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FIFA 23 custom tactics guide: Best formations & player instructions

Here’s a guide to the best FIFA 23 custom tactics and formations to implement so you can dominate Ultimate Team.

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FIFA 23 custom tactics guide

Finding the ideal custom tactics is vital to success in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team, especially if you’re looking to climb the ranks in FUT Champions and Division Rivals. Here are the best FIFA 23 custom tactics and player instructions to use in your next FUT match.

Optimizing your FIFA 23 Ultimate Team squad can take you to new heights. While buying more expensive promo players can improve the team on paper, using the right tactics is the only way to stay competitive in Division Rivals and FUT Champions.

In FIFA 23, EA Sports give players complete control of their tactical setup. With the proper tactics, formation, and player instructions to best suit your squad, you’ll notice a major improvement when it comes to your FUT results.

If you’re striving to dominate Ultimate Team in FIFA 23, then utilizing the best custom tactics is incredibly important, so here’s our guide on the best setups to use in 2023.

FIFA 23 tactics: Attacking settings

Putting in a defensive tackle that stops a scoring opportunity definitely comes with a lot of satisfaction, but in FIFA, there’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of moving up the pitch with the focus of getting the ball in the back of the net.

There are plenty of ways to attack in FIFA 23 and you can set your team up to align with your preferred style of play. Whether you prefer to emulate Manchester City‘s possession-heavy brand of football or Liverpool’s heavy metal direct play, there’s a style for every type of player.

FIFA 23 offensive tactics
Tuning tactics can give you a real advantage in FIFA 23.

Build up play

  • Balanced: The team will maintain formation and structure. Players will only support and make runs when they think it’s the right time to do so. The team does not build play particularly fast or slow.
  • Slow Build Up: Less forward runs involved and more of a methodical approach. This tactic emphasizes a short passing game with a slower build-up.
  • Long Ball: Forwards will be ready for direct balls to be played behind the opposing back line. This attacking style often skips the midfield and flourishes with fast players who have excellent positioning.
  • Fast Build Up: The quickest way to move your team up the pitch and into direct scoring positions. High risk and high reward strategy that could leave you open to counterattack.

Chance creation

  • Balanced: Similar to Build Up play, a balanced approach for chance creation is neither fast nor slow when it comes to creating opportunities.
  • Possession: This tactic strengthens a short passing game to patiently wait for the chance to attack, but will rarely provide runs penetrating the opposing defensive line.
  • Direct Passing: Once the team enters the attacking zone while in possession, players will create chances by making runs for passes into space behind the opposing back line.
  • Forward Runs: This tactic pushes players forward deep into attacking areas, but if you lose possession of the ball you could find yourself open to a counterattack.

FIFA 23 tactics: Defending settings

The first thing you’ll have to consider when setting up your defensive tactics is the positioning of your back line. If your defensive line is equipped with a ton of pace, you could get away with playing a high line and applying maximum pressure on the opposing team.

If you’re not keen on leaving too much space between your defenders and goalkeeper then you can set your width and depth to be a little deeper. In addition, you’ll pair this positioning with one of the defensive styles below.

Keep in mind that your width and depth should correlate with a defensive style. For example, it would be counterintuitive to set up a high line only to enforce the Drop Back tactic on defense.

FIFA 23 Defensive Tactics
Having the right defensive setup is just as important as the attacking tactics.
  • Width/Depth slider: With this slide, players can set the positioning of their defensive line. A high line is great for attacking but leaves you open to balls in behind, whereas a deep line is ideal for when you’re defending a lead.
  • Drop Back: This tactic will preserve your team shape and will offer your opponents more possession. Provides fewer attacking options when you do pick up the ball, but can frustrate your opponents.
  • Balanced: A balanced style where your team presses the ball to the middle of the pitch and your team’s shape is neutral.
  • Pressure on Heavy Touch: Your team preserves its shape until the opportunity to pressure appears. When the opposition creates a loose ball or has trouble controlling a difficult pass your players will pounce.
  • Press After Possession Loss: After your team loses possession of the ball, your teammates will press the ball for approximately 7 seconds. This style is taxing on stamina and could leave you exposed if you don’t win the ball back right away.
  • Constant Pressure: This tactic will constantly apply high pressure on opposing players but it drains your stamina the most.

Best FIFA 23 formations for Ultimate Team

This year, the 5-1-2-2 formation has taken FIFA 23 by storm. Top players are implementing the formation with much success. For the first time, a formation with five at the back allows you to field a CDM to cover the middle of the pitch while your wingbacks soar up the field.

Of course, the 5-1-2-2 formation relies on the quality of your LWB and RWB as these two will be the key players in this setup, and a solid midfield capable of breaking up play.

Here are the best custom tactics and player instructions you’ll be able to implement in FIFA 23, with a few formations we think you should test.

FIFA 23 best formations
FIFA 23 has plenty of formations to choose from, so here are some of the best.

Best FIFA 23 custom tactics for 5-1-2-2

  • LWB: Join the attack, Overlap
  • RWB: Join the attack, Overlap
  • CDM: Cover center, Stay back while attacking
  • LCM: Stick to Position, Balanced
  • RCM: Stick to Position, Balanced
  • LST: Balanced Width, Mixed Attack
  • RST: Stay forward

Defensive tactics

  • Defensive Style: Balanced
  • Width: 48
  • Depth: 62

Offensive tactics

  • Build Up Play: Long ball
  • Chance Creation: Direct passing
  • Width: 53
  • Players In Box: 50 / Half
  • Corners and Free Kicks: 1 bar

Best FIFA 23 custom tactics for 4-3-2-1

  • Left-back: Stay back while attacking
  • Right-back: Stay back while attacking
  • CM: Cover center, Stay back while attacking
  • LCM & RCM: Cover center, Balanced
  • CF & CF: Stay Central, Get in behind
  • ST: Stay forward, Get in behind

Defensive tactics

  • Defensive Style: Balanced
  • Width: 40
  • Depth: 50

Offensive tactics

  • Build Up Play: Long ball
  • Chance Creation: Direct passing
  • Width: 35
  • Players In Box: 50
  • Corners and Free Kicks: 2 bars

Best FIFA 23 custom tactics for 4-2-3-1

Player instructions

  • Left-back: Stay back while attacking
  • Right-back: Stay back while attacking
  • CDMs: Cover center on both, Stay back while attacking on one, Balanced on the other
  • CAM: Stay forward, Get into the box for crosses
  • ST: Stay forward, Get in behind

Defensive tactics

  • Defensive Style: Balanced
  • Width: 35
  • Depth: 55

Offensive tactics

  • Build Up Play: Direct Passing
  • Chance Creation: Forward Runs
  • Width: 40
  • Players In Box: 70
  • Corners and Free Kicks: 2 bars

Best FIFA 23 custom tactics for 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow)

Player instructions

  • Left-back: Stay back while attacking
  • Right-back: Stay back while attacking
  • CDM: Cover center, Stay back while attacking
  • CMs: Get into the box for crosses, Get forward
  • CAM: Stay forward
  • ST: Stay forward, Get in behind

Defensive tactics

  • Defensive Style: Balanced
  • Width: 40
  • Depth: 50

Offensive tactics

  • Build Up Play: Balanced
  • Chance Creation: Forward Runs
  • Width: 40
  • Players In Box: 70
  • Corners and Free Kicks: 2 bars

Best FIFA 23 custom tactics for 4-2-2-2

Player instructions

  • Left-back: Stay back while attacking
  • Right-back: Stay back while attacking
  • CDMs: Cover center, Stay back while attacking
  • CAMs: Stay forward, Get into the box for cross
  • ST: Stay forward, Get in behind

Defensive tactics

  • Defensive Style: Balanced
  • Depth: 50

Offensive tactics

  • Build Up Play: Fast build up
  • Chance Creation: Forward Runs
  • Width: 40
  • Players In Box: 50
  • Corners and Free Kicks: 2 bars

Best FIFA 23 custom tactics for 4-4-2

Player instructions

  • Left-back: Stay back while attacking
  • Right-back: Stay back while attacking
  • LM & RM: Cut inside, Get in behind
  • CMs: Cover center, One on Stay Back while attacking, One on balanced
  • ST: Stay forward, Get in behind

Defensive tactics

  • Defensive Style: Balanced
  • Width: 40
  • Depth: 50

Offensive tactics

  • Build Up Play: Balanced
  • Chance Creation: Balanced
  • Width: 50
  • Players In Box: 50
  • Corners and Free Kicks: 2 bars

For more on FIFA 23, be sure to check out our other guides:

How to get free Twitch Prime Gaming pack in FIFA 23 | Best wingers in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team | Best midfielders in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team | Best strikers in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team | Best goalkeepers in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team | Best defenders in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team

Image Credit: EA Sports