Frequently asked questions
updated: 30/Sept/2023

* do not let the antivirus delete any of Football Life files
all the files on the smokepatch website are safe and free from viruses or malware, we use BAT scripts to install and run the game, antivirus programs usually mark all BAT-based files as dangerous, and we cannot afford to buy a digital certificate, as the price for that is insane, do not let the antivirus delete or block the installation

Frequently Asked Questions and Common Issues:

General Notes:

* be sure the game is updated to the latest FL version available.
* test with an unmodified game to be sure the report is valid


1. Microsoft Windows missing files error:
windows might be missing files especially newly installed systems or un-updated systems, below are the potentially needed updates from Microsoft for Windows:

- Microsoft DirectX End-User Runtime
- be sure your system has updated DirectX software, you can update it from the official Microsoft source: 
if the directX is not up to date it can cause various issues including failure to start the game or error of missing DLL files

Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable
- be sure the visual C++ is updated from the official Microsoft source:
this will fix issues like the sider not working or settings not starting.

Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
- be sure the .NET Framework is updated from the official Microsoft source:


2. Error (cannot find football life)

this means there are game files missing or deleted from the game folder, reinstall the game and make sure the antivirus does not delete any of the game files.


3. Cannot save edits or career mode, settings.exe does not save the changes

the game and the settings need access to the (save folder) that is located in the documents folder (some systems use OneDrive documents), if the access is blocked or not granted then the system will prevent writing the save.

right click on (FL_2023.exe) and select properties, in the compatibility tab select (run this program as an administrator), then click OK

now start the game normally from the usual (FL_2023 start.exe)


4. The starting lineup looks wrong:

if you see a strange starting lineup in teams it means the edit file is not installed, if the edit file is not installed you will find other issues.

Reinstall Football Life and update, be sure to run as administrator so the installer can access your save folder and install the appropriate files.

some users might have a customized documents folder, in this case, the edit file might need to be moved there manually respecting the folder structure.


5. Lag or crash using a laptop with two GPU

for a gaming laptop, there are two GPUs, Football Life needs to run on the powerful one, 
to be sure the correct one is assigned run settings.exe and check the specification tap
assign (FL_2023.exe) and (Settings.exe) in the graphic card software


6. Cannot find the game executable (FL_2023 start.exe) or (FL_2024 start.exe)

this is the football life start file, this is a customized script to run the game in a specific sequence and CPU launch commands, this might be flagged by the antivirus and deleted.

all the files downloaded and installed from the smokepatch website are safe, all our files are scanned and tested multiple times, and do not let anything delete the game files.
a reinstall is needed to recover any deleted files.


7. Error stuck in the loading screen

this error is due to selecting a theme in the previous version, themes are not included and this function is not working and is disabled in later versions, 

to correct this, open the save folder of the game from documents and delete (SYSTEM00000000)
run settings.exe so the game would create a new one.


8. Customized sider addons not working after the update

football life update might update and replace football life sider files, if users made any changes to the files including sider.ini they would need to redo them.

please make backups for any edited files before updating.


9. Cannot import PNG in edit mode (white import)

although this is still not available due to using Sider, there is a workaround to import png kits to the edited team:

1. start the game without the sider by running (FL_2023.exe) or (FL_2024.exe)
2. import the png kits then save and exit
3. restart the game from the main executable as usual


10. Bugs in BAL or master leagues started with custom transfers in edit mode 

this is a known issue due to the change of the game starting year, no fix is available for this yet, but it can work if the starting year in the master league is reverted to 2020,

see this temporary workaround to bypass this issue:


11. Windows prevents saving sider.ini or similar sider files

your system is preventing you from saving to that location,
get admin access or move the file to another disk, change it and save it then move back


12. Connect controllers

recommended method (free and easy)

1- connect the controller to your PC via Bluetooth or USB
2- Install and run this free utility (DS4Windows)


13. Second game crash

if you can play one match but the game crashes when starting a second one, see the COMPATIBILITY menu for special CPU cases that need to run the game from a specific provided exe


14. Crash after adding an external mod

Although Football Life is compatible with most mods for PES21, not all mods can work, it is recommended not to add mods that are not specifically made for Football Life,
- always make a backup before changing any game files.
- reinstall the game to restore the game


15. sider addons installer or files not found

football life installer will install everything in the correct place, unless your antivirus deletes or block the installation, do not let anything delete any of the game or installer files as its a false positive, all files on smokepatch website are safe

* some reports are still under investigation
* Previous FAQ section for smokepatch for PES is available here


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