Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 is the first big football game of the new season to be released. This year, Konami have introduced a whole bunch of new features to the series, resulting in a brilliantly authentic take on the beautiful game. We've been hands-on with the full version, and have come up with some of the best PES 2019 tips to help you achieve success over the 90 minutes.
Whether you’re a returning PES veteran, a recent convert or you’re new to football games entirely, these hints and tricks will help to improve your chances of victory when the game releases on August 30. We’ll see you on the pitch!
1. Lay off the sprint button
It’s tempting to keep your finger firmly on the sprint button when starting an attack. But space is rarely afforded in PES 2019, and this typically leads to an easy interception. Instead, focus on using short passes and clever dribbling to open up avenues in the midfield, and only resort to pace when bursting down the wings and in the clear. Sprinting also tires your players more than ever, so keep an eye on that stamina gauge.
2. Stay patient in defence
The most important aspect of defending in PES 2019 is to mark opposition attackers. It’s tempting to charge at the player with the ball, but this opens up gaps in your defence, giving the other team a clear path to goal. Patience is the key to mastering this area of the game, and if you’re hoping to increase the AI’s difficulty or take on the world’s best in online competition, this is the most crucial element to focus your efforts on.
3. Take advantage of quick subs
Brand-new to PES 2019 is the ability to make quick substitutions on the fly. This can be activated whenever the ball goes out of play, and requires just a few button presses to swap two members of your team. The game’s new stamina system makes this a necessity, as players’ abilities can decrease drastically as they grow tired, and sometimes this even leads to injury. Utilise those fresh legs for a late burst of pace and skill.
4. Use the slide tackle sparingly
In PES 2019, like with many football games, the slide tackle is generally a last resort. Instead, it’s best to focus on retaining your position and going for the quick interception, activated with a tap of the pass button. Additional defensive controls include the ability to jockey (R2/RT) and apply pressure (hold X/A), but use the latter sparingly. On rare occasions, the slide tackle can be used to surprise your opponent when they’re bursting towards goal.
5. Utilise new shooting mechanics
As part of the new Magic Moments feature in PES 2019, the game includes an array of new shooting mechanics and animations. Your chances of scoring are dependent on a mass of contextual factors, including distance, ball movement and player ability. Long-range shots (including new dipping and rising shots) can prove deadly in the right circumstances, while controlled shooting (R2/RT) is best reserved for chances in and around the 18-yard box.
6. Adjust your Attack/Defence Level
With an upwards or downwards tap of the d-pad, you can adjust the Attack/Defence Level of your team. It’s naturally set to a standard level by default, and for the most part this is what you’ll want to stick with from game-to-game. But, if you’re facing heavy pressure or chasing a last-minute winner, you can tinker with it at will. Keep in mind that the highest level will leave you exposed at the back, and should only be used as a desperate measure.
7. Pick in-form players for your squad
If you’re new to the series, you need to be aware of the form system in PES 2019. You can see whether a player is in form by browsing the Game Plan screen and pressing the R2/RT button ahead of a match. If the arrow is pointing upwards, that player will be at his best, and vice-versa if it’s pointing downwards. This system has a significant effect on how players perform in PES 2019, so pick wisely, and don’t base your starting XI on ratings alone.
8. Use the full width of the pitch
As we’ve already mentioned, creating space is one of the most important aspects of attacking in PES 2019. While dribbling and short passes can aid this, it’s also a good idea to utilise width by passing from side-to-side and around the defence when necessary. Switching the play forces the opposition to reset as you carve open more room, and even though passing backwards and sideways can feel counter-intuitive, it ultimately helps to craft new attacks.
9. Adapt to the weather conditions
It’s important to recognise the different types of weather in PES 2019 and how they affect the matchday experience. Snow is one of the new additions this year, and much like rain, it makes for a less graceful style of gameplay. Through balls and crosses skid off the surface at a faster pace, and players are regularly prone to slipping, which can either act as a benefit or a hindrance depending on the circumstances.
10. Set Advanced Instructions
The Advanced Instructions menu allows you to dramatically change the way your team plays, with the ability to assign up to four team instructions. You can set tactics such as attacking wing-backs and deep defensive lines, enabling you to adapt to your squad’s needs on the fly. Bear in mind that teams often come pre-set with Advanced Tactics, so if your players aren’t acting as you think they should, this is probably the reason why.