Having trouble scoring the necessary touchdowns to secure victory? Tired of your opponents destroying your defense? There’s no getting around the fact that Madden NFL has a massive learning curve. It can leave new players flailing around like Christian Ponder as they are repeatedly picked off, overwhelmed by the options available to them. So, what are the best strategies for assisting you in winning?
Fortunately, there are a few quick ways to improve in Madden NFL that don’t require mastering rocket catches or memorizing a complex set of blitz adjustments. Much of it is just learning the terminology, the roles of each player on the field, and what to do in different situations.
Take this guide as a starting point. Whether you’re playing Madden 15 or the inevitable Madden 18, these pointers should help you improve.
Best Tips And Tricks
Some of the best tips have been listed below to give you that extra edge:
1. How To Improve Your Offense Right Away
- Recognize Man Coverage vs. Zone Coverage: Man coverage involves one cornerback focusing on one receiver, whereas zone coverage involves defensive backs (and sometimes members of the front seven) guarding a specific area of the field. Learning to recognize them before the snap is essential for offensive success in Madden NFL. Check your matchup indicator (accessed by holding L2/LT) to see if a team is in zone coverage. If there isn’t a matchup, the opposing defense is either using zone or a house blitz. Adjust accordingly in either case.
- Keep an eye on the safeties: Safety play is a great indicator of what the defense is trying to accomplish. If there is only one safety up top, they may be attempting a blitz. In contrast, if they have two safeties over the top, you should look for short and middle routes. More experienced players will take manual control of their safety and attempt to double-cover your receivers. If this occurs, it is time to throw deep to your receivers along the sideline.
- Learn to Scramble Out of the Pocket: Though they won’t be as powerful as they were in Madden 25, mobile quarterbacks are still the bane of any defense’s existence in Madden 15. Throwing the ball when your receivers are well-covered is not always a good idea. Instead, practice rolling out of the pocket and scrambling for a few yards. These maneuvers are frequently the difference between a pick or sack and a first down.
- Don’t Lay on the Sprint Button: Avoid holding down the sprint button (R2/RT). It not only reduces your maneuverability, but it also wears you out quickly. Instead, use it in short bursts to get around corners and breakthrough offensive line holes. When you’re in the open, it’s time to hit the gas and sprint to the endzone.
2. How To Improve Defense
- Understanding When to Use Base, Nickel, and Dime Sets: In football, a simple rule of thumb is those base formations (4-3 and 3-4) should be used for two receiver formations, nickel formations for three-receiver sets, and dime formations for four-receiver sets. In obvious passing situations, it’s sometimes best to go all the way up to Dollar or Quarter and remove all linebackers from the field.
- When to Use QB Spies: For offensive players, the QB Spy audible is a powerful tool. It serves as a deterrent to scrambling quarterbacks as well as a coverage tool in the middle of the field. On passing downs, it’s often worth putting a defensive end in as a spy. Certain plays also automatically turn players into spies.
- Learn to Cover Difficult Receivers Manually: While Madden 15 makes it much easier to execute a manual pass rush, that doesn’t mean you should always be user-controlling a lineman. When you’re confident that Richard Sherman or Darrelle Revis can handle the outside, it’s sometimes better to control one of your safeties and double cover a receiver. Strafe with the L2 or LT button and try to bracket the receiver in question so you can go for the interception. You have a good chance of getting a sack if you force them to pause for a few seconds.
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These were some of the tricks the newer players should keep in mind when beginning their Madden journey. We have included tricks to improve both offense and defense early on. We hope you found this guide helpful.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.