Mr. Awbery is an aspiring "FIFA" player who has qualified for an event in his first year attempting to go pro.
How to Dominate in FIFA 20: Online
This article includes my advice on how to dominate the game of FIFA 20 online. These tips apply to all online modes—from Ranked matches (Seasons) to Ultimate Team. Many of the tips apply specifically to human opponents, and I hope they will help you beat your friends (and/or enemies) into the ground!
Possession Tactics and Play
First things first, the only way to win is to score goals. However, that doesn't mean you should try to score with every touch—that's the wrong way to view the game. Instead, you also want to think about how to prevent your opponent from scoring, which can also be accomplished when you're in possession of the ball. If you control the game and keep your opponent constantly on the move, they will not only get frustrated but also possibly tire out.
Watch the strategy of teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. They all play the possession game. Why? Because it works! The opponent cannot score if you have the ball (Unless you run it into your own net, but then that makes you an idiot!) and that is the premise for this first tip.
Here are a few notable tips to increase the chances of maintaining possession.
- Do not always look for a forward pass. The ball can go backward too, you know!
- Play with five in midfield. Especially if you're struggling with possession. The extra player will overload the middle third, and make keeping possession much, much easier.
- Choose a team with a high passing stat in midfield. Possession is not reliant on pace. Choose a team such as Barcelona and play their "Tika Taka" style of football.
- Focus less on scoring. Do not worry if you are not banging goals in left, right, and John Mensah. (He's an ex Sunderland player, sorry for the bad pun!) The point of possession is to prevent your opponent from having the ball.
- Do not constantly abuse the over-the-top ball. Doing so will only cause you to lose your possession. Pick your passes correctly, and if you can't see one, go backward
- Shift to a slower style of play and passing. Doing so will help you keep the ball and draw your teammates closer to you.
- Have a tall striker as the lone man up front in the 4-5-1 formation. He is your failsafe. When things go south, hit him with a lofted ball, and head it down to your two CAMs. I know it seems strange, but having a tall striker is key to keeping possession. A team such as Manchester United will benefit hugely from having Lukaku in a solo Striker position.
- DO NOT pass among the defense. The passing game should be played in the middle of the park. It allows you to constantly create chances to score. Unless it is the 90th minute, and you are 1-0 up, then pass away. Almost every team in the world will use this to ensure victory, you do the same.
Oh, and one last thing: Use the A- (Xbox) or X-pass (PS3) rather than through-balls to keep the ball at your players' feet. That will further help you keep possession.
Shooting and Heading
Now, once you have the possession needed to push forward and keep your opponent at bay, you will want to know how to finish properly. The difference between a winner and a loser boils down to who can take their chances, and if your opponent is better at taking chances than you, you will probably lose. Now, everybody thinks that all there is to scoring is pushing the "B" button. But there are a lot of things to take into consideration when aiming your shot, which I will detail below.
Heading can be your best friend when it comes to scoring. Now, in FIFA 20, heading is much more about positioning and timing than in previous editions of the game. If you simply just press the "B" button, you may find yourself not even heading the ball at all. This can be infuriating, and I often hear people complain that heading is broken on this game. Quite the contrary—if you understand how to head properly, you will be netting your crosses much more regularly.
Here are my tips for scoring finishing, followed by heading.
- Slow down. If the goal is open and you have lots of space, stop sprinting! If you continue to sprint, it will make scoring more difficult.
- Use RB correctly. Do not try to finesse it from distance. In close quarters, it can be deadly. It is designed to put the ball around the keeper, and you should use that to your advantage
- Try to hit your shot at an angle. If you shoot straight, the ball will more than likely hit the keeper. If you angle your player before shooting, especially with finesse, you will put it past the keeper no worries.
- Drive your shots at a distance. Especially with long-shot takers. Curling a shot from a distance is much more difficult than powering it past the keeper.
- Take your time. When the goal is open, take as much time as you can before shooting. The further you are out, the harder it is to make the goal.
- Learn to fake shot. If your opponents know you are going to shoot every time, they will attempt to block it. Throw in a fake shot now and again to keep your opponent guessing!
- Practice taking the keeper on. Some people insist on running their keeper out every time you bear down on the goal. Using a well-timed Right Analogue Stick push forward will put the ball around the keeper. Or a well-timed fake shot will send the keeper to the floor, creating an easy finish for you. If the keeper comes out too far, attempt to chip him. I know it is a difficult skill and takes practice. But, use LB when shooting to lob it over your opponent's goalie and leave him utterly humiliated. This will also make them reconsider charging their keeper next time, giving you options.
- Pass the ball across to your team-mate. Granted doing so is heavily frowned upon, but your opponent will do it to you. It is a dog-eat-dog world in FIFA, so use everything you can to win!
- Time your headers. Do not simply hit "B" as a cross comes in, or else you will end up putting countless headers over the bar. Watch your player's timing, and learn when to jump.
- Get in front of their defender. A little known secret is that if you hold "LT" and "RT" together, you can control your player's movement completely. Use this tip to get in front of your opponent's defender, and you will have a better chance of beating them in the air
- Power your header properly. Too weak, and it won't beat the keeper. Too strong and it will sail over the bar.
- Try to attack the ball. You won't win the header if you stand completely still. If you are moving, you will have the ability to jump above your marker. Use this especially with smaller attackers, as they will need the extra spring in their step.
- Use the correct cross. If your player is close to the front post, use a double-tap on the cross button (X) to hit him on the front post. If he is closer to the back post, use a single tap with decent power.
- Hold the "LB" button to put in a deep cross. Especially if your player is making a run into the box. Watch your players. If they point into the box, put it there. This is the most dangerous type of cross as your player is moving at a fast pace, creating a much more powerful header!
A good defensive player will use a variety of tactics to prevent his or her opponent from scoring. Defending is arguably the most difficult part of the game.
Hopefully, these tactics will help you bolster your defensive strength.
- Do not run your defenders out all the time. Many people fall into a trap when charging out to get the ball from the opponent. This is just counterproductive, as it leaves huge gaps in your defense that your opponent can pass through.
- Focus on stopping passes. Keep your defense in formation and mark up the passes your opponent makes. Stopping passes is key to preventing the other team from scoring.
- Use the jockey tactic. Hold "A" while your opponent attempts to dribble past you. Do not over-use this technique, as it gives the other team lots of space. But on the wing, it works to stop the players from going past you or crossing the ball.
- If your opponent has a tall player, prevent the cross. If your opponent has a smaller striker, try and force him down the wing instead, as he will more than likely win the header against your centre-backs.
- Assess the team you are playing against. This is key. Knowing their tactics and what they do is half the battle. The quicker you figure out their tactics, the better chance you will have of defending against them.
- Be careful of quick strikers. They are the bane of my, and almost every other FIFA players life. Choose teams with quick centre-backs to prevent them from simply running through or around your slow defenders.
- Know your team inside out. This can be the difference between making a terrible right-footed clearance and a perfect left-footed one. I know it may seem stupid, but understanding your team is key to the whole game of FIFA.
- Do not constantly switch players to try and get the ball back. Instead, concentrate on marking the opponent closest to you and switch when you see the opportunity. Constantly spamming the switch button will only disrupt your players' defense.
Dribbling Tutorial Guide
Dribbling and skill moves are a vital part of being a world-beater in FIFA. Don't get it twisted though: constantly spamming skills just to show off is not productive, and hardly ever gets you anywhere. Instead, work on skill moves that you can easily replicate and use them in specific situations where they'll be much more helpful.
- Use "LT" when in a tight situation to turn away from your opponent. This will shield the ball, if the opponent over-commits to one side of your player, simply turning the other way will beat him.
- Instead of sprinting everywhere, control your dribbling to keep the ball for longer.
- Use "LB" in an even tighter situation to stop the ball and make the smallest touches possible. This will allow you to control every move your player makes, in turn allowing you to twist and turn away from your marker.
Skill moves are the most potent way of beating players, but overuse will just make you look foolish. Instead try to use them once or twice a game, when you know they will be effective—your opponent will never see it coming.
Always try to be unpredictable. Predictability will be your greatest enemy, so do the unexpected, even if it doesn't work all the time. Even when it goes wrong, it will open opportunities later on in the game. This is key. If you constantly do the same thing, your opponent will catch on. Instead of cutting inside when you're on the wing for the third time, try going outside instead.
Choose Your Team Wisely!
Whether you're playing Head-to-Head or Ultimate Team, one of the main advantages you can have comes from choosing a squad that suits your playing style. If you naturally play down the wings, there is no point in choosing a team with a 5'6 striker. Similarly, if you enjoy playing a passing game, don't choose a team that isn't good at passing, these are common-sense rules but they should not be ignored.
- Identify strong teams within each star bracket. Each bracket contains between one and five-star teams, and you can only come up against teams of that level in Head to Head seasons. As an example, the Barcelona B squad is only three and a half stars but contains players who are much faster than those in the other three and a half star squad. Another squad that is very good online is Aston Villa, due to the size of Benteke in the centre. With the speed of Bent and Agbonlahor down the wings, those three form a potent combination.
- Go for a balance between speed and strength. Being versatile keeps your opponent guessing, whereas using just one tactic allows your opponents to read your play. If you have both strength and speed in your arsenal, your opponent won't know what you'll use. This unknown factor will benefit you massively.
- Use a formation that will benefit you. If you have to play with five at the back, then do so and ignore what other people say, especially in messages. They are just hurt that you beat them. Similarly, if you struggle with scoring goals, put three strikers up front instead of two to maximise your goalscoring ability.
A Round Up
Overall, just practice playing the game and you will naturally get better. Defeat is a natural part of anything which will only serve to improve your game. After all, how can you improve if you never lose?
I hope this helped somewhat. If you want anything added—like some more tips for another section of FIFA, please leave a comment below.
Eskeera on March 17, 2018:
I'm using these on Fifa 18 and it works just as well
Arthur Bianchini from Cedar Park on April 30, 2017:
Enjoyed the article a lot, I am a fan of the 4-3-3 a lot but I do switch once in awhile depending on the team I play with.
Mr Awbery (author) from England on July 10, 2015:
Lovely feedback man, thank you for the kind words, if there is anything I can help you with, please feel free to leave a comment here, or a message on my Facebook or Twitter (Found above)
Good luck FIFA'ing !
Bent Shank on July 09, 2015:
Just want to say a big thankyou for the excellent guide. Im only a novice player and didnt grow up with the game so your guide was absolutely perfect for me and im stoked i found it. Thanks for taking the time to write it :)
Mr Awbery (author) from England on July 09, 2015:
Just a quick update I am available again , I did take a break from replying as my hub has slowed down , but I am starting to comment again !
@pretiiboiicey unfortunately I've moved to Xbox one now , but my GT is Mr Awbery if you want it !
Tim on October 27, 2014:
Rubbish almost all of this doesn't apply to fifa 15
coddy24 on September 07, 2014:
please add me Mr Aubery in playing on Xbox I really really wana play a game with you. I tried out your tactics and they really work.Nice one! My id is Coddy N thanks
Elano on August 08, 2014:
playing fifa 14 seems really easy for me, i'm only 17 but i'm already a fifa god with my peeps....you know what, you are talking sense but it seems you just bringing the basics out ...first of all,your possession game. i'd counter it by using the tatic"team pressing" and that way my forwards would play high up the pitch causing you to suffer whiles defending if one plays with a three forward. on the other hand, i wouldn't want to talk much cos talk is cheap. anyone who wants to play me should message me...ELANO_MELANO on playstation3
Iqbal Manamakavil from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 24, 2014:
Fifa14 ultimate team first touch control problem .how to maka that .. what l do?please help me.....
Steve W on May 22, 2014:
I'm a mid 30 year old frustrated FIFA player. Played this game nearly 20 yrs, hold my own in division 1 league offline, able to compete on ultimate level vs the computer reasonably well. If we have a FIFA night I can pretty much go unbeaten for the evening.(all offline)... Online now.. I fail to win more than 3 games in a row, the people I batter offline kick my ass online and every time I face someone with any pace upfront my defence parts like the waves. I can't win headers, I get pressed off the ball, passes go astray like you wouldn't believe and my players are that slow its like they are stuck in glue. No tactics I try work, out of ideas and surprised I still own the same controller that came with the console :(
Deeq on April 30, 2014:
I have one problem that my other friends don't and still I don't know what caused. First, I turn off the controler without knowing and that bothers them, I don't know what I am holding , maybe too much buttons same time. Second, when I am attacking and running in always run too fast than the aponant take the pool, I like to run fast but same time I can't slow down when the openent getting close to me. I always hold the Speed button even when the goalkeeper running towords me. How can i run fast and not too fast, do I have to release the speed button?
Goldcoco on April 30, 2014:
HI....i am having a bad game play in fifa 14 and fifa wordl cup brazil...
my players ALWAYS runs away from the ball before getting to it....EVEN if i press the opposite direction....
when in a duel....if i loose the ball....they run away...like stepping back from the ball.....
when i am waiting for a ball to come...the opponent runs directly into me and tackle and take it away,.....but WHEN they are waiting for the ball.....
even if i run in their direction(cause sometime if i want to do that,.....my player just doesn't MOVE!!!!!) my player comes till the opponent and stands there....cause i can't move him anymore.....
FRUSTRATINGGGGGG....so if i want to have the ball....i have to kepp sliding like crazy....
the online players can tackle me like hell.....if they just run into me my players fall or loose the ball.....even if i hit O like 1000 times.....the opponent just keeps running and sometimes i am the one falling....FRUSTRATING to play man......JEEEZZZZZZ......
game tactics....high pressure...offside trap and so.....does nothing...they just keep playing the same....
my Q is...WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY am i having such a weird game play????
the game is not fun anymore....i broke my 6th controller today man....I never broke or became mad for any game in my lifeeeeeee!!!!!
can the problem be my ps3?
PLSSSSS answer me....
lee from Lancing, West Sussex, England on March 21, 2014:
Awesome hub bud. I have certainly learnt some things. My main problem is my mate tends to rush 2 or 3 players towards me and get the ball off me all the time. I guess I need to play 5 in the centre and play backwards to counter this and wait for his players to get tired. P.s you on xbox one yet?
Rogvi on February 24, 2014:
Great tips, very detailed and precise :) Until recently, I used to play with Shamrock Rovers all the time in H2H seasons, they had a great mix of strength/pace/heading and shooting abilities for a one-star team. I chose a solid 4-2-3-1, and I always managed to break into Division 1 quite quickly. Afterwards I was often oscillating between D2 and D1, but I grabbed some D1 titles after a while.
Now, after the january transfer window, they lost some major players and I had to search for another suitable club. I found one in Norway, it's Strømsgodset IF (2.5 stars), and they are cracking. They have a very strong defense, two pacy full backs (especially the RB, 72 overall rating) and 2 solid CB's (and not too slow at all). The central midfielders are decent but not fantastic, the wingers have good pace, are technically relatively gifted and also very good crossers. The central attacking midfielder is the best offensive player, great agility, great ability and good finishing. And up front, you have a giant 6 ft. 6 Hungarian striker who will keep banging in headers from everywhere. For those who like to play with unconventional clubs under 3 stars, just give it a try, you'll be convinced rather soon ;)
luke on February 17, 2014:
1 thing i noticed about fifa 14 is that i broke less ps3 controllers compared to fifa 13 but i did break twoo games and bit the disk in a bit of a temper tantrum . just wish half the nerds would refrain from calling me names as i am not a keyboard warrior but a mick machassis and the meakiasanator
dcd on February 17, 2014:
Sarah Forester from Australia on February 16, 2014:
Great Fifa tips, my husband is always trying to teach me the strategy of soccer so I can play with him but I'm still pretty awful!
Alain on February 06, 2014:
After winning the title in division 1 this morning (whoop whoop hell yeah I was very happy ;-) ) I wanted to share some things with you so that you can also get this title...
First of all, I'm not going to say that I'm a pro or something like that, not at all, but I just want to share you some tips cause I've been searching lot of info on internet and lot of it is crap...
First of all, you'll have to find out what kind of player you are... Do you like pacy players or do you prefer to build up...
I like both so for me, the best set up for the match was a 4-2-3-1 wide... I used this with teams as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Aston Villa (4*), Belgium (4,5*), Udinese (4*) and the team I liked the most to play with that formation is Germany... They are so freaking good... I used Reus (LM), Schurrle (RM), Ozil (CAM) and Muller as a striker.. The thing I liked about Germany was: as they have weak striker stats, they have less overal ratings which means that mostly you won't have to play against top teams as Real, Barca, Bayern... But if you're in a high division, you will face Real, Bayern, etc. but than these will be players with lower divisions...
Reus, Schurrle and Muller all have +80 finishing stats, Ozil is the perfect CAM for this formation and Muller is aa good finisher and he is also very good with heading so this team just haves it all... Good goalkeeper, good defence, good midfield and good attack...
OK, so I told 4-2-3-1 wide is the formation, I always use this with defensive strategy and counter attack as tactic...
When I feel that the opponent is stronger than me, I switch to 4-2-2-2 with a custom strategy and attacking tactic.. Believe me people, this really works (most of the time). If you want to know this custom tactic, feel free to add me on psn: alinos_81
Now the way I play: when my opponent has possession, I only chase the ball with my midfielders, it's too risky to chase the ball with your defenders. When I have possession I try to be as fast as possible at his goal... I use mostly l1+X. What I heard is that, when you're attacking you should change d-pad to ultra attacking, when you're defending you should change your d-pad to ultra defending.
Mr Awbery (author) from England on January 17, 2014:
Hey guys, sorry for the late responses, been buried with work and such
@sam - a good formation for possession and counter would be 3-4-2-1 although you are leaving yourself defensively weak, the packed midfield, alongside the two wingers will give you both possession and counter attacking options
@Dd - I am simply informing people on how to win games on FIFA, unfortunately you seem to be missing the point of this article... Also I would like to question your point about it not being serious, when you are on an article about how to win on FIFA?
Dd on January 10, 2014:
What you telling people to pass across the keeper for you div. you just sound like a sweaty idiot who is desperate to win video games with no lass. Get a life its meant to be fun not serious loooool
sam on December 21, 2013:
Yeah i forget to say, if u k ow a good custom tactic to player counter and possesion both in same game and normaly i play 442 in online season and 433 (2) in ut. Thx so much
Sam on December 21, 2013:
Hey thank u for ur tips and sorry for my english in advance.
Im a good player in counter attack i us this custom tactics
And its not work bad for me
But now i wanna try to play more possession even if im an impatient player and not use to possesion style.
My questions is wath fomation and wath custom tactics is good for possession, and wath u think about my counter attack custom tactics.
Thank u very much for ur answer and hope u right a page about custom tactics if its not already done :-)
Alain on December 20, 2013:
guys, at the moment I’m in division 1… Last season, I had 22 points, 1 point more and I had the championship title … I lost my game against someone who played with… you’re not gonna believe me… Classic XI !!!
Someone who knows how u can play with Classic XI in H2H seasons online??? When I look at that guy his stats… it was amazing… he played every game with classic XI and had stats like 250-12-14 …
I was pissed I missed the title because of someone who cheats but I just wanted to let u know…
alinos_81 on December 11, 2013:
I’m struggling in division 2… I always get fucking goals against with my own players who run to each other so the opponnent can score easily in an empty goal…
I play 4-1-2-1-2 with Real Madrid, Shakhtar but I can’t get to division 1
I use custom tactics and I even changed the wireless controller settings but nothing seems to help… Although I can say that mostly of the games, I’m competitive to my opponent, staying in division 2 is so hard for me.
can anyone give me some tips plz? Other team: I see here CSKA, Newcastle, Anderlecht (though I’m from Belgium I really hate this team ),… with maybe a good formation (I like the 41212) and some custom tactics for attacking/pressing and defending/possession.
I play ps3: my psn is alinos_81
Imperial Arc on November 29, 2013:
Thanks Dicko. Your tip has helped me.
Dicko on November 26, 2013:
Mate ignore any of these mugs giving you a hard time. I have been playing fifa since 96 and I'm old skool. I am used to years of just holding down A to tackle and that's it!
I was ranked pretty high on old fifas but my record at mo on UT seasons is 154-48-144 average at best. Im not bad at the game I just can't help myself from spamming the long ball because I struggle with possession and defending! I struggle to adapt cause I'm set in my ways lol.
I have found this article very useful and I appreciate your time writing it.
Imperial Arc on November 18, 2013:
Thanks for the guide and replies. I've improved a lot. Not much wins, but more draws. I'm struggling at scoring. I can now reach the opponent box but fails there. Might be limited moves I know. Any suggestions.
ScottiiBoi on November 08, 2013:
I have found my formation :)
Its 5-2-2-1 counter attacking style football, catches out my opponents all the time although i do lose the odd game now and then.
If im becoming pinned and my counters are ineffective i swap out a CDM & Defender for a CAM & ST switching to 3-5-2 or 4-1-2-1-2, seems to works brilliantly, it cathces out my opponents who suddenly think S#@T he now has 2 strikers :)
Thanks for all your helpful advice, keep up the good work :)
Jimjones on November 02, 2013:
i honestly appreciate the time you put into this article and all ur responses. Excellent article, i hope to use some tips in my games. ive got all the way to second division with only being dropped once down to 3rd, but im in second again and i find it impossible to get to 1st. i don't use any team but man u..and at this level the other teams are just better...i switch between 4-1-2-1-2 and 4-3-3 false 9 but nothing works...please give me some advice on formation or what i need to do to improve??
Matteo on October 29, 2013:
Hi mate, could you tell me how can i trap the ball from a long distante pass in the most quick way while running . Great tips anyway!
ScottiiBoi on October 27, 2013:
Also .......... sorry to be a pain in the ballon knot :P but ............. what controller settings do you recommend, eg. air balls, auto switch, pass assist etc, im struggling with defenders where they stutter and allow my opposition in behind my defence.
Do you know how some playerrs are playing these balls over the top of my defence, which curl into the path for opposition players to run onto, if i try this the ball goes stright, it does not curl/swerve and it is directly at my player slowing him down
ScottiiBoi on October 27, 2013:
will i still get the full potential from them if i play them at CAM, Looking more into the 4222 formation i have warmed to it. Maybe starting in 442 (2) is an option with balance play then switching out to 4222 if i need that extra goal. I could always sub reus & robben when switching to 4222 using either kroos, draxler, diego or gundogan as my CAMS.
I will try this out and feedback to you once i get a few games in
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 26, 2013:
@ScottiiBoi - Hmmm, why can you not just play Reus and Robben at CAM if you are so stuck with needing to use them? I mean their chemistry will take a hit but if you want them so bad it will be worth it!
ScottiiBoi on October 26, 2013:
4-2-2-2 aint really an option for me, I have reus & robben and i need to get them more involved with the lethal shots they have, every formation i try they are either too wide or sit back too much. I really like 4-2-3-1 but not much on the attcking front, 4-3-3 (2) aint so bad but individually easily crowded out/isolated, I've found 5-2-2-1 to be quite nice but not much going on in the middle of the field to hold possession - I'm awfully stuck :(
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 24, 2013:
@ScottiBoi - I usually play 4-2-2-2, this seems to give me plenty of options through midfield and attack, whilst also allowing me to have two strikers. The CAM's have to be averagely paced though, as they are filling the gap for would be wingers. This drags your opponents wide, and if you have a striker who drops in to the gap they leave this is perfect to pass. The two holding midfielders offer you some nice security in defense too!
@Dave - Unfortunately the use of tactical defending online means you either have to win the ball by pressing B at the right time to tackle, or running directly into the opposition. The second option is risky as you could just run right past them! Just work on the timing of B, or sliding tackle with X, and keep practicing is the only advice i can give bud, Sorry!
@HantuDurian - I can't really offer you tips on the autoswitching system, if you do not like it then I suggest turning it off and doing it yourself, manually. I find this very difficult, and although yes there have been a couple of occasions where I have been infuriated by the autoswitching, its generally never done me any harm!
@Furesburg - Exactly man, these tips are not designed to turn you into a beast, but they will help you understand the finer concepts of FIFA. That's what I love about the game, you can almost pick it up and play, as the controls do seem quite basic, but underneath this there is a complicated system which more refined players can use to win.
Also, of course it is your place! I am not the only one who knows about FIFA, and a healthy comments discussion is perfect for helping players. I do not know everything there is to know, so everybody's input is welcome!
Sorry If i took a while to get back to some of you, hope you all get to read my responses!
Furesburg on October 24, 2013:
I really like these tips, and when I switched to manual at the start of 13, I had to learn a lot of this the hard way. In particular, thanks for the heading tips, I tend to play for the by-line in attack, and I never really came to grips with a good conversion of crosses, so I usually played cutbacks, which gets predictable pretty fast. While I've hardly become Klose overnight, at the very least it feels like being more careful with the timing and positioning is helping. You'd think a manual player would be used to paying attention to that :p. Wish I could play against you, but unfortunately I'm on the PS.
Also, this may not be my place, but
@ScottiiBoi I tend to like breaking out down the wing through a passing triangle, and my preferred formation is the somewhat suicidal looking 3-4-3 diamond. It seems like it should play too wide but the RM/LM tend to tuck in a bit since otherwise they'd occupy the same space as the RW/LW. Tons of attacking options and great for keeping possession in good passing positions, but it's really dangerous if you don't position the CBs well enough to let the CDM and side mids get back behind the ball.
HantuDurian on October 23, 2013:
Hi, nice tips. I'm suffering in Fifa ! I came from PES and the button are just arrgh. The defending system is quite different. But, what about the Controller settings ? Can you elaborate more on your controller settings.. i tend to use Semi on PES but on FIFA , they're sucks !! the auto system on FIFA sux sux..sorri :)
What's your tips on this auto mechanism ??
dave on October 21, 2013:
Can u tell me how people constantly shut me down before I can even control the ball. I hold rt and a to chase opposition but my player just stops when he gets about 2 feet away. When tactical defending is off my player will automatically make a challenge but online where u have to use this they don't challenge. Everyone I play can cut out every single pass and its something assisted for sure but I don't know how they do it.
ScottiiBoi on October 20, 2013:
Thanks for the response, maybe we could get that game soon Add me ScottiiBoi. Out of curiosity which formation do you recommend for an all round passing style of play but breaking out down the wings when possible?
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 20, 2013:
@Pedro Paliz - It's so nice to know my articles have a reach as far as Ecuador, and I genuinely thank you for taking your time to comment
In honest terms, I have noticed that when Centre backs turn, they do have a small moment where it looks like they get stuck. I am not 100% sure, but I do believe it has something to do with the position of the ball to them. They usually look like they are looking up towards the ball and slow down, so the solution I have come up with is this :
When you turn your centre back, and he looks as if he is going to do the pause, quickly RT and LT (this makes you control his running manually) , this should make him avoid doing the waiting around, and continue almost at full speed.
Try this out and tell me if it works?
Pedro Paliz from Quito, Ecuador on October 19, 2013:
Hi ! I salute you from Ecuador!
It is the first time ever I ask for advice in FIFA...and I have played it nonstop since FIFA 08, but this is a VERY WELL written article that made me want to contact you for an opinion.
I started having problems since FIFA 13, I have always been an EXCELLENT defender...in fact Im not very good at scoring, but it has always been HARD to score against me and it was my strenght. But since FIFA 13 I have a LOT of problems with lob through balls; I contain with my player waiting for a pass and use my teammate to go against the player who has the ball....then he does the LB+Y pass and 90% of the time my CBs get stuck for a second and THEN they turn back to chase the ball.....The opposing forward gets one on one against the GK and scores. I hate this so much.
I have been trying everything and I can't find a solution to this...my rivals ALWAYS do perfect runs to the area and receive perfect lob passes that my defenders only watch because they take forever to turn around....but when I try an air through pass, the opposing defenders are always running perfectly and clear the ball before my striker takes it. My forwards almost never do runs asking for the ball (yes, I press LB).
Sorry for the long message and for my english, I speak spanish.
In few words...when my opponent does an LB+Y pass my defenders get stuck and take vital seconds to turn around.
What's the best way to avoid this, mainly in FIFA 13/14?
Thank you very much! I bookmarked this site and will add you on Facebook.
firstname.lastname@example.org on October 19, 2013:
sorry i don't know to play tactical defending in fifa 14 ps3, how to use press & scondary press
James-c on October 18, 2013:
Regarding the last few comments.....
Fifa 14, for was the most frustrating, horrible game ever. I couldn't believe how badly they had ruined the fifa series. I was literally screaming, swearing, flinging controllers.
Then after playing for a good while, suddenly it started to click. I will say its not without problems, but I will also say that as of now I'm enjoying it more than any other fifa ever.
And I'm still learning, just earlier me and an opponent were sprinting towards a loose ball through on goal, I held LT and suddenly my player used his strength and muscled the defender aside and I duly slotted home. I wasn't aware I could use the protect the ball, without the ball, lol. This is just one example. It's a huge learning curve this year. You cannot run around holding sprint. Gets you nowhere. But when in space and with a knock on or two its deadly. I completely understand a lot of people's frustrations, I was feeling them just a week or so ago, but since I've persevered and learned the game, even gta 5 doesn't get a look in. And also since mr awberys tips, I could swear I won A header the other day. Lol
Habbz on October 17, 2013:
Nice feedback man! And also prefare fifa 13 i think fifa 14 isn't the best ita hard to get used to after playing fifa 13 so much but alls good once am used to it i'll be wuppin ass as usual if ur on ps3 add me habz_ibby_lhc
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 17, 2013:
@mehow I disagree with on the fact FIFA 14 shouldn't have been released, I think it is radically different to the other FIFA's, but positioning your defenders is crucial to winning headers
mehow on October 16, 2013:
i am losing goals from crosses and corners all the time having the tallest defenders... fifa 14 shouldn't been yet released it's a bet and its glitchy
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 16, 2013:
@Isaac - sorry for the slower response - but if you keep possession in a decent area (say the opponents third) they will get frustrated and possibly move players out of position to chase the ball more, this is the time you should try and expose their gaps with a through ball... and I understand it just means you are not doing as much with your possession as you could, whereas your opponents are countering and using what little possession they have to attack you !
Isaac on October 14, 2013:
Thank you for your advice, but what kind of mistake do you mean exactly and how do you take advantage of it? What I mean is that when I tried this tactic, i tend to lose the ball after attacking and they end up getting a chance to score
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 14, 2013:
@James-c Hey no worries mate, add me on live if you want GC II Villa
James-c on October 14, 2013:
Great! Thanks again for all your help, I will try that camera angle. The tips you gave already are really helping, especially regarding timing, rather than hammer tge button, I press it just once, at the time I think is right, and the more I practice, the more I'll hopefully nail the timing. Thanks again, it's very much appreciated!
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 13, 2013:
No problems, I try and remain as active as possible, posting most days so if you ever have any queries, don't hesitate to comment, or Like my Facebook page MrAwbery and post there -
In terms of the camera issue, I use co-op, rather than tele, which gives you a much wider shot of the pitch, this allows you to see through balls and switches much easier, and also as you mentioned, gives you a few vital seconds of seeing your player over standard tele format...
Hopefully this helps!
James-c on October 13, 2013:
Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly, I will put your advice into practice over the next few days and shall let you know how I get on, the only part of your advice I wasn't sure of was the moving back, and then come forward and time the jump......the reason I'm not do sure is because during goal kicks it is only as the ball is pretty much getting to my players that I actually see them. Is this because I'm using the default camera? Is it best to use a different camera that allows you to see the players long before the ball gets to them, thus allowing you to jostle and get in position!
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 13, 2013:
@Isaac - That is the age old question, keeping possession is all well and good, but goals are what wins games. You have to balance your intent to keep the ball with being attacking and sometimes playing a risky pass to score goals. Most of the time, keeping possession is a great thing, but as you said yourself, if they score a lucky goal it puts them at a huge advantage... Consider getting a goal ahead before your possession play starts, and this will frustrate your opponents into making a mistake!
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 13, 2013:
@James-c, I am very glad to hear your positive feedback, you do not understand the satisfaction I get knowing you enjoyed my article, and as you requested, here is a detailed breakdown on how I win headers...
Firstly, you want to always try and attack the ball, rather than being stationary. Even on goal kicks, try and move back, and then begin to move to where the ball will land, this is difficult to time at first, but it will give you a distinct advantage, this also applies to every type of header, be it defending or attacking.
Secondly, I know you said about LT and RT, but this is something which is often overlookedd. Repositioning yourself to attack a header or be in front of your opponent can be the deciding factor in winning a header.
Consider your players jumping and height, If you know your player is both taller and can jump higher, consider standing still and trying to outjump your opponent, rather than trying to attack the ball...
Timing is also key, simply spamming B (or X) when the ball is played may win some headers, but timing your jump to coincide with the arrival of the ball will win you many more headers than the previous tactic will. Just become used to trying to press B just once, rather than spamming, and ytour timing will rapidly improve
Hopefully I have helped, let me know!
Isaac on October 13, 2013:
My team is barca and I'm expert at possession and I almost never lose it when I'm playing online or with my cousins ( we play every Thursday ) and they always point out that my plan is to score a goal and waste time but I have 2 problems : 1) I can't defend headers well from corners and 2) when I dominate possession and they score first, they waste time and I mostly can't come back. And I realize that when I focus to keep the ball from the beginning of the game I do well at it w attacking but they score some lucky goal and i don't always come back and my possession goes down. Any advice?
James-c on October 12, 2013:
Firstly I want to say great write up and great tips, I as I'm sure everyone else does, really appreciates the time and effort put in.
I consider myself an above average player, who could be a lot better if it wasn't for one thing really holding me back.....
I don't joke when I say that for the last 5 years I have been trawling websites, forums, message boards, all in search of the key to winning headers.
It's gotten so bad that every time a new fifa comes out, I'm praying this is the year they revamp headers and maybe I can win one. I've also came close to just going on the forums and offering £20 quid to whoever gets me winning headers. Lol.
I've read about holding both triggers, holding both sticks, lb, lt, tap then hold.....
I just haven't got a clue, all I know is I'm missing something because the people I play are literally winning every single header.
I'm not too bad at attacking headers, and concede the odd one from corners, it's all the midfield headers, goal kicks etc that I struggle with.
If you wouldn't mind helping me out, me giving me a detailed breakdown of how you go about winning headers, I'd really appreciate it.
I think the biggest problem for me is..... When you read the manual, there is no mention of headers, then I go online to read about them and there is like a million and 1 different things to press or do to win them.
All so confusing, and very depressing lol.
Any help you can give would be very much appreciated!
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 10, 2013:
@Lucker- It could have a lot to do with the fact your player has to move with the ball, Speed is calculated with and without the ball, so naturally defenders will be faster than if you were both without - That being said if walcott is on the wing with a slow defender chasing they should never get back
lucker on October 10, 2013:
do you know why some people online seem to be so fast, I have been in front with a yard to 2 yards space between me and defender and then they will catch up before I can cross somehow?
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 10, 2013:
@Kito - Of course I will play you, when I am next on Xbox I will add you
kito on October 09, 2013:
i really want to play against you...can we play? my GT is: ''kiirit0'' the last is a cero''0''
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 09, 2013:
@ScottiBoi - Essentially from what I gather with your post (I won't be able to tell you exactly until I play you) try being more unpredictable, It seems to me your opponent is guessing what you're doing, so make it impossible to read your game. Instead of constantly cutting in, go to the wing (this will make them think twice before marking your cut inside) Also if an opposition is really tight, play quick passes , even going back sometimes, to pull them out of position.
@FIFA14 Rocks - This is literally a guide to winning online! That's what you have just read !
@Imperial Arc ( Prashant) - The button on offense to stop the ball dead is LB, this should not switch your player unless you have lost the ball
@Anudeep B You cannot switch to the goalkeeper online unless the goalkeeper comes outside of his box to get it (and sometimes not even then) Add me on xbox live, I may be away for a little while (probably begin playing games on monday)
And finally, I also write for FIFAExpert.co.uk , so be sure the check that website for more tips!
Anudeep B on October 09, 2013:
hey! I have read your entire guide and it helped my passing a lot! I cannot switch to the goalie. I do not know why. Can you help me? And I would like to play with you
Imperial Arc on October 07, 2013:
I know I suck at FIA 14 or any video games, but I still play :). I've been playing for last 3 days and won just 1 and lost 30. I'm improving though with each game after reading your tips.
I've a question. When I sprint with the ball while holding RT button ( I know it is not right way), how can I stop the ball without losing the ball to opponent. Is it LB pressed for a while? When I press LB, it switches my player lol.
Fifa 14 rocks! on October 06, 2013:
Mr Awbery - great tips! Any suggestions for winning in Online Seasons and Online Friendlies?
ScottiiBoi on October 04, 2013:
Wonderful guide man, i'm having similar defending issues as other guys here have already mentioned which in time i will get to grips with, my main issue is how easily opposition online take the ball from me, know exactly where im going to pass, my players never get a chance to turn because the opposition are so tight immediately. Its frustrating to say the least but.......add me on Xbox if you like maybe we can play a few games and you can explain maybe where im going wrong...?
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 03, 2013:
@coolfish - I don't quite get what you mean man?
coolfish on October 03, 2013:
i have online id i can give it
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 03, 2013:
@bc - I don't quite understand what is annoying you about keepers?
@Dwayne - if you have bought FIFA 14 second hand, or the code has already been used - it might be this?
Dwayne on October 02, 2013:
hi this message keeps on showing when i want to play online friendlies "your gamer profile does not have the correct permissions to access this feature" what should i do please help?
bc on October 02, 2013:
What's with the keepers just stand there beating triangle out off it an nothing keepers are useless in it its pissing me off big time
Mr Awbery (author) from England on October 01, 2013:
@Jamie - Thanks man! My tip would be to create a formation where your wing backs aren't as attacking, so set their work rate lower in attacking, it may limit your opportunities on the wing, but it will provide you with a much more solid defence for counter attacking opposition
Jamie on October 01, 2013:
hi, I loved your article was packed with a lot of useful tips but the one thing im really stuggling with is being caught on the counter have you any tips to help with this. thank a lot!
Mr Awbery (author) from England on September 30, 2013:
@Manwolf - I am sorry to hear this, just keep playing and don't be discouraged
@Da - If people keep rushing you, then perhaps try and use this to your advantage, play quick passing football to expose the gaps they create by rushing you
Da on September 30, 2013:
I play lots of ppl who seem to rush at me and win the ball ... How do I do this ???
MANWOLF on September 30, 2013:
I've had a terrible terrible time. I haven't won a game since it came out! I've only tied in single player FUT once.
other than that I get blown out online like 4-0. I understand the mechanics of the game but it just isn't coming together for me. really frustrated. :( ill try and take some of your advice and see If that makes a difference.
Mr Awbery (author) from England on September 29, 2013:
@abd2t Thanks man - appreciate the feedback!
@Fifa Failure - Hmmm, I don't quite know enough about you or your team to let you know what is going wrong? What I suggest is to maybe try offline until you get to grips with the whole system, and then go online?
FIFA Failure on September 29, 2013:
I've played 9 online FUT games, lost 7, drawn 1 and won 1. I simply cannot play, my defenders bring the ball down and control it perfectly for the opposition strikers to take it and score an easy goal, or they just stand by and watch the player run last them. My midfield stand still and let the ball bounce off them or take the ball and run in to the opposition. I try using the teammate contain and the close control, but it never seems to work. All I seem to do is pass the ball 5 or 6 times until I lose it and then watch them go and score or hit a shot wide and I repeat that for 90 minutes. If they make a mistake then sometimes I get a chance, but in 9 games I think I've scored about 4 or 5 goals and maybe conceded 25. I reckon I may as we'll give up or go and try pro evo or something?
abd2t on September 29, 2013:
Solid article keep it up will play u soon as I fix my laggy connection feel free to add me guys if u wanna get whooped cheers
Mr Awbery (author) from England on September 28, 2013:
In all honesty, there is that method - or change your auto switching down from high to low?
birddogg28 on September 28, 2013:
It most does it in fast transition breaks
birddodd28 on September 28, 2013:
I mean yea but the game is just not being consistent the transition from player to player may be smooth one time but the next its just stupid it switches to a player that doesn't even have anything to with the play. Is there some kind of control settings u use to make it easier cause its ridiculous
Mr Awbery (author) from England on September 26, 2013:
@RDS Thanks man keep coming back for more articles - especially as FIFA 14 is out tomorrow!
@ktPras RB+X is a fine combo, however it will cause you to drag players out. Instead, use right trigger and left trigger (R2 and L2) to manually jockey, releasing them to make the tackle
@Birddog28 There are two ways to switch your player, you can either use LB (which is the more preferred option) to switch you to the player who is closest to the ball. However, if you want to change to a specific player (more important in those 50-50 balls you mentioned) you can flick your right analogue stick towards the player of your choice, this makes more precise aiming for a player switch, although you must be accurate in your flick, otherwise you will end up taking control of the wrong player! Hope this helps.
birddogg28 on September 25, 2013:
This might seem dumb but my problem is being able to switch to the player I want to switch to on defence especially in key 50-50 balls giving my opponent's more possessions and more chances for goals
ktPras on August 12, 2013:
Great Tips! I play on ps3 and tend to use RB+X combo in my box to defend ... works fine but I do not think that's good way to defend ... what's you advice on defending when opponent is very close to my box...
RDS on August 10, 2013:
Thanks for the tips they will come in handy at some point
Mr Awbery (author) from England on July 09, 2013:
The easiest thing i can tell you to do is not to directly run at your opponents, instead back away from them and cover the pass they will attempt to make
@James - In all honesty I do not understand what you mean about getting on my high horse, I have not been defensive about anything, and am simply trying to advise, I am sad to think that you took my advice the complete wrong way
James on July 03, 2013:
I really do love it when people like you get on your high horse over this game, I would love the chance to play you but unfortunately I'm on PS3. I get the feeling even if you were smashed repeatedly it would fail to dent an ego as big as yours.
On the other hand I agree with you about using Aston Villa, you don't see many people using them, they're a good balanced side. Always enjoy playing idiots who use sides like Santos and Makhachkala as they're effectively one man teams so it's easy to predict where they will go with the ball.... Every single time.
Catalin on June 30, 2013:
i can t defend in this game. i simply can t ! it piss me off ! when the opponents don't press sprint button i can t take the ball from them my defender are just looking at the ball like they are retards or when i go with my defender in the opponent to take the ball back they just pass me . it s ridiculous annoyng . And opponents which defend perfectly annoyng as hell they know where you pass every time , but i don t know how they defend . Please Help!
Mr Awbery (author) from England on June 29, 2013:
@jrwarmke - i completely agree- too many people just hold RB and just expect to get the ball, all the while drawing defenders out, properly used its amazing, but it is overused in all honesty
@mil - i don't really know, just thought he deserved a mention !
Mil on June 29, 2013:
I didn't not really understand why John Mensah was mentioned in the article.. What's wrong with his defending?
jrwarmke from 'Merica on May 28, 2013:
The best piece of advice I can give about Fifa is to adjust to what your opponent is doing.
Also, use the LB button and run backwards with defenders. This allows you to spring forward for steals and also to properly channel attackers either towards other defenders or the sidelines. Calling a 2nd defender can work good in situations, but is overly used. Don't leave someone close by wide open or anyone in a dangerous position.
Mr Awbery (author) from England on April 23, 2013:
@bydojo - the thing is the game is as difficult as you want it to be. The idea of FIFA and the brilliance of it is that it takes as much analysis as you want it to. Most people can survive and exceed online without the need for such in depth thinking, but this was just advice from a top ranked player. The thing is I was 52nd in the world at one point, and this demanded such involvement... Most people do not need to go that far... Thankyou for the comments though, I really appreciate the feedback!
Ramona Jar from New York on April 23, 2013:
I could never play this game, since it appears so difficult to me. And, by reading your in-depth tutorial, I realize once again it's maybe too tough for me. Amazing details though ;)
Mr Awbery (author) from England on April 18, 2013:
@oten Thanks for the humorous response in terms of my inclusion of 5-3-1-2 rather than 5-2-1-2... Thankfully you weren't an idiot and abused me for it, so that is much appreciated - i am glad that you enjoyed my tips, if there are any tips you can think of that i should add please say so :
Also - If any of the readers would like to play me - drop me a message here and I will respond, add you on Xbox360, and play :)
oten on April 17, 2013:
For most people it is difficult to admit that they are not perfect. Fortunately it isn't for me, and that's what makes me improve in many aspects, so THANKS for the tips.
However I have a doubt. In the list of formations that have placed a vote, there is one that caught my attention. And do not understand how it is not the most voted, has a great advantage. 5-3-1-2, eleven players beyond the goalkeeper. Many people may think I'm kidding but this is precisely the formation used by teams that the referee seems to be part of them. Just did not know that existed corruption in fifa 13 too.
Mr Awbery (author) from England on March 21, 2013:
xTOXiiCxSWAGGx I will verse you , add me on XBOX360 :)
GT: xTOXiiCxSWAGGx on February 11, 2013: