The best FIFA 22 meta players, tactics and formations

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There's never been a better time to sample the FIFA 22 meta. Cards have come down massively in price with FIFA 23 on the horizon, meaning you can sample the likes of Timo Werner, N'golo Kante and Alphonso Davies in FIFA 22 without breaking the bank. Below we've assembled the most sweaty tactics, successful formations and OP players – including a formidable Ligue 1 line-up – for form GR's FIFA 22 meta guide.

FIFA 22 meta players

FIFA 22 meta goalkeepers include Pope and Donnarumma         

FIFA 22

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Keepers are much improved this year, making them more reliable generally, but two factors in particular define their individual popularity: height (tall goalies are especially great on crosses, and shots towards the top corners) and the ‘saves with feet’ trait (which helps them to block close-range rebounds or one-on-ones). 

As with FIFA 21, Nick Pope (Burnley, 83) is a wildly popular selection in this spot – he has the ‘saves with feet’ trait to go with his 6ft 6in frame, and can be snapped up for around 3,200 coins. Also beloved on the back of his Euro 2020 heroics is GIanluigi Donnarumma (Paris SG, 89). Italy’s king between the sticks is 6ft 5in and while he doesn’t have the ‘saves with feet’ trait, two others make him imperious on high balls and one-on-ones: ‘comes for crosses’ and ‘rushes out of goal’.

Speed is everything on the FIFA 22 meta defenders list

FIFA 22

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Pace, pace, pace. No matter how hard EA tries to tone down the effect of individual speed, it’s still the priority for most competitive FUT squads.

At full-back it means the fastest two gold cards are ones you encounter regularly online: Alphonso Davies (LB, FC Bayern, 82) has a blistering 97 pace rating, while Achraf Hakimi (RB, Paris SG, 85) boasts 95 in the same department. If Hakimi’s 12,250-coin price tag puts you off, try Ryan Fredericks (RB, West Ham, 76). He costs 1,900 coins and is serviceable in any sweaty all-EPL side.

80 is the magic number for pace where CBs are concerned, and it means that Eder Militao (Real Madrid, 82) stars among the list of central defensive possibilities. His base gold card offers 83 pace, 83 defending, and 82 physicality. Green links to Donnarumma and Hakimi also make Marquinhos (Paris SG, 87) and Presnel Kimpembe (Paris SG, 83) meta, although the former sets you back 21,500 coins. If you need a cheaper alternative, try Jason Denayer (OL, 80).

FIFA 22 meta midfielders ask Kante you feel the love tonight?

FIFA 22

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As ever, the most overpowered midfielder pairing in the game is arguably the most overpriced. N’golo Kante (CDM, Chelsea, 90) sets you back 20,000 coins at the time of writing, while Paul Pogba (CM, Manchester United, 87) requires a further 12,000 big ones. With ratings of 82 defending and 87 physicality, a cheaper – yet still OP – alternative is Franck Kessie (CDM, Milan, 84).

Out wide, speed is again key to the meta, alongside a minimum of four-star skill moves and four-star week foot. Vinicius Jr (LW, Real Madrid, 80) makes for a common choice on the left, with 95 pace, five-star SM, and four-star WF. Ousmane Dembele (RW, Barcelona, 83) is similarly effective on the opposite flank, offering 93 pace and five-star WF and SM.

The top FIFA 22 meta strikers include Werner and Vardy

FIFA 22

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Fed up of playing against Timo Werner (ST, Chelsea, 84) online yet? Me too, or at least I was until I packed him and realised he’s worth the hype. Ratings of 91 pace, 81 shooting and 82 dribbling make him FIFA 22’s most meta striker card, and he definitely feels OP. Dropping 7,900 coins on the German is good value at this point in the cycle. 

EPL squads utilising two central strikers often pair Werner with Jamie Vardy (ST, Leicester, 86) – though you need to cough up 10K for his card. Although they don’t offer green links to Werner, more affordable OP alternatives include Joao Felix (CF, Atletico Madrid, 83) and Inaki Williams (ST, Athletic Bilbao, 81).

FIFA 22 meta formations

Two strong FIFA 22 meta formation options you need to try

FIFA 22

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Two set-ups standout if you’re looking for a well-rounded yet generally OP approach: 4-2-2-2 and 4-1-2-1-2 (2). 

In both cases you want two full-backs with 90+ pace in order to both support attacks and get back to defend, while one striker should be quick (85+ pace) and the other powerful (80+ physicality). 

The key difference between these two formations is in the midfield. 4-2-2-2 offers more robustness defensively, as you have two holding players sitting in front of your back four – but there’s also width on offer, with the two CAMs drifting wide in order to build up attacks. 

4-1-2-1-2 (2) is more suited to those who like to work the ball through the centre of the park, and get shots away from in and around the edge of the box – your lone CAM is going to need strong shooting, passing and dribbling stats in order to make this set-up prosper.

For additional effective strategies, leap on over to GR’s FIFA 22 formations guide.

FIFA 22 meta tactics

This custom FIFA 22 meta tactic will see you good

FIFA 22

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Having experimented with various community suggestions across the season, I’m having the most success in Division Rivals with a 4-1-2-1-2 (2) set-up created by Reddit user FutureFC (opens in new tab). The basics of it are outlined below – click that link if you need a breakdown of what each individual setting does.

  • Defensive Style - Press after Possession Loss 
  • Width - 45 
  • Depth - 65
  • Build up Play - /Balanced 
  • Chance Creation - Direct Passing 
  • Width - 45
  • Players in box - 5 
  • Corners - 2 Free 
  • Kicks - 2

Player instructions:

  • GK - Sweeper Keeper / Comes for Crosses
  • CB - Default 
  • RB/LB - Stay back / Overlap 
  • CDM - Cut Passing Lanes / Stay Back / Cover Centre 
  • LCM - Stay Back 
  • RCM - No instructions 
  • CAM - No instructions 
  • Fastest ST - Stay Central / Get in Behind
  • Powerful ST - Stay Central / Mixed

FIFA 22 meta squad

Our FIFA 22 meta squad builder recommendation

FIFA 22

(Image credit: EA)

Looking to build an OP starter team bringing together all the elements above? Give this basic, all-gold Ligue 1 squad a try and then build around it until you have sufficient funds for PSG stars such as Mbappe, Neymar and Messi. All prices are correct on PlayStation as of Saturday, August 6.

  • GK: GIanluigi Donnarumma (Paris SG, 89) – 16,500 coins
  • RB: Achraf Hakimi (Paris SG, 85) – 12,250 coins
  • CB: Presnel Kimpembe (Paris SG, 83) – 5,000 coins
  • CB: Jason Denayer (OL, 80) – 2,600 coins
  • LB: Nuno Mendes (Paris SG, 78) – 1,400 coins
  • CDM: Renato Sanches (LOSC, 80) – 3,500 coins
  • LM: Jonathan Bamba (LOSC, 80) – 2,000 coins
  • RM: Gelson Martins (Monaco, 78) – 3,000 coins
  • CAM: Georginio Wijnaldum (Paris SG, 84) – 5,400 coins 
  • ST: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco, 84) – 11,000 coins
  • ST: Andy Delort (OGC Nice, 81) – 900 coins

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I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.