Overcoming Online Tactics

In every online multiplayer game, there will be players who know how to best utilise the game mechanics to their advantage.

You will likely have faced many such players in PES MyClub or Online Divisions.

It is often frustrating when you are trying to play a fair game, to unwind after a long day at work or school.

The thing is, gameplay exploits are unlikely to go away.

Since that is the case, why not learn the best way to counter these exploits?

This post will detail the common exploits in PES MyClub and Online Divisions, and suggest how to overcome them.

The disclaimer is that they will not work 100% of the time, since the game mechanics / programming will go against you at certain points of the game, but I believe it will slightly increase your chances of getting something out of each game.

Long Ball from Kick Off

What is it

From kick off, your opponent’s striker passes the ball backwards and make a forward run. Your opponent’s midfielder holds onto the ball for a while, and sends a long chipped through pass forward. Your defenders are caught napping at the back. The striker collects the long pass and scores in a 1:1 with your goal keeper.

Launching a long ball forward straight from kick-off. Image credit: Konami

Why it happens

Your team is positioned slightly forward at kick off, and players do not take up their usual positions. When you hold on to the double team button at kick off, it moves your players forward and makes the situation worse.

How to counter it

Push your right analog stick towards one of your center back, ideally one who is fast and good with header, and control him to run backwards to catch the opponent’s striker. If your opponent plays a long through pass, your defender is usually in position to either head the ball towards your goal keeper, or clear the ball away.

Enable ‘Deep Defensive Line’ in your advanced instructions.

Employ a low defensive line in your defensive instructions. In MyClub, choose a manager with a low defensive line.

Hold the back directional button on your d-pad to manually move your defensive line backwards.

Take note

Strong strikers (e.g Lukaku, Rummenigge) may still be able to receive the ball well and outmuscle your defenders. Take note of such strikers and control your best defender to catch their runs.

Fast Passing from Kick off

What is it

Your opponent makes a series of 1-2 passes and pass and move down the center. Your midfielders and defenders are slow to react, giving your opponent a 1:1 opportunity with your goal keeper.

Why it happens

Your players are not in their ideal position at kick off.

How to counter it

Immediately control your midfielders to block passing lane. As much as possible, have a defensive midfielder with high defensive awareness and ‘Interception’ player skill. Foul your opponents in midfield if necessary to break the attack. Some players may be concerned with fouling as it is ‘unprofessional’, but so is your opponent who exploits the game mechanism.

Take Note

Watch out for fast players such as Mbappe, Neymar, and IM Messi. Make fouls if you have to.

Turn and Shoot Outside Penalty Box

What is it

The striker receives the ball with his back on goal just outside the penalty box, holds off your defender, turns and shoot towards goal.

Why it happens

Shielding is more or less automated in the game. If the striker has high balance and strength, he is able to hold off your defender. Your goal keeper is not able to see the shot clearly if his line of sight is blocked by your defender and other players, and will be likely to concede.

How to counter it

Stop pressing the striker, manually controlling your defender to back off. Stand between the striker and goal. Aim to block the shot instead of going in for a tackle.

If you are already pressing the striker, anticipate the direction the striker will turn. It will usually be in the direction of his stronger foot. Move your defender in that direction to rob him of the ball.

Play one or two defensive midfielders. They will help to compact the center of the field and rob the striker of the ball.

Use high compactness in your defensive instructions. In PES MyClub, use a manager with high compactness. Similar to the above, it will crowd the center of the field, making it hard for the striker to receive the ball. If he receives it, a midfielder will be nearby to dispossess the striker of the ball.

Take Note

Strong forwards (e.g Lewandolski, Rummenigge) can shield the ball well and their shots are powerful. Be sure to either anticipate their turn or back off to prevent a shot on goal.

2 footed strikers (e.g Elber) may cause problems since they can turn in either direction. Release the pressure and back off. Use your defender to block shots at goal.

Receive Ball and Fake Shot

What is it

Similar to the above, the striker will receive the ball outside the penalty area. Instead of trapping the ball and turn, they will do a 1-touch fake shot in the direction of their stronger foot and take a shot towards goal.

Fake shot before taking a shot. Image credit: Konami

Why it happens

The fake shot will cause your defenders and goal keeper to commit. The fake shot allows the striker to move a little closer towards goal. He will then have the momentum to take a shot without pressure from your defender.

How to Counter It

Similar to the above, avoid pressing and control your defender to back off. Move your defender towards the direction of the striker’s strong foot. That will usually be in the direction inwards towards goal. This will make your defender either dispossess the striker of the ball, block his shot, or make him hesitate in taking a shot.

Take Note

It may be hard to predict if your opponent will perform the turn and shoot, or fake shot and shoot. The best way to defend is to avoid pressing too much and anticipate the turn towards the striker’s stronger foot.

You can also try ‘Swarm the box’ as an advanced instruction to have more players in your box to defend and block any shots.

Passing Around the Back to Waste Time

What is it

Players pass the ball around the back with defenders and goalkeeper to maintain possession and waste time.

I can understand if players do that towards the end of the match to protect the lead.

For some strange reasons, some players enjoy doing even though it is early in the first half.

Why it happens

The issue with player switching means that you are unable to react fast and select the right players to close your opponent down.

You spend time chasing the ball and get frustrated.

How to counter it

I find that the inherent AI in the game will punish players who does this trick. At some point in time, with proper pressuring, the AI will cause your opponent’s players to make a poor pass, or have poor ball control, causing them to lose the ball to you. You will then have an easy path towards goal.

I have had a couple of situations where the goal keeper loses the ball to my striker pressuring him, allowing me to shoot into an empty net.

When such things happen to you, stay calm, and know that the game will give you a chance if you keep pressing in the right way.

When you have a chance to go into the game plan (make a foul if you have to)

  • Enable ‘Gegenpress’ in advanced instructions
  • Use all of your outfield players to man mark an opponent player that is closest to each of them
  • Adjust defensive instructions to ‘Aggressive’ pressing and ‘Frontline Pressure’ defensive strategy. In PES MyClub, switch to a secondary manager with these instructions.

Back in the game, set Attacking Mentality (hold directional button Up) to Attacking or Ultra Attacking.

This will cause your players to apply more pressure on your opponent. Control players to block passing lanes. Sooner or later, your opponent will misplace a pass or take a poor touch, and lose possession to you.

Take Note

There will be gaps in your defence which your opponent may exploit. Be cautious of any counter attacks and long passes forward. Then again, if you are behind in a game with little time remaining, it is a risk you have to take.

Opponent Slides You All The Time

What is it

Whenever you have the ball, your opponent launches a sliding tackle to take you down.

Why it happens

Your opponent aims to disrupt your attacking plays to preserve a lead.

The poor refereeing system means that your opponent is likely to escape without a card for each tackle.

How to counter it

Play a fast passing game (1 touch pass if you have to) and avoid holding onto the ball for too long.

Use ‘hug the touchline’ advanced instructions to spread your team out, which makes it harder for opponent players to be close to you. Play long passes across the field to switch flanks and make your opponent chase hard for the ball.

Work your way towards goal. When it is near to the penalty box, your opponent will stop with the sliding tackles to avoid conceding a free kicks, since free kicks are generally easy to score.

Once you are close to goal, you can continue with your usual style of play, be in dribbling or well-worked passing moves.

Alternatively, if you find it hard to work your way towards goal, play long balls up to your striker. Ideally, have strikers or attacking midfielders who are able to win headers. This will give you possession of the ball closer to goal, and your opponent will be less inclined to slide you down.

Take note

Keep your calm. It is easy to get frustrated when your opponent plays dirty and is not punished by the game’s referee. Have a clear head, and sooner or later, you will get a free kick in a good position, or a goal scoring chance.

Reliance on Rummenigge

What is it

Your opponent relies on Rummenigge to break through defence.

The best attacker in the game? Image credit: Konami

Why it happens

Rummenigge is over-powered in the game. He is tall, fast, muscular, and shoots well. As a legend, he is never in bad form.

How to counter it

Employ ‘Tight Marking’ in advanced instructions on him.

Use your defensive midfielder or one of your center mark (ideally one with ‘Man Marking’ player skills) on him. Field a tall and fast defender directly opposite him.

Block his passing lane. Crowd him when he has the ball. Foul him if you need to, as far away from goal as possible.

3 Strikers Formation

What is it

Your opponent uses a formation with 2 CF and 1 SS, all in the central lane.

Why it happens

This formation messes up your defenders. They will not know who to mark. One of the striker will be free to receive the ball and take a shot on goal.

Strikers will ‘dummy runner’ playing style will make dangerous un-marked runs into the box.

How to counter it

A 5 defenders formation (with 3 center back) will help defending against a 3 striker formation, as you can get each center back to man-mark each striker.

Some players do not like such a formation. In that case, play 1 or 2 defensive midfielders in a deep lying position. Get the defensive midfielders to man-mark one of the strikers too.

You can also get side-backs to help with the man-marking to keep your center backs free to deal with un-marked opponents.

Take Note

Too much man-marking will cause your defence to lose its shape, especially if your opponent switches formation or player positions. Your defenders may then be marking someone in midfield, which pulls him out of his defensive position.

Keep a look out for in-game formation changes. When your opponent enters the game plan screen, check your game plan too to ensure that your defenders are man-marking their intended targets.

Your opponent may also play an attacking midfielder just behind the CF / SS. The intention is for him to make unmarked runs into the box, since all of your center backs and defensive midfielders are busy with man-marking the 3 strikers.

If possible, keep 1 or 2 center backs free from man-marking duties, so they can track the runs of the attacking midfielders.


These are the common tricks that online PES players use to get an advantage. Seasoned players are usually able to counter them effectively. I hope that your new knowledge will allow you to reduce the number of goals conceded from these tricks, and be able to enjoy the game more.

Main image credit: Konami