FIFA 12 tips – skills masterclass

FIFA 12 tips skills masterclass

Continuing our FIFA tips week here at, today we’re giving you the 411 on the skills system. FIFA’s plethora of skill dribbles, passes and finesse finishes have been one of the biggest factors that set it apart from the PES series as of late, and mastering the library of moves has a use far beyond humiliating the long-suffering goalie in the menu arena. The right trick at the right time can buy you the extra space to get off a shot and change the score line, so follow our guide and heel chop your way to footy domination.

1. Know your skills

You only have to browse the endless controls list to get an idea of how many skill moves there are in FIFA 12, but don’t be put off. A handful of well-practiced and effective moves is all you really need.

Spend some time in the area drilling out a move until you can do it every time, and at different angles. The more you repeat a move, the easier it becomes because your brain’s getting more accustomed to your hand’s muscle movements – soon, you’ll be able to pull off a rabona fake without even thinking about it.

Notice the direction each move takes you – it’s important in a game. Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t get to where he is today by simply smearing wet-look gel all over his head and pouting – he put in hours of practice, and so should you.

2. Pick your favourites

Pulling off a double around-the-world looks impressive, but in a match it’s useless. Avoid kick-up tricks and concentrate on dribbles that’ll fake out a defender or make a sudden change of direction.

The heel flick (RS flick up, down) and elastico (RS roll right, down, left) are great bread and butter moves that’ll buy you a bit of space and leave defenders red-faced. The heel flick sends you forward at a slight diagonal, whereas the elastico allows you to carry on straight.

Another move sure to catch out opponents with its rapid change of pace and direction is the rabona fake (square or circle then X and LS down). Use this while sprinting down  the flanks if you want to cut into the box or make room to bung a cross in.

3. Exploit the situation

This is where all your practice pays off. If you know which moves send you to the right and left, which flick the ball up and which stop you dead, you can choose the best move for your player and his position in a match. Where do you want to end up? Where do you want the defender to be?

Here’s a shining example – the Bergkamp flick. Dead easy to pull off (when you’re facing away from a defender and about to receive a pass, nudge RS in the opposite direction you’re facing), but the resultant flick up in the air and spin past your marker always creates a good chance. You just have to know it’s there.

With two men on you, the scoop (RS diagonally down in either direction twice) is an effective one to have in your repertoire. You’ll need to be standing still when you perform it, but it gets defenders every time.


4. Flair passing

This one’s easier than a wag in a Weatherspoon’s. Hold down R1 and pass, and you’ll perform a flair pass. The exact animation depends on the player’s skill and the direction of the pass; we’ve seen three or four variations.

Even though they’re easy, flair passes are a great way to keep your passing game unpredictable, particularly against human opposition, as they make it trickier to predict where each pass is heading.

They can also be used as finishing moves if you’re in and around the 6 yard box if you want to rub salt in your opponents wound – and who doesn’t?

5. Flair finishes

For more powerful skill finishes, hold R1 and shoot (as you would a placed shot) when your striker’s about to take the ball on the volley or head it.

Often they’ll go for a bicycle kick, which isn’t immensely useful to be honest, but it’s there if you want it.  If you’re close to the goal line and receiving a ground pass R1+shoot will result in a back heel across the line.

The rarest finish is the scorpion kick. It’s far from an exact science, but your best bet for pulling one of these off is to send in an early cross (L1+cross) that a striker has to run onto.If he goes for the header but is slightly ahead of the ball, he’ll pull off the flamboyant scorpion kick finish – no need for R1 this time.

6. Ball juggling

We told you, it’s useless. Why even bother? Okay, fine. Ball juggling is a lot of fun in the arena, and there are one or two new moves this year.

Hold L2 and tap R1 to start kick-ups. Holding down R1 with L2 will pull off a laces flick, but be warned- this one’s tricky to get the timing just right.

For a sombrero flick, tap LS in the direction you want to flick the ball. To go around the world, rotate the RS clockwise, starting from down. Tap RS up at the end to switch between legs. Hold L3 while you do this to hop the world.

To do the double around the world, rotate RS clockwise twice, and make it quick. Flicking RS left to right or the opposite will perform the impressive in-air elastico.

So there you have it. We defy you to use these in a multiplayer game without losing possession, but we’re sure you’ll have fun trying.

Read our 9/10 review of FIFA 12 to find out what all the fuss is about.

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