Football Manager - Technical Issues

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ERROR MESSAGES

AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED WHILE INSTALLING [FOOTBALL MANAGER 20XX] (MISSING APP CONFIGURATION)

If you’ve encountered a message which states ‘An error has occurred while installing [Football Manager title] (missing app configuration)' when attempting to install [Football Manager title], please shut down Steam and delete this file located at the following location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\appcache\appinfo.vdf Once you’ve completed this, launch Steam and attempt to reinstall and run the game.

AN ERROR OCCURRED WHILE UPDATING [FOOTBALL MANAGER 20XX] (UNKNOWN ERROR)

If you see the “An error occurred while updating [Football Manager 20XX] (unknown error)” error message when downloading Football Manager, it is likely that your system is below the system requirements.

 

In some cases, this can be resolved by simply upgrading the Operating System on your device.

ERROR CODE 1000

Please make sure you're not running under a proxy or any DNS/VPN settings that might interfere with your connection. If so please set the 'Sports interactive' folder to be available offline. Otherwise, please do the following:
  • Disconnect any DNS/ VPN's, and play through your home Wi-Fi.
  • Ensure any anti-virus software isn't interfering with Football Manager.
  • Completely log out of Steam, close all related applications and log back in.
  • Remove all third-party content (skins/logos/faces etc.).

If you require more assistance on resolving the connectivity with Steam, please see the following support articles: Troubleshooting Network Connectivity Steam Servers Are Currently Unavailable or Too Busy Required Ports for Steam.

ERROR CODE 5000

If you are unable to access the in-game editor/download section of the game due to the error message 5000 or experience the error message "A network connection is required in order to play FM online’ error messages", we suggest you revoke Football Manager's Epic Store access.

 

Once you've done so, the next time you launch the game you’ll be prompted by a pop up to allow Epic games to connect to ‘Use [Football Manager 20XX] with your Epic Games account’ - you must click ‘ALLOW’ and it should work.

 

CONTENT FILE LOCKED STEAM ERROR / DISK WRITE ERROR

In this circumstance, if the user receives a message which states 'An error occurred while updating [Football Manager 20XX] (content file locked)' or 'Disk Write Error' then we would suggest uninstalling and reinstalling Steam.

 

If you're on a Mac and are seeing this error, in some instances it will be due to a permissions issue and you need to allow full disk access to Steam. To do so, follow these instructions:

  • Go to System Settings
  • Select Privacy & Security
  • Select Full Disk Access, click the + and authenticate
  • Go to Applications, Steam, then click "Open"
  • Ensure the button is over to the right next to Steam in the apps list to indicate it allows full disk access

DEPENDENCY MFREADWRITE.DLL IS MISSING

This error usually occurs when you are running on Windows N, the Windows KN operating system, which does not include some media features required for Football Manager. We've also seen this encountered by users running on older Windows 7/10 versions which don't have the latest updates installed.

To install the required media features, please follow the link below and select your particular Windows system to install the required files. Once you complete the installation, this error should no longer appear.

Media Feature Pack list for Windows N editions: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3145500/

If you do not know which Windows Operating System you have, press the Windows key + "r" or enter within the Windows search bar the following "winver" (without the quotes).

This should bring up a window with a version number followed by a OS Build number.

If your Build Number is not listed on the above article, install the Media Feature Pack by following the below steps:

Navigate to Settings > Apps > Apps and features > Optional features > Add a feature, and then locate Media Feature Pack in the list of available optional features.

Note: Although you are not prompted to restart your computer, you must restart in order to successfully complete installation of the Media Feature Pack.

Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4475817/

MISSING FILE PRIVILEGES

This can sometimes occur when anti-virus programs block Steam or FM. To fix this, configure your anti-virus program so it no longer interferes with Steam and the game. If upon doing above you now receive a message about a 'Content File Locked', read our FAQ for a solution to resolve it.

PURCHASE CANCELLED

Please make sure you're not running under a proxy or any DNS/VPN settings that might interfere with your connection and to ensure your anti-virus software is not interfering with Football Manager.

UNABLE TO CREATE DUMP DIRECTORY

If you receive ‘Unable to create dump directory’ error message, it is likely you have enabled controlled access for your Documents folder on Windows.

 

Press the Windows key and type "Controlled Folder Access" and press enter. If the option is enabled in the Settings that appear, go to "Allow an App through Controlled access" Click “Add an allowed app”, and add ‘fm.exe’ and ‘crash reporter.exe’ which you can find in your Steam installation folder, typically:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\[Football Manager 20XX]

UNABLE TO INITIALSE STEAM API

If you receive a message from Steam which states 'Unable to initialise Steam API' when trying to launch the game, it is likely there is some kind of conflict.

We would very much suggest to configure your anti-virus program. Please make sure to read the instructions before making any action and to not leave your system unprotected at any point.

STORE ERROR 1000

Please restart the game and reboot the console and see if the same issue is still occurring.

If it is still occurring, please try the following:

  1. Press the Guide button in the middle of the controller.
  2. Scroll down to My Games & Apps.
  3. Hover over the Football Manager game tile and press the Menu button.
  4. Select Manage game & add-ons
  5. Select Saved data
  6. Select Delete All (this won’t delete your saves)
  7. Launch Football Manager

XML ERROR MESSAGE

If you receive an XML error message when running Football Manager, we recommend completing the following troubleshooting steps:

 

(Please remove any custom graphics or skins before doing the following)

  • Remove your preferences and cache folders
  • Verify your game files

After actioning the above, do not re-add any custom aspects and try the game again.

If the error message still appears, we’d recommend decreasing the number of custom tactics you have stored.

Your tactics folder is located by default at the following location - C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\Sports Interactive\[Football Manager 20XX]/Tactics

If the error message still appears, we’d recommend changing the launch options of the game to see if that makes any difference.

Steam Epic

 

If you still can’t access your save game on cloud, please visit Steam remote storage and login your account to download your save game. Alternately, all cloud save games are located:

C:\Users\[You Windows Username]\AppData\Local\Sports Interactive\[Football Manager 20XX]\cloud\games

For more information about Steam cloud, please visit https://fm23.info/SteamCloud.

 


 

IN-GAME EDITOR

IN-GAME EDITOR NOT APPEARING

If you have purchased the In-game Editor (IGE) and it is not appearing in game, please try the following troubleshooting methods:

 

General Steam Epic

 

Make sure your IGE is same version as your Football Manager (FM) game. For example, you need to purchase IGE 2023 if you want to use it for FM23.
Make sure you are logged in to the same account that the purchase was made on. If you have bought FM23 and IGE 2023 with two separate accounts, then the IGE won’t appear in game.
Make sure to turn off any VPNs.
Make sure that the time zone and clocks on your machine are correct.

 

If the above hasn’t worked, please try configuring Anti-virus. Avast, Bullguard and BitDefender have all been known to cause problems in the past.

 


 

NETWORK

UNABLE TO JOIN A NETWORK GAME

If you are unable to connect to a lobby or your network games suddenly stops working. First, please click on this link and check the servers status - https://status.epicgames.com/ (this is also for all platforms).

If the servers are working as expected and your still having issues, please try the following:

Make sure you have allowed firewall permissions for Football Manager. On Epic, you will be asked for authentication with your default browser opening to the authentication permissions page when you launch the game the first time. You can always check this on Epic by going to https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/ signing into your account, and make sure you have allowed this by clicking ‘account’ -> ‘connections’.
Make sure your time zones and clocks on your machines are correct. There has been some issues where users were unable to join network games and when the time zones were corrected they were able to join.
When running online lobbies always make sure the host is the user with the best internet connection, you can always check this with https://www.speedtest.net/
On rare occasions, the friends only online preference could not be working. The best way to solve this would be to change the lobby to anyone can join and adding a password. Save the game then reload the save. The client then should wait for a few seconds before searching for the lobby on the join online game page.
If you are inviting your friends to a lobby the best way would be to use the Steam or Epic overlays. Steam is ‘shift’ and ‘tab’. Epic is ‘shift’ and ‘F3’. You can also use the invite friends on the game status page.
If playing on the Microsoft Store/Game Pass version of the game, you may be required to change some of your settings in order to find other players via cross-play.

Please perform the following steps:

- Press your 'Windows' key and 'G' to bring up the Gamebar
- Click 'Settings' (the little cog symbol)
- Click on 'Accounts'
- Scroll down and click 'Manage Privacy Policy' which will ask you to open a new app
- Sign in to your account when prompted if you are not logged in
- Click 'Online Security on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 devices'
- Allow the option under 'You can play with outside of Xbox Live'
- Restart machine
- Launch FM23 from Windows Store/Game Pass
- Click 'Join Online Game
- The lobbies should now be showing

If you have tried all the steps above and still having issues with your online games, please submit a support ticket and our team will try and help. You will need to send us your network logs from the host of the lobby and any clients joining the lobby. Below are the instructions on how to get the logs. Please only send us the logs after trying all the other steps first.

 

Windows macOS

 

  • In explorer type %localappdata% and press enter
  • Click on the folder sports interactive
  • Click on the folder [Football Manager title]
  • Click on the folder logs
  • Copy these two logs DISTRIBUTION_EPIC_CHANNEL and MATCHMAKING_EPIC_CHANNEL
  • Add you name to these logs for example “MATCHMAKING_EPIC_CHANNEL john smith”
  • Attach these logs with any network issue along with your save, images or videos

 


 

PERFORMANCE

ADJUST SCREEN SAFE ZONE

In order to stop this issue occurring, you can either remove any controller which is plugged into your system, or disable controllers being used for FM
  • Launch Steam with the controller plugged in and switch to 'Big Picture Mode' (click the controller icon near the top right-hand corner of Steam).
  • Once in big picture mode, go to Library and click on Football Manager
  • From the left panel, select 'Manage Game'
  • Listed within the preferences will be 'Controller Options', so within here disable the controller
  • Once this is done, confirm your changes and exit Big Picture Mode

 

ANTI-VIRUS

Occasionally due to updates or system configuration, anti-virus programs have been known to interfere with games/game launchers. Because of this, we recommend setting exceptions for your anti-virus to make sure it is not conflicting with the game if you encounter issues.

 

Please add your game launcher and Football Manager to your exceptions. How to do this will depend on your anti-virus; we very much suggest searching online on your anti-virus provider website for details on how to do this.

 

On rare occasions Football Manager can be incorrectly identified as a threat when being launched. To avoid this occurring, we would recommend marking the Football Manager.exe as exempt or marking it not as a threat. Details on how to do this depend on the specific version of anti-virus you’re using, so we would recommend using the anti-virus’s website for full instructions.

 

GRAPHICAL ISSUES

If you encountered a graphical issue such as in-game flickering, graphical corruption, letters appearing unusually, white/black screen, items not appearing in the correct position, or incorrect colours in Football Manager. We suggest you do the following:
  • Remove caches and preferences folders
  • Re-verify the game files

MOUSE CURSOR MOVING INDEPENDANTLY

If you find your mouse cursor moves randomly or independently, it will be related to an additional controller being plugged in. In order to stop this issue occurring, you can either remove any controller which is plugged into your system, or disable controllers being used for FM. Details on how to disable can be found below: - Launch Steam with the controller plugged in and switch to 'Big Picture Mode' (click the controller icon near the top right-hand corner of Steam). - Once in big picture mode, go to Library and click on Football Manager - From the left panel, select 'Manage Game' - Listed within the preferences will be 'Controller Options', so within here disable the controller - Once this is done, confirm your changes and exit Big Picture Mode

POOR MATCH ENGINE PERFORMANCE

If you experience lagging, slowdowns or poor performance during matches we’d recommend the following troubleshooting steps:
  1. Make sure your system meets the minimum specifications to run the game.
  2. If it does, we’d recommend changing the ‘Graphics Quality’ settings via the in-game preferences to see if this has any notable effect. When running even high-end graphics cards in a high resolutions the game may struggle, so it’s always worth lowering the quality slightly to see if that improves performance.
    • You can also use the number of available options under ‘Match’ within the in-game preferences, including ‘Render Quality, Mesh Detail, Shadow Quality, Texture Quality, Anti-Aliasing and Crowd Quality’.
    • There is also the option to change the Render Scale, which changes the resolution of the game internally. The game will render faster but appear fuzzy when set lower, but when set higher will make the game look crisper but render slower. When making rendering changes you may find you need to restart the game for them to take effect.
  3. We recommend making sure you’re running the latest Graphics Card drivers and to uninstall and reinstall them. This allows the best opportunity for the drivers to be working correctly.

If you are still seeing issues, there are additional match options available via the in-game preferences, so try lowering or changing some of the settings (such as lowering/disabling the crowd or pitch quality for instance) and see if that helps.

If you're running on a Windows laptop, we'd recommend ensuring that the dedicated GPU is being used to play FM.

We would also recommend disabling HDR, which can be done as follows:

Via Windows, select the Start button, then select Settings > System > Display > Windows HD Colour settings. Under 'Use HDR' switch the toggle to 'Off'.

If running via an Nvidia graphics card, in Nvidia settings, ensure that “Select the preferred graphics processor for this program” is set to “High-performance NVIDIA processor” for Football Manager. Also set Power Management Mode to “Prefer maximum performance”, Threaded Optimisation to “On” and Triple Buffering to “Off”.

Failing that you can try limiting your FPS rate as described here (we would recommend trying 60fps) - https://www.engadget.com/amp/2020-01-06-nvidia-geforce-drivers-framerate-cap-ces-2020.html?guccounter=1

We'd also recommend making your display refresh rate is no higher than 60hz.

 

SYSTEM HEAT

Football Manager is a resource intensive game, so expect high CPU, GPU and RAM use when running the game (even on high-end systems).

In some instances you may be able to lessen the impact of the game’s performance on your system.

Currently the only available resolution found in-game will be the one you have set for your system display options. This means if you have a configuration with a very high resolution or using specific zoom settings, it may be more demanding on your GPU.

You can lower the demands on your system by lowering your ‘graphics quality’ settings via the in-game preferences. You can also use the number of available options under ‘Match’ within the in-game preferences, including ‘Render Quality, Mesh Detail, Shadow Quality, Texture Quality, Anti-Aliasing and Crowd Quality’.

There is also the option to change the Render Scale, which changes the resolution of the game internally. The game will render faster but appear fuzzy when set lower, but when set higher will make the game look crisper but render slower. When making rendering changes you may find you need to restart the game for them to take effect.

Outside of the game, if you are using an Nvidia graphic driver, please try the following:

Open ‘Nvidia Control Panel’ -> ‘Manage 3D settings’ -> ‘Vertical sync’
Change the setting to ‘Use the 3D application setting’
You may also find if the system is overheating, that you may want to clear out your system fans and make sure they’re running on a surface where air can easily get in and out.

We would also recommend making sure you’re running the latest Graphics Card Drivers

 

 


 

SAVE

CLOUD ACCESS

If you are unable to access save game on cloud, please try the following:

First, make sure that your save game has completely synced to the Cloud and that you are using the same account that you saved the game on cloud with.

How to access cloud save?

Click ‘Load game’ on the start screen.
Select ‘Cloud’ from the top left drop down list.
It should shows all save games that are saved on cloud.
Select your desired save game and click ‘Save’ to load game.

 

Steam Cloud Microsoft Cloud Epic Cloud

 

If you still can’t access your save game on cloud, please visit Steam remote storage and login your account to download your save game. Alternately, all cloud save games are located:

C:\Users\[You Windows Username]\AppData\Local\Sports Interactive\[Football Manager 20XX]\cloud\games

For more information about Steam cloud, please visit https://fm23.info/SteamCloud.

SAVE GAME NO LONGER LOADS

If your system shut down or crashed mid-save then the file will be corrupted and cannot be fixed. Similarly, if you game has been force closed for any reason there is a chance of save game corruption. Football Manager automatically creates a backup save. Within your save game folder there should be a file called ‘last save overwrite backup.fm’. This save will be a copy of the save game you last saved over. Please try this save first and see if it loads.

 

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