Madden 22 tips won't help you turn the Jacksonville Jaguars into real-life Super Bowl winners, but they should at least prevent you from becoming a virtual Urban Meyer. Madden 22 delivers long-overdue improvements to franchise mode, and below we cover all its fresh nuances – as well as some other handy hints, such as how to use The Yard to your advantage. Mercifully, no helmet or pads are required in your Madden 22 tips guide.
1. Build for an air attack in Superstar KO
In one of Madden's flashiest modes, you get to draft players from pools of only the league's most elite athletes and enjoy ever-present X-Factor abilities. Naturally, this mode can feel like two teams of superheroes smashing into each other in each shortened 10-minute game.
To gain the advantage over your formidable opponent, draft players for the passing game, and on defense get ready to defend it. While having a great feature back like Derrick Henry or Nick Chubb is nice, the meta of this mode simply doesn't allow for teams to move the ball slowly and steadily. Go deep, take the top off, and prepare to give cushion on D too. Most players you run into in Superstar KO are going for knockout punches on every play.
2. Treat Franchise like an RPG
My personal favorite new addition to Madden 22 is the new coaching skill trees, which allow players to build out their coaching staff in their preferred image. But first you have to know what that image will be. If you're going to play Franchise for the long-haul, think about what kind of team you want to have in three seasons or more.
Think long-term, and create builds that match that. If you want to have an offense that relies on power running, unlock the coaching skills that complement that scheme, like giving your offensive line boosts in the power blocking stat. Conversely, if you want to improve your rookie phenom TE, the offensive coordinator will have related upgrades to maximize his impact early and often. If you have a roadmap in mind, you'll get to where you want to be much faster in the new-look Franchise mode.
3. Finetune the stamina system
Madden 22 introduces a brand-new stamina system that is meant to reflect the real-life toll the grueling sport takes on players. While one could debate whether or not this new in-game system is more realistic, for playing purposes, it's essentially broken, but it can be fixed manually.
Head into the gameplay options where you'll find a stamina meter that ranges from 1-100 and is set to 50 by default. The higher the number, the more quickly players get winded, but in my experience, the system is way too punishing. I've seen feature running backs fail to finish games because of modest first-half workloads. I've seen receivers fumbling much more often because they can't catch their breath even when they're sidelined for plays at a time. Quite simply, this new system requires the touch of a real player. If you don't want to turn stamina off entirely, I recommend tuning it down to 30-35 and see if that feels better for now. But in any case, you should find the setting that works for you.
4. Join the moneyball revolution
Another vital part of team-building is knowing when to decline resigning players, sometimes even cutting them before their contracts expire. We hear it all the time in real-life, "football is a business" and that's true in Madden as well. It hurts to swallow, but sometimes it's best to part ways with that 30-year-old, 82-overall tight end you love when he wants a four-year contract for upwards of 24 million dollars. Because usually it's the case that you can get a guy who provides 80% of the production for 30% of the price, especially if you build through the draft.
The tight end example is just one to illustrate the point. The fact is, this logic can and should be applied at every position on the field – especially quarterback. Even decent QBs will garner 10 million annually, but if you're not a team that relies on the position (admittedly difficult in 2021), don't pay a lot for a little production.
5. Dive into the deeper scouting reports
Playing in competitive leagues over the years, I learned quickly that survival of the fittest in Madden means knowing what your opponent wants to do before they do it. In years past, this has meant I spent a lot of time watching my opponents' past Twitch streams, simulating a film room of sorts.
Now, Madden does a lot of that leg work for you. Before each Franchise game, you get to enact your strategy for that week of practice. This isn't new in itself, but it's supplemented by a closer look into team tendencies. What do they do on second and short? What do they do on third and long? What do they do in the red zone? If you know where the ball might go in different situations, Madden becomes less of a guessing game. Don't overlook all these new tools built directly into the Franchise pre-game HUD.
6. Make halftime adjustments
Sometimes knowing those tendencies isn't going to be enough, and your first half is going to look like you're in a Globetrotters game except you're playing the role of the Generals. Just as you can draw up a pre-game scheme, you can adjust at halftime to react to what you've seen so far.
If you give up big runs to the outside for two quarters, you can tell your team to emphasize protecting those outside running lanes and they'll receive attribute boosts when those plays are called, but it may leave you vulnerable to the inside runs as a result. Remember that your opponent gets to make adjustments just like you. Like in a game of Battleship, you can't see their moves, which gives even basic exhibition games an extra layer of punching and counterpunching new to this year's game.
7. Complete all objectives in The Yard
Introduced last year, The Yard is Madden's flashiest mode ever. It plays a bit like NFL Street, albeit still within the general framework and engine of Madden proper. Expanding the mode this year is a new system of challenges and rewards in what EA calls The Yard's campaign. It doesn't take too long, but for that reason, you should ensure you complete all optional objectives and reap the full slate of rewards.
Before each game, you have three challenges to complete. They can range from simple maneuvers – "perform a spin move" – to defeating the campaign's "bosses," amped-up AI competitors that prove tougher to keep out of the end zone. Each challenge offers its own reward and if you're a Madden completist, they contain useful items that span several game modes. You'll get various currencies for spending in the game's stores. You'll earn new player cards for Ultimate Team. Most of all, you get tons of new cosmetics, which is good because otherwise the prices on anything cool looking are often wildly high.
Looking for even more Gridiron hints? Then leap on over to our Madden 22 playbooks guide.