A guide directed at beginners who want to know more abot the gameplay mechanics. Why things happen on the pitch and what to do about it. Also good for people who scream scrippting as soon as they lose the ball.
Gameplay Mechanics Guide
Responsiveness Shot & Pass
The "I did press the button, he didn`t shoot!" aka this garbage game is unresponsive!
Yes you probably did, maybe not early enough. Do you expected the player to shoot as soon as you touch the button?
What to do: First make sure that your set up is correct, if you play on a TV turn Game Mode on, or Picture improving settings off if there is no game mode, might look not as good in the beginning but you`ll get used to it. Then there are of course, input lag from the controller, maybe lag from playing online and of course you. But there isn`t much new I can tell you to do about this.
On to the game, "you press button, you shoot or pass" right? Wrong! The first thing that happens is bar will start to fill an only when the bar is full or you release the button the player will try to shoot/pass. This not only allows you to make dummy kicks (press X or B then cancel by pressing A or Super Cancle which also works for A - but more vital gives you control about the power of the shoot or to whom the pass should go and as long as no one comes up with a "better" control scheme or a mind reading controller this wont change much.
"Try to shoot/pass?" "Yes Timmy, try." - after all this there is more to take into account like player stats and skills (what did you think they are for?!), pressure from defenders, animations you don`t want your player to shoot the ball by simply running into it do you? Very important is the positioning of the player and the ball - imagine you are running down the line, with full speed in the wrong direction, the ball 3 Meters away and now you try to shoot at the goal - what do you expect your player to do?
So if you can try to slow down a bit where you can, face where you want to pass or shoot you will get better passes and goals.
The fill the power bar problem also highlights the signification of the X Button to clear the ball. When you use in your own half it is an instant full bar to punt the ball away.
The "This player turns like my grandma!" alias this game is still unresponsive!
Much like above, how do you want your player to turn? With no animation, a broken animation? Get up, try to turn, now try with a ball, now try with a defender putting pressure on you, now try while at full speed - you get the idea. "But Sir I`m not a professional football player" nor is every player a Messi on a good day.
Don`t run all the time holding RB, taping it between the ball contacts is enough.
Rule of thumb: The faster you are = the lower the control.
Players Moving on Their Own
The F* this, the player moves on its own or doesn`t react.
Yes, they do that from time to time.
First make sure your Game Pads analoge sticks aren`t broken (Stick drifting) a good place to do this is training mode (hidden under Exhebition).
All good, fine. There is a simple rule:
The player follows the ball, not the ball the player.
You probably noticed already when you let the left or right stick go the player will still walk a bit - that is simply because the player follows the ball, which makes sense since the ball is an important part of football. You can stop the ball by holding RB to stop and turn towards the goal, double tab and hold to NOT turn towards the goal.
This easy concept extends to basically everything. Getting a sloppy pass, a pass with to much power or receiving a good pass with a bad player (again there are stats in the game for a reason) - you player might make an unwanted move or take a second longer before he does what you want again. Getting tackled - don`t expect you player to act like it`s nothing.
Fouls & Tackle
What!? I didn`t foul aka I always foul but the CPU never gets a card.
Fist yes there are some crazy things going on, it is often annoying and it`s far from perfect (it also isn`t in reality). But still I have less fouls than the CPU, much less yellow and red cards and even far less than the friends that complain about it.
How? First check the "Auto Sliding" setting in the Profile menu, it controls how often your CPU controlled teammates try slide tackles. I haven`t played around with this but always set it to Semi-Auto.
I only use slide tackles as last resort, there are usually better options.
Now watch some videos of good defending, do the run directly into the ball leading player form behind or the side? No, not so often. Usually you want to get between the player and your goal, after that is done hold RT to face towards the ball and better control your movement and block the way. Now you have some options, you can close in to try to steal the ball or , that´s what I use more often, hold X to send a teammate (the one that is marked with the half transparent triangle), double tap X and hold to send two, to pressure the opposition player, so keep in mind this of course will open up rooms. Do NOT hold it all the time or they will run in like headless chicken and foul or will be easily passed by, hold it to get close than tap it when you see a chance of stealing the ball.
The A button
Much like with X I suggest not to simply hold it down all the time. RB+A makes your player closing the gap faster but at the cost of some control.
Double tapping A
I rarely double tap A since it is simply often not needed, quickly holding A or even nothing while (so holding RT is better) getting in the way of the ball is enough. Double tapping A often leads to foul and the player being caught in a stun animation. New in PES 2020 is that double tapping from behind lets you player try to push the opponent to the ground, which is a foul.
Quick tip: holding A and or X can also be good when you lost track of the ball for some reason, if you don`t know where the ball is - the CPU does.
How do you make the CPU foul more often? Many quick turns, if you do this the defenders will get more problems than when you run in a straight line and more often make a bad tackle.
But remember just because your player did fall, doesn`t mean it was a foul.
And last but not least there is a Player Skill called "Gamersmanship"
This indicates that there is some randomness, a player might get a foul while another might not.
Momentum, how one team suddenly gets "unbeatable" and the other trash
Momentum is when the opponents team suddenly becomes super good and you players super trash or vise versa.
Does it exist? I would say yes kind of (so I have absolutly no proof), so not so much the part with your players becoming trash and not to the point where they become unbeatable.
I wouldn`t say it is a bad thing, usually I "feel" it directly after scoring a goal or after half time where the CPU didn`t have a single shot at the goal. Often when in the Champions League (of course not the real UEFA one), during a derby or another important match, which I absolutely love it is the CL the teams should put more effort in it than treat it like some Kreisliga match. But there are some other explanations to that besides a magic switch which turns all players into Ronaldo Copies.
- The CPU/Player gets more aggressive and puts more effort into attacking than before, those often leading to more goal chances and finally more goals. You can even see that in the lower corner.
- There are player skills that indicate that these players get better under certain circumstances.
You getting comfy with your lead.
What to do? Most important the focus on attacking usually opens up the defense, so you should also have good chances to score with counter attacks. Also I feel like this "Momentum" often doesn`t last forever, so passing the ball around in the back, scoring more goals or even a foul sometimes seem to bring it to a halt.
Watch the replays of the goals against you (yeah nobody likes doing that) from time to time to see where things went wrong.
It might also be the time to get more defensive, switch the Attack/Defence Level of you team.
Change the formation, bring in fresh players with good defence skills instead of a new attacker (there is an auto option for all these things if you can`t or don`t want to focus on that aspect).
Teamates Making Runs
My teammate doesn`t make the run, also known as stupid AI
Sometimes you want to pull your hair out, there is so much room and your teammates stands there letting you do all the work. Good for us there are quit a few things we can do!
Of course there are formations, positions, instructions, advanced instructions and player skills which influence how often a player will make a run.
You can force player to make a run, so you have to keep fatigue in mind:
The simplest is while on the ball hold LB and play a pass. The passing player will now move towards the goal (You can keep holding LB and use the right stick to choose the direction you want.
You can press RT after a pass but before the new player gets the ball to let the passing player makerun.
Teammate Controls, lets you send an uncontrolled player which is very useful but also a bit harder to do. There are two settings which you can change under Profile Settings. I recommend assisted because it`s easier and faster to do.
Note: Hold the right stick in the direction to select a player further away.
Fatigue: If you constantly torture a player by holding RB all the time or letting him make runs he is less willing to sprint into the opening. Time for a substitute.
"Not that player" or player switching and you
Here I recommend the Semi-Assist setting in the profile settings
When pressing LB to switch the cursor will always jump to the player indicated by the half transparent triangle over his head
Note: it is also the player who applies pressure when you hold X) which is usually the player closest to the ball.
Look for the half transparent triangle to know where you will be next and consider not to switch but to use X to let the CPU do the work depending on the situation.
You can also use the right stick to more freely select a player.
Note: Again hold the rifgt stick in the direction to select a player further away.
Free kicks or "Every free kick of the CPU is a goal"
First learn that you wont help your own interest if you exaggerate, there are better words to describe it like often or most of the time.
Second I think it is a good thing, if you foul in front of your goal there should be a danger to it, the previous years I would often lay the controller down knowing nothing would happen.
What to do? I`m working on that, don`t foul I guess, you can control the goalie if you feel lucky (Press LB + press the right stick, B to jump), there also is a new meachanic in PES 2020:
Scripting + Video Proof
Scripting when the game takes control aka the last resort
Thats it, we are doomed! The evil CPU has now complete control over the game, their players, your players, the referee even the ball and there is nothing you can do about it!
Ah we have all been there - but does it exist? Maybe, but there is no proof and so there are videos with titles like "Scripting in PES" remember that there are also videos of aliens and UFOs. And much like the alien and ufo videos many of this "scripting" can be explained by other things. Like things described in this guide, many things like under point 5 Momentum, bugs and glitches, bad AI, good AI (the player stopping to block the more likely pass than the short corner were the goalie is), player fatigue, a bad day, bad luck, the matchmaking finally matching you with a good player after you won 200 matches (hey that proves matchmaking is working), your players having a bad day, their players having a good day, playing on higher difficulties - where the CPU should more often find the best solution and dare I say it - a bad player and the longer you play the game the higher the chances of you seeing these things.
Hysteric screaming, fires getting lit, pichforks grabbed - but there is scripting! Calm down mam, I already said maybe there is, but from what I`ve seen none of it could only be the result of scripting. I would even say chances are good there is some, to help the AI or keep online players happy or worst to get spending real money.
What to do about it? If you play against the CPU, lower the difficulty to the point where you feel there is no or few scrippting and you can enjoy the game.
Online? Honestly I don`t know at the moment. Maybe take a break.
And finally give up the the illusion that you have or even should have full control over the game. Players have stats wich always means there is some randomness, also there are 11 of them in your team and most of the time you only control one of them. When the other team scores a goal and you weren`t even close from beeing able to stop him - these things happen.