FIFA fan Darren Cross returns with some basic attacking tips to help you hit the back of the net in FIFA 15.
I’m going to focus on attacking by looking at three vital parts of effective attacking play – dribbling, passing and shooting – and what you can do to create more chances and bag more goals. There’s no guaranteed way to score in FIFA 15, which is great and attacking play in general feels very varied and exciting this year, but the tips here are working well for me so hopefully they’ll help you find the net more often too.
Let’s start with one of my new favourite things to do – run with the ball.
Players are much more agile and responsive with the ball at their feet in FIFA 15, so it’s that bit easier to get past a marker and create space using a few simple but effective dribbling techniques. I’m taking players on in the final third of the pitch more in the new game than in any other version I can remember and – as well as being a very exciting way to play – it’s making a big difference to my attacks; I’m regularly creating good chances by dribbling past opponents and
Improved control over the ball definitely helps with dribbling, but for me the key is being able to read a defender’s movement. If you can spot where the defender is and where they’re likely to be in a second or two then it’s often possible to use their own momentum against them with a well-timed change of direction, a burst of pace or even a short but complete stop – especially if they press the ball aggressively or sprint into tackles.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to use the left stick on its own, so without holding down sprint at the same time, to sharply change direction just before the defender gets to you. Then, as soon as you’re facing the way you want to dribble, a quick burst of pace can often be enough to take you out of the defender’s path and into space. If you have lots of space to move into then you can hold down the sprint button and push the right stick in the direction you want to go to nudge the ball further ahead of you. That’s especially useful if you’re using a fast player who isn’t as physically strong as the defender, as you should be able to accelerate away quicker and avoid contact.
Another dribbling move I use regularly is the stop and go. Again this uses the defender’s momentum against him but instead of changing direction you completely stop for a very short space of time, just long enough for him to overshoot your run path slightly, before sprinting in the direction you were running originally. This change of pace is really effective against opponents who defend by trying to predict where you’re going with the ball, as that quick stop is often enough to throw their timing off and clear the way. To do it, hold LB or L1 on its own while running with the ball then, when the defender has moved past you, sprint into the space or use sprint and the right stick to push the ball into it.
I think it’s also worth having a couple of effective skill moves in your locker, too. I’m not the world’s best at skills but I find the Ball Roll to be really useful for quickly shifting the ball to dodge a tackle or beat a defender, and I use the Stop and Turn move to protect the ball while spinning past a defender and on to my player’s strong foot. The Ball Roll is a two-star move you can do by holding the right stick up or down when dribbling left or right, and you’ll need a four-star skills player to do the basic version of the Stop and Turn. Push the right stick the way you’re facing then flick it up or down to head in one of those directions. Both are really useful at the right times and will quickly become instinctive once you’ve used them a bit more.
Changing the pace of your passing is a good way to unlock a stubborn defence in FIFA 15, especially when the other team has plenty of numbers back behind the ball. Keeping the ball moving around your team with simple, patient passes while steadily trying to advance should encourage the opponent to come out and press eventually, which can leave gaps for you to play into, and I’ve found that using a faster passing style every so often can really help too.
Team-mates make smarter runs off the ball into space now, so it feels like there are more options when you have possession and that makes a faster passing game a little easier, especially if you’re using players with good passing attributes. Moving the ball quickly doesn’t give your opponent much time to settle into position, so they can end up chasing the play and that usually leads to spaces opening up somewhere. Play the way you’re facing to keep the ball moving at a good pace, use low-power through balls to play short passes to team-mates making runs around you and look for one-twos, especially with your strikers. A quick one-two between your front players will often bring a centre-back out of the back line, leaving a gap for you to receive the ball back in a dangerous area.
Switching between the two passing styles will make you less predictable and much tougher to defend against. Just be aware of not advancing too quickly when using a faster passing style. For example, if you spot a striker up front on his own and rush a pass to him then he’s going to be isolated with defenders all around him. Unless he’s quick and has space behind the defence to move into, it’s better to pass elsewhere and give your forward a chance to get support before looking for him again.
There’s a lot more variety to shooting in FIFA 15 and goalkeepers are definitely better, so finding the back of the net can be a bit more challenging, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances.
Getting the basics right consistently will make a big difference, so always check out your strikers to see which foot they’re dominant with and whether or not they have a good weak foot rating. Where possible, try to work the ball on to their strongest side for the best chance to score and be careful with power and direction. FIFA 14 was perhaps more forgiving with over-powering shots, but in my first ten games of 15 I was regularly launching the ball over the bar or hitting it wildly wide because I was striking it way too hard or from the wrong angles. Since then I’ve had more joy going for less power generally when close in, and concentrating on accuracy rather than flash outside-of-the-boot finishes.
That said the ball does fly really well and I have seen some worldies so far – both for and against me – so I don’t want to discourage speculative efforts completely, but when I need to score in the last minute of a game or any other situation when it really counts, I go for less power and more accuracy.
When one-on-one with the keeper I find that moving the ball a little to the left or right just before shooting can help to create more of a gap to aim for, because the keeper may need to re-position slightly. GKs are more responsive and reactive so it’s definitely not a guaranteed way to score by any means, but a Ball Roll or small nudge of the left stick followed by a quick, well-aimed shot can be effective. I also really like trying to take the keeper on using the right stick to burst past him, or by faking a shot then bursting past, which you can do by powering up with the shoot button and cancelling with short pass. For these two the idea is to use the GK’s momentum in coming out to the ball to create space for you to dribble into.
Finally for shooting, expect more rebounds. Goalkeepers tend to get their hands to more shots, so be ready to react with a nearby player once you’ve had an initial attempt on goal.