We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

FIFA 23 tactics guide

Whether you’re going for the Champions League trophy in career mode or want another win in the book in Ultimate Team, our FIFA 23 tactics guide is here to help.

FIFA 23 tactics: a crowd of footballers in ablue and black kit walk onto a pith, some clapping, one waving, with the sponsor EA SPORTS emblazoned on their bellies.

FIFA 23 tactics may seem natural to any seasoned player. You hop on, switch to one of your favourite formations, build a team around it, set up set-piece takers, captain, pressing manoeuvres, high back lines, and team press orders, then bob’s your uncle. Time to play some footy.

But what if you’re new? Or maybe you just fancy a change? We’ve got an encyclopedic list of all the different tactical options in FIFA 23 below, so you can plan your team wherever you are in the world. We’ve got more help to, in the form of our FIFA 23 ratings, FIFA 23 crossplay, and FIFA 23 Switch guides.

FIFA 23 formations list

Below, all our personal picks for the best FIFA 23 formations are in bold. If you don’t know your way around all these numbers, the one on the left denotes the number of defenders, the furthest right the number of attackers, and the ones in-between are midfielders.

  • 3-1-4-2
  • 3-4-1-2
  • 3-4-2-1
  • 3-4-3 diamond
  • 3-4-3 flat
  • 3-5-1-1
  • 3-5-2
  • 4-1-2-1-2 narrow
  • 4-1-2-1-2 wide
  • 4-1-3-2
  • 4-1-4-1
  • 4-2-2-2
  • 4-2-3-1 narrow
  • 4-2-3-1 wide
  • 4-2-4
  • 4-3-1-2
  • 4-3-2-1
  • 4-3-3 attack
  • 4-3-3 defend
  • 4-3-3 false 9
  • 4-3-3 flat
  • 4-3-3 holding
  • 4-4-1-1 attack
  • 4-4-1-1 midfield
  • 4-4-2 flat
  • 4-4-2 holding
  • 4-5-1 attack
  • 4-5-1 flat
  • 5-2-1-2
  • 5-2-3
  • 5-3-2
  • 5-4-1 diamond
  • 5-4-1 flat
YouTube Thumbnail

FIFA 23 offence tactics

Alongside the below FIFA 23 tactics for offence, you can also change the width of your attackers and how many players you want to throw into the box. As a general rule, formations with lone strikers can benefit from more players in the box, and vice versa.

Build-up play

Name Description
Balanced Build-up to an attack in a variety of ways
Slow build-up Build-up slowly, focusing on possession
Long ball Send it from the back to the front in one big punt (get tall players!)
Fast build-up Build-up quickly, good for counterattacks

Chance creation

Name Description
Balanced Create chances in various ways
Possession Focus on keeping the ball
Direct Passing Keep passes straight and clear
Forward Runs Use through balls and lobbed through balls to get past the opponents back line

Four football managers looking thoughtful in a huddle on the a football pitch. I recognise Steven Gerrard, Conti, and Pep Guardiola.

FIFA 23 defence tactics

Alongside the below FIFA 23 tactics for defending, you can also change your defensive lines depth. A deeper line makes catching the enemy offside harder, but keeps everything more solid, especially against a pacier team. A higher line is great for attacking and creating an offside trap, but any player with speed can catch your line off-guard and break through easily.

As a general rule, the more your defenders press, the more stamina they use. The list below is in ascending order of stamina usage (constant pressure uses tonnes of stamina).

Name Description
Balanced Defend in a variety of ways
Pressure on heavy touch Hassle opponent when they control the ball clumsily
Press after possession loss Hassle opponent when they lose the ball
Constant Pressure Hassle opponents constantly

FIFA 23 tacticsl Three footballers in pink and purple kits

FIFA 23 player instructions explained

In the FIFA 23 tactics menu, you can give individual players specific instructions. This can seem incredibly complicated to any new player. Below are the categories which can be changed and the positions they apply to.

  • Attacking runs (RB/LB/RWB/LWB/ST/CF/RF/LF/RW/LW)
  • Attacking support (CB/CM/CAM/CDM)
  • Chance creation (RM/LM/RW/LW)
  • Defensive behaviour (CDM)
  • Defensive position (CM/CAM/CDM)
  • Defensive support (ST/CF/RF/LF/RW/LW)
  • Interceptions (all)
  • Position freedom (CM/CAM/CDM)
  • Run type (RB/LB/RWB/LWB)
  • Support on crosses (CM/CAM/CDM/LM/RM/LW/RW)
  • Support runs (LM/RM/LW/RW/ST/CF/LF/RF)
  • Saving on crosses (GK)
  • Saving outside box (GK)

For the majority of these, the player instructions are pretty self-explanatory. Most often, there’s an attacking option, defensive option, and a balanced option, all with specific names. Match players to the sort of game you want to play, and where you want to play it.

For example, if your striker is a proficient passer and long-shotter, you can make him a false 9, while making your wing backs and wingers push up higher, funnelling attacks down the wing, instead of the middle. This is just one example, but it’s best to experiment against the AI and see what works for your style of play.

There you have it, all the FIFA 23 tactics tools to become a master of the pitch. For more, check out our FIFA 23 OTW, FIFA 23 Pro Clubs, and FIFA 23 Ultimate Team guides. Or, for some new tech joy, check out our best portable gaming consoles guide.