How to get better at FIFA: The complete guide.

Once upon a time in my gaming universe, I was a newbie, lost in the vast terrain of FIFA. The feeling of defeat was more familiar than the exhilaration of a win. I found myself overwhelmed by the superior skills of other players, their tactical nuances, and their mastery of the gameplay. I wondered, “How on earth do I match their level?” I knew there were others like me out there, eager to level up but not knowing where to start.

That’s when I realized the need for a comprehensive guide – something that could be the ultimate power-up for FIFA enthusiasts. A guide that doesn’t just outline the rules but dives deep into the game mechanics, providing an understanding of how to:

  • Master the critical tactics in FIFA, including defensive strategies and the art of counter-attacking.
  • Polish the attacking skills, with an emphasis on skill moves and effective player runs.
  • Make the most of FIFA’s Practice Mode – your virtual training ground.
  • Identify and avoid the common traps that new FIFA players often fall into.
  • Learn from the pros, adapting their tactics and strategies to elevate your gameplay.

Embarking on a quest to improve your FIFA skills? Strap in, grab your controller, and get ready for an epic journey into the heart of FIFA. Keep on reading – it’s game time, and your ultimate guide to mastering FIFA awaits.

Unpacking the Phenomenon: An Overview of FIFA

FIFA, the holy grail of football games, needs no introduction. It’s the elixir that transforms us into Messi or Ronaldo, from the comfort of our couch. Developed by EA Sports, this game has become more than just a virtual match of football. It’s a universe where we live our football fantasies, an interactive gaming wonderland that connects gamers worldwide through the love of football.

The game isn’t just about pressing random buttons on the controller and hoping for a goal. It’s about strategy, skill, and a deep understanding of football tactics. When I was a beginner, I made the classic noob mistake of neglecting these aspects, and I learned the hard way that this game is a tough cookie to crack.

Mastering the Art of Defense: Effective Tactics in FIFA

Think back to your initial FIFA days. Remember those frustrating games when your opponent’s forward outran your defenders to score a goal? It’s a classic scenario, but it can be avoided with the right defensive tactics. An effective tactic that I’ve found useful is ‘sitting deep.’ This tactic, mimicking the styles of top-tier real-world football teams, involves positioning your defensive line deeper in your half. It requires patience, sure, but with practice, it can be a game-changer.

Use Fast Defenders

Fast players are crucial for this strategy. They are the proverbial knights in shining armor, swooping in to swiftly transition from defense to attack, leaving your opponent in the dust. But remember, mastering this strategy is like leveling up in an RPG; it takes time and practice.

Love it or hate it, if you want to succeed at FIFA, you’ll need fast players. The speed of players in FIFA is crucial to the overall performance of the team and to the game’s outcome. It is important to note that a player’s speed is not only determined by their overall speed rating, but also by their acceleration rating. This means that a player with a high acceleration rating can quickly increase their speed and catch up to an opposing player.

When I first started playing this year’s FIFA, I picked slow but technically fantastic defenders, namely Silva at Chelsea. He has very high defensive capabilities, but his speed is only 54 and his acceleration isn’t much better. I thought that his speed wouldn’t matter because he was a great defender. However, in FIFA, the speed of a defender is just as important as their defensive capabilities. A fast defender can quickly close down an opposing player and prevent them from scoring, whereas a slow defender may struggle to keep up with the opponent’s pace and be unable to stop them from scoring.

To succeed in FIFA, it is far better to have a competent defender with high speed and acceleration than a slow defender who is world-class at defensive positioning or tackling. This is because speed is a crucial attribute in the game that can make a significant difference in the outcome of a match. Therefore, it is important to choose players with high speed and acceleration ratings to give your team the best chance of winning.


Another effective way of defending in FIFA is to use the contain button (X/A) to prevent your opponent from dribbling past you. This is particularly useful when you’re outnumbered and need to buy time for your defenders to get back into position.


Jockeying (L2/LT) is a defensive technique that involves moving your player back and forth to block your opponent’s path and make it difficult for them to make a pass or take a shot. It is like an advanced version of containing, which is a technique that involves using the contain button (X/A) to prevent your opponent from dribbling past you.

While containing is effective in situations where you have numerical superiority, jockeying is useful when you’re outnumbered and need to buy time for your defenders to get back into position.

By using jockeying, you can control the distance between your player and the opponent, making it more difficult for them to make a successful pass or shot.

However, it’s important to use jockeying carefully and not overcommit, as this can leave gaps in your defense that your opponent can exploit.

Slide Tackle

Using the slide tackle (Circle/B) is a technique that takes skill to master, but it can be a game-changer when used correctly. The key to successfully executing a slide tackle is timing. It requires a clear understanding of when the ball is within reach and when the opponent is vulnerable.

A well-timed slide tackle can not only regain possession of the ball but also disrupt the opponent’s offensive momentum.

However, it is important to note that slide tackles can be risky and should only be attempted when the player is confident in their ability to execute the technique without making contact with their opponent’s legs. In addition, it is crucial to consider the game situation and the opponent’s skill level before attempting a slide tackle.

Overall, the slide tackle is a high-risk, high-reward maneuver that can be a valuable tool in a player’s defensive arsenal when used appropriately.

R1/R AI Press

In addition to the defensive tactics mentioned, I would suggest making heavy use of the secondary AI press (R1/R) in FIFA. This press is absolutely vital if you want to compete at higher levels. The reason it’s so effective is simple: by getting the AI to press the opponent, you can cut out passing lanes and intercept through balls. This can be a game-changer as it can disrupt your opponent’s attacking rhythm and force them into making mistakes.

To execute this tactic successfully, you need to time it just right. When the opponent is in possession of the ball, hold down the R1/R button to trigger the AI press. The AI-controlled player will then move towards the ball carrier and try to apply pressure. While the AI player doing the pressing will not directly tackle the ball carrier, they will make it difficult for them to make a pass or take a shot.

Once you have successfully cut out a passing lane, switch to the AI-controlled player who is pressing near the ball, and make the tackle. This can be a great way to win back possession of the ball and launch a counter-attack.

Using the secondary AI press takes some getting used to, but with practice, it can become a vital weapon in your defensive arsenal. It’s important to note that the AI press can be a high-risk, high-reward tactic. If the opponent manages to get past the AI-controlled player, they will have a clear path towards your goal. So, it’s important to use this tactic carefully and only when necessary.

In conclusion, mastering the secondary AI press in FIFA can give you an edge over your opponents, especially at higher levels of competition. With practice and patience, you can effectively use this tactic to cut out passing lanes, win back possession of the ball, and disrupt your opponent’s attacking rhythm. So, give it a try and see how it can improve your defensive gameplay.

Unleashing the Storm: Improving Your FIFA Attack

With defense sorted, let’s move on to the exciting part – attacking. Now, attacking in FIFA isn’t about charging headfirst into your opponent’s defense like a bull in a china shop. It’s about creativity, unpredictability, and smart decision-making.

Use skills moves

Skill moves are a crucial aspect of gameplay in football video games. By using skill moves, you can unlock your opponent’s defense and create opportunities to score goals. It’s important to note that different players have varying skill move ratings, so it’s essential to understand each player’s strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge will help you assemble a strong team that can dominate your opponents. It’s similar to building a dream team in a fantasy league, where you need to know your players and their capabilities to create a winning strategy.

Learning these skill moves can help take your game to the next level. Mastering these skills will take time and effort, but the rewards are worth it. By practicing these moves regularly and knowing when to use them, you can become a virtually unstoppable force on the field, beating your opponents time and time again or creating enough space to unleash a powerful shot. Here are some tips on how to master each skill:

  • Basic step overs
  • Rabona
  • Flip Flap
  • Reverse Flip Flap

Remember, the key to mastering these skills is practice and patience. Keep working on them and you’ll soon be a force to be reckoned with on the field.

L1/L and R1/R Power Shot

FIFA 23, the latest version of the popular soccer video game, has introduced an exciting new feature that is sure to change the way players approach shooting. This feature is a manually aimed power shot that, when executed correctly, can be a game-changer.

To execute the new shot, players must hold down both the L1/L and R1/R buttons while pressing the shoot button. This may sound simple enough, but it requires precise timing and technique. When the shot is executed correctly, the ball will be drilled into the goal with such force that the goalkeeper will have no chance of saving it.

One of the key things to watch out for when executing this shot is the player’s wind-up. The camera will zoom in slightly during this wind-up, giving defenders a chance to block the shot. However, if you can find the space to shot off, and get the shot on target, it will usually result in a goal.

Overall, the new manually aimed power shot in FIFA 23 is a welcome addition to the game. It adds a new level of excitement and strategy to the shooting mechanics, and gives players an opportunity to score some truly spectacular goals.

L1/LB Trigger Runs

Pressing L1/LB to trigger player runs can be a game-changer. It’s like setting a mousetrap; you wait for the right moment, then spring the trap to catch your opponent off-guard. The trick is to time these runs just right to breach your opponent’s defenses.

I used to spend ages playing Fifa, always wondering why my player never moved compared to my online opponents. The reason was simple: I never pressed L1/LB to make my player run forward. Instead, I relied on non-existent AI to make runs for me. Don’t make the same mistake that I did!

As soon as you get the ball, roll the left analog stick across the pitch in the direction of the attack while tapping L1/LB to make all of your attackers sprint forward and give you options. If they sprint too far and end up in an offside position, simply press R1 in the direction of the player to make them come toward your current ball carrier.

In addition, L1 trigger runs are great for when you like to play the ball into the feet of a target man. When your target man has the ball, face toward your own half and tap L1 multiple times while facing toward your midfielders. They’ll all start making runs from deep into the box, giving you the perfect opportunity to slip in an unmarked through ball.

Through balls.

Another effective tactic in FIFA is the use of through balls. This involves passing the ball through the opponent’s defense to a teammate who is making a run towards the goal. To execute this tactic successfully, you need to time your pass just right and ensure that your teammate is in a good position to receive the ball.

For example, a powerful and effective through ball is the driven through ball and the driven lofted through ball.

To execute the driven through ball, press R1/RB and triangle/Y. This will send long-range through balls along the ground, perfect for fast wingers.

Additionally, you can use the driven lofted through ball by pressing and holding both R1/RB and L1/LB, then pressing triangle/Y. The ball will sail over defenders’ heads and dip sharply – due to topspin – into your onrushing player’s path for an easy 1-on-1 chance with the keeper.

Use R1 Dribble

It’s important to remember that winning doesn’t necessarily require playing at a high tempo. While I used to believe that playing as fast as possible was the key to success, I soon realized that this approach often led me to make costly mistakes. In fact, playing at a slower pace can actually work to your advantage. One effective technique is to make heavy use of R1 dribble. This allows you to draw defenders towards you, giving you the opportunity to skip past them with ease. Another strategy is to take advantage of players who press constantly. By remaining patient and waiting for them to make mistakes, you can capitalize on their errors and potentially gain the upper hand. So, next time you’re on the field, remember that sometimes slowing down can actually lead to more success in the long run.

Don’t be predictable

Finally, try to mix up your attacking strategy to keep your opponent guessing. Don’t rely on the same tactics repeatedly, as your opponent will eventually catch on and find a way to defend against them. Instead, use a variety of tactics, such as crosses, shots from distance, and through balls, to keep your opponent on their toes.

For example, when I used to play the ball down the wing to my wingers, I would often automatically cut in. This worked well against unskilled players, but skilled players could read my intentions like a book and would position their defender exactly where I intended on turning. It was infuriating, but great defending. To avoid this, try mixing up your moves and making yourself unpredictable.

Practice Makes Perfect: Utilizing FIFA’s Practice Mode

Do you recall the days when we’d stay up late, grinding through different levels, and practicing different moves on our favorite games? FIFA requires that same dedication, and Practice Mode is your training ground.

Whether it’s rehearsing set pieces, practicing finishes, or getting a feel for advanced controls like player runs and skill moves, Practice Mode is your personalized football boot camp. Just like a good side quest in an RPG, it can make you stronger, better, and more prepared for the main game.

Why Practice is Important in FIFA

Practice is a crucial component of improving your FIFA skills. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Repetition: The more you practice a certain skill or technique, the more comfortable and natural it will feel during a match. Repetition builds muscle memory and helps you develop the necessary reflexes to execute moves quickly and accurately.
  • Mistake Correction: Practice mode allows you to make mistakes without consequences. You can try out new tactics, skill moves, and strategies without worrying about losing a match. This gives you the opportunity to correct your mistakes, refine your techniques, and learn from your errors.
  • Build Confidence: Practicing in a safe environment builds your confidence and reduces anxiety during actual matches. When you feel more confident in your abilities, you are more likely to take risks, try new things, and play more aggressively.
  • Increase Awareness: Practice mode allows you to focus on specific aspects of your gameplay, such as set pieces, finishing, or defending. This helps you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses and identify areas that require improvement.

The Benefits of Practice Mode in FIFA

In FIFA’s practice mode, you can:

  • Rehearse Set Pieces: Practice taking free kicks, corner kicks, and penalties to perfect your technique and aim.
  • Practice Finishing: Work on your shooting accuracy and timing to make the most of scoring opportunities.
  • Master Advanced Controls: Player runs and skill moves can be tricky to master. Practice mode allows you to experiment with these advanced controls, build your muscle memory, and improve your execution.
  • Test New Tactics: Try out new strategies, formations, and player positions without risking a loss in a real match.

Overall, practice mode is a crucial aspect of improving your FIFA skills. It allows you to build muscle memory, correct mistakes, build confidence, increase awareness, and perfect your techniques. So, embrace the practice mode, enjoy the journey, and take your FIFA skills to the next level!

Stepping Stones: Common Mistakes by New FIFA Players

We’ve all been there – making silly mistakes in our early gaming days. In FIFA, some common traps can trip new players. One major pitfall I often stumbled into was rushing. I’d try to push forward as quickly as possible, leaving my defense wide open.

Another common error is neglecting defense. A good defense in FIFA is like a good antivirus for your gaming PC – you don’t realize its importance until you’re in trouble. So, remember to keep your defensive shape intact and not pull your defenders out of position.

Some common mistakes made by FIFA players while competing online are:

  • Rushing and pushing forward too quickly, leaving their defense open.
  • Pressing with defenders at the wrong times.
  • Spamming tackle.
  • Relying on the AI to make attacking runs.
  • Neglecting defense and not keeping their defensive shape intact.
  • Relying too heavily on certain tactics or moves and not mixing up their gameplay.
  • Failing to adapt to their opponent’s style of play and not making necessary adjustments.
  • Playing at too fast of a tempo and making costly mistakes.
  • Underestimating the importance of player positioning and not utilizing player runs effectively.
  • Not making substitutions.
  • Not taking full advantage of custom tactics.
  • Failing to read the game effectively to anticipate what the opponent may do next.
  • Not using R1 AI press when defending.
  • Not mastering a handful of tricks.
  • Pressing the player instead of the ball.

Above is just a short list of some of the most basic mistakes that FIFA players, including myself, commonly make. By working your way through this list and learning how to avoid each mistake, you can dramatically improve your game. You may even reach division 1 in Ultimate Team.

Learning from the Maestros: Observing Professionals

Every gamer knows the thrill of watching a pro tackle a game with surgical precision. Remember when we’d gather around to watch someone beat that tough level or defeat that notorious boss? Watching professional FIFA players is no different. It’s a masterclass in game strategy, an exhibition of finesse, and a showcase of how well the game can be played.

You can find professional gameplay videos on YouTube or tune into live streams on Twitch. Watching them, you’ll notice how they respond to different scenarios, their use of game mechanics, and their application of strategies. It’s like peeling back the layers of an expertly coded game – you begin to see the depth of what’s possible.

However, it’s not just about watching; it’s about analyzing. What skill move did they use there? How did they set up that defense? Why did they position their player there? Take notes, try their strategies, fail, tweak, and try again. It’s like watching a speedrun – you can see the potential of what you can achieve, but it takes practice to get there.

Observing professional FIFA players can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Gain insight into how they respond to different scenarios
  • Learn how they use game mechanics to their advantage
  • Analyze their application of strategies
  • Learn new skill moves and tactics
  • Understand how they position their players
  • Gain inspiration and motivation to improve your own gameplay
  • Discover new ways to approach the game
  • Learn from their mistakes and successes
  • Get a sense of the depth and potential of the game

If you want to get better at FIFA on your console, consider watching and taking notes on skilled players’ strategies and tactics. Keep a notebook and pen handy while watching games, and jot down key ideas and techniques that are consistently effective. Analyze the mistakes of professional players and brainstorm ways to avoid similar errors in your own practice. Active observation and reflection can help you internalize new skills and strategies and ultimately improve your overall performance on the virtual field. So, instead of just sitting back and enjoying the show, take an active role in your own learning and development as a console gamer.

Let’s not forget the official EA FIFA esports website. It’s a treasure trove of high-level gameplay, and by digging through it, you can unearth tactics and strategies that even YouTube or Twitch might miss.

Embracing the Game: Enjoy FIFA

In the end, we play FIFA for the love of the game, just like we’ve always loved playing. I started playing FIFA because I wanted to experience the rush of scoring a goal, the thrill of executing a perfect defense, the satisfaction of outsmarting an opponent. As you get better at FIFA, never forget why you started playing in the first place.

No one becomes a FIFA pro overnight. But with practice, patience, and a gamer’s grit, you can improve your skills, climb the ranks, and maybe even start teaching others. It’s a journey, and every goal scored, every match won, every trick learned is a milestone. Embrace it, enjoy it, and game on!


In conclusion, FIFA is much more than just a game. It’s a universe where we live our football fantasies and connect with players worldwide. To get better at FIFA, it’s important to master defensive tactics, use fast defenders, contain, jockey, and slide tackle. On the attacking side, skill moves, through balls, player runs, and R1 AI press can help you unlock your opponent’s defense. Practice mode is your training ground to build muscle memory, correct mistakes, and increase awareness. Observing professional FIFA players can help you gain insight into their responses to different scenarios, their use of game mechanics, and their application of strategies. Here are the main points from this article:

  • FIFA is about strategy, skill, and a deep understanding of football tactics
  • Mastering defensive tactics is crucial for success in FIFA
  • Fast defenders are essential for effective defensive play
  • Skill moves, through balls, and R1 AI press are vital for unlocking your opponent’s defense
  • Practice mode is a crucial aspect of improving your FIFA skills
  • Observing professional FIFA players can help you learn new skills and strategies

So, what’s next?

What Next?

We always want our readers to take something actionable away from our articles. Here are five things you can do to improve your FIFA skills and stay on top of the game:

  • Practice, practice, practice. Dedicate time to building muscle memory, correcting mistakes, and improving your overall gameplay.
  • Watch professional FIFA players on YouTube, Twitch, or the official EA FIFA esports website. Analyze their strategies, learn new skills, and gain inspiration.
  • Mix up your attacking strategy. Don’t rely on the same tactics repeatedly, as your opponent will eventually catch on and find a way to defend against them.
  • Take advantage of FIFA’s Practice Mode to rehearse set pieces, practice finishing, and master advanced controls.
  • Slow down your gameplay. Playing at a slower pace can work to your advantage, as it allows you to draw defenders towards you and capitalize on their mistakes.

By taking these actionable steps, you can improve your FIFA skills and climb the ranks. Remember, it’s a journey, and every goal scored, every match won, every trick learned is a milestone.

So, what are you waiting for? Start practicing, start learning, and start winning!

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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