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Having trouble mastering FIFA 2004 or just want to imporove your skills? You have come to the right place. The following is a collection of Tips and Tricks which will have you dominating the computer and your friends in every aspect of FIFA 2004. These Tips and Tricks apply to both the PC and console versions of FIFA 2004. The guide is pretty easy to follow, online degrees needed to get through it.

If you have a tip or a trick you would like to see added write to us via email. I've had emails from obsessed gamers all over the world, from a guy who took out a small business loan to write a new game, to people who must play on vacation so I have heard it all through email.

For the ultimate collection of FIFA 2004 tips and Tricks get yourself a copy of the FIFA 2004 Virtual Playbook by VG Sports.

Attacking

Possession
Just like in real football, the name of the game in FIFA 2004 is POSSESSION, POSSESSION, POSSESSION! Make your way up the field with a number of small, precise passes. Long balls can be effective in break-away situations, however for a more structured and full proof game, keep the ball in your possession for as long as you can with small passing between players.

The AI defense in FIFA 2004 is a lot smarter than in previous FIFA's. If you find yourself cornered between defenders when trying to find a team-mate to pass to, use the Player Run Button to move one of your team-mates into a better position on the field.

Long Range Shots
As many of your would have discovered by now, long range shots are incredibly effective in FIFA 2004. Get your man into the right position, and if you aim well, you more than often hit the back of the net. Shooting seems to be the easy part, but getting your man into the right position is sometimes tricky. Use the Player Walk Button (definitely do not sprint) when you are closing in on the outside of the 18 yard box. The defenders will lay off you as you slowly creep closer to the goal. Once you are within range, power up (not fully as your shot will go wide) and let rip with your shot.

Jostles
If you find yourself in a jostle while in pocession of the ball, use your right analogue stick to push away from the defender. You will break out of the jostle and free from the defender.

Decreasing Your Power Up Speed
For a more complete feel to your shooting and overall game, try decreasing your "Power Up Speed" in the Game Settings menu. By giving yourself more time to power up you increase the variety of shots you can perform. I personally recommending setting your power up speed to just one or two notches above the very minimum.

Defending

Take Your Time
The first thing your football coach will tell you is to never "dive-in" while defending. The same rule goes for FIFA 2004. Wait for the attacker to make his move then go in for the tackle.

When you are defending and are caught in a jostle, do not just stick a leg into the tackle. Most of the time this will result in you causing a foul by pulling down the attacker. Wait right until the last second, right before the attacker is about to shoot or pass, and then go in for the tackle.

Calling In An Extra Man
This tip was sent in by Carlos del Olmo Holmberg. He wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the benefit of pressing your "Player Walk" button (R2) which, when defending, will call in one of your team mates to support you with a tackle. This works very well when you jockey a player to slow him down, then call in a team mate to take care of the tackle. Be careful though not to call in too many players, as you could leave a number of attackers unmarked.

Headers and Volleys

There are two different types of headers you can do in FIFA 2004. Press the Pass Button while the ball is in there air to do a soft header to a close player. Press the Shoot Button while the ball is in the air to either shoot the ball at goal, or if you are defending clear the ball away with a big header.

Remember, the player who presses the header button last wins the header. So don't just smash the header button 100 times. Wait for the ball to get to your head and as it arrives, press the appropriate button.

To perform a volley shot at goal, hold the same button you use for the Player Walk and then press shoot. If the ball is positioned correctly, a shooting volley will result instead of a header.

Off The Ball Control

With out doubt the most exciting new control feature in FIFA 2004 is Off The Ball control. If you don't know how to use it properly it can be frustrating, but once you master it you will never look back.

Off The Ball control is best used for crosses. As you run your player with the ball down the wing, use OTB to choose a player in the middle. Just before you cross push the player in the middle away from his marker with your right analogue stick. This will leave him open for a header at goal.

You can also use OTB in attacking situations to get the ball quickly up to your forwards. Many people find it hard to get a clean break in FIFA 2004. However, by using OTB it is certainly possible. Select your man with OTB, get him to start running forward towards goal with your right analogue stick, then play a long ball to him. As he goes to chest the ball down, hold your sprint button and press away from the marker. This will make your player take control and also push away from the defender and keep running, freeing him up for a quick lay off pass or a shot on goal.

Free Kicks

Many of you may find free kicks in FIFA 2004 initially hard to master... especially those of you who played FIFA 2003 a lot. The first thing to do is forget everything FIFA 2003 taught you. This is a whole new ball game.

The secret to a perfect free kick is to aim your shot, select your spin, and then power up the shot to a point just slightly past half-away. Definitely do not power up to anywhere near the end of the bar. If you do, as I'm sure you've all seen, the ball will end up at the back of the grand stand. A quick power-up may not always bring you huge amounts of power, but it will always get your shot on target. Use the Practice mode to find the perfect power up point for your prefered free kick taker. Every free kick taker is different. For example, you will be able to give Beckham's free kicks more power as he obviously has far more control over his shots than just a standard free kick taker.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Paul Harbeck and IceBlu have created a compreshensive set of tips and tricks which you can download from our Downloads Centre. Along with some helpful advice you also get a complete set of keyboard controls.


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