We've got all the FIFA 18 techniques and tricks you need to succeed: From passing and shooting to more complex maneuvers.

FIFA 18 Techniques, Tips and Tricks Guide: Dominating the Field

We've got all the FIFA 18 techniques and tricks you need to succeed: From passing and shooting to more complex maneuvers.

FIFA 18, the newest addition to EA’s long-running FIFA soccer series, is finally here — and it’s time for you to get your thumbs in the best shape possible so you can dominate your opponents on and offline.

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Although it’s definitely a lot less body intensive than real life soccer/football, you still need to put some practice in if you want to bring home some wins. With our FIFA 18 tips and tricks, you’ll be prepared with some new techniques up your sleeve! 

FIFA 18 Offensive Tips and Techniques

No offense, but your offense needs improvement. Between offense and defense, this is the more difficult of the two disciplines to master as you’ve got a lot of controls to remember if you want to hold onto the ball long enough to score some goals. Try these FIFA 18 offense tips out to improve your attacking game.

Getting ready to to shoot for the goal.


No, this isn’t Counter-Strike, this is FIFA 18 and you’ve got to learn how to shoot if you want to get some points. The most crucial aspect of winning is scoring goals and in order to do that, you have to know what kind of shots to make and when to make them.

The most basic shot is done by simply pressing or holding O [PS4] or B [Xbox One]. This will shoot the ball in front of your player. Its height will depend on how long you held O/B after you pressed it. The ball will go high if you hold down O/B for its full duration and it will only get a little bit of air if you tap the button.

The next shot you should familiarize yourself with is the finesse shot, which is done by shooting while holding R1/RB. FIFA 18’s finesse shot is an accurate shot that goes slightly to the side and then curves back around again. It’s great for getting the soccer ball behind goalies. When performing the finesse shot, you’ll want to hold the button down for just a moment or two. Give it enough power to get some air, but not too much to prevent the ball from flying away.

Up next is the chip shot, which is done by pressing the shot button while holding L1/LB. This is a shot that goes straight and over your opponent’s head using a quick arc. This is great for when it’s just you and the goalkeeper without too many defenders giving you pressure. You should aim to get about two bars of power before shooting this off to ensure the ball gets over your opponent’s head.

Up next is my personal favorite, the low shot. This one is done by simply tapping O/B a second time after shooting. You can hold down the shoot button for more power, but be sure to tap O/B a second time before it reaches max power otherwise you’ll just kick the ball incredibly high. This is one of the best FIFA 18 shots and should be your default when you’re near the goal.

If you want to be a show off when you’re really kicking your opponent’s butt, you can perform a flair shot by holding L2/LT and pressing the shoot button in FIFA 18. This is basically a trick shot and is not quite as powerful or accurate as the others, but it’s great for rubbing your victories into your opponent’s face. I’m not sure if this is always the case, but I only managed to get this to work by running toward the goal and shooting around the penalty shot area.

You can also fake a shot in FIFA 18 by pressing O/B then X/A and a direction with the left stick. This is great for forcing the opposing goalkeeper to dive or to fake out a defender.

Lastly, you can sometimes score goals if the ball is near your head and you are near the opposing goal by pressing X/A, Square/X, or O/B. This is called a header and is usually common during kickoffs.

Passing in FIFA 18

In order to shoot the ball into the goal, you have to get the ball on the opposing team’s side of the pitch. To be able to do that, you have to have a strong passing game. Follow our FIFA 18 passing tips to outmaneuver your opponents while you get into scoring range.

A good starting point is the short pass. This maneuver is done simply by pressing X/A. This is a great pass for when you don’t have anyone between you and your nearby teammate in FIFA 18.

When you have a defender in between you and your teammate, you can press Square/X for a lob pass which lobs the ball over your opponent’s head, allowing your teammate to get possession of the ball.

The next kind of pass is the through ball pass. You perform this type of pass with Triangle/Y. It is meant to be done when your teammate is between two defenders and you need to get the ball between them.

In addition to the through ball, you have a threaded through ball in FIFA 18. To do this, you hold R1/RB while performing a through ball. This pushes the ball a little bit further than the normal version and is perfect for when you and a teammate (who is ahead of you) are nearing the goal with no one in front of your teammate. If done right, it gives your teammate enough time to catch up via sprinting to the ball and can set them up nicely for scoring.

The last kind of through ball is the lobbed through ball which is done by holding L1/LB while pressing Triangle/Y. This is great for when you need to get the ball between two defenders but are worried they’ll intercept it on the ground.

Another variation on the lob ball in FIFA 18 is the scoop lob which is done by holding L2/LT while pressing Square/X. This is similar to a lob pass, but instead, has more of an arc.

Up next, you have the driven lob pass/cross which is done by holding R1/RB while pressing Square/X. This is a lob pass that has a bit more force to it. Driven passes are intercepted less often, but they might not land as close to your teammate as you intend to, so keep that in mind when performing this FIFA 18 pass.

You can perform a high lob/cross by holding L1/LB while pressing Square/X in FIFA 18. This is simply just a higher version of the lob pass. Conversely, you can perform a low cross by tapping Square/X a second time, much like the low shot. You can even do a flair pass by holding L2/LT while pressing X/A.

When the ball is passed to you, you can dummy a pass (have it go through your teammate’s legs). This is great for when there are defenders on your teammate’s side because it allows the ball to go between them instead of out in front of them (where it becomes easily snatchable for your opponent).

Something to keep in mind when passing is that if you’re playing as a high-stats character, you should be able to maneuver the ball around more or less immediately after getting it, but your first touch as a player with lower skill sets is more important. You’ll likely not want to sprint to get the ball and will want to be aware of where you go with it in FIFA 18 to avoid having it stolen by an opponent. Some players even stop in their tracks to make sure they don’t lose possession.

Learning to control the ball.

Ball Control

The most difficult aspect of FIFA 18 is effectively learning ball control. It seems simple on the surface, right? You just un around dribbling the ball. Wrong. You have to avoid an entire enemy team that is meant to slow you down and steal the ball away. Luckily, you have an arsenal of tricks to hold onto the ball.

To start with, you protect the ball by holding down L2/LT. This makes you move a bit slower/more awkwardly, but it’s great for when an opposing player is right on you.

If you want to be precise with your positioning, you can slow dribble by holding L1/LB while moving with the ball. This won’t allow you to move fast at all, as the name implies, but it will give you enough control and time to carefully maneuver the ball passed your opponent.

Up next, we have skill moves that aren’t necessary to hold onto the ball, but if mastered, will give you some seriously sweet moves for replays and an insane ability to protect your ball. To perform a skill move, the player you’re controlling has to have the right amount of stars out of five total. One-star means players can perform one-star moves, whereas five-star players can perform from one to five-star moves.

We’ll start with the one-star moves. Holding L2/LT then pressing R1/RB allows you to juggle (1*) the ball. If you press a direction with the movement stick while doing this, it juggles the ball in that direction. You can repeat this for as many times as you want to juggle the ball and can manage to do so without messing up.

You can perform a foot fake (1*) by holding L1/LB and pressing R1/RB. This makes your character look like they’re about to do something with their leg to psych out the enemy team in FIFA 18.

Up next, we have the two-star moves. When standing still, you can body feint (2*) left or right by flicking the right stick left or right. This makes it seem like you’ll move in that direction, but instead you stay in the same spot.

You can stepover (2*) the ball in FIFA 18, left or right, by moving the right stick from the up position to the direction you want to go in then letting go. This makes your player move their foot over the ball as if they were going to move it somewhere, but instead, the ball remains in place. A reverse stepover is the opposite technique and is performed by doing the opposite motion.

You can roll the ball (2*) left or right by holding the right stick in the direction you wish to go. If you hold down L1/LB, you can drag the ball backwards (2*) by flicking down on the left stick.

He shoots! But will he score?

The first 3-star move we have is the heel flick (3*). This is done simply by flicking up then down on the right stick. This pushes the ball with your front heel back to your back foot then you push the ball with your back heel to move to the side in front of you.

flick up (3*) is performed by tapping up on the right stick three times. This brings the ball up into the air in front of your player and can be used in FIFA 18 to set up some decent shots.

You can perform a spinning juke, known as a roulette (3*), by starting your right stick in the bottom left and rotating the stick all the way around to the right direction to go right or do the opposite to go left in FIFA 18.

To fake left and go right, which involves your player feinting a leftward movement then going right as the name implies, you start from the left on the right stick then perform a half-circle motion to the right. You can fake right and go left by doing the opposite.

We’re getting into serious pro territory with the 4-star moves now. To ball hop,  where your player hops with the ball between their legs, press R3 while standing still.

Instead of simply doing a heel flick, 4-star players get an improved version called the heel to heel flick (4*) that is done the same way: flicking up then down on the right control stick in FIFA 18. This move is perfect for when you’re running up towards the goal and you have a defender running straight for you; it gives you a change in momentum that will allow you to move right past them.

This is just not working out.

Up next, you have the simple rainbow (4*), another great move for setting up shots, which is performed by flick down then up twice on the right stick while going forward. Your player will kick the ball from behind them, over their head, and in front of them. You can juggle it a bit before doing this with an advanced rainbow (4*) that is done in FIFA 18 by flicking down on the right stick, then holding up on the right stick for a second before flicking it up again.

A better version of the fake left/right and go right/left set is feint left/right and go right/left (4*) This is done the same way for both types in FIFA 18: start with the right stick to the left and go in a half circle along the bottom to the right if you want to feint left then go right and do the reverse if you want to feint then go in the opposite direction.

If you’re moving forward and your opponent is heading straight for you, you can fake them out with a spin (4*). To spin left, you simply tap bottom-left on the right stick twice. This makes your character do a 360, turning toward their right and moving the ball with them, allowing them to move the ball back in front of them as they go left. You can perform it on the right side in FIFA 18 to go right.

At the cost of some momentum, you can stop and turn left or right (4*) by flicking up on the right stick then flicking the direction you want to go on the right stick while running. Another trick move in FIFA 18 is the ball roll and cut left or right (4*). You simply hold the right stick to the right or left, then hold the left stick in the opposite direction. This causes your player to roll their ball in a direction for a second then stop it and move the ball towards the opposite direction.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the five-star tricks. In the same vein as its other upgrade, the elastico (5*) uses the same movements as fake left/right and go right/left in FIFA 18: start with the right stick to the left then do a half circle on the bottom to the right or vice versa. This is like an even faster/better version of its previous incarnations.

You can show off your quick ball rolls (5*) by holding down on the right stick. This will shift the ball quickly between your feet as you stand still.

You can perform hocus pocus (5*), a move where your player uses their right leg to move the ball behind then around their left leg to end with it in front of them. This is a great FIFA 18 ball control fake out when you’re sprinting down the field. It is performed with the right stick by starting off from the bottom, then rolling to the left. After that, you start from the left and roll from the bottom to the right. The opposite motion does a triple elastico (5*) which functions similarly, but involves your player using their foot on top of the ball for a moment instead of having it go behind and then around.

You can do a ball roll and flick left/right (5*) by holding left or right on the right stick then flicking up on the left stick after the ball moves to the side one time. This is great in FIFA 18, especially after free kicks, for faking out opponents as you’ll roll the ball in one direction, but move forward in the opposite.

The next ball control five star move in FIFA 18 is the sombrero flick (5*). This is the opposite technique of a simple rainbow. You kick the ball in an arc over your head behind you. To do this, you flick up on the right stick twice and then flick down while standing.

The five star version of the stop and turn is the turn and spin left/right (5*). To do this, you flick up on the right stick and then flick the direction you want to go. As the name implies, your character will spin around in a 360 and go in the direction you command them to. Really effective against the defending AI in FIFA 18.

While standing still, if you start to roll the ball in one direction, but flick the right stick in the opposite direction as you’re in the middle of the animation for the first roll, you will perform a ball roll and fake left/right (5*). Another great FIFA 18 AI tricking move.

The next five star move is the Rabona Fake. You perform this by holding L2/LT while jogging and then pressing either Square/X or O/B then immediately pressing X/A and down on the left stick. As the name implies, your player motions a rabona kick, but fakes your opponents out instead.

The last two five star moves in FIFA 18 are elastico chop left and right (5*). To perform either one, you tap down on the right stick then the direction you want to elastico chop in on the right stick. Your player does a quick jump that involves touching the ball with one foot, then kicks the ball out and in front of them a bit with the other.

Free Kicks

When you get the chance to perform a free kick in FIFA 18, you can either try to score as the free kicker or you can try to pass to a teammate to set them up to score. 

As a free kicker, you can ground pass with X/A or high pass/cross with Square/X. If your free kicker isn’t very good at making goals or if the opposing team’s defense is too high, you’ll want to pass instead of taking a shot.

You can perform a curled shot with O/B or a driven shot by holding L1/LB while pressing O/B. Your curled shot is going to be your FIFA 18 default, but if you’re a bit further away, you can use the driven shot for more force.

If you’re not sure about the positioning of your current kicker, you can summon your 2nd kick taker by pressing L2/LT. If you hold L2/LT while pressing the following, you perform: O/B curled shot, X/A layoff pass, Square/X layoff chip, or O/B then X/A for run over ball. If you press R1/RB, you will call the 3rd kick taker. Holding R1/RB and pressing the same buttons as before gives you the same move kit in FIFA 18.

FIFA 18 Defense Techniques and Tips

Defense is thankfully not nearly as complicated as offense in FIFA 18, but that doesn’t make it any less important! Without a good defense, your players can neither recover the ball to score goals nor can they prevent the opposing team from scoring goals on them.

Practicing before the game.

Defending the Ball

Even if it’s more simple than keeping the ball in your possession, playing defender is no easy task in FIFA 18. You have to keep your character’s area of the field covered while staying on top of who you’re containing. When you’re near the ball, you have to try and tackle your opponent without fouling them. This can get tricky.

Your most basic form of defense is your tackle. You tackle by pressing O/B. If you hold down the button, you’ll have more force with it when it connects with your opponent.

Up next, you have your sliding tackle which you can perform by pressing Square/X. Both tackles should really only be used when you’re in front of your opponent. The slide should be used if your opponent is trying to juke you and you need the speed, but it comes at the cost of having a long recovery so if you miss, your opponent will easily get by you. Careless spamming of either tackle or using it from behind will likely lead to you tripping or otherwise harming your opponent — so avoid that if you don’t want to get any penalties. For a quicker recovery, you can press Square/X again after your sliding tackle.

Contain is one of the most important features of playing defense in FIFA 18. Holding down X/A will allow you to do this. It follows the ball when an opposing player has it and is great for making sure your character stays in front of it. Sometimes you can even take the ball without needing to use tackle!

If you press and hold R1/RB, though, you can perform a secondary contain which has you follow an opposing teammate that is viable to pass to. This is a great way of not committing too much and leaving an easy pass open for your opponent.

When you’re near an opponent, you can press and hold O/B or L2/LT to push or pull on them. You can also try to take a protected ball from your shielded opponent by holding L2/LT and moving your left stick towards the dribbler.


The last line of defense against opposing attackers is your goalkeeper. Luckily, playing goalkeeper isn’t too terribly complicated in FIFA 18 in terms of controls, though it is difficult to master.

The most important part of goalkeeping is positioning. If you’re playing on an easy difficulty and you don’t want to put much thought into playing goalkeeper, you can simply hold down L1/LB to let the game position your character for you. This will generally put you in a good position so if it works for you and you don’t mind letting the game do the work, go ahead.

If you want to put more effort into playing goalkeeper, you can manually control your GK with the left stick, of course. When your opponent has the ball, you can press O/B or Square/X to drop kick in order to prevent the ball from going into the goal. Keep in mind that you should only use this when you’re sure the ball is kicked and you want to commit to the direction in which you’re going because your player’s body will go to the ground and you will have to wait a moment to recover, leaving your goal wide open if the ball’s still in opposing hands.

Similar to the contain feature for defenders, the goalkeeper can hold down R1/RB to charge the opponent who is controlling the ball. This isn’t a good idea in FIFA 18 unless you know for certain the ball can’t get behind you. You should use this when the opponent has accidentally placed a bit of distance between themselves and the ball and you know you have enough time to recover it before they do.

To pick up the ball once it’s out of the opponent’s control, simply press R1/RB. Once it’s in your control, you can either throw it or pass it with X/A, drop it with Triangle/Y, or kick it with Square/X.

There are two types of throws and kicks as a goalkeeper: normal and driven. The difference between the two is that driven is at a lower angle with more power. To do a driven pass and a driven kick, you do the same inputs for the normal moves while holding R1/RB. A driven kick or throw in FIFA 18 is perfect for when you want to put on a strong counterattack.

How are you liking FIFA 18 so far? Is it better than last year’s edition? Liking the new additions to the game? Let us know in the comments.

Stay tuned for more FIFA 18 content including a review and trophy guide!

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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.