The 5 Best Formations in FIFA 23 - (2024)

FIFA 23 is the latest and final iteration of the series, as EA and FIFA part ways.

Meanwhile, FIFA’s offline and online modes are tougher than ever. So, it’s up to each player to discover the new game mechanics. This year, FIFA formations are even more advanced.

There are some differences, but players can still expect the 4-1-2-1-2 formation to work wonders (More on that below). So, if controlling the game and its flow is at the top of your wish list, these are the 5 best formations to use.

Read more about: What Are the Benefits of Buying FIFA 23 Ultimate Edition?

The 5 Best Formations in FIFA 23 - (1)



Unlike many FIFA 23 relics, this formation still works. 5-2-1-2 is the best formation for players who prefer the art of counter-attacking. It’s all about holding your defence by frustrating your opponents. By “Frustrate” we mean that you should deny them goals until their defenders let up.

Thankfully, your wing backs are almost always available to receive a pass that opens up your opponents’ defence. This is especially handy when the midfield is heavily congested. You can fine-tune your control of the wing backs by playing around with the team instructions, “Pressure on Heavy Touch” and “Stay Back While Attacking”.

The full potential of the 5-2-1-2 formation is still locked. To unlock it, you should only pick clubs whose wing backs have a high attacking rate and plenty of stamina to spare. Otherwise, the back and forth will exhaust the wing backs. The ideal wing back in this case is Alphonso Davies, with a FIFA 23 rating of 84.

4-1-2-1-2 (Narrow)

The 4-1-2-1-2 is probably the best formation in FIFA 23 because it allows you to control the tempo of the game. Fast, slow, or mid-paced, you control the speed of the game, and thus, the results. But first, you just have to frustrate your opponents with the repetitive back and forth.

This formation also favours triangle passes and headers too. By far, the best tactical instruction for your team of choice is the “Slow Build-Up” tactic. This means your midfielders work with both the defenders and attackers to slowly build up your attack. If you attack too soon, your opponent will have enough time to manoeuvre their defenders.

Don’t forget to instruct your players to drop back when possession changes hands. Also, try to avoid manually controlling your centre defensive midfielder. Pick teams with centre attacking midfielders with high agility, vision, and passing to break the opposing defences. If your two strikers are quick on their feet, all the better!

4-3-3 (Flat)

Even after a couple of patches, 4-3-3 remains a potent formation for players who prefer berserker-style attacks. That is, you like making plans on the fly. So you can switch from counterattacks on your opponents to a more possessive style of play in the midfield.

This formation is weak against counter-attacks so make sure you don’t manually control your defenders. To convert most of your attacks to goals, make sure your centre striker is stacked like a wall. Also, don’t forget to play with some nimble wingers who will feed the centre forward with passes and crosses.


If you’re conceding too many goals, you may want to plug up your defence by using a 4-2-2-2. The two centre midfielders are invaluable in this formation because they intercept passes and block the paths of your opponents’ strikers. Also, it’s important that your two CDMs have low attacking rates so they don’t drift too much from the defence line.

To wreak real havoc, you should use the players instructions to your advantage. For one, instructing one of your two forwards up front to go wide for him or her to receive passes from your CAM cranks up your attack potency. Also, you can instruct your wing backs to attack as soon as you regain possession of the ball. This leads to swift and devastating counter-attacks. We urge you not to rely heavily on dribbles. But quick midfielders can make all the difference in the world.


The 4-2-3-1 is almost legendary in the FIFA world and the 23rd version of the game is no better. This FIFA formation favours counter-attacks but not with your wing backs. In fact, this formation is very defensive, because with the right instructions, only one of your CDMs should be attacking. Meanwhile, the other CDMs are responsible for the defending.

Since your centre attacking midfielder and forward striker stay forward, you alway have multiple attacking options. One weakness you should be aware of is that the 4-2-3-1 formation doesn’t favour crosses because you only have one striker up front.

The Best FIFA 23 Settings for Attacking

There are only two ways to attack in FIFA 23, namely, build up play and chance creation.

The 5 Best Formations in FIFA 23 - (2)

Build Up Play

  • Balanced: Your team maintains their composure and structure. You run when necessary and in general, your defence benefits the most. This is because your tempo is neither fast nor slow, so you have plenty of time to control the pacing of your attacks.
  • Slow Build Up Play: You’ll go through many passing phases in order to build up your attack. None of your players will make any runs until you’ve built up enough momentum by tricking your opponents’ defenders to break formation.
  • Fast Build Up Play: This is a high risk-high reward strategy where all of your players work together to score a goal. Your forwards make plenty of runs so picking the one to receive your passes is always tricky.
  • Long Balls: Your forwards are always on the lookout and run for long balls that cut through the defence like a hot knife through butter. You won’t be making use of your midfielders too often, if this is your style of play. Instead, you’ll leave the ball to your strikers and wingers with the necessary pace to catch up to your long passes.

Chance Creation

  • Balanced: Expect neither a fast or slow build up for chance creations. In other words, you have the tempo under control.
  • Possession: This style requires you to make many short passes to buy time for a goal-scoring chance. Your forwards will wait patiently for you to mesmerise your opponent so they can sneak into their defences for a goal.
  • Forward Runs: This tactic pushes your players deep into the opponents’ defences. But, you’re open to counter-attacks if you ever lose possession of the ball, which is guaranteed.
  • Direct Passing: This means your players will always go for the spaces behind the opposing back line. So, your defenders pass to the midfielders, while the strikers run deep behind the enemy lines.

The Best FIFA 23 Settings for Defending

Defending is an art in FIFA 23 which is why you should use these settings to optimise your defending skills. Regardless if you favour counter-attacks or relentless attacks, reminiscent of Liverpool’s play style, you’ll find many tactics to defend better.

The 5 Best Formations in FIFA 23 - (3)
  • Width/Depth Slider: Use this to set the positioning of your defensive line. A high line favours attacks while a low line favours defence.
  • Drop Back: This tactic will give you opponents more possession but will also up your defence game. You’ll frustrate your enemies by always being able to plug your defence whenever it’s leaking.
  • Balanced: This means your players will keep the ball moving in the midfield. Do this if you want to control the pace of your defenders and midfielders because it’s not an attack-oriented tactic.
  • Pressure on Heavy Touch: This tactic ensures that your players will quickly pick up any loose balls. They won’t move until your opponent makes a mistake such as controlling a difficult pass.
  • Press After Possession Lost: This tactic ensures that your players pounce immediately after you lose possession of the ball. This tactic uses up stamina and could also leave you exposed if you don’t gain back possession of the ball on time. The press takes place for just seven seconds, then your players stop pressing your opponent for the ball.
  • Constant Pressure: This applies constant pressure on your opponent. But at the expense of your players’ stamina.

Our Final Thoughts

The 5 Best Formations in FIFA 23 - (4)

There’s no single formation for all of your FIFA 23 woes. Instead, it’s up to you to analyse your style of play, experiment with these formations, and figure out which one guarantees your chances of winning. Don’t forget to master the art of jockeying because it makes all the difference in the world of your defence. You’ll be surprised at how many balls you’ll intercept once you start jockeying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which FIFA 23 Formation Is the Best for Counter-Attacks?

The best formation for counter-attacks in FIFA 23 is the 5-2-1-2. It has an easy 65% win-rate because your wing backs are always available to continue your attacks.

Which Formation Should I Use for Ultimate Defense?

Explore the 4-2-2-2 formation if you’re losing too many matches. For one, it’s a nice break from worrying about loose passes. Why? Because your centre defensive midfielders are positioned deep in your defence to intercept every pass, loose or otherwise.

Which FIFA 23 Team Is the Best?

Actually, there’s no FIFA 23 team that can be called the best because players can switch tactics on the fly. If you defend well with Chelsea, with midfield possession practically yours, a player with a formation that favours crosses only needs a few goals at the right moment to win the match.

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The 5 Best Formations in FIFA 23 - (5)

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The 5 Best Formations in FIFA 23 - (2024)


What is the strongest formation in FIFA 23? ›

Best FIFA 23 formations: 5-2-1-2

The secret to this tactic is all in the marauding wing backs. FIFA 23 so far has been a war of attrition in the centre of midfield and the dribbling nerf means it's much harder to escape your marker than in previous years.

What is the best 5 defender formation in FIFA 23? ›

The 5-2-1-2 formation is the best defensive formation in the game if set up correctly. While 5 at the back formations are often frowned upon, this setup allows a solid defensive core with a counter-attacking threat.

Is the 4 5 1 formation good in FIFA 23? ›

Overall the 4-5-1 formation is an incredibly attacking tactic in Ultimate Team. It is ideal for players that wish to play on the front foot and play at a high tempo both on and off the ball. Why not see if it translates your FUT team into a free-scoring outfit?

What is the most overpowered team in FIFA 23? ›

1 Paris Saint-Germain (86)

The front three of Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe is more than enough to justify their rating as the strongest team in FIFA 23.

Who has the strongest defense in FIFA 23? ›

The most staunch defense in FIFA 23 belongs to Liverpool. This has much to do with center back Virgil van Dijk (90 OVR), the game's highest-rated defender.

Who is the fastest defender in FIFA 23? ›

Alphonso Davies

What are the best starting formations in FIFA 23? ›

Best FIFA 23 formations – Custom Tactics for FUT Champions
  • 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow)
  • 4-2-3-1.
  • 4-4-2.
  • 4-3-2-1.
  • 4-2-2-2.
Jul 13, 2023

Who is the best potential defensive midfielder in FIFA 23? ›

FIFA 23: 10 Best Young Defensive Midfielders To Sign In Career...
  1. 1 Sandro Tonali, A.C. Milan.
  2. 2 Declan Rice, West Ham. ...
  3. 3 Eduardo Camavinga, Real Madrid. ...
  4. 4 Boubacar Kamara, Aston Villa. ...
  5. 5 Alan Varela, Boca Juniors. ...
  6. 6 Oliver Skipp, Tottenham Hotspur. ...
  7. 7 Samuele Ricci, Torino. ...
  8. 8 Amadou Onana, Everton. ...
Jun 7, 2023

What is the 4 3 2 1 formation? ›

The 4-3-2-1 formation is widely referred to as the Christmas Tree, simply because of the way it looks when written on a team sheet. With four defenders, three holding midfielders, two attacking midfielders, and one striker, it's structured like a fluid triangular shape, hence its name.

What is the best formation for the FIFA 23 draft? ›

The 4-3-1-2 is an ideal formation for possessional play in FIFA 23. FIFA 23 features many formations that are well-suited to dominating possession in Ultimate Team. The 4-3-1-2 is one of the strongest options, due to its compact central midfield. The 4-3-1-2 is often one of the most popular tactical options in FUT.

Is 4 3 3 good in FIFA 23? ›

Given how popular and effective the 4-3-3 formation has become in modern football, it's easy to see why it's pretty useful in FIFA 23 as well.

What is the best formation in FIFA 23 February 2023? ›

In February, 4-1-2-1-2 (narrow) is currently the best formation for players to use in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team. It continues the FIFA 23 theme of having a solid base for players to build from with a defensive-midfielder providing protection, but it also gives teams plenty of options in attack.

What is the strongest formation in FIFA 22? ›

Two strong FIFA 22 meta formation options you need to try

4-2-2-2 offers more robustness defensively, as you have two holding players sitting in front of your back four – but there's also width on offer, with the two CAMs drifting wide in order to build up attacks.


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