pes long ball

Long Ball Tactic

Welcome to Long Ball Tutorial.

I have always been an advocator of Possession and Quick Counter tactic – Possession as this is how purist felt football should be played, Quick Counter as it is an effective way to score more goals. Granted, the high defensive line of these tactics made them unsuitable for online play, but I have managed to get around it by lowering my defensive line and playing cautiously to prevent through balls. It was tedious, but at least it allows me to play the kind of football I want.

PES Long Ball Tactic

Now, there is an easier way to stop through balls and win games. I tried the Long Ball tactic on a few occasions before, but didn’t really like it as I had the notion that it is anti-football – playing defensively and sending a high ball forward to try to sneak in a goal or two. However, I got bored of the standard tactics and formation, and decided to use Long Ball tactic seriously on a number of games consecutively. And the effectiveness of the tactic was mind blowing.

pes 2013 long ball

Low Defensive Line. Image credit: Konami

The Long Ball tactic has a low defensive line, which makes defending slightly easier than Possession and Quick Counter. This means I have to worry less about through balls splitting my defence. Player Support is high, meaning this is not a defensive tactic most though it was. Understanding this tactic and using it well makes this a really useful tactic, especially in online games.

Using the Long Ball Tactic

I keep the ball at the back. I will exchange passes among my defenders and midfielders in my own half. This has the effect of pushing up the opponent’s defensive line, which is beneficial to us, as mentioned in the counter attack post. As a general rule of thumb, we want the opponent’s defensive line to be at three-quarters line of the field, leaving the final quarter empty. If this is not achieved, use your defenders to exchange passes from a deeper position, gradually moving towards your own goal. What this does is to draw opponent players towards your half, giving you more space in the final quarter of the field to send a long ball.

PES Passing Tutorial

Passing the Ball in Own Half. Image credit: Konami

PES Passing the ball

Bringing the Ball Deeper into Own Half. Image credit: Konami

pro evolution soccer tutorial

Opponent’s Defensive Line is now near Center of Field. Image credit: Konami

Our AI controlled teammates make automated runs occasionally. When passing around in your own half, keep an eye of the radar and attempt a through pass / chipped through pass / high lob forward to your striker when you spot him making a run. I also recommend using the Camera option ‘Wide’ or ‘Blimp’ as you will be able to see more of the field, which helps in spotting player runs. Use this technique until you score a goal or two. It does not matter if your through pass is intercepted. Since you made the pass from your own half, most of your players are still in a good defensive position. You will then not be prone to any counter attacks, and your opponent will have to work very hard to break down the wall of players. Once you are leading the game, you can take on a more adventurous approach if you wish to.

Defending with the Long Ball tactic

Using the above game play technique makes it hard for your opponent to break your defence down. To further improve your defending, considering playing one center back slightly behind the other. He will act as the ‘sweeper’ and clear up any through balls. Note – His position still stays as ‘CB’ instead of ‘SW’. I find that this is more effective. This player should possess more pace than his defensive partner.

pes long ball strategy

Using a Center Back as a Sweeper. Image credit: Konami


I have used the PES Long Ball tactic with a number of teams of varying formation, and found that it generally worked well. It does not matter which formation your team uses, as long as you adopt the game play techniques mentioned above. The long ball tactic may be seen as anti-football, but since chipped through pass is anti-football anyway, we might as well use this anti-football tactic to counter against anti-football players.

Main image credit: Konami


  1. Avatar

    Who is the Van Dir Mirch guy? I can’t find him anywhere? -.-“

  2. Zed Neo Author

    Oh, he is a striker whom almost everyone buys in Master League online. Despite his poor overall stats, he is a powerful and fast striker and can really bully the defence.

  3. Avatar

    So, he’s only available in Master League Online?

  4. Zed Neo Author

    I think you can find him in the team JOHACHNAARD V.V, if you reset any patch you are using 🙂

  5. Avatar

    game momentum is killing me ! last week i was beating UK rank 1 !!! 2-0 then second half he did a constant long balls to the left flank , guess who`s there ? Ronaldo ! the god of PES13 ! so it doesnt matter how you are tactically and skillfully ! cause ppl can jst do through balls , run and shoot ! all these amazxing features are faded away cause the game is simply prone to long balls ! so get lobbing or get lobbed ! that`s if you can stop speed merchants !

  6. Avatar

    Zed Neo when you out a tip or a guide is that your experiences offline or online ?

    we need tactical tips that you have tried it online or MLO not vs com plz . cheers

  7. Avatar

    also which player roles is the best suits Ronaldo for through balls , SS WF or MF ?

    i know you use ronaldo as a CF but i`d rather not to drain him or loose his trickster & darting run card and play him a SS , WF or MF lol

  8. Avatar

    and for long ball tactic or any tactic in general what are your setting ? semi assisted or assisted ? and how many bars of pass support or auto pass , shoot etc on or off ?

  9. Zed Neo Author

    It is up to the individual I guess. I use 1 par of passing assistance, as full manual passing gets on my nerves sometimes. I do not play with manual shooting on, but will activate manual shots depending on the situations.

  10. Zed Neo Author

    Oh I use Ronaldo as the LMF/LWF as that is his real position and I like to play in a realistic manner. Playing him on the left enables him to cut in and strike either a knuckleshot towards goal, or a controlled shot towards the far post. Most of the time, a normal shot will do the trick though as his shot power and accuracy is so high.

  11. Zed Neo Author

    Some readers play online, some don’t, thus I try to post about tips that will be useful both online and offline. Posts about tactics and gameplay generally tend to work both online and offline, as they give readers more ideas on improving their games. Other posts, such as Master League Online Guide, are catered for online players.

  12. Avatar

    when I make a through ball to a striker, but decide to shoot when the ball is just ahead of the.striker , he doesn’t shoot but wait dor the through ball to finish before shooting. what button can I press when I want the player to shoot immediately i press the shoot button, even though it’s a through ball I passed him

  13. Avatar

    Is there really a perfect formation in pro evolution??

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