Formations

Aim: to choose and set a formation that gives your team’s playing system a good structural basis.

UI:

  • Tactics > Overview tab
    • Formation drop-down
      • Enables you to set a formation. You can then drag the playing position icons on the Formation graphic to customise the formation if desired.

A selection of balanced formations for you to choose from is provided below. The formations are categorised according to how attacking or defensive they are (before other tactical instructions are taken into account). The formation names used here are those that are used in FM.

Balanced variations of some of the below formations can be created as follows:

  • A formation that has two MCs and no DMCs can be made slightly more defensive by dragging an MC down to DMC and keeping the MCs and DMCs in off-centre positions.
  • A formation that has two MCs and no AMCs can be made slightly more attacking by dragging an MC up to AMC and keeping the MCs and AMCs in off-centre positions, as long as there is also a DMC to keep central midfield balanced.
  • A formation that has two M(R/L)s can be made slightly more attacking by dragging an M(R/L) up to AM(R/L). A formation that has two AM(R/L)s can be made slightly more defensive in a similar manner.

Tips for making your choice:

  • Try to choose a formation for which you have good squad depth in each playing position.
    • Your assistant manager’s recommended formation (at the bottom of the Formation > Set To Formation drop-down) should have good squad depth.
    • To check your squad depth in different playing positions go to Team Report > Squad Depth tab and select Position Overview (Current Ability) from the Show drop-down. You can view your squad depth in more detail by selecting All (Current Ability) from the Show drop-down and choosing different formations from the Formation drop-down. The stars indicate the current abilities of your players in the relevant playing positions (based on the opinion of your assistant manager, or other coach if selected on the Opinion Of drop-down).
  • Any formation can be used with any playing style. However …
    • More attacking formations can help your team to apply more pressure (which can be useful for attacking football and aggressive pressing).
    • More defensive formations can help your team to invite more pressure (which can be useful for defensive football and containment).
    • … You may want to use a formation with two central attacker playing positions (an AMC and an STC, or two STCs) for direct plays.
    • … You may want to use a formation with wide partnerships (two players on each flank) for focusing play down the flanks.

Further details:

Extremely Attacking Formations

  • 4-2-4 Wide
    • 4 Ds / 2 MCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 2 STCs
  • 4-2-2-2 Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 2 MCs / 2 AMCs / 2 STCs
    • Select 4-2-4 Wide and drag the AM(R/L)s across to AMC

Very Attacking Formations

  • 4-2-3-1 Wide
    • 4 Ds / 2 MCs / 1 AMC / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 4-2-3-1 Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 2 MCs / 3 AMCs / 1 STC
  • 4-3-1-2 Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 3 MCs / 1 AMC / 2 STCs

Fairly Attacking Formations

  • 5-4-1 WB Wide
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 2 MCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 5-2-2-1 WB
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 2 MCs / 2 AMCs / 1 STC
  • 5-3-2 WB
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 3 MCs / 2 STC
  • 4-3-3 Wide
    • 4 Ds / 3 MCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
    • Select 4-1-4-1 DM Wide and drag the DMC up to MC
  • 4-3-2-1 Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 3 MCs / 2 AMCs / 1 STC
  • 4-4-2
    • 4 Ds / 4 Ms / 2 STCs
  • 4-4-2 Diamond Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 1 AMC / 2 STCs
  • 4-2-4 DM Wide
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 2 STCs
  • 4-2-2-2 DM AM Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 2 AMCs / 2 STCs

Neutral Formations

  • 5-3-1-1 WB
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 3 MCs / 1 AMC / 1 STC
    • Select 5-3-2 WB and drag an STC down to AMC then re-position the AMC and STC to centre
  • 5-1-2-2 DM WB
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 2 STCs
  • 4-4-1-1
    • 4 Ds / 4 Ms / 1 AMC / 1 STC
  • 4-1-4-1 DM Wide
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 4-1-2-3 DM AM Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 2 AMCs / 1 STC
  • 4-1-4-1 DM Asymmetric AM (R/L)
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 1 off-centre MC / 1 asymmetric M(R/L) / 1 off-centre AMC / 1 asymmetric AM(R/L) / 1 STC
  • 4-1-3-2 DM Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 3 MCs / 2 STCs
  • 4-2-3-1 DM AM Wide
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 1 AMC / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 4-2-3-1 DM AM Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 3 AMCs / 1 STC

Fairly Defensive Formations

  • 5-4-1 Diamond WB
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 1 AMC / 1 STC
  • 3-4-3 DM Wide
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 2 DMCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 3-4-2-1 DM AM
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 2 DMCs / 2 AMCs / 1 STC
  • 4-5-1
    • 4 Ds / 5 Ms / 1 STC
  • 4-1-3-1-1 DM AM Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 3 MCs / 1 AMC / 1 STC
  • 4-2-1-3 DM Wide
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 1 MC / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 4-2-2-2 DM
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 2 M(R/L)s / 2 STCs
  • 4-2-2-2 DM Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 2 MCs / 2 STCs

Very Defensive Formations

  • 5-1-3-1 DM WB
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 1 DMC / 3 MCs / 1 STC
  • 4-1-4-1 DM
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 4 Ms / 1 STC
  • 4-4-1-1 2DM
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 2 M(R/L)s / 1 AMC / 1 STC
  • 4-2-2-1-1 DM AM Narrow
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 2 MCs / 1 AMC / 1 STC
    • Select 4-4-1-1 2DM and drag the M(L/R)s across to MC

Extremely Defensive Formations

  • 3-4-2-1 DM
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 2 DMCs / 2 MCs / 1 STC
  • 4-2-3-1 DM
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 3 MCs / 1 STC