FIFA 21: What are the best formations to use for Ultimate Team?


Last week, the newest instalment of the FIFA series – FIFA 21 – was launched in the gaming world.

Within the week of its release, it was unsurprising to see that FIFA 21 topped the sales charts for any game in the world.

The series has developed a lot over the years, and the latest instalment shows no surprise in changes from the previous game FIFA 20.

Out of the 30 possible formations available in the game, Gamesradar have suggested the seven best systems for the new game, so let’s take a look...


The main reasons for this suggestion are the changes in gameplay. For example, AI runs are more intelligent, suggesting that a strike partnership is key in this year’s game. Also, wingers play a key role in gamer’s attacking play this year due to the goal-friendly target men, making wingers crucial to assist.

There may be concerns about the lack of defending with this setup, but the attacking potential with this system should allow a gamer to simply out-score their opponent.


Similar to the 3-5-2 setup, this formation is all about going forward. Described as “the Marmite of FIFA 21’s tactical options”, it’s clear this system will be loved or hated by gamers. The two narrow forwards playing off the striker can benefit from AI runs, as well as still having that width for crossing and creativity.


The only concern here could be the two in the middle, but the threat can be minimised with that sheer attacking presence shown by this formation.


This formation has never been favoured in the past few years as it is a very defensive-minded approach. However, the more advanced tactical menus a gamer can use in this year’s game brings this formation potential.

The opportunity for gamers to be more involved in player instructions allows anyone to set up based on how the game is going. For example, if you want to play more defensive, all three midfielders can stay back. In contrast, when needing to attack, one midfielder can “drop between defenders”, dragging their players all over the pitch.

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

Again, having width and attacking players that now make more intelligent runs with AI is why this system can bring success. One benefit also described for this particular formation is with the correct players, there is minimal adjustments to be made – it’s pretty much good to go!

There are not a lot of concerns for this particular setup, though, coming up against a midfield three could be difficult.



Gamesradar have described it as “the best formation in FIFA 21”, so take from that what you will. With the ability for the CAMs to “free-roam” and have that creative role, they can cause problems. Also having almost a front-four against any team in this game will boost your chances of success.
The lack of width – with wingers playing a key part in this game – isn’t too much of an issue, as full-backs can be instructed to “join the attack”. On top of that, the defence-side of this formation is supported by the two defensive midfielders who hold their roles and sit deeper.

4-2-3-1 (2)

There’s a theme to these systems and this formation is no different. Though not playing with two strikers, one with wingers and a player in-behind can stretch a defence. This formation benefits from its original shape, but also can be adapted with player instructions to adjust to a game. One sitting midfielder, for example, can push forward to create a high-attacking threat that allows the wingers to push forward too. Late in a game, this tactic could be effective as there’s a lot of chances to get by defenders.


Finally, a 5-at-the-back formation that could interest a few gamers. It is becoming a more common tactic in recent times, with players developing to play a wing-back role. In FIFA, it’s no different. This system still brings the width – which is a must for gameplay this year – and if wing-backs join the attack then the options are there. It can still be an attacking formation as there will still be enough players going forward to unlock a defence. Two up top with an attacking midfielder will certainly benefit through the middle with the creative runs in FIFA 21.

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