Hot Cross Funs

Why was I not informed of this sooner? Why did it take until bloody March for me to be taken aside and told about the birds and the bees of PES2017?

Since Day 1 with the game, I’d had very little success with crosses and headers. I was nonplussed at reports of others enjoying festivals of goals from crosses and corners.

Little did I know that the mechanic being enjoyed/exploited by others was one where you pressed Shoot ridiculously early during a cross – when the ball is closer to the crosser than to the receiver – in order to effect a dangerous header on goal.

I say ‘ridiculously early’ because it is, in fact, ridiculously early. There is nothing in PES history like it as far as I am aware. This probably wasn’t intended by the game’s makers and I’m surprised it hasn’t been patched out.

I’d been pressing Shoot when the ball had nearly reached my striker. Turns out the optimal time to press Shoot is while the ball is still not even halfway through its flight. My sweet spot seems to be around the 30-40% mark of the arc.

But enough griping. Cheap it might be, but I am greatly enjoying the festival of goals that has resulted.

Once I’d discovered the trick, I went on a staggering run of goals-scoring and results. On the right is a snapshot of my results in this period.

As you can see, I only lost one match, against a scarily good Manchester United. That’s the only match of the 7 on display where I didn’t score at least one headed goal from a cross or corner. I scored two such goals in quite a few others.

These two or three sessions last week when I was discovering crossing and headering for the first time were among the most enjoyable sessions I have ever spent on PES2017.

But then I switched on the game the next day, and it felt completely different. None of the crossing routines worked. Not one cross/corner goal was ‘allowed’. A very amusing instance of a very obvious, programmed nerf.

Anyway, anyway. I have an interesting clip to show off from my golden crossing session with the game.

Here, it’s 1-1 in the last few minutes. A home match versus West Ham that I’d expected to win comfortably.

I win a corner in the 91st minute. My keeper’s up. Sneijder sends in the out-swinger. I execute the early-press, fully expecting a goal.

My keeper rises in the box and… well, see for yourself:

I was screaming when that one went in. This 2-1 win would never have come about if I hadn’t learned the cross/corner trick.

The current table:

Manchester United are the team to catch this year. I was lucky not to be walloped good and proper in the defeat by them. I lost my cool and went down to 9 men by the middle of the second half.

Sadly, the arrival in my game of cross/corner-goals wasn’t enough to rescue me from a terrible start in the Champions League group.

I had to win my last two group matches and hope for the best. I certainly did win them – in style, thanks to crossing and scoring from crossing – but other results went against me. The final outcome:

I wasn’t too disappointed, in truth. There will be another season after this one for me to try a Treble again.

Yes – there WILL be a Season 10 for me on PES2017, before I swan off into the past like some kind of PES5-obsessed Gary Sparrow.

I’m still a few weeks away from being set up to make PES5 on PC my new regular daily football game.

The arrival of regular goals from crosses and corners is also the shot in the arm that PES2017 needed.

And this way I get to have another go at winning the elusive Europa League this very season. As 3rd-place finisher, I’m in the Round of 32. I’ve drawn Bayer Leverkusen. A German team. Excellent.

Updated: 14th March 2017 — 00:02


  1. NG – All very odd as I routinely had been pressing the shoot button earlier which I have been doing since about 2014. It was just something I did without thinking about it and just natrually asummed that was the way for headers now. So hadn’t read up about it or considered it to be a glitch. It does highlight the games problems as once you take away the crossing/headers there are slim pickings to be had from goals in open play, hence the difficulty you have been having. On reflection your game has been a better one having grappled more with the game holding up in terms of difficulty.

  2. Darryl – partly in response to your comment on the previous post too, this is why I don’t see PES2017 as an easy PES, and still don’t really – every match requires work even with the cross/corner ‘trick’. I am now winning 90% of matches, drawing 8% and losing 2%, though. Before corners/crosses came to light those figures were more like 70%/20%/10%. Nailing those goals from corners and crosses is the difference between overall ease and overall struggle.

  3. it does make a massive difference, the header stuff, though the nerf routine comes around sooner or later. I think this is part of the “adaptive AI” that KONAMI was harping on about before the game’s release. Shutting down routes to goal and if that fails being an annoying cunt (i.e. chopping your players down without consequence and such)

    also for what it’s worth heading this way is also counter intuitive to me. but it sure as hell works.

  4. Ok lads we can take down that website now…

    Halfway ish in season 4 and a major consideration. My squad is fairly settled now, aguero has started scoring some high quality goals now I’ve listed and tried exchanging him but his future is still elsewhere. I’m through to the knockout of the Europa, fourth in the league and still in the cup. Stoke and Monaco came calling but apart from the prospect of a jaunt in the south of France neither seriously appealed. However, a new message pinged in just before the decision time….Manchester United want you as their manager. Now I know for nearly all of you this wouldn’t be a thing, you don’t change teams ever. But I do, I was fifa’s Harry redknapp, I was offered and made the same move in pes2015 (before I bored of it), it’s a big attraction in the game for me. But them? Now? Hmm…I really don’t know what to do, overhauling their ageing squad appeals, they are second and in the champions league, Gateshead feels like it’s stalled a little yet it’s only season four and we’ve won two trophies. But it’s effectively starting again.

  5. #1 – pressing a button to execute an action in a football game when the ball can be 40+ yards away just isn’t how it should work. I’m having ‘fun’ [retch] with the newly-discovered heading abilities, but it’s one of the least PES-like gameplay features we have ever seen in the series. It’s in the same ballpark as PES2008’s wonder-dribble mechanic. It just shouldn’t be. It has no right to be. The last 20% of the ball’s flight-arc should be the time to press Shoot – ideally the last 10%. Darryl above suggests this ‘early to press, early to rise’ system has been the system since at least PES2014. I can believe it actually. That’s when the rot set in, in terms of Konami deciding to ditch the PS3 mode of PES, which had many legacy concepts from the PS2 days.

    No fouls, no individuality, and a bizarre crossing/heading mechanic that would have been laughed out of school in the 2000s… The PS4 years have not been kind to the concept of PES at all.

    As much as I am enjoying PES2017 right now, my Summer of PES5 cannot come soon enough. It’ll almost be like going from Blankety Blank to I, Claudius. Now there’s at least one reference point that’ll test your knowledge of UK popular culture…

  6. Uncle Turf – I say go for it. In MLs past you’d have been missing out on the long-term satisfaction of building up a squad with one club, but the nature of ML now is such that there’s little long-term satisfaction, given the player turnover.

  7. NG – indeed it was in 2014 as I seem to recall at the time I had read somewhere that it was an antidote to the player trying to trap the ball insteaed of heading it, so I spent hours just practicing sending crosses in on free play training and using the early shot button. Since then it has become automatic and didn’t even consider it when you were reporting lack of goals from crosses.

  8. Just for reference sake this was the advice I followed back then, prior to 2014 you are right as the advice was to press the shoot button just before it reached the player:-

  9. Just started my FIFA17 career. Absolutely loving it. What a refreshing change. 6 games in. Had 2 penalties. More coming soon on USB

  10. Just checked in Paul, seemed like visiting a house where the dinner was still on the table but no sign of the occupants. Will follow keenly when you get it updated.

    Ng – yes, I suspect I might go with that job offer. I really don’t know for certain though, I’ve got such a good group of young players. Tonight as they say is the night.

  11. Man Utd second on 39 points on goal difference, Gateshead 4th on 34
    Man U v wba in fa cup, Gateshead v villa
    Man U v dinamo kiev in cl, Gateshead v Lille in Europa
    Man U squad definitely older and on average worse than Gateshead – basically in 4 years it’s the same as default give or take a retirement.

    I deserve to be abused horribly on my return to the north east but I’m taking it, I’m looking forward to rejuvenating a dying giant.

  12. Darryl – what’s the crossing mechanic on FIFA17? Are you early-pressing all the time and getting away with it?

    Paul – this isn’t you, is it?

    On this blog, you will learn about soccer-related events, as well as basic tips to playing.


    Uncle Turf – in the days of Coynborough, Vornander, Dodo, and yes, Castolo, I’d have pilloried you for betraying one of the core tenets of ML – squad-building over multiple long seasons – and told you you might as well just play League mode. But in these days it’s not so much of a sin, I think. The ML pool is that diluted.

  13. Life at Man Utd may be interesting, almost the entire squad are refusing contract renewals and the ones that aren’t want silly money. As many are in their thirties I’m naturally saying no to 4m plus salaries. Fortunately de gea signed but I’m losing most of the midfield as even if they change their mind they’re too old, slow and on too much money. I’ve brought in a couple of regens, jagielka and my big hope for individuality totti. I also had the bonus of zlatan in my youth team. However trying to get the established stars is impossible – 62m for griezmann and they only have 30m budget, lower than I left at Gateshead.

  14. NG – I have not played Fifa at all this week but there is no change there as it is the old traditional crossing. I have to say one thing that PES does a lot better this year is the crossing physics as they seem more natrual with a truer whip to the ball. On Fifa the crosses seem more floaty. However, in terms of shooting and passing there is much more variaton on Fifa. Will be curious to see how Paul gets on but suspect he will have a good time.

  15. Paul – is USB available as I can’t get on?

  16. Same here Darryl. Firefox is reporting

    Warning! Domain mapping upgrade for this domain not found. Please log in and go to the Domains Upgrades page of your blog to use this domain.

  17. n-G – I blame your little stick man graphic for me missing a headed goal last night. I realise I’ve never actually thought about when to press the button for a header from a cross until I saw that and read your post. Thankfully the instinct has taken over again but I still couldn’t tell you what section of the crossing arc I start mashing the shoot button.

    Now into the last throes of season five and need just one more point from my last six games to win my first PES 2017 Prem title. A formality that has me playing my reserves and saving the big boys for the Europa Cup semis vs Chelsea and hopefully the final.

    Paul – I look forward to reading your FIFA 17 impressions, either here or on USB should you get the old site cranked up again. This year I really don’t have any inclination at all to play FIFA but I would be very interested to hear if the age old issue with difficulty settings/sliders has been smoothed out. I really enjoyed FIFA 16 but still never felt totally satisfied with those AI settings.

  18. Uncle Turf – everyone has the bonus of Zlatan in their Youth team. It’s one of the many signs of the concept of nuPES held by Konami now: all-action, star-filled fun. Having said that I do like playing with Ibra-type players in PES and always have done, going way back to the earliest days on PS2.

    Shed – I know Paul swears by ‘about halfway’ as a pressing-point. I’ve found just before does help the player to spring above the defenders. A touch later and there’s volley chances. Anything after 70% of the arc and there’s very little chance of any heading or volleying in my experience, as my handful of headers in 8 seasons proved.

  19. It’s fine for me – ?

    Man Utd out of the fa cup. I’m wary of throwing the baby out with the old dross, for example I’d like to keep Rooney, but the numbers really don’t add up for the exorbitant prices I’m being quoted both to retain players and bring in established stars. The supposed prolific winger mata is now hobbling around on a speed of 65 and yet is reckoned to still be worth 16m. What I don’t want though is another identikit pes squad eg. Zlatan, Torres, totti, etc etc. Pogba will be the rock around which I build.

    Traded in a load of stuff today and had a tenner left with time ticking down on the car park so grabbed the best value disc I could find. Metal gear solid, a mere 12 quid. I like the idea of that parachuting animals and bodies n stuff but I doubt I’ll start it for a while if it’s as hard as it sounded.

  20. Uncle Turf – Whilst Googling for USB last night I stumbled upon a new FIFA17 highlights vid Paul has uploaded to YouTube, so I think new content will be incoming soon.

  21. bargain Turf, what a game for just 12 quid! I don’t think MGS5 is really a hard title at all, it’s just that I am lousy at shooting/stealth games. Keen to hear how you get on; I’ve only done about a third of the story after 60-70 hours but this mainly reflects the endless list of side-missions and opportunities for exploring and messing about, as well as lack of ability.

  22. Nice one Turf, I always used to access it via

  23. Chris99 – I think Paul said he’s planning to revive USB on his own domain name. I’ve always said time and again that a FIFA Chronicles-type blog is necessary and of interest and it sounds like Paul is planning to finally do it. Darryl’s and Paul’s clips show a game that looks intriguing and even though I will never play it I’d like to hear about it in the ongoing journal format.

  24. NG – agreed and I think that would be a good idea as there is a gap for a Fifa style blog. Everything I read about Fifa all seems to be centred around Ultimate Team.

Comments are closed.

© 2018 PES Chronicles Frontier Theme