eFootball Dribbling Tutorial

Welcome to the eFootball Dribbling Tutorial.

One reason why we play football video games is to replicate what skilled dribblers do in real life. Dribbling in eFootball is not easy, especially when you play against strong online players, but definitely possible with enough practice. This tutorial reveals all you need to know about dribbling.

1. Dribbling Abilities
2. Types of dribblers
3. Basic of Dribbling
4. Top Dribbling Tricks
5. Additional Advanced Techniques

1. Dribbling Abilities

A skilled dribbler has high ratings in these abilities. Use these players to your advantage.

Ball Control – How adept the player is at controlling the ball.
Tight Possession – Ability to complete turns while dribbling at a low speed in tight spaces.
Physical Contact – How well the player can hold off opponents and keep his balance when physically pressured.
Balance – Ability to remain upright and steady when controlling the ball.

Some dribbling tricks require the player to possess certain skills. The cards are as follows.

Scissor Feint – The player is able to perform crossovers at high speed.
Double-touch – Enables the player to quickly execute the Double Touch. This is one of the most simple yet effective skill to pull off.
Flip-Flap – The player is able to perform the flip-flap made famous by Ronaldinho.
Marseille Turn – The player is able to do the 360 spin effectively, a signature move of Zinedine Zidane, as well as reverse 360 turn.
Sombrero – The player is good at dribbling tricks that involves flicking the ball up.
Chop Turn – Enables the player to quickly execute the Chop Turn which Cristiano Ronaldo is famous for.
Cut Behind and Turn – Enables the player to execute the Cut Behind.
Scotch Move – Enables the player to execute the Scotch Move.
Sole Control – Enables the player to execute step on ball feints.
Gamemanship – Enables the player to draw fouls and win free kicks.

Players without these cards may still able to perform the tricks, but those with these cards will be able to execute them smoother while maintaining control of the ball.

2. Types of Dribblers

Before we proceed further, it will be beneficial to learn more about the characteristics of dribblers. There are two main types of dribblers in Pro Evolution Soccer; I call them Speedsters and Bulldozers.

2.1 Speedsters

Speedsters are fast and agile. They are usually small to medium-built, packed with great pace, have high rating in ‘Dribbling Speed’, and possess a number of dribbling skill cards. Speedsters beat defenders with tricks and speed. However, they are physically shorter and weaker than most players, and may be pushed off the ball by strong defenders.

When dribbling with these players, use pace to your advantage. Defenders who are physically strong tends to have low ratings in speed and agility. Speedsters are able to get past these defenders by sprinting past them. I will recommend you to play these players on the flanks. This allows them to dash past defenders along the sidelines and cut into the penalty box. Use your midfielders to play lofted through passes to these players in order to utilize their speed.

Avoid placing these dribblers in a central role as it will be hard for them to beat the two central defenders. In addition, they are not good headers of the ball and will not be able to latch on crosses into the box. Examples of such players are Neymar and Messi.

2.2 Bulldozers

Bulldozers are physically strong and have high rating in ‘Body Balance’ and ‘Ball Retention’. They tend to be slow dribblers, relying more on strength and less on tricks. Bulldozers are able to withstand the physical pressure of defenders and have no problems shielding the ball, waiting for support and laying the ball off to a teammate. As these dribblers are unable to outrun defenders over a long distance, they should only dribble when they are close to the box, where they can physically force their way in and take a shot at goal.

These players should ideally take up the Central Striker position, as they are able to compete physically with the strong central defenders. We can also position them tactically to face a central defender who may not be physically strong, and give our strikers an advantage when it comes to physical battles. They are also good headers of the ball and are suitable for meeting crosses. Some of these players include Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski.

2.3 Combination

Once in a while, there comes along a player who fits the bill of both types of dribblers. Not only are they fast and skillful, they also possess sufficient physical strength to withstand pressures from strong defenders. The first name that comes to mind is Cristiano Ronaldo. Luis Suarez also fits this role. Depending on where they are positioned, you can use them to sprint past defenders, cut into the box, or shield the ball and wait for support. They are usually the main focal point of attack in their teams.

Depending on the type of dribblers in your team, vary your dribbling approach and use your players to your advantage.

3. Basic of Dribbling

It is possible to dribble past opponents without any of the dribbling trick, which can be achieved by mastering the R2 (PS) / RT (XBOX) button. Using this button effectively can help you to evade defenders without the need for tricks. Let us look at the uses of this button.

3.1 Dribbling Speed

The first thing to note is that R2 / RT button is a trigger. You can control how much you want to press the trigger. A slight press means your player will jog faster than his speed without R2 / RT. The more you press the trigger, the faster he will run. Fully holding the trigger down will mean your player runs at his max speed. He will push the ball forward and chase after it, which is great to evade slower defenders, but it means that he will find it harder to make turns and control the ball. Get familiar with the use of this trigger and the accompanying speed of your player.

3.2 Sharp Touch

The R2 / RT button allows you to take a sharp touch, which basically means pushing the ball in a certain direction and chasing after it. It is a good move to evade an opponent’s challenge, whether your player is dribbling or just about to receive the ball. To execute a sharp touch in eFootball, fully press the R2 / RT button while pushing your left analog stick in your preferred direction, and fully releasing the R2 / RT button.

I also find it useful to use repeated sharp touches to push the ball forward towards goal. It allows the dribbling to move faster with the ball if there are no defenders in front of him.

3.3 Stop the Ball

The R2 button allows your player to come to a quick stop. When dribbling, release the direction stick and hold R2 / RT. The player will come to a quick stop. This is useful for changing the direction of our runs quickly to evade a chasing defender. It also tricks the defender into stopping his run, allowing our player to dash off immediately.

3.4 Knock On

When stationary, you can push the ball in a direction to avoid a defender’s challenge. Hold R1 / RB and push the left analog stick in your desired direction. You can also use before making a pass or shot.

3.5 Shielding

You may not be able to dribble past defenders all the time through speed. At times, you will need to use strength as well. In eFootball, shielding is an effective way to keep possession of the ball. Hold L2 / LT when you see a defender approaching you, and your player will place his body between the defender and the ball. Shielding draws defenders towards you, opening up space in defender. When the opportunity is right, you can use a sharp touch to dash past the defender, or perhaps make a pass to a team mate in an open space. In addition, if the defender is too aggressive, he will commit a foul, which gives you a set piece opportunity.

Combine the use of regular dribbling and shielding to maintain possession of the ball and keep your opponent guessing.

4. Top Dribbling Tricks

There are plenty of dribbling feints in the game, and some are easier to pull off and more effective than others. Here are my recommendations.

4.1 Double Touch

This simply a simple directional push of both analog sticks. It is a smooth move that brings you past defenders. In fact, it was so effective that Konami has to patch the game to reduce its effectiveness. It is still effective if used just once and not consecutively in an unrealistic manner.

4.2 Chop Turn

Similar to above, this is easily executable. I like to use it at the flanks to cut into the box and take a shot on goal.

4.3 Scissors Feint

The classic cross over or step over. Its effectiveness is lesser than the above two, but I have included it as it is a regular move in real life matches and using it in eFootball adds realism.

4.4 Marseille Turn

This is slightly harder to pull off but not impossible. Get familiar with the direction of turn so you can use it appropriately based on your opponent’s position. This move puts a smile on your smile when executed successfully.

4.5 Rainbow Flick

The absolute showboating. We do not see this much in real life, but hey, this is a video game, we can do what we want. Try rainbow flicking and taking a volley shot for the ultimate bragging right when you manage to score. Even better, try rainbow flicking past the goal keeper in a 1-on-1 situation and tapping the ball into the empty net.

4.6 Kick feint

This is not part of the dribbling move list, but is highly effective to get defenders to commit. Charge up your shot and press the pass button to fake a shot. If your defender is holding the L2 / LT match up button, he will commit to a tackle, leaving your attacker free to run past him.

5. Additional Advanced Techniques

In this last section, we shall take a look at additional tips to be a better dribbler.

5.1 Variety in Running Speed, Direction, and Feints

Vary your dribbling style to add unpredictability to your game. If we were to use the same players to dribble, and goes in the same direction all the time, or stick to the regular feints, it is easy for our moves to be read.

You can add more variety by incorporating all the techniques mentioned in this post. For example, make frequent, sudden starts and stops via the R2 / RT button. Take sidesteps, backsteps, before executing a skill move. Choose a different approach every time. Cut into the box this time, go down the flank at the next opportunity. Alternate between passing the ball and embarking on a dribbling run. The key is to be unpredictable, and keep your opponent guessing.

5.2 Shield The Ball

Do not underestimate the shield function. Your opponent’s defence is usually packed and finding space to dribble will be hard. Leverage on players who are physically strong to keep the ball while you wait for the right opportunity.

5.3 Pull Opponents out of Position

Defenders tend to follow you when you dribble the ball. You can use this to your advantage by dribbling in s direction and pull the defender out of position, which creates space for your teammates to exploit. Pass the ball to the teammate in space, and repeat this again to disrupt the opponent’s defence line.  With a few passes and dribbles, you will be able to find more space to attack the goal. This will also be covered in the passing tutorial.

6. Conclusion

Dribbling and maintaining ball control is necessary to win a match. Tricks and feints are fun and interesting, but not necessary if you are able to master the R2/RT button. No matter what your dribbling style may be, unpredictability is the key to dribbling success in eFootball.

All images credit: Konami