The World Cup is almost upon us and what better way to celebrate the planet’s greatest sporting event than buying EA’s brilliant new FIFA game? World Cup 2010 is a significant step up from FIFA 10, and differs in some key areas.
So if you want to lift the coveted pot on your PS3 or 360 we’ve got all the tips you must know. From shooting, passing, choosing the right teams to winning the World Cup and new Story of Qualifying mode, we’ve got you covered for your footie guide fix.
Note: The following guide is based on PS3 buttons, using the New Alternate control scheme
World Cup 2010 is quicker than FIFA 10. Like a lot quicker. This means teams that rely on a quick passing game (like Spain) are suddenly even more effective, as it’s easier than ever to ping the ball about in pretty triangles. We’ll cover how to defend this when we talk about playing a pressing game. But for now, just know that playing a quick, short passing system, with plenty of one-twos using L1 and x, is by far the easiest way to create goal-scoring opportunities.
Above: Spain's Xavi is essentially a robot, with his incredibly passing
Using long balls with circle is risky, and an easy way to lose possession. The only time we’d use it is if you suddenly find one of your wingers is knackered while controlling the ball. When this happens, play the ball behind you to the full back and then play a cross-field ball to the other side of the pitch. This way, you can get at the opposition more effectively with a rested winger and full back.
Above: Kaka is not only strong on the ball, he can also spot a killer pass
Playing through balls is pretty much the same as in FIFA 10. Raking efforts into space down the wing are still lethal if you’ve got speedy wide players. Chipped through balls are more effective in multi-player than single-player, mainly because the A.I. has an annoying habit of forcing your backline too high up the pitch. It’s here you can easily get caught out with a cheeky L1, triangle effort.
Above: Andrea Pirlo's dreamy looks are only bested by his ace passing
The only real difference is through balls to strikers who are just starting their runs, which are more lethal than ever. Ping a pass to a front man when he’s on the shoulder of the last defender and there’s a good chance your striker will get ahead of him. From here, you’ll most likely find yourself one-on-one with the keeper, so get ready to unleash an onion bag-blaster.
Above: Score from the blue area and you can colour us impressed
Shots are much the same as in FIFA 10, with one big difference. It’s now mega hard to chip the keeper with a lob shot. No longer prone to kamikaze-style runs at the first hint of a striker, the men in nets will usually stay firmly rooted to their lines now. This means it’s really hard to score with the cheap chip (one of the most reliable methods of scoring in FIFA 10). If you’re going to try a lob, make sure you only try it with players with high technique and shot stats, like Spain’s Fernando Torres or Argentina’s gargoyle-faced Carlos Tevez.
Above: Torres is near the perfect striker. Quick, strong, with a great shot
Aside from this, just use the same shooting techniques as in last year’s FIFA. That means making sure you position your player on his strongest foot before shooting and not shooting from crazy, tight angles. The more you play, the more you’ll get a feeling for shot power. Generally, any shots in or near the box should be kept well below the half way mark on the shot bar. You really just want to tap square while shooting. Hold it down for more than a second, and you’ll find your efforts ballooning over the bar.
Above: England's Steven Gerrard is lethal when shooting from range
First time shots are also still effective. And one of the best, and flashiest ways to score, is to lay off a pass for a player to run onto, before smacking it first time with a tap of square. Rampaging down the wing before cutting it back to an onrushing player in the box is essentially the ‘killer goal’. Now all you have to do is master the game’s exhaustive array of celebrations. We’re always partial to a robot ourselves (click down on the right stick).
Above: The Ivory Coast's Drogba is strong as a bear, with a fierce shot
Again, not much has changed from last year’s full-fat FIFA. The general rule is to charge your shots just above the half way mark on the power bar. The outswinger is still the most lethal. Bomb down the flank and press up/down on the left stick depending on when you’re on the left/right wing. This will give your cross more power and bend, giving other players a chance to put a meaty header on the end of it. Just make sure you don’t cross too late or the ball will likely swing out of play.
Above: Crossing early is important. Wait too long and you give the defence more time to get back
Right, the big lesson to learn here is to never go to ground. Seriously, no matter how tempting it might be, don’t do it. It’ll only end in ruin… and then a red card. As far as you’re concerned circle sliding tackles don’t exist. Instead, you should be relying on the x challenge. The key is to tap it lightly when trying to rob a player of the ball. Hold it down and you’ll probably give a foul away.
Above: Brazil's Lucio, Spain's Carlos Puyol and England's John Terry are three of the best central defenders in the game
Like we mentioned earlier, playing a high pressing game is really important when playing an A.I. team/friend who likes to play loads of short passes. If you hold square while you’re not in possession, you’ll call a second man to help your player. This should create a two-on-one situation against the opposition man, and if you hassle and harry him enough, you’ll either take the ball from him or he’ll give it away. Doing this with your strikers is a great way to put pressure on the opposition defence, while taking the pressure of your midfield.
Next in our World Cup guide, we cover more basics, including dribbling, free kicks, penalties and formations...