As each year passes, I become more enraptured with FIFA's Manager Mode, and in FIFA 23, I'm even more addicted from the slight tweaks that EA has implemented. By signing new players, organizing budgets, and setting up formations, it is everything I want from a mode like this and much more. Here's why I'm so addicted to the FIFA 23 Manager Mode.
Forming Your Own Team In FIFA 23 Manager Mode
The most exciting element of the FIFA 23 Manager Mode is how your team can be formed. You're sending out highly trained scouts (or those with a lesser amount of experience due to budget) around the world to scout the players you want to add to your team. They'll then bring up scouting reports, so you can pick the best of the best from a region. They'll then examine their player rating and dozens of different stats like Athleticism, Shooting, and Sprint Speed that you can glance at. For example, Thiago Borbas from FC Famallicao would be a fantastic pick-up as he has 87 Acceleration, 86 Sprint Speed, and 75 Shooting.
You also need to consider the player's age. Borbas is 22 years old, so he's still got a long way to go. However, picking someone that's 32 years old is risky as they can go on retirement in a few years. They'll begin to lose shape, their overall playing rating, and what's most important to you: their value. At an $11,000,000 market value, Borbas is a definite player for your club to pick up, despite some bad vision and his weak interceptions.
Reflecting on a player's stats and potential is part of the excitement of being a manager. Creating the best team and seeing a player's value soar upward as they improve is a thrilling experience. Part of the strategy as well is to find players from more unknown countries for football. The value of a player from Canada, Japan, or Mexico will be different to those from England or France, for example.
Once you're settled on a player, you can add them to your Transfer Hub. Once that's done, you'll be able to negotiate a price for a contract with the player. At this point, you can swap players on your team or fully buy their contract outright. The negotiation, despite the annoying lack of voice acting, is exciting as you try to find the right number for the footballer. Sometimes you'll get lucky, but if it's a relatively well-known player on the team, expect to pay more than market value. After you give the player a competitive wage, you'll then be given a rating. It will give you feedback on how much money you could have made off a player and if it was a good deal for your club.
If you've watched the excellent Netflix series Sunderland 'Til I Die, you'll know that some teams need gaps to fill on the squad. You may lack a striker or a goalkeeper. It can be desperate sometimes as players accept contracts elsewhere unexpectedly or retire. Part of the engaging strategy of the FIFA 23 manager mode is to keep your team composed and ready for any situation. That's why forming a well-balanced team is so important as a manager in FIFA 23.
Keeping Your Squad Happy
Something else you have to manage is the squad itself. You'll need to keep them happy and trained in the correct areas. For example, if we want to go back to Thiago Borbas, we might want them to train further in interceptions and strength as they're relatively low stats that a striker needs. Retooling their training can increase their player rating dramatically and ultimately feels very satisfying as a manager. With Matthew Smith from Arsenal, for example, you can improve the midfielder's passing in particular by giving him the Playmaker Plan. His rating in that particular field will grow faster than a balanced development plan, giving you more ways to customize your players' progression. It's like choosing a class in a JRPG such as Final Fantasy.
You'll also want to make sure that each player you hire does get enough play time, especially those that are marked crucial to your squad. You get messages throughout your career with players thanking you for their play time or asking for more. If you ignore these annoyed players, they'll become less satisfied and will seek a new deal with another club. You'll need to manage each player's expectations and make sure they stick with you, creating an entertaining yet anxiety-ridden experience that keeps you formulating different formations and squads.
So Many Hours Spent...
The FIFA 23 manager mode has such an addicting formula that has kept me glued to the screen until 4 a.m. Managing your team's aspirations and keeping them competitive against the rest in the league is astonishingly addictive. You can also play the actual game itself to make sure your team gets a great score. When you finally succeed and get the league's cup, you'll see all the players you've hired celebrating together. It's an immensely rewarding feeling, despite them all being digital. And then the next season starts, and you're invested even further, likely with a bigger budget than last season because of your win. Making the club's owners happy is daunting, but when you succeed, you feel like the best manager in the world. And that's what a great manager mode is all about.