Defense Control Guide: How to Defend in FIFA 23

Take your defense game a notch higher with this detailed FIFA 23 defense control guide.


Scoring wonderful goals has always been one of the best things to do in every FIFA edition, FIFA 23 inclusive. However, it is important not to overlook the defensive side of the game. Thus making this guide on how to defend in FIFA 23 timely.

Luckily for long-time FIFA players, there is not much change in the general control of FIFA 23, including the defense control, which only require a tiny bit of adjustment before you can start playing fluently. 


For players who are new to FIFA, there is no need to worry! Up next will be a complete defense control guide along with some crucial defending tips that will change your game once and for all. 

Defense Controls

Just like any other aspect of the game in FIFA 23, there are layers you have to cover before mastering defense in the game. There is no better way to start than understanding how each button works in a defensive scenario.

Defense control snippet
ActionPS4 / PS5 ControlsXbox One / Series X Controls
Change PlayerL1LB
Manual Change PlayerRS (direction)RS (direction)
Icon SwitchingRSRS
Tackle / Push or Pull (when chasing)OB
Hard TackleO (press and hold)B (press and hold)
Instant Hard TackleR1 + ORB + B
Slide TackleSquareX
Quick Get Up (after a slide tackle)SquareX
ClearanceOB
Technical ClearanceR1 + ORB + B
ContainX (hold)A (hold)
Teammate ContainR1 (hold)RB (hold)
Shield / JockeyL2 (hold)LT (hold)
Running JockeyL2 (hold) + R2 (hold)LT (hold) + RT (hold)
Shoulder Challenge / Seal-OutBB
Engage Shielding OpponentL2 + LS (towards shielding dribbler)LT + LS (towards shielding dribbler)
Pull and Hold (when chasing)O (hold)B (hold)
Rush Goalkeeper OutTriangleY (press and hold)
Goalkeeper Cross InterceptTriangle + Triangle (press and hold)Y + Y (press and hold)

Adjusting to the new control will not be hard if you are familiar with FIFA controls, but it may take you a few hours of playing the game if you are completely new to the controls. A little tip from us for beginners, get into quick matches and play progressively from amateur, beginner, to semi-professional. 

Once you get the hang of the basic defensive control, you should consider exploring the tactical aspect of defending, comprised of the following:


ActionPS4 / PS5 ControlsXbox One / Series X Controls
Display Defending TacticsDownDown
Striker Drop BackDown, UpDown, Up
Team PressDown, RightDown, Right
Overload Ball SideDown, LeftDown, Left
Offside TrapDown, DownDown, Down

Tips for defending in FIFA 23

Now that you know the defense control essentials in FIFA 23, time will be the most important factor to eventually help you master the game. On that note, a few little tips may come a long way as you discover new defensive challenges when facing more dangerous attackers. 

Speed is key

It is true that speed is not the only aspect of defending in FIFA 23, but with speed comes the ability to track back properly and catch up with pacey strikers on counterattacks. Whether you are playing quick matches or career mode, make sure to include at least one speedy defender in your line-up to cover your backline.

Speed as an essential part of defense control

Click here for the fastest centre backs (CB) you can sign in FIFA 23 career mode


Click here for the fastest left backs (LB) you can sign in FIFA 23 Career mode

Timing the hard tackle

You can command the hard tackle by pressing and holding O on PS and B on Xbox. After a few times trying the hard tackle on lower-level opponents, you will notice that it is such an effective maneuver to use. However, things start to change when you face opponents who can read your timing, presenting a higher risk of foul with each hard tackle.

You will have to be careful with the hard tackle, but make sure you are not hesitant. Remember, the move is best for taking the ball off opponents with a heavy touch. 

Lineup formation and tactics

You can experiment with different formations, but the best formation to defend is with 4 or 5 defenders at the back. The flank always presents promising opportunities to attack, but remember that the opponent can easily catch you on counterattacks with a pacey winger.

In any case, you can always adjust your defensive tactics by simply activating the offside trap or pushing your defensive line deeper toward your end of the field. 

Play with the goalkeeper

You can always rush your goalkeeper out by pressing triangle on PS and Y on Xbox. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of defending and might just be the game-changer to your defending skills in FIFA 23. 

As always, it is all about the timing. Rushing out too early will make you vulnerable to chip shots. On the other hand, rushing out too late will not close enough space to block your opponent’s shot.

That concludes our defense control guide on how to defend in FIFA 23. Make sure to give yourself time to practice and slowly progress through each difficulty level. If you’re looking to set up your defense, here is our list of the fastest defenders in FIFA 23.

In need of good centre backs? Check out our list oF the best CB in FIFA 23.


Leonard

Leonard is an OG writer who focuses mainly on sports games like NBA 2K23 & FIFA23.
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