6 Best Formations to Use in FIFA 23 For Beginners

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FIFA 23 drops at the perfect time to help fans get excited about the FIFA World Cup at the end of the year. If you’re an avid player of the franchise, you know that strategies and formations are needed to be truly competitive.

We’re going to help beginners out in this article by outlining the FIFA best formations and how they work.

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What are FIFA 23 Formations?

Before we dive into FIFA’s best formations, what are they? Formations dictate how your players are positioned on the field. For example, a 4-2-3-1 formation will have:

  • 4 traditional backs
  • 2 defensive midfielders
  • 3 attacking midfielders
  • 1 striker

You can adjust how defensive or offensive your team is by choosing the right formation. Every player will have a different formation that they prefer. Perhaps you’re going up against a team that is very offensive, choosing a defensive formation will allow you to counter their strengths.

Formations are important for beginners because they’ll help you open up or congest the field to play off of your strengths.

When you’re just starting out, a balanced formation is often best while you try to master gameplay.

Of course, everyone has a different preference and will want to try out numerous formations to find the one that’s best for them. For example, you may prefer a 4-3-3 formation while others do not like this classic build.

With all of this in mind, let’s look through the formations available and what each has to offer new players.

6 Best Formations in FIFA 23 for New Players

4-3-3 Formation

The 4-3-3 formation is a classic formation, but it’s also one that you need to take a lot of care with because it’s easy to get your striker isolated from the rest of the team. The play style is what we would consider:

  • Stable
  • Slower

You’ll find that this is a good formation for anyone who wants more focus on their midfielders and doesn’t mind a stable approach to the game. Obviously, the formation’s strength is that you have three midfielders, so you can apply a lot of offensive pressure.

Over time, as you continue to learn and master this formation, you’ll find that it will improve your soccer IQ.

However, there is also the downside that you’ll lack a slight bit of defence with the 4-3-3 formation. If you have players who are playing a defensively sound game, it will be much easier to leverage the power of 4-3-3 to your advantage.

High-stamina players are a must-have if you’re going to press the opposition.

Barcelona likes to use the 4-3-3 in real play, and it’s an aggressive style that requires precision positioning. If you have a team that can exploit the 4-3-3 properly, it’s one of the most fun formations that opponents find increasingly difficult to defend against.

4-2-3-1 Formation

If you want a bit more balance, you may want to choose FIFA’s most population formation: 4-2-3-1. The formation allows you to play a wide or narrow game, and you benefit from the three CAMS on the field.

Your CDMs help in defence and will allow you to adapt to offensive threats much faster than other formations.

You will need to take control of the two CDMs and instruct them during gameplay to maximize your formation. However, there is a large level of coordination necessary to exploit this composition properly.

Players will need to come up to help the offence, but these transitions are going to help you become a better player. The formation was used by Spain when they won the World Cup and Euro Championship, so it’s definitely a powerhouse when played properly.

You benefit from:

  • Strong defensive stability
  • Balanced attacks

However, you do need to be very engaged in the game to keep your players active. Players will need to make in-game commands to have their players in the proper position. In real-life games, communication is key to the 4-2-3-1 formation.

3-5-2 Formation

Beginners love to pressure other teams and want to score goals. Playing a highly defensive game isn’t the right playstyle for everyone. And if you find that you don’t like the pressure of this formation, change to one of the other options.

The formation relies heavily on midfielders, and it’s only recommended if you have a lot of players with good stamina.

Due to the fast-paced nature of this formation, you definitely don’t want to play this formation with players who don’t have the stamina for it.

Argentina is known best for leveraging the 3-5-2, which they found is a great way to open up space for star players. You’ll also find that the formation does give you decent defensive power and a lot of opportunity to open the game up with your offence.

The formation relies on:

  • 3 central defenders
  • 5 midfielders
  • Two wing-backs

Flexibility is what most players will enjoy with this formation. You will have wing-backs who can go on the attack or drop back to defence if that’s needed, too. When you go on a full attack, the formation does allow you to get back on the defensive rather quickly.

When played properly, you can really dominate possession in the game.

However, every formation comes with its weaknesses when it’s not played properly. Two of the main issues are counterattacks, primarily due to you being too aggressive and one-on-one defensive situations.

4-4-2 Formation

Do you prefer playstyles that are more defensive?  If so, you’ll love playing the 4-4-2 formation. It’s a formation that works well if your team has a lot of passing skills because it will help you put a lot of offensive pressure on the opposing team.

While there was a time when the 4-4-2 dominated gameplay, it has lost some popularity in recent years.

The formation relies heavily on your midfielders, who will need to go wide and like playing a wide offence. Two midfielders stay back to help with defence, while the other two will spend most of their time trying to open up opportunities for offensive players.

When is this formation best?

  • You prefer to play a style of gameplay that waits for the perfect counter-attack
  • You have more of a defensive style of gameplay

However, there are some drawbacks, which is why many professional teams are moving away from the 4-4-2. Over the pitch, it’s a lot of hard work and you’ll also need to have a lot of discipline to play this formation well.

Skill and discipline are going to be the main factors determining whether or not you like the 4-4-2 formation in FIFA 23.

3-4-3 Formation

If you want a more balanced formation that gives you a lot of defence, the 3-4-3 formation is one that you’ll want to explore. The formation is defensive, with three defenders who can save a game.

However, with the right mix of passing and triangle setups, you can rapidly go on the offensive.

Midfielders will split their time, defending and putting on offensive pressure when necessary. Two wide wing-backs or midfielders will need to run up the sides to help increase your offensive threat.

If you want to play from the back, the 3-4-3 formation works very well.

Italy is one of the teams that played this formation exceptionally well. In fact, it is a style that is derived from the 3-5-2 shape but added more offensive options. Thanks to the three defenders back, the formation allows the wing-backs to jump in on the offence.

With that said, it’s pretty easy to tell where the weaknesses in this formation exist:

  • Wing-back roles are going to be exceptionally difficult to play and need a lot of skill
  • Wing-backs who have a lot of stamina and speed are ideal for this role

One thing that is also concerning is the centre pitch lacks defensive cover. You’ll need to watch this area of the field and adjust gameplay as necessary to counter this weakness.

4-1-2-1-2 Formation

If you like the 4-4-2 formation, you’ll find this variation is a good option. You’ll put your midfielders into their own specialized roles where one will play defence in the front while also helping with your buildup play.

The diamond formation is all about:

  • Vertical movement
  • Mobility
  • Physicality

Playing narrow is common and you’ll want both your left-back and right-back to stay back during the offensive. CAM and ST will remain forward. FIFA 23 beginners will find that this formation can be dominant, but you really need to choose the offside trap and striker carefully.

You want to choose the striker based on their speed and stamina because these are the two main attributes they’ll need to excel in the position.

If you want even more defence, you may want to switch to a 4-2-3-1 setup, which leaves you with less scoring ability but a ton of defence.

Settings That You Can Change To Improve Your Formations

With FIFA 23, you can use custom tactics to improve your formations. Just push right or left on the D-pad to open the settings menu and Tactics tab.

Build Up Play

Under Build Up Play, you’ll find four options that you can adjust to improve your formations.

Balanced: Your team will use a combination of different Build Up play styles to mix up your play as necessary.

Slow Build Up: With this setting, you can slowly build up possession from the back and make your way through the thirds of the pitch.

Fast Build Up: A fast build-up allows you to get the ball forward at pace, but it will also leave you more vulnerable to counterattacks if you lose possession.

Long Ball: A Long Ball build-up is useful if you have someone who can lead the line and hoof the ball to.

Chance Creation

Under Chance Creation, you have several options:

Possession: Works well with Slow Build-Up for possession-based players. Your teammates will look for the ball instead of running behind through defensive lines.

Balanced: With this setting, your teammates will hold their position in the attacking third. Tap L1 to trigger penetrating runs. 

Direct Passing: Your team will pull the defence out of position by spreading out and looking for the ball.

Forward Runs: Your teammates will get in behind and aim to penetrate the defence. 

Adjusting the settings here can help give your formations an edge, but some options can also leave you more open to counterattacks.

Pressure After Possession Loss

In the Defense section of the Tactics tab, you can change the settings for Defensive Style. With the Pressure After Possession Loss option, your team will put intense pressure on your opponent to try and win back the ball. 

Although this defensive style is powerful, it does drain your stamina significantly, so keep this in mind. Still, you can use this setting to turn the tide back in your favour and maximize the strengths of your formations.

Width Of Your Team’s Formation

From the Tactics tab, you can adjust the width of your formations on offence (when in possession of the ball) and on defence (when not in possession of the ball). 

Offence: Bump up the width if you want to spread the play. If you want to play through the middle, then move the width down.

Defence: It’s best to keep this neutral for defence.   

Try experimenting with these settings to see how they improve (or hurt) your formations. Finding the right combination of settings is key.

FIFA 23 is intimidating for a lot of new players,  and you’ll need to practice a lot to hang with the most experienced players in the game. People have been playing every iteration of this game for years, but mastering the best formations will definitely help you gain a competitive edge.

We do recommend that you also:

  • Follow some of the top FIFA players on Twitch to learn from their gameplay
  • Keep up-to-date using YouTube

And one more thing before you go, don’t forget to read this awesome guide on 7 Players to Look out for When Starting Your FIFA 23 Ultimate Team.