Apart from the standard Attacking and Defending Instructions in PES, you can employ Advanced Instructions to up your tactical game.
Advanced Instructions are tactics that you can switch on and off in the game, depending on the situation on the field.
Setting Advanced Instructions
Head to Preset Tactics -> Advanced Instructions.
Select up to 2 attacking instructions, and 2 defending instructions. Remember the directional button assigned to each as you will need that to activate or deactivate them in the game.
Using Advanced Instructions
In the game, hold L2 / LT and the directional button to activate and deactivate specific advanced instructions. The Up and Down direction buttons are for Attacking Instructions. Left and Right are for Defending Instructions.
All selected Advanced Instructions before the game are turned on by default. Switch them off once the match start if you wish to use them tactically.
There will be a small text overlap when the match starts to remind you of the instructions you have selected.
Let’s discuss about each instructions.
Advanced Attacking Instructions
Keep the selected player around his position and prevent him from venturing too far away.
This is useful if you wish to keep your defensive midfielder in place to prevent counter attack, and command your center forward to always stay in the central area of the attacking area to make it easier to send crosses in.
Of course, you can do this for players in other positions too. I personally seldom use it. To have your players keep their shape, I would use ‘Maintain Formation’ in the Attacking Instructions settings. I guess this will be useful if you opt for ‘Flexible’ positioning, and would like one particular player to maintain his position.
It might be cooler if we can assign this to more than 1 player.
Bring your wingers and side midfielders closer to the center of the pitch. This works well when you adopt a ‘Center’ Attacking Area attacking instruction as well. You will crowd out the center attacking lane to add pressure on your opponent. It is also ideal for those who likes to cut in their wingers and aim for the opposite corner of goal with the stronger foot, with players like Salah, Messi, and Ronaldo.
With your wingers moving inwards, your full backs will also move up to take up space. This is great for more attacking support. That said, keep an eye for opponent’s counter attack down the flanks.
As the name suggests, choose a player to stay at the back and not join the attack. Central midfielders will be the usual choice here. Alternatively, select one of your full backs if you are facing a dangerous player on the wing.
This also give you another Advanced Instruction slot (apart from the other 2 assigned to defending) to play a more cautious game to protect your lead.
Hug The Touchline
One of my personal favourites, especially when playing against high AI difficulties.
Your players will spread out over the field to receive passes. This will stretch your opponent’s defence out wide, giving you more space to play a killer through pass.
I like to pair this with a ‘Wide’ attacking area in Attacking Instructions.
Be sure to play the ball around the field and make cross field passes to fully utilise this advanced instructions. If one side of the field is too crowded, switch sides to continue your attack.
Attacking Full Backs
Command your full backs to charge forward and overlap your wingers to support the attack. This is very useful when your wingers need additional support to find space down the flanks.
It will be ideal if your full backs have the ‘Attacking Fullbacks’ trait.
Do note that your central midfielders will drop deeper to cover the defence. In addition, your wingers will move towards the center as well.
This advanced instruction will contradict ‘Hug the Touchline’, since your wingers will move towards the center to crowd the field. Avoid using these 2 instructions together.
This instruction will work well with ‘False Wingers’, though I am guessing they achieve similar effects.
This instruction is ideal if you naturally like to attack down the flanks. Enable ‘Wide’ attacking area in your attacking instructions, and use a formation with wide midfielders or wingers. Players will provide more support when the ball is played down the flanks.
Play like Barcelona, but only useful if you have good players. Ideally, you want players with good ratings in passing and ball control. With this advanced instruction enabled, your players will move into space around you to provide passing options.
I tend to set Support Range to just a few bars, as I like teammates to come towards the ball carrier to provide support. This helps me to keep possession and play quick 1-2 passes to get into the box. I will also recommend using this with a ‘Possession Game’ Attacking style.
You may at times find Tiki-Taka frustrating, as your players will seldom make runs into the box. They come towards your ball carrier rather than make forward runs into space. If you face problems in getting a goal, deactivate it midway through the game to attempt a more direct approach, and activate it again to add a bit of unpredictability.
False No. 9
Your center forward to drop deep into the midfield, at times pulling some defenders with him, leaving a gap for your wingers to cut in and exploit.
I recommend this if your center forward is more of a fast player with good dribbling and passing ratings, as opposed to a strong powerful target man. I like using the false no. 9 player to pick up the ball, attempt a few dribbles or make passes to the wingers cutting in. A target man will not be able to do that well, and will slow down my game.
Play good wingers who are able to cut in and shoot with their stronger foot. These wingers are perfect when you activate the False No.9 advanced instructions. I see ‘False No. 9’ and ‘False Wingers’ working very well together.
In my opinion, this is a total opposite in style of play as compared to False No. 9. If you have a strong target man, use this advanced instruction to wreck havoc on your opponent’s defence.
Centering target commands your center forward to make runs towards goal whenever the ball is at the flanks.
When your winger picks up the ball, look out for your center forward. He will likely be raising his hand up and preparing to make a forward run. Play an early high cross into the box for him to challenge for the header.
Be sure to aim the ball slightly in front of him. Try early crosses, crosses with high arcs, and also chipped through passes.
Of course, you can trigger runs with teammate controls, but this advanced instruction makes it more automated for you. Switch it on and off several times during the match to keep your opponents guessing.
One thing I like to do is to alternate ‘Centering Targets’ with ‘False No. 9’, with different types of strikers. If I am chasing for a late goal, I will substitute my striker out and adjust the advanced instruction to spring a surprise on my opponent. As the play style is the total opposite, it can work really well against defenders with tired legs.
Watch this advanced instruction in action below.
False Full Backs
Not to be confused with ‘False Wingers’ or ‘Attacking Full Backs’, this advanced instruction brings your full back slightly forward to join the midfielder, and not all the way forward like ‘Attacking Full Backs’.
False Full Backs is a good tactic to crowd the midfield, to give your midfielders more support. If you are playing with just 3 midfielders, this tactic will give you a 5 man field, which is great to building attacks and winning midfield battles.
I like to use this together with ‘Hug the Touchline’, to pass the ball around the field to find spaces for a through pass.
Get your side midfielders or wingers to track back to defend. As with all defensive instructions, this is useful when you wish to protect a lead. This is most ideal when your opponent has fast wingers, or just brought on a fast wingers to capitalise on your tired defenders.
Identify a key player in the team to employ tight marking. This can be done in addition to the ‘Mark Settings’ that you can set in Pre-Set tactics. Your target will be marked by the player closest to him. You will see the AI deploy this advanced instruction on one of your players midway through the game.
I seldom use this, as this will open up space for the other opponent players. When I do, it will usually be to mark a dangerous center forward, a fast winger, or an attacking midfielder. If you find that your opponent likes to play the ball around the ball, a cheeky move can be to employ tight marking on one of their center backs too.
Deep Defensive Line
Pull your defensive line towards goal to prevent through balls and chipped through balls that your opponent will play towards their fast strikers.
Activate this advanced instruction if your opponent has been repeatedly trying through balls.
Note that as your defence has moved backwards, space is opened up for your opponent to gradually move closer towards goal, and potentially take a long shot.
Swarm the Box
Crowd the box so that your opponent will find it hard to dribble into the box, make a pass to a teammate in the box, and also put bodies in the way to block any shots on goal.
This is one of my favourite defensive advanced instructions.
Similar to Deep Defensive Line, this will potentially open up space outside the box for your opponent to take a shot.
To guard against that, choose one of your player to stand in front of the ball carrier and follow him around. If he passes, switch to another teammate to do the same. Avoid the temptation pull your defenders too wide apart. Stay bunched up in the box.
Identify a target to stay up front when you are defending, so that you can play a quick high ball for him to launch a counter attack.
You will have one less man to help you defend, but this is useful for chasing a goal. The identified player will use less energy to track back, saving his energy bar to sprint forward and attack.
I will usually choose a winger or an attacking midfielder, as there will usually be more players around him (e.g the center forward) to support him. If you were to choose the center forward to stay up front, he will not have anyone to pass to. Doing a solo run towards goal is an option, but hard to pull off. For this reason, I suggest choosing a player behind the line of the center forward, ideally someone with pace. A fresh substitute player is also a good option.
A defensive instruction made famous by Jurgen Klopp. Players around the ball carrier will start to put pressure on him. This is a great move to win the ball back quickly, which is incredibly useful when you are chasing a goal. Note that this requires a lot of energy. Starting with this instruction will leave most of your players drained by the 70th minute or earlier.
Use this sparingly, ideally in the final quarter of the game when you are trying to get back into the game.
Bring on some fresh players to support this instruction.
Advanced Instructions are a fun way to inject more variations and your own personality into your team. Identify your favourite combinations, toggle them on and off the pitch depending on the situation, and enter the game menu to change the instructions completely if necessary.
I hope you find this useful in improving your game.
Main image credit: Konami