FIFA 23 Defending Tips – How to Defend in FIFA

FIFA 23 Defending

Defence is crucial in FIFA 23, especially when playing online multiplayer matches. Here, we’ll go through defending essentials and strategies in order to help you improve your defence skills in FIFA 23 game.

Master the Controls

First off, you need to know the controls and buttons used in FIFA 23 in order to be a good defender. Here is the list of basic and essential defending buttons and controls that you need to get familiar with when playing FIFA 23:


Action PlayStation Controls Xbox Controls
Change Player L1 LB
Change Player (Manual) R + Direction R + Direction
Icon Switching R R
Tackle / Push or Pull (when chasing) B
Hard Tackle ◯ Press and Hold B Press and Hold
Instant Hard Tackle R1 + ◯ RB + ◯
Sliding Tackle X
Hard/Clearance Slide Tackle R1 + ▢ RB + X
Hard Tackle (VOLTA FOOTBALL only) X
Clearance B
Technical Clearance R1 + ◯ R1 + B
Shoulder Challenge / Sealout
Contain X Press and Hold A Press and Hold
Teammate Contain R1 Press and Hold RB Press and Hold
Running Jockey L2 + R2 Hold Down LT + RT Hold Down
Pull and Hold (when chasing) ◯ Press and Hold B Press and Hold
Quick Get Up (after slide tackle) X
Engage Shielding Opponent L2 + L Towards Shielding Dribbler LT + L Towards Shielding Dribbler
Rush Goalkeeper Out △ Press and Hold Y Press and Hold
Goalkeeper Cross Intercept △ + △ Press and Hold Y + Y Press and Hold

Your Best Squad

When assembling your squad, try to select the best available defenders in your club for your starting 11. The overall rating of your defenders says everything about them. Don’t forget that DEF (defending attribute), tackling, PAC (pace), HEA (heading), and PHY (physicality) are the key traits for a defensive player. As for your defensive line, select four or five of your finest defenders with the highest rating; for your CB spots, select defenders with higher heading and tackling ratings. If you’re looking for an LB/RB, look for someone that can tackle well and has a lot of speed. Additionally, the pace attribute is one of the most important attributes for a defender.

Remember that your midfielders can also help your defenders. So, picking midfielders with high DEF attributes will also strengthen your defence. Having one or two CDMs in your starting eleven, or at least on the bench, would be a good idea.

Check out the complete list of FIFA 23 defenders sorted by their Ratings here:

Best Formation

The number of defenders in your team matters, but what matters more is how you manage your defence when your opponent is attacking. To avoid conceding goals, you had better engage all of your players in defending and winning the ball back. Depending on your tactics and strategies, you should plan your defence once the ball is with your opponent. Your chosen formation will play an important role in such a situation.

For example, 4-1-3-2, 4-3-1-2, or 5-3-2 are suggested as defensive formations, as these ones are more dynamic to switch between defence and attack mode. But again, you need to find your own best formation.

Check out the complete list of all formations in FIFA 23. Pay close attention to the written descriptions of each formation and its counter formations. Check out which ones are best for your squad and players, especially if you’re playing FUT matches.

Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

Once you build up your squad, you need to see how it works and where your weaknesses are. Go and play offline and online matches. As for online games, it is recommended to play unranked or friendly matches for that purpose.

Pay attention to your flaws and the ways in which you concede goals. Whether it’s a direct shot or a header from a cross, the goal is to identify and close the gaps in your defence. Determine what causes you to receive goals: is it a simple error or a problem with your defending abilities?  Write them down and make a checklist of them so you can go through them and fix them one by one. That is a key point for improving your defensive skills.

Win Man-to-Man Battles

Try to master every single man-to-man battle you will face. Block your opponent’s dribbling with short tackles and do slide tackles only when you are sure that you’re going to touch the ball and not your opponent’s legs.

It’s crucial to be patient. You do not need to be stressed or puzzled if your opponent’s attackers are rushing to your goal with more players than your defenders. The only thing that would help at that point is your capacity to handle the circumstance. Give your opponent a hard time, perplex them, and limit their options. Remember that time is of the essence, and you must buy time in order to thwart their attacks. Focus on man-to-man battles and short tackles to ball players, as well as blocking off ball players. 

Do your best to enlist the help of your teammates. You may need to just control other players and go to a guy who is off the ball but in a better scoring position. Sometimes, you actually don’t need to do anything. Remember, the CPU AI is controlling your defenders all the time, and sometimes it’s doing a better job than you would! So if you leave them to do the defending by themselves, you might end up with a better outcome.

Win One-on-One Situations

If you happened to have a striker running on the ball towards your goal with only your goalkeeper, you should be able to manage the situation to prevent a goal. The best way to deal with such a situation is to make your opponent confused. As the attacker runs out of time (since most probably your defenders are running back to him), it would be a good solution to make him not come up with a decision. How? Maybe you can bring your goalie forward, but this method doesn’t always work, because the striker can score an easy goal with a simple cheap shot. So, the point is to make the striker unsure of what he is going to do.

I personally bring my goalie halfway out to make the attacker confused. Most of the time, it works. I rush the keeper out of his line, but not too far from the goal post, so my opponent assumes I’m going to bring him all the way down to his legs, so he chooses between a long shot or a cheap shot – neither of which is usually successful because the goalie isn’t far from the goal and has the control.

Comments (2)

2 thoughts on “FIFA 23 Defending Tips – How to Defend in FIFA

  1. Hi.
    Why everytine i play my oponent bocks all of my players on attacking, or goalkeeper kick off. How to do that as when they come on attacking my defending are all disordered, and they scoar easy.

    Thanks in advance

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