FM16 - This guide has been updated for FM 2016.

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Provided below for team mentality, team shape and each specific team instruction, where relevant, are:

  • Affected By - the other tactical instructions that automatically affect the team instruction.
  • Related Player Instructions - player instructions that are similar and opposing to the team instruction. A similar player instruction fully or partially replicates a particular effect of the team instruction. It can be used instead of the team instruction in order to fully or partially replicate its effects, but for particular players rather than groups of players. This allows you to gain more control over which players use the related tactical method or methods to a greater extent. Alternatively, it can be used in addition to the team instruction to instruct particular players to use the method to an even greater extent. An opposing player instruction has an opposite effect to the team instruction. It can be used in combination with the team instruction to instruct particular players to use the related tactical method or methods to a relatively lesser extent.

Also provided for team mentality and team shape is:

  • Tactical Suitability - the suitability of different team mentalities and team shapes for different tactical systems and tactical styles.

1. Team Mentality

The main team mentalities that can be used, in order from more attacking to more defensive, are:

  • Attacking
  • Control
  • Standard (the mid-range team mentality that provides a balance between the more attacking and more defensive team mentalities)
  • Counter
  • Defensive

In addition, there are two extreme team mentalities that are intended for use only where appropriate as part of match strategies (in particular match scenarios). These are:

  • Overload (extremely attacking)
  • Contain (extremely defensive)

1.1.1. Effects

Using a more attacking team mentality:

  • Increases the player mentality bar for all players (instructs all players to push up further and play with a higher risk approach).
  • Expands the team WIDTH slider (instructs all players to use width to a greater extent).
  • Expands the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (for the attacking and overload team mentalities specifically).
  • Expands the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider for most players with an attack duty (instructs the players to use a longer passing range). Players who are assigned any of the Deep-Lying Playmaker, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista, Wide Playmaker and Ball Winning Midfielder roles are unaffected.
  • Compresses the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider for most players with a defend, stopper or cover duty (instructs the players to use a shorter passing range). Players who are assigned any of the Deep-Lying Playmaker, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista, Wide Playmaker and Ball Winning Midfielder roles are unaffected.
  • Expands the team TEMPO slider (instructs all players to use high tempo play to a greater extent).
  • Instructs players in more advanced playing positions to make roaming movement to a greater extent.
  • Expands the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down earlier).
  • Expands the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider (instructs players to use a higher line).
  • Instructs all players to tackle harder.

The more attacking the team mentality is, the more pronounced these effects are.

Using a more defensive team mentality:

  • Decreases the player mentality bar for all players (instructs all players to sit deeper and play with a lower risk approach).
  • Compresses the team WIDTH slider (instructs all players to use width to a lesser extent and, therefore, to use wide support to a greater extent).
  • Compresses the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider (for the defensive and contain team mentalities specifically).
  • Expands the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider for most players with a defend, stopper or cover duty (instructs the players to use a longer passing range). Players who are assigned any of the Deep-Lying Playmaker, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista, Wide Playmaker and Ball Winning Midfielder roles are unaffected.
  • Compresses the player PASSING DIRECTNESS slider for most players with an attack duty (instructs the players to use a shorter passing range). Players who are assigned any of the Deep-Lying Playmaker, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista, Wide Playmaker and Ball Winning Midfielder roles are unaffected.
  • Compresses the team TEMPO slider (instructs all players to use high tempo play to a lesser extent and, therefore, to use low tempo play to a greater extent).
  • Increases the team TIME WASTING bar (instructs all players to waste time to a greater extent).
  • Instructs all players to use breaks more frequently (for the counter and defensive team mentalities specifically).
  • Instructs players in more advanced playing positions to make roaming movement to a lesser extent and, therefore, to make disciplined movement to a greater extent.
  • Compresses the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down later and, therefore, to sit off longer).
  • Compresses the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider (instructs players to use a deeper line).
  • Instructs all players to tackle easier and, therefore, to hold off to a greater extent.

The more defensive the team mentality is, the more pronounced these effects are.

Using a more attacking team mentality:

Attacking methods

  • Width.
  • Pushing up (as a result of all players pushing up further).
  • Roaming movement - from players in more advanced playing positions.
  • Shorter passes - from most players who sit deeper (relative to teammates).
  • Longer passes - from most players who push up further (relative to teammates).
  • Focusing play (into wider areas, as a result of width and overloads).
  • Crosses (as a result of focusing play).
  • High tempo play.
  • Overloads (in wider areas, as a result of width).
  • Higher risk approach (forward runs (and, therefore, pushing up from the team), dribbles, risky passes (and, therefore, longer passes and through balls) and speculative shots are used to a slightly greater extent).

Control methods

  • Safe passes (as a result of shorter passes) - from most players who sit deeper (relative to teammates).

Defending methods

  • Compactness (retaining vertical compactness, as a result of pressing and higher line).
  • Pressing (as a result of all players closing down earlier).
  • Higher line.
  • Tackling.

Using a more defensive team mentality:

Attacking methods

  • Sitting deep (as a result of all players sitting deeper).
  • Shorter passes - from most players who push up further (relative to teammates).
  • Longer passes - from most players who sit deeper (relative to teammates).
  • Focusing play (into central areas, as a result of overloads).
  • Breaks.
  • Overloads (in central areas, as a result of wide support).
  • Lower risk approach (holding back (and, therefore, sitting deep from the team), and shorter passes and passes to player (as a result of safe passes) are used to a slightly greater extent).

Control methods

  • Wide support.
  • Sitting deep.
  • Disciplined movement - from players in more advanced playing positions.
  • Safe passes (as a result of shorter passes) - from most players who push up further (relative to teammates).
  • Low tempo play.
  • Time wasting.
  • Lower risk approach (sitting deep (as a result of holding back), refraining from dribbles, safe passes and refraining from shots are used to a slightly greater extent).

Defending methods

  • Compactness (horizontal compactness, as a result of wide support, and retaining vertical compactness, as a result of containment and deeper line).
  • Containment (as a result of all players closing down later).
  • Deeper line.
  • Holding off.

1.1.3. Tactical Suitability

A more attacking team mentality is suitable for:

  • Higher risk attacking styles that use pushing up to a greater extent.
  • More aggressive defending styles, such as high pressure defending.

A more defensive team mentality is suitable for:

  • Lower risk attacking styles that use sitting deep to a greater extent.
  • More cautious defending styles, such as low pressure defending.

2. Team Shape

The team shapes that can be used, in order from more fluid to more structured, are:

  • Very Fluid
  • Fluid
  • Flexible (the mid-range team shape that provides a balance between the more fluid and more structured team shapes)
  • Structured
  • Highly Structured

2.1.1. Effects

Using a more fluid team shape:

  • Gives players in deeper playing positions increased player mentality bars (instructs the players to push up further and play with a higher risk approach).
  • Gives players in more advanced playing positions decreased player mentality bars (instructs the players to sit deeper and play with a lower risk approach).
  • Instructs all players to play with more creative freedom.
  • Expands the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down earlier).

The more fluid the team shape is, the more pronounced these effects are.

Using a more structured team shape:

  • Gives players in deeper playing positions decreased player mentality bars (instructs the players to sit deeper and play with a lower risk approach).
  • Gives players in more advanced playing positions increased player mentality bars (instructs the players to push up further and play with a higher risk approach).
  • Instructs all players to play with less creative freedom and, therefore, to play with more discipline.
  • Compresses the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down later and, therefore, to sit off longer).

The more structured the team shape is, the more pronounced these effects are.

Using a more fluid team shape:

Attacking methods

  • Attacking depth (more closely matching player mentality bars results in smaller horizontal channels between players).
  • Creative freedom.
  • Overloads (as a result of attacking depth and dynamic support).
  • Overlapping runs (as a result of attacking depth, forward runs, holding back and refraining from dribbles).
  • Overlapping dribbles (as a result of attacking depth, dribbles and and holding back).
  • Higher risk approach (forward runs, dribbles, risky passes (and, therefore, longer passes and through balls) and speculative shots are used to a slightly greater extent) - from players in deeper playing positions.
  • Lower risk approach (holding back, and shorter passes and passes to player (as a result of safe passes) are used to a slightly greater extent) - from players in more advanced playing positions.

Control methods

  • Attacking depth
  • Dynamic support (as a result of forward runs and holding back).
  • Lower risk approach (refraining from dribbles, safe passes and refraining from shots are used to a slightly greater extent) - from players in more advanced playing positions.

Defending methods

  • Defensive depth (as for attacking depth).
  • Compactness (vertical compactness, as a result of defensive depth, although pressing without a higher line reduces vertical compactness and, therefore, ensures an appropriate extent of vertical compactness is retained).
  • Pressing (as a result of all players closing down earlier).

Using a more structured team shape:

Attacking methods

  • Attacking depth (less closely matching player mentality bars results in larger horizontal channels between players).
  • Breaks (as a result of containment).
  • Higher risk approach (forward runs, dribbles, risky passes (and, therefore, longer passes and through balls) and speculative shots are used to a slightly greater extent) - from players in more advanced playing positions.
  • Lower risk approach (holding back, and shorter passes and passes to player (as a result of safe passes) are used to a slightly greater extent) - from players in deeper playing positions.

Control methods

  • Discipline.
  • Lower risk approach (refraining from dribbles, safe passes (and, therefore, shorter passes and passes to player) and refraining from shots are used to a slightly greater extent) - from players in deeper playing positions.

Defending methods

  • Compactness (vertical compactness, as a result of containment without a deeper line, although larger horizontal channels from defensive depth reduces vertical compactness and, therefore, ensures an appropriate extent of vertical compactness is retained).
  • Defensive depth (as for attacking depth).
  • Containment (as a result of all players closing down later).

2.1.3. Tactical Suitability

A more fluid team shape is suitable for:

  • More fluid tactical systems with greater role flexibility.
  • More expressive attacking styles.
  • More aggressive defending styles, such as high pressure defending.

A more structured team shape is suitable for:

  • More structured tactical systems with greater role specialisation.
  • More disciplined attacking styles.
  • More cautious defending styles, such as low pressure defending.

3. Specific Team Instructions

3.1. Tempo

3.1.1. Effects

Increasing (or expanding) the team TEMPO slider, e.g. to Higher or Much Higher:

  • Instructs all players to use high tempo play to a greater extent.

The more the slider is increased or expanded, the more pronounced this effect is.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team TEMPO slider, e.g. to Lower or Much Lower:

  • Instructs all players to use high tempo play to a lesser extent and, therefore, to use low tempo play to a greater extent.

The more the slider is decreased or compressed, the more pronounced this effect is.

Increasing (or expanding) the team TEMPO slider:

Attacking methods

  • High tempo play.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team TEMPO slider:

Control methods

  • Low tempo play.
  • Time wasting (as a result of low tempo play).

3.1.3. Affected By

  • Team mentality - using a more attacking team mentality expands the team TEMPO slider. Using a more defensive team mentality compresses the team TEMPO slider.
  • Take A Breather - compresses the team TEMPO slider if Normal is selected.
  • Passing directness - increasing (or expanding) the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider expands the team TEMPO slider. Decreasing (or compressing) the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider compresses the team TEMPO slider.
  • Retain Possession - compresses the team TEMPO slider.

3.2. Take A Breather

Take A Breather is only available when using the contain, defensive, counter, standard or control team mentalities.

3.2.1. Effects

  • Compresses the team TEMPO slider if Normal is selected (instructs all players to use high tempo play to a lesser extent and, therefore, to use low tempo play to a greater extent).
  • Instructs all players to make forward runs to a lesser extent and, therefore, to hold back to a greater extent.

Attacking methods

  • Sitting deep (as a result of all players holding back to a greater extent).
  • Breaks (as a result of sitting deep).

Control methods

  • Sitting deep.
  • Low tempo play.
  • Time wasting (as a result of sitting deep and low tempo play).
  • Similar player instructions - Hold Position.
  • Opposing player instructions - Get Further Forward.

3.3. Play Even Safer

Play Even Safer is only available when using the contain team mentality.

3.3.1. Effects

  • Instructs most players to make forward runs to a lesser extent and, therefore, to hold back to a greater extent. Players in the striker position are unaffected.
  • Instructs most players to make dribbles less frequently. Players in the striker position are unaffected.
  • Instructs most players to make risky passes less frequently and, therefore, to make safe passes more frequently. Players in the striker position are unaffected.

Attacking methods

  • Sitting deep (as a result of most players holding back to a greater extent).
  • Holding back - from all players, except players in the striker position.
  • Hold-up play (as a result of refraining from dribbles) - from all players, except players in the striker position.
  • Shorter passes (as a result of safe passes) - from all players, except players in the striker position.
  • Passes to player (as a result of holding back and safe passes) - from and to all players, except players in the striker position.

Control methods

  • Sitting deep.
  • Hold-up play - from all players, except players in the striker position.
  • Refraining from dribbles - from all players, except players in the striker position.
  • Safe passes - from all players, except players in the striker position.
  • Time wasting (as a result of sitting deep, hold-up play, refraining from dribbles and safe passes).
  • Similar player instructions - Hold Position, Dribble Less, Fewer Risky Passes.
  • Opposing player instructions - Get Further Forward, Dribble More, More Risky Passes.

3.4. Take More Risks

Take More Risks is only available when using the overload team mentality.

3.4.1. Effects

  • Instructs players with an attack or support duty to make forward runs to a greater extent.
  • Instructs players with an attack or support duty to make dribbles more frequently.
  • Instructs players with an attack or support duty to make risky passes more frequently and, therefore, to make longer passes and through balls more frequently.

Attacking methods

  • Pushing up (as a result of most players making forward runs to a greater extent).
  • Forward runs - from players who push up further.
  • Dribbles - from players who push up further.
  • Risky passes (longer passes and through balls) - from players who push up further.
  • Overloads (in advanced areas, as a result of dynamic support).

Control methods

  • Dynamic support (in advanced areas, as a result of forward runs).
  • Similar player instructions - Get Further Forward, Dribble More, More Risky Passes.
  • Opposing player instructions - Hold Position, Dribble Less, Fewer Risky Passes.

3.5. Time Wasting

3.5.1. Effects

Increasing the team TIME WASTING bar:

  • Instructs all players to waste time to a greater extent.

The more the bar is increased, the more pronounced this effect is.

The team TIME WASTING bar cannot be adjusted manually. It is determined by the team mentality and can be increased by using a more defensive team mentality.

Control methods

  • Time wasting.

3.5.3. Affected By

  • Team mentality - using a more defensive team mentality increases the team TIME WASTING bar.

3.6. Waste Time

Waste Time is only available when using the defensive or contain team mentalities.

3.6.1. Effects

  • Instructs all players to waste time to a greater extent.

Control methods

  • Time wasting.

3.7. Width

3.7.1. Effects

Increasing (or expanding) the team WIDTH slider, e.g. to Fairly Wide or Wide:

  • Instructs all players to use width to a greater extent.

The more the slider is increased or expanded, the more pronounced this effect is.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team WIDTH slider, e.g. to Fairly Narrow or Narrow:

  • Instructs all players to use width to a lesser extent and, therefore, to use wide support to a greater extent.

The more the slider is decreased or compressed, the more pronounced this effect is.

Increasing (or expanding) the team WIDTH slider:

Attacking methods

  • Width.
  • Focusing play (into wider areas, as a result of width and overloads).
  • Crosses (as a result of focusing play).
  • Overloads (in wider areas, as a result of width).

Decreasing (or compressing) the team WIDTH slider:

Attacking methods

  • Focusing play (into central areas, as a result of overloads).
  • Overloads (in central areas, as a result of wide support).

Control methods

  • Wide support.
  • Time wasting (as a result of wide support).

Defending methods

  • Compactness (horizontal compactness, as a result of wide support).

3.7.3. Affected By

  • Team mentality - using a more attacking team mentality expands the team WIDTH slider. Using a more defensive team mentality compresses the team WIDTH slider.
  • Passing directness - increasing (or expanding) the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider expands the team WIDTH slider. Decreasing (or compressing) the team PASSING DIRECTNESS slider compresses the team WIDTH slider.

Increasing (or expanding) the team WIDTH slider:

  • Similar player instructions - Stay Wider.
  • Opposing player instructions - Sit Narrower.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team WIDTH slider:

  • Similar player instructions - Sit Narrower.
  • Opposing player instructions - Stay Wider.

3.8. Defensive Line

3.8.1. Effects

Increasing (or expanding) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider, e.g. to Slightly Higher or Higher:

  • Instructs players to use a higher line.
  • Expands the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down earlier).

The more the slider is increased or expanded, the more pronounced these effects are.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider, e.g. to Slightly Deeper or Deeper:

  • Instructs players to use a deeper line.
  • Compresses the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down later and, therefore, to sit off longer).

The more the slider is decreased or compressed, the more pronounced these effects are.

Increasing (or expanding) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider:

Defending methods

  • Compactness (retaining vertical compactness, as a result of pressing and higher line).
  • Pressing (as a result of all players closing down earlier).
  • Higher line.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider:

Attacking methods

  • Breaks (as a result of containment).

Defending methods

  • Compactness (retaining vertical compactness, as a result of containment and deeper line).
  • Containment (as a result of all players closing down later).
  • Deeper line.

3.8.3. Affected By

  • Team mentality - using a more attacking team mentality expands the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider. Using a more defensive team mentality compresses the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider.
  • Closing down - increasing (or expanding) the team CLOSING DOWN slider expands the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider. Decreasing (or compressing) the team CLOSING DOWN slider compresses the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider.

Increasing (or expanding) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider:

  • Similar player instructions - increasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.
  • Opposing player instructions - decreasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider:

  • Similar player instructions - decreasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.
  • Opposing player instructions - increasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.

3.9. Use Offside Trap

3.9.1. Effects

Instructs players to use the offside trap more frequently.

Defending methods

  • Offside trap.

3.10. Closing Down

3.10.1. Effects

Increasing (or expanding) the team CLOSING DOWN slider, e.g. to More or Much More:

  • Expands the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down earlier).
  • Expands the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider (instructs players to use a higher line).

The more the slider is increased or expanded, the more pronounced these effects are.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team CLOSING DOWN slider, e.g. to Less or Much Less:

  • Compresses the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (instructs all players to close down later and, therefore, to sit off longer).
  • Compresses the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider (instructs players to use a deeper line).

The more the slider is decreased or compressed, the more pronounced these effects are.

Increasing (or expanding) the team CLOSING DOWN slider:

Defending methods

  • Compactness (retaining vertical compactness, as a result of pressing and higher line).
  • Pressing (as a result of all players closing down earlier).
  • Higher line.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team CLOSING DOWN slider:

Attacking methods

  • Breaks (as a result of containment).

Defending methods

  • Compactness (retaining vertical compactness, as a result of containment and deeper line).
  • Containment (as a result of all players closing down later).
  • Deeper line.

3.10.3. Affected By

  • Team mentality - using a more attacking team mentality expands the player CLOSING DOWN slider (and, therefore, expands the team CLOSING DOWN slider). Using a more defensive team mentality compresses the player CLOSING DOWN slider (and, therefore, compresses the team CLOSING DOWN slider).
  • Team shape - a more fluid team shape expands the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (and, therefore, expands the team CLOSING DOWN slider). A more structured team shape compresses the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (and, therefore, compresses the team CLOSING DOWN slider).
  • Defensive line - increasing (or expanding) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider expands the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (and, therefore, expands the team CLOSING DOWN slider). Decreasing (or compressing) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider compresses the player CLOSING DOWN slider for all players (and, therefore, compresses the team CLOSING DOWN slider).
  • Closing down - the team CLOSING DOWN slider and player CLOSING DOWN sliders are linked. Therefore, increasing (or expanding) the player CLOSING DOWN slider for one or more players increases the team CLOSING DOWN slider.

Increasing (or expanding) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider:

  • Similar player instructions - increasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.
  • Opposing player instructions - decreasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.

Decreasing (or compressing) the team DEFENSIVE LINE slider:

  • Similar player instructions - decreasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.
  • Opposing player instructions - increasing the player CLOSING DOWN slider.

3.11. Prevent Short GK Distribution

3.11.1. Effects

  • Instructs players in the striker and winger positions to man mark opposition defenders when the opposition goalkeeper has the ball.

Defending methods

  • Pressing (through man marking of opposition defenders when the opposition goalkeeper has the ball) - from players in the striker and winger positions.
  • Man marking (of opposition defenders when the opposition goalkeeper has the ball) - from players in the striker and winger positions.

3.12. Use Tighter Marking

3.12.1. Effects

  • Instructs all players to use tight marking to a greater extent when marking.

Defending methods

  • Tight marking.
  • Similar player instructions - Mark Tighter.

3.13. Get Stuck In

3.13.1. Effects

  • Instructs all players to tackle harder.

Defending methods

  • Tackling.
  • Similar player instructions -