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FIFA 14 Formations Guide – Tips, Tactics and Strategy


Improving on the gameplay is important but when it comes tactics, one can’t simply ignore them, especially when the opponent is using full use of different formations or custom tactics. Your initial formation and changes during the match can turn the tables in your favor even against a stronger opponent.

Many players ignore this fact and suffer the consequences. You should at least know the strengths and weaknesses of the formations you are using. This will help you create better chances using your more effective players. The type of formation you go with will also highly depend on the team you are playing with.

For more help on FIFA 14, read our Dribbling, Defending and Unlocks Guide.

Let’s discuss some of the common formations in FIFA 14 and their use.

FIFA 14 Formations

4-4-2 Formation
Although not many players use this formation these days, it’s still quite a handy formation to go with. I call it the universal formation. It can suite most of the play-styles. However, there are a few drawbacks like if you don’t have fast aggressive wingers, the RM or LM positions may not work good for you.

If you aren’t using “Organized Play” tactic, you will be prone to counter attacks more than usual.

To make your midfield more effective, I will recommend atleast one CDM for your central midfield. This way, you will be able to intercept the passes in midfield more than usual.

Formations With 3 Defenders
Traditionally, many teams use four defenders at the back by default. However, there are teams like Juventus which go with three defenders. Having 3 defenders can both be beneficial or harmful so you should be careful while choosing a build up with three men at the back.

It’s obvious that if you have three defenders, your wings would be exposed too much and if the opponent has the wing play strategy, you can be punished.

However, if you are good at keeping the possession and use the slow build up, you can dominate the game in the midfield using 3-5-2. Five players in the midfield will give you boost and when you find an opening, you can work the ball towards the attackers.

Other formations like 3-4-3 and 3-4-2-1 provide you more attacking options with being exposed to dangerous counter attacks. If you have very strong defenders at the back, then you may switch to these formations during the match, but I won’t recommend that you go with them throughout the match.

In 3-4-3, you will have the wingers (LW/RW) close to the sidelines while in case of 3-4-2-1, your RF and LF will be more focused on making plays through the center.

One effective way of using a formation with defenders is to start the match with this formation and try to be aggressive. Score a couple of goals (even one will do) and then switch back to more stable formation.

If the opponent cannot score in the first half, he will definitely go for attacking options in the second half, and afterwards you can punish him again with the counters. So, always try to understand the flow of the game and then make your decisions.

Formations with 5 Defenders
Playing 5 defenders may sound odd, but if you know its use, your defense can be a hard nut to crack and you can easily score goals too. The wing backs in these formations play crucial roles.

If you go ultra-attacking (using thumb pad), they will act as your wingers, and if you play as ultra defensive, they will reinforce the defense. So you can alter the mentality depending on your situation. If you are behind, go ultra attacking, and if you are in the lead, play ultra defensive.

One major flaw of this formation is that you will leave your midfield open as there will only be two or three midfielders depending on how many players you want up front.

Patience would be key while playing with these formations as if you take your defenders out of position to collect the ball from the midfield, your back line can be exposed.

Formations With a Single Striker
You will come across some players or teams by default with a single striker layout. There are different types of formations supporting the alone striker up front.

These formations generally give you better control overall, but if you aren’t good at making your chances count; you can struggle as you might not be able to create more chances with one striker ahead.

Those who like to play long balls or prefer possession play can use these formations quite effectively.

For instance, if you have a team like Real Madrid, Benzema should be sufficient up front while you try to reinforce the attack using your CAM and wingers.

Wingers like Ronaldo and Dimaria have potential of breaking through the defense fast so that can pose an additional threat to the opponent.

If you are using a CF behind the ST, you will have the option to move the CF around with more freedom while the ST waits ahead for the final ball. CAM does the similar job, but he will be more defensive than a CF.

Formations With 2 Strikers
If you want to keep two strikers up front, I will recommend you 4-1-2-1-2. To me, it’s one of the more stable formations in the entire game. When you play with a CDM and a CAM, you can be a potential threat without exposing too much at the back.

Two strikers up front definitely give more attacking options, but if you don’t have multiple top class strikers in your squad, I will recommend that you stick with one.

Other formations like 4-4-2, 3-5-2, etc. can also be used, but they have more chances of making back line exposed than 4-1-2-1-2.