Penalties. A word that sends shivers up the spine of every football fan and player alike.
For anyone who didn't watch last year's Colombia 3-4 England World Cup penalty shoot out through their fingers - I salute you.
The pressure can often be read off of the kick takers face as a miss will change the dynamic of the game in an instant, haunting them for weeks to come.
In this piece, we're going to deliver a short tutorial and some vital tips on how to score your penalties in FIFA 20, as the team at EA have strived to make them more problematic than ever this year.
Here's how to guarantee some accuracy and find a way around the overly-sensitive aiming feature.
Taking a penalty
EASY DOES IT: Two bars of power is more than enough to get the ball past the goalkeeper - so don't overload your shot and lose control
When you first take a penalty, the direction indicator will be visible, so if you're playing locally then your mate can also see where you're aiming.
Turn it off by pressing 'Up' on the D-pad, but we recommend practising with it on (until you get the muscle memory). The controller will also vibrate if you are aiming at the post.
- When approaching the penalty, aim the indicator with LS and try your best to hold it as still as possible.
- Hold down the shoot button (O/B) to get the right amount of shot. power
We recommend just under three bars for a powerful shot and two bars for a placed finish.
- Keep holding the indicator in place with LS - if you move it, the shaded circle around the indicator will get larger, meaning your shot could head in a wider range of directions around it, increasing your chances of missing.
- Activate the Timed Finishing mechanic by tapping the shoot button (Circle/ B) just before the taker strikes the ball.
TIMING BEATS SPEED: A perfectly timed finish will see the reticule flash green
If successful, this will reduce the amount of error, and if mis-timed it will dramatically increase the amount of error applied to the shot.
Saving a penalty
Use your opponent's power meter to inform your goalkeeper's dive
One of the oldest and most prevalent theories in the FIFA community is that you can read the penalty kick taker’s head positioning to anticipate the direction of the shot.
Although not gospel, there are countless YouTube videos supporting this theory, and some are rather convincing.
However, if you struggle to see where the taker is looking there are some other things to look out for...
- You will need to be watching the penalty taker’s power meter, as this will determine how high or low in the goal you should dive
- Use LS to change your goalkeeper's starting position, and flick RS in a direction of your choice to commit to the dive
- For penalties where the taker uses half of the power meter or less, consider diving in the lower half of the goal, or risk a slightly weakened shot floating in under your airborne goalkeeper
Tips to score against a good opponent every time
When playing online against a good player, you will notice that they seem to guess where you are going to a certain extent.
Whether they are watching the kick taker's head to inform their save, or watching someone in the crowd's movement as the kick taker approaches the ball to feed their suspicions, you will want to be able to get a leg up on your opponent.
- When you start loading the shot power and are aiming the indicator at a part of the goal - never finish towards the same side of the goal!
- Flick LS to the opposite side of the goal as you approach the ball (this is quite technical, but gets the results after a bit of practice)
- Use LS with caution, as any sort of sudden movement will send your shot flying wide