Your tactics are likely to be the most important factor in determining the success of your managerial career. They will set out how your individual players should play, both individually and together as a team, and so the right tactics are the key to getting an average squad of players to perform above themselves or a set of world class stars to consistently meet expectations.
Your squad’s Tactics screen is split into six tabs. On the Overview tab you can create, view and edit up to three tactics that will be learned by your players in match preparation training. A familiarity bar is shown at the top-right of the screen which displays how much progress your team has made in learning the currently selected tactic. The greater the tactic familiarity becomes for a tactic, the better your team will play when using it. Also on this tab, you can make your team selection for the next match, while from the Overview drop-down you can view any tactical advice that your staff may have, which can give you some basic guidance when setting up your tactics.
This guide will explain the various stages of creating a tactic that adheres to defined style of play while being well balanced and suitable for your players.
The first step that you will need to undertake is assessing your team so that you can obtain a better understanding of the players you have in your squad. This will help you to establish an appropriate style of play for your team. After this you can choose a formation to suit the players you have at your disposal.
The next part of the guide will discuss the team instructions that set how your team as a whole should play. You will first choose a suitable mentality for your team and your desired style. Then you will consider the effects of team shape before moving on to look at the various specific team instructions that you can use to more explicitly define the tactical style you have chosen.
Having set up the general approach of your team, you can then define your tactic in more detail using player instructions. These instructions specify exactly how each player fits into your tactical system. You will learn how to choose roles and duties in every area of the pitch that suit each individual player and your tactical style, while also integrating well as a whole. You will then consider whether further instructions would be beneficial for certain players using specific player instructions.
This will conclude the main process of creating a tactic. The guide will then move on to discuss how you can set up effective instructions for set pieces, which can be particularly important in gaining extra points for your team during a season from corners, free kicks and penalties.
Finally, the guide will look at how to choose a good captain. While your tactics will tell your team how to play, it is a huge advantage to have a captain who will help to motivate your players on the pitch.
Related guides - after creating a tactic it is also advisable to set up two further tactics for your team to learn. This is discussed in the Match Training guide. The Match Day section then looks in detail at how you can prepare tactically for each match and adapt your tactics during the match.