Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

FIFA 20 free kicks, penalties, and set pieces explained: how to take free kicks, score penalties and more

Strategies and controls for every set piece and dead ball situation.

FIFA 20 free kicks are very intimidating this year, with all kinds of information on-screen at once and several stages of the set piece to master. That said, set pieces have always been a tricky art the master in general - even if this year is an especially difficult one - so we'll take you through every one of them below.

Read on for our detailed explainers on how to take free kicks effectively, how to score penalties, and details on other set pieces like throw-ins and corners, too, to make you certifiably deadly from any dead ball.

On this page:

FIFA 20's new free kicks explained: how to take and score free kicks

For the first time in at least three years, FIFA 20's free kicks have properly changed, bringing in an entirely new system. Most of the old types of free kick remain, but the way you perform them is completely different. First up, we'll explain exactly how the new free kick system works.

Whereas in previous years free kicks were a bit more natural-feeling, based on generally eyeing up the line you're going for and using the left stick to apply spin just like you do from an open-play shot, there are now three stages to taking free kicks in FIFA 20, as well as an optional fourth.

First, you need to nail the aiming, second the power, third the spin on the ball, and optionally fourth is the timed finish mechanic. Here's a breakdown explaining each step.

How to take free kicks in FIFA 20 step 1: aiming

First, line up the little aiming reticule - the white circle - according to type of free kick you're going for. If you want top spin the aim the reticule a bit higher than where you want the ball to go, if you're doing side spin aim a bit wider, and so on. More on that below, but be aware that moving this circle is purposefully very difficult - you'll find that just as it gets close to where you want it, it pings off further away. Take your time and move the left right stick gently to line it up.

How to take free kicks in FIFA 20 step 2: shot power

Now, apply the amount of power that is appropriate for that free kick by holding down the shoot button as you normally would. Pressing this is what locks the aiming reticule in place, too, confirming where your player will aim the shot. Usually, you'll want between two and three bars of power, depending on the distance, but again more on that below.

How to take free kicks in FIFA 20 step 3: ball spin

Now for the spin on the ball. This is done by moving the right analog stick in various ways. For up-and-down dipping shots, move the stick straight down, and then straight up, for instance. This needs to be done while your player is running up, before they strike the ball. The speed at which you move the stick dictates the amount of spin, too. More on what spin to apply when in the section below.

How to take free kicks in FIFA 20 step 4: timed finishing

Finally, you can optionally use timed finishing - the mechanic where you press the shoot button for a second time just as your player strikes the ball - to get an even sweeter hit, increasing your chances of scoring. You don't have to do this though, and timed finishing can be turned off in the menus altogether (which is what we prefer to do) too. If you do want to do it, tap the shoot button just as your player's shooting foot starts to come down towards the ball. Too early or too late, though, and they'll shank it high and wide.

How to take every type of free kick in FIFA 20, including the knuckleball, trivela, power, curl, and dipping free kicks

From experimenting, we've found YouTuber Krasi to have the most reliable methods for free kicks so far, which we detail below. Here's his video explaining them - the specific ones start around 3 minutes in:

FIFA 19 All Free Kicks Tutorial - How To Score Every Free Kick (Curve Driven Dipping Trivela Power)Watch on YouTube

Here's a breakdown of every free kick type, when to use them, and how to pull them off.

Free kick typeOptimum RangeStrong foot sideRequired attributesDescription
Curl free kickShort (Under 25yards)Right on right side of goal
Left on left side of goal
High CurveAim around a metre outside of the near post max. 2-3 bars of power. Move R sideways, in direction of player's back, then around towards their running direction, like you're wrapping it around the wall.
Dipping free kickShortRight on right
Left on left
High FKA
Lower Curve
Reticule above the top corner behind the wall or in line with the crossbar. 1.5-2 bars of power. Flick R straight down then straight up. Move R quickly for more spin.
Trivela free kickShortRight on left
Left on right
High FKA
High Curve
Use LS to aim for one metre outside of near post as with Curl free kicks. Use a straight run up. 2-3 bars of power. Move R down, from player's back, up and around towards their runnig direction. Same as Curl free kicks, just opposite feet!
Mixed spin free kickShort or LongEitherHigh Power and FKAAim for near side of goal with LS, around the top corner behind the wall. 2-3 bars of power depening on distance. Move R straight down, but then around, like a mix of the dipping free kick and the curl free kick.
Kuckleball free kickLong (Over 25yards)Right on right
Left on left.
High Power and FKAAim at top corner on near side behind the wall, around crossbar height. Load 2-3 bars of power depending on distance. Flight R straight down, then up, then back down again quickly.
Dummy pass free kickVery ShortEitherAnyCall both players with L2+R1. Perform 'fake shot' skill move with X + Square / A + X. Press Through Ball button Triangle / Y and point LS at the runner they step over the ball.

How to take penalties in FIFA 20

Penalties, like free kicks, have finally changed, and are arguably even harder to score than ever. Spin doesn't come into it, but a tricky aiming reticule and your shot power do.

How to take penalties in FIFA 19:

  • Aim the reticule and try your best to hold it as still as possible in one place.
  • Hold down the shoot button to get the right amount of shot power - we recommend no more than about 2.5 bars.
  • Keep holding the reticule in place - if you move it, the shaded circle around the reticule will get larger, meaning your shot go do in a larger range of directions around it, becoming less accurate and increasing your chances of missing.
  • When you first take penalties, the direction indicator will be visible - note that if you're playing locally that means your pal can see where you're aiming, too. Turn it off by pressing 'Up' on the D-pad (we recommend practicing with it on, until you get the muscle memory, then turning it off to hone it).

How to take other set pieces like corners, throw-ins and goal kicks in FIFA 20

Corners and throw-ins are more or less identical in FIFA 20 to what they were in 10, although different destinations for your cross, like the near post, seem to be slightly less successful than in last year's version. You have plenty of control still, so here's how to get the most out of each of them.

How to take corners in FIFA 20

  • Select a player - choose the player you'd like to get the ball to (disgregarding their position for now) by pressing L1/LB until you reach the player of choice.
  • Place the corner - now, with that player selected, move the yellow cursor on the ground with LS to where you'd like the delivery to go. To place the corner, load up the delivery with your desired amount of power by pressing Square/X (less is floaty, more is driven) and the cursor will then be locked in place.
  • Get your player in position - next, move your previously-selected player into position, ideally giving yourself a couple of yards of clear run-up space behind the cursor on the floor.
  • Take the corner - finally, take the corner by pressing the Square/X button again.

The best corners, from our experience so far, still tend to be front-post or back-post, where there's generally more space for a run up, and more of an opportunity to get an angle on your headers, although they're much harder to score than the corners of FIFA 19, we've found

How to take throw-ins and do fake dummy throws in FIFA 20:

Once again, no change here from FIFA 19, with dummy throws still possible, still very useful, and still perfomed in the same way.

Here's how to perform the fake or dummy throw-in:

  • Decide which player you'd like to throw to, and which to fake to - our advice is to bear in mind players' standard positions - defenders taking throws will look to move back towards the back four, strikers and wingers will burst forward, whilst midfielders will move forward or back, towards their central starting position. Think about that as you decide how you're going to pull the opponent out of position and make yourself some space.
  • Now simply perform the dummy throw- The controls for this are exactly the same as the fake shot: Square or Circle then X on PlayStation, or X or B then A on Xbox. When you press the second button (X / A) be sure to point LS towards your desired target to throw it to them.

Finally, there's goal kicks, which remain the same as last year again.

As with 19, you can't move the camera, and you can do a driven goal kick by holding down R1 as you charge it up, like with other driven passes. That's it!