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Dream League Soccer 2020 Advanced Guide: How to Take Penalties, Avoid Offside Violations, Heal Injured Players, Upgrade Facilities

First Touch Games is known for a number of soccer or association football-based games, including Score! Hero, but none are arguably as popular as the Dream League Soccer series. Dream League Soccer 2020 has been available for quite some time for iOS and Android devices, and it is a game that combines elements of precise on-field gameplay and astute team management, with a decided emphasis on the former.

The premise of the game, for those who aren’t familiar, is that the world’s soccer leagues have been reorganized, with you as the manager in control of a team of random, yet real-life players in the lowest of eight divisions. And it’s up to you to keep improving that team as you win more game and rise up from the bottom-most Academy Division to the premiership.

It’s been a while since we last visited this game, but with some of the world’s top association football leagues resuming play after temporarily halting due to the coronavirus pandemic, we thought it would be good to go back to this title and cover some additional ground for players who have mastered the basics of the game.

dream league soccer 2020 stadium

If you have just started playing the game, then be sure to read our beginner’s guide, as it features several useful tips and tricks that you can use early on. We have also compiled a detailed training guide for Dream League Soccer 2020, that covers everything you need to know about training your players.

So without further ado, let’s dive back into things with this Dream League Soccer 2020 guide, where we shall look at seven mostly intermediate-level tips that deal with the finer points of the game, may it be mastering the art of scoring and saving penalties, improving your facilities, or simply changing or viewing certain details about your team.

1. Taking Penalties In Dream League Soccer 2020

If you’ve played previous versions of Dream League Soccer, there shouldn’t be anything new when it comes to the penalty mechanic. But for those who are new to the series or haven’t been playing for some time, it can be frustrating to miss a shot that is otherwise a comparative gimme. Granted, you’ve still got the opposing goalkeeper to deal with, but as any fan should know, there aren’t any defenders to worry about — this is soccer’s equivalent of a free throw in basketball or a point after touchdown in American football.

When taking penalties, you’re basically guessing which way the goalkeeper will move, but it’s another thing to hit the right virtual buttons and control the joystick properly. What you want to do here is to use the joystick on the left side to control the direction, and hold onto it while you tap on A, B, or C on the right side. Use A if you want to aim high and with power, B if you’re going for a low-power chip shot, and C if you’re going for a more angled shot.

how to take penalty in dream league soccer 2020

Make your taps as gentle and quick as possible, regardless whether you’re using A, B, or C — holding just a split-second too long on those buttons will result in a wild and overly powerful shot! Also pay attention to the moving soccer ball that may appear while you’re aiming — time your shot in such a way that the ball aligns with the net once you’ve kicked it.

Every once in a while, you will have to go through the nail-biters we know as penalty shootouts, and this typically happens when you’re playing a cup game and both sides remain at a draw after 120 minutes of play — 90 minutes of regular time, and two 15-minute halves of extra time. These matches absolutely require a winner to determine who makes it to the next round, and each team will be required to shoot at least five penalties until the other side can no longer catch up. In these scenarios, it’s advisable to mix things up when it comes to the direction of your shot and the type of shot you’re taking.

We mentioned in the first guide that you can quit the app right after a missed penalty and restart it in order to get another shot, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore — we’re guessing First Touch nerfed this a while back. But if it’s any consolation, you can always go to Training and choose Penalty in order to practice your shooting and saving technique as a penalty taker and goalkeeper respectively. The pressure is nonexistent, but whoever said it’s as easy to score a penalty in an actual game situation than it is in practice when there’s nothing at stake?

2. Controlling Your Goalkeeper When Opponents Shoot Penalties

Conversely, when an opponent gets to take a penalty shot, the onus will still be on you to make sure that shot does not go in, as you will be put in control of the goalkeeper during these situations. Now based on our experience, we’ve seen that using the B button to dispossess opponents on defense is a fairly reliable way to avoid penalties and free kicks, though if you use the A button quite often for a slide tackle, the added aggression makes it likelier that you may get a yellow or red card, with the opponent getting to shoot a penalty if your late challenge took place in the box.

how to save penalty in dream league soccer 2020

It appears much easier to control the goalkeeper in these scenarios, as all you need to do is to tap on an area in or around the net, based on where you think the ball will be landing once kicked. This is just as much a guessing game on your end, so there is quite a bit of luck involved here when it comes to making the ideal save. We would suggest placing that hand icon a bit high, however, if you’re dealing with an especially highly-rated penalty taker. And just to reiterate an earlier point, make sure to mix things up when it comes to penalty shootouts!

3. Injuries – How To Avoid Them, How To Handle Them, And When To Use Gems To Heal Up

Sadly, injuries are as much a part of Dream League Soccer 2020 as they are in real-life football. How can you avoid them, how do you deal with them when they happen, and is there any way to fast-track the return of an injured player? We’ll answer all that below, so read on.

Compared to other players on your squad, your forwards — or anyone else on the team whom you regularly entrust to score goals — are more prone to injuries than others. There is a lot of intensity, after all, involved in kicking the ball with purpose toward the opponent’s goal, and that is more of a strain than simply passing the ball from one player to another. Then there’s the fact that defenders will, naturally, be stationed close to the goal and will always be on the lookout to make a slide tackle in hopes of dispossessing your men and averting the danger.

how to heal injured player in dream league soccer 2020

On the plus side, playing aggressively close to the goal is a great way to fish for penalties, but it’s also a shortcut to injuries that could force your top sources of offense to sit it out for at least a few games. As such, we believe it’s best to be aggressive, but not too aggressive when it comes to attacking the goal and/or fishing for penalties or free kicks, so as to avoid the chances of getting injured. (That said, other players on your squad can also fall victim to injuries, but not as often as the ones who handle most of the offensive duties!)

What happens when a player gets injured? One thing you’ll notice is that their stamina bar will be nearly depleted — you will also see a small cross next to the stamina bar telling you that they’re hurt. You will also notice that they move much slower than they normally do, thus making them virtually useless on the pitch. When this happens, sub them out immediately! You don’t want to be playing as if you’re one man short. Once the match ends, go to the Team Management screen, and tap on the injured player — at this point, you can decide whether to pay some gems in order to heal them up immediately.

If a player is very important to your squad and the injury isn’t that serious, it wouldn’t hurt to pay up so you can get them back to your starting 11 immediately. In the photo we’ve included, we have Rodrigo, who’s not only our top scorer but also our set-piece taker in most cases and also one of the highest-rated on the team.

It costs 15 gems to make him recover from the knee strain that’s set to keep him out for the next three matches. In this case, it makes sense to heal him with gems — otherwise, if he’s a secondary goal-scorer who isn’t among your top men, you can save up on that premium currency and grin and bear it as someone slightly lower-rated takes over as a starter for the meantime.

4. Upgrade Your Facilities Once You’re Ready To Get Promoted

Aside from spending coins and gems to upgrade your roster via the transfer market and other means, those forms of currency will also come in handy when it comes to upgrading your stadium and facilities. This can be viewed in the My Club menu, right beside Statistics, where you will see the Stadium and Facilities sub-menu on the left side. Tap on it and you’ll see even more individual options that you can upgrade as you go along, but particularly if you’re close to getting promoted and believe you’re ready to face tougher competition in the coming seasons.

The Stadium section can be considered ground zero for all your upgrades, as this would determine the maximum number of fans that can fit inside, thus increasing the coin bonuses you get per match once you’re able to accommodate more spectators. Upgrading your Stadium will cost you some coins, though there are various types of upgrades that you can choose by hitting the Preview button and seeing how much they would cost you before committing to the changes.

how to improve facilities in dream league soccer 2020

It’s probably the safest, though, to stick to Auto Build Capacity, which ranges from 15,000 to 85,000 — using this method, the game will automatically come up with the most ideal and affordable arrangement that would allow you to reach then stated capacity. (To give you an idea of how much this costs, as you would need a capacity of 15,000 to get promoted to Amateur Division, this could set you back by about 450 coins.)

The Commercial section allows you to increase your bonus match winnings, with the first upgrade costing a generous 75 gems. These winnings are added on top of the coins you already earn for playing a match, so you may want to look into this once you’ve earned quite a few additional gems by completing your club objectives.

That same amount of gems would be needed to upgrade your Medical Centre, which, for the first upgrade, will result in the healing cost going down by 10 percent and the chances of player injury also getting cut by 5 percent. Subsequent upgrades, of course, mean even cheaper healing costs and lower chances of players getting hurt.

Once again, you’ll need 75 gems for your initial Training Centre upgrade — upgrading this facility allows you to unlock more formations, extend Form Boosts by more matches, and reduce the cost of paying for coaches to improve your players. Finally, upgrading Accommodation Perks also costs 75 gems for the first upgrade, and this simply allows you to have a larger roster, with the first upgrade increasing your maximum squad size from 20 to 24.

Given the fact that all these upgrades will cost you a considerable amount of gems, save for the Stadium upgrades, we would recommend going with the initial Stadium upgrade from 12,346 fans to 15,000 maximum capacity, then prioritizing the rest as follows — Training Centre, Medical Centre, Commercial Perks, and Accommodation Perks.

The Accommodation Perks upgrades, however, can be prioritized higher once you’ve been promoted beyond Amateur Division and have gotten rid of all players with a 65 rating or lower and gotten your fair share of Coaches in return. In the first two divisions, however, you should be fine with a basic squad size of 20.

5. Should You Gamble On The Secret Players?

In the Transfers menu in Dream League Soccer 2020, you will occasionally see a Secret Player available among the nine choices — typically, this player will be far more expensive than the others, but that would be due to their status as a Rare player. They will, however, be discounted by a couple hundred gold coins or so, thus representing a good value deal if you have enough coins to spend on the player. But is it worth going for a Secret Player rather than spending on a specific player whom you know could definitely shore up a weakness on your squad?

rare player in dream league soccer 2020

If you ask us, we don’t see any issue buying a Secret Player if you can afford it, provided that you don’t have any real weaknesses in your lineup at the moment and are preparing to move up to a higher division. That way, you can, at the very least, increase your depth by having two very good players playing the same position, but in most cases, replace one of your weaker players at that point with someone with a higher rating.

However, if you still have a few weak spots in your first 11, it may be safer to let the opportunity to buy a Secret Player pass, because chances are they won’t address your weaknesses anyway. All player draws in DLS 20 are random, and we’d argue about that being the fun part of it all — you never know what position you’re going to get!

6. Beware Of Offside Violations – What Are They And How Can You Avoid Them?

The FIFA rulebook states that this happens when a player is closer to their opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-nearest opponent. This may be hard to determine for anyone who isn’t a professional referee, but our basic rule of thumb is this — if the passing opportunity looks too good to be true, then it’s probably offside.

how to avoid offside violations in dream league soccer 2020

When we say a passing opportunity is too good to be true, that means the player you’re passing to does not have anyone in his immediate vicinity ready to tackle or dispossess him if he moves the wrong way. It’s like a fast break opportunity in basketball, but one that isn’t allowed under the rules of association football — offside violations result in the good old reset, with the opposing keeper kicking the ball for a goal kick, and as we’ve noticed in Career Mode, they are a bit harder than most to rage-quit out of.

That all being said, offside violations can be real momentum killers, so we would simply suggest avoiding the temptation to pass the ball to someone that appears to be all alone and streaking toward the opposing box. Once again, fast breaks are all well and good in basketball and it’s quite thrilling to watch an American football player run to the end zone without anyone in serious pursuit. But in soccer, there are rules that prevent players from getting an unfair advantage, and these include the offside rule.

7. Editing Team And Player Information And Viewing Team Stats

This is probably something best suited for a beginner’s guide, but Dream League Soccer 2020 does mention the ability to edit team/player details a little late into the game and it isn’t fully explained how one can view team, player, and league statistics from the still-strangely named Statistics sub-menu.

Talking about the former feature, you can access the editing options by tapping on the third button on the upper left side of the screen — this will pull up the Customise Team menu, where you can edit your club’s logo — you can choose one out of 30 pre-loaded logos or the default DLS logo, and if you go with the non-default logos, you can change the kit colors to give your logo your own personal touch.

team stats in dream league soccer 2020

Speaking of kit colors, the Edit Kit menu allows you to customize the look and colors of your team’s uniforms in a plethora of different ways — for one, you can edit the kit for your Home, Away, and Third uniforms for both regular players and your goalkeeper.

The Edit Players option allows you to change specific player details — that would only include their boot color and shirt number. Unfortunately, you cannot change any given player’s name to Joe Schmo or Mr. Fantastic or any other custom name of your choice. Neither can you manually edit a player’s attributes or their appearance. We guess this is because First Touch wants to keep things as authentic as possible.

What you can change, however, is your manager’s name, appearance, and outfit under Edit Manager, as well as your team name, under Edit Team Name. Editing one’s team name, thankfully, is absolutely free in DLS 20 — other games, as you may know, will charge you some in-game currency if you want to change your original team name!

As for the stats, simply go to the Statistics menu and tap anywhere on it in order to view your fixtures and results, team standings, and your status in whichever cups you qualify for. Tapping on the team standings will also allow you to alternately view Fixtures/Results, as well as view your team statistics (My Team), listing all current players and their appearances, goals, assists, and yellow and red cards. (All former players, it seems, are deleted from the system.) You can also view the top goal scorers and assist men by tapping on the Top Scorers button on the bottom right of the screen.

And that would be all for now as far as our Dream League Soccer 2020 tips and strategies are concerned. If you happen to know additional tips for the game, feel free to let us know in the comment area!