Football Manager 2023's early access beta is live now. As per usual, pre-ordering the latest iteration of the long-running management sim gives you access to the beta, which is nearly-final version of the full game. It's 20% cheaper than the full game will be when it releases on November 8th, and it's available from Steam and the Epic Game Store.
This year's edition comes, again as per usual, with a handful of major new features. Those include improved AI managers, new player animations, a new "fan confidence" rating for managers, and and a new "Squad Planner and Experience Matrix" to revamp the recruitment of new players.
It's this last one that seems like the most significant or noticeable change. The squad planner is a new screen in the game where you can rank your players based on their ability to perform in certain positions within your formation. The players themselves won't see your rankings, but your staff will, and it'll inform their behaviour. You can also use the planner to bring in players from your transfer shortlist, to see how they'd rank alongside your existing players, and to build rankings for years ahead if you're planning on bringing youth players into your first team.
Sports Interactive went into detail about all of the new features in the video below:
I have mixed feelings about Football Manager, these days. There's a part of me that's comforted by its appearance every year, as I am when the leaves start falling from the trees to mark the start of autumn. There's another part of me that's frustrated by its incrementalism. Come on, you fucken trees, shed your leaves and your branches this year. Grow some legs. Turn blue. Anything.
With its pre-release discount, Football Manager 2023 currently costs £36/€48 via Steam and Epic's games store, the Epic Games Store. The early access beta doesn't include the Steam Workshop, or the pre-game and in-game database editors.