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FIFA 16 news, tips, tricks and techniques - everything you need to know

Expert Reviews Staff
22 Apr 2016
FIFA 16 logo
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We round up all the latest news about FIFA 16 for consoles and PC

There are plenty of techniques in FIFA 16, ranging from the seemingly advanced to the deceptively simple, that can take you to the next level and have you playing total football before you know it. Gone are the days in FIFA where you could walk the ball into the net from the halfway line, so you're going to need to take a more considered approach, especially when playing some of the best players online. Keep in mind the instructions below are based on default control schemes, so if you've changed them make sure to adapt accordingly.

FIFA 16: Tips and tricks

Dipping free kicks

Taking a successful free kick can be a difficult task in FIFA 16 if you don't know how. Wayward efforts can either skyrocket into row Z or smash straight into the wall. They're not as difficult as you might think, however, as shown by the below FIFA 16 tutorial. Provided you're within shooting range, aiming for the post is a good starting point. Use a left-footed player on the left, or a right-footed player on the right. Apply just two bars of power when striking the ball and you should hopefully have enough power and control to get the ball up and over the wall and on target. Apply a little curl with the control stick to help as well. As always, practice makes perfect.

FIFA 16: Basics you need to know

No touch dribbling

FIFA 16 isn't all about fancy stepovers and eye-catching rabonas. Just like the real game, much simpler body movements can be the difference in buying you time and space to move the ball. No touch dribbling is a great way to achieve this through using body feints to deceive defenders. To activate no touch dribbling, you just need to hold LB/L1 (depending on what console) in conjunction with the left analog stick to feint in a selected direction. This is to do a small body feint. 

If you want to do a large body feint, you can also hold RT/R2 (so LB + RT + left analog stick) and this will activate a much more exaggerated feint. Now, if you release LB you'll start sprinting in the direction you're holding the left analog stick. Time this right and you'll not only open up space by deceiving the defender but you'll then leave them eating dust as you sprint away.

You can also hold LB/L1 without using the analog stick to have the player on the ball slow down. Sometimes slowing down the pace of the game to allow other players to join the play or overlap is the best form of attack, or it can trick defenders into rashly sliding in and committing to a challenge.

Protect the ball

As the video below shows, simply using your player's strength to help ward off defenders can be one of the best strategies. Just hold the LT/L2 button without touching the analog stick. Time it when you anticipate a defender coming in to challenge for the ball. This is best used when on the wing when trying to cut inside or when you're in the penalty area.

Teammate contain

When you've got a marauding Lionel Messi terrorising your defence, one defender simply isn't enough. It's therefore time to call in some help from your other defenders. By holding RB/R1, a secondary team mate will pressure the player on the ball. You can either use this in combination with attempting to dispossess the attacker with the player you're controlling, or send the AI controlled team mate to pressure the player by himself. You can then manually control a player to help track the run of an overlapping attacker to make sure your opponent doesn't have an easy through-ball situation.

Be wary though, teammate contain when used at the wrong time can mean dragging your teammates out of position, creating gaps for your opponent to exploit. So you'll need to read the game to decide when is the right time.

Jockeying

By holding LT/L2, you can have your defender jockey the opponent. This has your defender move side ways, helping to block down crosses or block the opponent from dribbling past easily. You can hold LT/RT (or L2/R2 on PlayStation) to fast jockey.

Slide tackle quick recovery

A potentially little-known tip that can save you some embarrassment. Slide tackling can be risky business, not simply because a mistimed challenge can end up in being booked or sent off, but because it also commits your player. Miss the challenge and your opponent can simply breeze past. If you do mistime a challenge, you can give yourself the best chance at recovering by hitting the slide tackle button (B or Circle by default) a second time after you launch into the challenge. Your defender will then use their momentum to more rapidly get back on their feet ensuring they're not left flapping on the turf like a humiliated goldfish out of its bowl.

Manually switch players

Leaving your player switching up to the game can put you at a disadvantage when playing against more advanced players. Just a fraction delay can cost you defensively. Most players will use LB/L1 to manually switch the player that's under their control when defending but this can often mean the computer picks a player that you don't want to control. Say, if you predict an opponent's attack will break down the channels, you might want your wingback under control and primed for an interception. The computer might instead pick one of your centre backs, which isn't ideal. Instead, use the right analog stick and tilt it in the direction of the player you want to control. This is relative to the player you're currently controlling. This way, you can manually select your wingback. Combine this with team mate contain and the player you were controlling can press the attacker while you try and reduce their passing options with the player you've just switched to.

Use One-Two passing

Tiki taka football is a trademark of fast attacking teams like Barcelona. But those triangle passes are something that any team can do to help create space and get around opposition defenders. In FIFA 16, as with all previous versions, you can hold LB/L1 while pressing the pass button to play a tidy one-two. Your player will pass and move ready to receive a return pass. You can even hit the pass button a second time to pass directly to them, or hit the through-ball button to play it into space for them to run on to.

Master crosses

There's multiple ways of crossing the ball depending on the situation. Hitting the cross button once will hit the ball towards the far post (away from your crossing player), whereas a double press of the cross button will aim for the near post. If you want to hit a hard, low cross across the ground, you can do this with a quick triple tap of the cross button, which is ideal when you beat the defender towards the penalty box. Smash a low cross and an attacking striker can net an easy tap in if you time it right. Make sure to look up at your attacking players before deciding which type of cross is best for the situation.

Driven ground passes

Sometimes it's necessary to pass the ball with pace. This could be to avoid the ball being intercepted by an opposing player, to help get you out of trouble or just to inject a little energy into your build-up player. To hit a driven ground pass, you just need to hold RB or R1 and press the pass button. This will play the ball along the floor at pace, almost like a low driven cross. You'll need to make sure the receiving player is in a good position to control the ball upon receiving it as it'll be trickier to deal with coming in with speed. You can also use low driven passes as an alternative to a conventional through-ball as a penetrative technique.

Don't overuse lobbed through-balls

In previous versions of FIFA, the lobbed or chipped through-ball was a great way to slice through a difficult defence, especially one that might have been playing a high defensive line. Instead of playing a through-ball along the ground, where it could be intercepted, playing it over the top allowed your strikers or overlapping runners to run on to the pass, catching defenders off guard. Unfortunately, their effectiveness has been toned down in FIFA 16. That's not to say they're still not a useful tactic, just don't spam them as often unless you want to be constantly turning over possession. Skilful playmakers will also be better passers, so while Mesut Ozil might play the perfectly weighted over the top through ball, Per Mertersacker is more likely to over hit it giving the ball to the opposing goalkeeper.

FIFA 16: Basics you need to know

FIFA 16 Best Players

Almost as hotly-contested as the Ballon d'or, people are always eager to know who will top FIFA's best players list when it comes to stats. Electronic Arts made the top 50 players list available on its website but this was only based on default rankings when the game launched. EA updates player stats based on current form when you play online, as such they're ever changing. This means players can go from hot and in form, to mediocre and badly-performing. A bit like Alexis Sanchez, then.

EA assigns ratings based around Pace, Dribbling, Shooting, Defending, Passing and Physical attributes to decide how well each player performs. You'll need to take into account the player's position, too. A high defensive stat for a striker probably isn't your highest priority.

The top ten players when FIFA 16 launched were as below and these are the stats if you choose not to use EA's Match Day Live updates.

  1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  3. Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
  4. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
  5. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
  6. Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
  7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain)
  8. Neymar Jr. (Barcelona)
  9. Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain)
  10. David Silva (Manchester City)

The only possible surprise is the inclusion of Manuel Neuer, a goalkeeper, in the top five. Interestingly, Lionel Messi has pipped Cristiano Ronaldo, the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'or to the coveted top spot. But maybe it isn't that surprising considering Lionel Messi is FIFA 16's cover star. The Spanish league's two biggest clubs feature heavily with the remaining spots taken up evenly by the English, French and German leagues.

The website Futhead has an updating list of player rankings.

PC Minimum Requirements

If you're looking to buy FIFA 16 for PC, the below are the recommended and minimum specifications for an enjoyable experience. The most important thing is that the engine used for PC is now the same as on consoles, whereas in previous years it was based on the older version of the game.

Recommended Specifications:

  • OS: Windows 8/8.1/10 -64-bit
  • CPU: Intel i5-2550K @ 3.4Ghz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive Space Required: 15.0 GB
  • Supported Video Cards: ATI Radeon HD 6870, NVIDIA GTX 460
  • DirectX: 11.0

Minimum Required Specifications:

  • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1 -64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 @ 3.1GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Hard Drive Space Required: 15.0 GB
  • Minimum Supported Video Cards: ATI Radeon HD 5770, NVIDIA GTX 650
  • DirectX: 11.0

FIFA 16: What's new 

FIFA Ultimate Team Draft


FIFA Ultimate Team draft

FIFA Ultimate Team Draft sees players drafting and building their own team using drawn cards in a similar way to how FIFA Ultimate Team works already. You'll first pick a formation and then select a captain from a selection of world football's best known superstars. You then need to pick a player for each position based on a five-card draw. You'll need to select all 23 players for your squad but you can randomly generate your reserve team to save time. The difficult part, as with FIFA Ultimate Team, is how well your players gel together in terms of chemistry. 

You can then take your drafted team and play in a four game series to pit them against other players online. Playing FUT Draft will cost 15,000 coins, 300 FIFA Points or a Draft Token. Losing your first match will at least provide you a reward equal to the entrance fee but you'll get more rewards the better you do. EA drafted (see what we did there) Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, familiar faces for anyone who has watched Sky Sports, to help demonstrate the new mode.

Women's National Teams

FIFA 16 includes 12 national women's teams for the very first time. The first 11 squad as well as select reserve players have been facially scanned by EA for accurate representation in the game. Representation doesn't stop at just accurate facial modelling, however, as US international Abby Wambach was also used for motion capture so movement will be distinctly different.

FIFA 16 screenshot canada women's team

FIFA 16 won't allow for women's teams to play against men's, just like in real life. Women's teams won't feature in FIFA Ultimate Team, which has quickly become a popular component of the FIFA series. Women's national teams are available in Match Day, Offline Tournament, and Online Friendly Matches. Still, the inclusion of female players is a big stride for the series although it isn't the first time female players have appeared in a football title.

The full team women's team lineup will include: Germany, USA, France, Sweden, England, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, China, Italy and Mexico. More about FIFA 16 will likely be revealed at E3 that is being held June 16-18 so we'll be sure to update when more is known about the latest installment. 

FIFA 16 New Celebrations

With each new FIFA installment we get new goal celebrations, and FIFA 16 is no different. EA has shown off a new trailer revealing some of the new celebrations including 'Timber', 'Stomach Slide' and my personal favourite, the 'Glamour Slide', also known as the 'Handsome Olivier Giroud'. Also included is the 'KO', which appears to be based around Wayne Rooney's celebration after the video of him being knocked out during some tomfoolery surfaced on the internet. Timely, what with the England striker breaking Bobby Charlton's England international goals record. The video shows off the button combinations you'll need to use for the new celebrations as well as a glimpse at new goal interactions with the substitutes' bench.


FIFA 16 Demo

The FIFA 16 demo is available on Playstation 4, XBox One, PC, Playstation 3 and XBox 360 if you want to try before you buy.

The demo gives gamers the chance to try out Kick Off, a basic exhibition match; FIFA Ultimate Team Draft, the new mode introduced in FIFA 16 where you draft a team based on randomly drawn player cards; new FIFA Trainer mode; new skill games during loading and a chance to experience Bundesliga Broadcast Presentation.


FIFA 16 demo teaser

Selectable teams in the demo will include:

Clubs:

  • FC Barcelona
  • Borussia Dortmund
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach
  • Chelsea FC
  • Inter Milan
  • Manchester City
  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • Real Madrid CF
  • River Plate
  • Seattle Sounders

Women’s National Teams:

  • Germany
  • United States