FM's online system has gotten better over the years, for us who used to play since the 2005 version remember how annoying and filled with bugs it was.
Now though you can enjoy it without most bugs and problems, it's quicker as well.
Let's get to it!
Hosting a network gameGo to Preferences screen, on the left hand side go to "Network Settings":
Run as server You need this option ticked in for your save game to run as an online game and open to connectivity.
Server name: You can choose what the server ("your online game") will be named when seen on the network search.
Password: This is if you want to make your game personal to you and your friends only, just adding a password (this is kind of the same as adding a password when creating your save). You should add a password to your save game when adding a manager if you don't accidently want your mates to control it (and keeping your secrets).
Force continue: If you are a lot of people playing online and don't want too much time wasting, you can have this force continue option enabled. You have options on how this should work. Either it's timed or when a certain percentage of players have pressed continue it will automatically continue. So for example in case of 3 people, when 2 have pressed continue it will automatically continue.
Move Matches for TVWhile your in Preferences you can go to "General" and choose to untick "Move Matches for TV". This will mean more matches will be played on the same day when playing online. In case of only 2 people, if you don't mind that extra time you can have it ticked in.
Finding your IP addressTo find your IP address when you have started your new or existing save game, click on the Option menu button and go to "Game Status". There you will see your current IP address, this is the IP address you should give your friends to use to connect to your game.
In case you see 2 IP addresses instead of 1, to make sure you give out the correct IP address to your friends, visit the What's My IP website to find that correct (external) IP address.
Joining an online gameJoining an online game is easy, just go to the main menu / start screen and click on "Join a Network Game". Then click on "Join Other Server", a box will appear where you enter the IP Address. Upon doing so you will join the online game and after that it's like any other single player game. You create your manager choose your team and start playing.
Tips on LagLag has always been an enemy for online gaming. This is a delay between PC's, meaning when you click something in-game it might take extra seconds to open.
Choosing who hosts the game
To avoid too much lag make sure the one who hosts the online game has a good internet connection and a good PC. Make sure you got unnecessary things closed (usually doesn't matter if you have a great internet connection and PC). Good "upload speed" is important.
Choosing database size and leagues
When starting the game you can choose less leagues and players, the smaller the database the quicker the game will run. Usually loading just the league your playing is enough for some. But many still want a good amount of players in the database. Then you can just modify the database, load players from certain leagues or countries.
The game will be slower if you load more leagues, but loading players won't slow it down as much.
All players need to configure their firewalls (OS and/or antivirus) to allow FM. We recommend to add exceptions for it, don't disable it. This is more important for people joining.
Many people nowadays use wireless connection with their laptops. With wireless connection you can loose signal time to time meaning you can be disconnected from the game and could lead to increased lag. Doing an online "pingtest" will let you know how good your connection is, you can also do a "speedtest" to check your internet speed (just Google those terms).
LAN GamesIf you are trying to play a LAN game and the host you wish to join does not show in the list of Local Servers automatically, then use the "Refresh" button so that the network game can be found.
Other tipsOS Compatibility
It doesn't matter who is hosting, the game should work regardless of OS. A Mac to PC or PC to Mac or Vista to XP, etc.
Best Way to Join or Leave a Game
It's recommended to set your return date to "indefinitely" (Manager > Options > Go on Holiday) and then use the "Disconnect" option to leave the game. When rejoining the game all you now need to do is click next to your team name "not connected" and you will be prompted to "resume control" of your club.
Enjoy your online game!
Having problems?Need Same Database
All players taking part in an online game must use the same database. If you are going to be using an edited database, then it's at your own risk; most games will run smoothly but if problems arise, then that's the most probable reason.
Need Same Patch
Without being on the same "Patch" version you will not be able to connect.
The Ports required to be open for FM are 10093 and 10094 on both TCP and UDP. If you are not sure how to configure your router then we would recommend visiting PortForward.com. There you can choose your router model and follow instructions on how to configure it for these ports.
This is important for the one hosting the game only.
If you still have a problem, you might want to consider Playing FM Online using Hamachi.