10 Ways To Speed Up Football Manager 2021
Finding it slow going on Football Manager?
Here are all of my go-to ways to speed things up. Whether you play on a desktop or laptop these tweaks will have you rocketing through the seasons in no time.
A lot of these tips and tricks you may already know but hopefully there will be a few that you don't.
1. Less News Subscriptions
The game will by default follow news for various things such as the teams you specify as a favourite club and other unneeded items like world player of the year awards which you are unlikely to care about if you are starting in, for example, the Indonesian second tier.
All of these subscriptions take a toll on processing and will give you more news items to click through so I tend to turn off all or at least most of the subscriptions and monitor it over the course of a save.
This can be accessed by clicking on inbox then social feed then manage in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
You can filter it by various things as you can see above and then you can delete any that you deem unnecessary. I tend to click Remove All and then add whatever I think I need as I go along.
Top Tip - At the beginning of each season your personal assistant will suggest a load of things for you to subscribe to. Be sure to always reject their proposal.
2. Detail Level
Often overlooked, or just not known about, detail level is one of the biggest culprits for slowing down a save.
Put simply detail level decides whether or not matches within the game are simulated in full or are simulated using what SI describe as the "quick match engine".
By default the full match engine will be run for the league you are currently playing in and for the main stages of major National, Continental and domestic cup competitions.
Personally I set both available options to minimum to save on processing power. It is better to run more active leagues on less detail in my mind than to run only a few on full detail.
Don't worry though the league you are currently in will always be in full detail.
Detail level is the single most processor hungry feature of FM and I would recommend loading more leagues as playable to start but turning the detail level of those leagues that you are not involved in to "None". This will give you a good balance between an active gameworld and quicker processing.
3. Enable Continue Game Timeout
Real game-changer for me when I first discovered this, essentially what it does is continue the game automatically without the player having to press continue.
Don't worry though you can still interrupt the timer by clicking the mouse and the game won't bypass certain parts of the game where a "must respond" item comes up.
I tend to leave it off during transfer windows if i'm doing a bit of business as I like to keep an eye on things but during the season I always have it set to 2 seconds and I would say it has at least halved the amount of time it takes me to complete a season.
You can find this feature by going into preferences and typing "continue game" into the search bar.
4. Run Less Leagues/Smaller Player Database
I suppose it goes without saying that the more leagues you run the slower the game will process but what I want to do here is maybe offer some LLaMa perspective.
Using the above screenshot as an example, i've been to the LLMPicker and the llamas have given me a team from Finland. In years gone by I would just load all leagues from the game and suffer the slowness in the name of realism but more recently I think to myself "How do I want this save to go?" and in this particular save I quite fancy the idea of a Scandinavian setup that gives me options in and around the area i'm starting in.
With this in mind I've loaded all of the Nordic nations and I've also loaded the top flight leagues of four of the major nations from Europe to keep the European competitions like the Champions league competitive over time.
From what I can gather from talking to others about how they set up their own games most people even on less than capable machines tend to opt for a large database of players.
I myself always use a small database as I personally find the transfer market is more active and of course less players equals faster processing times. Even with a small database, as soon as the first youth intake comes there will be plenty of players in my opinion.
If you are playing in a deep league (England, Sweden etc) and starting at the bottom do you need to run a large database and lots of other leagues? Chances are you won't even be able to scout outside your own nation to begin with anyway and you can always add more leagues if/when you reach the higher levels and of course you can always take some away.
Lastly I often see advice around the internet about running leagues as view-only. In my opinion this is pointless. All this does is give you league tables for those leagues and no extra players, also, these league tables will be primarily simulated using the clubs reputation much as they would if they were non active. I would always argue that it is better to use your precious processing power to run one more active nation than running multiple in view only.
5. Smaller Shortlists
The bigger your player shortlists the more inbox messages you will get about the players held on it. Reducing the number of players on the shortlist will help with this.
We're all guilty of not monitoring the amount of players held there and it can slow things down considerably as the game has to process more to keep tabs on these players, which is probably why Sports Interactive decided to make the shortlist default to 12 months.
In previous versions of FM shortlists used to get way out of hand so the new default is a great addition but its still worth keeping an eye on.
Shortlists are covered in point 3 but I've found its a bit easier to analyse who to drop from the list when using the full shortlist page in the scouting tab above.
6. Processing "have fewer stops in play"
Simply put the game will stop less often, thus you won't have to click continue as much. Works well when used in conjunction with Continue Game Timeout
7. Set match days to Saturday and Wednesday
Primarily designed for online network play this useful little feature ensures that all matches are played on just two days of the week. The reason this works well and is recommended for network play is that players aren't waiting around for others to play games.
In a single player offline save the main plus point of this is that matches you aren't involved in will process in the background when you are playing one of your own matches.
The downside of course is that this will compromise realism somewhat. But as long as this doesn't bother you then you will notice huge speed improvements and don't worry you won't miss out on TV money either as teams will still be selected for TV the games just won't be moved.
Top Tip - Make sure to set this before you start a new game for it to take effect. If you do this during a season it won't take effect until the following season.
8. Remember to have cache ticked
As anyone who has ever installed third party graphics add ons will tell you, you have to untick "use caching to decrease page loading times" and tick "reload skin when confirming changes in preferences".
Trouble is - and I'm very guilty of this myself forgetting this myself - you need to go back in to make sure it's turned back on again. Otherwise , especially if you have a lot of graphics, they will reload entirely when the game starts leading to lengthy loading times.
Caching helps too of course by keeping your most frequently visited graphics like your own clubs badges in an easy to reach place for faster loading times generally so make sure this feature is always ticked
9. General Windows Tips
Outside of the game itself there are also a few things you can do with Windows to ensure a smoother in-game experience
Check PC has enough space
As a rule of thumb make sure that you have at least 15% free space
Run FM and graphics on an SSD
doesn't make a huge amount of difference but does speed up load times and graphics appearing
Keep drivers up to date -
FM now prompts you to do this for graphics which is good but be sure to visit your hardware providers website frequently to keep up to date with any changes
Make sure power plan is set to "high performance" (desktop users)
Type "power options" into the windows search bar
Enable game mode
Type "game mode" into the windows search bar and make sure it is enabled to stop various things running in the background and affecting performance
Turn off any other programs
Other programs running in the background will have a detrimental effect on performance so if you have 20 Chrome tabs open for example, then close them
10. General Computer Tips
Ensure good airflow
Quite obvious i suppose but i did once have a friend who used to complain that his laptop used to shut down unexpectedly and it was only later that he realised it was because he was playing the game whilst in bed with the laptop basically sat on the duvet covering the vents, starving his laptop of air causing it to overheat and automatically shut down
Clean out laptop fans
One of the biggest culprits for slowing the game down is the laptop overheating so if your laptop is starting to sound like a light aircraft taking off it may be time to clean out your laptop fans. Maybe not ideal for a novice but if you Google your laptop model the likelihood is that there will be a step by step guide to doing so.
I remember the first time I opened mine up and the fan was caked in dust and once I cleaned it out the difference was incredible. Like a new laptop.
Proceed with caution at your own risk though and make sure you read up on the process before attempting to open up your hardware
Okay so if none of the above have helped then it may be time (if you're in a financial position to do so) to get a new PC/laptop.
As a rule of thumb though the difference between what you can get for £600 - £800 is HUGELY superior to what you can get for under £500, so if you have around that amount it's worth saving until you have at least around the £600 mark to get a decent machine that will last you a long while
It's not always practical but if you can I would always recommend getting a desktop PC. With a desktop you will get much greater performance for considerably less money and you will be less likely to encounter the overheating and slowdowns that you will with a laptop
If you are looking to upgrade visit this thread over at the SiGames forums here. The guys over there are extremely knowledgeable and happy to help with any prospective purchase
*****PROCEED WITH CAUTION, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY OF THE BELOW***
Overclocking & Underclocking
I won't go into too much detail here as I am by no means an expert and there are lots of guides to doing this around on the internet but I will explain what it is why you should look into doing it
Put simply overclocking makes your system go faster and underclocking makes your system go slower.
Overclocking will produce a lot more heat so it is only recommended for desktops which have more room for better cooling solutions.
As you will see from the benchmarking results nearly all of the top performers are desktops that have been overclocked so it's worth looking into if you have capable hardware with "unlocked" processors.
Underclocking/Undervolting on the face of it may seem like a bad idea. Why would you want to slow your computer down? Well the simple reason is heat. With a processor heavy game like football manager the CPU will ramp up to its top speed and in some cases will produce too much heat and will be forced to slow down (throttle). If you underclock/volt the processor then it won't run as fast but it will be more likely to maintain its top speed making it faster in the long run
There are also other benefits such as longer battery life and less wear and tear on your computers components
Again I won't recommend any particular guides for this as its been a good 5 years since I've done either myself but it's definitely worth looking into and then you can judge for yourself if you're confident enough to do it. I'll say again though, proceed with caution and do your homework.