Five Tips That Will Improve Your FIFA 21 Skills

Fifa 21 mbappe dribbling
Get better at FIFA 21 with some EarlyGame tips! (Image Credit: EA Sports)

FIFA 21 is here, and you've already played your first games, but for some reason, things are not working out that well? We provide you with 5 helpful FIFA 21 tips and tricks to help you get better.

The season has started. As every year, FIFA comes up with some gameplay innovations that have changed the way players should approach the game. We'll help you get used to FIFA 21 with five tips to improve your FIFA 21 skills.

EARLYGAME TIP: FIFA 21 offers many gameplay innovations and is hard to learn but with the Gamers Academy Skill Book you will become a FIFA pro in no time! Use the code "EarlyGame25" to receive a 25% discount!

Mastering FIFA 21 Defense

What good is scoring goals if you constantly concede? Offense wins matches, defense wins championships. Here are a few points to consider for your back line to improve.

For starters, always press and hold the L2 button on PlayStation 4 or the LT button on Xbox One when tackling. This will help your defenders to get a better grip on the ball and win it back easily. The combination of L2/LT and R2/RT (sprint) is also mandatory to keep up with the pacy FIFA 21 attackers you're likely to face.

Manual Defense Is a Must

You can leave all the defensive work to your CPU teammates, but that's not recommended at all. Try to take control of as much of defending as possible.

Don't Pull Out Center Backs

Never try to meet an opposing attacker with a center back away from the penalty area. This opens up deep gaps in your defense that can be easily exploited.

Bring the CDM Back

Having a defensive midfielder in your formation is basically a must in FIFA 21 as our formations guide shows. To keep your defensive line narrow, you should bring the CDM back to help deal with the pressure. He can also start a counter more efficiently in case you win the ball as a midfielder will generally have better passing stats than a defender.

Virgil van dijk
Virgil Van Dijk is the highest rated defender in FIFA 21. (Image Credit: EA Sports)

How to Score Goals in FIFA 21

Now that you've covered your back, it's time to think about your own offense. The good news is that the attacking game in FIFA 21 is much more diverse than in recent years. Whether through the middle of the pitch or over the wings, all forms of attack can be successful.

Finesse Shots

Finesse shots (R1/RB + shoot) from outside the penalty area are dangerous in FIFA 21, especially to the opposite corner. If the angle is right, your player is relatively free and the ball is on the strong foot (which doesn't matter for 5-Star Weak Foot players), just take a shot. You may be rewarded.

Attacks Through the Middle

If you decide to play through the middle, there are a few things you need to consider. Quick passing and the new Agile Dribbling (more on this later) are essential. In addition, your players should have high dribbling and passing stats to be able to play into the gap at exactly the right moment.

Send your players into the gap by pressing L1/LB and then play a deadly steep pass (triangle/Y key) at the right moment. This is also where the new Creative Runs come into play: if you move the right-hand analog stick, you can determine where your fellow player is going to go.

Attacks Through the Wings

When attacking via the wings, you usually have more space than in the crowded center. Obviously, pace is needed here, but it wouldn't hurt if your wingers are also good passers. Thanks to the revamped gameplay, curling in a cross is a useful option again. Of course, you can still try to cut inside, especially if your dude's strong foot is opposite of the flank he's playing on.

Learn the New Dribbling

Dribbling has always been important in FIFA. A player with high dribbling values can move faster with the ball, can take out enemy defenders with swift moves and is generally a bigger offensive threat. In FIFA 21 that rings twice as true.

There are various techniques that need to be mastered.

Strafe Dribbling

Strafe Dribbling is achieved by holding down L1 or LB and moving with the left analogue stick. That way your player moves more precisely in the tightest of spaces, which allows faster movements and changes of direction.

Agile Dribbling

New in FIFA 21 is the so-called Agile Dribbling, which is executed by holding down the R1 or RB key. It works similarly to Strafe Dribbling but, as the name suggests, puts more emphasis on agility. Agile Dribbling becomes more and more decisive the higher a player's skills are in the following categories:

  • Dribbling
  • Agility
  • Reactions
  • Ball Control

Contextual Agile Dribbling

Contextual Agile Dribbling is a setting that comes with the deal. It enables the game to perform Agile Dribbling for you when it deems the situation suitable. It is enabled by default, but can be turned off in the menu. We advise to keep it on in the beginning to get a feel for the new mechanic before doing it all by yourself.

Up Your FIFA 21 Passing Game

There are several ways to pass the ball in FIFA 21. Everyone knows short pass (X/A) and steep pass (triangle/Y), but there are much more effective variants.

For example, the double pass, which can break a defense in a second. Press L1/LB and the pass button at the same time, so that your players align with each other. The original passer starts a run and can be found again in a better position.

Lobs Are Effective

Lobs were gaining popularity at the end of FIFA 20 and are back stronger than ever in FIFA 21. All you have to do to execute them is to tap the corresponding key (i.e. X/A or triangle/Y) twice. Players usually take a bit longer to control such passes, so you must choose when to execute a lob.

Fifa 21 gameplay haaland
Dribbling is as important as ever in FIFA 21. (Image Credit: EA Sports)

What's Important in FIFA 21

We've gone over a lot, but what is it exactly that runs the FIFA 21 meta? It's speed that runs it! Ha, see what we did there? Anyway, here's what you should look for in your players:

  • The most important values for center backs are pace (min. 70), defense (duh) and physique.
  • The most important values for full backs are pace, defense and passing.
  • CDM/CM players should not be too slow (70+) and should have good defensive and passing stats.
  • On the wings: pace (90+ with chemistry style), shooting, passing and dribbling (90+) are decisive.
  • For strikers the most important values, besides pace (90+), are shooting and dribbling. If you like to bang in a cross or two you'd also want your strikers to have good grades in headers and jumping.

EARLYGAME TIP: There is a change in the goalkeeper Chemistry Styles in FIFA 21. Last year Basic was the best option, but in FIFA 21 you oughtta opt for Glove. Basic only gives +5 on all values this year (instead of +10 in FIFA 20). Glove improves the three most important values for goalkeepers by 5-10 points.

Stay with EarlyGame for more quality FIFA content. You can also check our YouTube channel for some visuals if reading's not your main thing.

Original article by EarlyGame's Philipp Briel.