442 Custom Tactics, Meta Formations & Player Attributes: An In-Depth Guide

442 Custom Tactics, Meta Formations & Player Attributes is a guide by Michael Cox and Gabriel Forsyth that provides an in-depth look at how to effectively use the extensive custom tactics system present in Football Manager 2018.

Introduction: What is 442 Custom Tactics, Meta Formations & Player Attributes?

In FIFA 21, there are three main ways to set up your team: via custom tactics, meta formations, or player attributes. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to understand how each works in order to create a well-rounded squad.

Custom tactics allow you to fine-tune every aspect of your team’s playstyle, from how aggressive they are in attack to what kind of pressing they do when out of possession. You can also adjust things like kick-off and corner routines, meaning that no two teams using custom tactics will ever play exactly the same.

Meta formations are pre-set team shapes that have been designed to take advantage of the game’s mechanics in order to maximise success. They are often very effective but can be predictable and easy to defend against if your opponent knows what you’re trying to do.

Player attributes are perhaps the most important part of FIFA 21 squad building. Attributes determine a player’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and can make all the difference in tight matches. Paying attention to things like pace, shooting, and physicality will help you put together a more balanced team that is better equipped to deal with whatever opponents throw at them.

442 Custom Tactics

The use of custom tactics is a very important part of any football manager’s tactical toolkit. By utilising custom tactics, you can tailor your team’s playing style to better suit the strengths and weaknesses of your squad, as well as exploit any specific areas of weakness in your opponent’s team.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at how to use custom tactics effectively, including an analysis of the most popular meta formations and player attributes that can be utilised to create a successful custom tactic.

When creating a custom tactic, there are three main things to consider:

1) The formation you want your team to line up in.

2) The specific instructions you want your players to follow (e.g. pressing intensity, attacking style, etc.).

3) The player roles and responsibilities that you want each player to fulfil within the tactic (e.g. striker, winger, defensive midfielder, etc.).

Choosing the right formation is crucial when creating a custom tactic. You need to consider both the strengths and weaknesses of your own team, as well as those of your opponents. For example, if you have a strong midfield but are up against a team with a very strong front line, you may want to consider using a formation with two holding midfielders in order to protect your back line. Equally, if you have pacey wingers but are up against a team that is

Meta Formations

In football, a formation is the arrangement of players on the pitch. There are many different formations that teams can use, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. The most popular formation in the modern game is the 4-2-3-1, which is flexible and provides good support to both the defence and attack.

The word “meta” comes from the Greek word μέτρον (métron), meaning “measure”. In the context of football, a meta formation is one that is widely used by teams in order to gain an advantage over their opponents. Meta formations are often based on specific player roles and positional play.

One example of a meta formation is the 4-3-3, which was made popular by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side. This formation utilises three central defenders, two wingers and three forwards, with one of the forwards playing as a striker. The 4-3-3 is an attacking formation that allows teams to control possession and create chances for goal scoring opportunities.

Another example of a meta formation is the 4-2-3-1, which was made popular by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side. This formation utilises two central midfielders, three attacking midfielders and one striker. The 4-2-3-1 is a balanced formation that can be used both offensively and defensively depending on the situation.

Player attributes are physical or mental characteristics that affect a player’s

Player Attributes

There are a number of player attributes that can impact a team’s performance on the pitch. Some of the most important attributes for each position are:

-Shot Stopping: The ability to make saves and keep the ball out of the net.
-Reflexes: The ability to react quickly to save or clear the ball.
-Aerial Ability: The ability to claim crosses and dominate in the air.
-Command of Area: The ability to organize and direct defenders.
-Communication: The ability to communicate with defenders and give instructions.

-Tackling: The ability to win back possession by making clean, strong tackles.
-Marking: The ability to stay close to an opponent and deny them space.
-Heading: The ability to clear the ball or score goals from headers.
-Positioning: The ability to read the game and take up good positions on the pitch.
-Passing: The ability to start attacks with accurate passes out from the back.

-Creativity: The ability to see and create chances for others with through balls or key passes.
-Vision: The ability to spot opportunities and make incisive passes.
-Work Rate: The willingness and energy levels shown during a match – often high for box-to-box midfielders who cover a lot of ground.


In any given match in FIFA, each player on the pitch has specific attributes which contribute to their performance. These are things like Pace, Shooting, Dribbling, Passing, etc. and can be found in the player information screen. Each attribute is given a rating out of 100, with the highest being 100 and the lowest being 1. The better the rating, the better that attribute will be.

There are also certain hidden attributes which are not shown in-game but can still affect a player’s performance. These include things like Work Rate, Weak Foot, and Skill Moves. Again, each of these is given a rating out of 5, with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst.

The overall ratings of players can be misleading though. A player with a lower overall rating can still outperform one with a higher overall if their individual attributes are better suited to the task at hand. This is where custom tactics come in…


In-depth guides like this one are essential for any dedicated footballer looking to improve their game. By understanding the nuances of how to deploy different tactics, formations and player attributes, you can gain a clear competitive advantage over your opponents.

We hope that this guide has given you a greater insight into the world of football tactics and how you can use them to improve your game. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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