The magnetoelectric coupling in multiferroic materials is promising for a wide range of applications, yet manipulating magnetic ordering by electric field proves elusive to obtain and difficult to control. In this paper, we explore the prospect of controlling magnetic ordering in misfit strained bismuth ferrite (BiFeO 3, BFO) films, combining theoretical analysis, numerical simulations, and experimental characterizations. Electric field induced transformation from a tetragonal phase to a distorted rhombohedral one in strain engineered BFO films has been identified by thermodynamic analysis, and realized by scanning probe microscopy (SPM) experiment. By breaking the rotational symmetry of a tip-induced electric field as suggested by phase field simulation, the morphology of distorted rhombohedral variants has been delicately controlled and regulated. Such capabilities enable nanoscale control of magnetoelectric coupling in strain engineered BFO films that is difficult to achieve otherwise, as demonstrated by phase field simulations.