What are the best FM24 tactics and formations? While having the best players possible is one essential facet to climbing the leagues and winning silverware, arguably even more important is nailing your tactics. From the formation and mentality to player roles and instructions, there’s a lot to get your head around.
So whether you’re new to Football Manager 2024 or you’ve been playing for years but you can’t quite figure out the right set of tactics for your team, you’ve come to the right place. Make sure you pick up some wonderkids and FM24 bargains, then use one of the three tactics below – one when you’re the favorite, one when you’re the underdog, and one between the two when you’re not sure how you stack up against the opposition in one of the best football games on PC. We’ll outline the general tactic and its philosophy, but make sure you copy the instructions and player roles from the images for the specifics.
Best favorite tactic – 4-3-3 Tiki Taka
This tactic is best employed in matches you’re expecting to win, or in leagues where you’re safely one of the better squads there. You’ll struggle a tad employing this if you’re a relegation favorite, but when the odds are already in your favor, you can expect to put three or more goals past your opposition in most matches.
This positive mentality 4-3-3 uses two inverted full backs to slot in as center backs whenever you’re in possession. The libero, with a support duty, will then push forward to act as a midfielder, meaning the 4-3-3 turns into a 3-4-3 very quickly. That’s the main crux of the tactic, though you’ll want to ensure you have an advanced playmaker to create opportunities for your wingers and striker.
A few player roles here are interchangeable; the box-to-box midfielder can easily be a mezzala or carrilero depending on player preference, the striker can be a pressing forward or advanced forward, and both wingers are the same – play to the individual player’s strengths. You can also turn off the instruction to play for set pieces if you haven’t found corner and free kick routines that work for you, and the type of crosses you bung into the box can be adapted to the type of striker you have up top.
Credit to TomFM for the basis of this tactic.
Best underdog tactic – 3-4-3 Wing Play
It may seem counterintuitive to play a formation as attacking as a 3-4-3 when you’re expected to lose a match, but with the methodology of simply outscoring your opponent, it works in theory. This tactic is a little more out there, however, and relies upon attackers with strong finishing, and wing backs that can reliably cross the ball into the box.
You’ve only got three defensive roles here – the LCB and RCB as ball-playing defenders, plus your sweeper keeper. Aside from the third center back as a libero and your central striker as a target forward, everyone else will play with an attacking role, as will your overall team mentality. You need wing backs with high stamina, as they are the sole players in the wide areas. Meanwhile, the double segundo volante players with an attack duty are constantly bombing forward. Make sure you have player instructions here for both players to move into channels and tackle harder. This tactic works best if everyone has high stamina.
Playing for set pieces with this tactic allows you to move the play up the pitch more consistently, because without it, you can be regularly caught on the counter. Ideally, you’ll use center backs with some pace, and don’t play the offside trap because when it fails, you’re already extremely thin at the back.
Not many of these player roles can be switched out, aside from potentially one of the segundo volantes and the two advanced forwards. You can try a ball-winning midfielder or one of the two playmaker options for the former if you have a player better suited to those, or any role up top that isn’t a deep-lying forward, a second target forward, or a false nine.
Best balanced tactic – 4-2-3-1 Gegenpress
Finally, we have a 4-2-3-1 Gegenpress, because generally, the 4-2-3-1 is the most reliable tactic in the game. And if you thought the last tactic was a little unorthodox – get a load of the player positions in this one. This is an asymmetric formation, and once again, it utilizes the segundo volante to get from one box to the other, providing as much of an attacking threat as they do defensive.
This is a much more secure tactic than the last one though, with a standard four-at-the-back setup. You’ll want center backs with decent vision and passing to make the two ball-playing defender roles work. If you only have one center back capable of this, make the other one a standard central defender. Again, you can be flexible with the winger roles; play to the strengths of the players you have in those roles.
One role that is vital for this to work is the regista, because they act as an aggressive playmaker. Again, decent passing and vision is crucial. Up top, you can stick your striker in whichever role you fancy – advanced forward, pressing forward, and poacher all do the job.
You can tweak the instructions for this tactic to some degree too. Experiment with a higher defensive line, try playing out from the back, and adjust the types of crosses to find what works best for you. Make sure you tell your central midfielders to look for shorter passes too, and tell your wingers to roam from their positions so they have the freedom to find pockets of space. Additionally, if your striker has the finishing for it, tell them to shoot more often as they should be your main goal-scoring outlet.
Credit to MurphFM for the basis for this tactic.
These are the three best FM24 tactics we’ve used in our time with the game – make sure you also stick to our advice on how to prevent injuries in Football Manager 2024 and you’ll be golden. Don’t forget to check out our list of the best PC games this year if you’re looking for excellent games like this one. For those of you who are strategy-minded, we also have a best strategy games list if you want to take a short international break from FM24.