FIFA 18 Formations Guide for FIFA 18 Ultimate Team

FIFA 18 Formations Guide for FIFA 18 Ultimate Team

 

There are twenty five FIFA 18 Formations for Ultimate Team. They are all different and we will explain them here, one by one: their strong points, weaknesses, most similar formations, work rates, stats and much more.

 




 
 
 

FIFA 18 Formations

All the twenty five FIFA 18 formations used on Ultimate Team
 

As we already said, there are 25 formations in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team.

For each formation we indicate when it was introduced in Ultimate Team, explain how it works, identify the Most Similar Formation, show you the main advantages / disadvantages and suggest how to play against that formation. But there’s more! We suggest, for each position, the work rates and attributes that we think are the most important.


 
 

3-4-1-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide - 3-4-1-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
3-5-2

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚫ | Defence ⚫⚪⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
One of the less popular FIFA 18 formations. The key element of this squad is the CAM. You should invest some coins on a really good player for this position.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Very attacking formation.
❌ Defensively weak and susceptible to dangerous counter-attacks.
❌ Needs fast defenders and wingers with a medium defensive work rate.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
By using this formation, you will play with 3 in the back allowing you a more technical game in the midfield. That’s why they keep the ball so well. As there are no CDM’s to cover the 3 CB’s, you should use CM’s with high defensive work rates so they can fill the gap between the defence and midfield when necessary.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
There are two ways to overcome someone using this formation: Counter with pacey wingers but make sure they can cross well and you have a forward who has good finishing or Physical accuracy; or use one or two CDM to help contain the midfield. It’s fine if they have more possession, just catch them in the midfield and push the ball fast down the wing.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 4-3-3 (3)
3 4-1-2-1-2
4 4-2-2-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
CB RLowHighPaceDefending
CB CMediumHighDefendingPhysical
CB LLowHighPaceDefending
CM RMediumMediumPassingDefending
CM LLowHighDefendingPhysical
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
CAMMediumMediumPassingShooting
ST RHighMediumPhysicalShooting
ST LMediumLowShootingPace



 
 
 

3-4-2-1

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide - 3-4-2-1

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
3-4-3

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚫ | Defence ⚫⚪⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Similar to the 3-4-1-2 formation, with a change to the forward players. Even less popular than the previous one.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Very attacking formation with three players right in front.
❌ Defensively weak and susceptible to dangerous counter-attacks.
❌ Needs fast defenders and wingers with a medium defensive work rate.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
Similar to the 3-4-1-2, this formation has possession-based attacking element. However, it is more deadly because of the RF and LF behind the striker. The attacks come from wider areas, rather than through the middle, as there is no CAM in this formation. It also has the ability to score from distance. The ST is solely dependent on the LF and RF for a chemistry connection in this formation, meaning that you can play around with linking the ST in different ways. Have a play around and see what you come up with; there are so many possibilities.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
How to beat it? The goal is getting 2 CDM. Any formation with 2 CDM should be effective.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-3-3 (3)
2 4-2-2-2
3 4-5-1
4 4-2-3-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
CB RLowHighPaceDefending
CB CMediumHighDefendingPhysical
CB LLowHighPaceDefending
CM RMediumMediumPassingDefending
CM LLowHighDefendingPhysical
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
RFHighMediumPaceShooting
LFHighMediumPaceShooting
STHighLowShootingPassing



 
 
 

3-4-3

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide - 3-4-3

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
3-4-2-1

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚫ | Defence ⚫⚪⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Similar to 3-4-2-1, with the change of forwards to wingers.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Attacking formation.
✅ It offers plenty of width in the attack which makes it suitable for those who love crossing.
❌ Defensively weak and susceptible to dangerous counter-attacks.
❌ Needs fast defenders and wingers with a medium defensive work rate.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
The 3-4-3 is by far the most balanced formation with 3 defenders. The LW and RW are great at swinging in crosses and running down the wing. They are heavily supported by the midfield that spreads out. This formation has a lot of triangles for easy, quick and effective passing. As this formation is even wider than the 3-4-2-1, your CM’s may become slightly isolated in the middle of the pitch when driving forward with possession. The role of both CM’s is crucial as they will not only need to track back and support your CB’s, they will also need to feed the ST.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
Your team can be stretched easily and ultimately burn out quickly. To address that problem, playing 5 in the back will provide less stress for your team and you can easily take control of the game.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 5-3-2
2 5-2-2-1
3 4-2-2-2
4 4-3-3

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
CB RLowHighPaceDefending
CB CMediumHighDefendingPhysical
CB LLowHighPaceDefending
CM RMediumMediumPassingDefending
CM LLowHighDefendingPhysical
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
RWHighMediumPacePassing
LWHighMediumPacePassing
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

3-5-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide - 3-5-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
3-4-1-2

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
One of the most solid formations. The key element of this squad is the CAM. You should invest some coins on a really good player for this position.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ A Very compact formation that provides 5 or even 7 elements to defend when you need to hold on a result.
✅ Suitable for those who like to dominate.
❌ The RM and LM need to have winger attributes but also medium defensive work rate.
❌ Inadequate if the opponent plays with fast wingers.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
By far the most important player to use against this formation is a CAM with excellent vision and passing. He can distribute the ball out wide and provide excellent through passes to your striker. The CB’s are well supported through the middle by both CDM’s and the CAM is pivotal in providing service from central positions to both ST’s. The 3-5-2 is essentially a more defensive version of the 3-4-1-2 formation, although it is still preferable that the LM and RM have at least medium defensive work rates in order to cover the 2 wider CB’s and help stop the opponent from exploiting the flanks in your own half.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
Because this formation is so defensive, playing more attacking is perfectly fine.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-3-1-2
2 4-3-3 (4)
3 4-3-2-1
4 4-4-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
CB RMediumHighPaceDefending
CB CMediumHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
CDM RMediumHighPassingDefending
CDM LLowHighDefendingPhysical
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
CAMMediumMediumPassingVision
ST RHighMediumPhysicalShooting
ST LMediumLowShootingPace



 
 
 

4-1-2-1-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-1-2-1-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-1-2-1-2 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
The most popular of all FUT formations. This formation in diamond shape has the CAM as key element.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ A balanced formation that offers defensive security in midfield.
✅ Good defensively since sometimes CDM plays like a CB.
✅ Suitable for those who like to play through the middle.
❌ Vulnerable to teams using formations with a packed central midfield.
❌ Too narrow.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This is a very popular formation in FIFA. The central midfield arrangement offers a diamond shape behind the 2 ST’s. The balance comes from the fact that there is a CDM in front of the 2 CB’s to help out defensively and a CAM behind the 2 ST’s to help create attacking opportunities. this is very balanced and highlights a team that has strong pieces in every position. This formation also offers width with a LM and a RM.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation is even more effective than the 4-1-2-1-2 (2) because the LM and RM can also cover your players on the wing. As a consequence, this position can be exploited tremendously. Using a formation with wingbacks or clogging the midfield will give you more control of the game.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-5-1
2 4-4-2
3 4-4-1-1
4 4-2-2-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CDMMediumHighDefendingPassing
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
CAMHighMediumPassingBall Control
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
ST RHighMediumPhysicalShooting
ST LMediumLowShootingPace



 
 
 

4-1-2-1-2 (2)

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-1-2-1-2 (2)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-5-1

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Variation of 4-1-2-1-2 that let players control the midfield. It is even more narrow than the original, giving them a much tighter diamond.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Suitable for those who like to play through the middle.
✅ Suitable for those who like quick feet and passing style.
❌ Too narrow.
❌ Needs good full backs since the wings get very exposed.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
Similar to the 4-1-2-1-2 formation, it just has all the right ingredients: 2 strikers, 1 CDM, 2 CM, and a CAM. The major difference between the two is the CMs who push out wide to occupy LM and RM roles. The 4 central midfielders pack the middle of the pitch, making it easier to retain possession in this area, particularly in the opponent’s half. It will be more difficult to attack through the middle against teams using this formation, but easier to exploit the open space on each wing.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation goes attacks you straight up the middle. Your midfielders tend to wear out faster playing their type of ball game. A good adjustment that will help your gameplay is clog the middle. Stretch their team so they come chasing you for the ball.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 5-3-2
2 3-4-3
3 4-5-1
4 4-3-2-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CDMMediumHighPassingDefending
CMRHighMediumPassingDribbling
CAMHighMediumPassingDribbling
CMLHighMediumPassingDribbling
ST RHighMediumShootingPace
ST LMediumLowShootingPace



 
 
 

4-1-4-1

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-1-4-1

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-5-1 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
It is very similar with the 4-5-1 (2) but the CDM in front of the back four gives more security on the defence.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Very organised and solid midfield build up.
❌ Lacks a little attack
❌ The striker may needs support. CM’s should have high attacking work rate.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
If you want to dominate the midfield and sure up the defense, this is the formation people use. The CDM is the link between a seamless transition from defence to attack or a more controlled ballgame. It is very important to not try to play on the flanks using this formation. You will have to out muscle the midfield. 4-1-4-1 is a very solid formation that has strength when pushing forward, but can be also very hard to breakdown. It is suited to players who prefer to build up the play, rather than hitting the opponent quickly on a counter attack.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
The key against this formation is being patient because pace won’t work on it.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 4-5-1
3 3-4-3
4 3-4-1-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CDMMediumHighDefendingPassing
CMRHighMediumPassingDribbling
CMLHighMediumPassingDribbling
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-2-2-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-2-2-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-1-2-1-2 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
It is one of the most balanced formations. Similar to 4-4-2 but with players more qualified to defend and others to attack.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Have enough players when defending or attacking.
✅ Suitable for anyone who likes to have possession of the ball and to anyone who likes to give freedom to CAM’s.
❌ The CAM’s play on the wings and may not have the required attributes.
❌ Requires some practice time to become familiar with the formation.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation is very similar to the popular 4-4-2 and includes exactly the same links. The 2 attacking midfielders will position very similar to RM and LM when they do not have the ball but due to the generally lower Crossing rating in CAM’s compared to wide midfielders, this will mean that crossing within this formation will most often be less effective. Playing with this formation, the players can contain in the middle, yet spread the ball quickly out wide. There tends to be one particular CDM who is attacking minded, high stamina, who assists the attack. This role is pivotal because they transition from a 4-2-2-2 to a 4-1-3-2 and effortlessly.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
The team is balanced, very balanced. The secret to overcoming the formation is stretching the CDM and attack head on, so playing the ball wide and back inside is a good way to wear the team out. Also, don’t be afraid to shoot from distance (or take a finesse shot).

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 3-4-1-2
3 3-4-2-1
4 3-5-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CDM RMediumHighDefendingPassing
CDM LHighMediumPassingPace
CAM RHighLowPassingDribbling
CAM LMediumMediumPassingPace
ST RHighMediumShootingPace
ST LMediumLowPassingShooting



 
 
 

4-2-3-1

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-2-3-1

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-2-3-1 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Formation much appreciated. Allows multiple offensive options but with the security of two CDM in defence.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ It has three types of attacking players increasing the range of offensive possibilities.
✅ Two CDM’s give plenty of cover at the back.
❌ The CAM’s play on the wings and may not have the required attributes.
❌ The CDM’s can become very tired because they are forced to defend and to fill empty midfield.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This is a very narrow formation, not for those who like crossing the ball. As you have 3 advanced CAM’s there are a few ways that you can approach attacking with this formation. Making the right choice about your attacking 4 players could be the difference between making a success or failure or using this formation. As long as you think out how your players will interact then you will find this very effective.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation provides balance and support in attacking, defending keeping possession in the midfield. The key is to clog the midfield and out pass your opponent. Try to use formations that have two strikers and at least a single quick 1 at that for counters. Playing formations with wingers may help crossing the ball in, but if your opponent has two great CBs it’s pretty much pointless. Pass the ball through the seams in the midfield. Also, make sure you have a CDM to contain the opponent’s CAM and let your CBs worry about the striker. Ideally, play with 4 in the defenders.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-1-2-1-2
2 4-1-2-1-2 (2)
3 4-3-2-1
4 4-3-1-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CDM RMediumHighDefendingPassing
CDM LHighMediumPassingPace
CAM RHighLowPassingDribbling
CAM LMediumMediumPassingPace
CFHighMediumPassingShooting
STHighLowShootingPace



 
 
 

4-2-3-1 (2)

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-2-3-1 (2)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-2-3-1

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚫

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
A more attacking wider variation of the 4-2-3-1, that converted the wide CAM’s into natural wingers.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Suitable for short passing style as well as fast counters
✅ Two CDM’s give plenty of cover at the back.
❌ Needs a really good player to play as a CAM, the key position.
❌ A lone striker can often be outnumbered, especially against formations will 3 CB’s.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
Unlike the regular 4-2-3-1, this formation is more defensive and controlling. Using this formation may not result in a lot of goal scoring opportunities, but it is great for patient players. This is a great formation for those who are not as confident defending as they are attacking. The back 4 and 2 CDM’s will mean that you shouldn’t be caught on the counter easily and so will generally have more than enough defensive support.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
It can really frustrate you because passes are intricate and the team dynamic allows for quick counters down the wing or just to drop the ball if they are being pressured a lot. The key player here is the CAM. They have good vision and can pass out wide or link up with the striker exceptionally well. To be effective against this formation you have to constantly press the ball carrier. This will force you to win the ball in a good attacking position. You need a lot of players in your attacking half.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-2-2
2 4-4-2
3 4-5-1
4 5-2-1-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CDM RMediumHighDefendingPassing
CDM LHighMediumPassingPace
CAMHighMediumPassingDribbling
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-3-1-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-3-1-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-2-1-2 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
One of the formations most recommended for those who like to play through the middle. The key element of this squad is the CAM. You should invest some coins on a really good player for this position.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ The CAM and the two ST make this formation extremely dangerous in attack.
✅ Suitable for those who like to play through the middle.
❌ Very narrow formation. Crossing of the ball hardly happens.
❌ Without wide players this formation lacks the variety in attacking opportunities.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation is suitable for players who prefer intricate passing in the center of the pitch. If you don’t like using wide players, or use Strikers that don’t have good heading then this is a great formation for you. Even in formations with 5 midfielders, there are usually only 3 central ones. This formation gives you 4 central midfielders (one being a CAM) and should therefore give you control and confidence in possession.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
The 4-3-1-2 parallels the 4-3-3 (flat) in the midfield and the defense, nevertheless it adds a more direct approach in attacking. The CAM is the key man here. He is able to coordinate with the 3 CMs and be able to do distribute to the strikers. The strikers can run at the CBs or draw them wide. This allows for the CAM to open the game or even take a shot. You need to zone out the CAM in order to be effective here. If you can stop his assistance in the middle then you can win easily. Having 2 CDMs will control this CAM, so use formations that have both 2 CDMs and wingers to stretch out the 3 in the middle.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 4-2-3-1 (2)
3 4-3-2-1
4 3-5-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
CM RMediumMediumPassingDefending
CM CMediumHighPassingDefending
CM LMediumMediumDefendingPace
CFMediumMediumPassingDribbling
ST RHighLowShootingPace
ST LHighMediumShootingPace



 
 
 

4-3-2-1

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-3-2-1

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-3-3

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Similar to 4-3-1-2 but with two CF’s and only one ST or similar to 4-3-3 but the left and right forwards are tucked inside rather than to the wings.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ It is wider in the attack than 4-3-1-2.
✅ Suitable for those who like to play through the middle.
❌ A bit narrow formation, especially on the midfield.
❌ Requires fullbacks to have at least medium work rates

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation has all the key ingredients to score goals effectively. The target man at strike is a very good finisher or strong, and the RF and LF can stretch the back line with blistering pace. This formation relies less on crossing and more on shooting and through balls. If used effectively, the front three in this formation can cause havoc on counter-attacks by outnumbering opposing defenders.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
The two forwards are the most important players here, so you should use the same tactical counter to stop the attacking force: 2 CDMs.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 4-3-1-2
3 4-1-2-1-2
4 5-2-2-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighDefendingPace
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighDefendingPace
CM RHighMediumPaceDribbling
CM CLowHighDefendingPassing
CM LHighMediumPaceDribbling
RFHighLowPassingPace
LFHighLowPassingPace
STHighLowShootingPace



 
 
 

4-3-3

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-3-3

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-3-3 (2) and 4-3-3 (4)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚪⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
One of most famous FIFA 18 formations. Earned greater notoriety for having been adapted by Guardiola.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ The closeness and the balance of the six men from the front allow safe passing game between them.
✅ Chance of fast attacks on the wings.
❌ Only one ST may be insufficient.
❌ Insufficient players that help the back four.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation utilises wingers and allows them to play right up close to the touchline. The 4-3-3 is fantastic for those players who prefer to make use of crossing the ball from these positions. You are not limited to this style of play however, the wide players also have the option of cutting in and causing problems, particularly if their strong foot is the opposite side to the wing that they are playing on.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
Unlike the other listed 4-3-3 alternatives, the 3 CMs try to contain the ball and distribute effectively. This formation begs the help of the RB and LB. This is rarely used in online game play because there is so much space to get around the midfield – play the ball wide or behind the midfielders. Overlapping complete backs can be exploited quite easily. Possessing a lot of players in the attacking third will cause this formation a lot of trouble. Try to have more midfielders to make your job even easier.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-5-1
2 4-4-1-1
3 4-1-4-1
4 4-2-3-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
CM RHighMediumPaceDribbling
CM CLowHighPassingDefending
CM LHighMediumPaceDribbling
RWHighLowPassingPace
LWHighLowPassingPace
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-3-3 (2) Hold

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-3-3 (2)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-3-3 (5)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚫

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
The first of 4-3-3 variations offers a holding defensive midfielder anchor in the midfield.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Good defensively since sometimes CDM plays like a CB.
✅ Chance of fast attacks on the wings.
❌ Only one ST may be insufficient.
❌ Users who prefer shorter passing may struggle if players have poor work rates.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
Almost identical to a 4-3-3, this formation has a slightly more defensive emphasis. Instead of having three midfielders across the middle of the pitch in a horizontal line, the central player will drop into the CDM position and ‘pull the strings’ from a deeper role. This anchor player becomes a focal point in this formation and requires high defensive and passing stats. He will support both CB’s when your opponent has possession and look to create counter-attacks as soon as you will the ball back.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
There are different ways of playing with this formation, as it is very balanced. It is based on possession. If you want to counter, you will need to be sharp and have a lot of patient waiting an opponent fail.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-1-4-1
2 4-4-2
3 5-3-2
4 4-3-3 (3)

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
CM RHighMediumPassingPace
CDMLowMediumPassingDefending
CM LHighMediumPassingPace
RWHighMediumPacePassing
LWHighMediumPacePassing
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-3-3 (3) Defend

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-3-3 (3)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-3-3 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚫ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
This defensive-minded 4-3-3 variation offers two holding defensive midfielders and one centre midfielder in the midfield

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Two CDM’s give plenty of cover at the back.
✅ Work well if you are comfortable in possession
❌ The three attackers get too lonely.
❌ Wingers need to cover more field. Midfield is too isolated.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
Instead of having one CDM, the two wider central midfield players will drop creating a more defensive formation. This style of play works well if you find yourself being overrun more than you’d like, but this won’t help things when going forward. The left and right wingers will be able to exploit your opponents from wide attacking areas, but getting the ball to these players may become more of a challenge in the first place. This formation can work well if you are comfortable in possession and possess players with the ability to play accurate long balls.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This is a great formation but lacks a key component. It provides great balance in defending and attacking, but the midfield tends to be lacking bite going forward. The CM links the play from behind to the wingers and striker. Simple strategy, make the CM life a living hell by chasing the ball a lot. There is a lot of space on the wings to maneuver and create opportunities. Spreading the ball will pull the CDM out wide and you already have a useless CM. Make sure you have pacey wingers/good crossers of the ball and 2 strikers. That should do the trick.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-2-2
2 4-3-3 (4)
3 4-3-1-2
4 4-1-4-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
CDM RMediumMediumPassingDefending
CMHighMediumPassingPace
CDM LMediumMediumPassingDefending
RWHighMediumPaceStamina
LWHighMediumPaceStamina
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-3-3 (4) Attack

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-3-3 (4)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-3-3

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚫ | Defence ⚫⚪⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
The one of the most attacking of all FUT 18 formations is a variant of the 4-3-3 that turns one of the midfielders into an attacking midfielder to support the front three.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Suitable for those who want a very attacking formation.
✅ The closeness and the balance of the six men from the front allows safe passing game between them.
✅ Chance of fast attacks on the wings.
❌ Too attacking formation for most of the players.
❌ Huge empty space between midfield and the defence.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
A more attacking variation of the 4-3-3, this formation utilises a CAM just ahead of both the wide CM’s and offers more support for the lone ST. It is more suitable to users who like to go on the offensive more often and not only offers attacking options from either wing, but also through the middle via the CAM. Although you may find success offensively with the 4-3-3 (4), you will have to time your tackles and make sure you don’t become overrun when the opponent is countering.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation is based on fast paced, quick passing and tons of goals, lacking in creative and tactical skills. It prides itself in a system of triangles and great support from the midfield up to the front line. With the right formation that contains the 4-3-3, you can easily pressure the opponents goal because there is no protection for the back line.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 4-4-2
3 4-1-4-1
4 5-2-1-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
CM RMediumMediumPassingDefending
CAMHighMediumPassingDribbling
CM LLowHighDefendingPhysical
RWHighMediumPacePassing
LWHighMediumPacePassing
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-3-3 (5) False 9

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-3-3 (8)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-3-3 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
The final 4-3-3 variant offers a deeper-lying center forward position to hold possession and help build-up the attacking play.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ A balanced formation that is suitable for those who like to run at defenders.
✅ Good defensively since sometimes CDM plays like a CB.
❌ Wingers need to be able to cut inside and look to get at goal.
❌ Not a good formation for crosses.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation has gained popularity in recent years. It doesn’t actually use a striker. Instead it utilises a CF. The CF is required to play deeper than a conventional striker and become more involved in the play in the final third. The False 9 is incredibly possession oriented and requires that you have the capability to keep the ball. There are also chemistry links between the fullbacks and wingers in this formation and as you can see the central midfield player drops to a CDM.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
In this formation, the CF is the most pivotal piece because they have excellent vision, passing and scoring ability. This player has a knack for scoring – they drop deeper to help out then find the spaces behind a defense or know when to take that all important shot. The wingers have to be fairly quick and possess excellent dribbling to beat a player 1 on 1 or cut inside for one-twos with the CF. The strength of the team lies with the CDM and the CF; they form a diamond with the CM’s providing quick passes and a heavily possession based game. What would happen if you put a line through that diamond? Exactly. You would cut the strength of that diamond.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 4-3-1-2
3 4-1-2-1-2
4 4-4-1-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CM RHighMediumPassingPace
CDMLowMediumDefendingPhysical
CM LHighMediumPassingPace
RWHighMediumPaceShooting
LWHighMediumPaceShooting
CFHighLowPaceShooting



 
 
 

4-4-1-1

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-4-1-1

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-4-2

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Widely used in the world of football and in the Premier League in particular. Similar to 4-4-2 but one of ST backs for CF.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Better for a passing team and less direct.
✅ The CF can be used to be the creative force or to break up play.
❌ The CF drops too deep and leaves you isolated up top.
❌ Some of the midfielders should have good defensive attributes to help the back four.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation is a variation of the basic 4-4-2 formation but, with a CF instead of a second ST, it allows much greater control over the midfield without sacrificing a well organised defence. Unfortunately as CF as less common as base positions, it is highly likely that your CF will be a modified ST or CAM, this can also have a big effect. For example, it is counter intuitive to modify a ST and then use him defensively.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
The 4-4-1-1 formation was heavily used around a decade or so ago, much like the 4-4-2. It is quickly dying out because world football has been enriched by a more tactical game and not just long balls for counter-attacking plays. Having said that, if you were to find someone using this formation, beat them in the midfield. Any formation with numbers in the middle will quench the attacking approach by the CAM and the striker. The midfield doesn’t support as well because they are lying deep in the middle and trusting the LM and RM to press down the flanks. If you stifle the passers in the middle, you take control of the game.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-5-1
2 4-2-3-1
3 3-5-2
4 5-3-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
CM RMediumMediumPassingVision
CM LHighHighStaminaDefending
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
CFHighMediumPassingShooting
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-4-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-4-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-4-2 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚪⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
The classic formation. Widely used in the world of football and the second most used in FIFA 18 Ultimate Team. Organised structure of defenders and midfielders moving as a lineup and down the pitch.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ The safest option for those players not too sure on what formation to go with.
✅ Solid and good for the attack through the middle or on the wings. Fullbacks can support wingers.
❌ Formation a bit predictable for opponents.
❌ Some of the midfielders should have good defensive attributes to help the back four.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This is a formation for those wishing to try new players/teams or for those that are unsure of their own gameplay strengths. Due to this formation having no bias to either attack or defence it is worth noting that gamers should show no particular bias when selecting players. For example, you may find yourself exposed if you pick two attacking CM’s, and vice versa you may find yourself lacking attacking players should you choose two defensive CM’s. It is best that you either choose all-round players in this formation or try to compensate with players surrounding them.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
You are much more likely to see someone use this formation than the 4-4-1-1 because of the supporting striker roles. The additional striker can present a problem depending on the trait or specialty they may have. Use at least 1 CDM and have a midfield that is spread wide to cover the LM and RM. The formation is fairly flat so any formation that can maximize passing behind the midfield. The CMs are pass first midfielders (not so defensive minded) so obtaining midfielders with strength will pay huge dividends.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 3-5-2
3 3-4-3
4 3-4-2-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
RMHighMediumPaceDrible
CM RMediumMediumPassingVision
CM LHighHighStaminaDefending
LMHighMediumPaceDrible
ST RHighMediumPhysicalShooting
ST LMediumLowPaceShooting



 
 
 

4-4-2 (2)

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-4-2 (2)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-4-2

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚫

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
A more defensive variation of the classic 4-4-2 with two defensive midfielders in place of the usual centre midfielders.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Two CDM’s give plenty of cover at the back.
✅ Suitable for those who like wide counter attacks.
❌ Lacks creative play in the midfield.
❌ Needs fast wingers.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation is suitable for players who want to counter the oppositions chipped through balls. The 2 CDM’s give good cover in front of the defence and if chosen well should be able to close down any of the opposition looking to play in their strikers. Having 2 CDM’s means that it is likely your wide players will be pushed further forward as you attack so it is essential that at least one of your CDM’s has decent pace, as they will likely need to cover in behind the R/LM if the opposition counter attacks. As you will be most likely attack down the wing or playing a long ball forward it is essential that at least one of the stikers operates as a target man and can challenge, if not win, most aerial balls.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation is a good one for players that want to counter the oppositions chipped through balls, the 2 CDMs give good cover in front of the defence and if chosen well should be able to close down any of the opposition looking to play in their strikers. Having 2 CDMs will mean that the space for CFs and CAMs will be minimal, allowing you to mark them out of the game for more effectively. But the formation also gets the disadvantage. With no attacking central midfielders, your attacking play will most likely be limited to long balls forward or wing play. So it has to mention that as you will be most likely attack down the wing or playing a long ball forward it is essential that at least one of the strikers operates as a target man and can challenge.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 3-5-2
2 5-3-2
3 4-2-3-1
4 4-2-2-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumMediumPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumMediumPaceDefending
RMHighMediumPacePassing
CDM RMediumHighDefendingPassing
CDM LHighMediumPassingPace
LMHighMediumPacePassing
ST RHighMediumPhysicalShooting
ST LMediumMediumShootingPace



 
 
 

4-5-1

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-5-1

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-5-1 (2)

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Formation that puts 5 players in midfield, two of them supporting the striker. For many years, it was the favourite formation of many European teams.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Suited to players who prefer to build play patiently.
✅ Probably the best formation for who wants to keep the ball.
❌ Not good for direct play and long ball styles.
❌ CM often tends to get lost and caught out of position.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation is suitable for players who are very confident in their defence and possession-based tactics. The single CM means that it is probably best to have a big strong player that is able to perform the job of winning the ball and also able to move the ball onto the wide players or one of the 2 CAM’s. This formation is strongly centred around the 2 CAM’s and so it would be advisable to choose more defensive wide players as any target man strikers will likely lack the ball control and finishing to be fully utilized by the 2 CAM’s. Anyone using this formation will need to focus on keeping the ball, the lack of defensive players will mean that should the opposition get the ball, it’s likely you will be outnumbered.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
Conceptually, this formation has the right idea, but it has too many gaps why not a lot of people use it. World football is more tactical and having only 1 natural CM is a disaster waiting to happen. Having said that, this formation has merit. The LM and RM can stretch ballgame quite easily. The formation relies heavily on triangle passes. By nullifying their passes, the formation falls apart quite easily. Because you only have one particular CM, additional midfielders will overwhelm that person. Using 2 CDM is a must and 2+ CMs will put the game right in your hands.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-2-3-1
2 4-4-2
3 3-4-3
4 4-3-3 (2)

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
CMMediumHighPassingDefending
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
CAM RMediumMediumPassingDribbling
CAM LHighMediumPassingShooting
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

4-5-1 (2)

First introduced on FUT 14

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 4-5-1 (2)

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
4-5-1

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚪ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
The 4-5-1 variation adds more midfield steel. The three center midfielders make it harder to break down on the counter and leaves less gaps for the attack.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Suitable for those who want to keep the ball.
✅ Difficult to break down.
❌ Only one ST may be insufficient.
❌ CM’s may need to help the back four.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This is another popular formation which utilises a lone striker. This player must have the ability to hold up the ball and bring teammates into play, this can be done via overlaps or by simply playing the ball back to midfield player’s feet. This formation is generally considered more defensive than the 4-4-2, but with a strong/tall target man, it can work very well. The extra midfielder works well for users who like to keep the ball in the middle of the park and creates a strong horizontal line which can be difficult to play against.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation has so many people spread across the midfield that it becomes tedious to track down the ball. It can beat you in a few ways: the 3 CM can pass well to the striker, out wide or among themselves; the LM and RM drop to support the midfield but are itching to push the ball wing, or you tend to forget that there is a striker up top. He only links up for the final touches or shot at goal. This can easily become a possession-based game. There’s not much you can do about that. You should focus on the 3 CM and let your LB and RB worry about the LM and RM. This formation is really flat, so have players that can score up top. You may only get a few good chances.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 3-5-2
2 4-2-2-2
3 4-3-3 (3)
4 4-2-3-1

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
RBMediumHighPaceDefending
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
LBMediumHighPaceDefending
CM RMediumMediumPassingDribbling
CMMediumHighPassingDefending
CM LMediumMediumPassingDribbling
LMHighMediumPaceDribbling
RMHighMediumPaceDribbling
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

5-2-1-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 5-2-1-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
5-3-2

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚫ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚫

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
Formation used by fewer FIFA FUT 18 players. Similar to 5-2-2-1 but with two ST with a more creative CAM option.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Strong defence with space for wing backs to run into.
✅ The best formation for who likes to play in counter-attack.
❌ Can be narrow attacking wise limiting options.
❌ It depends too much on CAM so he must be really good.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation is focuses on wing backs. These two players will be required to get up each flank in order to support attacks and also fulfil their defensive responsibilities. Much of the play will go through the middle and the CAM will have to pull the strings and be a creative spark. This is a very solid formation defensively, as long as the LWB and RWB fill in when they can.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation plays similar to the 4-1-2-1-2(2) and the 3-5-2. This allows for passing options at almost any time of the game. If you want to play narrow through the central midfield, it allows that. If you want to spread your opponent’s defense out and play wide, it can also do that. Sometimes the best thing to do is to counter with the same weapons.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 5-2-1-2
2 5-2-2-1
3 5-3-2
4 4-4-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB CLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
RWBMediumMediumPaceDribbling
LWBMediumMediumPaceDribbling
CM RMediumMediumPassingVision
CM LHighHighStaminaDefending
CFHighMediumPassingShooting
ST RHighMediumShootingPhysical
ST LMediumLowShootingPace



 
 
 

5-2-2-1

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 5-2-2-1

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
5-2-1-2

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚪⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚫ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚫⚫

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
One of less popular FIFA 18 formations for Ultimate Team. Similar to 5-2-1-2 but with 1 up top supported by a left and right forward either side.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Probably the formation more solid defensively.
✅ Suitable for who likes to play in counter-attacks.
❌ Very weak if the opponents put many players in the midfield.
❌ Possession based teams can play through the middle with quick passing

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
This formation is fantastic at making the most of the width of the pitch. The wing backs don’t need exceptionally high stamina for this to work, as both wingers will do the flank work when going forward. This shape generally works well against narrow formations, as they tend to struggle to close down your wide players quick enough.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
With a strong backline of defenders, and two well-rounded center midfielders, you will invite a lot of pressure from your opponent; however, with the back 5, it won’t be an issue. Even if you suck at defending on FIFA, having five bodies, six if you include the keeper, defender becomes easy enough. To counter this formation, just put many players in the midfield.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-4-1-1
2 4-2-3-1
3 4-1-4-1
4 3-5-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB CLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
RWBMediumMediumPaceDribbling
LWBMediumMediumPaceDribbling
CM RMediumMediumPassingVision
CM LHighHighStaminaDefending
RWHighMediumPaceShooting
LWHighMediumPaceDribbling
STHighLowShootingPhysical



 
 
 

5-3-2

First introduced on FUT 09

FIFA 18 Formations Guide – 5-3-2

MOST SIMILAR FORMATION | The formation that looks more with this one
5-2-1-2

STYLE | How good is this formation for an attacking, defensive or counter-attacking style
Attack ⚫⚫⚪ | Defence ⚫⚫⚫ | Counter-Attack ⚫⚪⚪

SHORT DESCRIPTION | How this formation can be described
The most solid and balanced formation of 5 defenders. Although seemingly defensive formation can become a very offensive.

STRONG AND WEAK POINTS | The best and the worst about this formation
✅ Strong defence with space for wing backs to run into.
❌ Can be narrow attacking wise limiting options.

FORMATION’S ANALYSIS | How to use this formation
The style of play with this shape is perhaps narrower than usual, but with hard-working wing backs it doesn’t have to be. In the last of the FIFA 18 formations, there is a slight separation between the midfield and defence which can be exploited at times, however when in possession it can be difficult for opponents to defend against. Slick passing and good movement is required when going forward with the ball, but accurate long balls will work if you have a set of strikes who are decent in the air.

HOW TO COUNTER THIS FORMATION | How to play against someone using this formation
This formation is very solid and well built. It’s not easy to counter if no one is pushed up. Nice build up play and smooth, but precise passes will find you into his box.

FORMATIONS TO COUNTER | Which FIFA 18 formations you should use to beat this one
1 4-3-2-1
2 4-3-3 (4)
3 4-3-3
4 4-3-1-2

OUR SUGGESTION | The most important attributes and the best work rates for each position

POSITION
ATTACKING WR
DEFENSIVE WR
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTES
CB RLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB CLowHighDefendingPhysical
CB LMediumHighPaceDefending
RWBMediumMediumPaceDribbling
LWBMediumMediumPaceDribbling
CM RHighMediumPassingPace
CM CMediumMediumPassingDefending
CM LHighMediumPassingPace
ST RHighMediumShootingPhysical
ST LMediumLowShootingPace


 
 
 

Born in the late 70s, Rodrigo Lopes is a video game enthusiast. He started on the old ZX Spectrum 48k and has played every FIFA game to present day. He is an engineer, that also writes about FIFA games on another popular website. Rodrigo is an Ultimate Team expert, he loves football and is a huge Benfica fan. He has influenced thousands of FIFA gaming fans with his cutting edge insights and scientific level approach to writing about FIFA gaming modes. Join him on Google Plus.

99 COMMENTS

  1. Hey which formation is the best for cut inside from the wingers and score goals with them and which workrates should they have? Thnx

  2. since defending is a bit tricky and a bit difficult on fifa 18, isnt the 5-3-2 a pretty good option? I’ve started to use it and it’s been great, conceding very little and really drawing the other team into my own half allowing my pacy striker and high working wing backs to use the gaps

  3. what would be the best formation to keep possesion but also be good for crossing and also what is the best custom tactics and instructions

  4. I started really well with a 4-3-3 (2), got up to league 4, and suddenly have lost 12 games consecutively. any advice?

  5. what is the most counter attack formation for wings and mids using through balls and crossing? is this guide still accurate and valid?

  6. Hi, great guide, but can I ask You to help me with decision.
    I play a lot of passes, dont like crosses and goals by head.
    Also Im not best with skill moves.
    Im pretty solid in defense and need only 3-5 situations to score 3 goals (for example) after some passes and fast ball behinde defence or after long shot.

    my current formations are: 4-1-2-1-2 (2), 4-3-2-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-1-2 (order from most favourite).
    which one you can recommend to me? maybe other one? which one is best for tiki-taka and organised system in attack and defense? maybe You have some good custom tactics and player instructions?

    thx

  7. Hey Rodrigo,
    I usually like to play fast and direct with quick 1-2 passes and through balls and try to score as many goals as possible. I’m good at long shots too.
    Im quite solid defensively and like to use pacey wingers for my counter attacks

    Which formation would best suit my style of play? Maybe if u give a top 3 it will rly rly help me. Thz

    I read alot of your articles. Keep up the good work mate 👍☺️

  8. Hi Rodrigo, excellent article!!

    What would you suggest for a predominantly French team? At the moment I have Mbappe, Lacazette, Martial and Dembele up forward (can have Lacazette as a CAM/CF as well) and Tolisso and Matuidi as CM/CDM’s. What formation would you say suits these players best? Been using 4-1-2-1-2 for ages, but thinking about 4-4-1-1 or something similar. Any advice?

  9. Hi Rodrigo,

    I am good at defense , would like to exploit spaces, I score goals via through balls , crosses & like to cut inside, which formation will be best suitable for my style of play

  10. hey Rodrigo great analysis for all formations mate … it will help us a lot Can you suggest me which is the best formation to play high press attacking game with relatively less risk…
    thanks…

  11. Hi Rodrigo,

    I like running over the flanks but I do not like to use wingers because I try headers or second chances. First 442 (two cm) was working well for that but in higher leagues my defense is really lacking. Is 4141 the right solution now? Or should I try 532 or 5212?

    I can not score many goals but I am good at defending too.

    Thank you in advance

  12. Hi Rodrigo,
    I currently use a 41212 formation but I’m looking for a formation to get my outside guys on runs to utilize my strikers and CAM’s skills in the box on crosses. I use Higuain and Lacazette as strikers with Mbappe as my backup off the bench and De Bruyne as my CAM. Is there a better formation for my game style?
    Thanks,

  13. 5-3-2 is especially good for counters. In fact it is quite similar to 5-2-1-2. You might want to change the rating and give it three stars to counter-attack.

    By the way, the formation you use, affect the positioning and the dynamic. Most people have no experience playing against 5 ATB, because they will be in charge of a formation they don’t understand anymore. I usually change to 5-3-2 in the second half.

  14. About 4-2-2-2. I suggest to change the rating. Attacking: 1 stars, Defending: 3 stars, Counter-Attack: 2-3 stars.

    You have at least 6 defenders, it’s a stronghold. Similar to 4-2-3-1 but 1 CAM is converted into ST.

    The two CDM are the keys for defending and also for starting the counters.

    My feeling is that you haven’t really tried this formation. How it should play it’s not the same with how it plays.

    • Different players have different perceptions about the same formation. For example: if your CDMs have both high attacking work rates, you probably will have a different opinion. I’m not saying that you are wrong and I am right. I’m just saying that it is not as simple as it looks. It looks strange to give only 1 star to attacking to a formation with 2 ST and 2 CAMs, but I may be wrong. I would like to hear the opinion of other players about this formation. Can anyone else shares?

  15. Hi, what formation would you recommend for a premier league team – I like to sit back and absorb pressure and catch teams on the counter with IF Wilson and FUTMAS Antonio up front – with erikson, sane and mkhitaryan in a 4-1-2-1-2 formation at the moment, but lately in Div 3 I seem to be getting outnumbered in midfield

  16. I loved fifa 18 when it first arrived .
    Then after the patches higher rated players play mediocre .
    You have the same scenario with goals only going in at certain times , and packs are horrible .
    Why have EA become such crooks ?
    O que achas?
    Also 442 best tactics any ide

    • Hi. We only covered formations for FUT so we don’t have much experience with 3142. It looks an attacking formation, with two strikers supported by 4 players. The RM and LM should have decent defensive skills and at least medium defensive work rates.

  17. Hi Rodrigo, really helpful guide but there are no custom tactics and player instructions. Are you going to add those?
    Thanks.

  18. I am new to FIFA and a relative novice in regards to soccer tactics in general. I used a few different teams in kickoff mode and I’ve been playing a career as Dortmund and have had success with the 4-4-2 (2). I like the defense + counter-attack style it provides.
    I’d like to keep a similar style of play but set up a couple alternate team sheets with different formations. That way if I need to change my lineup for any reason I can adjust my formation but keep the same style of play. I was thinking of looking at the 4-2-3-1 (2) and 4-3-3 (2). Are those good options, or do you have other suggestions?
    Thanks for the help, this site has been a great resource for me to learn the game.

  19. Hey Rodrigo,

    I like possession in the midfield and try through balling my attackers in on goal. I like playing relatively narrow and hold the ball in the midfield with short passing. I was think 4-1-2-1-2 NARROW or 4-3-2-1. I have Martial, 84 Ben Yedder, and FUTMAS Alessandrini if that helps at all.

  20. Great site Rodrigo
    I am an old fashioned big guy little guy up front and love to play to the pacy wingers but am useless at defending.
    Any ideas on best formation ?

    Cheers

  21. Hi Rodrigo, I love your guides and your website. Have been using this for over 2-3 years now but never thought of commenting or anything of that sort. I just appreciate and love your constant and non stop hardwork. And do you hace custom tactics for the formations above? Thanks a lot mate!!!

  22. Dear Rodrigo, Many thanks for this great guide. i founded it very helpful and tried to make a summary of counter formations VS opponent formation in the form of matrix, the link is attached below for your ref, hope you like it.

  23. Hi Rodrigo, me again.
    My 19 year old is absolutely rinsing me at FIFA, He plays 4-1-2-1-2 with Rashford and Vsrdy up top. Any ideas on how to stop him. He’s all about pace and I can’t get near the git!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cheers

  24. hi rodrigo
    first great article very useless
    i play until last month 4321 but i can’t see 41212(2) anymore’ i cant defend well
    i avarege on defence i bought kante toty and if vidal and blanc 85
    i love wingers like overmars 90 and jay jay 85
    the 4231(2) look good but i play coule of games and i dont score at all its seem like all stuck
    the lm go down and i cant build the attack
    pls help which formation is good for me

  25. Hey I m using 4231……..bt how to counter the opponents who r using 4121 2 n. 442. ……which formation will be best to counter this 2 formation

  26. There are a lot of mistakes ( in “how to counter this formation”) in this thread. For example 451 and 451(2) how to counter this formation section should swap places.

  27. Hello Rodrigo, fantastic article, I have been following you for many years.

    Could you please confirm if there are any mistakes in various sections for the ‘41212 and 41212 (2)’ formations ? I feel that especially ‘how to counter this formation’ sections, may have to swap between the two formations mentioned ? Thank you !

  28. hello rodrigo,

    i like to play possession football but also gettimg the ball in from the flanks, i really enjoy crosses.
    I have played either 1 and two strikers, paced put lads and go-to big fellas.

    i’m looking for a sharp change and might even completely refund my FUT club, any suggestions about the formation? I am considering going back to 2 strikers, maybe one of each kind (pace-size), but i’m afraid a lot of crosses might end up in uncovered areas (small fast guy). i always played prenier league and have to consider a change, even though, as i basically have 2 starting 11s to alternate, premier league is giving me a really wide choice.

    i’m cobsidering all this also as i realy enjoy ball possession.

    thx for the attention and great guide.

  29. i was thinking a 3-5-2

    Leno (or Ter Stegen)
    Hummels Boateng Mustafi
    (Icon)Matthaus Khedira
    Mhkitarian Mertens Reus
    OT Batshuahy Lukaku

    86 rating 100 chem

    selling a bit of my premier league should let me afford it as i already have lukaku matthaus and mkhitarian

    what do you think for possession and crossing?

  30. Hey Rodrigo,
    Im really good at pacey wingers and both at crossing and through balls. I can hold the possession near the attacking 3rd and wait for a perfect long shot. Moreover i can also defend decently. What formation do you suggest me?
    Im currently using 433 (4).

  31. In the list of counter formations against 4-4-2 you have 4-1-3-2, which I can’t find elsewhere on your page or as an in-game formation choice. Please clarify. Thanks.

  32. Hi Rodrigo,

    I have been using the 5212 for ages as i like crossing but i am also good at quick passing play. However, i want to use some wingers instead of wing backs so i can cut inside. Right now i am primarily using Prime Larsson and switching strikers regularly.

    Any ideas for a formation or players in general to use with him?

  33. Hi Rodrigo,
    I just want to make sure if I have to change my formation. I am a person that does a lot of through balls. I like using my winger but I don’t like crossing the ball. My current formation is 4-3-2-1. I have Firmino 87 IF as my striker. Then I have Eden Hazard and Mohammed Salah POTM 92 rated as wingers. My three CM are Thiago(SBC), De Bruyne and David Silva. My defenders are David Alaba, Hummels, Boateng and Kimmich 87 IF. My keeper is Neuer.

  34. Hi Rodrigo ,
    I like the direct play and I like to have the ball and get it back quickly , I am someone impatient in attack.
    Which formation would best suit my style of play.
    Good job and thx.

  35. Hi Rodrigo,

    I sometimes feel like I am attacking too much or defending too much. Can you list a formation, where it is equally balanced?

  36. Hello Rodrigo,
    I am looking for a formation that suits my playstyle. I am not too good at defense and I like to counter attack with short fast passes and through balls using wingers and midfielders to get to the striker,
    Thanks

  37. hi rodrigo
    i play 4321 this year i love the wings and in the wl i finish gold 3 and up
    but in the two last wl i lost a lot and finish silver 2.
    something dont work maybe the custom tactisc maybe the formation can you help me?
    can you wrote me the custom tactics to this formation
    me team is:
    de gea bailly aurier if maldini 88at cb sandro
    kante toty savic sif blanck 85 overmars 90 son 84 willian 87

  38. Hey Rodrigo, a wonderful guide as always. I’ve been a fan for many years. In fifa 18 i have been unable to find the formation as per my play style. There is always something missing in every formation.
    I don’t do crossing/ heading and score using through balls.
    I want to rush straight away into attack after wining the ball.
    Primarily i play through middle but occasionally go on wings to widen the game and have gaps in middle for a pass.
    I am average at defense and have an average team of worth 500k. No icons or special cards etc.

    Till now i have tried 4231(controls midfield but lacks attack and requires patience). 41212 (huge gaps in midfield), 4222(gaps in midfield), 41212(2) (wings are exposed for opponent using wing play), 4321/4312 (defense lacks and always rushing CMs back after losing the ball).
    So, suggest something for me please 🙂
    p.s
    i am getting inclined to go with classic formation 442 with one CM to stay back while attacking.

    • Hi. Nothing gives us more satisfaction than knowing we have people following our work for so many years. Thank you!
      I think you have a good play style for the most used FIFA 18 formation: 41212 (2). I know you already tried it, but have you modified custom tactics? If you adjust pressure and team width, your defenders will be in position to avoid dangerous attacks.
      You can also use 442, but don’t forget to reduce the crossings tactics.

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