The debate of Football Manager vs FIFA is not a new one. In fact, the argument has been running on for quite some time. And with the two games evolving over the years, the debate has reached its peak among the fanbase.
So here we are to put some gasoline on the fire and try to come up with an unbiased comparison. Which one is the better game?
Football Manager has a superior depth compared to FIFA. It offers an in-depth gameplay experience with an extensive database and greater tactical flexibility. The game also focuses on simulating games from a managerial perspective, whereas You can actively control the players and their movements in FIFA.
That’s pretty much the summary of the two games. But if you really need to convince your friend from the other base to hop into your group, then you’ll probably need more than that.
Let’s go in-depth and find out all the different aspects of the two games that make them unique on their own.
Football Manager vs FIFA: Key Differences
Before jumping in on the nitty-gritty details, let’s take a back seat first and have a watered-down comparison between Football Manager and FIFA. We’re going to completely ignore the mobile version of the games and focus solely on the base game.
Here’s how the two games compare against each other head-to-head:
|Comparison Factors||Football Manager||FIFA|
|Offline Game Mode||Career Mode, Create a Club||Career Mode|
|Online Game Mode||Online Career, Fantasy Draft, Versus Mode||Ultimate Team, Pro Clubs|
|Graphics||Outdated and Dry||Highly Detailed|
|Gameplay Mechanics||Focused on Management and doesn’t allow player control||Focused on Matches and Player Control|
|Maximum Seasons Playable||Unlimited||15|
|User Interface||Detailed||Clean and Simple|
|Off-pitch Management||Highly Detailed||Non-existent|
|Player Interaction||Highly Detailed||Non-existent|
|Platforms||PC, PS4, PS5, MacOS, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Series S, Nintendo Switch,||PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Series S, Nintendo Switch|
Even though both are football games, they carry huge distinction and attracts two completely different demographics. We’ll learn more about their differences in the next segment, where I will break down the functionalities of the two games in detail.
Football Manager vs FIFA: Comprehensive Comparison
We’ve broken down the comparison ground into 12 separate segments to get a better grip on the topic. For each separate field, we’ll the two games to see which game dominates the segment in question.
Offline Game Mode
Let’s be honest. The Manager mode in FIFA is not exactly what you want to call “managing”. When it comes to offline game modes, it doesn’t quite measure up to Football Manager.
The career mode has been underwhelming for quite some time. While EA introduced cutscenes a few years ago, they tend to be dull and repetitive, losing their appeal quickly.
Moreover, the manager mode is highly unrealistic. It requires minimal effort to sign the best young players in the game, and by the end of your first season, you can have a team capable of dominating the world.
You don’t really have to manage anything other than the team. There’s no explanation for where the Finances are generated from. No hint of backroom staff or scouts. Things just happen and you, as the player just need to worry about playing and winning.
To be fair, EA’s lack of emphasis on Career Mode isn’t surprising. It’s not a major source of revenue for them, after all.
Football Manager, on the other hand, stands out with its immersive single-player experience. Sports Interactive’s dedication to realism is evident with a vast network of over a thousand scouts worldwide.
FM has realistic transfer scenarios compared to FIFA. While the game might let you sign a player like Barcelona’s Gavi for a modest 5 million, Football Manager demands a more realistic price tag, often reaching a substantial 90 million.
It means that you can’t purchase anyone you want. But the emphasis on realism enhances the overall experience.
The game also goes to excruciating details in bringing its training and scouting system to life. The scouting feature far outshines FIFA’s comparatively lackluster Global Transfer Network.
What truly sets Football Manager apart is its extensive player and league database. This allows you to truly experience the ups and downs of youth promotion in your saves.
Additionally, the introduction of newgens adds variety to each playthrough, unlike FIFA’s regens which merely offer exact replacements for retired players.
The Create-a-club mode allows you to build a club from scratch in your preferred league. It’s an entirely different experience from taking the helm of an already-established club.
Online Game Mode
FIFA has a better online game mode compared to Football Manager with its highly popular Ultimate Team and Pro Club mode.
The Ultimate Team is a standout online mode. It allows you to purchase packs of player cards that grant you access to use those players in your team.
EA’s heavy emphasis on generating revenue has seen them launch various types of packs in recent years. TOTY(Team of the Year), One-to-Watch, Icon, etc. cards are all recent additions to the game.
The Pro Clubs is yet another online game mode that lets you play with your friends and create your own clubs, with your own players. In Pro Clubs, you get to play in a division system up against other players to fight for promotion to the top.
The online mode retains the same gameplay as the single-player mode, although it may be slightly slower due to multiple players. It’s a fun mode to play online saves with your friends.
You can compete with your friends by bidding for the same players or even targeting their players to unsettle them, making the experience highly entertaining.
Additionally, there’s also a Draft Mode that lets you build your dream team and go head-to-head against your friends.
In Draft mode, you can partake in a draft-style game resembling “Fantasy Premier League.” You are given a specific budget and must create a team capable of outperforming your friends’ teams in a turn-based system.
Draft mode provides flexibility, allowing you to select from various budget options. You can even set challenges to dictate the type of players you can sign.
Club management in this game is very shallow and mostly focused on the match. You can throw tactics and game plan out of the window because they barely matter.
The career mode is very basic and doesn’t look to dive deep into real-life managerial tasks. Also, the very basic aspects of managerial duties are highly watered down and don’t offer any real sense of accomplishment.
Pick up a relegation team and you can still win the champions league the very next season. It’s that easy!
Your chances of success really come down to your gaming skills to seal the victory over the AI.
The FM career mode is far better than the FIFA career mode. The amount of control you have over your club in FM is mind-boggling. It’s the closest thing you can experience to real-life football management.
In Football Manager, you have authority over:
- The Squad
- Backroom Staff
- Club Finances
- Realistic Transfers
- Press Conference
- Youth Academy
And the list goes on and on. These club management aspects impact every outcome of your gameplay!
It’s a proper football management simulation and it lets you take control of every single aspect of managing a club. However, going through all those responsibilities can be time-consuming. So expect to wait a long time before you reach the end of the season.
FIFA’s gameplay mechanics are superior to Football Manager’s 3D match engine.
While EA has been pushing the boundaries of gameplay graphics, SI has done little to improve the 3D their graphics.
Over the last decade, the game has pushed itself more and more to reach realistic gameplay graphics. They redefined what graphics should look like in a football game and went to great lengths to emphasize even the tiniest details on the football field.
With the help of MOCAP, EA has perfected the running styles of different players. How each player interacts with different affairs on the pitch, the condition of the field, and different weathers, it’s all included in the game with intricate attention to detail.
SI has been quiet on the graphics front for quite a while. From their introduction to the 3D match engine in 2013, the game has seen little improvement in matchday graphics.
From the looks of it, game graphics is not the biggest priority for Sports Interactive. They are more focused on building a realistic football management simulator.
FIFA’s gameplay mechanics reward skills over anything else. You’ll find yourself enjoying the game more on Console than playing it on PC.
It lets you control the players in the starting XI and dictate how they play on the pitch. The outcome depends solely on your skills. This creates an immersive, engaging gameplay session.
However, making it a solely skill-based game makes aspects like tactics completely irrelevant.
Football Manager’s gameplay mechanics are highly management-centric while
You can’t actively control the players on the pitch. Rather, you have to act as a manager and try to impact the match externally from the dugout while your players execute your instructions on the pitch.
The game is well-optimized for PC. But the same can’t be said for other consoles. Navigating through the different screens in the console is harder compared to the PC.
|ASUS TUF Gaming A15||-Multitask faster with 16GB of DDR5-4800MHz memory|
-AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS CPU
-NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop GPU at 140W Max TGP
|Check Price on Amazon|
|Acer Aspire 5 A515||-10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor (Up to 3.6GHz)|
-8GB DDR4 Memory | 256GB NVMe SSD
– Up to 8 Hours of Battery Life
-15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display
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|MSI Pulse GL66||-Intel Core i7 processor 12th Gen|
-NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 powered
-15.6” 144Hz FHD display
-SSD Gen 4×4 and DDR4-3200 memory
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You have the option to choose between any of the 7 difficulty levels in the game:
- World Class
- Ultimate (Available only in FUT)
From Beginner difficulty to Legendary, each level demands higher skill levels to beat the opponent AI. In the Ultimate Team, you can also play with the Ultimate difficulty which is the most difficult level in the game.
Each difficulty mode slightly increases the reaction speed, GK & defending intelligence, attacking intelligence, and marking intelligence of the opposition AI. So you can test out your skills and keep improving with each harder difficulty level.
Football Manager doesn’t have any difficulty mode like FIFA.
Yes, you heard it right. The game doesn’t have any difficulty level as the outcome is impacted by a lot of internal and external factors.
However, you can notch up the difficulty of it if you want! As the game tries its best to replicate real life, you can start your save in the lower league and slowly crawl your way up to the top.
Lower league clubs in FM have poor resources, players, and facilities and mostly feed off scraps. Taking charge of such a team with a flimsy budget can pose a real challenge to anyone looking for a harder difficulty.
There are also a lot of fun challenges like Journeyman, Basque-nation, Build-a-nation save, etc. These challenges are focused on long-term goals and provide certain handicaps to the player to make it challenging.
Each of these challenges has different levels of difficulty based on the leagues and teams you choose.
The game restricts its players to a maximum of 15 season tenure while Football Manager lets you play unlimited seasons as a manager.
This is one of the huge limitations of the game as you can’t play any game past 15 seasons into your career save. But it doesn’t disappoint too many players as it can get very boring after a couple of seasons as there are not many things to do.
Football Manager does a brilliant job in this regard and you’ll hear about players who went past 150 years into their manager save!
Having such a vast league and player database allows the game to go on forever and generate a vast number of regens.
It never gets repetitive for the players. As the game introduces a whole lot of external elements that are out of your control, heading to every season feels like a new start.
This long run of career can, however, slow your gameplay experience.
FIFA prefers a cleaner, simplistic UI. Navigating through the UI is a pleasing experience with smooth transitions and animations.
Football Manager has a detailed user interface.
With such a detailed game in their hand, the developers had to come up with a way to fit all the aspects of the game into one clean UI.
Over the years, the User Interface has become fast, responsive, and got rid of a lot of clutters. It still has a long way to go and there’s huge potential for it.
Playable Leagues & Competitions
For a Triple-A title game, FIFA’s 30 playable leagues are simply unimpressive. With a lot of leagues left out due to licensing issues, you might have to stick with only the top leagues to play in FIFA.
There’s also no real ranking system for the leagues. It lacks the competitive aspect of taking a league higher up in the ranking.
You can also create a huge imbalance in the league by growing the team into a super team in a low-ranking league. This really kills off any competition and
Football Manager has a 4 times more playable league than FIFA. You can play around in 123 leagues in FM while FIFA only allows 30 playable leagues.
In the game, you can manage teams in the most obscure leagues. The vast player and league database includes almost all the notable leagues in the world. And they are looking to add more leagues to that database by acquiring new licenses!
By judging the quality of players and the reputation of the clubs, a league can move up in the ranking among other leagues. The other clubs in the league also see an improvement in their reputation and stature if the league reaches a higher ranking.
Sports Interactive has also recently come to terms with UEFA, bringing the European cups into the game for the first time!
Player Interaction and Dynamics
Player interactions in FIFA are almost nonexistent. The very little interaction you make in the game doesn’t have any real outcome. Most of the time, it’s just a message from a player who’s looking for a transfer.
Some players might approach you for game time, only for you to ignore them and see no real impact whatsoever.
Football Manager goes to great lengths with player dynamics.
The game lets you have complete control over player management. This means you can interact with each player and manage their morale and other dynamics.
There are a number of ways to interact with the players that can influence their morale:
- Individual interaction
- Team meeting
- Press conference
Your man-management approach will impact the player’s trust in your coaching ability and improve team cohesion in FM. You can either hold team meetings to boost the collective morale of your team, or individually approach them to improve their morale.
Player Dynamics is a huge aspect of the game as it directly influences many of its outcomes.
FIFA 23 demands massively higher PC specs than Football Manager 2023.
FIFA’s high-graphics settings have made the game more power-demanding over the years. You need to have a decent PC setup to run the game smoothly without facing any lags.
The game requires you to have at least 100 GB of free space on your PC. It also requires a minimum of 8 GB RAM to run on your PC.
Football Manager has always been lauded for its low graphics and demanding nature. This makes it playable on most low-spec devices. It’s even favorable for most laptop devices running on low specs.
You’ll only need 7 gigabytes of storage to install the game on your device. The RAM requirement is also low. Only 4 GB of RAM, and you can also enjoy being a manager of a club existing in real life!
Here are the recommended PC requirements for the two games:
|Specs||Football Manager 23||FIFA 23|
|OS||Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11 with updates – 64 bit||Windows 10 64-bit|
|Processor||Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 X2||Intel Core i7 6700 or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X|
|Memory||4 GB RAM||12 GB RAM|
|Graphics||Intel GMA X4500, NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT, AMD/ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 w/ 256MB VRAM||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 or AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT|
|DirectX||Version 11||Version 12|
|Storage||7 GB available space||100 GB available space|
Surprisingly, the price of the two games doesn’t vary that much despite one being a Triple-A game.
Football Manager 23, the latest edition of the game launched with an initial price of $60 in the US and £44.99 in the UK.
On the other hand, the standard edition of FIFA 23 costs $59.99 in the US and £59.99 in the UK.
Football Manager is more in-depth and has a vast database compared to FIFA.
It’s the perfect game for those who find the managerial aspect of football fascinating. Football Manager also gives you access to a ton of data so you can interpret your team’s performance your own way and come up with a strategy to perfect your footballing philosophy!
FIFA on the other hand is fun with friends and has better graphics.
The exceptional gameplay mechanics and control over the players make it an extremely popular party game. Modes like Ultimate Team and Pro Clubs are also something you don’t want to miss out on!
The Football Manager vs FIFA debate can go on and on for ages. But it really boils down to what you want from the two games.
Hope you enjoyed reading this detailed comparison between these two highly popular games. If you have any queries, be sure to reach out to us and ask your question.
Have a great day!