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Football Manager 2020 Mobile vs Touch vs PC

Everyone’s getting the Football Manager itch, but which version of the game is best for you?

football manager 2020 logo

It’s time to re-enter the dugout. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed there isn’t a whole lot of football being played right now. The domestic season has been postponed until at least the end of April, the Euros have been moved to 2021, and we’re all resorting to watching footballers play keepy-ups with a toilet roll. 

Although there are certainly much more important problems to consider right now, this means many of us are having to find new ways of getting our football fix. While some may busy themselves rewatching classic matches, digging out their old Subbuteo or ferociously raging at Ultimate Team, the vast majority have eyes for only one thing: 

Football Manager. 

Millions of people across the globe are now booting up the game and launching their very own management careers, with a record number of users trying it out for the very first time. I’m pleased to say that I’ve hopped onto this bandwagon as happily as everyone else, and I’ve already spent hours wondering why my Total Football is, in fact, total rubbish. 

However, there are several versions of Football Manager 2020 to sink your teeth into, with the PC, Touch and Mobile editions all offering something a little different. This guide walks you through the differences between each one and, more importantly, ensures you pick the right one for you. 

SPOILER ALERT: they’re all absolutely fantastic. 


Football Manager 2020 - PC

main logo for football manager 2020
Image from Football Manager.

Platforms: Windows & Mac

Summary: 

- the most realistic and immersive experience

- the most time-consuming and expensive version

- impressive match-day graphics

- play online or against friends

- more teams, players and leagues

- has the biggest learning curve

- more interaction with players and press

- you can control absolutely everything


This is the complete Football Manager 2020 experience. If you want to sink hours upon hours into this game, play around with intricate tactics and get to grips with every aspect of running a football club, then this is undoubtedly the right choice. 

The PC version of FM is the most realistic football simulation you can buy. You can take care of everything from training schedules to press conferences, new contracts to player fallouts, and backroom staff to youth teams. Basically, you can manage your club with the most intricate detail, and ultimately get the largest reward (or failure) out on the pitch. 

Of course, this level of control isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re short on time or just want to crack on playing matches. Bringing your own identity to a football club can quickly feel like a part-time job, and your mind will constantly drift to thoughts of tactical tweaks and players to sign. 

Honestly, you'll probably have a hard time trying to think of anything else. This game can take over everything - and it's absolutely fantastic. 

screenshot of the 3D match engine used n FM20 on PC
Image from Football Manager.

You’ll also have access to a much larger database of leagues, players and manageable clubs, although the size of that database will depend largely on the performance of your PC. Even so, this gives you the greatest amount of freedom, and your journey could take you everywhere from Salford City to Corinthians and back again. 

The match-day graphics are also vastly superior to the Mobile and Touch versions, serving up a much more engaging experience which really has you biting your nails. This is addictive, immersive fun, and it’s the ideal choice if you’ve got plenty of time on your hands - and a half-decent laptop. 

SIDE NOTE: Oh, and I should probably mention that Sports Interactive have made this available for free on Steam (up until March 25th), so you can always give it a try before deciding whether to spend your money. Top stuff from SI. 

Shop Football Manager 2020

Football Manager 2020 - Touch

logo for football manager 2020 touch
Image from Football Manager.

Platforms: iPad, Android Tablets, Nintendo Switch, Windows.

Summary:

- streamlined version of the main game

- get through seasons/matches much faster

- optimised for mobile and built for touch screens

- the new Development Centre feature is included

- not as much media or player interaction

- 3D match engine

- the same FM fun, but without all the fluff

- you can only choose 3 playable nations


This is pretty similar to the main PC version, but Football Manager Touch is much more streamlined. Built specifically for players who prefer to play on a touch screen, this slimmed-down version still manages to deliver an immersive experience, but without making you worry so much about the small things. 

In the name of keeping it all mobile-friendly, FM Touch leaves out several features you’ll find in the PC version. For example, you won’t really be interacting with the media very often here, whereas on PC you’ll feel like you’re holding a press release every five mintues, while the lack of half-time team talks can be a real off-putter to many. 

You also won’t have as much control over training, staff or your youth team setup, so you’ll spend much more of your time actually playing matches. The depth and scope of the PC version can seem overwhelming to new players, but the Touch edition slims everything down and has you absolutely flying through the seasons. It’ll be 2047 before you know it. 

screenshot of watford tactics on fm20 touch
Image from Football Manager.

You can’t ignore the fact you’re missing out on some features, but FM20 Touch essentially delivers the same addictive fun, but without any of the “fluff” which takes up so much of your time. True, the lack of motivational team talks is a little baffling (this has always been key to the game), but at least you won’t spend half your time responding to emails or firing staff. 

For me, most of what I love about Football Manager is all here. It’s also great to see the inclusion of the new Development Centre feature, which focuses on youth development and really lets you build for the future (sadly, this isn’t available on FM Mobile). If you want all the fun in half the time, FM Touch is the one for you. 

Football Manager 2020 - Mobile

fm20 mobile logo
Image from Football Manager.

Platforms: Android, iOS

Summary:

- the fastest, easiest way to play

- no Development Centre

- concentrate solely on matches and transfers

- some elements locked behind paywall

- very little player or media interaction

- 2D match engine

- by far the cheapest option!

- select up to 4 playable nations


Football Manager Mobile is the simplest, lightest version of the game. If PC is full-fat and Touch is semi-skimmed, then this has been skimmed right down to its very core, and you’ll be spending pretty much all of your time making transfers and playing matches. 

Your enjoyment of this game will depend entirely on what you’re looking for. The Mobile version strips things back as far as they’ll realistically go, and is the ideal choice if you just want a quick distraction on your commute to work. While both PC and Touch editions are much more immersive, FM Mobile definitely falls within the “pick up and play” bracket. 

There’s absolutely no sign of team talks, press conferences or any real sense of player interaction, while your backroom staff and scouting network are both incredibly basic. Even the tactical instructions are much simpler and the matches much quicker, and everything about this version is built around simplicity and speed. 

screenshot of 2D matchday on fm20 mobile
Image from Football Manager.

The big omission (for me at least), is the lack of a substantial News Feed, as this means you never really feel involved with what’s going on in the wider football world. For example, you aren’t kept up to date with hirings and firings, so you’re constantly heading over to the “Jobs” tab to see if there have been any major updates. Annoying. 

But FM 20 Mobile is still an excellent game. I’ve been having an absolute blast playing as Newcastle United, flying through the seasons at rapid pace and clinching their first Premier League title. You’ll only get a basic 2D matchday engine but, with 60 playable leagues and 21 nations, this is by no means just a cheap barebones version. 

This might be too slimmed-down for hardcore FM players, but I’d recommend this as an excellent gateway for new players or those who loved the old Championship Manager games. As an avid PC player, the interface did take a bit of getting used to, but getting into Football Manager has never been easier. 

So, now you’ve really got no excuse. 

Ben Hyde

Rubbish FIFA player with an addiction to buying football shirts which are way too cool for me.