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FIFA 14 finally arrived, and with it came a locker room’s worth of features, including a new Season mode and revamped Ultimate Team. If you’re a newcomer or even a golden boot master in need of some practice, our beginner’s tips will get you accustomed to the game’s basic elements. Once you get comfortable with that, you’re ready for these FIFA 14 advanced tips
He Shoots, He Scores
You can't win unless you score, and you can't score unless you shoot. There are many different ways to take a crack at the goal. Just pulling back and letting it rip is one way, but they pay goalies tons of money for a reason. You might have to utilize technical shooting to beat the keeper.
Two words: finesse shot. Say it out loud and remember it. This is an amazing shot to use to put points on the board. If you ever wanted to bend it like Beckham, this is how it's done. To take a finesse shot, hold down RB/R1 while powering up the shot. You have to aim where you want the ball to go with this shot, just like normal, but this will give you a good curve that helps squeeze the ball into the net, just out of the keeper’s reach.
The only downside is that you’ll sacrifice power for superior placement. With this in mind, get a good feel for how hard you hit a finesse kick compared to a normal kick on the power meter.
Another strike you should add to your kicking repertoire is the lob shot. The lob shot is the proverbial sand wedge of soccer. This propels the ball into the air like a chip shot. To perform a lob shot, press and hold the LB/L1 button while powering up your kick. This is a great shot to use if the goalie is off his line attacking you, or if there is only one defender in the way. There is no better feeling than chipping the ball over a goalie’s head and have it float into the net.
Finally, we have the one time shot. A well-performed one timer forces the defense to realign, but also looks awesome and gives you plenty of ammunition to trash talk your opponent. To pull off a one timer, all you have to do is press the kick button the moment the ball reaches your feet, be it from a ground or aerial pass. If your player’s stats are high enough, hold down LT/L2 while kicking and you might pull off a scissor kick for this shot.
If you read the beginner’s guide, you know EA Sports made passing the ball in FIFA 14 more challenging. Luckily for us, FIFA comes equipped with a variety of passes to help you get out of any situation.
The through pass is a pass every player needs to have up his or her sleeve. This is a great way to get out on a breakaway and beat the back line. A through pass aims to a spot ahead of the player you are passing to so he can get to it in mid stride. Not passing directly to a player is risky, so practice this one. It is a high risk, high reward pass. To perform a through pass, press Y/Triangle, and again, the power meter comes into play.
While discussing the through pass, there is a highflying variation called the lifted/lobbed through pass. This is the same type of pass, but in the air and over the heads of defenders. To perform this pass, hold down LB/L1 and then hit Y/Triangle. This type of pass is very effective if you catch a quick forward on a break that beat the offside call.
The last pass we will mention is the give and go. To perform a give and go, hold LB/L1 while pressing A/Cross. The give and go is the best way to try and get a defender off of your back and you into the open. A give and go is where you pass the ball to a teammate, and before the ball even gets to him, you start sprinting down field, so as soon as it hits your teammate’s feet he is passing it right back to you. This quick tap/tap pass is very effective, and a must for upper echelon players.
Defense is a little more cut and dry than offense. It is just as important if not more important, but there is a lot less to remember. Nevertheless, there are a few things you could do to help yourself put the squeeze on your opponent that goes beyond running towards him at full speed.
First, slow down and square up the attacker. If all you do is run, any good player will sidestep out of the way. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, or the ball, for that matter. Square up your opponent by holding LT/L2. This will give you a wide stance and keep your chest pointed at the ball, similar to blocking someone out in basketball. Instead of turning to run, you will implement a side step. This makes it a lot harder for anyone to run or pass you.
Next, call in a second defender for assistance. Musician Bill Withers once said "Lean on me when you're not strong, and I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on." Sometimes on D, you could use a little help. Calling in a second defender is the best thing for that situation. While on defense, hold down RB/R1 to have the closest defender leave his mark and help out on your man.
There are two basic ways you can play this out. One is to double-team the guy with the ball. Smother him. If he can't move or pass he will make a mistake, and one of your guys will come up with the ball.
The more advanced tactic involves having the defender you call attack the man with the ball, and you have your guy stand between him and his closest teammate’s passing lane. Now he has pressure on him and his passing lane is cut off. Hopefully he will be forced to blindly kick the ball away, or he will pass it right to you.
Breaking Ankles and Dreams
Skill moves. This is what it is all about. There is nothing better than doing a few step overs right before rainbow kicking the ball over your own head and then kicking a volley out of the air into the upper 90 of the goal. Skill moves help put your own style onto the pitch and play how you want.
The right thumb stick is the Skill Stick, unlike previous versions of the game where you held down LT/L2 and worked the right thumb stick. This year, EA Sports took a page from its FIFA Street franchise and did away with having to hold down LT/L2. To do moves in FIFA 14, all you have to do is move the right thumb stick. Naturally, the moves you perform depend on your ball handling and dribbling skills. The more you beat defenders and pull off moves, the higher you level up, opening doors to new moves and skills. This is one of the hardest things to master in the game, but if you get it down right, you can play like the soccer version of the Harlem globetrotters.
Master these moves and you will be a force to be reckoned with. Of course, there is more to FIFA 14. We can’t do all the work for you. Put in the time and use what you have learned to hone your skills and master the universe, or at least beat your friends.
FIFA 14 is currently available on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android devices. It debuts later this year for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.