The FIFA 20 Player Instructions are responsible to make your players play the way you want. If you don’t know what they are or how to set up them, read this guide where we explain everything you should know.
FIFA 20 Player Instructions
Find out how to make your players play the way you want
You created a squad with good players and decent chemistry. You also picked your favourite formation but, even knowing you have good FIFA skills, you still don’t understand why you don’t win more often, right? Well, maybe something is missing. Most of the people ignore that, when they have their team almost ready, they need to make the final adjustments to make that team play the way they want. They need to give it their identity. If you feel that this may be happening to you, you still have to set up (in descending order of importance):
Today we will explain how the FIFA 20 player instructions work and how they can be useful for your team.
FIFA 20 Player Instructions are the only chance you have to give direct instructions to a single player. Unlike what happens with tactics, these orders will not affect the other players on the team. Do you know when you want your centre back to stay on the defence and he insists to join the attack? Well, you can specify an instruction that will make him stay back no matter what happens. This is made using the FIFA 20 player instructions.
You can access the FIFA 20 player instructions screen following the path Ultimate Team > Squads > Active Squad > Squad Actions > Custom Tactics > Instructions. Before starting a match, you can also make changes, selecting Edit Lineup > Squad Actions > Player Instructions. Even after the game starts, you can pause it and make new adjustments. The game will always save your last configuration which means that you don’t have to set up every time you are going to play. Besides that, all players will assume the standard configuration unless you apply them a different instruction. Don’t forget that you can set up a game plan with specific instructions for each player, which makes your job much easier.
FIFA 20 player instructions are only applied to the players of the starting eleven. If you make a substitution, the player who comes in will not follow the instructions of the player who goes out. It is also important to understand that instructions are assigned according to the positions on the field. For example, a striker will have different instructions categories from a centre back, unless he is playing as a centre back.
Before we explain the FIFA 20 Player Instructions, we need to warn you that you should set up your instructions according to the attributes of each player and your squad needs. You player might not be able to handle the assigned instructions properly if the instructions are beyond their abilities. There is no such thing as perfect configurations. Just because two players play in the same position, it doesn’t mean that they should follow the same instructions. The most important thing you should realize is that, when you make a decision, you are adding good things to your team but at the expense of something bad. It’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth it.
How to set up each instruction
⚫⚪⚪⚪ Get In Behind | Make forwards runs in behind the defence.
⚪?⚪⚪ Mixed Attack | Occasionally make forward runs when the opportunity arises.
⚪⚪⚫⚪ Target Man | Back into an opponent and ask for the ball to feet.
⚪⚪⚪⚫ False 9 | Drops into midfield to create attacking space for teammates and has time and space to dribble or pick up passes.
⚫⚪⚪ Join the Attack | Make forwards runs as much as possible.
⚪?⚪ Balanced Attack | Occasionally make forward runs when the opportunity arises.
⚪⚪⚫ Stay Back While Attacking | Never make forward runs while on attack.
Depending if it is directed at forwards or defenders, this instruction for attacking runs is different.
In the first case, it affects where your strikers position themselves when attacking. For this reason, the instruction should take into account not only your play style but especially the player in question.
When ‘Get In Behind’ is active, your players will face the goal, and their runs will be in straight or slightly curved lines to try and get between the CB and the goalkeeper. It is a good instruction for players with a good acceleration stat, like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and counter-attack styles. However, you will be caught in the offside position more often.
When ‘Target Man’ is active, your strikers will play with their backs to goal, try and get tight to the CB’s to try and hold the ball up to bring other players into the action. It can be used with success in slower players with high strength stat, like Ibrahimovic or Diego Costa, especially in a two strikers formation.
When ‘False 9’ is active, your strikers will drop into midfield with their backs to goal, trying to find space and playing almost like a CAM. You will win an extra man to create chances but you will lose a reference on the box.
If you are not sure about which instruction you should use here, we suggest keeping the ‘Balanced Attack’ selected (default instructions are in red).
For fullbacks, this instruction affects how far forward they get to support the attack.
If ‘Join the Attack’ is active (old ‘Always Overlap’), your fullbacks will sometimes overlap your wingers if they drop short to receive the ball, but will mostly just get further up the pitch, to be closer to you winger to help with the attack.
If ‘Stay Back’ is active, your fullbacks will rarely get forward, they will stay in a defensive position. This is useful if they have good defensive skills and you want to keep your defence compact.
‘Balanced Attack’ is the most used option but not always the best one. Depending if you are winning or losing, you can change to one of the other two to adjust the players who are supporting the attack or the defence.
⚫⚪⚪⚪ Drop Between Defenders | Keep in the back and maintain the shape of the formation.
⚪⚫⚪⚪ Stay Back While Attacking | Never make forward runs while on attack.
⚪⚪?⚪ Balanced Attack | Occasionally make forward runs when the opportunity arises.
⚪⚪⚪⚫ Get Forward | Join the attack and make runs beyond the striker(s).
⚫⚪⚪ Join the Attack | Occasionally make forward runs when the opportunity arises.
⚪?⚪ Stay Back While Attacking | Never make forward runs while on attack.
⚪⚪⚫ Play As Striker | Go up front in the last few minutes of a match if losing.
Depending if it is directed at midfielders or defenders, this instruction for attacking support is different.
In the first case, it affects how far forward your central midfield players go when attacking.
If ‘Stay Back’ is active, your midfielders will stay behind the ball when attacking and will be ready to defend any possible counter-attack.
If ‘Get Forwards’ is active, your midfielders will get beyond the ball, acting almost as shadow strikers and will try to get into the box when in possession, leaving you vulnerable to a counter.
Obviously, you have the option to keep the ‘Balanced Attack’ instruction enabled. Our suggestion is to never select the riskiest option on a CDM or, otherwise, he will not be able to support your back line. We also believe that, if you have two CM’s in your squad, you may set ‘Get Forward’ for one of them but never for the two.
For centre-backs, the three options are pretty self-explanatory.
By default, your centre-backs will keep on the defence, even when you are attacking (except in corners).
‘Join the Attack’ may be useful if you have a player like David Luiz. Your opponent will not be expecting to see him making forward runs and you will find more space to play in the opposite midfield. However, the risk of losing the ball and be caught out of position is high. We suggest you use this with caution.
We also believe you should select ‘Play As Striker’ in one (and only one!) of your centre-backs. This instruction will not affect the way how he will play, except eventually in the last 10 minutes.
⚫⚪⚪⚪ Cut Inside | Make cutting runs to the inside from out wide.
⚪?⚪⚪ Balanced Width | Stay wide or cut inside depending on the situation.
⚪⚪⚫⚪ Stay Wide | Always try to stay wide and close to the line.
⚪⚪⚪⚫ Free Roam | Take a free role and roam the attacking third.
This instruction affects the width of runs made by your wide-men.
If ‘Cut Inside’ is active, your wingers will try to get into the channel between the full-back and the centre back and will be looking to angle their runs towards the goal. This one always makes us remember Robben. It is a must for players with good shooting and curve stats.
If ‘Stay Wide’ is active, your wingers will try to stay on the outside of the full-back and not cut inside unless it’s to get on the end of a ball that has been played inside. This instruction is especially useful for fast players with good passing/crossing stats.
Unless you are too bad on the wing or cutting inside, we suggest you to use ‘Balanced Width’ in order to avoid keep performing the same moves again and again. You need to be unpredictable to get past your opponents.
This year, you also have the option to choose ‘Free Roam’. Selecting this instruction, players have the freedom to make runs out of position. In other words, they will tend to stray far from their assigned positions during the course of the match.
⚫⚪⚪ Cut Passing Lanes | Split the opposition and cut out the passing lanes.
⚪?⚪ Balanced Defence | Keep your shape and stay in position to defend.
⚪⚪⚫ Man Mark | Mark up tight and stick with your opponent.
This instruction affects how your CDM tries to win the ball back.
If ‘Cut Passing Lanes’ is active, your CDM will try to stop the pass forwards, by ‘screening’ the back line and not attack the ball until after it has been passed.
If ‘Man Mark’ is active, your CDM will follow the player he is marking and will be ready to intercept the ball if he tries to turn. However, this leaves space behind your midfield.
‘Balanced Defence’ is clearly our favourite. The best way to defend in FIFA 20 is to keep the shape of our formation and to wait for the opponent movement. If you want to press your opponents, don’t do it with your CDM.
⚫⚪ Cover Center | Always try to defend central positions.
⚪? Cover Wing | Defend the open wing if teammate isn’t marking.
This instruction affects how wide will be your first defensive line.
If ‘Cover Center’ is active, the players will concentrate more in the middle, leaving the flanks more exposed.
If ‘Cover Wing’ is active, the players will defend widely, leaving the middle more exposed but stopping all that comes from the sides. This option is great against wide formations.
Unless your players have low stamina and pace, you should leave the default option active.
⚫⚪⚪ Come Back on Defence | Always try to track back and support the defence.
⚪?⚪ Basic Defence Support | Come back to support the defence when needed.
⚪⚪⚫ Stay Forward | Do not come back to support the defence.
This instruction affects how your midfielders assist with defending.
If ‘Come Back’ is active, your players will drop into the same line as your defensive midfielders and will become almost like a wide defensive midfielder, slightly more narrow than a fullback.
If ‘Stay Forward’ is active, your players will not get behind the ball to defend, and will instead stay wider and further forward, looking to hit your opposition on the counter. This is especially useful for fast players with poor defending skills.
‘Basic Defence Support’ is the mid-term. They will go back but only when you are outnumbered.
Unless you are using a formation with enough CDMs, we recommend you to use ‘Come Back’ in at least one of your midfielders.
⚫⚪⚪ Aggressive Interceptions | Always looking to intercept passes aggressively.
⚪?⚪ Normal Interceptions | Looking to intercept passes when the interception chance is reasonable.
⚪⚪⚫ Conservative Interceptions | Only trying to intercept passes if the player can win the ball clearly.
This instruction affects how aggressive your players are at winning the ball back. It is the only order that can be applied to all positions.
If ‘Aggressive’ is active, your players will look to press the ball as soon as it is passed into an opposition player.
If ‘Conservative’ is active, your players will stand off and try to let your opposition make a mistake, rather than forcing one. Be prepared to give up a lot of possession if you use this one.
In our opinion, you should use ‘Aggressive Interceptions’ in most of your players. You will win the ball possession more often and more quickly. However, if you feel that it is leaving huge gaps in your defence, if you are being punished with yellow and red cards too many times or if you are making too many fouls, you may try to use ‘Normal Interceptions’. An exception is made to your CBs and probably your fullbacks: to avoid penalties, leave them in the default instruction. If you don’t do it, you will be blaming EA and their stupid handicap.
⚪⚫ Free Roam | Take a free role and roam the attacking third.
?⚪ Stick to Position | Stay in your formation position when attacking.
This instruction affects how closely your midfielders stick to their positions.
If ‘Roam From Position’ is active, midfielders will take up whichever position they feel like in the midfield. The CAMs are who benefit most from this instruction.
If ‘Stick to Position’ is active, your midfielders will stay close to their intended position.
Unless you know what you are doing, we recommend you to use the second option. It is very confusing to give freedom to our players because most of the times they will be out of position. Since we play like robots (even if we don’t realize it), we will not have the players where we want. On the default instruction, you can clearly see the shape of your formation. It’s less unpredictable but also easier.
Support on Crosses
⚫⚪⚪ Get Into The Box For Cross | Make runs into the penalty area in crossing situations.
⚪?⚪ Balanced Crossing Runs | Run into the penalty area or stay on the edge in crossing situations.
⚪⚪⚫ Stay On Edge Of Box For Cross | Stay on the edge of the penalty area in crossing situations.
This instruction affects what positions your midfielders take up when preparing for a cross.
If ‘Get In The Box’ is active, your midfielders will charge into the box to try and head the ball as close to goal as possible. This is especially useful for players with good heading and jumping stats.
If ‘Stay On Edge’ is active, your midfielders will hang on the edge of the box for a cutback, leaving the box pretty empty. This is a decent choice for players with good long shots stat, waiting for a rebound.
Depending on the attributes of the forwards, you may pick ‘Balanced Crossing Runs’ or one of the two other instructions to fill the team according to its needs. Don’t forget that there is a tactic that lets you define how many players you want in the penalty area in situations like this one.
⚫⚪⚪ Drift Wide | Make runs to wide areas of the pitch.
⚪?⚪ Balanced Width | Stay wide or cut inside depending on the situation.
⚪⚪⚫ Stay Central | Stay in central areas of the pitch.
⚫⚪⚪⚪ Get In Behind | Make forward runs in behind the defence.
⚪?⚪⚪ Balanced Support | Make forward runs or come short depending on the situation.
⚪⚪⚫⚪ Come Short | Come short and ask for the ball to feet.
⚪⚪⚪⚫ Target Man | Back into an opponent and ask for the ball to feet.
Depending if it is directed at central forwards or wingers, this instruction for support runs is different.
In the first case, it affects how wide your strikers runs are.
If ‘Drift Wide’ is active, your strikers will look to get in the channel behind the centre back and the fullback. This is more useful for fast players who don’t play alone in the attack. Otherwise, they will be too far from the goal.
If ‘Stay Central’ is active, your strikers will look to stay narrow and play between the width of the other team’s centre-backs. If you play with two strikers, it doesn’t make sense to apply this instruction to both.
The first option may make your strikers be out of position when you need them, while on the third one they will be more easily beaten by the opponents.
Like all the other instructions, we strongly recommend testing the different options. In this case, the default instruction will be the most balanced but not the best one for all players.
For wingers, this instruction affects how close they come towards the ball when attacking.
If ‘Get In Behind’ is active, your wide man will look to get in on goal behind the defence, even if it means he is marked. If you use this instruction, you will need to double-check the positions before pressing triangle/Y.
If ‘Come Short’ is active, your wide man will peel off his marker to offer a short option towards the player in possession. This instruction is especially recommended for who loves a possession style.
If you are unsure about which instruction to use here, keep your wingers with the ‘Balanced Support’. The players will automatically make their own decision, which will make your job easier. However, be aware that they do not always choose the best option.
⚫⚪⚪ Inverted | Make underlapping run on the inside of the wide players for more central support.
⚪?⚪ Mixed Attack | Occasionaly make forward runs when the opportunity arises.
⚪⚪⚫ Overlap | Make overlapping run on the outside.
This instruction affects the width your fullbacks attacks.
If ‘Inverted’ is active, the fullbacks will concentrate more in the middle, leaving the flanks more exposed, but giving more short passing options.
If ‘Overlap’ is active, the fullbacks will attack widely, giving for passing options to the wingers.
We believe you should avoid inverted and go for overlap or mixed, depending on your play style.
Saving on Crosses
⚫⚪⚪ Comes for Crosses | Goalkeeper will come off his line more often when defending crosses.
⚪?⚪ Balanced | Default behaviour during crosses to stay or come for crosses depending on the situation.
⚪⚪⚫ Cautious with Crosses| Goalkeeper will stay on his line more often when defending crosses.
The most wise decision is to select ‘Balanced’, which means that the goalkeeper will decide by himself what he should do. Depending on how your opponent is playing, you can adjust this instruction in-game.
Saving Outside Box
⚫⚪ Sweeper Keeper | Aggressive coming outside of box and challenging opponent for loose balls.
⚪? Balanced | Conservative on balls outside of the box unless clearly getting to it first.
Unless you know what you are doing, leave the decision for the IA and select ‘Balanced’.