awareness

Added on to the new decision-making system, defenders will now be able to respond more intelligently to situations.

Defenders will understand when to pass their player on, therefore improving the marking system in the game. This can occur in open play and from set-pieces.

The defence will effectively communicate in the game, working together to disrupt attacks and make it much harder to progress into dangerous areas of the pitch.

Lastly, defenders wil be able to adapt better to deal with long balls, becoming more likely to contest aerial-duels to avoid being caught out.

Attacking in the Final Third

With the improvements to defensive play, the attacking AI has also been revamped to maintain the attack/defence balance.

Adjustments to AMC’s, strikers and wingers’ roles will mean more attacking awareness and more patterns of play to help outmaneuver the defence.

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SOCIAL DISTANCE! Attacking play will improve but it could be in empty stadiums

Spatial awareness is another key area of improvement. Players will understand how much time the have and better select which shot/pass to execute.

One key one for all managers out there, players will now be more likely to pass from tight angles! Result.

Central Play

With the midfield battle often being bypassed last year, a greater emphasis has been placed on ‘Central Play’.

Defensively, we will see more interceptions than before with players ‘actively’ seeking to block passing lanes.

With the team instruction ‘Focus Play Through Middle’, players will look to find the ‘most impactful’ attackers quicker, resulting in more direct and often riskier passes.

With the balance between defence and attack, defenders will be aware of this new mechanic which will lead to more interceptions.

Goalkeeper Intelligence

The men between the sticks have not been neglected either. GKs will be quicker to ground if they decide that is their best option, for example in 1v1 situations.

In line with all other positions, goalkeepers will also become more aware of the time and space they have. This will improve their positioning and understanding of when a shot will come.

The understanding doesn’t stop there. Dependant on weather conditions and their own attributes, keepers will come for more crosses to either catch or punch the ball clear.

And one final adjustment, player ratings will more accurately reflect a GKs performance!

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