Although we’re near the end of the game, with Football Manager 2021 approaching fast, a guide on how to navigate the menus in FM20 is always useful, especially with latecomers of the game taking advantage of the low price-tag for the game now.

So, without further ado, here is a beginner’s guide to the beautiful game.

1. Staff, Squad and Scouting

What better to start with than three of the menus you’ll be using all the time in the game, as they play a vital part in managing your club. First, have a look at the video to see where to find these in the menus, then continue:

Firstly, your staff. You may not be looking at this all the time, but your staff are so important to your club, and how successful you are. At the start of a new save, you’ll want to edit your responsibilities, which is easy enough to do. Quickly go into staff on the sidebar, navigate towards responsibilities, and change it however you like. Personally I like to delegate responsibility to other staff for scouting meetings, tunnel interviews, general training, and the hiring and firing of staff, just to speed the game up a little and give more focus on the main parts of the game.

Secondly your squad. Again, you won’t use this page all the time, but it’s very useful for the start of a save, and also for when you’re thinking about moving to a new club. The squad menu, as quickly seen in the video above, gives you the general information of all your players, such as age, height, nationality, and value. You’re also able to see contract details, and registration information for all competitions.

Finally, the scouting page, the home page of where you’ll be finding your star players and your hidden gems. The sidebar in FM20 is luckily very easy to navigate, but as a new player you might not figure out everything within the scouting menu straight away. Your scouting centre is where you’ll find the basic details of the players that have been scouted by your team. You’re also able to control your scouting focus, and your budget, and request suggestions of players to buy in any position from your Director of Football.

In the players section you can find all the players that your scouting team have any amount of knowledge on, with the players that they have more knowledge on having a number out of 100 based on whether your scouts think a particular player is worth buying. Finally, you have your shortlist menu, where you can create all types of shortlists. I would suggest having three shortlists; one for the big signings you think you may like to buy, one for youth players, and one for players who’s contracts are up for expiry within the next year (possible free signings can be quality if you keep a close eye)

2. Tactics, Team report, Training and Transfers

The four Ts, some of the most important menus for any of your saves. Starting with the first one, tactics, which will be a page you visit on almost a Football Manager daily basis. This is where you pick your team, organise your bench, and of course put on the 4231 Gegenpress and let your boys do the rest. You’re able to have 3 separate tactics within the game, making it easy to switch between depending on the kind of team you’re playing. Within the tactics you can do whatever you like for how you want your team to play in possession, in transition, and out of possession. It is made relatively straightforward, but can take time getting used to. You will also use this page to edit individual player instructions, set piece takers, and your instructions for each and every opposition

Then there are the other three T’s. Not quite as paramount as your tactics, but still very useful nonetheless. Your team report shows you everything your staff have to offer on the knowledge of your players. You have the overview of strengths and weaknesses, and reports from your assistant and your chief analysis. Using this can help you identify where you need to improve within games as you can go through the details of all your games, and what went wrong, and what went right.

Even if you have delegated your general training to another member of staff, you should definitely still visit the training page often. You will use this part of Football Manager to sort individual training for your project Mbappe’s in your squad, and also to set up and update mentoring groups throughout the season. Mentoring groups may not always prove successful, but if you strike the right balance (or if your assistant does), players are able to develop new traits, and improve communication with teammates, causing better performances on the pitch.

The final T, transfers, is where you’ll find (as you’ve probably figured out) all your transfer activity. Your ins and outs, your transfer history, what stage of a transfer you are in for each player, and your transfer and wage budget remaining. You are also able to see clauses that are set in place so you can see how much money will be coming in and going out.

3. And the rest

Now that we’ve covered the most part of the menus in Football Manager 2020, you should be absolutely fine if you’re new to the game. However, you’ll notice that there are menus in the sidebar that we’re yet to cover the whole game. So, the last part of this guide will take us through the other menus that you will use throughout your time as a manager on the game. This includes your inbox (and your social feed), your schedule, your finances, and your development centre.

The first three of these are quite self explanatory, and won’t take up too much of your time on the game, but are still essential to know about. Your inbox is where you receive messages about everything in the game; information about transfers, upcoming fixtures, injuries to players, and anything in-between. Quite often you can go through the emails without looking at them, but you will always get the ones you must respond to, such as attending press conferences, or registering your squad for an upcoming season. Your social feed is also attached to this, and is where you see how your fans are reacting to everything going on with your club.

I hardly ever use the schedule myself, but the menu is useful for looking at your fixture list so you can decide on how to rotate your squad when needed, and you can also use the calendar to arrange friendlies and go on holiday.

Your finances again, are rather straightforward. The summary basically shows you what you need to know, as you can see your income and expenditure, and your transfer and wage budget. It is also where you can make budget adjustments, and requests to your board.

Finally, your development centre. This is where you will find all the updates for your youth players. Depending on the team you’re at, you may have an U23s and an U18s, or you may have a B team and an U19s squad. In the Development Centre you will find the overview for how your youngsters are doing, what their expected potential is, an how they’re performing in matches. You will also find how your players on loan are doing, and will find your youth intake whenever it is available.

And there you have it, a beginners guide to finding your way around Football Manager 2020. Hopefully this was helpful, any feedback is appreciated.

If you found this guide helpful, check out our others:

A Beginner’s Guide to Football Manager 2020

5 Mistakes to Avoid at the Start of Football Manager 2021