Football Manager 2021: Workshop Tactics to Try in FM21

If you are struggling to develop a winning formula in Football Manager 2021 then you should download some of the fantastic FM21 tactics that are available on the Steam Workshop. We're bringing you a selection of the most popular tactics that have been created by the Football Manager community and uploaded onto the Steam Workshop and dedicated Football Manager websites.

There is nothing worse in Football Manager than when your tactic, which has been producing great results in the first half of the season, suddenly becomes a hindrance. Often you can tweak things yourself or refer to another of your formations and the wins will soon begin to flow again. However, there are times when you don't know how to turn things around and this is where the FM community can help.

Not all tactics work 100% of the time but if you have a look on the Steam Workshop then you are bound to find some really interesting tactics that have been created and uploaded by fellow FM21 fans that could be just what the doctor ordered. Here is our list of FM21 tactics that have been tried, tested and download by thousands of players and could prove successful for you as well.

Attacking 4231 Gegenpress by Quicksta

Tested with Borussia Dortmund, Quicksta's Attacking 4231 Gegenpress delivered the Bundesliga title in his first season, but his second campaign was even better. Using this attacking formation, Dortmund claimed the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and the Champions League titles in the second season. Not only did this tactic deliver trophies, but it also did it in style, with Dortmund finishing 17pts clear of Bayern Munich in the league and defeating the likes of PSG, Liverpool and Juventus on the way to European success.

fm tactic 1

Despite there being a five-man midfield and the passing set to short in this tactic, the attacking 4231 gegenpress is not a possession-based formation. Attacks are quick and involve lots of closing down when possession has been lost and the mentality always remains on ‘attacking'. Despite having no defensive-minded midfielders, this tactic has shown to deliver strong defensive records season by season. However, the roles and ability of the players suggest that this formation is better off used by top-flight teams and might not work in the lower leagues.

FM21 Double Broken Tactic by ret4

This next tactic has been tried and tested with Turkish Super Lig side, Besiktas. The Double Broken Tactic was used from the outset by ret4 and saw the Turkish side secure over 100 points and goals in their first season. The tactic is described as being very possession heavy and promises to produce goals.

This tactic favours a more direct style of play and has two wing-backs that play either side of a defensive midfielder, ahead of two ball-playing centre-backs. Despite using overlapping wing-backs, this tactics has the narrowest of attacking widths and utilises fast and direct football. Shoot on sight is not often used in FM tactics and is seen more of a tactical option when desperately searching for a goal late on, but ret4 uses it from the start in Double Broken.

fm21 tactic 2

Just to show how successful this tactic has been for ret4, his Besiktas side won the Champions League in 2025 defeating Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the final. In the quarter-final against Real Madrid, his Besiktas side ran out 3-0 winners and had 18 shots to Madrid's 6. This tactic is certainly one that would be worth trying at all levels of the game and could prove to be an all-round hit.

Pep Guardiola's Barcelona Masterpiece 4-3-3 by Boroboy116

Boroboy116 has attempted to recreate Pep Guardiola's Tiki-Taka style of play that proved so successful during his time as Barcelona manager.

fm21 tactic 3

As you would imagine, this tactic uses a positive mentality and much shorter passing in order to dominate the possession and control of the game. The wing-backs will overlap the two inside forwards and provide the width for all attacks, often picking up assists. The creativity comes from the centre of the park but the goals threat is obviously supplied by Messi in a striker role and his two teammates who play out wide but cut inside and make runs into the box.

This tactic certainly offers something a little different to the standard Tika-Taka or Vertical Tika-Taka that are available as preset tactics for all FM21 players. Once again, this is a tactic that really would only bring success to the top teams in the top leagues as it requires high quality and skilful players.

4-3-3 Pressing Wing Play by AUTFabi

This tactic has been used and adapted by AUTFabi across multiple FM games and it is back once again for FM21. The strikers and wingers provide most of the goals in this 4-3-3 system and much like the previous tactic, the creativity largely comes from the central midfielders. Possession and patients is key to the success of this tactic, as this system uses short passing, plays the ball out of defence and works the ball into the box.

fm21 tactic 4

Counterattacking is another big aspect of this tactic, but to avoid too many bookings or sendings-off the tackling has been set to ‘stay on feet', which is a nice touch and something I like to deploy myself when using any pressing style of play. The wing-backs are set to attack and will overlap the two wingers, which allows for plenty of options out wide and will see plenty of goals produced from crosses into the box. Changing the wingers to inside forwards will push more bodies into the box and is best used when your team is really in need of a goal or the striker looks isolated.

Some FM players have struggled to get the best out of their AMC in recent instalments of the game and it is interesting to see that only one of these formations uses the AMC position. FM21, from my own experience, has had some issues with the AMC position, with players not getting good average rating or providing enough goals and/or assists from that position. If this is a glitch then I'm sure it will be sorted out soon enough, but for now, most players seem to be favouring tactics with no AMC in.

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James Kelbrick

A lifelong Evertonian, James started writing for an Everton fan site in the mid-2000s and then developed his own blog covering football transfers from across Europe's big leagues before becoming a regular match preview and betting tips writer for Biggest Free Bets. James moved to Free Super Tips next, and then Racing Post, where he worked as a full-time writer for a few years, taking on extra responsibilities such as creating the schedule and assigning out work. Following that, James wrote for a number of websites including Fore Bet before joining Football Whispers in December 2020.