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    How to defend in FIFA 22

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    Elia Tabuenca GarcĂ­a

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    Leaking goals? Defenders running like headless chickens? It's time to learn how to defend yourself in FIFA 22

    Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. Know how to defend yourself FIFA 22 can make a difference in a season, a weekend championship and a reward ranking. 

    FIFA leans towards attack, because where is the fun in keeping goals and 1-0 wins? But with high-scoring matches, there's a risk that, full-time, you haven't had a chance to score one more than your opponent.

    FIFA 22 updates bring more control and immersion than ever before. This year, FIFA introduced several improvements to the Attack AI, so you need to be on the lookout to defend an advantage. 

    Your opposition is now smarter, knowing when to hit killer passes or cross corners. Also, a player's personality can determine how well they can intercept loose passes, how fast they close the ball, and how likely they are to successfully tackle.

    An effective defense can also turn into a quick attack. Squeezing the ball and launching a quick counterattack with your opponents outnumbered puts you at a huge advantage.

    So how do you successfully defend yourself in FIFA 22? With The Loadout's handy guide and a little practice, you'll be defending yourself like a pro in no time.


    Defending in FIFA 22 is all about timing and anticipation. Relying on the AI ​​to defend you can result in disastrous scores.

    To defend yourself in FIFA 22, you need to train your opponent. Do this by holding L2/LT. When maneuvering, your defender will face the attacker and put pressure on him. From here, you can force a dubious pass or intercept the ball, or take the player off the field. A quick jockey (hold L2/LT and R2/RT) can be useful for tracking wingers and moving them – and the ball – out of the game.

    When you think you've got the placement right, you can manually place the tackle (O/B) to disarm the attacker. Holding O/B results in a stronger hit, so be aware and get the timing right. Only use slide tackles (square/X) when you are absolutely sure you will get the ball, otherwise your player can expect an early shower.

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    You will also need to master player switching to defend intelligently. Manually switching players is always more successful than hitting R1/RB, preventing your defense from being pulled out of formation. To switch players manually, move the right analog stick towards the player you want to select. 

    New in FIFA 22, pressing the right stick while defending opens Icon Swap. Four defenders get a specific direction above their heads, allowing you to move the right stick in the direction relative to the defender you want to select.

    Players can shoulder-slap when side-by-side with a striker touching O/B and manually block the ball if they are in the line of the ball by pressing O/B.

    Pulling an AI player with a teammate contains (holding R1/RB) to put pressure on the opponent while you look to close pass lines is a more advanced way to defend. In FIFA 22, teammates have a stamina bar, so they can't hold back forever, but having players with a high defensive work rate will allow you to put that high-risk, high-reward move to good use.

    Competitive settings are always active in FUT Rivals and Champions, Online and Co-op Seasons and Pro Clubs. This disables automatic authorizations and only allows a manual jockey, so if you're playing FIFA 22 online, keep that in mind.


    Here are our best tips to improve your defense in FIFA 22:

    • Invest in your players:  having center backs is more favorable if you take them out of place (and it's part of what makes Varane and Van Dijk so OP), but they come at a premium price in FUT. Using chemistry styles can greatly improve player stats; those for rhythm are at a premium.
    • Center back direction: be caught out of rhythm with an opposing winger miles away leaves you vulnerable to early crosses, cut-ins or forwards switching the ball, so tell your defenders to stay where they belong.
    • Pressure:  Press high to flip the ball further up the field when chasing a goal, but when you want to defend an advantage, pressing high can drag players out of position, so remember to turn it off!
    • Formation: opt for four or five in the back. Full-backs are great for attacking, but you can fall behind if they press high, so make sure you're ready for long ball counters if you're pushing players forward.
    • Custom Settings:  Defensive width and depth are now on a slider between 1-100 in FIFA 22; opting for a deeper defensive line makes you safer against long ball attacks, but conversely makes it harder to attack. We suggest that you test this across multiple games and make adjustments to suit your playstyle.


    Modern defensive tactical controls can be switched to pre-FIFA 12 standing/sliding tackle with O/B and square/X.

    If you play FIFA 22 exclusively offline and you think defense is too difficult, try switching to traditional defense and cut down on work time. Just chase the attacker and hit the standing or sliding tackle to win the ball back. The attacking side is still smart, and their defenders' AI will press hard on the opponent, leaving you stuck if they get a pass or skill to get past you.

    So there you have it, a quick masterclass on how to defend yourself in FIFA 22. We hope these tips will help you strengthen your line of defense, leaving your goalkeeper with fewer shots to defend. 

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