Are You Making These Mistakes in PES?

Over the past few years of maintaining this website, I have been sharing tips on what to do, and how to win in PES. In this article, I am going to take the other approach, and share what NOT to do in PES. This is not an exhaustive list. Those listed here are just some ideas that I have managed to accumulate after these few months of playing PES 2013. More will be added when ideas come into my mind. Have a suggestion? Simply drop me a comment 🙂

And here goes.

1. Running Towards a Player to Make a Pass

Running and Passing
Image credit: Konami

The objective of making passes is to spray the ball around, open up play, make it hard for our opponents to get the ball and gradually wear them down. Running towards a player and making a pass to him when you are just a few metres away is not a good strategy, as it allows the opponent to mark both players with just one player. In addition, we are using up more stamina than required. Yes, we may dribble around the field and make passes to add unpredictability. However, when it comes to making passes, it is ideal to make the ball do the travelling, not the player.

2. Rushing to Score Immediately After Conceding

Disappointment After Conceding a Goal
Image credit: Konami

Yes we get disappointed/irritated after conceding a goal. However, going All Out Attack immediately is a sure recipe for disaster. The team that just scored has the game momentum in their hands. Over the next few minutes, everything they do will go their way, every pass will be accurate, every tackle will be perfect. If you are the team that just conceded, everything you do will go against you. Going for the attack to try and level the score immediately usually opens up gaps at the back for the opponent to exploit, and before we know it, we are 2 goals down. A better strategy will be to keep possession of the ball for around 5 in game minutes. Pass the ball around, play it safe, and when you feel that the game momentum is gradually fading away from the opponent, start building up attacks to level the score.

3. Sending Too Many Attackers Forward

All Teammates in Opponent's Half
Image credit: Konami

Sometimes, we let our desire to score a goal get the better of us, and unknowingly send the entire team forward into the opponent’s half. We try to maintain possession and hope to send a defence splitting pass to get an important goal. This is a risky move as our team becomes very vulnerable to counter attacks. Sending all teammates forward makes it harder to score, since the AI and the non-human controlled players tend to man-mark our teammates, which makes it very congested in the box. What’s more, once we lose the ball, the opponent can easily send a through pass forward for his striker to speed towards goal with little obstacles. You may have the experience of having plenty of possession in a match, yet find yourself prone to counter attacks. To prevent this, avoid sending your defensive line anywhere near the halfway line. Play a long ball forward into the box, such that the team can ‘reset’ its formation and defenders fall back into their positions. Doing this can help reduce the effectiveness of our opponent relying heavily on the counter attacking strategy.

4. Keeping Possession for Too Long

You may feel that the current possession is important, especially when you try to get a goal back, and not want to risk losing the ball by making a long through pass, or taking a long shot. This will make your play very predictable, for both human and AI opponent. Regardless of the scoreline and time remaining, remind yourself to vary your style of play and take risks.

5. Playing Your First 11 from Start to End

They may be your best players, or you are too lazy to make a change midway through the game. This is not ideal as player fatigue sets in, and the opponent will be used to what your players can do, making it easier for them defend against you. Mix things up by sending on fresh players. Their fresh legs will work wonders against tired opponent defenders.


Too often, we are used to the way we play, and not be aware that what we are doing may be sabotaging our own efforts to get a result. I hope that you will find these useful as you improve your game.

Main image credit: Konami