Considering how much some of us play FIFA 22 Ultimate Team, and its predecessors, it seems strange that we often fail to invest time learning its intricacies, preferring to just play endless matches. When was the last time you practised free kicks or watched back some of your gameplay to see what kind of mistakes you make in the run-up to conceding? For many of us the answer is never. Well, it’s a new year, so how about a new approach? Let’s start with skill moves, because we guarantee that if you spend a little time learning these five tricks, you will be able to play better FIFA and win more of your matches.
Ball Roll (1* skills)
You could argue that the ball roll has become such a basic part of the game that it barely qualifies as a skill move, but we still play against opponents — even in FUT Champions — who never use it, so we implore you to spend some time adding it to your game if you’ve never taken the time to do so. Essentially the ball roll is exactly what it sounds like. Your player will roll the ball left to right, or right to left, using the sole of their foot. To perform a ball roll, just flick the right analogue stick left or right of wherever the player is facing. Ball rolls are useful all over the pitch, because employing them will create space and change angles, and can even help you to sidestep tackles. One thing we like to do is ball roll twice in succession, which seems to really help with retaining possession in tight spots.
Roulette (3* skills)
The roulette is an easy skill to use and still surprisingly effective against deep-lying defences, despite its relative ubiquity. All you have to do — providing your player has three-star skills, which is common for virtually everyone from the midfield forwards — is rotate the right analogue stick 360 degrees while running. You can roulette left or right, depending on the rotation, and it should see your player do a little spin while running forward with the ball. Use it to bypass defenders and draw fouls in tight spaces. If you’ve tried everything else, sometimes just rouletting at a packed back four and going straight into a shot can be enough to break the deadlock.
La Croqueta (4* skills)
One of the legendary Xavi Iniesta’s signature moves during his heyday at Barcelona, La Croqueta will see your player move their body forward diagonally and then swap the ball between their feet to bring it in the same direction, before exiting forwards again with the ball ahead of them. Iniesta would use it to extricate himself from tight spots, slaloming round outstretched legs, and that’s how it feels to use in-game. (FIFA 22 calls this move the ‘lane change’, and that’s a good, albeit rather less romantic label!) To perform the move, hold the left bumper and flick the right analogue stick left or right of the direction the player is facing. While La Croqueta had its own heyday in FIFA 20, it is still very effective, especially when paired with the fake shot stop. (The fake shot stop? Hold shoot, then hit the pass button before your player kicks the ball, all while letting go of the left analogue stick; your player will fake a shot and come to a halt.) By halting with a fake shot, then using La Croqueta, you can often force a tracking defender to square up to you, and then you just slide coolly past them into the box.
Berbatov Spin (4* skills)
The fun merchants at EA Sports call this one the Stop And Turn, but to everyone and his dog it’s the Berbatov spin, so named because of an incredible goal engineered by Dimitar Berbatov during his Manchester United days. Essentially it’s a move that lets you turn one way while making it look like you’re going the other. Running down the wing, you flick the right analogue stick up and then left or right of the direction your player is facing. Your player should place their foot as though they are about to turn one way, before pivoting 270 degrees in the opposite direction and exiting with the ball. Imagine a car spinning the wrong way as it goes round a corner and you’re not far off, Ridge Racer fans. FUT players are more savvy about this move on the wing now than they used to be, but it’s still a lot of fun when you pull it off, and as you gain confidence with it you can drop it in at strange angles and other areas of the pitch. One of our favourite ways to use the Barba spin in FIFA 22 is to have a four-star skiller in central midfield, and use the spin to evade the opposing press. We create a lot of space for passes this way, and you can too!
Ball-Roll Scoop (5* skills)
If you feel like you’ve gotten the hang of all this other stuff and you have five-star skillers in your squad, then feel free to add one of the daftest skill moves in the game to your arsenal. The ball-roll scoop is tricky to pull off consistently, but it is brilliant for creating space anywhere on the pitch, and is very hard for an opposing player to see coming. The idea is to perform a regular ball-roll but then go immediately into a scoop turn — the five-star skill part — which allows you to exit the move at all sorts of angles. The button combination is just pressing left or right on the right analogue stick to roll the ball, then immediately performing a fake shot (hold shoot then quickly hit pass) to scoop it. Depending on how long you hold the pass button at the end of the fake shot element, you can scoop more or less to suit your needs. This is a filthy-looking move in-game, and it can become addictive, but our advice is to bring it out as a last resort, because it has the most value when it’s unexpected. Struggling to break down a defence in a tight game? The next time you reach the edge of the box and look for a pass, ball-roll scoop instead and create space for a finesse shot. When it works, it’s magical.
Practice Makes Perfect
Finally, a word on practising. Simply going into Squad Battles or Division Rivals on your usual difficulty levels is not going to cut it, because opportunities to perform these moves may be few and far between. We recommend using the Player Arena (accessible through the main FIFA 22 menu outside FUT) to get used to each move, focusing on one exclusively until you’ve mastered it, and then using things like low-difficulty Squad Battles where the AI is very passive in order to test them at different angles in different situations. If you then want to practice them in competitive settings, wait until you hit a checkpoint in Div Rivals so that a loss won’t cost you progress, and use the next game as a pure learning experience, where you try to use the move rather than trying to score. Before long, you should be able to do them almost without thinking. Good luck!