Many people underestimate the role of tactics in FIFA. True, victory often comes down to who the more skilled player is, but winning is almost as dependent on tactics and strategy as it is on the player’s ability. Instead of just listing the best FIFA 22 formations down, I will also give you a basic explanation of how they work. I will discuss the setup as well as the individual player instructions.
The Solid 4-4-2 (Holding)
The 4-4-2 is one of the most common formations used at the professional esports level. This is because it provides defensive stability as well as attacking prowess going forwards. The back four have support from the two central defensive midfielders in front of them. You should instruct one of these to stay back while attacking. The fullbacks should be set to a balanced attack, although if you struggle with counter-attacks, you can instruct one of them to stay back while attacking. The two wide midfielders will provide sufficient width and create chances for the two strikers up front. This formation works best if you have two world-class strikers in your team who are too good to be kept on the bench. Thanks to the stability it provides along with quick transitional plays, it’s easy to see why the 4-4-2 is among the best FIFA 22 formations.
The Dynamic 4-2-2-2
The 4-2-2-2 is another one of my favorite ways to set up the team. The back 4 will operate more or less the same way with the fullbacks set up for a balanced attack. The 2 defensive midfielders in front of the defense will provide considerable cover against opposition attacks. Set at least one of them to always stay back while attacking.
Now up front is where the real fun is. Unlike the 4-4-2, where the 2 attacking midfielders were up wide, in the 4-2-2-2, these 2 are more central. This creates a lot of intricate, quick passing options with the two strikers upfront and can be a deadly setup if your game revolves around quick and short passes. Consider a team like PSG, with options like Neymar, Messi, Mbappe, and di Maria. With Mbappe and Messi upfront and Neymar and di Maria as the two attacking mids, this is an attack to be reckoned with, having speed, skill, vision, and finishing ability. In this scenario, Mbappe should be instructed to make runs behind the opposition defense to make the best use of his electric pace. Other instructions can be tweaked to your liking based on your preferred playstyle.
Slice through with 4-3-2-1
Another solid formation is the 4-3-2-1. One of the fullbacks should stay back while attacking. The central mid should also stay back while attacking and cover the center. One of the other attacking midfielders should make runs into the box to finish crosses. The other should be a long shot specialist and be instructed to stay on the edge of the box accordingly. Both should cover the wide areas while defending. Coming to the front 3, the finisher on the right side should preferably be a left-footed player, while the one on the left side should be a right-footed player. This allows them to curl in devastating shots from the edge of the box. Like the other formations, the central striker should be instructed to make runs in behind. The goal-scoring potential of this setup makes it a must-have in your arsenal of best FIFA 22 formations.
Create Triangles with 4-1-2-1-2
Next up is the 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow setup. As there are no wide midfielders or wingers in this formation, it is the responsibility of the two fullbacks to provide the width in attack. Therefore, in addition to setting them up for a balanced attack (one can stay back if you have trouble with counter-attacks), their runs should be set to overlap instead of balanced or inverted. This will ensure that they run wide behind the opposition defense, creating overloads in the attack. The CDM should be instructed to stay back while attacking and cover the center. The two CMs should be tasked with staying wide and covering wide areas in defense. The creative burden will be on the lone CAM to create chances for the two main men up front. The quicker one of these two should be set up to make runs in behind for a devastating through ball.
Dictate the Tempo with 4-3-3
Finally, we have the classic 4-3-3. This is not only popular in FIFA these days but also in world football. Set at least one of your fullbacks and the CDM to stay back while attacking. As the lone pivot, the CDM will have plenty of passing options, including the two CMs in front of him. At least one of these should be a creative maestro like de bruyne, able to put some dangerous through balls into the pacey wingers in front. I recommend setting both wingers to cut inside and try to curl shots into the far post. Like the other formations, try to get a pacey striker to make runs behind the defense. The presence of players all over the field easily makes this one of the best FIFA 22 formations.
Two Contrasting Tactical Styles
While I have added the recommended custom tactics to each formation in the attached photos, some players may want to use different settings depending on their play style. Let’s consider the two main styles.
High Press and Possession
If you like to score a lot of goals and don’t mind conceding a few in the process, you should look for a high-pressing system to win back the ball high up the field and create numerical advantages in the attacking half. For this, set your defensive style to Pressure on heavy touch (an extreme option would be Constant Pressure, but I don’t recommend this as it depletes stamina very quickly). Increase the depth to at least 65-70, and keep the width at 45. Set build-up play to balanced, and chance creation to possession. Adjust the attacking width to 55. Be prepared for opponent counter-attacks with this setup, though!
For counter-attack-based teams, set defensive style to balanced, and width and depth to 40. This will ensure that your players don’t over-commit to the ball. Instead they will stay behind the ball, thus preventing opponent counter-attacks. Set the build-up play to fast build-up and chance creation to forward runs. The attacking width should be around 60. These settings will guarantee that once you win back the ball, your players will quickly complete the transition from defense to attack to create devastating chances on the break.
At the end of the day, different players have different approaches and it will come down to your own preference. Whether you are just getting started in Ultimate Team, a long time player further looking to climb up the division, or even just looking to play friendlies with your friends, these formations will definitely help you out. Try the above mentioned setups and see which one works for you. You can even try cycling through different formations and tactics mid-match to target your opponent’s weaknesses and come out on top.