FM19 Tactical Changes Explained

With the release of Football Manager 19 beta yesterday, many of you will have noticed that the tactical UI looks much cleaner. Things are presented in a way, they’re easy to understand and follow whether you are a new user or an experienced one. While we haven’t seen any massive changes to the tactical side of the game, we have seen a lot of subtle changes and a few new additions to the tactics module. All the Team Instructions and Player Roles have all had tweaks on this years version of the game, both visually and under the hood.  Due to these changes, it’s probably for the best that you don’t compare Football Manager 19 to previous version of the game, as it’s slightly different how everything works.

SI really want us to stop obsessing with what certain settings do and instead, focus on the overall picture of what the roles and duties are doing. And allowing these to be the driving force in how tactics play. The game is much more user-friendly and should allow the user to create whatever style of play they wish, a lot more easier than past versions of the game.

Team Shape Removed But Team Fluidity Is Not A Replacement

The first real change that you’ll notice is that Team Shape has been removed. Thank god for that! It was one of the most confusing things ever implemented in any version of the game in my opinion. SI have tried to make the game easier for the user and for the game to be less ambiguous.

Despite what your first impression of Team Fluidity is, it’s not a replacement for Team Shape. Team Fluidity is simple to understand, it’s merely a visual indicator (a label, basically) to describe how we’ve set up. So if you’ve used a tactic will nearly all support roles, then you’ll be labelled as being more fluid. If you’ve gave your defenders defensive duties and your attackers attacking duties then you’ll be more structured and so on. Also using roles such as a False Nine or Regista will naturally make the team more fluid due to what the roles do.

It’s something you no longer have to think about when creating a tactic. Instead the focus has been shifted to the roles and duties you use and what these actually do. It’s probably the most significant change that SI have done this year in my view.

Tactical Presets

Probably one of the most useful things ever added to the game and will be a real benefit for users. However it can be a double-edged sword because some people will select them and think they should have instant success. That’s not what presets are though. They’re a great starting point for playing the type of football you want. You should be using them as a base rather than thinking about them as plug and play.

The presets are very customisable and you don't have to use all the team instructions it comes with. You also don’t have to use the three default shapes, these are just suggestions. You can go outside of these recommendations if you wished.

Your staff will also provide feedback here and they are closely linked with training now too. So try to think about the preset you used or created while deciding your training. It will be more beneficial long-term. This will be explained in more detail when I release a training guide when the game is officially released.

In Possession, Transitions and Out of Possession Instructions

The layout of these screens are fantastic and less messy compared to Football Manager 2018. Nothing's really changed in this section apart from a couple of small additions. What this screen now does is, give the user a clear understanding of how things work.

In addition to this, the new diagrams are really helpful in showing you which players may be impacted with various settings.

We do have a couple of new settings under these sections though. If you go to the out of possession section.

Here we have two new settings, defensive width and line of engagement. They both do as it says on the tin. Defensive width allows you to set how wide/narrow you are in defensive situations. And line of engagement allows you to select at what point you want to start closing players down.

Remember that hovering over the settings will also tell you what they do in-game.

At the start of the article I spoke about how all roles had been tweaked accordingly. So you might want to check out the settings they have now and especially how they behave in-game. As some of the changes you might not notice just by looking at the settings.

Possibly the biggest change to a role though happened to the libero. He is now selectable from the central defender positions. However it does come with restrictions and is only selectable from the central position. So if you use a back three you are unable to select them as the outer defenders, which is a shame. I’ve already put in a feature request for this to become an option at a later date.

A big thanks to SI for providing us with the information above and to Herne for compiling it.

4 thoughts on “FM19 Tactical Changes Explained”

  1. A huge thing you skimmed over is the possibility of selecting a specific side to look for an overlap! Previously if you selected “Look for overlap” it applied automatically to both sides.
    Now you can specifically choose which side, so playing with a wing back and a full back is a little more stable!

    1. It’s hardly huge. I only wrote about the big changes or new additions. I mean, if I started mentioning overlap changes then I’d have to mention every other single change that TI’s or PI’s had. There was a lot but none of them were big changes, just little tweaks here and there.

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