Passing is undoubtedly the most important skill to master if you wish to win more often in FIFA. Furthermore, passing well enough to maintain possession both for a large amount of time and with an attacking purpose is a level of prowess you must reach in order to be a more competitive player — whether when playing with your friends or in competitive matches online.
It is crucial to remember that it is more than acceptable to pass backwards and delete the forward progress you have made so far. Unless you encounter a situation in which the pass, if completed, would result in a highly advantageous attacking position, then you should first look to maintain possession by passing to an open man rather than formulating an attack. Possession is the strongest form of defense you can establish in FIFA. Not only can your opponent not score while you have possession of the ball, but the dynamic of forcing your opponent to constantly track you down while you simply try out different attacks can be very frustrating for him in a game where mentality can be key. Of course, if you’re playing with friends you may be called out for simply passing around your back line, but if you actually attempt to make forward progress while being a conservative passer, it will cause your opponent to believe that you are more skillful than you actually are.
Typically, a good strategy is to alternate between attacking down the middle and trying to create a crossing opportunity from the flanks. You can prioritize which one you try more often.
Attack down the middle by maintaining possession with simple passes — your team will naturally move forward and create more passing lanes and opportunities further down the field. You will be surprised how quickly you can find yourself with several passing options in the final third by only passing around conservatively and making forward progress only when it is clearly an option. Once you control possession in this area of the field, you have many different options. From here, you can certainly afford more mistakes so it wouldn’t be bad to let this be the area in which you try some of those risky passes. Look for sneaky runs in or a player who is hanging out alone just along the defensive line.
Many times, these options will simply not be there because a player has positioned well. From here, you can resort to a shot or dribbling through the lanes left open.
Attack down the flanks by starting central and looking for open lanes to slot the ball through in anticipation of a pacy run by your wing players. If you are in a strong central position, you could easily look to either side of the pitch and create a good opportunity to pass your wing player well on his way to a good crossing region. Alternatively, you could pass to your winger early and attempt to dribble past, at most, two players, and find yourself in this same region. For more information on dribbling past these players and utilizing your winger’s pace, read the upcoming sections on dribbling and skill moves.
A final note to remember – change up your passing methods! When told to possess the ball, many players automatically assume that this can only mean short ground passes mostly around the halfway mark. Only relying on these passes can make your passing game far more predictable. Against good opponents this can make maintaining possession for any significant amount of time nearly impossible. Another factor that contributes to that is that you are simply cutting out really valuable passing options. There may be a center midfielder all alone in the center of the pitch whom you can’t reach because the only open lane would require quite a long pass that is likely to be intercepted while you could simply play a lofted ball right over an opposing player and quickly transition into getting the ball into the final third. Also consider through balls to usher players into more wide open space, they aren’t only for creating breakaways!