Directional Nutmeg - The new META move?!
October 14, 2020


Here at the THE GUIDE+ we especially want to introduce you to the neat little tricks that evolve during the FIFA season and become part of the meta*, so all of a sudden everybody is doing it. But with our guidance you aren’t only part of the meta, but actually ahead of it! 
With the directional nutmeg - a move which in that form is new in FIFA 21 - we might have such a thing. At the moment I’m around 2100 skill rating in Division Rivals and people are already on the track to integrating it in their game. So it won’t be long until you will encounter it as well, if it doesn’t get nerfed or a good way to counter is established. Please read and enjoy this article so that you know how to use this new mechanic to your advantage and also be prepared for what might be ahead of you.

*The term meta describes techniques, tactics or approaches to the game that are considered to be the most successful. Some people like to deduce it as an acronym for Most Effective Tactic Available (META).

How to do it

In FIFA 21 there is a new way to knock-on the ball. It’s referred to as the directional nutmeg and as the name already gives away, is - in theory - especially designed to nutmeg the opponent. But before we explain the instructions, we already make it clear that for this move to be useful, you don’t actually have to nutmeg the opponent. You already benefit from the knock-on off the ball and the slick movement by your player around the opponents defender, without actually nutmegging the opponent. But nevertheless, we’re going to refer to this move as the directional nutmeg.
Here are the instructions:
  • PS4: L1 + R1 and flick the right stick 
  • X1: LB + RB and flick the right stick
So press and hold both shoulder bumpers and with the flick of the right stick you determine the direction of the nutmeg. Depending on the degree and position of opponents players there are different animations that will get performed by your player.

How to use it

With the directional nutmeg you can catch your opponent totally off-guard. This is at which the move thrives. It works the best when the opponent approaches you and actively tries to get to the ball. In the best case he is sprinting towards you and isn’t jockeying or performing a tackle. Everything that makes it harder for the opponent to react to the sudden change of direction is beneficial. But let’s go into a bit more detail by separating between two different usages about the direction change.

No or slight direction change (scene #1 to #6)
In these examples the directional nutmeg was used to either have no or only a slight direction change. This is best used when your opponent is approaching you from the front or slightly to your side. With the directional nutmeg you accomplish the following things in these situations:
  • With the surprising knock-on you ruin the timing for your opponent
  • You might trigger a slick animation at which your player bypasses the opponent
There are two ways how you can try to perform the directional nutmeg. You can either try to actually aim at your opponent, which would then have a chance to nutmeg the opponent, since you would knock-on the ball directly at the opponent. The other approach would be to try to aim slightly next to the opponent, slipping the ball and also your player past by him. As with these kinds of nutmegs you try to keep as much momentum going forward, you can use them while sprinting. As you can see in the examples, I hold the sprint button until the ball contact at which I perform the nutmeg. Right after I press the sprint button again.

Drastic direction change (scene #7 to #11)
The directional nutmeg can also be used to execute a more drastic change of direction. When you flick the right stick at an angle of 90 degree or more the animation is slower and not as slick, but the sudden change of direction still can catch your opponent off-guard. When you’re below 90 degree, the animation stays more fluid, but can also result in quite a drastic change of direction.
These kinds of directional nutmegs are used when the opponent is to your side. Here it’s better when you’re not sprinting as you rely more on timing and not as much on speed in these situations.

When is it good to use and when not

At the end we would like to summarize the key points at which the directional nutmeg is or isn’t successful. Here are some factors that contribute in a positive way:
  • Opponent is sprinting at you
  • Opponents player has low defensive attributes
  • Your player has high dribbling attributes

These criteria make it less likely to be successful with a directional nutmeg:
  • Opponent is jockey defending and/or waiting patiently
  • Opponent actively tackles at you
  • Opponents player has high defensive attributes
  • Your player has low dribbling attributes
About the author:
Benjamin "TaZz" Drexler is creating FIFA tutorial videos since FIFA 12 and started to compete in tournaments at the same time. Among several weekly and monthly Top100 finishes in FUT Champions, he reached the Top8 at the Virtual Bundesliga in 2013/14 and finished in the Top8 in FIFA 17 at the first European Regional Qualifier Event in Paris.

Music from 
"Future Logo Intro" by WinnieTheMoog (
License: CC BY (

Music from
"Son of a Rocket" by Kevin MacLeod (
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