For each match you can order your team to use a certain tactic. Each tactic has its advantages, but also disadvantages – so choose carefully.
There are six tactic types (and normal) available. If you don't specify a tactic you will play "normal".
How well you master a tactic depends on the tactical skill for that particular tactic. This skill is calculated from different players' skills together with an experience bonus for each involved player.
How effective your tactics are also depends on how good the players on the pitch are. The better the players on the pitch, the better tactical rating you need to achieve the same efficiency. In practice this means you need better tactical levels in higher divisions than what you need in lower divisions.
Pressing means that your players put pressure on your opponent and focus more on breaking your opponent's attacks than creating their own. Pressing could be a good option when you feel inferior and want to keep the score down.
Advantage: You can reduce the number of potential chances (for both teams) in a match.
Disadvantage: It will drain the stamina of your players faster than normal.
Relevant Skills: The total defending skill and the total stamina of all your outfield players determine your Pressing tactical skill. If a player has the "Powerful" speciality, his defence skill counts as double. The more tired your players get, the less able they are to put pressure on their opponents.
Whenever a potential chance is foiled by a team using the pressing tactic, it is reported in the match report. You will never find out which team could have benefited from the chance. If both teams play pressing the effect is, on average, doubled.
Counter-attacks mean you deliberately let your opponent control the ball, and as soon as they fail with an attack you try to make a fast counter-attack.
Playing counter-attacks could be a good option if you have a very good defence and attack (but a bad midfield), and especially in combination with your opponent having an ineffective attack.
Advantage: You can gain additional attacks (you get the chance to counter-attack when your defence has managed to stop an opponent's attack).
Disadvantage: You lose 7% of your midfield capacity.
Relevant Skills: The total sum of your defenders' passing and defending skills determine your CA tactical skill. Passing is twice as important as defending.
Only the team that is not dominating the midfield at the time of a failed attack is able to make use of the advantage of this tactic (and note that you have to be losing midfield before the 7% tactical penalty is applied). If you're dominating the midfield, then you will just suffer the disadvantage.
All counter-attacks are reported in match report.
Attack in the middle
Attacking in the middle (AIM) means your team focuses on attacking down the centre of the pitch, at the expense of attacks on the wings. In other words, you trade wing attacks for attacks in the middle.
Advantage: Around 15-30% of your wing attacks will be converted to attacks in the middle.
Disadvantage: Your wing defence (on both sides) gets somewhat worse.
Relevant Skills: The total passing skill of all your outfield players determines your AIM tactical skill.
Whenever an attack is switched from the wings to the middle, it is shown in the match report.
Attack on wings
Attack on wings (AOW) works in the same way as "Attack in the middle", only in reverse; meaning you trade middle attacks for attacks on the wings. As there normally are less attacks in the middle than on the wings, you convert percentage-wise slightly more of them.
Advantage: Around 20-40% of your middle attacks will be converted to wing attacks.
Disadvantage: Your central defence gets somewhat worse.
Relevant Skills: The total passing skill of all your outfield players determines your AOW tactical skill.
Whenever an attack is switched from the middle to the wings, it is shown in the match report.
Play creatively (PC) means players try to make more use of their specialities, and other attributes.
Advantage: You increase the chance for special events (both positive and negative, including weather events) occurring during the match - for both teams.
Disadvantage: Your team defence gets somewhat worse.
PC does not require any specific skills, nor receive a tactical skill level. To make good use of it, a SE-optimised team (i.e. one with many players with specialities) is recommended.
When playing long shots (LS) your players are instructed to rather go for a long shot than playing the whole attacking sequence through. In other words, you trade attacks through the middle and on the wing for long shots. A long shot then pits the shooter against the goalkeeper. This can be useful if you have a hard time scoring using your middle/wing attacks, and have decent shooters.
Advantage: The long shots tactic converts up to around 30% of side and middle attacks.
Disadvantage: Your wing and middle attack, as well as your midfield, get a little bit worse.
Relevant skills: Your outfielders' scoring and set pieces skills determine the LS tactical skill. Scoring is three times more important than set pieces.
When an attack has been converted to a long shot, any defending team using the pressing tactic has a chance to steer off the shooting opportunity. If the shot is not steered off, an outfielder (inners and wingers are twice as likely) takes the shot. The quality of the shot depends on the appointed shooter's scoring and set pieces skills, and then the goalkeeper can attempt to save the shot using his goalkeeping and set pieces skills. For both shooter and keeper: A bit of both skills is needed, and it's better to have some of both skills than much of one.
All long shots are reported in the match report, including any missed or saved opportunities.