FIFA 20 Custom Tactics Guide – Creating Your Own Tactics, Tips

This guide explains all the basics of creating Custom Tactics in FIFA 20 so you can have your players performing even better.

This FIFA 20 Guide will help you understand how Custom Tactics actually work (defense and offense). That, however, is for later; for now, you should probably know what exactly Custom Tactics are.

FIFA 20 Custom Tactics

By this point, you’ve perhaps already made your team, comprised of some decent players with an adequate Chemistry Level and maybe you’ve already set up a formation that you believe will help raise your chances of victory.

You perhaps think that that’s all the setup you need to do and there’s nothing more – you would be wrong. On the most basic level, Custom Tactics essentially set up how your team plays and functions on the field.

You can set up how you want certain players in certain positions to act in certain situations: when should a defender leave his position to put pressure on the opposing player?

With Custom Tactics, you can set up just how you want the players – the ones you’re not controlling – to act when met with specific circumstances. To access the Custom Tactics screen, follow the process below:

Ultimate Team > Squads > Active Squads > Squad Actions > Tactics

Fortunately, you’re allowed to change these tactics whenever you choose, even before or during a match. To do so in that situation, you’ll need to follow a slightly different path:

Edit Lineup > Squad Actions > Tactics

You don’t have to worry about changing the configuration before every match, the game saves the latest configuration, so the team will function according to that.

One thing to note: whatever the tactic, your setup will have predictable or unforeseen consequences.

For example, by making your players more aggressive and forming a tactic where they put pressure on the other player to steal the ball will allow for more chances to possess it, but will also tire the players out more easily and frequently.

A tactic that may not work best in the long run. The best way to approach this is to test each tactic out and see whether the drawbacks are worth it or not.

Finally, before getting to the tactics themselves, it must be stated that FIFA 20, like its predecessor, has something called Dynamic Tactics.

It’s a system that lets players set up multiple tactics that can be changed before and during a game, allowing you to adjust to any situation on the fly.

But to reap the rewards of such a system, one needs to have a comprehensive understanding on just how the system actually functions, on a defensive and offensive level – something you’ll see just below.

Defense Custom Tactics

Custom Tactics can be divided into two main groups: Defense and Offense. We’re going to first look at the Defensive Custom Tactics, which can then be subdivided into 3 distinct areas: Defensive Style, Width, and Depth.

Defensive Style

This style determines exactly how aggressive your team is in regards to taking possession of the ball, and how it tackles the opposing team. This style can be adjusted with a slider, from 1 to 5. Each level drastically changes how the team functions.

Level 1
Also known as Drop Back; gives you less attacking options and your team adopts a more passive role, choosing to remain back and give your opponent more room.

Level 2
Also known as balanced. Your team’s shape remains neutral and attempts to bring the ball to the middle of the field.

Level 3
Also known as Pressure on Heavy Touch; the team remains in formation until an opportunity arises in which they can pressure the opponent.

An example of such opportunities is when the opposition takes a heavy touch, it’s a loose ball, or they are facing their own goal trying to control a difficult pass.

Level 4
Also known as Press after Possession Loss. If any of your team loses possession of the ball, the rest, for the span of 7 seconds, will attempt to regain possession. This will tire them out and will leave you open if the ball isn’t retrieved.

Level 5
Also known as Constant Pressure; your team will be very aggressive when up against the opposing team, doing everything they can to possess the ball. This will tire them out and will constantly break formation.

If your defense is strong, then perhaps Drop Back will be the most useful tactic, unless you find yourself losing and feel like a bit of risk is likely to even the playing fields – in that case, change to Constant Pressure and hope for the best.

Defensive Width

This determines how much your team will shift towards the ball side when it is defending. This style can be adjusted from levels 1 to 10.

Levels 1 to 3 (Narrow)
Players will be adjusted to cover center field, making it difficult for the opposing team to get through the middle, however, it’ll leave the sides wide open for the opposition wingers.

The remaining members of the team, however, will cover for that side, although the effectiveness of such a tactic is precarious.

Levels 4 to 7 (Normal)
The team is a bit more spread out, covering both narrow and wide but not particularly strong on either front. It’s a balanced tactic that covers all bases and doesn’t put pressure on any one side.

Levels 8 to 10 (Wide)
This tactic will cover the sides and defend against the opposition wingers, however, the center will be left vulnerable.

Certain teams focus on going through the center, for them, the Narrow tactic would work best; the Wide tactic is great against Wide formations. However, with everything in mind, it’s best to have a balanced build and change when it’s appropriate to do so.

Defensive Depth

This determines where on the pitch your team will begin to put pressure on the opposing team. This, like Defensive Width, can be adjusted from Level 1 to Level 10.

Levels 1 to 3 (Deep)
This tactic gives less space behind the backline for fast strikers to make runs and also lessens the chance for long balls.

However, it gives the opposing team more room to possess the ball and make long shots, and the opposing team will have difficulty getting through midfield.

Levels 4 to 7 (Medium)
This tactic keeps your team in the middle of the pitch, meaning they will defend while in the opponent’s half of the pitch, although they won’t go too far in.

Levels 8 to 10 (High)
This will leave your backline vulnerable and open to long balls, but your team will apply full pressure on the opponent’s half, with midfielders and fullbacks putting high pressure on the ball side.

This tactic makes it more likely for you to regain possession of the ball. It is best to keep it at Medium unless you have bad defenders, in which case it’s best to go deep.

Offense Custom Tactics

After Defense, we now turn to Offense, which can be subdivided into 5 categories: Offensive Style, Width, Players in a Box, Corners, and Free Kicks.

Offensive Style

This style essentially sets up the attacking speed of your team, the distance when passing, and how your teammates in the 1st two-thirds of the pitch will support the play; how your team gets the ball out of the defending area, and the way your team will run to receive the ball. It can be adjusted from Levels 1 to 4.

Level 1 (Possession)
Players, instead of going forward, they will play a bit more defensively. Players will pass the ball back and forth as part of a defensive play; the team will take longer to build up.

Level 2 (Balanced)
The team will not play fast or slow, they will patiently wait for an opportunity to make a play, meanwhile maintaining a defensive formation.

Level 3 (Long Ball)
Your team is set to make runs for long balls in the opposing backline. Players far away from the ball possessor will try to find space, whereas players closer to the possessor will try to anticipate the long ball and will attempt to seek out a knockdown.

Level 4 (Fast Build Up)
The opposite of Possession, players will aggressively move forward for a faster build-up but runs the risk of leaving you open for a counter play if you lose possession of the ball.

Possession will keep the team in a tight formation, making passing easier. Having a slider more to the right will have your players making longer passes, which runs the risk of falling short and allowing the opposing team to gain possession of it.

Fast Build Up is recommended for players who are quicker and know when to make a pass.

Offensive Width

Determines how far your players will be from one another when attacking. This can be adjusted on the slider from levels 1 to 10.

Levels 1 to 3 (Narrow)
Adopting a narrow tactic will have more of your players in the center of the field, allowing for shorter passes. However, if you lose possession of the ball, the opposing team will have access to the wings which will be wide open.

Levels 4 to 7 (Normal)
A more generic tactic that positions your players in a way that covers all side, with no emphasis being put anywhere. No real pressure on any side, but all your bases will be covered.

Levels 8 to 10 (Wide)
More of your players will be pushed to the sidelines, this will give you longer passing options, however, it will leave the middle of the field more open, which can be quite risky.

Offensive Width is very closely related to Offensive Style, so before determining the Width, look at what you’ve chosen as the Offensive Style and choose something in conjunction with that.

Players in Box

What this tactic sets up is how many of your players will, during a long run, go up to your opponent’s area, and how they’ll position themselves once they’re there; it also affects when your players will run into that area. This can be adjusted from levels 1 to 10.

Levels 1 to 3 (Low Amount)
When in the crossing zone, you’ll have fewer players (the Strikers, mainly) heading into the box; most of your players will remain outside the box and will patiently wait to make a forward run.

Levels 4 to 7 (Normal)
Some of your players, while in the crossing zone, will seek an opportunity to go into the box. More likely to enter as compared to levels 1 to 3.

Levels 8 to 10 (High Amount)
The exact opposite of Low Amount; many of your players will run into the box to make a forward run.

It will effectively get many people inside the box but if the ball leaves this area, possessed by someone of the opposing team, there won’t be much left to defend against that. Counterattacks are likely to make this tactic fall apart.

It would be advisable to remain in-between the two extremes, adjusting appropriately to match your play style.


This tactic determines just how many of your players will be inside the box when you’re going for a corner; and how they’ll position themselves once inside. The slider for this can be adjusted from levels 1 to 5.

Level 1 to 2 (Low Amount)
This is a more defensive approach – having fewer players in the opposing team’s penalty area. In case anything goes wrong and the opposing team possesses the ball, this will allow you to regain control.

Level 3 (Normal Amount)
Have a normal, safe amount of players in the penalty area aka the box.

Levels 4 to 5 (High Amount)
A more offensive approach where you have as many players in the penalty area as possible.

High Amount is a risky tactic, even though you’ll have a greater chance to finish, you’re susceptible to counter attacks which could lead to devastating results. Remain at the Normal Amount and adjust according to the situation at hand.

Free Kicks

Similar to Corners, this tactic determines how many of your players will be present in the opposing team’s area (box) – and how they’ll position themselves – when you’re going for a free kick.

And similarly to the previous one, the slider can be adjusted from levels 1 to 5.

Levels 1 to 2 (Low Amount)
A more defensive approach in which you have as few players as possible in the opposing’s team area.

Level 3 (Normal Amount)
Having a normal, safe amount of players in that area.

Levels 4 to 5 (High Amount)
Having as many players in the opposing team’s area as possible for the free-kick.

At a Low Amount, the strikers are the only ones who’ll get ahead, whereas, in the High Amount, you run the risk of a counterattack that you can’t do anything against.

Therefore, it’s best to have a normal amount and adjust according to whatever’s occurring on the field.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...