Football Manager 2024: Best formations & tactics

Franco Diaz
Football Manager 2024 logo

Whether you’re taking your first steps in Football Manager 2024 or you’re already an experienced manager, it’s always good to know which formations work best in the game. So, here’s a list of the best formations and tactics in Football Manager 2024.

The new Football Manager 2024 is underway, and if you’re thinking about taking your first steps in this new installment of the famous Sports Interactive franchise, in addition to learning about the new features or available platforms, you should know what the best formations and tactics are to make your team unbeatable in all competitions.

Every manager must first get to know their team and understand the positions they have and which ones need reinforcement with the best players or wonderkids. Once you are familiar with your squad, you can choose to work with a formation with wingers, three or five defenders, four midfielders, and many more variations.

Here is a comprehensive guide with the best formations and tactics in Football Manager 2024.

Best formations & tactics in FM24

In Football Manager 2024, after a thorough assessment of the players in your squad, the best thing you can do is go to the Tactics tab and create a primary tactic for your team to work on week by week and refine as the matches progress.

Manchester City default tactics in Football Manager 2024
On the Tactics tab, you can create your custom tactics with the best formations, philosophy, roles, and more.

Once the team has mastered a tactic, we suggest creating a secondary tactic and rotating between them as the matches progress. This way, you can take rival managers by surprise with a completely different formation and tactic than they expected.

Check out the best formations & tactics in Football Manager 2024.


If you have the right players to field three forwards in FM24, you should consider using the 4-2-1-3 or 4-3-3 formation with the Tiki Taka or Gegenpress tactics. Both formations and tactics work well, and you can opt to play with counter-attacking instructions or choose to dominate ball possession, much like Guardiola’s legendary Barcelona.

Players celebrating in Football Manager 24
The Gegenpress tactics will secure a lot of goal opportunities in FM24.

You can also make it work with the 4-1-1-3 formation for added midfield defensive presence. However, it’s crucial to have solid fullbacks as they play a significant role in the offense, either by making the initial pass for a counter-attack or consistently distributing the ball to the midfielders.


While the 4-2-4 formation isn’t very traditional to what football fans are familiar with, it’s highly effective in Football Manager 2024. When used with the TikiTaka tactic, this formation ensures at least three clear goal-scoring opportunities per match.

Whether you’re competing for promotion to the top tier or aiming to win the Champions League, you should try the 4-2-4 formation with the TikiTaka tactic for a few matches and see the quick results.

Football Manager 2024 players celebrating
Lead the match on ball possession and play an attractive football with the Tiki Taka tactic.


At first glimpse, the 5-3-2 formation may appear to be very defensive. However, using the Wing Play tactic, you can take advantage of the wing-backs to make them two additional attacking players. For this, it’s essential to have two wing-backs with good Stamina, Speed, and Passing ratings.

With this Wing Backs formation, you will also force the opposing team to play through the center of the field as the flanks will be well covered. Once again, the Positive mentality is almost perfect for this formation.


If you’re playing against a significantly superior opponent, we recommend forming two lines of 4 players and playing on the counterattack. With the 4-4-2 formation and the Counterattack tactic, you’ll have several opportunities to challenge even the toughest opponent.

For this formation, we recommend using the Counter mentality, as it’ll provide a balance between not losing possession quickly and causing the most damage to the opponent in each attack.

Finally, you should have a midfielder who can be present in both areas, recovering the ball and creating clear opportunities in the opponent’s area.

Players celebrating in Football Manager 24
Surprise big teams in Football Manager 2024 with the 4-4-2 Counterattack tactic.


The 3-4-3 formation is remarkably similar to the 5-3-2 formation but slightly more offensive, as the wing-backs become offensive wingers who also help in defense. For this, we also recommend using the Wing Play tactic, so you’ll need three full-backs with a lot of stamina to block any opposing counter-attacks.

Here, you can play around with the team instructions because having three forwards at your disposal opens up various tactical options, such as crossing the ball or making a direct shot on goal.

Regardless of the instruction you choose, since this is an offensive formation, we recommend using the Attacking mentality to focus on scoring as many goals as possible.

That’s all you need to know about the best formations and tactics in Football Manager 2024.

If you’re more of an EA FC 24 fan, be sure to check out our other related guides:

EA FC 24 Icons | EA FC 24 Heroes | Can you transfer FIFA Points to EA FC 24? | Does EA FC 24 have crossplay? | Best defenders in EA FC 24 | Best wingers in EA FC 24 | Best goalkeepers in EA FC 24 | Best young players in EA FC 24 | Fastest players in EA FC 24

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