eFootball Passing Tutorial

Welcome to the eFootball Passing Tutorial.

eFootball, like its predecessor, is a game designed for passing and build-up play. In this tutorial, you will learn about the various aspects of passing to help you break down stubborn defences and score more goals.

  1. Key Passing Abilities
  2. Passing Variations
  3. Stunning Pass
  4. Receiving the Ball
  5. Player Runs
  6. Midfielders Play Styles
  7. Build Up Attacking Moves & Split the Defence

1. Key Passing Abilities

As most passes are made from midfield, you will want to find midfielders with high ratings in these abilities.

Low Pass – How accurate the player is when playing passes along the ground.
Lofted Passes – The accuracy of a player’s long and powerful (lofted) passes.
Curl – Ability to curl the ball when passing and shooting.
Ball Control – Not a passing trait, but you will want to ensure your midfielders have a high rating, for them to trap and receive passes properly

Players with the skills below are a bonus to your passing game.

One-Touch Pass – The player can make accurate first-time passes.
Through Pass – Increases the accuracy of the plaver’s through balls.
Weighted Pass – Enables the player to apply back-spin when playing lofted passes and through balls improving accuracy.
Outside Curler – Enables the player to shoot and pass using the outside of the boot even at long distances.
Rabona – Enable the player to execute a Rabona, allowing them to pass or shoot when the opponent is not expecting it.
No Look Pass – Enables the player to make passes that misdirect opponents.
Low Lofted Pass – Enables the player to play a long accurate Lofted Pass with a low trajectory.

2. Passing Variations

This section details all the different ways to pass the ball in eFootball. Varying the way you pass the ball brings unpredictability to your game and helps confuse your opponents.

Adjust the level of your passing assistance to suit your preference. The default level is 3. Level 1 gives you a high level of AI assistance, but your passes may not reach the intended teammate, especially if there are 2 player in the same generic direction. Level 4 means you pass with less assistance.

2.1 Low Pass

Aim in the direction of the teammate, press the pass button X (PS) / A (XBOX) to charge up power and send the pass. Successful attacks can be built with the use of fast, short passes.

2.2 High Pass

Play a ball over the heads of your opponent. Press Circle (PS) / B (XBOX). Use it to send a long ball forward, or send the ball to the other flank.

2.3 Through Pass

Playing a through pass means you send the ball into space for a teammate to run towards. To play a through pass, press Triangle (PS) / Y ( XBOX). You should be aiming at a spot in front of your teammate, rather than directly at him. Through passes are used to split the defence, and is especially useful when you have fast players to latch on your passes.

2.4 Lofted Through Pass

Hold L1 (PS) /LB (XBOX) and use the through pass button to send a lofted through pass. Lofted Through Passes are used when opponents crowd the defence, making it hard for any ground pass to penetrate. In addition, when you are facing a team without tall defenders, lofted through pass is a lethal weapon. It is also a good alternative to using the cross button when you are at the flanks.

3. Stunning Pass

Stunning pass is a new feature in eFootball. Fully press R2 (PS) / RT (XBOX) and charge up your low pass / high pass / through pass to execute a stunning pass. The pass will travel faster to your recipient.

4. Receiving the Ball

It is pointless to make accurate passes if your teammates are not receiving and trapping the ball properly. Receiving the ball is straightforward and not an issue when there are no opponents around you. But when you are closely marked, especially in the opponent half, not receiving the ball properly will cause you to lose possession. Here are what you can do to maintain possession.

4.1 Regular Trap

Use the left analog stick to direct the position you want your player to face after receiving the ball. Choose to turn away from the marker, or get ready to sprint off in another direction.

4.2 Face Opponent Goal

Release the left analog stick and hold R2 (PS) / RT (XBOX). This prepares your player to move towards goal, or to make a pass or shoot in the direction. This is also useful to evade an opponent if they are approaching you from the sides.

4.3 Trap Feint

We have seen wingers letting a pass run through their legs and sprinting away from their marker. You can replicate this in eFootball. When you are about to receive the ball, release the left analog stick, and push the right analog stick in the direction the ball is travelling.

Take note that the right analog stick should not be pushed in the direction of the ball, but in the direction the ball is going towards.

When done successfully, you will leave your opponent rooted to the spot while you dash past him with the ball.

4.4 Through Feint

At times, you wish to let the ball through your legs into the path of a teammate beside or behind you. This move will confuse your marker and leave plenty of space for teammates around you.

To execute this, release the left analog stick, hold L1 (PS) / LB (XBOS) and push the right analog stick in the direction that the ball is going towards.

4.5 Flick the Ball Up

As the ball approaches you, press the right analog stick button. Your player will flick the ball into the air. Follow it up with a powerful volley to try and score a great goal.

5. Player Runs

We need our teammates to make runs to build up attacking plays. Here are the ways to trigger player runs.

5.1 One-Two Pass Forward Runs

The eFootball passing system allows you to make one-two passes easily. To start a one-two pass, hold L1 (PS) / LB (XBOX) and play a low pass. Player A will play a pass to Player B, and proceed to make a forward run.

Before Player B receives the ball, press the through pass button. Player B will then play a first-timed return pass back to player A. The return pass will be sent in front of Player A for him to run towards.

To send more players forward, execute this move with multiple players, and choose not to make the return pass. You now have more players in the box. Take note that your teammates will gradually return to their original position.

5.2 Lofted One-Two Pass

This is similar to One-Two Pass, but instead of a return pass along the ground, it is made through the air. Use Player A to make a pass with L1 (PS) / LB (XBOX) + Low Pass, and before the pass reaches Player B, hold L1 (PS) /LB (XBOX) and press the through pass button. Player B will send a lofted return pass to Player A. This is useful to overcome a crowded defence.

5.3 Horizontal Runs

This is a new addition to eFootball. Sending players on forward runs are useful, but at times you may need teammates to move in other directions to support your play.

Hold R1 (PS) / RB (XBOS) + Low Pass. The player will make a pass, and run in a horizontal direction, providing a different option for a return pass.

Use a combination of forward runs and horizontal runs to build up unpredictable attacking plays.

5.4 Movements of Play Styles

The play styles of your teammates enable them to make forward runs. While they are AI-driven, you will get familiar with them after a few games.

For example, teammates with ‘Roaming Flank’ will prepare to cut into the box. Those with ‘Cross Specialist’ will hug the touchline. ‘Hole Player’ makes runs towards the opponent’s goal. ‘Goal Poacher’ will chase down loose balls. ‘Deep Lying Forward’ will drop deep to receive passes. ‘Extra Frontman’ makes forward runs from defence.

Having a sense of your teammates’ play styles will give you an idea of where your opponents will be, allowing you to make accurate passes to them.

5.5 Combing Passes and Player Runs

Making passes and triggering player runs go hand in hand. Without player runs, the team is stagnant, and there will not be anyone to play through passes to.

Trigger player runs whenever you are launching an attack. Use both forward runs and horizontal runs to get your players around the field. Once that is done, give the ball to your best passer, take a quick glance at your radar and screen to determine your options, and attempt to find the running teammates with through passes or lofted through passes.

That being said, avoid sending too many players up front. Opponents tend to man-mark your players and this will lead to a crowded final third, making it hard for you to find a target. And in the event that you lose the ball, you will be highly susceptible to a counter-attack.

6. Midfielders Play Styles

Play styles replicate the position and movement made by players in real life. eFootball has the following play styles for you to build your passing game around.

6.1 Creative Playmaker

A player who takes advantage of any opening in the defence to initiate attacks and assists in shots on the goal.

This player will find space to receive the ball and initiate passes.

6.2 Classic No. 10

An old-style static playmaker who makes use of deft touches and passes rather than pace or movement.

This player will stay outside the ball to receive the ball, and make through passes to attackers making runs into the box. He will usually not go into the box. Most players find it frustrating, but you just have to understand the play style and play to its advantages.

6.3 Hole Player

A player who looks to make runs into the opposition goal area when the team is on the attack.

This player is ideal as the recipient of passes. He makes forward runs into space. Play through passes for him to leverage on.

6.4 Box to Box

A player who tirelessly covers every blade of grass for the full 90 minutes.

One of my personal favourite. Your teammate will run up and down the pitch. You know that he is reliable and always around to receive a pass.

6.5 Orchestrator

A player who lurks in deeper positions, ready to initiate attacks.

Another good passer of the ball. This player will make himself open in deep positions to start attacks.

6.6 Deep Lying Forward

A forward player that is willing to fall back to receive the ball and help create plays.

He is a striker that often drops deep into midfield to pick the ball up, either to send through passes forward, or take on defenders himself.

6.7 Full Back Finisher

An attacking full-back who enjoys joining the attack in high central areas.

This player runs up from defence into the central midfield areas to provide passing options.

6.8 Build Up Play

A player who likes to drop back to receive the ball and trigger attacks from deep.

He is a defender with vision and good passing skills. He will generally stay in the defensive line. Use him to send forward passes when the midfield is too crowded.

7. Build Up Attacking Moves and Split the Defence

In this section, I will like to share with you 5 tips on using passes to split the defence.

7.1 Triangular Passing

This is a simple passing strategy. Three players form an imaginary triangle and work together to pass the ball around to split the defence. Player A passes to Player B and make a run forward. Player B passes to Player C, who plays the return ball to Player A. The defenders will be distracted by the passing between Player B and C, allowing Player A to sneak behind the defence to receive the through ball.

7.2 Send the 3rd Man Running

Sending a direct pass to your striker from midfield is challenging as he is usually heavily marked. A better alternative is to exchange passes with another player while the striker makes a forward run into the box. Exchanging passes between two players take the attention off the striker (the 3rd man), allowing him to sneak into the box to get a good position.

7.3 Possession Game

Possession game is required to counter highly defensive teams. With a packed defence, repeated attempts of through passes are unlikely to work. Keep possession and move the ball around the defence and midfield area to draw opponents to you. This helps to relive the congestion in the opponents’ defence, giving you slightly more space to try long balls.

7.4 Switch Flanks

When one flank is crowded, switch flank by crossing the ball to the other side. With less congestion on the other flank, you can bring the ball forward. Switching of flanks forces the defence to regroup, giving you an opportunity to exploit any gaps.

7.5 Pulling Your Players (& Opponents) out of Position

A static team structure, though good for defending, hinders attacking as it is too predictable. What I like to do is to have a player dribble the ball away from his position, make a pass, and repeat this with another player.

For example, I will use a center midfielder and dribble to the right flank, pass the ball to the right back, use him to dribble into a central position, and pass the ball to another teammate to repeat this process. When you move a player out of his position, another player will come in and take his place. Interchanging of positions take place among teammates, adding unpredictability to your attack.

In addition, you will also be pulling defenders away from their position, which creates gaps for your teammates to move into.

8. Conclusion

To summarise, there are 3 key points to successful passing in PES  – Use a variety of air and ground passes, make player runs in various directions, and be unpredictable. Make it hard for your opponents to anticipate your moves, and you will gain the upper hand.

All images credit: Konami