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The Backpage | FIFA 13 Using Custom Formations

In this week’s Backpage, football journalist and FIFA fan Darren Cross looks at how using a created formation can give you the edge in online and offline games of FIFA 13…

Last time you were here we looked at how to create your own corner routines and use them to your advantage. In case you missed it, have a look: http://www.ea.com/uk/news/fifa-13-create-custom-corners).

So this week I thought it’d be a good idea to stay on the custom theme by talking about created formations and why they’re worth using in FIFA 13. Having both a created formation and a bunch of custom corners at your disposal can really pay off, especially against human opposition, so the initial minimal time investment needed to make them will definitely prove to be worth it.

Using a custom formation allows you to play to your strengths. If you like more numbers behind the ball then move some midfielders further toward your own goal, or maybe you’d like your wingers as wide as possible with three strikers playing centrally? There are a ton of options so you’ll be able to find a team shape that best suits the way you want to play. Another advantage of making and using a created formation is that you’ll know exactly where your players will be at all times, because you told them to be there. You won’t have to check the radar to see where your players are positioned, which helps speed up your play and that can lead to more chances created and, ultimately, more goals.

Against human opposition a custom formation can give you an advantage before you’ve even kicked off. For example, I’m currently using a modified version of my 4-1-5 that I built in FIFA 12 (we’ll look at this in a sec), and lately I’ve gotten into the habit of not pressing the A button to skip the intro screens, so that my opponent gets the chance to see my line-up that includes five forwards. Because it’s still quite rare to face a custom formation in a game mode like Seasons – and especially one with five players up front – this will at least make the other player take notice. At this point he or she probably thinks that I know what I’m doing, since I’ve taken the time to build a formation, and they may even start questioning their own team shape. Are four defenders enough against five forwards?

In many games this has led to me taking the initiative from kick-off and scoring an early goal, which I’m sure had something to do with a nervy start from my opponents. It’s not just Sir Alex Ferguson that can play mind games, you can too.

So they’re just a few of the reasons why I think a custom formation can only be a good idea. The proof is in the results of course, so let’s have a look at those now.

Right, before giving my 4-1-5 a tweak and using it in FIFA 13 Seasons, I played seven games with my regular 4-1-2-1-2 Wide. Out of those seven games I won four and lost three, scoring 15 goals and conceding 12. Not great at all.

With the updated 4-1-5 I played seven games again, this time winning six and losing once. I scored 30 goals, conceded nine and had two players quit instantly after I bagged very early on. So in comparison I won more games, scored double the amount of goals and conceded less than when I was playing with the regular 4-1-2-1-2 Wide.

With numbers like that it’s safe to say that I’ll be sticking with the 4-1-5 from now on.

If you want to give it a go, have a look at this article I wrote on it: http://www.ea.com/uk/news/the-backpage-fifa12-4-1-5-anyone

There you’ll find a step-by-step explanation of how to create it, or any other formation you can dream up. If you do want to give the 4-1-5 a go then I think it’s a good idea to apply the same tweaks I have to update it for FIFA 13.

Firstly I moved my full-backs slightly closer to my own goal, as my opponents seemed to be regularly exploiting the space behind them. That seemed to do the trick. I also found that it’s a good idea to support the tactic with an attacking mentality (right twice on the D-Pad when the ball is in play). With the Balanced mentality it took a little too long to support counter attacks and I had big spaces between my midfield and forward line, so it was tough going.

Finally I’ve taken to selecting a CDM that has high Ball Control and Passing attributes, as losing possession cheaply when you’re the only player in midfield is generally considered to be a bad idea. I found that out the hard way in the one game I lost using the 4-1-5, which was a 4-1 thrashing.

I hope that’s made you want to have a go at building your own formation. If you create something amazing, please tweet me and I’ll share it with the rest of the community.

Darren
@Darren_Cross