FM '07
FM '08
FM '09



Football Manager Live (PC)


Football Manager Live is a multiplayer online version of the classic Football
Manager series.
What exactly is FM Live though, what are the differences
between the traditional version and the online game, and is it any good?

 There are two separate recommendations for this game, so
decide which camp you are in before focusing on the score!

(Click on the screenshot thumbnails to see the full pictures)

Gameplay: 88%
Football Manager (FM) Live is the game that takes the original FM game (see more details here) and moves it to the online world, so instead of playing vs. the computer AI, you are playing against other managers in a league of teams run by real players of the game!

You start by creating a fictional team, naming your stadium, and designing the home and away kits, before selecting your likely playing intentions. This essentially involves stating when you are most likely to be online, e.g. UK/European evenings, and how often you expect to play e.g. 0-5 hours per week, 10+ hours per week. You then get placed into a league with other similar managers.

Next up is to buy your squad of players. You begin with a modest budget for transfers and wages, and so you need to search for ‘free agents’ (which aren’t free, but have a value comparable with their skills so those who began the league at the beginning couldn’t sign an established player, e.g. Kaka, for nothing).

There is only one Kaka though, and so the transfer market is quite different to the offline FM game. As you progress through the seasons, you earn revenues and prize money etc, so you are able to sign better players, and the system for both buying and selling players is via an eBay style auctioning system.

A league season lasts four weeks, the first for friendly matches (where you can challenge people to a game, or even create a mini knockout competition) followed by three weeks of competitive fixtures. All the matches have a staggered completion date, and if you fail to meet an opponent online then the AI “assistant manager” will manage the game for the team who are offline.

When playing against a human opponent the games show the highlights only. Before you kick off you have five minutes to select your team and tactics, and 60 seconds at half time to make changes, while throughout there is a mini chat window where you can talk to your opposing manager. Tactics and substitutions are made real time, however you can request a time-out, which also happens if a player is injured.

There are some large differences between the offline and online versions of the game. In FM Live there is no media interaction, no team talks, and you can’t get sacked! You also have no staff, but you as a manager can improve your “skills” over time in various areas via an RPG style progression system.

You have skills in six different area; coaching, tactics, physiotherapy, finance, scouting and infrastructure. You start with limited skills, e.g. your tactical options are very basic until you “learn” various items, e.g. counter attack, individual player tactics, playing with a target man etc.

The same goes for coaching, e.g. can’t get your strikers to specifically practice ‘finishing’ until you’ve learnt that coaching skill, while you won’t be able to expand your stadium (even if you have the money) until you’ve learned various skills on the infrastructure tree. 

Some skills require you to learn others first, or reach certain levels before new skill openings become available. “Learning” just requires you to select a skill, and they are ‘taught’ in real time by selecting them, however they can take from a few minutes to a few days to achieve. You do nothing yourself, but as the days and weeks pass by, you gradually build up your skill base. The huge range of skills, and the time required to learn them mean no two managers with have the same skill set as there are too many to learn them all.

Graphics: 80%
The match engine is the 2D version, not the 3D version introduced in FM’09, and while they’re not exactly FIFA or
Pro Evo graphics, they do the required job well.

Sound: n/a

There is essentially no sound in the game (there has been limited sound in all the FM games) but this doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of playing matches.

Online: Yes, online only.

Value: 93%
If you’ve got the time to play this game then it will keep you entertained for a long time! As an online game though, you need to subscribe to play. The boxed version comes with 4 free months (more than enough time to decide if you’re enjoying it or not) then it’s approx £7 a month to play. You can also get it free via download from the FM Live site, but you have to pay the monthly subscription immediately.

There are two recommendations for Football Manager Live, and which one is best for you depends on how much time you can dedicate towards getting your team to the top...

If you would be a casual player then it's likely that too many of the deadlines set for playing matches would be missed, resulting in your AI ‘assistant’ taking over. This seems pointless, and so playing the traditional offline Football Manager games would appear the better option for you.

If, however, you are someone who can commit a substantial amount of time to the game (a minimum of 10 hours a week) then FM Live is a great new way to create and manage your own team, and take them to glory.

Overall Score: 88% (not an average)