Playing Styles

Aim: to choose, and begin to implement, a playing style according to how you want your team as a whole to play.

A playing style can be created by combining a core style, an attacking style and a defensive style. You can therefore choose and implement a playing style by choosing and implementing each of these individually.

At this stage you need only implement a basic core style, attacking style and defensive style.

UI:

  • Tactics > Overview tab
    • Team Mentality drop-down
      • Enables you to set a basic core style.
    • In Possession panel > team Passing Directness slider
      • Enables you to set a basic attacking style.
    • Out Of Possession panel > team Pressing Intensity slider
      • Enables you to set a basic defensive style.

You can complete your playing style later with other team instructions (shown on the In Possession, In Transition and Out Of Possession panels), and player roles and duties (shown on the Formation graphic).

Further details:

Core Style

Choose one of the following:

  • 1) I want my team to play attacking football – your team will take a high risk approach by proactively creating space, penetrating space and restricting space in more advanced areas while applying more pressure to the opposition team, therefore forcing mistakes from opposition players. The directness of build-up play is increased as it develops, with your more defensive-minded players making shorter passes to your more attack-minded players.
    • To implement – select the Positive team mentality to implement attacking football to a moderate extent or the Attacking team mentality to implement it to a large extent.
      • Alternatively, select the Control Possession (Positive), Gegenpress (Positive) or Tiki-Taka (Positive) preset tactic.
  • 2) I want my team to play defensive football – your team will take a low risk approach by patiently keeping possession, retaining solidity, protecting space and retaining compactness in deeper areas while inviting more pressure from the opposition team, therefore allowing available space to open up behind opposition players which can then be penetrated. The directness of build-up play is decreased as it develops, with your more defensive-minded players making longer passes to your more attack-minded players.
    • To implement – select the Cautious team mentality to implement defensive football to a moderate extent or the Defensive team mentality to implement it to a large extent.
      • Alternatively, select the Route One (Cautious), Direct Counter-Attack (Cautious), Catenaccio (Defensive) or Park the Bus (Defensive) preset tactic.
  • 3) I want my team to play a balance or mixture of attacking football and defensive football.
    • To implement – select the Balanced team mentality.
      • Alternatively, select the Vertical Tiki-Taka or Wing Play preset tactic. The Fluid Counter-Attack (Cautious) preset tactic also mixes aspects of attacking football and cautious football in its team instructions.

Tips for making your choice:

  • Try to choose a core style that is suitable for your team.
  • If you are unsure then just choose a balance or mixture.
  • Go to Team Report > Comparison tab and view the Physical, Mental and Technical tabs. Assess your team’s attributes relative to the grey bars that show your league’s averages.
    • On Physical tick Defenders and Midfielders only.
      • For attacking football – look for relatively high Acceleration and Pace.
      • For defensive football – look for relatively high Jumping Reach and Strength.
    • On Physical tick Midfielders and Strikers only.
      • For defensive football – look for relatively high Acceleration and Pace.
    • On Mental tick Defenders, Midfielders and Strikers only.
      • For attacking football – look for relatively high Flair and Vision.
    • On Technical tick Defenders, Midfielders and Strikers only.
      • For attacking football – look for relatively high non-set piece attributes (all attributes except Corners, Free Kick Taking, Long Throws and Penalties).
  • You can review the attributes of all of your players from Squad > Players tab by either clicking individual players or selecting an Attributes view from the View drop-down at the top-left of the screen. You can filter by playing positions using the Filter drop-down at the top-right of the screen.
    • Select the Attributes > Physical view and tick the Attackers and Central filters.
      • For defensive football – look for a central attacker who has relatively high Jumping Reach and Strength, as well as, preferably, fairly high First Touch (click on him to view this). Such a player is more likely to suit a Hold Up Ball player instruction when you choose player roles and duties later.

Further details:

Attacking Style

Choose one of the following:

  • 1) I want my team to attack with direct plays attacking – when in possession your team will directly penetrate space, mainly creating space by using physical power and forcing defensive mistakes from opposition players.
    • To implement – set the team Passing Directness slider to Slightly More Direct Passing to implement direct plays attacking to a small extent, More Direct Passing to implement it to a moderate extent, Much More Direct Passing to implement it to a large extent or Extremely Direct Passing to implement it to a very large extent.
      • Alternatively, select the Wing Play (Slightly More Direct Passing), Route One (Extremely Direct Passing), Direct Counter-Attack (More Direct Passing) or Catenaccio (More Direct Passing) preset tactic.
  • 2) I want my team to attack with short plays attacking – when in possession your team will carefully penetrate space and keep possession by cycling possession, mainly creating space by drawing players out of position.
    • To implement – set the team Passing Directness slider to Slightly Shorter Passing to implement short plays attacking to a small extent, Shorter Passing to implement it to a moderate extent or Much Shorter Passing to implement it to a large extent. The Play Out Of Defence team instruction has a similar effect but only for defenders.
      • Alternatively, select the Control Possession (Shorter Passing), Gegenpress (Play Out Of Defence), Tiki-Taka (Much Shorter Passing) or Vertical Tiki-Taka (Shorter Passing) preset tactic.
  • 3) I want my team to attack with a balance or mixture of direct plays attacking and short plays attacking.
    • To implement – set the team Passing Directness slider to Standard.
      • Alternatively, select the Park the Bus preset tactic. The Fluid Counter-Attack (Shorter Passing) preset tactic also mixes aspects of direct plays attacking and short plays attacking in its team instructions.

Your team will play direct attacking football if you combine direct plays attacking with attacking football – your team will focus even more on penetrating space and forcing defensive mistakes than with standard attacking football and will proactively create space by using physical power.

Your team will play long ball football if you combine direct plays attacking with defensive football – your team will focus more on penetrating space than with standard defensive football and will be less reliant on allowing available space to open up behind opposition players due to creating space by using physical power and forcing defensive mistakes – preset tactics include Route One, Direct Counter-Attack and Catenaccio.

Your team will play pass and move football if you combine short plays attacking with attacking football – your team will focus more on keeping possession than with standard attacking football and will proactively create space by drawing players out of position – preset tactics include Control Possession, Gegenpress and Tiki-Taka.

Your team will play possession football if you combine short plays attacking with defensive football – your team will focus even more on inviting pressure and allowing available space to open up behind opposition players than with standard defensive football by cycling possession to encourage opposition players forward.

Tips for making your choice:

  • Try to choose an attacking style that is suitable for your team.
  • If you are unsure then just choose a balance or mixture.
  • Go to Team Report > Comparison tab and view the Physical, Mental and Technical tabs. Assess your team’s attributes relative to the grey bars that show your league’s averages.
    • On Physical tick Midfielders and Strikers only.
      • For direct plays attacking – look for relatively high Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Pace, Stamina and Strength.
    • On Mental tick Midfielders and Strikers only.
      • For direct plays attacking – look for relatively high Aggression, Bravery and Work Rate.
      • For short plays attacking – look for relatively high Anticipation, Concentration, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Teamwork and Vision.
    • On Technical tick Midfielders and Strikers only.
      • For direct plays attacking – look for relatively high Crossing, Dribbling and Heading.
      • For short plays attacking – look for relatively high First Touch, Passing and Technique.
  • You can review the attributes of all of your players from Squad > Players tab by either clicking individual players or selecting an Attributes view from the View drop-down at the top-left of the screen. You can filter by playing positions using the Filter drop-down at the top-right of the screen.

Further details:

Defensive Style

Choose one of the following:

  • 1) I want my team to defend with aggressive defending – when out of possession your team will aggressively restrict space in more advanced areas by applying more defensive pressure, therefore forcing attacking mistakes from opposition players which can enable quicker winning of possession, more frequent counter attacks, high pressure counter attacks and more time spent in possession.
    • To implement – set the team Pressing Intensity slider to Slightly More Urgent to implement aggressive defending to a small extent, More Urgent to implement it to a moderate extent, Much More Urgent to implement it to a large extent or Extremely Urgent to implement it to a very large extent.
      • Alternatively, select the Control Possession (More Urgent), Gegenpress (Extremely Urgent), Tiki-Taka (Extremely Urgent), Vertical Tiki-Taka (Extremely Urgent), Wing Play (More Urgent), Fluid Counter-Attack (More Urgent) or Direct Counter-Attack (More Urgent) preset tactic.
  • 2) I want my team to defend with cautious defending – when out of possession your team will cautiously protect space and retain compactness in deeper areas by inviting more attacking pressure from the opposition team, therefore allowing available space to open up behind opposition players for counter attacks from deep after waiting to win possession.
    • To implement – set the team Pressing Intensity slider to Slightly Less Urgent to implement cautious defending to a small extent, Less Urgent to implement it to a moderate extent or Much Less Urgent to implement it to a large extent.
      • Alternatively, select the Catenaccio (Less Urgent) or Park the Bus (Less Urgent) preset tactic.
  • 3) I want my team to defend with a balance or mixture of aggressive defending and cautious defending.
    • To implement – set the team Pressing Intensity slider to Standard.
      • Alternatively, select the Route One preset tactic.

Your team will play high pressure football if you combine aggressive defending with attacking football – your team will focus even more on restricting space and forcing attacking mistakes than with standard attacking football and will spend more time proactively creating space and penetrating space due to spending more time in possession – preset tactics include Control Possession, Gegenpress and Tiki-Taka.

Your team will play aggressive defensive football if you combine aggressive defending with defensive football – your team will focus more on restricting space than with standard defensive football and will be able to more frequently penetrate the available space behind opposition players, with counter attacks in particular, after more quickly winning possession – preset tactics include Direct Counter-Attack.

Your team will play cautious attacking football if you combine cautious defending with attacking football – your team will focus more on protecting space than with standard attacking football and will be able to counter attack from deep to a greater extent after waiting to win possession.

Your team will play parking-the-bus football if you combine cautious defending with defensive football – your team will focus even more on inviting pressure and allowing available space to open up behind opposition players than with standard defensive football by waiting longer to win possession – preset tactics include Catenaccio and Park the Bus.

Tips for making your choice:

  • Try to choose a defensive style that is suitable for your team.
  • If you are unsure then just choose a balance or mixture.
  • Go to Team Report > Comparison tab and view the Physical, Mental and Technical tabs. Assess your team’s attributes relative to the grey bars that show your league’s averages.
    • On Physical tick Defenders and Midfielders only.
      • For aggressive defending – look for relatively high Acceleration, Pace and Stamina.
      • For cautious defending look for relatively high Jumping Reach and Strength.
    • On Mental tick Defenders and Midfielders only.
      • For aggressive defending – look for relatively high Aggression, Anticipation and Work Rate.
      • For cautious defending – look for relatively high Composure and Concentration.
    • On Technical tick Defenders and Midfielders only.
      • For aggressive defending – look for relatively high Tackling.
      • For cautious defending – look for relatively high Heading and Marking.
  • You can review the attributes of all of your players from Squad > Players tab by either clicking individual players or selecting an Attributes view from the View drop-down at the top-left of the screen. You can filter by playing positions using the Filter drop-down at the top-right of the screen.

Further details: