Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is out this week, but we at Gamereactor have had quite a while to play the game and see what it has to offer (you can check out our thoughts in our review). Attacking is half the battle in these kinds of games, and so we have compiled a list of 10 helpful tips to get you on your way in PES 2018, which you can check out below.
1) Pass and Run
One of the best features for attacking in PES 2018 is the Pass and Run, as when you pass while holding L1/LB, the player you just passed with makes a run forward, allowing for one-twos that can cut defences open. This is a good way to make sure multiple players get forward for an attack as well, especially if you string them together.
2) Use through balls regularly
It's all well and good trying to pass the ball into the net or shoot from range, but considering how effective through balls can be in PES, either lofted or on the ground, it's worth using them, especially with the Pass and Run too. This means keeping an eye out for who's running and where, to make the most of a situation, and be aware that it may be the wingers who are making the best runs, not the striker.
3) Use your wingers
Of course not all teams have an attacking style that suits wingers, but if you have a team like Liverpool do, with the speed of Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah on the wings, it's worth running down the sides of the pitch with them and crossing it in. It's easy to run round players with the pace of wingers like these, and you can even run it to the edge of the pitch and play it back too.
4) Try not to shoot from range too much
We all love a glory goal, but in all honesty long shots don't really come off all that often in PES. Sure, long shots are hit hard and fast, but they're usually high or wide, so it's worth tactically assessing your other options to get a bit closer to the goal. It's always worth making sure you have a clear sight of goal if you're going for it as well, if you're going to try and have a pop.
5) Finesse shots need care
If you play the training games on PES, you're taught that by holding R2/RT and shooting you can sacrifice power for accuracy, and while this sounds well and good, if you don't do it right it produces a weak shot that's easily saved, so it's worth going for just a normal shot when you get close to goal a lot of the time. Making sure you put enough power on these finesse shots is also important, so you don't produce a disappointingly slow attempt.
6) Don't be afraid to use skills
Skill moves can sometimes be an annoyance in football games, especially when they're being used against you, but don't underestimate their effectiveness. Fake shots are the simplest, and can often wrong foot defenders and give you a bit of space for a cross or a shot or something, but as you get more comfortable stepovers and even rainbow flicks can be used to get round players - just remember not to get cocky.
7) Head the ball down sometimes
When you get a cross into the box it can be tempting to just use your head to have a shot, which is totally valid, but there's another way to use your head to great effect. When the ball comes in, consider what players are around you, and if there's a player clear (especially in front of the player who's heading the ball) think about knocking it down to his feet, as he'll more likely have more accuracy and a better chance than you will with your head.
8) Consider who you're playing as
Not all teams will suit all styles, nor will all players suit all situations, so make sure you're aware of who you're in control of and who would be better to pass to. If for example you're running with the ball with a defender, it's not worth running all the way to the goal and having a shot, so finding better options is always key. That doesn't mean always going for the star man up front, but maybe it just means releasing the ball or holding it up until he arrives.
9) Use your game plan
Game plan is a godsend for tactics in PES, as it allows you to make subs, tweak positions, and deploy strategies in-game. Here you can tailor what kind of attacking style you're going for (we prefer counter-attack), as well as what kind of support you will get in attack as well, so it's worth examining all your options here as well as who should be played where on the pitch.
10) Practice in the training games
And lastly, here's a pretty obvious one, which is to practice attacking in the training games. This especially applies to corner and free kicks, which have changed this year, and getting gold in each of these mini-games will make sure you know what you're doing when push comes to shove in matches. The activity that sees you trying to score in a variety of situations is particularly useful in helping players adapt.
So there were our top tips for attacking in PES 2018. Did we miss anything? Let us know if that's the case.