Improve your results against friends and climb through the Divisions of Online Seasons Mode by following these 5 steps to become an Elite level FIFA player:
1. Identify the team which compliments your own style
There is no reason at all to choose Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona in every single game, just because they have the highest-rated players. It can be far more effective to find your own team(s) which suits the way which you want to play the game.
There are many interesting teams which are worth experimenting with until you find the one(s) for you. Here is a recommended list of teams which will allow you to keep competitive but offer unique and contrasting styles -
Paris Saint Germain,
Each with their own unique skill-sets which could work for your game whether that be counter-attacking, possession football or a more direct approach. A psychological or emotive attachment to a player or team can also be effective as you look to re-create that in the game.
2. Don't underestimate formations and systems
It can be easy at times to rush this preparation before the match in anticipation of the start. But it is crucial that you establish a system around the team you have chosen which you execute with the long-term in mind.
Identify the most dangerous and favourable areas of your team and build the structure which catalyses that.
A midfield pairing to dominate the game, a dangerous player in between the lines. A potent or pacey striker to get in behind. Whichever it is, set your team up to play to that strength.
4231 - looks to use the number ten as the creator
433 - allows the extra central-midfielder for more control and focuses on the wingers
352 - defensive stability with a more direct threat
Again, it is down to you to experiment until you find what you are comfortable with and what offers the greatest consistency rather than short term impact.
Make subtle adjustments to individual player positioning by moving him more in-field or more advanced. Custom tactics are an excellent way to fine tune your system.
Against friends, who you know excel at certain skills or play a certain style, build your team to prevent their strengths from flourishing and exposing you with your tactics and structure. Alternatively, if you can identify their own weaknesses, set up to damage their own lack of preparation.
3. Learn how to defend properly
If you defend respectably and do not get exposed easily, the quality of chances you concede will be poorer and the quantity fewer. Therefore, in the long-term you will not concede as many goals, giving you a stronger chance of winning games.
You need to analyse what it is you are good at defensively, and what you struggle with. Then you need to decide on a defensive approach which suits those positive attributes and implement it efficiently.
Defensive game plans include:
Aggressive approach - Direct and physical, tackling hard and giving away free-kicks early in the move to disrupt rhythm and flow. Keeping the fouls as far away from goal as possible.
Deep block structure - This relates to your formation and system along with custom tactics. Reducing the space in behind to kill the potential goal threat. It requires patience, concentration and long-periods without the ball.
Pressing - A more open and dynamic approach. Higher up the field, pressing the defenders playing out from the back, looking to win the ball in key areas before their attack can develop. Works with a fluid front-line but leaves back four vulnerable if the press is breached.
You need to be one step ahead and in a cohesive movement, predicting the next pass to be on top of the player as the ball arrives to stifle his options.
4. Don't look to score outrageous goals so frequently
Yes, we love to re-create magic moments and score world class, 40-yard goals playing FIFA - that's what it's all about. But shooting from distance at every half chance is not going to make you an Elite FIFA player.
Probability in real-life football, as in the FIFA 18 game shows that creating high-quality chances is more important than taking lots of low-quality location shots. Adapting your mentality with regards to shot locations even just slightly will eventually lead to an improvement in your output.
When statistics show 10 shots to 5 shots, what they fail to deliver is the chance quality. And despite your 6 shots from 30-yards plus, you have not played as well as the opponent who has shot less, but from the danger area, where there is a greater probability of conversion.
FIFA, just like professional football doesn't always go how it should, but over the long-term, this approach will see you win more matches.
So find a way to probe with attacking structure and fluency and refrain from those long-distance hopers a little less often.
FIFA myth-busted - Sweaty goals are not a negative
When a player executes a 'sweaty goal' they will be abused and frowned upon. However, the truth is that it is a criticism built out of pure 'banter' and frustration at conceding.
If you look at the structure of a 'sweaty goal', the player who scores it, in fact, has every right to, because they have opened up the opposition to such an extent that they have created a perfect overload to score the opportunity.
Also. if the keeper is brought out and the angle is closed down, then why on earth would you take that chance on when there is an increasingly smaller chance of finishing the chance.
Elite FIFA players will take opportunity of every sweaty situation and in fact look for them as a sign of accomplishment in ripping an opponent's defence to shreds.
5. Keep composed and Implement game-management
FIFA in general has a tendency to be one of the most frustrating games of all time. When you are playing well but can't convert and are given a sucker-punch late on. Or conceding an early, sloppy goal is another hugely annoying situation.
The key is to stay calm and relaxed on the loading up to the game. Turn your phone over, music off and visualise your preparation for the match - otherwise you will lose focus and mistakes will inevitably follow.
If you concede an early goal, do not panic, or change your plan. Just get back to what you know, have prepared for and do best.
The moment you rush things, you are out of control and always on the back foot.
Game-management is another key trait you need to use. In a tight game, when you're ahead, knowing how-to close it off to get the result over the line. Relaxing under the pressure, making clever fouls to slow the game down, keeping the ball in the right areas.
You will need to apply all of these if you want to have success in the higher divisions where the competition increases.