PRO EVOLUTION SERIES FAQ
Author: Chris Buckley
NOTE: Replace the '*' in my email address with a 'u'. This is to stop my
account being spammed!!
Copyright 2002 Chris Buckley - This FAQ should not be used for any profitable
purpose. Please feel free to distribute this FAQ, however you must not change
it in any way. Any publishing by commercial entities requires express
authorisation of the author. If anyone wishes to put this FAQ on their own
website, please let me know in advance. Contributors are welcome and will be
credited appropriately in the FAQ. I will reply to all emails.
This FAQ is for private and personal use only. I assume all other priveleges
accord to me by International Copyright Law!
* Not version 1 yet because I need to polish this up a bit!
Hello there. This is both a FAQ and a strategy guide for the psOne/PS2
versions of (ISS) Pro Evolution (Soccer). It has some specific focus on
ISSPE2, however, 85% of the information relates to all games in the series.
At the time of writing, I do not know of any other FAQs or strategy guides of
this style (apart from those that tell you the basic game mechanics etc.). I'm
not sure why. I would advise you to consult the ISSPE1 FAQs and strategy
guides. They are very useful and somewhat applicable to the 2nd and further
versions of the game. I would advise you to go to http://www.gamefaqs.com and
check out the guides there.
This guide covers the new improvements to the 2nd game but is also different
in many ways. The ISS Pro Evolution series being as realistic as they are,
there are many basic elements shared between the game and real life.
Have you ever seen a play/move on TV, then re-created it on ISSPE?
Ever even recreated it yourself when you play footy with friends in the park?
Then you are also an ISSPE nut and you know what I'm talking about!
The subtleties to the game we call football, especially those that are readily
recreated in this video game are covered here.
I would really welcome any comments and feedback you have. I hope to update
this document accordingly.
My email address can be found at the top of this file.
Also, this is a long shot, but I have set up a Paypal/nochex account. If you
happen to be a rich CEO/media magnate/millionaire playboy and feel that I have
helped your game, then please donate as much as you can! Just get in touch and
I will send you the details! Cheeky, I know, but if you don't ask then you
don't get! Perhaps I'll get something to put towards my UEFA Cup B badge!
On the other hand, if you are a Chairman of a major team and need a new
manager to help you win the Champions League, then I am also open to offers!
Funnily enough, the biggest difference between versions 1 and 2 of the game
are in the level of realism.
Nearly all the reviews I have seen of ISSPE2 have said that it is better than
ISSPE1. I do find this strange: I have asked two people who I know love this
game and they both say they hate the 2nd. Being a more realistic simulation I
would surmise gives rise to the new game being more like the real game, and
that in essence is what the video game is all about-recreating the real game
of football like NO other game can do (I'm sick of those EA FIFA owning ISS
bashers). Mind you, I havent met a single person who hasn't converted to the
ISS cause once they start playing it. I wonder how the programmers and
marketers of the EA game feel when they know they are fanatically promoting a
grossly inferior game.....
Possibly my biggest gripe is the change in the method of running. I do like
the 2nd game, but I feel that really should not have got rid of this. In real
life it is very difficult to turn 45 degrees at a time whilst running at high
speed. The 30 degrees change in running angle in the original game is, in my
opinion, more realistic. Also, see ahead in this document about an amazing
running techbnique that this option affords: unfortunately this is nearly
IMPOSSIBLE in version 2. It has come to my attention that both of these
methods are available in the PS2 version of the game. Well done programmers!!
|Midfield "Circling" |
Look at the real quality midfielders on TV. The obvious example is Zidane. He
is not restrained to make a simple choice between left, right and middle in
passing the ball. No, he will perhaps face one direction, then feint another.
If under threat from his opposite centre-midfielder, he can turn backwards or
even turn full circle in the search for a good pass. Exploit this
manouvrebility of the players in order to find the most successful and opening
pass. Think how a real midfielder works, and now recreate it with yours in the
video game, because he can do nearly exactly the same thing, the only real
limit (after player's ability) is your creativity.
One common technique employed, even by defenders, in real life when face-to-
face is to attempt to go past a player on one side, then quickly change to the
other side. This can also be done in the video game, and if the opposing
player is drawn into a tackle, can result in the opening up of a lot of space
into which to attack.
Say you're attacking from left to right. Then to do this you might press up-
right, then at the correct time, go from up-right to down-right. If you do
this swiftly and correctly, the player will swivel on the spot to change
direction and often throw the opponent off, especially if he's human. This can
be repeated back to up-right if desired. Don't use this too often, too close
to the opponent though, or they will easily intercept the ball.
|Corner-Striker pulls away from his marker|
Variability in delivery of a cross is minimised by using a very good player,
the tradeoff being that this player is not available in the box to score a
possible goal. You should still select a good player though, because you want
such a set piece to be as repeatable as possible once you have cracked it. Aim
for the near side corner of the 6-yard box. Then hold down up on the
controller and apply the long pass button to about 80 percent. This should put
the ball in the danger zone. You could also try a variation such as curling
the ball in, but I find this harder to repeat in a reliable way.
After the ball is hit, spot your active player and try to get him to run
towards the ball whilst pulling away from his marker. This will ensure that he
gets a clean header on the ball which is therefore more accurate and likely to
hit the target. All world class strikers employ these techniques in the box.
|Walk, don't run|
Use the run button sparingly. It should only be held down for long periods of
2/3+ seconds in certain circumstances, for example, running down the wing in
lots of space. One problem when running full pelt in the direction of the goal
is that sometimes you end up running straight into an opposing player,
previously off-screen and are dispossesed. You usually won't get this problem
when running down the wing on the counter attack as the covering fullback
won't usually have made it back into position.
|Seeking the one-two|
The one-two can prove to be a devastating move allowing for large gaps in
space and the opportunity for other players to get into an open position. Many
inexperienced players will often hit a one-two with no regard for setup or
positioning and lose the ball!
Using it on the wing is a particularly effective method. Whilst running along
the wing, cut in and run diagonally towards a nearby striker or central
midfielder (dependent on your formation) and do a one-two pass. Should you
miss-time it, the covering defender/full back will intercept the ball. If you
time it correctly i.e. are facing directly your player when you pass it, your
passing player will automatically continue to run and he will receive it you
on the overlap. To increase your chances of success, the winger should cut in
a little to ensure completion of the first phase of the one-two. Now whip a
cross in and try to get a player on the end of it. Your man should have loads
of time to set up the cross.
The other type is the typical Man United Scholes type setup. As a central
midfielder make a close pass slightly to the right or left, to a nearby
player. When you receive the return pass you should hopefully have advanced
beyond the defensive back line and be one-on-one with the goalie. This is more
difficult to set up though.
|In-the-air through pass|
The funny thing about the so called high through pass is that it is more than
just a through pass that flies through the air. It is one of the most
versatile types of passes. I like to think of a pass of this type as similar
to those created by Becks and Steven Gerrard. They can travel far, they have
pace, they can be perfectly lofted and they also land at a suitable speed for
another player to latch onto. Used in the correct way they can be devastating
and split open the opposition.
|Pop one in|
When about 5-10 yards outside the 18 yard box, turn quickly and stick in a
diagonal long through pass. This is especially effective when the opposition
is caught by surprise, for instance after a blocked shot or a rebound. It has
the effect of whipping a ball in, 1st division style, that hopefully someone
can get on the end of. I wouldn't recommend doing most of your attacks this
way, just use it when the opportunity arises.
|Becks/Gerrard counter-attaking wide-forward pass|
When counterattacking, if one of your centre midfielders or defensive
midfielders is starting to run the ball back up the pitch and you also see a
winger making a run, aim diagonal forward in their direction and hit the long
chip pass. Just make sure youn aren't too close to the sidelines (you may have
to experiment) otherwise the ball will just go straight out. You can end up
doing an amazing Becks style pass for the winger to run onto. Note that
sometimes a normal, on-the-ground through pass can be just as effective, it
just doesn't look as cool. Remember, the psychological battle means a lot too!
|Andy Cole hold up ball|
Just like great 2nd strikers such as Andy Cole, but also others like Ruud van
Nistelrooy, when the ball is passed, usually long, up to a striker but you
need time for the rest of the team to catch up and regroup: just keep your
back to the defender. Unless you are a crap player against an awesome
defender, you should not be intercepted from behind. Don't keep completely
still though, just move left or right slightly always keeping your back to the
defender. This buys you a lot of time, you can even try going past the
defender: ever seen a striker receive a ball with back to goal, then quickly
turn and slip by the defender, head to goal and score. Yes, try this with a
striker with good manouvrebility, it can work well! You normally get right
through the back line this way.
|Video tape can help|
The problem with the replays is that they do not capture enough of the action.
You normally don't catch the previous pass/assist, let alone the preliminary
play. However, if you record whole matches, you won't have this problem. It
will also allow you to delete replays off your memory card too after you have
backed up your replays. Just wait till dvd-r is widely available, eh!! I may
bury my goals in a time capsule for future civilisations to watch!!
By recording whole games you can analyse your build up play, the way you
create goals, open up space, cut through the opposition etc. You will always
learn something from studying your form, just like the real pros and managers.
I play against a very competitive friend who always complains that he gets so
many shots off but can't beat me. Well, perhaps this is because I'm very adept
with my goalie. Cut down the angle whenever possible. This is particularly
useful if the person is always trying to stick in horizontal through passes.
The key to using your goalie is to rush at the very time you know that you
have to. Hesitate and you will reach the ball too late and a goal will result.
I do this a lot: when you next watch a football game, just notice the moment
when the goalie starts to rush and easily picks up the ball before the
attacker can get to the through pass. His anticipation is better than anyone
else's on the pitch. He takes what looks like a considerable risk in running
to the ball, but really if he is good, he knows he has the ball the moment he
starts his run. (Actually you will notice that some defenders in real life
such as Laurent Blanc also have this amazing interception and anticipation
Used properly, goalie rush is a very effective tool and will prevent you
conceding a lot of goals from a goalie stranded at his goal, with an advancing
centre forward facing him, one-on-one.
|Best Goalscoring Angle|
In this game the best way to score is diagonally. i.e. if you are in the
bottom half of the pitch, aim for the top corner, if you are in the top half
of the pitch aim for the bottom corner. With great power and accuracy scorers
e.g. Batistuta, you can aim in this way from outside the 18 yard box even. Get
the angle right and the power strong and it will fly into the goal. People
will call it a fluke but you know it was down to the correct positioning, they
wont be able to recreate it!
|Rush Tapping-Giggsy style|
One of the awesome assets of the 1st game was the ability to produce jinking,
turning, varying speed runs. Think of Ryan Giggs terrorising defenders (think
especially of the FA-Cup semi-final against Arsenal). Possibly the best
single player for this is Roberto Carlos. Deke/feint either direction of the
player you are facing, run a bit, walk a bit, stop/pivot a bit. This is
difficult to describe, just practice and you will soon be able to use Carlos
and jink across half the pitch past 6 defenders and score!!!!
|The dash button should be used very sparingly|
Unless you are gunning down the wing, you should never hold down the dash
button for long extended periods when facing the goal. There have been no end
of occasions where I have used one of my centre backs to dash forward for the
anticipated tackle and put in a relatively easy and accurate but well timed
dispossesing tackle. I hear my friends gasp, ah so lucky etc. etc. The truth
is, when someone is just dashing straight towards your back line it is like
taking candy from a baby! So use dash sparingly. Especially since v2, even the
fastest players can be caught up by chasing defenders (this unrealistic
feature has been changed for the PS2 version), all the more reason not to dash
all the time as some of the advantage has been removed.
|Shots outside the box|
When using a mediocre player, shots outside the 18 yard box will quite often
be very innacurate and fly over the net or miss the target completely, just
like a 1st division player ;-)
However, with a half decent "famous" world player, if you get the angle right
as described already, then you can be very accurate from here. A diagonal shot
at the right position will fly into the net, or even a run across the pitch
towards the edges of the box, when released will ping a ball into the side of
|Two footed tackle towards running player|
Here, wait for an opposing player especially on the counter attack when they
will be running. You should be tracking back slightly as you see them coming
to you, but at the right times hit dash and hit slide tackle, if you time this
well, you will do an amazing sliding tackle that takes the ball away, get it
wrong and you will almost certainly get a yellow card. When you get good at
this you realise that this is actually quite easy to execute.
|pe2 short little passes easier, keep going,fergie style|
PE2: it is now much easier to keep doing loads of small passing movements in
midfield and close to the oppoising 18 yard box. I'm not sure why, but you can
just keep doing tiny passes and they're not easily intercepted. A good way of
retaining possession, keep the ball moving until an opportunity presents
itself. That's it really!!
Many of my most awesome goals have come as a result of the opposition taking a
corner kick. If you gain possession soon after a corner tick has been taken,
head out of the box, maybe run the diagonal, change direction and seek someone
who can receive a pass. Above all, think fast, because the faster you can get
rid of the ball, the less time the opposition have to catch you racing to
their goal!!!! Try and get it out to the wing as soon as possible and above
all, you must get in the through passes.
|General Strategy: Fergie|
To come later....
Find a formation that suits your type of play and stick with it and develop
it. Its probably always worth having a couple of other favourite formations,
just in case you need to say change at halftime to coutner your opponent. But
what you should really do is find a formation suits your style and stick by it
and build your master team around that formation. All my strategy comes from
my foundation that is my formation and I defend it the core. For your info, my
formation is 3-5-2B!
|Beautiful Play as opposed to thru pass only|
Of course, its up to you how you decide to play. I have a friend who plays in
the most "effective" manner possible. Nearly every single goal of his is
produced from a diagonal through pass into the box. Now, I agree, some through
passes are beautiful and elegant, and admittedly due to his formation his
goals are very difficult to defend against - one mistake and he is through and
has scored, but nearly every single goal of his looks the same!
I liken this to teams like Liverpool, or perhaps some German or Italian teams
who aim to score and then defend the single goal margin. i.e. effective but
not exciting to watch. Well I tell you, that game would certainly not be
exciting to play. Personally, I pride myself on being able to produce many,
many different types of amazing goals. Then, I record them on video!
|Just wait.. |
Say you want to try something out such as a particular type of through pass or
whatever, don't concentrate too much on creating it in the game. If you like,
you can even try it out on the practice pitch, but then when it comes to the
game, just use it when it comes naturally, when the passage of play dictates
that pulling that move off then would be a good idea. Eventually you will have
a repetoire of amazing moves that will all come naturally and you will use
them as and when required, thus defining your whole style.
|Keep wide/keep in?|
Venables and other managers have different styles of play for defenders to
adopt (especially wingers and wing-backs/full backs) in order to contain
approaching wingers. If you have excellent centre backs who cannot be beaten
in the air, and are against opposing strikers who are not particularly good in
the area, then I would advise you to force the players wide, it also makes it
easier to put in a good slide tackle if necessary. Otherwise, you might want
to force them inside. On the whole, I tend to force them inside: the only
problem with this is that if you don't keep track of them, they can make a run
for the box and cause all sorts of trouble.
|Play 2P regularly|
Play against new players (especially those who know how to play the game)
regularly. The variety of play from humans far exceeds that that the cpu can
give you. Learn new tricks from them, recognise the holes in your defence that
you need to close and immediately recognise and exploit their weaknesses. It
will bring so much to your game, indeed your greatest victories can often be
against other humans. My next point, the psychological battle, can only occur
against other humans.
|The Psychological Battle|
Video games are merely an extension of the human psyche, that is why it is
such a big industry, one of the largest in the world. Look at Sony, they now
rely entirely on the playstation business to generate their income.
The same can be said for sports, especially football. Witness the greatest
football matches ever, it is like warriors going to battle, pitting their wits
and wills to win against each other.
During one such game, I was beating a friend by perhaps 2 goals. Still with a
good 20-30 minutes to go it was still quite possible to at least force a draw
and extra time. In the end, the psychological battle was won. Even though my
friend is nearly my parallel in abilities, he couldn't get near the ball, he
had lost the will to win, I had crushed himn psychologically. I remember when
Barcelona were beating Liverpool in the Champions League in 2001, they put
together pass after pass, completely dominating the dejected Liverpool.
When you play the game, treat it as a real match. This is not merely a video
game, it is more than that. Goad your opponent if possible: of course your
opponent is your friend and you do not want to insult your friend or go over
the top, but if your opponent launches a shot into Row Z, then be sure to have
a go. This is all part of the great psychological battle!!
That's it folks! Pls drop me an email, even if its only a few lines to tell me
what you think. My email is at the top! Thanks!