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Well as we wind down FIFA 15 and take a look at some of the good(more responsive passing) and bad(Price Ranges *eye roll*) of this year's game

Strafe's FIFA Tiki-Taka Guide

Well as we wind down FIFA 15 and take a look at some of the good(more responsive passing) and bad(Price Ranges *eye roll*) of this year's game, I feel it is necessary to provide the new forum with an unrequested and unwarranted post about Tiki-Taka. One of the most underrated but most deadly play styles when utilized correctly.


"(commonly spelled tiqui-taca [╦łtiki╦łtaka] in Spanish) is a style of play in football characterized by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession."

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, phrase, or however you decide to categorize it, It's a style that gained a lot of fame with Former World Cup Champion Spain and the team everyone either loves or loves to hate FC Barcelona.

The strength of this style(summarized in the earlier definition) is that it uses a complex system of passing to accomplish its goal of keeping the ball in the opponents half of the pitch while finding options for an easy run on goal or open shot inside or close to the box. The strength of this style is play through the midfield using triangles, although there is some emphasis on wing play(depending on what type of formation style you decide is best for you.

For the past few versions of Fifa, I have been trying to replicate the style as best as possible and I believe I have found a method and strategy to accomplishing this play-style best within the game, although it takes tons of practice(in-game and skill challenges) to be successful. Although I cannot provide the entire history of the style(it would take weeks maybe even months to fully explain it), the synopsis provided above is just that, a synopsis.

One good thing about this year's game is the passing system has been vastly improved from the past games in both how touches are handled and the overall accuracy of passes being made. Anyways, enough mumbo jumbo about that. Time for the breakdown.

Disclaimer: You will lose some in the beginning(especially if you are transitioning from being a home run over-the-top through ball kicker) but it will get better. When it does get better, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences, as this is a very fun style and effective one to play in game.I WOULD NOT SUGGEST THIS IF YOU AREN'T COMFORTABLE PLAYING ON ULTRA-ATTACKING THE ENTIRE GAME. KEYWORD: COMFORTABLE. The reason I say this is because if you want to get the most out of this style, you are going to need to usually be on this setting or higher as you play.

Small Video Highlight:

For starters you have to build your team to suit your playstyle needs, personally I enjoy using the 4-3-3(false 9) a.k.a the 4-3-3(5) in game, which is what this breakdown will focus on(at least for now). Below is the current build that I have in ultimate team.

Being a good defender in your own half is VITAL to success. It's not a matter of if, but when the opponent counterattacks. You need to be able to stop those sweaty pace abusers who hold R2/RT and run around the field like a chicken with its head cut off. I'll elaborate more on this later when I go over tactics. 


LB/RB: At this position you want defenders who first and foremost are high in pace. When you push up the field you will need someone who has the speed to be able to track back and cover the long through ball from any possible counterattacks. I'd recommend no less than 79/80 pace but here the higher the better.

Work Rates - You want high/med or high/high here with at least a 70 passing rating (3 star skill is a plus). I suggest one of each as it gives your defense more levels and makes it harder to breakdown on the pitch. The reason you need outside backers with high attack work rates is you are going to need them to support the build up play moving through the midfield. If they hang too far back, your passing options will be limited and that is not something you want in this style.

CB: You want preferably players who are over 6'2, 65 pace, and 78 or higher phys/def ratings. There will be times where the opponent gets a player tries to run by you and you need to be able to use O/B to bully them off of the ball. (Tip: Vary when you push/pull and don't just tap it the entire time, this is an easy way to give up penalties and sometimes even risk a player being sent off). When the opponent tries a through ball don't press any buttons UNLESS you are for sure you can get to it or you have no other recourse. Instead in these situations, it is important that you switch to a defender and try to cut off the opponents first touch. The ball will often roll a yard or more after the player receives the ball and you can easily run over it and take it from him.

Work Rates - My suggestion is to use a High/High player and a Med/Med player although you have more wiggle room here. You really want to invest in a Med/Med player however as this player usually holds in position and creates a different level from most other center backs. DON'T have two players with the same work rates playing at the same time at this position, it makes your defensive line easier to break through.


If you are uncomfortable using a player with a High attacking work rate at this position it is fine because the CB is mainly used to link up with the CDM and the LB/RB so you can push the ball forward.

CDM: The Second most important position for this formation. You want a CDM with good defending, dribbling, and passing(At least a 75 in all of these ratings). Physicality is an addition but not necessary. This is the player who will provide the link up play between the midfield and the defense. If running tiki taka you want to pick a formation who has at least one CDM within it. CM's will leave a gap between the defense and the midfield and that's not something you want.

Work Rates: High/High or High/Med is very important here. You want a CDM that will push up a bit and give you another option for holding the ball in the opponents half of the pitch. You also want a CDM who will return when necessary to take the ball away from the opponent. I would not recommend a CDM with a Low attack or a Low defensive work rate.

CM: You want players with as high dribbling and passing as you possibly can get(Nothing less than 80's here), pace is not an important stat here as you will be looking to move the ball around with these players. A high shot rating is not necessary but would be of some aid here.

Work Rates: Alternate High/Any. This again will create a push within the front of the pitch which is what you want. It also creates more levels and makes the defenses job that much harder to try and win the ball back. I personally recommend one player with a high defensive work rate to make your defending job that much easier.

CF: The MOST important position within this formation. You want a jack of all trades here. NO LESS than a 75 in every category(except defending and physicality, but physicality gives you a huge boost here). This is the player who will create most of your chances and for that you must have someone who can pass, score, and dribble to maintain possession when you need him to.

Work Rates: Preferred is Med/Med or Med/Low. Here you can mix and match to suit just how you want to play, but I would advise against using a player here with a High defensive work rate. This player you want to hold the ball in the opponents half for you, scoring is not the first option with this player, keeping play alive and moving the ball around is(That being said if this player is wide open or makes a run in the box into a window, take the shot). If you are a beginner to this style a High attacking rate would be risky.

RW/LW: Pace, Dribbling, and Shooting all need to be 75, passing can be 70. Always know where they are around the box. These are the players who will make your most advantageous runs into the box. Thus, the ability to slip behind the line is of utmost importance. That being said these are not the only players you should look to shoot with, otherwise you'll miss out on some good passes in other places.

Work Rates: High attack here is the only option. With the defending side you can be more lenient as you aren't playing home run style so your players will have a chance to get back to where they need to be in time. The high attack allows them to make a lot of runs into the box, a key to easy on goal shots.



These are my settings, you can change to fit the work rates of your players but I'd advise using these to start.

LB/RB/CB: Stay Back while Attacking

CDM: Man Mark, Stay Back

CM: Balanced Attack, Stay on Edge, Free Roam

CF: Press Back Line, Stay Central, Target Man

RW/LW: Stay Forward, Cut Inside, Get in Behind, Get Into the Box


Although the most important section, this is where you formulate your own, I can't give you everything,that would be too easy...I will what section you want to be in 

Build Up Play:

Speed - Slow

Passing - Short

Chance Creation:

Passing - Safe

Crossing - Little

Shooting - Little


Pressure - Varies with opponent style

Aggression - Varies with opponent style

Width - Narrow

My biggest piece of advice is be patient, you won't master it overnight, but you will become etter. Don't always look to score within the first 5 seconds of having the ball and you will open up endless opportunities and make yourself a very difficult footballer to defend and stop.

Even I myself haven't completely mastered the style, but I would say I am exceptional at it. Games don't always go how I want them to, and even if I play outstanding sometimes it's not meant for me to win below I have posted some of my most recent results(including the first one I lost but should have won).

*To be added upon*

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