Welcome to my Football Manager Blog, the main purpose of this blog is to provide updates on the status of my Football Manager Skins & Guides Website

If you have any questions or queries then I can generally be found in the Skinning Forum at the Official Sports Interactive Forums, though I'd ask you to open a new thread rather than sending me a message.

To help with navigation I have included indexes of my content for the last few versions of Football Manager in the tabs below.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Football Manager 2016: How to Add Custom Trophy Images

A new feature for FM2016 is the ability to assign custom trophy images to actual competitions.

Like with faces, kits and logos to add trophies to the game you need an image graphic of your trophy and a config xml file.

How to Create the Trophy Graphic

The style of graphic used for the trophy doesn't really matter, (no doubt graphic makers will soon make various different styles for you to choose from) the licensed images included with the game use cut-out style images (like the player faces), if you want some instructions on how to create cut-out images then you can have a look at this old guide I made for player faces.

When creating the graphic the best thing to do is to try and obtain the largest and cleanest image you can as they are the easiest to work from.

The dimensions of the final image aren't that important as like with the other graphics the game now scales them to the size it needs.

The default images are 180x180 pixels, however if you can I'd make them bigger say 360x360 pixels so they are upscaled better if someone is playing zoomed in or a skinner makes them appear larger in the skins.

When saving your images you want to save them as png files with transparency enabled if an option.

Filenames are up to you but it is best to avoid non-english characters, special characters, captial letters or spaces. The easiest thing to do is to name them by their competitions id as that will also make creating the config files easier.

The Config Entry

The entry you need to add to your config file is as follows:

<record from ="<FILE_NAME>" to="graphics/pictures/comp/<UNIQUE_ID>/trophy"/>


<FILE_NAME> is the name of the graphic you are adding.
<UNIQUE_ID> is the in-game id of the competition you want to link the image to. This is the same ID you would use if adding a logo to the competition.

For example the below line would link a graphic called 'prem' to the English Premier League trophy:

<record from ="prem" to="graphics/pictures/comp/11/trophy"/>

If you haven't created a config file before then have a read of this guide.

Where To Place Your Image

Trophy images are placed in the same place as your kits, logos and faces. They should be placed inside the graphics folder within your User Data Location, provided they are inside your graphics folder and are in the same folder as the config file you can freely place them in as many subfolders as you like (for example graphics\trophies\europe\england would work).

Unless you have changed it your User Data Location will be located in one of the following places:


C:\Users\[Your Windows Username]\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2016\


/Users/[Your Mac Username]/Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2016/


/home/documents/Sports Interactive/FM2016/

Then load the game and from the Preferences -> Interface menu untick 'Use caching to decrease page loading times' and tick 'Reload skin when confirming changes in Preferences' Then click Confirm and if done right your trophy images should display. (Once they are displaying you can undo this step)

Below is an example where I have assigned the FM2016 logo to appear as the trophy for the English Premier League:

Redistribution Terms

You are free to post this content to your website provided:

1. It is not sold or behind a paywall.
2. You don't advertise it as being exclusive to your website.
3. My username and blog address are included: http://michaeltmurrayuk.blogspot.co.uk/

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Football Manager 2016 - Locating and Changing your User Data Location

If you have played the Football Manager 2016 Beta you may have noticed that the Preferences menu no longer lists or allows you to change your User Data (Saving) Location, this feature was removed from the game because it was confusing people.

Your User Data (Saving) Location is the place on your hard drive where user generated content is stored, this includes data generated by the game such as save games, tactics and shortlists. It also includes graphics (kits, logos, faces etc) and skins that you may have downloaded or created.

Locating Your User Data Location

Your User Data Location will be found in one of the following locations depending on which Operating System your computer is using:


C:\Users\[Your Windows Username]\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2016\


/Users/[Your Mac Username]/Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2016/


/home/documents/Sports Interactive/FM2016/

Once you have located your User Data Location the process for installing skins and graphics is the same as previous versions, however this time around the game should create the graphics and skins subfolders for you to make things slightly easier. 

How To Change Your User Data Location

Even though the ability to change your User Data Location from within the game has been removed it is still possible to manually change it's location.
(NOTE: You only need to follow the below instructions if you want to move the location, these instructions aren't needed to just add content to the game if you want to just use the default location)

In FM2016 you now need to add a command line to the game launch options.

To do this follow the instructions below:

- Go into Steam -> Library -> Games view.
- Located Football Manager 2016 and right-click on the game.
- Select 'Properties'
- Click 'Set Launch Options...'
- Copy the following into the dialogue box: --user_data_location="<path>"
- In the <path> section, enter the exact path you wish the folder to be generated (ie D:\Users\ etc)

So for example if you wanted your Saving Location to be S:\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2016

You would add the following text to the dialogue box:

--user_data_location="S:\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2016"

So your Launch Options box should look something like this:

Note that this folder location needs to already exist on your hard drive before setting the launch option, then when you next launch FM2016 the game will automatically generate the needed subfolders (such as graphics, games and skins).

If done correctly the contents of your custom User Data Location should look something like this after having run the game with the launch option set:

Also note that if you have any already created anything in game with the default location set (such as save games, shortlists, or tactics) you will need to manually copy the items over to your new location.

To reset your Saving Location to the default position you just need to delete the command line and on your next restart of FM16 the game will go back to using the default location. (Again you'll need to maunaly copy over any existing files from your old custom location to the default location for them to be read by the game).

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Football Manager 2016 Beta Released

The Pre-Release Beta of Football Manager 2016 has now been released to those of you who have pre-ordered a digital copy from the selected retailers. 

I am in the process of checking what has been changed from a skinning, modding and graphics point in FM2016 and should have some information out over the next few days.

For the moment the most up-to-date information can be found in the Skinning Forum on the Official Sports Interactive Forums.

From a quick look it looks like logos, kits and player faces all haven't changed and as such you should still be able to use last year graphics.

Skins as always won't work and you will have to wait for the skin makers to update or release new skins.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Football Manager 2015 Skinning Guide Part 5: Editing the xml files

Welcome to the fifth part of my updated Skinning Guide for FM2015.

Before reading this guide make sure you have read the previous parts of the guide as well as the extracting files guide, as this guide will assume you have followed those guides.

The previous parts of the guide talked you through creating a new skin, changing the fonts, changing some of the font settings and colours, with the last part detailing how to change the skin graphics.

This part of the guide will talk you through some of the basics of how the xml files work. Due to how Football Manager works it isn't possible to give you a full guide on how to edit the xml files however this guide should give you some basic information to get you started. I also have some more detailed posts on this forum/my website that talk you through modifying certain screens and if you combine those guides with the basics learned here you should get a good understanding of how the xml coding in Football Manager works, after that the best way to learn is just from the experience of looking through and editing the xml files.

Editing the xml files is fairly simple once you know where to start and as such it doesn't actually require any coding experience, though some very very basic knowledge of coding or even webpage editing will give you a quicker start (even the simple knowledge of how to manually format your posts when posting on the forum is all you really need to start with).

You should also only rarely need to actually write your own xml code, most if not all of your xml editing will involve copying code from one place/file to another to change where it displays or will involve deleting of some code if you want to hide certain things, so you mainly need to know how the code links together and what is part of the same code. The hardest thing you'll probably have to do is to adjust the code you copied so it matches the format of the existing code as the code can change slightly depending on where and how it's displayed.

Before starting I advise you have the following folder locations open:

-          Your 'Working' Folder Location from the previous guide (which is where you extracted the default game files to).
-          The my_first_skin folder within your Saving Location.

You will also need to have your preferred xml file editor open as well as FM2015.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Football Manager 2016 Release Date Announced

Bit of a late announcement but if you haven't heard Football Manager 2016 is due for release on 13th November 2015 with a pre-release Beta available around two weeks before release to people who pre-order the digital version from select retailers.

The plan at the moment is to try and get my mods, skins and guides up dated for FM2016 over the full release weekend, though exact timing will depend on how much needs updating. I am not planning on releasing anything during the Beta period as I don't know when or if I'll have access to it and things may change between the beta and release meaning the work would need to be redone anyway. 

I should also over this weekend have finished the latest part of my FM2015 Skinning Guide, which should leave me time to get another one or two parts done if needed before FM16 is out, and then it is a case of updating it all for FM16.