Fall is upon us, and you know what that means. Pumpkin flavored everything, chopping wood for the fire and most importantly, enjoying this year's FIFA reboot. Not everyone goes to sleep with their cleats on. Some are new to the franchise. With this in mind, get the most from FIFA 14 with these beginner's tips that'll get you off the bench and into the game.
Reaching the Back of the Net
EA Sports transformed scoring in FIFA 14 with the all-new Pure Shot and Real Ball Physics that make shooting the ball more realistic and satisfying. The ball can dip, dive, curve, rise and misfire depending how you strike it, either alone with a free shot on goal, or with a defender pulling on your jersey.
First thing you must learn is how hard to hit the ball to have your shot stay on target. Similar to previous FIFAs, there is a power meter for shots. Tap the shoot button (B/Circle) and the ball will roll towards the goalie. Hold it down too long and you might end up hitting someone in the face on the second tier balcony. The power meter is on a hair trigger as well, so practice makes perfect. Mastering the force put on the ball is key to getting good scoring chances.
You use the left stick to aim your shot while powering up to take the kick. As soon as you start powering up your shot, use the left stick to aim high or low, and what corner you want the ball to go towards. Hopefully it beats the keeper, but not the net.
Passing is Key
Passing the ball has always been a very important component of FIFA, this year more than ever. Unlike previous installments of the franchise, passing is the hardest it has ever been, thanks to revamped Teammate Intelligence. Defenders swarm as soon as the ball leaves your foot. The guy on the receiving end will try to get the ball, but two defenders will do the same.
Passing works the same as shooting with the power meter. Tap the pass button to perform a short pass to a close teammate, or hold it to send the ball to a teammate farther down the pitch. Survey the field and choose your passes wisely. One wrong pass could have you going from a scoring drive to quickly sprinting back on defense.
After going over how dangerous a bad pass can be, we'll stress how important passing is. A good passing game will win and lose matches. You won't be able to take one guy and run down the entire field dipping and dodging every defender for a glorious goal (yet). Passing is the glue that holds a winning team together, and we need your middle name to be Elmer.
Defense Wins Games
Defense is an important aspect to coming out on top of any match. In FIFA 14, you might confuse the defense with American Football. You really get a good idea how physical soccer can be.
Here are two defensive tips to live by: leave your defensive line alone, and tackle.
First is your defending four. Most formations (not all) have a backline of four defenders. Sometimes it's easy to select one of the defenders and start running up the field, chasing an opponent or if your player has the ball, playing offense. This works once you get a better handle on things. We suggest avoiding this initially. Pulling defenders up the pitch too far will leave your defense with holes an opponent will take advantage of.
If you defend an opponent and he retreats to midfield, do not chase him with the defender. Switch to a midfield player to continue the pursuit. Doing this allows your defender to fall back into position and get ready for the next assault.
If you're able to strip the ball from the attacker and gain control, take a few steps and then pass the ball again, allowing your defender to fall back into formation.
When it comes to taking the ball from an opponent, that's where Tackling comes into play. There are two types of tackles you can utilize, a Standing Tackle and a Slide Tackle. Both are very effective, but come with a bit of a risk.
There are two ways to do a Standing Tackle. First, you could run into the player with the ball. If you do it on the ball side, you will automatically try and steal it. This isn't 100 percent effective, especially if your opponent attempts to evade.
To improve your chance of a successful standing tackle, press B/Circle while trying to steal. This will do a few things in your favor. It will grab the player and hold him up while keeping this person close, as well as stick your foot out and try and kick/poke the ball away. Be careful. Depending how long or rough the altercation is, the referee might call a foul.
With Slide Tackle, you'll need to put your big boy pants on. When approaching an opponent with the ball, hit X/Square and take to the ground, slide and kick the ball away. This is a good defensive move because it gets you out of tight spots. Keep in mind this is the best way to get red carded and tossed from the game if you approach from a bad angle. You have to make sure you hit the ball first before coming in contact with any part of the player, or you could watch the rest of the game from the TV in the locker room.
To Burst or Not to Burst
Like most sports games, Speed Burst is available. It can be extremely useful to get away from a defender or to break in on an attacker. It is a double-edged sword in FIFA 14, as it helps and hurts your chances. We recommend using Speed Burst sparingly to start. As useful as it is on a breakaway, your movement is restricted using it. It is almost impossible to cut in on an opponent with the ball or quickly change directions to dodge an attack. Your break away that you were "certainly going to score on" could end up with you on the ground and a defender running off with the ball. We recommend using it as little as possible to learn to control the ball and work on passing before you start "Sonic the Hedge-hogging" around the Pitch.
Hopefully these tips will get you into starting 11 shape and well on your way to becoming an elite player. A little bit of practice and you should be able to hold your own against anyone who approaches you in The Beautiful Game.
FIFA 14 is currently available for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, 3DS, iOS and Android devices. It will release for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year.