Player Instructions Explained!

Content of the article: "Player Instructions Explained!"

Hello! There was a lot of love for my custom tactics guide the other day – so I’ve gone through player instructions again this year to help you make your tactical set up decisions a bit easier.

Streamable Link for the visual learners.

The first thing to consider is that player instructions will almost always override your custom tactics. I think of it in the following way – the custom tactics provide the framework for the general shape of your team – and player instructions influence the individual characteristics of how your players move off the ball.

I’ve left out some settings because I either couldn’t find any difference – or because they’re so obvious just from reading them. Furthermore – balanced settings are left out – usually they are a combination of all of the settings, though if you’ve been playing with them on for all this time, you’ll probably understand how they work.


Attacking Runs

Attacking runs effect how involved your fullbacks get when attacking.

Join Attack – On this setting your full backs will be up within 20 yards of your wingers and will often show for a pass or make runs past your winger when they hold the ball up.

Stay Back – Whereas on stay back, your fullbacks will do exactly that! They will stay in their shape and not concern themselves with attacking – holding their line with your centre backs.

Run Types

Run types effect the width of your fullbacks runs when they get involved with the attack. This generally will only come into affect when you have your attacking runs on balanced and join attack.

Inverted – Inverted runs will mean your full backs will make runs on the inside of your wingers – generally between their full back and their centre back.

Overlap – On the other hand, overlap means your full backs will get on the outside of your winger and hug the touchline.

Centre Backs

Attacking Runs

I didn’t exactly find much in the way of attacking runs for centre backs. I tried for 3 or 4 games to find out what ‘play as a striker’ does, but to no avail.

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Join Attack – However I did find that for join attack your centre backs will step up infront of the attackers to receive a pass when you get into the opposition half.

Centre Defensive Midfielders (CDM)

Defensive Behaviour

This effects how which side of the attacker your CDM’s will defend on.

Man Mark – On this setting your CDM’s will be goal side of the attackers – meaning they allow a pass into them, but will be hassling them when they turn.

Cut Passing Lanes – On this setting your CDM’s will try to defend infront of the attacker and deny a pass into them, however if they do succeed you wont be close by and they may have space to exploit.

Attacking Support

Attacking support controls how much your CDM’s get involved with the attack

Stay Back – On this setting your CDM’s will stay behind the ball when you’re attacking and will be there to stop a counterattack.

Drop Between CB’s – On this setting your CMD will sit between two centrebacks who spread wider as a result. If you have two CDM’s on this setting, only one of them will sit between the CB’s and the other one will remain in a normal role infront of the defence in the usual CDM spot.

Get Forward – Obviously on this setting your central defensive mids will play higher up the pitch and will be happy to get in the box and make runs that your forwards usually would.

Central Midfielders

Obviously all of the previous CDM settings will also be the same for CM’s where applicable.

Positional Freedom

This essentially affects what positions your players will take up going forwards. Whilst stick to position obviously means they will keep their usual shape.

Free Roam – This essentially means your CM’s will take up whatever position they fancy. Whether that be further forward than usual, or wider than their usual central position.

Central Attacking Midfielders

Positional Freedom

Drift Wide – This means your CAM will drift out wide – generally taking up the space between the centre back and the full back.

Free Roam – again this is similar to the CM – your CAM will take up both wide and central positions – and may play further forward than usual.

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Defensive Support

This obviously effects how willing your CAM will be to get involved defensively.

Stay Forward – This means your CAM will make no effort whatsoever to defend and will happily just sit on the half way line.

Come Back – This should mean that your CAM gets involved defensively but what I found was it means that they just drop a bit deeper when you defend, not really getting involved with the defending.

Wide Midfielders

Defensive Support

This affects how much your wide players will be willing to get involved in defending

Stay Forward – Again, your wingers will stay high and wide on the pitch waiting for you to counter attack

Come Back – Once again they will make a token effort to come back but wont get involved in the nitty gritty of defending.

Chance Creation

This effects the width of your wide midfielders attacking runs

Cut Inside – this is similar to inverted runs for full backs. Your wingers will try to make diagonal runs inside the full back and centre backs.

Stay Wide – This means your wingers will hug the touchline and hope to get on the outside of the full back.

Support Runs

This effects how your wingers will show for the ball in the build-up phase of play.

Come Short – This means your wingers will peel of his marker and will offer a short option for the ball

Target Man – This means your wingers will play on the full back with their back to goal and look to hold off the marker.

Get in Behind – this obviously means they’ll play on the shoulder of the attacker and will look to get in behind the defence.


Support Runs

This generally effects how wide your striker will play.

Stay Central – this is pretty self-explanatory – your striker will hold his position in the middle of the pitch like a traditional striker who plays between the goalposts.

Drift Wide – your striker will happily move into wider areas – outside the edges of the box.

Attacking Runs

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This affects your strikers runs off the ball when you’re not controlling them.

Target Man – This, like your wingers, means they’ll sit with their back to goal looking to hold off the defender.

Get in Behind – Again, this means your strikers will sit on the shoulder looking to get in behind.

False Nine – This means your striker will drop deeper – often into the positions of a traditional CAM looking to help with link up play.


I’ll finish with interceptions which effect all of your players over the pitch

On aggressive your players will stick tighter to the attacker and will often try to cut the ball out when passed in – this can help you win the ball back faster but also can leave you exposed with a quick one two

On conservative your players will step off the attackers and make no attempt to intercept the ball.

And there we go! I hope you enjoyed it! If you have any questions about it – please let me know!


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