The Tactics Settings page
As a manager, you'll be tasked with choosing the best tactics for your team, from choosing the squad, setting the formation, and figuring out the best tactical style for your squad of players.
A formation refers to the shape that your team – your defence, midfield, and attack – sets up in. Choosing from over 20 formations, you are able to change your team's formation from game to game, and even during matches.
Selecting a suitable formation will depend upon your tactical preferences, your opposition, and the kind of players you have at your disposal.
For example, a manager with a more attacking mindset may opt for a 4-3-3 (three attackers), while a more cautious manager may go for a 5-4-1 (five defenders).
All predefined formations include at least three defenders, at least two midfielders, and at least one attacker - as well as a mandatory goalkeeper. In the future, there will be scope to create your own formations.
Different formations motivate different styles of play, and the possibility to use alternative formations encourages you to experiment using novel combinations of players and resting tired players.
When setting your tactics, a key part is choosing where to position your players. Given your players' skillsets it's important to ensure they're playing in roles that align with their strengths.
We use colours to distinguish when players are positioned well or when they could be more suited to a different position. These colours reflect how much worse their performance will be than if they were in their best position. These ratings are in terms of Elo ratings - an explanation of Elo ratings is in the condition section.
You can instruct your squad to focus on a particular playing style: ultra defensive, defensive, balanced, attacking, and ultra attacking.
Defensive playing styles conserve energy and reduce the chances of conceding, but they also reduce your chances of scoring.
Attacking playing styles have a greater negative impact on condition and increase your chances of scoring, but they also increase your chances of conceding.
Every team requires a captain, someone whose energy inspires and helps raise the team to their optimal performance.
In Footium, a captain with strong leadership qualities is able to increase the team's morale, which will have a positive impact on performance.
You are able to select a different captain every game, which is useful if you want to give your first-choice captain a rest.
In addition to picking your starting eleven, you will also be able to select up to seven substitutes for your bench.
You are able to make up to three substitutions per match. These substitutions can be made at any point during the match, and can be made on separate occasions or all at once.
Broadly speaking, there are three main reasons to make a substitution:
- Condition: The more minutes a player plays, the more fatigued they will become. Bringing on a pair of fresh legs can energise your team, while giving the substituted player a chance to recover. In the current version of the beta there are no injuries, but these will be added in the full release. Having lower condition increases the chance of injuries.
- Tactical: If you want to change your formation, you can bring on a player that better suits your new formation. This is particularly useful when chasing a game or when protecting a lead (also useful for when you need to hook your striker off the pitch because they keep missing sitters!)
- Experience: Giving players game time helps them improve faster. If you have a comfortable lead with time running out, you may want to give some of your youngsters or fringe players a run-out.
In addition to selecting your team's overall playing style, you will be able to have even greater control over your team's tactics by toggling six advanced defensive and attacking tactical options on a scale of 1 to 10: Depth, Compactness, Pressing, Width, Fluidity, and Directness. Even more advanced tactics will be added post-launch, to increase a manager's scope to customise their tactics. Will you be the godfather of gegenpressing, play hoof ball or deploy a classic counter-attacking style?
- Depth: Depth refers to how far back you want your defensive line to be. A deeper defensive line is harder to penetrate but does allow for more of the ball to be played in your half. A higher defensive line can be risky as it leaves you more vulnerable to attacking runs.
- Compactness: A more compact defense means there are fewer gaps to penetrate, but does leave the backline more exposed on the wings. A less compact defense covers more of the field but is at risk of leaving gaps.
- Pressing: Pressing is when pressure is applied to the attacking player in possession. Although this increases the chance of a turnover, it does have a greater impact on your players' condition. Furthermore, if the attacking team does beat a high press, your defence may be left exposed.
- Width: Width refers to how wide you want your players to play. Greater width is good for teams with an attacking emphasis on wing play and crossing.
- Fluidity: Greater fluidity means your team will move around more outside of their defined positions. This is useful for creating complex attacking moves but can also leave your team exposed in certain areas as they vacate space.
- Directness: Directness refers to the build-up (or lack thereof) in your attacking play. Greater directness will mean more balls over the top directly to your attacking players and is more suited to target man forwards. On 1 directness your team will play tiki-taka football up the pitch.