The best FIFA 23 formations for career and Ultimate Team

The search for the best FIFA 23 formations isn’t always easy, with each offering its own pro and cons, but here are the most useful squad setups

FIFA 23 best formations for ultimate team and career mode: a football player controlls the bacll with his back

The best FIFA 23 formations can often make or break your performance in a football game, with your players being underutilised if they’re in a formation that doesn’t suit them. Three at the back is very popular in the modern game, but does that fit the players in your club? A bad formation choice can mean your defence is isolated, or worse still, your attacking power is stunted, especially in career mode.

There are a lot of options in the FIFA 23 formations department, with over 30 different team shapes available to you. These can range from a counter-attack-heavy back-five to an all-out 3-5-2, and what you use will depend on your personnel, your style of playing FIFA 23 and, occasionally, the current score in the match you’re playing. Here are the best formations in FIFA 23.

The best formations in FIFA 23

Here are five of the best formations in FIFA 23, each offering its own pros and cons, so you can choose which one fits your style of play best.

Best FIFA 23 formations for career and Ultimate Team: a blank formation sheet from a football game


One of the most attacking formations you can take in FIFA 23, it has two slots for left midfield and two for right midfield, with three CBs holding up the rear. The 3-4-3 can leave you short at the back, so ensure that if you utilise this formation, you have defenders with pace, as making recovery runs is vital, lest you get caught out by a single long ball.

The addition of a LM and a RM means that these players will occasionally act as wing-backs unless they’re told to stay forward in the tactics menu. You’ll want to use players in these positions who have both attacking and defensive nous or use pacey full-backs who can transition to midfield, like Kieran Trippier, who can play both RB and RM.

You may find yourself short in midfield using the 3-4-3, as there are only two player slots, so keeping at least one back while you’re attacking may prevent being caught on the break should you lose possession. All your attacking power with this formation will come from the flanks, so ensure you have potency on both wings.

Best FIFA 23 formations for career and Ultimate Team: a blank formation sheet from a football game


The 4-2-2-2 formation is more balanced than the 3-4-3, and is narrower, due to the absence of wingers. It instead fills those wide players with CAMs, so while your play will be more central with this formation, if you have attacking midfielders with pace, they’ll be able to drift wide and give you a threat from the outside.

This formation is for those of you who have talent in the centre of the pitch – with four central midfield slots you’ll be playing through the middle and feeding the two strikers up top.

CAMs like Nkunku are perfect for this formation, as their strengths lie in both dribbling and pace, and can act as make-shift wingers if you have no better options in the club. Setting the CAM custom tactics to ‘drift wide’ will leave room centrally for the CDMs to operate.

Best FIFA 23 formations for career and Ultimate Team: a blank formation sheet from a football game


Getting narrower again, the 4-2-3-1 is the formation for those players whose passing game is on point and has an abundance of world-class attacking midfielders in their club. Your squad will be made up of four defenders, two CDMs, three CAMs, and a striker. As attacking midfielders tend to be on the smaller side, you’ll have to play through your opposition, with slick passing and movement the key.

Again, you can instruct your two outside CAMs to drift wide in the customer settings, but if you don’t have a player like FUT Hero Jay-Jay Okocha, beating your opposition on the wings will be a tough prospect.

Best FIFA 23 formations for career and Ultimate Team: a blank formation sheet from a football game


The new classic, the natural successor to the 4-2-2 as football evolved into something a little more elegant. The 4-3-3 formation’s main selling point is that it’s balanced. With four defenders, three midfielders, and three attacking players, it gives you defensive cover while also offering multiple attacking options.

The 4-3-3 formation offers a few variations, mainly surrounding the midfield players. Some offer two CMs and a CAM, while more defensive options opt for two CDMs. Having a talented CAM in your side can unlock defences by utilising skill, movement, passing, and occasionally, a hammer of a power shot from 40-yards away.

Your wingers will naturally be pushed up the pitch, and you have the option of setting them to drift wide or cut in with customer tactics, each one has its advantages as your wide players will be able to cut in to create their own shooting opportunities, or feed your striker.

Best FIFA 23 formations for career and Ultimate Team: a blank formation sheet from a football game


You would be forgiven for thinking that any formation with five defenders is just that – too defensive. It isn’t always the case though, as wing-backs can offer superb width going forward, especially this year with the new introduction of acceleration archetypes like lengthy. The delayed acceleration that lengthy players get is perfect for a role like LWB, or RWB, as they generally have a lot of room to manoeuvre.

The 5-2-2-1 contains three CBs, two wing-backs, two CMs, a LW and a RW, and a striker. That’s a lot of variance in position, and with the right set of players can really shine. Flexibility is the name of the game with the 5-2-2-1, as you can flex from defensive to offensive in a flash, with your wing-backs providing overlapping runs for the wingers.

Your wide defenders are key here, with pace, stamina and passing attributes taking paramount over anything else. Joao Cancelo is the prime example of a player you want running up and down the flanks, his pace and technical ability is world class, so when you’re on the attack it’s almost like having an extra winger on the pitch.

Now that you’re settled on which formation to use in game, it’s time to find the right personnel to fit that style of play. These FIFA ratings will give you a heads-up on which players are the right fit for your vision. If you’re looking to open some rare packs, we have solutions for the Around The World, Puzzle Master, and First XI SBCs, giving you the best chance at bagging an Icon, or a one of the FUT Heroes.