With FIFA 23 now released into the wild, the game's meta is getting firmly established and having the right formation is becoming increasingly important.


Luckily, RadioTimes.com has teamed up with pro FIFA coach NealGuides who will be using his vast FIFA knowledge to help take your gameplay skills to the next level and avoid all the usual match mistakes.

You can find FIFA expert NealGuides on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, as well as the Gamers Academy program where he provides coaching for budding FIFA players.

You can also find his words of wisdom below in this very article, so read on for top tips on the best formation to use and the tactics that complement it!

Best FIFA 23 formation

"The best formation in FIFA 23 currently is the 5-1-2-2," NealGuides tells us. "It's a new formation in this iteration of FIFA. But the reason why it's so powerful is, this year, with a 5-1-2-2, that one in front of the defenders is a CDM.

More like this

"There has never been a five-back formation with a CDM before. And the reason why this makes it effective is, not only are the wingbacks very effective when you're going forward, but now you have that CDM to cover when you're out of possession, or if the wingbacks are far up. And that's what's becoming more of the meta right now. And therefore, right now as it stands, it's probably the best formation in FIFA 23."

Best FIFA 23 tactics

FIFA 23 tactics courtesy of NealGuides.
FIFA 23 tactics courtesy of NealGuides. EA Sports

Formations and tactics go hand in hand, of course, and NealGuides sent over the tactics above to go with his favoured FIFA 23 formation - the aforementioned 5-1-2-2. Get those added to your gameplan and you won't regret it.

Tactics are a precise science, though, and you probably need to know the thinking behind them as well. With that in mind, NealGuides recommends checking out the video below that explains those tactical instructions in more detail.

Top FIFA 23 tips

Sharing his wisdom with us, NealGuides offered the following advice for players: "If I was to say three major top tips for someone who picks up FIFA 23 for the first time, the first one would be: do not run out with just centre-backs. A lot of new players tend to run out with their centre-backs and create massive holes in the back, and end up conceding. You're better off defending with your CDM and your midfield first, and using your defensive line as kind of a last-case resort, inside the box when you're defending.

"The second thing I would say is don't hold the run button. The run button, or the sprint button, is being held too much by players that are new to FIFA, because they think they need to run around. But when you run with the ball, not only did you push the ball away with each stride, it makes it difficult for you to take a touch, to manoeuvre into a space.

"It also stops you doing skill moves, because you can't do skill moves when you're running. But above all, the worst downside of the run button is left-stick dribbling. You can't left-stick dribble and run at the same time, and therefore a lot of new players, when they come to the game, they lose the ball - it's not necessarily because the players they're using are bad, it's because they use the run button too much. You should only use the run button if you're running onto a through ball, or if there is a ball in behind, or if there is clear and obvious space in front of you.

"The final tip would be: when you're passing inside FIFA 23, make sure you face a player before you pass the ball. From coaching many players, especially new players, one of the most common mistakes people make is that when they're making a pass to another player, they tend to not face them properly. If you do not face a player that you want to pass to, you'll end up misplacing the pass or the pass will go astray. So make sure you take a touch on your left analogue stick, you face a player, and then you make a pass to ensure and guarantee accuracy."

You can find more from NealGuides on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Gamers Academy.

Read more on FIFA:

Follow Radio Times Gaming on Twitter for all the latest insights. Or if you're looking for something to watch, see our TV Guide.

Visit our video game release schedule for all upcoming games on consoles. Swing by our hubs for more Gaming and Technology news.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.