FIFA 22 Meta | Current Gameplay Styles to Help You Climb up the Ranks

by in Sports Games | Oct, 8th 2021

Climbing up the FIFA Division Rivals leaderboards has never been this fun! FIFA 22 Ultimate Team is now even more addicting, with the new system giving much clearer objectives for ranking up. Consistency is the name of the game, and you can’t have it unless you know the ins and outs of the current FIFA 22 meta.

Let’s start with the basics – what is meta? Meta, quite literally, means the most effective tactics available. It’s not just a term for FIFA but all other esports out there. LoL champions can be meta, post-buff CSGO guns are meta, some Dota 2 items are meta – I’m sure you got the gist of it.

What about FIFA, though? FIFA 22 meta consists of several factors, including players, formations, custom tactics, and raw gameplay. No worries, we will be taking a closer look at each of these factors.

Let’s get right into it!

FIFA 22 Meta | Gameplay Do’s and Don’ts

If you played a ton of FIFA 21 last season and you just booted up FIFA 22, you probably got destroyed. No, you haven’t forgotten how to game. It’s just that FIFA 22 is in many ways different from FIFA 21. Controls-wise, everything has remained identical. However, gameplay-wise, little bits, and nuances make up for a completely different gameplay experience.

Old tricks don’t work as they should in FIFA 22. You’ll need to start mixing things up and relying on gameplay trickery that’s considered the all-new FIFA 22 meta. There’s no doubt the meta will be changed as patches start rolling out. That’s why we’re going to be releasing new meta guides after big gameplay alterations.

Right now, we have five do’s and don’ts regarding FIFA 22 gameplay. Here’s what’s up:

FIFA 22 Do’s

Use Different Run Styles on and off the Ball

Sprint, shield/jockey, strafe dribble, and locked strafe dribble offer unique ways to control the ball. Players who are aggressive in defense will concede many goals against people who can combine quick run style changes with pinpoint accurate passing. Make sure you exploit that.

Not sure where to find controls for FIFA 22? The simplest answer is in-game. But, if you’re not in-game at the moment, check out this FIFA 22 controls guide. You’re welcome!

Experiment with New Player Switching

By pressing the right analog stick when you’re not on the ball, you will be able to switch your player based on the direction of the right analog flick. It’s a new mechanic that can be useful if your opponent has a lot of space in your final third. You need to be sure you’re switching to a specific player at a specific moment.

It takes some time getting used to this mechanic, but it’s worth it!

Exploit Flanks and Cutbacks

Quick wingers with good passing stats and different chemistry styles are all the craze in FIFA 22. Most of them aren’t that prolific with their long-range shots, but they can pass the ball to the target-men for easy goals. I’ve conceded countless goals this way – wide open flanks, cutback, goal – I can’t defend against it.  

Long Shots are Still OP

Long shos were pretty OP in FIFA 20. However, in FIFA 21, they got nerfed, making it almost impossible to score goals from 20+ meters unless you hit a perfect timed finish. In FIFA 22, however, players who have around 80 long shots can score unbelievable braces.

Finesse shots in the opposite corner are back, boys and girls, so make sure you take them for a spin. Low-driven shots are pretty stellar, too, though the first gameplay update might’ve addressed that. I could be wrong, though.

Use Timed Finishing

Last but not least – timed finishing. It wasn’t that important in FIFA 21 but is back in 2022 and is on steroids! I’m not saying every perfectly-timed finish will go in, but it helps swerve the ball that extra centimeter for it to rub against the post and bounce in.

Nailing down timed finishing is trickier than last year. There’s an extra risk, but an additional reward too. It highly depends on the connection quality, so you might have to practice quite a bit to get used to all the different scenarios.

FIFA 22 Don’ts

Overcomplicate Situations with Skill Moves

Skill moves were op in last FIFA, especially after the team of the season came around and good dribblers became incredibly cheap. However, FIFA 22 has a completely different approach to skill moves. This FIFA iteration, surprisingly enough, values good passing penetrations more than individual dribbling prowess.

That said, it’s okay to fake a shot or two, or perhaps do one of them fancy spins to see which direction your opponent will opt for, but overcomplicating with skill move chains won’t get you as far as it did last season.

Put Full Backs as Center Backs

This is something we’ve all done last year. Wan Bissaka and Kyle Walker as center backs… admit it, you were using this at one point, for sure! However, things are different in FIFA 22. While pace still means a lot in the center-back department, it’s much less than in FIFA 21.

This season, you will need higher defensive and physical attributes. Defenders now more often use these instead of their pace when dismantling oppositions’ attacks. And while lofted through balls are still a thing, defending against them doesn’t require a whole lot of pace anymore… rendering Lacroix and St. Juste much less viable than we had initially thought.

Don’t Force Passes

Passing is the key element in this year’s FIFA. But you’re not supposed to be too aggressive with your passing play. If you are too aggressive, you’ll often find your passes getting intercepted, sometimes even without your opponent doing the interception manually. High interception players are important now more than ever before!

That said, if you’re not sure a forward-bound pass will make it through, it’s best to put a foot on the ball and look for alternatives. Don’t be afraid to pass the ball to your defenders or switch the side altogether. Long passes are now viable, too, so don’t sleep on them!

Don’t Rush with Your Goalie

Rushing forward with your goalie was an op tactic in FIFA 21. Goalies were relatively fast and, combined with forwards’ poor ball control in high speeds, often came out as the winners in such duels. This year, though, things are a bit different. You shouldn’t rush forward with your goalie unless the attacker makes a poor touch or pushes the ball too far away. 

Don’t Overdo Second Man Contain

Second man contain, especially with the new player switching mechanics, is a great way to defend against players basing their playstyle on technical ball control. But, if you overdo second man contain mechanic, your player will run out of contain stamina which often opens up just enough space for the opponent’s attacker to get in behind and create a goalscoring opportunity.

FIFA 22 Meta Players You Should Buy Right Now

As always, FIFA 22 features a ton of players with great stats and perks. However, not all of them are in the meta. That said, you can already see dirt cheap 85+ rated players who won’t give any boost to your starting eleven.

Instead, you might want to opt for slightly more expensive but many lower-rated players with specific attributes that greatly impact FIFA 22 meta gameplay. People expected pacey center backs and strikers to be all the craze this year. However, players with higher shooting stats seem to be much more viable.

In my books, Sabitzer and Moreno are classy this year! They can pass, they can dribble, and most importantly, they can score finesse goals from outside of the box without breaking a sweat. They’re not the only meta players out there. There’s a ton – you have to understand which stats to look for and kickstart your exploration.

Make sure you check out our FIFA 22 cheap gems for more awesome players!

Best FUT 22 Formations

Last but not least, FIFA 22 meta formations! Throughout the last few years, OP formations have heavily impacted the gameplay in every FIFA game. The tactical elements in FIFA games have always been profound yet pretty simple.

All you need to do is pick one of the meta formations and couple it with two custom game plans to take care of potential counters.

What are the best FUT 22 meta formations, though?

Here are three I’ve been using since the start and that has been working splendidly for me:


First things first, 4-2-3-1. It’s the most basic formation this season. It offers enough aggression on defense, two defensive center midfielders to shield your center backs, one passing maestro in the very heart of the pitch, and two offensive midfielders who will feed the balls to your lone striker.

If you’re struggling to break down defenses and you can’t stop your opponents from scoring goals from possession-based plays, then 4-2-3-1 is the formation for you! But, you will have to deploy some custom tactics to polish everything up and make it your own… otherwise, it won’t be that effective.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Custom Tactics

If you want stability in the back, you must keep the defensive style balanced with width and depth at 50. No big changes are needed here.

As for the offense, you want to set the build-up play to slow. Chance creation should be forward runs or balanced, depending on your personal gameplay preferences. You’ll want a bit more width to your attacks since you don’t have any real wingers. 60 width ought to do it.

Make sure your full-backs stay back when attacking – you won’t need the extra width in the final third. It means a lot for your defensive efforts off-the-counter-attack. Your defensive midfielders can stay as they are; adjusting their positioning freedom to stick to position might come in handy. That’s the only change for them.

You’ll want your offensive midfielders to get into the box for crosses, but don’t give them too much-roaming freedom. You’ll want them to stay static to provide more passing opportunities in the final third. 

4-1-2-1-2 (2)

Next up, 4-1-2-1-2 (2) AKA 4-1-2-1-2 Narrow. Similar to 4-2-3-1, this formation also gives you much-needed stability in defense while at the same time providing dynamic runs and plenty of passing opportunities in the offense.

The biggest downside to this formation is its narrowness. Another connection with the above-featured one, if you pull too many midfielders with your double passes, you will be exposed to fast-paced counter-attacks, for sure!

Even though, at first glance, there’s too little with this formation. If you use the following custom tactics, you won’t have issues in that department. Don’t get me wrong – you won’t lead every single attack near the touchline, but if the opportunity does show up, your players will make the runs in behind.

Custom Tactics

In defense, leave everything as is but increase the depth to 60. For offense, you’ll want forward runs to be your chance-creation tool. Everything else should remain identical to 4-2-3-1.

As always, make sure your full-backs aren’t joining your attacks. Your formation is already too narrow. The last thing you want to do is to make your only defensive width join your attacking endeavors.

You want your left and right center midfielders to cover the wings and give them no roaming freedom. As for your attacking midfielders, give them some roaming freedom and make sure they stay forward and do balanced crossing runs.

Both of your attackers should have a mixed attack but feel free to experiment with the target man if you have someone like Erling Haaland or Lukaku upfront.

One more thing to keep in mind – 4-1-2-1-2 (2) is easy to counter. If your opponent is a master tactician, he’ll widen his passage of play and exploit the flanks. That’s why you should always have a plan B in your custom game plans. You’re welcome!


3-5-2 doesn’t require any custom tactics. However, you will need at least two pacey defenders coupled with similarly fast wingers on each side. What does 3-5-2 give you, though? Well, errors on the defensive end will be much more expensive with this formation.

On the bright side, when you’re attacking, you have a lot of options down the middle and on the flanks. But, it’s easy to get lost in so many opportunities. If this does happen, you will have a lot of trouble on your end of the pitch.

Counter-attacking threats are a real pain with this one, but plenty of attacking opportunities and the ability to hold the ball in case of a goal advantage makes up for it.


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