FIFA 21 best formations: 4 systems you need to try

Connor Bennett

There are plenty of formation options in FIFA 21, but what’s going to work best all year? Well, we’ve got four formations that you should try out. 

When it comes to setting yourself up for a successful year in Ultimate Team, there are a few key decisions you’ve got to make. What league or nation is going to be key? What custom tactics are you going to use? And how will you mold the team through the year?

On top of those, you’ve also got to pick a formation. This can easily be something that works for you, something that follows the meta of everyone, or something unconventional that no one will see coming.

Well, in FIFA 21, no one has yet nailed down a formation that is going to be dominant over the next year. So, we’ve got four formations that you could experiment with moving forward.

4-2-3-1 Wide

We’ll kick things off with an old favorite – the 4-2-3-1 wide formation. It’s not quite 4-3-3, but it’s been an Ultimate Team classic forever.

It gives you the option to play with a flat back four, while also having at least one midfielder who plays as a shield. The other is typically a box-to-box player, but can also be changed to fit your tactics.

In attack, it’s always made for quick movements – especially if you’ve got a top-class attacking midfielder. With plenty of mobile attacking mids in FIFA 21, it could become the most-used formation in the game.

The 4231 wide formation in FIFA 21
4231 is a classic FIFA Ultimate Team formation.

4-4-1-1 Attack

In a similar vein, you could also choose the 4-4-1-1 formation to give yourself a bit more midfield balance. However, you’ll need to change things going forward with this compared to the 4-2-3-1 wide.

For the 4-4-1-1 to work, you essentially need a striker who is rapid and a CAM who can break through the lines while also having top-notch passing stats. It’s definitely a serviceable choice for certain leagues, but don’t expect to see everyone using it.

The 4411 attack formation in fifa 21
You’ll need a fast striker to make 4411 work to its full potential.

4-5-1 Attack

Now, if you really want to win the midfield battle, then why not pack it with five midfielders. That’s right, we’re talking about 4-5-1 attack.

In this formation, you’ll need a striker who can be the focal point, a central midfielder who is mobile enough to help in both attack and defense, as well as quick wingers who aren’t averse to working a bit like attacking wing-backs.

In the early days of Ultimate Team, when some of the best cards are extinct, you might have some trouble getting the 4-5-1 attack working to its potential but its definitely worth a try at some point.

The 451 formation in FIFA 21
451 will pack the midfield in FIFA, but you will need mobile players.

5-2-3 base

Last, if you don’t care about winning the midfield battle but still want an attacking outlet while defending, the 5-2-3 might be for you.

The formation looks unconventional but it’s got plenty of width and you can make the midfield work if you get two holding players who both have pace. It’s also an option if you want to shut up shop in the last ten minutes of a game, its worth experimenting with.

The 523 formation in FIFA 21
Five at the back is a great way to kill games off.

At the end of the day, you set your team up in a way that works best for you, but if you want to break out and try something else, you can do much worse than these four formations.

If you give them a try and get some success, be sure to let us know how you get on, or just tweet us your favorite formation over at @UltimateTeamUK.

About The Author

Based out of Liverpool, Connor is Dexerto's UK News Editor having joined the website in 2018 with a degree in International Journalism. You can find him covering everything from CoD, GTA, FIFA, Apex Legends, and influencer boxing. Need to get in touch? Email Connor at