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Football Manager 2021 New Features

The complete list of officially confirmed new and improved Football Manager 2021 features. Updated on November 3rd.

By Updated on Nov 03, 2020   103264 views   12 comments
News - Football Manager 2021 New Features
Unlike last year, Sports Interactive revealed the new gameplay features that will make it onto Football Manager 2021 by initially releasing an one-minute long fast paced video without commentary, and then elaborated on that few days later by unleashing a longer video with commentary.

More information will be dropping in the next few weeks leading to the pre-release Beta access in early November. This article will always be updated with new info as it becomes available.

This pre-release Beta access is one of the special rewards for pre-purchasing FM 2021 from selected retailers.
Pre-purchase FM21 from FM Scout
Start playing 2 weeks earlier with early beta access, and get FM Touch 2021 for PC/Mac (worth £21.99) as a gift!

FM2021 new additions and game upgrades deliver added levels of depth, drama and football authenticity. FM21 empowers you like never before to develop your managerial prowess and command success at your club.

In Football Manager 2021 dynamic, true-to-life management experiences and next-level detail renews that focus on you like never before; from small time conversations to big time cup finals, equipping you with all the tools to achieve elite status.

So here are some of the biggest features to expect from the latest edition of the award-winning football management series.

FM 2021 New Gameplay Features

✔️ Match Engine AI Improvements
✔️ Match Day Enhancements
✔️ Next-gen Match Analytics
✔️ Squad Building Expanded
✔️ Media Handling Revamped
✔️ Interactions Re-Designed
✔️ End of Season Experience

Various Other Improvements

✔️ Squad View Changes
✔️ Licensing Updates
✔️ Misc

FM21 screenshots thumbnail pic
Football Manager 2021 Screenshots


Key new addition

The FM21 match engine AI has received a number of improvements which make the action on the pitch to feel more unpredictable and fluid, or simply put more realistic.

There's an extra level of depth added to decision-making which has led to improvements across the pitch with new variations in player movement, a refined marking system, a renewed focus on midfield action and goalkeepers being more adaptive to the environment around them.

Players will now be able to change their original decision mid-slice as the situation around them develops.

Defenders can now react more intelligently to attacking movement and can pass their marking duties on to another defender while they move to close down another player as the attack unfolds.

FM21 sees much more movement in the final third as attackers look to create space or exploit gaps in the defensive line.

There's greater emphasis on central play that results in a more authentic flow to events in central areas.

You can find more details about Match Day on the official website.

Football Manager 2021 Match Engine Improvements


Key new addition

The Match Day Experience has been improved in FM 2021. Every fixture now feels like a proper spectacle.

A new build-up and post-match experience bring you closer to the action than ever before.

Pre-game, it’s about utilising your backroom staff who’re there for you with all the info and advice you need to dominate straight from kick-off.

Tactical insight, team sheets and opposition reports contain both existing and brand-new data analysis to give you the ability to fine tune your tactics ahead of kick-off.

You can now see your squad down below on the screen by opening a pop up menu, where you can also see the new green / yellow / red hearts depicting the status of your players fitness, allowing you to make easy decisions for substitutions underway.

The match UI itself has been completely remodelled and modernized. Your screen is now dominated by the action, giving you the full view of the game, allowing you to appreciate a host of graphical improvements including improved player models, an improved animation system and improved lighting.

You can find more details about Match Day on the official website.

What we know about Football Manager 2021


Key new addition

Sports Interactive teamed up with SciSports to bring in more advanced metrics. You can now manage the game in more detail than ever before! Data-driven player and team insights are increasingly part of the way football fans and professionals experience and analyse matches.

Popular metrics like Expected Goals (xG) will be featured heavily in FM2021.

A post-match summary gives you the complete story of the game, including reaction from the press and social media as well as a suite of statistical information including SI’s own xG system, which makes an exciting debut in conjunction with the team at SciSports.

FM21 xG - FM2021 Headline Feature - Football Manager 2021 Screenshot

Delve into advanced match analysis statistics, such as xG match story, xG shot map and enhanced visuals for average positions. The xG shot map graph in particular shows the xG quality based on the position each shot was made from, on a scale from 1 to 12.

You’ll now be able to see just how clinical your players were or weren’t in front of goal.

How do you think this will affect you playing style? Will you be paying more attention to stats as xG in FM21? Imagine the scenes when your top of the league team racks up an xG of 4.5 and you lose 1-0 late on to a freekick to the back post with an xG of 0.2.

Football Manager 2021 Minimum System Requirements


Key new addition

Squad building has been expanded this season; bringing you closer to your scouting and data team to help secure your top targets. To do this, FM21 introduces a new staff role, new meetings and also new interactions all within a fresh and true-to-life transfer landscape.

You can now power your scouting and set your transfer intentions with brand-new recruitment meetings.

Before the start of every window you’re invited into a meeting with your club’s top decision makers. Here you’ll take advice from staff on the positions you need to strengthen while giving your thoughts and setting new assignments for your scouts.

These meetings prompt you to continuously think about you club’s next move and longer term strategy whether you need players immediately, or are looking at the long term, you’ll get help and advice from your backroom staff.

The positions that can be approved are based on criteria such as: not good enough first team quality, lack of squad depth, or simply players who are on expiring contracts, loan or are already sold.

This makes it easier for you to know where to strengthen in the transfer market and keep an eye on your squad and first eleven weaker points.

You can find more details about Recruitment on the official website.

Football Manager 2021 Preview Videos


Key new addition

The media handling is revamped on FM 2021, with the press conferences now showing all journalists present, their questions if you click on them, and their opinion of you as manager.

Will you be able to keep them on your good side, without saying things that will upset the board, players or fans?

Today's media are relentless in their search for headlines, so you better have a good think while you try to manage all balls in the air at the same time. If one drops, so might all others fall.

Football Manager 2021 Giveaway


Key new addition

Communication in FM21 now has far more purpose. What you say and how you say it has completely changed. Not only have the press conference and conversation systems been completely re-designed but so has the way you speak. This is now far more human and more real than ever before.

Introducing Quick Chats that represent short, informal conversations that's like grabbing a player for a one or two minute conversation on a particular topic.

It can also cover remote conversations with people who aren’t at the club, so like players out on loan, opposition managers and even journalists.

Gestures are also a replacement of the tone system that’s been in FM for years. They allow you to be far more expressive with options for every situation you find yourself in from meetings with your squad to your weekly press conference.

So if you’re greeting a new signing, you’ll maybe welcome him with a wide armed greeting but if you’re unhappy with a question from the media, you may choose to be folding your arms.

You can use gestures to influence people on what you’re saying but they will also shape your personality and how your players and the media view you.

You can find more details about Interaction on the official website.

Football Manager 2021 Trailer


Key new addition

FM21 is going to let you re-live the highs and lows of your success like never before. Success doesn’t just mean winning trophies it could be avoiding relegation narrowly on the final day, or securing promotion via the playoffs.

Not only will these celebrations look better on the pitch with improved title presentations we’re talking trophy lifts, podiums and confetti canons but post-match there’ll be more media attention and hype too.

At the end of each campaign you’ll also get a brand-new season review presentation which will take you through your highlights, both on and off the pitch.

This end of season review will group together all of the campaign’s accolades too, rounding up any awards you or your players have won throughout the season. These achievements will no longer be hidden away in your club’s information screens but brought to the fore for you to appreciate and remember.

The pack won’t just consist of stats either, but opinions too. With social media reaction, press snippets and board feedback to digest, you’ll really be able to see how your year has impacted the outside world.

You’ve worked hard for the success, so you should enjoy it, no matter how big or small, put your feet up and revel in your achievements.

You can find more details about End of Season on the official website.

Covid-19 in FM21
Covid-19 in Football Manager 2021

Various Other Improvements

Squad View Enhancements

  • Fitness now being shown in a green, yellow or red heart instead of a percentage value.

  • Sharpness has had the same change into green thumbs and yellow and green arrows signaling a decrease or increase in sharpness.

Licensing Updates

  • Leicester City FC, the Premier League champions of season 2015–16, is now licensed.


  • Added much more context to the prospect of replacing your captain/vice-captain. Now you get a warning message from your staff as well as additional responses to use in conversations with those players involved.
    Nov 2nd / Source

  • Better backroom advice. Your staff will notify you in advance if your squad is too big and in breach of competition squad rules.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • Revamped the in-game goal alert, inspired by a TV broadcast-style.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • If your club vision demands you to sign players from a certain nation, you can now request an affiliate club that helps you do just that.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • You can now promise a player they'll become a regular starter once the man in front of him leaves.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • If your unique brand of football catches the media's eye they'll give it a name to use in the press.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • Combined goal and assist bonuses. Perfect for attacking midfielders or strikers that love to link play.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • From Assistant to Analyst, you now have far more role options to recommend when talking to your player about joining the backroom.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • FM21 has more contextual interactions. As one of many examples, you can now talk to your attackers after they've been on a bit of a goal drought, to lead them back on track in front of goal.
    Nov 1st / Source

  • Managers are constantly in the spotlight. So, FM21 adds more press speculation to your movements, especially around matches you attend.
    Oct 31st / Source

  • Something for those who like to add & remove leagues. You can make divisions in a nation you have playable "view only", not just the entire nation. Eg - you can have a top division "playable" & the lower divisions "view only".
    Oct 30th / Source

  • Playoff Mini League added in South Africa.
    Specific A-League teams play each other 3 times a season.
    Squad numbers can now be allocated in Sottish League 1.
    Chinese Maximum salary rules are implemented.
    New HG eligibility rule in Croatia.
    Oct 30th / Source

  • New formats for lower divisions in Portugal for both the 20/21 season and the 21/22 season.
    Regional grouping for the Bulgarian U19 regional groups.
    New rules for the Northern Irish Intermediate Cup.
    Oct 30th / Source

  • New format in Denmarks 2nd division, which then morphs into a new format for Denmark's lower leagues for the 21/22 season too.
    Oct 30th / Source

  • There are now animations for every role, so you know exactly what you're asking your players to do when building a tactic.
    Oct 29th / Source

  • Introduced a whole new bunch of tooltips, adding detail & info across all aspects of the game. Included are areas like transfers, loans, coaching badges, squad registration, the very important "posh" tooltip for condition and much more.
    Oct 28th / Source

  • New interaction: Speed up decision making. You now have the ability to ask players to speed up their contract decision making - Perfect for crazy deadline days.
    Oct 27th / Source

  • "It's a special day for you, go out there and enjoy it". Added a bunch of team talks to give to individuals who are on the verge of a landmark appearance.
    Oct 27th / Source

  • Your social feed is getting louder. You'll now see fan-driven transfer rumours... some of which will come out of nowhere.
    Oct 27th / Source

  • Now you can view a player's goals and assists as well as match ratings per position to get a better idea of what suits them best.
    Oct 27th / Source

  • You'll now notice that certain players won't celebrate against old teams.
    Oct 27th / Source

  • FM21 brings clearer news, advice and interaction around suspensions. So you can warn a player pre-game that he's just one yellow away from a ban.
    Oct 27th / Source

  • You now have many more options when making a loan offer with an option to buy. You should also expect to see more loan offers with options/mandatory to buy as part of the new transfer system in game.
    Oct 27th / Source

  • Fans now speculate more pre-match around team selections and fuss over who should (or shouldn't) start.
    Oct 26th / Source

  • FM21 ensures that travelling long distances for international games has a more realistic impact on player conditioning.
    Oct 25th / Source

  • Introduced simple icons to indicate how your players previously performed in training. This week's Training Ratings are great but it helps to know how that compares with the previous week.
    Oct 24th / Source

  • Added another layer to some of the in-game tutorials. 'Tell me more' allows you to go deeper into the area.
    Oct 23rd / Source

  • When you negotiate new contracts with multiple staff members at once, you'll now receive just one news item that merges all of the information in one handy place.
    Oct 22nd / Source

  • Improved newgen models.
    Oct 21st / Source

  • Improved manager models.
    Oct 21st / Source

  • Covid-19 will be reflected in FM21 with a balanced approach between realism and escapism.
    Oct 20th / Source

  • You can't "turn on" nor "turn off" covid in the game.
    Oct 20th / Source

  • Definition to defensive width. With refined descriptions and smooth visualisations you can see exactly how you're asking your players to defend.
    Oct 20th / Source

  • New squad view. Now you can clearly see your player's playing time pathway so you know exactly what you've promised...
    Oct 20th / Source

  • Added a whole bunch of goalkeeper media descriptions, from world-class to wonderkid, to add a new layer of detail to your no.1.
    Oct 20th / Source

  • New signings are a little more special now. FM21 allows you to instantly assign training focuses, new trait discussions and set-piece duties, if they're up for the task... all within one easy news item.
    Oct 20th / Source

  • New objectives. Introduced new Club Vision objectives to make your experience more unique from club-to-club.
    Oct 20th / Source

  • Penalty pressure. Before entering a shootout you'll now be able to see your player's body language, allowing you to get into the mind's of your potential takers before selecting that all-important order.
    Oct 20th / Source

  • You can now ask a player's agent for his availability.

Buy FM21 through much cheaper than Steam store, and earn a unique buyer badge for your member account, and our gratitude for supporting our community financially.

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About Stam

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Discussion: Football Manager 2021 New Features

12 comments have been posted so far.

  • Mauve's avatar
    They try to make us happy with a celebration future what counts 5 seconds or less... Why in earth don't you guys use graphics from that are like the early FIFA03 or something, this is ridiculous
  • humboy's avatar
    OMG Awful...., IF you fix superficial things and don't put the focus to solve your problems with the game engine, 1 vs1 ridiculous, 90% of the shots collide with other players, it's all absurd,,, I'm a player since the time of the commodore amiga 500 and this will be the first year that I don't buy the game, I'll keep fm20 + the korean mod (yes SI the fans improve the game, not you)

    Year after year you disappoint your fans, it's not the way...

    BTW The celebration feature its a joke...
  • Johntra_Volta's avatar
    really disappointing right now. Instead of improving the gameplay, i can thro wbottles around and have even more exactly same press conferences and some unnecessary media descriptions of GKs?????
    What about the adaptability from Managers for example? it shouldn't be that hard to fix this bug or some of the other bugs from the game...

    But no, we improve the celebrations! WTF!?

    buying this game since championship manager times but gonna skip this one probably
  • Jabluvious's avatar
    Nice skin. The same since what, FM16?
  • Richardcharlston's avatar
    The new features today look poor. SI are struggling now
    needs competition in the market, the game is improved on every level by 3rd parties
  • Richardcharlston's avatar
    SI are really concerned about fm21 judging by the comments and reaction to their poorly structured forum.
    they won’t accept any criticism of the match engine, licensing etc
    all the upgrades are poor interactions, rather than improving the game
  • t.roysavager's avatar
    1on1 miss in the trailer LOOOOOOOOOL
  • Gajos's avatar
    #fmreskin21 nothing more
  • Ice30's avatar
    With such profits, they make such small changes. Do not buy licenses, do not change the 3D match and the faces of the regens. Nightmare.
  • humboy's avatar
    disappointing at the moment...
  • Stam's avatar
    @dmcgrath: I think there will be more sneak peek videos coming up revealing further improvements in FM21. They did say "we're just getting started", so maybe the initial preview video was just an appetizer.
  • dmcgrath82's avatar
    Can't believe they've 'improved' press conferences, of all the things that need adding to the game, making press conferences longer isnt one of them!!
    Been saying a good set piece creator needed for last decade
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