I’m sure you’ve noticed yet that the defenders in PES 2016 are complete retards if you let AI do the job you’re supposed to. So, get a hold of your own destiny. You will have to practice, practice, practice but it’ll pay off.

How to defend in PES 2016 OFFLINE, from my experience?

Basic controls to take the ball away from opponent are:

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1) Hold LB+A – player will sprint towards the opponent with the ball (use when not close to your opponent)
2) Double press A – player will try and take the ball from an opponent with a tackle, not sliding (use when close to your opponent)
3) B – sliding tackle
4) Double press X and hold – group pressing, as many as 4 or 5 of your players will attack the opponent with the ball.

1. Determine which formation and strategy works best for you

This is the foundation around which you’ll build your defensive success. The formation will differ from team to team, from player to player, but the strategy could be the same, whichever team you play (of course, it can’t be the same if you play Barcelona or FC Girona). The strategy that works best for me with Tenerife (ML, season 3, players with OR from 73-81) if I want to defend successfully is the most defensive one. 442 or 4231, counter attack. I mostly use long passing with 6-7 support and wide attacking. Without ball, my defensive line is set to the deepest (1) , and compactness to the most compact (10). I do not use aggresive and frontline attack beacause it usually backfires at me.

2. Choose your players wisely.

When playing against Barcelona, choose two defensively stronger central midfielders instead of a playmaker and a DM. You can also, for example, put your offensive full back to the ML or MR position and have a more defensive one on the DL or DR (if you have two decent full backs in the team, of course). For example – your usual full back Gael Clichy could play ML and your central defender Mamadou Sakho can play DL, when you play a strong team. This game is becoming a football manager (and that’s okay).

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3. When playing big teams, use man marking and a five man defence

When I play big teams, I play 5-4-1 fluid formation and set a man marking before game. Every one of my players has a defensive duty (except for one CB!), even central forward. He usually marks their defensive midfielder. I use double marking on extremely dangerous players such as Messi or Bale. For example, if Messi plays RWF I use my LB and my LM to man mark him. If he plays CF, I use two of my CBs to mark him. I always leave one of my CBs without man marking duty so he roams around cleaning loose balls. Konami could’ve put a sweeper position in the game…

4. Don’t run around chasing attackers

First, you’ll lose your stamina quickly. This will be your death at the end of the game because your players will err much more. Second, it won’t really get you anywhere, the CPU is good at keeping the possesion. It is better to wait out till the CPU makes a mistake in passing or the chance to take the ball by sliding tackle or double tap of the A button. And, hey, if it’s necessary, foul it! Every wrong sliding tackle isn’t a yellow/red card these days. But! Here lies the big danger – DHTB!

5. The dreaded high through ball (DHTB) and how to defend it

The Dreaded High Through Ball (DHTB) which CPU uses so much against you, shows how really stupid your defenders are. You can set up mark settings all you want, attackers will get away from your defenders, receive the ball and score, while you watch helplessly.

The black cloud slowly shadows your sight and you (do or don’t) supress the urge to throw that motherfuc*ing gamepad to the ground and tell Konami a few chosen words about intelligence (your defenders artificial one and theirs… well… ). Your wife looks at you like you’re the biggest moron in the world when you talk to the monitor and doesn’t understand how can a game frustrate you so much.

There is a solution to that and it’s called manual player change. You do it with RS instead of LB. The main goal is to change the cursor to a defender who stands next to an attacker who is about to run away from him so that his teammates could send him a DHTB. If you do this correctly, they will not pass to him or will, but you’ll at least stand a chance of cutting off the ball. In the same time, you should double tap the X so the rest of your players press the guy with the ball. I’ve made a video to explain this better: