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Football Manager 2021: Beta version out now - plus everything we know about the game so far

Football Manager
(Image credit: Sega)

The brand-new version of Football Manager 2021 is just around the corner. Hours are about to be ploughed into leading National League sides to the summit of the European game.

The latest edition of the game is set to be the most realistic ever, too. With exciting new updates across the board to make you more animated in the dressing and better equipped to sign superstars, there's so much to explore with FM21.

When is Football Manager 2021 set to be released?

Good news - the beta version of the game is out now.

Football Manager 2021 is set for release on November 24. You can get early access to the game by pre-purchasing from a participating digital retailer, any time prior to full release. Early Access is available around two weeks prior to the November 24th street date and will be available on the Epic Games Store for the first time, as well as Steam.

FM21 Touch - the more minimal management experience - is once again included free (PC/Mac only). This version of the game is set to be released on December 1

The full game will cost £35.99. The Touch version is £21.99.

What platforms is FM21 available on?

Football Manager

(Image credit: Sports Interactive)

As ever, Football Manager 2021 is available to play on Mac and PC, primarily.

Just as with previous versions of the game, you can also get Football Manager Mobile 2021 on your phone or tablet. You can already preorder the game on the App Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android respectively. 

Excitingly, Football Manager is set for a return to Xbox (opens in new tab) for the first time in over a decade. The Xbox version of the game is modelled on the Touch version of the game but is completely unique from the main FM. This version will be available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S

FM21 Touch will also be released on Nintendo Switch in December. 

How can I preorder FM21?

Simple - visit the Football Manager website (opens in new tab)

Pre-purchase now for 10% off and get Early Access to a beta version of the game which is now available to play on the Epic Games Store and Steam.

What new features will FM21 have?

Football Manager

(Image credit: SEGA)

The new FM will have all kinds of exciting updates across the interaction, matchday and recruitment of being a top boss. 

You can now communicate through a range of non-verbal signals in the game, effectively WhatsApp your players and face-to-face conversations have been revamped. There’s more in-depth match stats to hand during the match itself, while team talks have been reworked, too.

FM21 Every new feature to look out for in the new game

Recruitment meetings are brand new to the game as well. You can now meet with your backroom team to discuss the latest signings that you need to make ahead of the summer. You can also ask an agent of their player's potential availability before making the move for them. 

You can celebrate in style, too. Everything from avoiding relegation to qualifying for Europe has been given an appropriate celebration update - just don't tell Roy Keane. 

Are team versions available for FM21?

Yes - there are two new team versions of the game for 2021.

Leicester City and Southampton are the two Premier League clubs given their own edition of FM21. You can preorder the Leicester version here (opens in new tab) and the Southampton version here (opens in new tab)

When is the Beta version of the game released?

Football Manager fans believed that the Beta game had already dropped - only to be put straight by the Twitter admin...

See more

FM's Beta version should be released any time soon, though. 

Will COVID-19 be a factor in the new game?

Yes and no.

"It’s no secret that football clubs around the world are suffering financially," Miles Jacobson of Sports Interactive said of the pandemic in a blog (opens in new tab). "This will be reflected in FM21, as your chosen club’s finances will inevitably be in a worse state than you would normally expect when you start a new save."

FIFA 21 review Have EA created a game better than football in the real world?

"Something we thought long and hard about was when (and whether) we should let supporters back into FM21’s stadia. We eventually decided that crowds will attend matches from the very start. The revenue this generates will allow clubs to get back onto an even keel sooner and will help with the above-mentioned in-game financial and transfer systems."

Of course, Football Manager prides itself on realism. But part of the reason we play the game is for the escapism. So there's a delicate balance to be struck. It looks like this version of the game will have a more keenly-observed balance than ever before. 

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