FIFA Defending tutorial

FIFA defending tutorial

FIFA defending tutorial. How to defend in FIFA

Defence is just as important in FIFA as attacking. Become skilled at defending and you have a good chance of beating more experienced players or more importantly those with stronger teams. Our FIFA defending tutorial will help you improve.

Defending is about reading your opponent and anticipating. Look for patterns in your opponents play. Use tactics to help you if finding it hard to defend. Try a 5-2-1-2 or 4-5-1 for a bit to stop opponents breaking you down easily. Containing in FIFA 17 is same as in previous FIFAs but is not as effective as in 13 or 12. Have a look at the video we created covering points 6 and 7. How to defend crossing and corners. It is a must watch. Shown in section 6.

Here are the sections for Defending:

FIFA Controller settings



The key settings for defending are shown to the right. Number 1 is change autoswitching to Airballs. So you have to manually change players unless in the air when it picks the player the ball is heading for. 2 autoswitching move assistance means when you change to a player they keep moving slightly in the direction they were facing rather than simply stopping. 3 is analogue sprint also useful when defending because your player reacts to the amount you are pressing the left stick to move. Also make sure have tactical defending set for if you play offline to get used to the game online. Online it always uses tactical.

Then you need to know the defence buttons on your controller. By default classic settings are as shown here. If you use alternative all that changes are sliding tackle with Tackle/Push Pull.

There is also one IMPORTANT thing people don’t know about or use often in FIFA. You can change manually to a different player defensively by flicking the right stick in the direction of them. Sometimes you will curse as pressing the change player button switches to a player you didn’t want so you have to press it again until they are highlighted. Much quicker is flicking the right stick towards them, especially if defending a break away counter attack. Get used to using this as it helps a lot!

Reading your opponent in FIFA

This might be easy or hard depends on your opponent. Look for patterns and use the knowledge you learn on this page to stop them. Cover the next pass and players in space if a passer. Use jockeying if they use skills. Drop defenders and midfielders deeper if they like to do lob through balls. If they like to cross it have extra cover down your wings or force them inside. Once you get used to reading opponents you will improve your attacking play as it will help you learn how the best players defend. It is also a good idea to mix up your defensive style. So you could use a high pressure tactic and run at his players for a few minutes, then change to a more relaxed containing position. It is as useful as mixing up your attack.

How and when to tackle in FIFA

There are four main parts to tackling, 1. Lunging, 2. Push and pull, 3. The tackle, 4. The slide tackle.
If there is a gap between you and the player with the ball pressing tackle will actually make your player lunge at them with his leg. This is best when in front of a player running at you or if you are running towards the player from an angle and quite close. If too much of a gap your player will lunge at space and his leg will be stuck out meaning you can’t control him quickly again. Sometimes players do this themselves if you aren’t controlling them and it makes it easier for attackers to run round them.

If running along side a player or behind them you can use the push pull button to try knock them off the ball or pull their shirt. This is best used outside the box and mainly against wingers to put them off their cross. Can also be used to try stop players shooting but the animations of the game might mean you give away a free kick as you catch their shooting leg.

Go for a tackle as soon as your opponents foot touches the ball and it is about to leave their foot. They will have least control of it. You have to practice timing tackles and it always better to attempt them head on or diagonally to the player with the ball.

Sliding tackles are an art you should practice. In FIFA 16 they work even better than in any other FIFA because you can slide from the side and actually win the ball. You can use the left stick to curl your feet round a player to make a tackle. It is even more effective with better players. So if running along side press the left stick in same direction while pressing slide tackle and then curl the left stick round in the direction of their feet as if your foot is wrapping around the ball. Only try this if slightly ahead of your opponent. Otherwise slide tackling is more useful for cutting out passes. Look where the pass is and cut it out sliding in that direction. This can be effective just sliding in the way of a run. Make sure not last man we don’t recommend sliding in that situation or in the area. We know what the collision system can be like players will fall over and get a penalty.

How to contain in FIFA

Containing can be done manually using jockey LT/L1 in our image above and also hold RT/R2 for running jockey. Containing and jockeying means your player is tracking your opponent blocking his path and doesn’t tackle, he is trying to stop the run or pass and the player running towards goal. You have to move the left stick in the direction of your opponent to keep him contained. Containing can also be done automatically by you pressing the contain button. Shown as A or Circle above. Using this the computer controls where the player jockeys not you. So just hold it down and your defender will track the player with the ball. The contain button was very effective in FIFA13 but probably too much so was changed in FIFA14. Remains the same in FIFA16 players hold off. It is better to learn to manually jockey and use the Team Mate contain button. Shown as RB/R1 above. When you use team mate contain a different player to the one you are controlling goes towards the player with the ball to track and jockey them. Now you can move the player you are controlling nearer the person you think your opponent will pass to. In effect intercepting passes. Or if near the box you can move into an area which will block any shot. Explained more in the next section defending your area. Also you can use both the contain button and team mate press button at the same time with certain tactics to press heavy to win the ball back if losing. Explained in the final section pressing with many players.

How to defend your area in FIFA

Defending FIFA16
FIFA16 Defending

FIFA16 Defending 3

From jockeying player 1 we manually changed defender using right stick to flick it towards number 2. Then held Team mate contain to keep 1 jockeying. If his player on ball was facing box he should try a lob through ball to man running through. He would need to do that quick and if he did we would go for tackle or slide with our player 1. But he cuts inside so we move number 2 forward to edge of box to block a run or shot. Then switch manually to player 4 to approach the player with the ball.

So try team mate contain around edge of box and move players manually to cover the gaps in the middle. Don’t worry about balls to the wing we cover defending crossing next.

Player work rates in FIFA


FIFA 17 work rates are really important again. Makes a difference to your players as you attack and defend there will be gaps to exploit. A reason why in real life David Luiz runs forward out of defence. Defenders and Defensive midfielders with low attacking work rate and high defensive will do a more defensive job for your team helping you stay stronger defensively. If you attack and score lots this might not be a problem.

Using the offside trap in FIFA

The best way to catch teams offside is press up twice on your d-pad during the game to make your defence move up as one line. Only do this when the opponent is attacking and looking to play a through ball over the top. If you do press it make sure to use dpad again to select your preferred tactic in game. Here we have a video showing how to use it. Takes skill and practice however.

How to press with many players in FIFA


Ever wondered how players online can rush at you with lots of players!? This can be effective if chasing the game and need the ball back desperately but can leave you very exposed as there will be big gaps in your midfield and defence. To have more players rushing you need to set your team tactics in game to high pressure or team press. By default these are done using the d-pad DOWN and then LEFT for high pressure or UP and then DOWN for team pressing. We find high pressure much more effective for this as your players will run towards your opponents further up the pitch to get the ball back. Then rush the player you are controlling hold RT/R2 and aim the left stick towards the attacker or press the contain button. Usually more pressure if you run at him yourself as contain will hold off a little. At the same time as you are running towards him hold the Team Mate Contain button. Then you will have two players running towards the player with the ball. If you manually change player to somebody further away you can also then run them towards the player or into the space to cover the pass.

How to defend pace abuse in FIFA

Defending pace abuse is always going to be a problem in FIFA as once a fast striker has space there isn’t much you can do to stop them running into it. What you need to try and do is stop the pass in the first place. If that fails you need to quickly manually change to a deeper defensive player either a midfielder or defender. When controlling them move them back towards your goal covering open space. You can flick the right stick to change defending player don’t forget. Also you can use custom tactics to tell defenders to stay back. Or in FIFA set player instructions for them to stay back when attacking. By default the CBs are set to this but go to the RB and LB and change those before or during game. Will make a big difference. Look out for player work rates as above too. High attack work rate on a defender is not going to help you as much position wise.

Please share if usefulTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookDigg thisPin on PinterestShare on Reddit