Football Manager has always been a game that can run extremely slow and be incredibly frustrating to play because of it. We have written a small guide on how to improve performance and speed the game up quite a bit. You will lose a bit of detail and possibly it won't look as great visually but it will run faster.
First things first the game database is the biggest reason your game could be going to slow. If you have select 20 leagues on a slow PC then it will go stupidly slow so this is really common sense.
If you have played FM for a few versions at least you will understand how changing how many leagues you select will seriously affect your gameplay experience.
First look at your PC and two specific areas, CPU speed and RAM.
An example PC would be my own.
Dual core 2ghz
3gb PC6300 RAM
When I first brought the PC I thought, I could run FM2008 with all leagues! Hell was I wrong.
What I have learned is I can run the following at a nice speed without any issues:
English leagues - Playable down to conference
Italian leagues - Playable
Spanish leagues - Playable
German leagues - Playable
Frence leagues - Playable
Dutch leagues - Playable
Then I will select maybe another two and then another two non-playable leagues.
That isn't anywhere near all leagues so you can see even with a half decent PC you can't run too many.
Tweak one: Don't run all the leagues from each selected country, for instance if you aren't going to play conference teams in the English league why select them?
Tweak two: Non-playable leagues use much smaller resources so if you just want to view these leagues without managing in them select them as non-playable.
Tweak three: If you have an intel processor see if you can enable hyperthreading, this will improve performance.
Tweak four: Lets try a formula to get a good running game. For every 512mb of RAM run one league.
So for my 3gb I can run 6 which is about right.
Skins, backrounds, facepacks, logos and kits all make the game look better but do they slow down performance?
I don't have proof they slow it down but I suspect they would although your graphics card would do most of the work.
If you can keep the graphics to a min and it might be best to use the default skin.
Tweak one: Make sure if you are using the default skin and no graphics that skin cache is enabled.
Tweak two: Try not to use a mega pack with hundreds or thousands of facepacks because this surely will have an impact on performance.
I never use sounds in FM, because im either listening to music while playing or being nagged by the wife who is constantly asking why am I playing that stupid game still.
There is one setting to save a few resources and thats sound cache, disable it and disable sounds.
Once a game is loaded in your options menu will be one item called Detail level.
Detail level is something you can tweak to increase the speed of processing games. I've put a screenshot below to show you what it looks like, play around with the settings until you find a good mix of detail and speed.
Tweak one: Select none for all competitions will mean you cannot view a lot of stats from games however this will massively increase the game speed.
Tweak two: Select non for all competitions apart from the league you're playing in.
As was pointed out a in review of this article changing the detail level will adversely affect the game. What was mentioned was how if you decrease the level of detail so you decrease how the match results etc are calculated and therefore realism is lost. So if you decide to lower the detail you will lose some of the good game affects, speeding it up a great deal but possibly making it less enjoyable.