How to defend yourself in FIFA 20: tips and tricks to make you a better player


Awarding too many sloppy goals and losing games as a result? Follow our expert advice on how to improve your defense

FIFA 20 is the most realistic soccer game to date, recreating what it’s like to play high-speed soccer on your home computer or console.

As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to defend against high-quality opponents like in real life. Attacking and scoring is easy for many players, but the art of defending is much more difficult to master.

Follow our expert advice on how to defend yourself in FIFA 20, which will prevent you from granting goals and help you win more matches.


  1. Basic defense tips
  2. How to change players more effectively
  3. The best controls to defend
  4. The best tactics to defend

Losing too many games in FIFA 20? Awarding too many stupid targets? The simplest and most effective change you can make is stop running. Release the sprint button completely, both in attack and defense. Running not only wastes endurance, it gives you less control over your players when they are in possession and knocks them out of position when you defend.

Only run as a last resort or when trying to reach a player who downed the wing or broke the defensive line. Running at any other time in defense is a bad idea and will leave you exposed.

Try keep your defensive shape as much as possible. Press back with your defensive midfielders instead of pushing center-backs forward and making space behind the baseline.

Computer controlled defense or AI is much less effective in FIFA 20 than in previous versions of the game, but you should only switch to your centrals when you are close to the front and you are sure that you can win the ball.

Don’t bring your center backs to the wing defending If one winger has carved out a space for himself, try crawling with a full back or a midfielder to close it. The winger will have to dribble in the box or cross the ball into the area, so his centers will be needed to defend these situations.


Another simple change you can make to improve in FIFA 20 is use manual player switch instead of automatic player switch. Automatic attempts to take control of the player closest to the ball by pressing R1 / RB, but sometimes they select the wrong player or they can knock their players out of position as they cycle through the selected players.

The manual switch uses the right analog stick to indicate which player you want to select when defending and gives you more control over which player you want to switch to. Sometimes you will want to change a player who is not closest to the ball, as he will be in a better position to close or cut the passing lanes.

As mentioned earlier, you should try to keep your baseline in position as much as possible and close with midfielders or wingers. Manual switching will allow you to select these players and help your centrals stay in position.

In FIFA 20, the best way to defend yourself is jockey (L2 / LT) to move into position and then use standing rig (Circle / X) to win the ball. A poorly programmed foot tackle can expose you, so only use it when you are close to the attacker.

Containing (X / A) used to be very effective in previous versions of the game, as its position would reflect opponents, but now it results in the defender standing a short distance from the attacker and can be easily exploited by forwards who are good in dribbling or skills.

Teammate containment or second-man press (R1 / RB) is like holding, but uses the closest computer-controlled player to shut the player down. This used to be effective in previous editions of FIFA as well, but is now detrimental to adequately defending as it ruins your defensive form and leaves gaps for your opponent to exploit.

Sliding rigs (Square / B) should only be used as last resource when you have been completely exposed by previous bad defense decisions. A poorly programmed sliding tackle will knock your defender out of the game and give your opponent enough time to make the right decision in attack.

In FIFA 20, you can increase your foot and slide tackles by holding down the enter button for longer. This allows him to ram his tackles even further, but if he increases too much, he will lose the ball or cause a foul. Two bars must be the maximum power for any tackle.

Certain formations in FIFA 20 are more attacking than others (such as 4-2-4), but regardless of their formation, you can still balance attack and defense using custom tactics to make sure your defensive players maintain their shape, even when attacking.

Setting your entire defensive line, including your full backs, to “Stay Back While Attacking” can leave fewer holes to cover at the back if you roll the ball in the middle of the opposition. This means that it will be much more difficult to play fast counterattack against you.

Changing your Defensive Behavior settings from your central midfielders to “Cut pass lanes” will also help congest midfield and leave you less exposed when defending. Similarly, high pressure can be effective when pursuing the game, but it is not very useful when maintaining an advantage, as it will take your players out of position.

Another good custom tactic to use is to set your most central midfielder to “Drop Between Defenders”. This will make your back four into a back five and also allow you to use your midfielder to carry the ball from the back when you are in possession.