Although the NFL season has drawn to a close, Madden NFL 25 still remains one of the most popular sports titles for gamers. For those who are yet to jump into an NFL game, Sportra has put together some quick tips to help get beginner’s started with the basics. This guide will cover some of the things you need to know for both offence and defence, and will help you make a strong start.
If you don’t know the basic rules of the NFL, you can read our full guide here to learn the basics of the sport.
Types of Offensive plays
There are different types of plays you can run on every down in Madden. At the most basic level; you can run, throw or kick the ball, with variations of each. For newcomers, the best option is to “Ask Madden” or “GameFlow”. The game will give you a choice of three plays best suited to the situation and your team. For those a little more advanced, you should look to select an offence based on the ‘Play Type”, which offers a little more depth.
Runs are best used either on first down, or on third with short yardage left to gain a first down. You can either run straight through the middle of an opponent’s defence, or try to run around the outside of the defensive line and hope the secondary leaves enough space to exploit.
Throws allow for a better chance of gaining more yards on each play, but carry a greater risk of an interception. You have to make sure that the man you’re throwing to is open, or will be open by the time the ball reaches him. Short throws are released sooner after the snap by the quarterback, as his receivers will be in position much sooner and ready for the ball. Play action passes (listed in the playbook as PA) are set-ups where, following the snap, the quarterback will pretend to hand the ball to the running back, before moving out of the pocket and looking for a man in the backfield.
Long throws are usually reserved for more desperate situations, when you require greater yards to make a first down or are late in the half.
Don’t stick to one particular play type, mix things up so the defence doesn’t begin to read you. Becoming repetitive is what will cost you in a game. You’ll soon find a game plan faltering because you don’t change things up and keep defenders guessing.
You can also choose by formation, but this is a little too advanced for newcomers, particularly those outside of the US who haven’t grown up around the sport.
Before the snap
You can view the design of a play before the snap by pressing RT/R2, so you can get a preview of where players will be moving during the play. One of the players runs will be highlighted in red, this will be the designated player who you will be most likely be open, so hold on to the ball as long as possible until he wrestle free from the defenders.
You can also call audibles and change the movement of the offensive line to offer greater protection to the quarterback and running backs. By pressing LB/L1, a ‘pass protection’ menu will pop up, and by moving the right stick up, down, left or right, you can change how your offensive line will wrestle with the defence. This can really help on running plays, or deep pass plays where the quarterback has to hold the ball a little longer.
Pressing X/Square will bring up an audible menu. Calling an audible is to change the play, based on what you see from the opponent’s defensive set-up. You can’t change to any of the offensive strategies in the playbook, but one of a few that will appear in the menu, all of which you can see the art for by scrolling through your options.
Carrying the ball
Aside from sprinting, there are some other things that you can do as the ball carrier to avoid tackles. The most effective of which is using the right stick, which makes a player “juke” and “truck” his way through tackles. If your runner is carrying enough speed, and is strong enough, there’s a chance he can run right through a defender with a well-timed flick of the right stick.
If you have several players closing in on you, there’s always the dive option (X/square) which is great for squeezing out a few extra yards on the play, and could be vital when trying to gain a first down. never dive straight into an opponent, as the collision detection in the Madden series is iffy at best. Try to dive at an angle to the side of players but always progressing up the field, increasing the amount of yards gained.
Spins and hurdles, while visually impressive, are more tricky to pull off, especially in crowded situations. Stick to the basics for now. Stiff arming a defender works when you are ahead of him, not when he is running full steam into you. Work the angles, and try to push his head as you move away from the tackle.
Avoiding the blitz
It can be difficult to read defensive blitzes prior to the snap when you first start playing Madden. The best thing you can learn is effective strategies to avoid defensive pressure instead. Some quarterbacks are more agile than others. Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III are two of the fastest quarterbacks in the league, and far more capable of running away from danger. Pocket passers like Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, on the other hand, aren’t able to move much, and will require either a quick pass, or to simply throw the ball away by pressing the right stick.