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Find out how to defend and attack in FIFA 22 using D-Pad Tactics and see how the different strategies will help you get better at the game.

When you’re playing a match, you have the ability to activate attacking and defending D-Pad Tactics.

  • On PlayStation and Xbox: Pressing up on the D-Pad will display tactics related to attacking play. Pressing down will display tactics centered around defensive play.
  • On PC and Stadia: Pressing the up and down arrows will display the attacking and defending D-Pad Tactics, respectively.

Press up or down for a menu of four options to display. This lets you then press any direction on the D-Pad to activate the accompanying tactic, as listed below. You can mix and match any of the D-Pad Tactics to best suit your play style and preference.

Know that when you activate a D-Pad Tactic it will remain in effect, where relevant, until you turn it off.* To deactivate a D-Pad Tactic, you have to perform the same input used to activate it in the first place. When playing with a keyboard, you can use the arrow keys to perform the functions above.

* The two D-Pad Tactics that can’t or don’t need to be deactivated are:

  • Offside Trap - This is performed instantly, so it can’t be deactivated.
  • Team Press - This can be deactivated by using the same inputs as it takes to activate it. This can be a good thing to do once your opponent has broken through midfield because it can: 
    • stop defenders from pressing high and leaving space behind that your opponent can exploit
    • prevent the timer from running down all the way, which lets you use Team Press again without having to wait for it to recharge.

Get In The Box (D-Pad up → D-Pad up)

This tactic maximizes the amount of players that will try to get inside the box when you’re in a crossing situation. Get In The Box can have a significant impact on your attacking play, but keep in mind that it could leave you exposed to counter attacks when losing possession.

Attacking Full Backs (D-Pad up → D-Pad left)

This tactic results in your Full Backs moving to a more advanced position until you lose possession. They push forward similarly to how a Wing Back can push forward in some five defender formations.

Having Attacking Full Backs can add extra width when you’re in control of the ball, leading to different attacking opportunities. Just keep in mind that Attacking Full Backs can leave a lot of space open behind them, meaning that you could get exposed to quick counter attacks down the wings.

Hug Sideline (D-Pad up → D-Pad right)

This tactic helps increase the width of your wide players, meaning that they’ll be more likely to play close to the sideline. Wide Players are Wingers (including Left and Right Midfielders), Full Backs, and Wing Backs.

Know that your players might already position themselves as wide as possible, depending on your formation and custom tactics.

Extra Attacker (D-Pad up → D-Pad down)

This tactic helps bolster your attack with an additional player. The Extra Attacker tactic considers the attacking attributes and instructions of your players before determining which player should act as the Extra Attacker.

It weighs these factors during player selection, meaning that it will try to follow your player instructions in most cases. For instance, if you have your CDM set to Stay Back When Attacking, it’s highly unlikely that they will be chosen as the Extra Attacker.

Striker Drop Back (D-Pad down → D-Pad up)

This tactic instructs your Striker to help your team out defensively by acting more like a midfielder. If you have more than one Striker in play, Striker Drop Back will consider defensive work rates and the marking attribute before selecting which player will drop back. 

The Striker Drop Back Tactic can reduce your offensive options, but the trade-off is that your team can have more defensive support.

Team Press (D-Pad down → D-Pad left)

This tactic encourages your AI-controlled teammates to apply heavy pressure to your opponent for up to 20 seconds, or until they lose possession.

When activating Team Press, keep in mind that there is a 100-second cooldown before it fully recharges. Note that if you use this tactic frequently, it will drain your team’s stamina.

Overload Ball Side (D-Pad down → D-Pad right)

This tactic encourages your team to play compactly in defense but will drain stamina quicker as a result. This can greatly reduce your team’s width. When Overload Ball Side is active, your team shape will try to shift towards the ball, potentially ignoring defensive Player Instructions and marked opposition players.

It can be beneficial for trying to control the middle area of your half, but it can leave you exposed to wide attacks.

Offside Trap (D-Pad down → D-Pad down)

This tactic tells your defenders to quickly push up as a unit, with the goal of catching an attacker offside. Be extra careful when triggering an Offside Trap though, using it at the wrong moment can often lead to easy breakaways for the attacker.

As mentioned before, this is a temporary tactic that does not need to be deactivated.

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