In this section you will find a series of quick tips and tricks that will improve your game. I have been playing PES for many years, both online and offline, so I feel like I can contribute with my own set of tips - hopefully, you will learn something new!
One of the things I treasure the most about PES is how there's always some advanced skill that can take your gameplay further. However, that new trick usually comes with a learning curve.
For this reason, one thing you should keep in mind is that it may take a while to master some of these tips. Some rely on quick execution, but others are pretty much a "state of mind".
If you find something new here, I suggest you try it for 2 weeks or so, and see if it works for you. Don't try to incorporate 5 new things in your game every week; you will probably end up frustrated and not improve at all.
Footage is from PES 2020, but since PES 2021 is simply a Season Update, everything will work exactly the same.
All commands here will be explained with the current default PS4 controllers for PES 2021, which you can find below. Xbox should be similar. Time for the gameplay tips!
Passing is essential in PES, just like in real football. The game provides you many different options to successfully pass the ball between your players, but some I rarely see other players use.
Passing precision is very important. If you are good at keeping the ball, you can create some nice scoring chances with a proper build up play. At the same time, a bad pass can punish you by setting up a deadly counter attack.
Here is some advice so that you improve your PES passing game.
- Manual Passing to Create Chances
- Lob the ball to avoid interceptions
- Use Super Cancel to increase passing precision
- Use standard lofted passes to quickly break through
- Through balls are a safer choice than you may think
Compared to other football games, PES is notoriously harder to dribble (especially this year) and even the new "Finesse Dribbling" has been heavily criticized by pretty much everyone (myself included).
You may not be able to dribble from one box to the other with drag backs or la croquetas, but there are still some effective ways to get past the opposition and even add some flair to your gameplay.
Here are some tips that should take your dribbling to the next level. The game is much more responsive when playing offline, so keep that in mind when in online play.
- Turn towards the goal
- Use Close Control to change direction
- Double-tap Sprint for longer distances
- Use R3 to flick the ball and gain space
- Use R3 to better control a bouncing ball
- Use Finesse Dribbling when in tight spaces
- Letting the ball go through to create space
- Shield the ball by reading your opponent's moves
- Go around an opponent with a variation of the Xavi turn
- Perform a Fake shot close to the defender to trigger the animation
Scoring chances - do you prefer quantity or quality?
In PES, I choose quality over quantity every time. I only strike if I see a clear chance of successfully converting my attempt into goal.
Some people shoot as much as they can, but sometimes all they get is a nice statistic to have a look at when the game ends. I care about conversion rate.
In this section, I will share with you some ideas to improve your efficiency when shooting.
- Double-tap Shoot for a Low Shot
- Use Manual Shooting to convert more tap-ins
- Letting the ball go through for better finishing
- Wait until the ball touches the grass to increase first-time shot accuracy
All major tips regarding offensive play will be listed here. This is a collection of things you should keep in mind whenever you're in possession of the ball and wish to increase your chances of scoring.
This is sometimes more a question of having the right mentality while attacking, and taking your time to finish a perfect scoring chance.
I consider myself a defensive player and I take great pride in keeping many clean sheets.
Being a defensive player does not mean you have to park the bus - it's all about reading the opponent's moves, cutting passing lanes and forcing him to perform specific actions.
Defending well is as important as converting your goal-scoring chances. Here are some tips that should also help you improve when you're out of possession.
- Cut passing lanes to win the ball back
- Use Super Cancel to avoid conceding corners
- Use Super Cancel to obstruct the opponent's run
- Use Sliding Tackles to force actions from the opposition
- When out of options, apply Pressure to reduce Shot Accuracy
- Master Manual Switching and Super Cancel to quickly intercept the ball
In PES, it is very important to know your players well - their attributes, skills, and playing styles make them unique, and some will fit the way you play better than the others.
Choosing the right strategy is not just about finding a formation that suits you, or the perfect Manager. Regardless of how well you play after the referee blows the whistle, you will still need to learn how to adapt to the unique circumstances of each game.
Here are some tips that may help you get some leverage even before the game starts:
- Change Attack/Defence levels
- Use "Counter Target" to save player stamina
- Want a player to stay back? "Defensive" is your friend
Your Goalkeeper can be your last hope in preventing the opposing team from scoring or the man that initiates your next offensive move. It is not just a dummy controlled by the AI :)
Here are some tricks to get the most out of your glove-wearing specialist.