One of the biggest changes in Football Manager 2013 is the overhaul of the multi-player network game. This year there are more ways for managers to play against one another and the rules covering both setting up and playing the network games are more straightforward. The first thing you’ll notice when you set up a network game is the improved user interface. Both the ‘find a network game’ and ‘create new network game’ screens have been improved, making it easier than ever for users to find their friends and play against them – and others – online. This is all powered by Steam and their servers that are used to having hundreds of thousands of players playing games online at the same time. The introduction of ‘versus mode’ means that, for the first time, you can play against friends in your own, tailor-made competition. You give the competition any name you see fit and then select the tournament format from a variety of options… you can have a straightforward knockout cup with up to 32 players all managing against each other; a league for between two and six people, with each team playing each other twice; or a head-to-head league competition with two users playing each other, say, five times. In addition to all of this, another very cool new feature in FM13 is the option that allows you to export your team from the single-player game and use it in network games… even if your team is from the 2020/21 season and your opponent’s team is brand new. This should allow you to really settle the argument once and for all as to who has the best team and who is the better manager. Another way we’ve improved the network game in this year’s release is by adjusting the rules to place some limits on what managers can do both in and out of matches in network mode. You now have the ability to set a time limit for all breaks – both during a match and in between matches – which should help games to run more smoothly. Once the countdown reaches zero all control is taken away from the manager and the match plays to the end without further stoppages. However, the user can request more time using the dropdown menu under the ‘continue game’ button. In previous games in the series, problems have arisen when two players have watched their network game using different speeds and settings. In FM13, users can agree on these settings prior to kick-off, making the ensuing match far more enjoyable. These improvements to the network game will ensure that FM13’s multiplayer experience will be the best that has been presented to you as someone who has played our games.