6 tips to help you top the Pro Evolution Soccer leagues

 

1. Avoid that sprint button

Yes, you'll need to sprint sometimes. No, you don't need to sprint all of the time. In fact, having your players chug along as quickly as they can is often detrimental to your chances of victory. You're far less able to turn and react to opponents when sprinting, making the loss of the ball in populated areas all but inevitable against a team of reasonable ability.

Instead, get used to sprinting into space and slowing down again when you're in traffic. This way you'll not only have better control over your passing and have better luck avoiding tackles, you'll also give more of your teammates a better chance to catch up to you and get involved in the play. Plus, sprinting all of the time tires your players out... not good if you're trying to hang on to a narrow lead at the end of the game.

 

2. Master your ball skills

Skill moves are not always easy to execute. Similarly, it's not always easy to memorise which input results in which trick. Resultantly, it pays to dedicate some time to perfecting the relevant timing and analogue stick movements applied to each trick. Having a repertoire of abilities can help in difficult situations, although it must be pointed out that it's not possible to rely wholly on tricks to achieve victory.

When learning tricks it's best to tackle them in small bunches of three or four. Once you've memorised those few, you can move on and learn some more. Trying to learn all of them in one swoop is not impossible.

3. Mix up your shooting

PES 2015 allowed you to abuse its finesse shooting option, the goalkeeper seemingly incapable of saving the most timid shot of this kind. While still a great option, the finesse shot is less dependable this season and, as such, you must get used to mixing up your shooting options.

One of the more difficult situations to consistently dominate is the one-on-one: your striker versus their keeper. The finesse shot works well here depending on your shooting angle and how close you are to the keeper, but you might be better off faking a move one way before slotting the ball comfortably into the opposite corner.

Experiment with the different strikers on your team in order to understand how best to use their skills in a range of situations. Understanding their strengths when shooting certainly helps when the pressure is on to put the ball into the net.

4. Know thy player, know thyself

 

If you want to get the absolute most from your team then you're going to have to take some time to understand each individual's 'player role'. These roles relate to certain physical or mental attributes, with the majority of these going some way to influence both the player in question and his teammates.

 

Giorgio Chiellini, for instance, comes bundled with the 'grand master' role. This provides the Italian defender with boosted experience for training sessions and, if you make him captain during competitive fixtures, increased experience for teammates after completed games. Making sure you understand the quirks of each player role is essential to getting the most out of each squad member.

 

5. Use all three formations

 

When setting up your game plan you have the option of building up three formations for the game. You needn't take any notice of this, but giving it some attention can pay dividends down the line. Having a different formation for attacking and defending is the minimum you should be putting into effect. It's startling to notice just how much this alters the way you play the game, with players taking up wildly different positions within the same match - should you ask them to.

The real trick, of course, is knowing when to switch between formations. It's all very defining a rock solid three-man defence, coupled with a front seven when you're in attacking, but if you can't recognise the optimum moment to change formation than your hard work is wasted. Learn the game, learn when to change formation.

 

6. Stick to one team through your early career

It's tempting to test out all of your favourites teams and players right away, but doing so isn't the best way to most efficiently improve your skills. Pick a team and stick with it for at least a few days. Ideally, you only want to use one team until you're comfortable that you understand how the game works and where your own strengths and weaknesses reside. Using one team will help you understand and define the game's structure in a way that doesn't rely on constantly chasing the excitement of using players you've not played with before.

Showing loyalty to a specific team helps to understand how certain tactical and formation changes affects a team and is a much more effective means of coming up with new ways to win without relying on new or better players.