Learn to pass from the pros!
A player’s passing abilities determine how well they do in a FIFA ‘16 match. Passing is an important way to slice open the tightest defenses or set up a play for your next move. Mediocre passes can put a wrench into your plans to score goals or win matches, and that’s why great passers like Mesut Ozil, Andrea Pirlo, and Paul Scholes are valued so highly in the football world.
You can watch all the tutorials on YouTube on tips and tricks to improve your passing, but why not ask a champion himself – better yet, the fourth highest-earning player in the world for FIFA ‘16? Red Bull E-Sports Zone (RBEZ), sat down with Malaysian champion Amirul “Amtuah” Afandi of Red Bull Malaysia-sponsored Team Infinite to find out how he approaches passing, and how he structures his game plan around it.
But first, let’s take a look at the types of 4 main types of passing in FIFA ’16:
1. The Short Pass
A regular one-to-one pass to deliver the ball a short distance. The short pass is good for retaining possession, taking control of the game, and holding on to the ball as long as you can. Short passes usually aren’t good at penetrating tight defenses, as the slow build-up play of a short passing game gives your opponent’s defenders time to get into a defensive shape – meaning your attempts can easily be intercepted.
2. The Through Pass
When the phrase “slicing open defenses” is used, the through pass is often what comes to mind. Using the through pass requires you to spot a run by one of your players – usually a speedy winger or forward – and threading it through your opponent’s defenders to match the run of your player. It’s not advisable to do this when your opponents are “parking the bus”.
3. The Lobbed Pass
The lobbed pass is a long-range pass that is lifted over your opponent’s head and is a great way to switch play to the other wing or when you have a player with a chance to break free of an opposing defender. However, lobbed passes are not very effective against taller defenders – like Gerard Pique and Chris Smalling.
4. The Driven Pass
Last but not least: the driven pass – a new type of passing first introduced to the FIFA franchise in FIFA ’16 and has proven to be the trickiest of them all. The driven pass is harder to intercept than other passes, and can be utilized to get the ball to your poacher to smash it in. There is a catch though: if you’re not careful, the driven pass can cause your player to lose control and waste the opportunity. Make sure that your forwards have terrific first touch if you intend to use the driven pass often.
It’s long been said that the perfect pass is a combination of the right amount of power on the power bar and the accurate direction on the analog stick, and according to Amtuah, there’s no shortcut to success for this. It’s practice, practice, and more practice; maybe crack open a can (or a few cans) of Red Bull to keep yourself energized. With enough experience, Amtuah says that players will be able to anticipate their passing options way in advance based on the formation they choose.
From Amtuah’s own experience, the most important ingredient in unlocking defenses with a pass is timing. Timing a pass to avoid interception from an oncoming defender is the key to going past the back four. Brilliant timing can also allow you to break defenses and escape the offside trap set by the opposition.
Efficiency is Key
Pictured: Louis van Gaal, former manager of Manchester United and antithesis of Amtuah’s preferred play style.
Amtuah views efficient in passing in a very unique way. To him, efficiency in passing isn’t about the number of passes you can make, but rather the number of complete passes that can lead to goal scoring chances. The most important bit is to get the job done: getting the ball to the forwards and smashing it into the net. Amtuah’s views on passing are very evident in his playstyle, as he favors very direct, high-tempo tactics that rely on getting the ball into the final third as fast as possible.
Vision & Passing
From his years of experience playing FIFA, Amtuah points out that most beginners tend to make the same mistake – by planning their passes based on the player in possession of the ball. Playing this way makes passes very obvious, and can lead to easy interception or counter-attacks by the opposing defenders. The right way to pass, according to Amtuah, is to focus on the positioning of your other players, and where those players might end up at before the pass is made. This is when the radar below the screen plays its part.
The radar is an important tool which displays the position of the ball and every player on the field, but is often underutilized by a lot of players in tournaments. As part of his training, AmTuah was forced to use the radar and nothing else to win the game. The screen was covered with a piece of cardboard, leaving only the radar exposed, and Amtuah spent hours of frustration trying to make things work. He eventually did – a testament to the spirit of #NoLimits proudly carried by Red Bull Malaysia-sponsored eSports athletes.
Team Selection & Passing Style
For AmTuah, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the best teams in terms of passing. The short pass ratings for Barcelona players are one of the highest in the game due to their Tiki-Taka style of play – especially with Iniesta and Rakitic in the midfield. For long passes, Real Madrid is the ideal team to pull an upset with. Players like Modric and Kroos who can serve long passes to speedsters like Ronaldo and Bale on the wing make very easy to breach defenses with a team like Real Madrid. However, every player has their own preferred playstyle, so Amtuah’s advice is pick a team that suits you. We’ll talk more about Team Selection later, as we have a whole article planned out to go into more detail on that.
As part of his closing advice, Amtuah believes that every player should check out the end-game stats for their passing accuracy, and aim to better themselves every game. With enough hard work, perseverance, and Red Bull to keep your energy levels up, there are #NoLimits to what you can achieve. We’ll see you again next week with more content in partnership with Red Bull Malaysia-sponsored Team Infinite, – and remember:
Red Bull: Energy with No Limits.