PES

PES 2021 Controls: Complete Guide (Goalkeeper, Defence & Attack) on PS4 and Xbox One

Whether you are a rookie or a seasoned pro, make sure you know all the ins and outs of the game.

Michael Wicherek by Michael Wicherek
thomas muller pes 2021 control guide

The PES 2021 Season Update is out now. The controls haven’t changed but if you are new to the game or a regular PES player, it is worth checking you know ALL the controls.

Check out our full controls guide below.

Standard Attacking Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Player movementLSLSLSLS
Cursor change (change player)L1L1LBLB
Dash (sprint)R1R2RBRT
ShootOXB
Low passXXAA
Lofted pass/crossOBX
Through ballYY
Special controlsR2R1RTRB
Manual controlsL2L2LTLT
Super cancel (cancel action)R1 + R2R1 + R2RB + RTRB + RT

This is what you should most be familiar with, and not much of it needs explaining.

The only thing that could be of use is super cancel, to be used if you change your mind from making a pass or shot.

If you really fancy yourself as a top player, you could try to use manual controls to make your passing and finishing more precise.

Standard Defensive Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Pressure (press the ball)XXAA
Standing tackleDouble tap XDouble tap XDouble tap ADouble tap A
Sliding tackleOBX
COM teammates pressure (teammates press ball)Hold ▢Hold OHold XHold B
Bring out goalkeeperYY

Winning the ball back on PES is incredibly difficult, and for first timers you must recognise the standing tackle control.

PES2021 Mat BAR FCBM 2532585f16d2e2ddc787 01029278 min 1
SOLID! Becoming a good defender will help you stay one step ahead

Tackling is still very difficult to time, so look to find a balance between pressing your opponent and using your teammates to steal the ball back.

Dribbling Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Close controlR2 + LSR1 + LSRT + LSRB + LS
Dash dribbleLS + R1LS + RTLS + RBLS + RT
Speed burstDouble tap R1 + LSDouble tap R2 + L2Double tap RB + LSDouble tap RT + LS
Knock on (when stationary)R2 + RS in any directionR1 + RS in any directionRT + RS in any directionRB + RS in any direction
Quick stopRelease LS + R1Release LS + R2Release LS + RBRelease LS + RT
Quick stop then face opposition goalRelease LS + R2Release LS + R1Release LS + RTRelease LS + RB
DiveClick L3 + Click R3 + L1 + L2Click L3 + Click R3 + L1 + L2Click LS + Click RS + LB + LTClick LS + Click RS + LB + LT

What you can do with the ball at your feet will separate the men from the boys on PES 2021.

You need to understand what kind of dribbles can be performed when sprinting, allowing you to burst past your opponent and open up the defence.

iniesta pes 2021 1
SILKY! Dribbling past your opponent will help create space for your team

 Have a practice with these in the training mode, and if you can nail the dive control, you can win yourself some vital penalties and wind up your mates.

Trap Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
FlickClick and hold R3 as you receive the ballClick and hold R3 as you receive the ballClick and hold RS as you receive the ballClick and hold RS as you receive the ball
Control and face opposition goalPush then release LS + start holding R2 before player controls ballPush then release LS + start holding R1 before player controls ballPush then release LS + start holding RT before player controls ballPush then release LS + start holding RB before player controls ball
Through feintLet go LS and before trapping the ball hold R1Let go LS and before trapping the ball hold R2Let go LS and before trapping the ball hold RBLet go LS and before trapping the ball hold RT
Trap feintLet go LS and before trapping the ball hold R1Let go LS and before trapping the ball hold R2Let go LS and before trapping the ball hold RBLet go LS and before trapping the ball hold RT

Trap controls just apply when receiving the ball.

These can be used to gain a yard or two on the defender, or to slow the game down to suck them back. Master these and the tempo of the game will be in the palm of your hand.

Advanced Movement Control

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Jockey (in defence)R2 + LSR1 + LSRT + LSRB + LS
Manual cursor change (change player)RSRSRSRS
Positioning for high ballsR2 + LSR1 + LSRT + LSRB + LS

These advanced controls are rarely used, but they can give you an extra edge.

Want to change to a specific player? Simply flick the right stick in the direction of the player you want.

Getting your positioning right for high balls is also useful and increases the odds of you winning an aerial battle.

As for jockeying in defence, with defending as hard as it is, and the inability to sprint whilst jockeying, this is a hard control to master.

Advanced Passing Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
High passRB + ORB + ▢RB + BRB + X
Chipped through ballLB + △LB + △LB + YLB + Y
Low crossDouble tap ODouble tap ▢Double tap BDouble tap X
Early crossL1 + any type of crossL1 + any type of crossLB + any type of crossLB + any type of cross
One-two passLB + X then △LB + X then △LB + A then YLB + A then Y
Dynamic one-twoLB + X then hold LB + RS in direction you want player to make runLB + X then hold LB + RS in direction you want player to make runLB + A then hold LB + RS in direction you want player to make runLB + A then hold LB + RS in direction you want player to make run
Pass and moveX or △ then R2 before player kicks ballX or △ then R1 before player kicks ballA or Y then RT before player kicks ballA or Y then RB before player kicks ball
Call for the ball (co-op match an fixed only)Double tap R2Double tap R1Double tap RTDouble tap RB
Teammate forward runL1 + RS then release RSL1 + RS then release RSLB + RS then release RSLB + RS then release RS

A great way to break down the defence on PES 2021 is with short, sharp passing. If you can throw in here a sweet final through ball, then few opponents have a chance against you.

aubameyang pes 2021
FLAIR! You can score some incredible team goals on PES 2021

The one-two moves or the pass and move should be heavily used with the opponent often struggling to track the runners.

READ MORE: All the stadiums on PES 2021

And, if you really want to cut the defence in two, get the teammate forward run going so you can play balls forward when you want.

Advanced Shooting Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Controlled shotR2 + ▢R1 + ORT + XRB + B
Chip shotLB + XLB + OLB + XLB + B

These two shooting controls will be vital when you get in and around the box.

The controlled shot is to be used when you are looking to bend the ball into the corner and opting for placement rather than power.

As for the chip shot, it can be difficult to know when to use, with goalkeepers on PES reluctant to rush out from goal.

If you do come within inches of the goalkeeper, use the chip shot and see the ball dink over him as the ‘keeper drops to the ground.

Set Piece Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Select set piece takerSelectSelectView buttonView button
Pass/shot directionLS ←/→LS ←/→LS ←/→LS ←/→
Adjust trajectory (whilst shooting or crossing)LS ↑/↓/←/→LS ↑/↓/←/→LS ↑/↓/←/→LS ↑/↓ /←/→
Position second free kick takerL1 + D-pad ↑L1 + D-pad ↑LB + D-pad ↑LB + D-pad ↑
Line up both takersL1 + D-pad ↓L1 + D-pad ↓LB + D-pad ↓LB + D-pad ↓
Pass/shoot with second takerHold L2Hold L2Hold LTHold LT
Trick free kickO then X▢ then XB then AX then A
Short knock-onL1 + XL1 + XLB + ALB + A
Fix pass/shot direction and trajectory (offline only)R1R2RBRT
Dash/ touchline strategyD-pad ↑D-pad ↑D-pad ↑D-pad ↑
Far target/6-yard box/ runner from deep strategyD-pad ↓D-pad ↓D-pad ↓D-pad ↓
Dash and hold/ two options strategyD-pad ←D-pad ←D-pad ←D-pad ←
Target man strategyD-pad →D-pad →D-pad →D-pad →
Switch camera angleClick R3Click R3Click RSClick RS
Wall jump (when defending)OXB
Prevent wall jump (when defending)Keep holding AKeep holding AKeep holding AKeep holding A
Charge down (when defending)O as opponent strikes ball▢ as opponent strikes ballB as opponent strikes ballX as opponent strikes ball
Goalkeeper near positioning (when defending)Keep holding △ until opponent takes kickKeep holding △ until opponent takes kickKeep holding Y until opponent takes kickKeep holding Y until opponent takes kick
Mixed strategy (when defending)D-pad ← then ↑D-pad ← then ↑D-pad ← then ↑D-pad ← then ↑
Man-to-man strategyD-pad ← then ←D-pad ← then ←D-pad ← then ←D-pad ← then ←
Zonal strategyD-pad ← then →D-pad ← then →D-pad ← then →D-pad ← then →

Set-pieces are difficult to master on PES 2021, so make sure you take the time in training to at least give yourself a chance of finding the net.

pes 2021 lukaku spain belgium
AERIAL THREAT! Dominating aerial duels will really benefit your side

There are plenty of options you can tinker with, so it is important to find what works, and at what range, for you.

READ MORE: Every single club in PES 2021

When playing against the COM, fouls are at a premium, but when playing your mates the challenges may fly around; make sure you are prepared.

Penalty Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
ShootOXB
Chipped penaltyL1 + ▢L1 + OLB + XLB + B
Display aiming guideR1R2RBRT

With penalties, it’s all about making sure you use the aiming guide.

Once you have a feel for this, you can go without it, as you won’t want to telegraph your spot-kick to an offline opponent.

READ MORE: PES 2021 SEASON UPDATE – Full Breakdown

The chipped penalty, or Panenka, can be used if you want the goalkeeper to look silly, but miss and you’ll be the one with egg on your face.

GK Controls (on the ball)

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Put ball down/ pick up ballRelease LS then R1Release LS then R2Release LS then RBRelease LS then RT
ThrowXXAA
Throw into spaceYY
Drop kickOBX
High punt kickR1 + OR2 + ▢RB + BRT + X
Pass feintAny pass command then XAny pass command then XAny pass command then AAny pass command then A

All fairly standard, but if you have a striker who is great in the air, it may be worth utilising the high punt kick to give the forward more time to get under the ball.

If you are about to throw the ball straight to an opponent, save your blushes with the pass feint control.

Strategy Controls

ActionStandard PS4Alternate PS4Standard Xbox OneAlternate Xbox One
Switch preset tacticsHold D-pad ↑ or ↓Hold D-pad ↑ or ↓Hold D-pad ↑ or ↓Hold D-pad ↑ or ↓
Switch Attack1 strategy on/offL2 + D-pad ↑L2 + D-pad ↑LT + D-pad ↑LT + D-pad ↑
Switch Attack2 strategy on/offL2 + D-pad ↓L2 + D-pad ↓LT + D-pad ↓LT + D-pad ↓
Switch Defence1 strategy on/offL2 + D-pad ←L2 + D-pad ←LT + D-pad ←LT + D-pad ←
Switch Defence1 strategy on/offL2 + D-pad →L2 + D-pad →LT + D-pad →LT + D-pad →
Increase attack/defence levelDouble tap D-pad ↑Double tap D-pad ↑Double tap D-pad ↑Double tap D-pad ↑
Decrease attack/defence levelDouble tap D-pad ↓Double tap D-pad ↓Double tap D-pad ↓Double tap D-pad ↓
Quick substitution (when ball out of play)Select buttonSelect buttonView buttonView button

For top end PES players, knowing how and when to use strategies can put you in the ascendancy.

In attack, these can be attacking full backs or tiki-taka, whereas in defence you have the gegenpress and tight marking. Find the tactics that work for your side, and in your formation.

READ MORE: PES 2021 Licences

Michael Wicherek

First console: PlayStation 2 / Favourite Game: Modern Warfare 2 / Currently Playing: FIFA 20

a