With that, here's everything we learned about FM 23 gameplay and the new tools managers will have at their disposal.
FM 23 Recruitment Features
Recruitment was a major area of improvement in FM 22 with all new recruitment board meetings and more input options from the staff you've assembled.
FM 23 is looking to take things a step further by adding some new recruitment features.
This includes the brand new Squad Planner, new Agent interactions, and more.
The Squad Planner will allow players to rank members of their squad to help visualize strengths and weaknesses, but it also includes players on your shortlist.
This offers a new resource where players can plan the immediate future of their club across short-term recruitment as well as current lineups. As a private list, it will also mean ranking your players won't hurt their feelings but will allow staff to work around your priorities as you plan them.
New Agent Interactions
Agents have an important role in recruitment, at times helping you capture that needed star and other times being the sole barrier to them.
In FM 23, agents will have some new interaction options to better flesh out the recruitment process.
For instance, this year, when asking an agent about their represented players, there will be an option to further negotiate that salary demands are simply out of range for the club. This, among other new options, will let players push back on agent demands and give the process more of a push-and-pull feeling.
Further, this will help players to convert more often when working with favourable agents.
Match AI and its animations are the means through which FM players experience the games they manage. With that, it's one of the most important parts of the series.
Sports Interactive spent "the majority of the cycle" this year working on AI managers. This was accomplished via 1000 scouts analyzing the data points around managers worldwide.
With this data and plenty of simulations to build on it, the team has looked to better match how managers approach the game for AI squads across tactics, instructions, and more.
This should help AI managers feel more responsive, intelligent, and challenging to best on match days.
Defensive Tactics and AI
It's no secret that the FM fanbase has gravitated toward high presses and fast-paced aggressive football to get the job done. This is in part because of the incentive of points per match, but further, the difficulty of the game's to reward defensive play.
In FM 23, new defensive tactical instructions seek to help remedy the gap between the styles.
These new tactics include pressing trap preferences, cross engagement preferences, and more.
Further, FM 23 will also include better defensive AI for players, including more intelligent tackling angles and decisions to help defeat and adjust to pressing attackers.
In FM 23, goalkeepers will have more gameplay options to better reflect real-life play. This includes moves like k-blocks and spread blocks in tense one-on-one situations. Further, goalkeepers will also receive some improvements for handling the ball at their feet and in other situations like goal kicks.
This will likely mean that goalkeepers with low Flair attributes can hold their own a bit better with the Sweeper Keeper role, but further, will simply do the work better all around.
The midfield is a chaotic place on the football pitch, and FM 23 is looking to better simulate this action with more Match AI adjustments.
This includes improving players' ability to sniff out interceptions and position themselves to reflect the team's tactic (ie positioning for an interception that could lead to a counter-attack if the instructions call for it). It will also include how players move their bodies to get after headers and the momentum of those headers.
While the top teams in the world can play some beautiful football from the midfield, the more often ugly and chippy spots will reflect better to reality this year.
FM 23 will have new licenses for all UEFA Club Competitions.
This will change things on a deeper level in the game for things like club walkouts heading into the match, trophy celebrations, music, sleeve patches, and more to match the real things.
A club is nothing without its supporters, and in FM 23, supporters will have more of a say with some unique improvements. This, of course, looks to better match reality where the right kind of negative feedback can lead to some massive renovations for a club in short order.
In FM 23, supporters will have more say over job security for managers and will have flexible levels of patience and passion around a manager's choices (whether tactical or recruitment related). They will also have new feedback fields so it's crystal clear the consensus at any given time.
In the end, this will mean that keeping your job in FM 23 will rely a bit more on how your club's fans feel about your performance, so keeping them happy will be all the more important.
With high-profile firings this year like Thomas Tuchel, Sean Dyche, and more seemingly at the drop of a hat, this should better reflect the rigors of modern football management.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Football Manager page.