FIFA 21 best custom tactics, formations & players instructions
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FIFA 21 best custom tactics, formations & player instructions

Published: 4/Feb/2021 14:05 Updated: 4/Feb/2021 14:07

by David Purcell

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The meta is always changing in FIFA 21, and that means it’s important for players to keep up to date with the latest and greatest custom tactics, formations, and player instructions. Here are some of the best ones available now that will help you secure more wins.

FIFA 21’s meta has evolved quite a bit since its launch back in October 2020. But while everyone has their preferences regarding custom tactics, some have been tried and tested and will almost certainly give players an advantage.

There are some familiar bread-and-butter custom tactics and formations that have survived the test of time. However, they’ve been tweaked and refined throughout the season to make them even better. Plus, some new ones have proven to be effective too.

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So, let’s take a look at what those custom tactics and formations are and why they’re so good in the current meta – as of February, 2021. If you’re looking for something fresh, you might even find one that better suits your playstyle.

Mbappe is one player that may have dipped in FIFA 21 so far.
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There’s nothing worse than losing on FIFA 21, so why not give some of these meta formations a crack?

FIFA 21 custom tactics guide

FIFA 21 custom tactics for 4-2-3-1

The 4-2-3-1 formation is a classic, and it was a powerhouse in the early meta. However, it’s remained strong throughout the season and has gotten even better. It’s a well-rounded formation that suits all playstyles, with a good balance of attack and defense.

If you want to make the most of it, though, you’ll want to apply some player instructions to make it even better. First, it’s important to set the RB and LB to Stay Back White Attacking. That way, they won’t over-commit and drag themselves out of position.

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Next, set your CDMs to Cut Passing Lanes, Stay Back While Attacking, and Cover Centre. Again, it will bolster your defensive capabilities, but it won’t weaken your attack. If anything, it will open up more opportunities for a counter-attack once they intercept the ball.

FIFA 21 Custom Formations Meta
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The 4-2-3-1 formation has been one of the most popular choices in FIFA 21.

Defending

  • Defensive Style: Balanced
  • Width: 5 bars
  • Depth: 4 bars

Attacking

  • Offensive Style: Fast Build Up
  • Width: 5 bars
  • Players in the box: 5 bars
  • Corners: 3 bars
  • Free kicks: 1 bar

FIFA 21 custom tactics for 4-4-2

The 4-4-2 is another classic formation, but it’s proven to be as good as ever in the current meta. It’s a rigid system that will keep your defense in nice shape, but it can be explosive in the right hands.

However, to make the most of it, you’ll want to set your RB and LB to Stay Back While Attacking. It’s become the standard in a lot of meta formations, and for a good reason. There’s nothing worse than finding yourself in a situation where they’ve overcommitted and left you vulnerable.

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Next, set your CMs to Cover Center and Stay On Edge Of Box For Cross. It sounds trivial, but this will help them keep things neat and tidy in the midfield and provide better attacking and defensive options.

Last but not least, set your goalkeeper to Comes For Crosses and Sweeper Keeper. It’s optional and not as important as the other player instructions. However, it’s an extra tool that will help prevent cheesy goals.

FIFA 21 Custom Formations Meta
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4-4-2 has been a staple formation for years and suits players with many different styles.

Defending

  • Defensive Style: Pressure On Heavy Touch
  • Width: 5 bars
  • Depth: 6 bars

Attacking

  • Offensive Style: Long Ball
  • Width: 4 bars
  • Players in the box: 5 bars
  • Corners: 3 bars
  • Free kicks: 1 bar

FIFA 21 custom tactics for 4-2-2-2

The 4-2-2-2 is less conventional than others, but it’s a good choice for players with a more attacking play style. It gives you plenty of options upfront without compromising too much in defense.

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Again, to make the most of it, set your RB and LB to Stay Back White Attacking. This time, however, set them on Conservative Interceptions as well. It will help them do an even better job of holding the fort.

Once you’ve done that, set your CDMs to Cut Passing Lanes, Aggressive Interceptions, and Cover Centre. It will add more gusto to your already lethal attack and keep your opponent on their toes. 

FIFA 21 Custom Formations Meta
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4-2-2-2 is an excellent choice for players who like to attack.

Defending

  • Defensive Style: Pressure On Heavy Touch
  • Width: 5 bars
  • Depth: 6 bars

Attacking

  • Offensive Style: Long Ball
  • Width: 4 bars
  • Players in the box: 5 bars
  • Corners: 3 bars
  • Free kicks: 1 bar

FIFA 21 custom tactics for 4-3-3 (5) False 9

The 4-3-3 (5), also known as False 9, is the formation popularized by Pep Guardiola. It’s a great formation for more defensive-minded players who like to pass the ball around a lot in their build-up.

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However, it’s a little more complex than other formations in terms of player instructions. First, set your CF to Stay Forward and have the LF and RF Come Back On Defense, Cut Inside, and Come Short. It will make your attackers more dynamic off the ball.

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Then, set one CM to Get Forward, Free Roam, Cover Centre, and the other to Stay Back While Attacking and Cover Centre. It might seem odd, but the free-roaming one will provide an extra attacking option, while the other one will add more stability in defense.

Next, set your CDM to Cut Passing Lanes, Stay Back While Attacking, and Cover Centre to add even more support in defense. Finally, have the RB and LB Stay Back While Attacking to round it off nicely.

FIFA 21 Custom Formations Meta
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The 4-3-3(5) formation is a good choice for players who like to knock the ball around.

Defending

  • Defensive Style: Pressure On Heavy Touch
  • Width: 5 bars
  • Depth: 5 bars

Attacking

  • Offensive Style: Balanced
  • Width: 5 bars
  • Players in the box: 5 bars
  • Corners: 1 bar
  • Free kicks: 1 bar

So, there you have it! Those are the best formation, custom tactics, and instruction combinations that players are using in the current meta.

There are likely more as well, so if you have found a masterplan do share it with us @UltimateTeamUK on Twitter – we may update our list in the future.


For more FIFA 21 guides and tips, check out our list below:

FUT Champs rewards | FUT Draft rewards | Division Rivals rewards | Squad Battles rewards | FIFA 21 performance trading tips | How to trade meta cards | How to snipe players | FIFA 21 best young players | Ultimate defending guide | Ultimate passing & crossing guide | How to complete FGS Token Swap SBC | FIFA 21 ICONs list | Best Pro Clubs custom tactics | Best custom tactics, formations & player instructions