The famous football simulation franchise from Konami has undergone a major overhaul – PES is now eFootball, a free-to-play game developed on a new engine, with a new set of mechanics.

One of the biggest game mechanic changes is the football 2022 defense system. Even the best PES players now have a learning curve ahead and the playing field is level once again. The old teammate pressure and holding X or A (PlayStation or Xbox) until your player takes the ball are things of the past.

Defending in eFootball 2022 is much more subtle and requires more thought than in pretty much all previous editions of the game.

Read on and learn how to defend in eFootball 2022.

How to Enter Matchups in eFootball 22

Out of possession in eFootball

Unlike in PES 2021 and all previous editions, holding the X/A button doesn’t apply pressure to the opposing attacker the same way. In other words, you can’t really use this button to catch up with attackers and take the ball.

The new efootball 2022 pressing mechanism is to simply start holding X/A, which will now let your player enter a matchup, which is a one-on-one defensive situation where you mirror the opposition. Your player will stop a few feet away from his matchup without actually closing in and performing a tackle (which was the case in earlier editions). FIFA players will be familiar with this mechanic since holding X/A in FIFA does a similar thing – it puts the pressure on the opposing player without tackling.

This is a big change for long-time PES players and a complete shift in the football 2022 defending dynamics. So far, I’ve only found this technique useful in some really specific situations. For example, you can use this when the opposition player is running into your already-set defender and you want to limit his options.

It’s good for containing players facing goal since holding X/A will also make your player block the attacker’s shot attempt.

How to Tackle Players in eFootball 2022

Playing in efootball

This command is about the closest option you have to the old X/A command for tackling a player.

When you’re close to the attacker and you hold L2/LT in eFootball 22, your defender will run at the opposition player and try to put himself between the player and the ball. This is something we see in real life all the time – the defenders will often nudge an attacker with their shoulder and force them off the ball to make the tackle.

However, when you’re far away from the opposition player, holding L2/LT will make your defender chase him. Once you get to the attacker, your defender will make the tackle. This is pretty much the same mechanic we used to get with X/A.

The only difference with this new mechanic is that the tackle will be much more aggressive so spamming the L2/LT button will likely result in more fouls. In my experience, this command is best used when racing the attacker for the same ball or when the attacker tries to run past your defender by nudging the ball a little too far ahead.

How to Apply Teammate Pressure and Play Passing Lanes

Defending in efootball

Like in PES 2021, playing the passing lanes will still likely be your best way to defend. Luckily, nothing much has changed here. You can switch between your off-ball defenders with your right stick and try to intercept passes by moving these players quickly into position.

Another thing that Konami has decided to change is the Teammate Pressure command. This used to be assigned to the Square/X button and a lot of players used it to put pressure on the player with the ball while simultaneously playing the passing lanes with a second defender.

This year, it seems that doing this is impossible. There is no specific command to call for teammate pressure but, every once in a while, you’ll notice a teammate automatically coming to join you while pressing an opponent and create a 2-on-1 situation. I found it unclear why teammates do this and the results I got were inconsistent. Fortunately, this never resulted in a defensive gap so the AI obviously chooses these 2-on-1 moments carefully.

So, you can still call for teammate pressure but the only issue is that you need to be pressing the attacker at the same time with a user-controlled defender. This is another big change in the defending mechanics and something veteran players will need to get used to.

Final Word

These significant changes in defensive play will take some time to master and, although the existing user base seems frustrated, the new mechanics might be a step in the right direction. It will force players to really think about their next move and apply more techniques to contain attackers.

Since Konami has made it clear that eFootball is a work in progress in many ways, some of these mechanics and controls might still change.

However, the days of holding X/A to chase attackers around the field are definitely gone so you should learn how to defend in eFootball 22 if you want to stay competitive.