Football Manager Touch 2020 has hit tablet devices. You can find out what we thought of this season’s update in our review, and here, we’ve taken a deep dive into its net-busting new features to give you a better idea of what to expect before you begin your virtual coaching journey.

The latest edition of FM Touch is available for iPad and Android devices, with a Nintendo Switch edition set to join the dugout soon. Developer Sports Interactive has made this year’s instalment all about the diehard fans who get to enjoy a new feature set that’s aimed squarely at long-term saves.

Read through our guide to find out exactly what those new features include and how they work. Is it worth saying goodbye to your social life goodbye all over again? You bet it is!

Progression opportunities

Can’t win anything with kids? Well, you might be able to in this year’s version of FM Touch as one of the headline features is an all-inclusive hub where you can monitor the progress of your youth team and your reserves, as well as keep a close eye on the players you’ve sent out on loan.

The Development Centre is intended as the jewel in FM20 Touch’s crown and it will no doubt be well received by fans who love to nurture a newgen or bring a rising star through the club’s ranks. While most of the menus and options this hub houses existed in previous iterations of the game, scattered around in various places, bringing them together isn’t the Dev Centre’s only purpose.

Youth team coaches are now hands-on and will serve you with more prominent updates on the progress of your top academy prospects. They’ll even let you know when they are ready for a taste of first-team action, removing much of the guesswork from player development and helping you avoid throwing a youngster into the deep end before they’re ready.

Playing the long game

As we’ve mentioned already, FM20 Touch is all about the bigger picture. Its new features were built with the long-term player in mind, fans who like to bed themselves into a save game for multiple seasons, and the Development Centre is just one of the tools they’ll have at their disposal.

Club Vision is essentially what has replaced Season’s Expectations but it will change the way you approach and think about Football Manager. Rather than assign immediate targets and judge you on the current campaign, club boards will now set you long-term objectives and assess you based on how you’re leading the team into the future and fostering a club culture.

For example, a team like Juventus - known as ‘Zebre’ on FM20 Touch due to their exclusive partnership with Pro Evolution Soccer - will expect you to maintain their position as Italy’s top dog in the immediate term but will want a Champions League title alongside that by 2022. Your goal is to deliver a five-year plan that will make them the biggest team in the world. No pressure, then.

Advanced negotiations

Recruiting new players to put your own personal stamp on your team has always been a highlight of Football Manager, and this year, the way transfer negotiations are carried out has been given a refresh. We’re talking evolution, not revolution but it’s a worthwhile update nonetheless.

When you kick off talks with a potential new signing, the first thing returning fans will notice is that the interface has been spruced up. Negotiations now take place against a snazzy boardroom backdrop, the menu layout is easier on the eye and the vital info you need to take note of, such as the contract clauses your transfer target is requesting, is displayed more prominently.

Granted, it’s largely cosmetic improvements but there’s some substance among the style. New terminology around how much playing time your prospective recruit is expecting removes any ambiguity from the deal. From fringe player to star player and everything in between, you can now manage a new player’s expectations down to the finest detail.

The beautiful game

We’ve already touched on some of the visual enhancements FM20 Touch brings to the table, but it’s worth stressing that they extend beyond the menu screens. While menus are more colourful and visual, with prominent club logos and player profile photos, the 3D match engine and manager avatars have also been given some love and attention.

You’ll find more tools at your fingertips when it comes to designing your in-game manager model. They still bear a passing resemblance to department store manikins but at least there’s a wider range of hairstyles and other customisables to add a little of that human touch. The match engine is a modest update on the surface. There are a few new frames of animation here and there, the lighting has been improved and pitches have been jazzed up. Visual weather simulation is yet to make it to the tablet edition of the game, but you can’t have everything.

More microtransactions

Don’t worry, FM Touch isn’t putting up paywalls nor is it about to aggressively hound you to spend actual money on in-app purchases. Microtransactions via the in-game store have been a part of Football Manager for the last few seasons, allowing players to buy add-ons such as ‘unsackability’ and the option to serve a dodgy lasagne to the opposition team ahead of a big game. In FM20 Touch, there are more of these extras for sale.

No doubt there or Football Manager diehards who scoff at the idea of these features, dismissing them as cheating or novelty inclusions; but if you’re the kind of player who likes to tinker with them and doesn’t mind the additional fees, new unlockables like Golden Generation and Dream Transfer will be right up your street.

Dream Transfer lets you pilfer any player in the world regardless of which club you’re managing. Cristiano Ronaldo banging them in for Fleetwood Town? Lionel Messi leading the line for Southport? With this add-on, these fantasies become a reality. Golden Generation, meanwhile, guarantees you a top-class crop of new academy graduates every summer. You’ll be schooling the opposition in no time!