Whether you’re trying to take the step up from World Class to Legendary or from Division 1 to Elite, FIFA 22 tactics and formations are all about learning what works for you.
So, we’ve picked the brain of one of the best FIFA 22 players out there, West Ham Gaming and ePremier League star Alfie ‘AC Redlac’ Calder, to find out everything you need to know to help take your game to the next level.
Here’s Alfie’s advice on how to set your team up and dominate on the pitch:
The best FIFA 22 formation
The most used formations in FIFA 22 are 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 and the most popular, the 4-1-2-1-2 (2).
This formation helps casual players play at a higher level. This 4-1-2-1-2 formation is narrow, which means that there are a lot of players in the middle of the pitch, making it very congested. This slows your opponent down, but it is also a formation that lets you attack quickly, helping you catch opposition teams on the counter.
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Also in the 4-1-2-1-2 formation, the fullbacks push forward a lot. They provide your team with the width the formation lacks further up the pitch. They provide options in the final third to aid your attacks and make the opposing team’s fullbacks drift wide to mark them. This leaves more space in the middle of the pitch for your forwards to create chances. These flying fullbacks also get back into their defensive shape very quickly, so the defence isn't often left short on numbers.
FIFA 22 chemistry explained
It’s important to have as much chemistry in your team as you can. Switching formations in-game is a great way to get full chemistry and have all the players you want to use in the starting XI, even if they don't easily fit your preferred formation.
When you set up your team before a game, make sure it has as much chemistry as it can with what players you’d want to use. Choose the formation that links your players in the best way, in order to get 100 total chemistry and each player on a 10 individually, if possible.
Then head to Squad Actions, click Custom Tactics and edit the game plan of an in-game mentality you don't use often, for example Ultra Defensive. Here you can change the formation of your team to your preferred formation, like the much used 4-1-2-1-2 (2), and you can move your players into the positions you'd like to see them in-game.
Then in-game before kickoff, just press the D pad to whichever game plan you’ve edited to the updated formation and your players will switch into that formation, while still benefiting from the high chemistry of your initial pre-game set-up.
Also, in terms of players, it’s better to play a better player on 8 individual chemistry than a worse player on 10 chemistry. Playing players on any lower than an 8 gets a bit shaky, however. Using a player on a 7 or lower chemistry seems to negatively affect their performance in-game.
The best FIFA 22 tactics
Your in-game tactics help turn defeats into wins, and wins into defeats very quickly. Here’s what we suggest to use with the 4-1-2-1-2 (2) formation:
- Defensive style: Balanced
- Width: 40
- Depth: 65
- Build up play: Fast build-up
- Chance creation: Direct passing
- Width: 45
- Players in box: 6
- Corners: 1
- Free kicks: 1
Set pieces can win or lose you games. For corners and free kicks, it’s best to turn the amount of players in the box down low in custom tactics. It’s easy to get caught on the counter attack from these situations. EA has also changed how they work in-game, meaning you score from them less than earlier in the game’s cycle.
Why you need a plan B in FIFA 22
It’s also very helpful to have another option if your initial tactic isn't working. If you’re starting with a fast but small striker, then being able to bring a tall, strong and fast striker coming off the bench can help swing the game in your favour.
Alfie uses the Player Moments Calvert-Lewin and Headliners Vinicius Jr off the bench to change things up, and both have scored important goals for him. Calvert-Lewin, for example, may feel clunkier than some other strikers, but he's quick in a straight line and has good shooting, heading and jumping, meaning he gives defenses a different sort of problem in clutch moments late on.
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FIFA 22 tips you need to know
Having your team set up in the right way is only half the battle, as those minutes on the pitch are where it counts. Here is some advice from Alfie about how to approach the 90 virtual minutes.
At the start of this FIFA cycle, the driven pass [RB+A] was the most overpowered pass in the game. EA did nerf this pass, and while it’s still a good tool to use, using the ball is all about picking the right pass at the right moment.
In some situations a normal A pass is perfect. You won't have a lot of time to think when attacking through on goal, so deciding which pass is most appropriate - from the normal pass, driven pass and the through ball - is key. Sometimes the driven pass will lock onto a player you aren’t aiming to pass to, so be careful with it. It is still a very useful move when trying to push toward goal, but it is less accurate than at the start of the game, so remember that a simple ground pass is sometimes the best option.
Another key move in this FIFA is the extra pass in the box. Defenders block shots at a very high rate so you need to be patient to wait for space to open up in the box. Sometimes, even in a 2v1 situation, patience is important, as the lone defender will often block the passing lane. You might even need to slow down the attack or bring the ball back towards your own goal to open up space or give the opponent a chance to make a mistake.
Patience is also needed when moving with the ball. Choosing to walk with the ball is useful in certain moments, so don't sprint with the ball all the time. Sprinting is for attacking into space or pushing at defenders, but in crowded areas your player will take bigger touches and you might lose possession. If you slow your players down, you will have more time to decide what you want to do next.
Walking with the ball means you’ve more control, meaning agile players will be able to bait a defender into getting too close or making a challenge, allowing you to get past them easier. Skill moves can also be very effective while walking, for example simply pressing LB to stop the ball still. When the defender comes towards your player, a skill or a sprint boost can help you beat them.
Player pressing is one of the most useful tools you can use when defending. If you hold RB when defending, one of your AI-controlled players will close down the opposition player with the ball. Using this effectively can help you squeeze players and trap them into areas where they’ll likely lose the ball. Defending with just the player you are controlling means that the forward is always essentially going to be playing in a one-v-one situation. Off the ball pressing turns defensive situations in your favour.
Players can’t press like this indefinitely though. It works in a similar way to sprinting, tiring your players if you activate it a lot, so pick your moments to use it.
Player switching is important in defensive moments, also. Use the right analogue to swap players as well as the left bumper, which is standard. The small, grey triangle above one of your AI-controlled players indicates that you’ll swap to this player if you press the left bumper, in the same way it shows which player will press if you use off the ball pressing in that moment.
Using the analogue stick can help you swap to players the game is not indicating and can save you important moments in the final third to get your players in the right positions to shut down attacks.
Having a few skills up your sleeve is a game-changer. Learning skill moves to the point where they become instinctive in-game may take a long time, but they’re most effective when you don't have to think about how to execute them. Here are a few Alfie recommends trying out:
- Roulette (Right) - Roll right analogue stick clockwise from bottom to right
- Roulette (Left) - Roll right analogue stick anticlockwise from bottom to left
- Scoop Turn Fake - Tap shoot then pass, hold left analogue stick up diagonally, flick to other side
- Elastico Roll - Right analogue stick from the bottom right to left
- Reverse Elastico Roll - Right analogue stick from the bottom left to right
Only top-rated skillers can do the more effective skill moves, so look out for the players in your team who have 4 or 5 star skills, before trying to pull them out in-game.
Don't overlook the player traits your stars have. Goalkeepers with the Saves with Legs trait can often be very reliable in between the sticks, and offensively, players with the Finesse Shot trait can score some incredible goals, curling in from outside the box. Look out for players with Power Header from corners or Power Free Kick when shooting from distance. Utilise the player’s traits in-game and they could help you score and save more!