Every FIFA 23 Formation Explained (2024)

A comprehensive guide to FIFA 23 formations and tactics.

In FIFA 23, choosing the right formation is crucial to your success on the virtual pitch. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which formation suits your playing style best.

In this comprehensive guide, we will break down and explain each formation to help you make the right decision when building your squad.

  • 3-1-4-2 Formation
  • 3-4-1-2 Formation
  • 3-4-2-1 Formation
  • 3-4-3 Formation
  • 3-4-3 Diamond Formation
  • 3-4-3 Flat Formation
  • 3-5-1-1 Formation
  • 3-5-2 Formation
  • 4-1-2-1-2 Formation
  • 4-1-2-1-2 (2) Formation
  • 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow Formation
  • 4-1-2-1-2 Wide Formation
  • 4-1-3-2 Formation
  • 4-1-4-1 Formation
  • 4-2-2-2 Formation
  • 4-2-3-1 Formation
  • 4-2-3-1 (2) Formation
  • 4-2-3-1 Narrow Formation
  • 4-2-3-1 Wide Formation
  • 4-2-4 Formation
  • 4-3-1-2 Formation
  • 4-3-2-1 Formation
  • 4-3-3 Formation
  • 4-3-3 (2) Formation
  • 4-3-3 (3) Formation
  • 4-3-3 (4) Formation
  • 4-3-3 (5) Formation
  • 4-3-3 Attack Formation
  • 4-3-3 Defend Formation
  • 4-3-3 False 9 Formation
  • 4-3-3 Flat Formation
  • 4-3-3 Holding Formation
  • 4-4-1-1 Formation
  • 4-4-1-1 (2) Formation
  • 4-4-1-1 Attack Formation
  • 4-4-1-1 Midfield Formation
  • 4-4-2 Formation
  • 4-4-2 (2) Formation
  • 4-4-2 Flat Formation
  • 4-4-2 Holding Formation
  • 4-5-1 Formation
  • 4-5-1 (2) Formation
  • 4-5-1 Attack Formation
  • 4-5-1 Flat Formation
  • 5-1-2-2 Formation
  • 5-2-1-2 Formation
  • 5-2-2-1 Formation
  • 5-2-3 Formation
  • 5-3-2 Formation
  • 5-4-1 Formation
  • 5-4-1 Diamond Formation
  • 5-4-1 Flat Formation

3-1-4-2 Formation

The 3-1-4-2 formation is a variation of the 3-5-2, designed for games where you need to win while conceding few goals. It features three central defenders, one defensive midfielder (preferably a sweeper), and a midfield quartet of two central midfielders and two withdrawn wingers. One of the central midfielders takes on the playmaker role, pushing further upfield.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-1-3-2

3-4-1-2 Formation

The 3-4-1-2 formation is suitable for games where you aim to control the midfield and create scoring opportunities through your midfielders. It is a variation of the 3-5-2, with more emphasis on a central attacking midfielder (“number 10”) supporting two strikers upfront.

Recommended Counter Formation: 4-5-1

3-4-2-1 Formation

An attacking variant of the 3-4-1-2, the 3-4-2-1 formation boasts three forwards (LF, CF/ST, and RF) for games where you seek to score multiple goals. The formation offers a balanced approach to both attack and defense.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1

3-4-3 Formation

The 3-4-3 formation requires your midfielders to be adept at both attacking and defending. With only three defenders, this formation favors offensive-minded teams. However, it can be vulnerable to counterattacks.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-1-2, 4-2-3-1, 5-3-2

3-4-3 Diamond Formation

If you want to concentrate on attacking and scoring goals while maintaining a steady defense, the 3-4-3 Diamond formation is a good choice. It features a CAM and a CDM, providing better support for both attacks and defense.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-1-2, 4-2-3-1, 5-3-2

3-4-3 Flat Formation

Similar to the 3-4-3 Diamond, the 3-4-3 Flat formation emphasizes attacking play. It boasts three forwards, allowing for a more aggressive attacking approach. However, it also requires strong defensive support from the midfielders.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-1-2, 4-2-3-1, 5-3-2

3-5-1-1 Formation

The 3-5-1-1 formation is perfect for teams looking to manage their attacks through crosses from the wings and score goals from the center of the attacking line. It replaces two strikers with two CFs (center forwards), offering better crossing opportunities.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-1-3-2

3-5-2 Formation

The 3-5-2 formation utilizes three central defenders and two wing-backs, making it dependent on the wing-backs’ width for team structure. It allows for a balanced focus on both attacking and defending.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-1-3-2

4-1-2-1-2 Formation

The 4-1-2-1-2 formation features four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards. With a CDM supporting the defense and a CAM linking up with the strikers, it offers a balanced approach to both attacking and defending.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2, 4-4-1-1

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

Also known as 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow, this variation replaces wingers with central midfielders (CMs), creating a more compact formation. It helps maintain a strong presence in the center of the field.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2, 4-4-1-1

4-1-2-1-2 Narrow Formation

The 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow formation is suitable for games where you want to concentrate on attacks and score goals while maintaining a solid midfield and defense. By removing the wingers, you can create a more compact formation.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2, 4-4-1-1

4-1-2-1-2 Wide Formation

The 4-1-2-1-2 Wide formation offers similar attacking potential to the Narrow variant but includes wingers (RM and LM) who can assist the lone striker from the sides and also execute long aerial balls.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2, 4-4-1-1

4-1-3-2 Formation

If you’re aiming to control the game with the help of your midfielders, the 4-1-3-2 formation might be the perfect fit. Derived from the classic 4-4-2, this setup requires a strong CDM to anchor the defense. This enables the three midfielders to push forward more aggressively, giving you an offensive edge while maintaining a safety net with the defensive midfielder ready to support plays or counterattacks. This formation boasts a formidable presence in the central attacking area, making it a preferred choice for those who love to go on the offensive.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-3-3

4-1-4-1 Formation

For players who prefer a possession-based approach and rely on counters for attacking, the 4-1-4-1 formation fits the bill. A more defensive version of the 4-4-2, this setup features 4 defenders, 1 CDM, 4 midfielders, and a lone striker. Your sole forward should ideally have a high PAC (Pace) rating, facilitating swift counter-attacks. This formation excels at winning ball possession and launching quick, effective counter-attacks through the sole striker.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-5-1, 3-5-1-1

4-2-2-2 Formation

If your goal is to score through ground passes and create more goal-scoring opportunities, the 4-2-2-2 formation is an excellent choice. Using two strikers and two CAM players, along with two CDM players, grants your team enhanced attacking and defensive capabilities. The formation’s focus is on utilizing the central areas of the field for your attacking maneuvers.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-5-2, 4-3-3

4-2-3-1 Formation

The 4-2-3-1 formation may appear defensive at first glance, but its flexibility makes it a potent option. The wingers and full-backs can both contribute to the attack while the attacking midfielders (CAM) and defensive midfielders (CDM) work in tandem, providing support for both attack and defense.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-4-2

4-2-3-1 (2) Formation

For a slightly more defensive approach compared to the narrow variant, the 4-2-3-1 (2) formation can be your choice. With two wide midfielders (RM and LM) instead of CAMs, this setup allows you to utilize wingers to support your lone striker and also employ long aerial balls.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-4-2

4-2-3-1 Narrow Formation

Perfect for players who want to maintain a steady midfield and defense while scoring using a lone striker, the 4-2-3-1 Narrow formation offers the right balance. Similar to the previous variant, this formation boasts attacking midfielders (CAM) supporting the lone forward, backed by two defensive midfielders (CDM) aiding the defense.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-4-2

4-2-3-1 Wide Formation

A less attacking version of the narrow variant, the 4-2-3-1 Wide formation features RM and LM players instead of CAMs. These wingers can provide crucial assists to your sole striker from the sides and utilize long aerial balls for attacking opportunities.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1, 4-4-2

4-2-4 Formation

For those aiming to secure victory by scoring more goals, the 4-2-4 formation is the way to go. This setup combines a strong attack with a robust defense, offering a balanced approach for players who love to go all out in pursuit of goals.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 5-3-2

4-3-1-2 Formation

If your attacking style revolves around the creativity of attacking midfielders, the 4-3-1-2 formation might be your ideal fit. With two strikers and one CAM, this setup allows you to orchestrate attacks through the middle. Three other midfielders (CM or CAM) contribute both offensively and defensively, making it an effective formation for those who prefer a midfield-driven approach.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-3, 5-3-2

4-3-2-1 Formation

Nicknamed the “Christmas Tree” formation, the 4-3-2-1 is an ultra-attacking version of the 4-3-1-2. With three attackers, including two wide forwards (LF and RF) supporting a central striker, you gain more goal-scoring opportunities.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-2-3-1, 5-3-2

4-3-3 Formation

Known as the 4-3-3 Flat, this formation strikes a balance between attack and defense, boasting three attackers and a flat defensive line.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2

4-3-3 (2) Formation

A variation of the 4-3-3, the 4-3-3 (2) formation leans slightly more towards defense by utilizing wingers (LW and RW) instead of typical forwards (LF and RF). Two CM players and one CDM provide added defensive support.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2

4-3-3 (3) Formation

For a more defensive setup than the (2) variant, the 4-3-3 (3) formation features two CDM players on the sides and one CM player in the middle, creating a solid defensive foundation.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2

4-3-3 (4) Formation

The 4-3-3 (4) formation is a balanced choice for both attacking and defending gameplay. Compared to the 4-3-3 (2), this formation swaps the CDM player for a CAM, providing more creativity and offensive options. It’s well-suited for players who prefer a dynamic midfield presence and potent attacking plays.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2

4-3-3 (5) Formation

The 4-3-3 (5) formation, also known as the “False 9,” is a variation of the classic 4-3-3 setup. In this tactic, the ST or CF player drops slightly behind the LW and RW players, supported by two CAM players on the sides. The False 9 approach can confuse opponents and create scoring opportunities.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2

4-3-3 Attack Formation

If you are looking to increase your attacking prowess, the 4-3-3 Attack Formation is a great choice. It is a more aggressive version of the 4-3-3 Flat, featuring an attacking midfielder behind the striker for added support in the offensive phase.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2

4-3-3 Defend Formation

For those seeking a balanced approach that emphasizes defense while still retaining attacking capabilities, the 4-3-3 Defend Formation fits the bill. With two CDM players and one CM player, this setup aims to thwart opponent counter-attacks effectively.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2

4-3-3 False 9 Formation

The 4-3-3 False 9 Formation provides a safer attacking approach, allowing the ST or CF player to drop behind the LW and RW players. With the support of two CAM players, this formation can be a tactical advantage in specific situations.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2

4-3-3 Flat Formation

As a development of the 4-2-4 formation, the 4-3-3 Flat is considered a safe and balanced attacking formation. With three attackers and a flat defensive line, it offers a solid foundation for building both defensive and offensive plays.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2

4-3-3 Holding Formation

For players seeking a more defensive version of the 4-3-3 formation, the 4-3-3 Holding is an ideal choice. It features LW and RW (wingers) instead of LF and RF, and includes two CM players and one CDM player for enhanced defensive support.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2

4-4-1-1 Formation

The 4-4-1-1 Formation is a variation of the classic 4-4-2, with one of the strikers playing as a second striker behind the other. This playmaker role is crucial for initiating attacks and creating scoring opportunities.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3

4-4-1-1 (2) Formation

In the 4-4-1-1 (2) Formation, one striker plays in the front line and is supported by an attacking midfielder (CAM) just behind him. This setup allows for increased offensive options.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3

4-4-1-1 Attack Formation

The 4-4-1-1 Attack Formation replaces the CAM player with a CF or ST positioned just behind the main striker. This alteration enhances the attacking potential of the team.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3

4-4-1-1 Midfield Formation

Similar to the 4-4-1-1 Attack Formation, this setup features a striker supported by an attacking midfielder (CAM). It provides a strong midfield presence and attacking options.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3

4-4-2 Formation

The 4-4-2 Formation staggers the midfield, requiring full-backs to push forward and provide width. The midfielders must work diligently to support both defense and attack.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2 / 4-4-1-1

4-4-2 (2) Formation

The 4-4-2 (2) Formation, also known as 4-4-2 Holding, is a more defensive version of the 4-4-2 setup. It utilizes two CDM players instead of CM players, providing added defensive stability.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2 / 4-4-1-1

4-4-2 Flat Formation

The 4-4-2 Flat Formation is another option for players seeking a balanced midfield presence. Full-backs are crucial for providing width in this system.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2 / 4-4-1-1

4-4-2 Holding Formation

The 4-4-2 Holding Formation is a more defensive version of the 4-4-2 Flat. Strong defensive midfielders (CDM) are essential for this setup.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-4-2-1 / 3-5-2 / 4-4-1-1

4-5-1 Formation

Originally a defensive formation, the 4-5-1 can become more attacking if the two midfield wingers take on a more offensive role, resembling the 4-3-3. This formation can be useful for preserving a lead or stifling the opposition’s play.

Recommended Counter Formations: 5-3-2

4-5-1 (2) Formation

The 4-5-1 (2) Formation is a defensive edition of the 4-5-1, used to secure wins or draws in a safer manner.

Recommended Counter Formations: 5-3-2

4-5-1 Attack Formation

The attacking edition of the 4-5-1 Formation replaces the CAM player with a CF or ST slightly behind the main striker. This adjustment offers more attacking options.

Recommended Counter Formations: 5-3-2

4-5-1 Flat Formation

The 4-5-1 Flat Formation, known for its holding mode, provides a solid defensive setup. While the formation’s primary focus is on defense, it can be transformed into a more attacking 4–3–3-like setup if the two midfield wingers take on a more offensive role. This formation is excellent for preserving leads and disrupting the opposition’s build-up play, thanks to the packed center midfield.

Recommended Counter Formations: 5-3-2

5-1-2-2 Formation

In the 5-1-2-2 Formation, available in Defending and Attacking (Counter) modes, you’ll have a formidable defensive setup with five defenders, including three central defenders and two wide full-backs acting as wing-backs. These wing-backs play a crucial role in supporting both the midfielders and the strikers during attacks, especially on counter-attacks.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3 / 4-4-2

5-2-1-2 Formation

Similar to the 5-1-2-2 Formation, the 5-2-1-2 Formation is available in Defending and Attacking (Counter) modes. It boasts a strong defensive structure with five defenders, including three central defenders and two wide full-backs as wing-backs. These wing-backs contribute significantly to quick counter-attacks, providing support to the three attackers.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3 / 4-4-2

5-2-2-1 Formation

Available exclusively in FUT, the 5-2-2-1 Formation features five defenders, including three central defenders and two wide full-backs acting as wing-backs. The wing-backs play a crucial role in backing up the strikers during swift counter-attacks. With three attackers, including LW, RW, and ST, you’ll have the option to launch counter-attacks from both the wings and the center.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3

5-2-3 Formation

The 5-2-3 Formation, available in Career Mode, Kick-off, and Tournaments, is ideal for executing counter-attacks. It’s a variation of the 5-2-1-2 Formation but with more attacking options. With a stronger presence of attackers, this formation poses a significant threat to the opposition’s defense.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-5-1

5-3-2 Formation

In the 5-3-2 Formation, available in FUT, Career Mode, Kick-off, and Tournaments, the team relies on the wing-backs to provide width during play. The two wide full-backs act as wing-backs, supporting both defense and attack along the entire length of the pitch.

Recommended Counter Formations: 4-3-3

5-4-1 Formation

If your primary goal is to defend and execute counter-attacks, the 5-4-1 Formation, available in FUT, is an excellent choice. This highly defensive setup features an isolated forward and a packed defense, making it challenging for the opposition to break through.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-5-2

5-4-1 Diamond Formation

A slight variation of the 5-4-1 Formation, the 5-4-1 Diamond Formation, available in Career Mode, Kick-off, and Tournaments, introduces a CAM player to support the lone striker during attacks. This formation adds a touch of attack-mindedness to the otherwise defensive setup.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-5-2

5-4-1 Flat Formation

Similar to the 5-4-1 Diamond Formation, the 5-4-1 Flat Formation is ideal for defensive play and counter-attacks. It features an isolated forward and a packed defense, making it difficult for the opposition to find openings.

Recommended Counter Formations: 3-5-2

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Every FIFA 23 Formation Explained (3)

Every FIFA 23 Formation Explained (2024)
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