Hey Madden Community!
KRAELO (aka Agent K) here! Welcome back to another installment of Madden 20's Gridiron Notes. For those that are new to Gridiron Notes, Gridiron Notes is where we keep you up-to-date with the latest Madden 20 news. Our goal with this series is to provide you with deeper insight into our game and update you when we have new and relevant information to share about Madden 20.
Today, our goal is to provide you some more details around the requirements for X-Factors and Superstar Abilities in Madden Ultimate Team (MUT). We also want to provide you some early information about how X-Factors and Superstar Abilities play a role in the Salary Cap mode.
So without further ado, let’s get into it and have Jake Stein, Producer on the Madden Ultimate Team, kick things off!
Hello Madden Fans,
Jake Stein here from the Madden Team! I wanted to take a few minutes as we lead into Madden NFL 20 to talk about the design philosophy we used to implement X-Factors and Superstar Abilities in Madden Ultimate Team (MUT). Those Abilities provide such a compelling and authentic way to play Madden and we were challenged with finding the best way to incorporate that gameplay story inside of MUT. What we ultimately (no pun intended) decided on was to add “archetypes” to Ultimate Team and then broke down the Superstar Abilities into “tiers”. Let’s dive a little deeper…
First step is the addition of archetypes. Doing this provided Ultimate Team the power to separate all of the Superstar Abilities into the archetypes that only made sense for each ability. So, for example QBs have four archetypes – Field General, Improvisor, Scrambler, and Strong Arm. Now let’s take a look at “Red Zone Deadeye” which gives any player with this ability perfect pass accuracy in the red zone. This ability is available for every QB archetype except for Scrambler.
The next thing after placing Superstar Abilities into archetypes was to make a pass at breaking them up into 3 Tiers with Tier 3 being what we considered to be the most powerful ability that archetype should get. Let’s go back to the Red Zone Deadeye example. I mentioned that 3 of the 4 QB archetypes can equip this ability but they don’t all unlock it at the same time. For Improvisor, Red Zone Deadeye is a Tier 3 ability meaning it will take a higher OVR to gain access to it. Strong Arm unlocks it at Tier 2 and Field General gets it right away at Tier 1. There’s a little bit of nuance but in general you can expect Power Up players to gain access to Tier 1 Abilities at 80 OVR, Tier 2 at 85 OVR, and Tier 3 at 90 OVR.
Now those of you who played Ultimate Team in Madden NFL 19 are familiar with the upgrade system (i.e. Power Ups) and the mechanic of getting to choose what chemistry, ability, etc. you wanted to equip for that player. The same concept is back when it comes to choosing these Superstar Abilities. You will unlock the “Tier 1 Slot” and then open it up to see what your available choices are. What’s also back is the concept of needing to meet certain OVR and/or attribute rating requirements in order to gain access to the ability. A good example of this would be Gunslinger. For Improvisors and Field Generals, you must be 95 OVR and have 95 Throw Power in order to have the option to choose Gunslinger in your Tier 3 bucket.
Hopefully you have a good sense of how the system design is working so far. There are still two more aspects to cover. So, in this world, players do not get more than 3 Superstar Abilities and we feel like at launch only having (at most) a single Tier 1, 2, and 3 ability is a balanced approach.
However, we know Ultimate Team is a journey, so we have plans in place for players to gain access to additional choices as the year goes on. What that means is that when you reach certain OVR thresholds, your Tier 1 or Tier 2 buckets will receive abilities from the higher Tiers.
So, if you’re having a real tough time choosing between Cross and Post Specialist in the Tier 2 Route Running bucket, you’ll be able to use your Tier 1 bucket to select one of these once that player hits 93 OVR.
The last aspect to cover is how you’ll have to “elect” which 3 players on offense and which 3 players on defense you want to have these abilities activated when you go into game. In the lineup screen, there’s a spot where you can choose which players you want to use and only those 6 total players will have X-Factors and Superstar Abilities activated when you play a game. You’ll always have the option to go in and tweak that loadout as many times as you want but it will need to be done from the lineup screen.
Superstar Abilities were the tough ones to figure out! The X-Factor abilities are much more straight forward. We are allowing any archetype to choose any X-Factor that makes sense for that position. The requirements to enter and exit the zone are tuned the same way that the rest of Madden has it tuned. Power Ups gain access to the X-Factor slot after melting in the Core item in the upgrade tier.
We understand there’s a lot to unpack here. We have plans to have this information integrated into your play experience in the near future to help with any questions or confusion.
- Jake Stein (Follow Jake Stein on Twitter @Jstein2469)
Huge S/O to Jake Stein for the detailed breakdown on how X-Factors and Superstar Abilities will work in Madden Ultimate Team. We all know how much our players love data and information, so Jake Stein and RG put together the following spreadsheet below that looks at each Archetype and what Abilities are available for each one. The best way to use this spreadsheet is to find your Archetype (e.g. Field General - QB) and then click on the filter and deselect N/A so that you can see at what Tier the ability will be available and any additional requirements needed as well (e.g. Tier 3: 95 OVR/95 THP).
8/23/2019 Update: The X-Factors and Superstar Requirements spreadsheet has been updated for the following positions: OL, FB, and K. The spreadsheet also contains a tab highlighting the Salary Cap costs for the new Offensive Line Superstar Abilities.
X-Factor & Superstar Requirements (MUT) V3.xlsx
Now let’s hear from RG, one of the Game Designers on the Madden Team who has been working on how X-Factors and Superstar Abilities will work in the Salary Cap mode in Madden Ultimate Team.
Hey Madden Fans! RG here!
If we are talking about abilities in MUT we also need to talk about their impact in MUT Salary Cap (Don’t worry MCS guys, we got you!).
Shown below are some key notes around abilities in Salary Cap that we want players to have going into this upcoming M20 season.
Updated Cap Formulas
More Salary Cap Info Coming Soon
- RG (Follow RG on Twitter @RG_Madden)
|X-Factor Ability||X-Factor Ability Description||Position||Cap|
|Gambler||Can't be intercepted by AI defenders||QB||40|
|Pro Reads||Highlights the first open receiver while in the pocket||QB||15|
|Blitz Radar||Highlights extra blitzers after the ball is snapped||QB||20|
|Run & Gun||Can't be intercepted by AI while throwing on the run||QB||35|
|Fearless||Throw accuracy is unaffected by defensive pressure||QB||20|
|Bazooka||Max throwing distance increased by 15+ yards||QB||25|
|Wrecking Ball||High success rate on next three trucks or stiff arms||HB||35|
|First One Free||High fakeout rate on next juke; spin; or hurdle||HB||35|
|Freight Train||Increased chance to break the next tackle attempt||HB||35|
|Rac 'em Up||Wins RAC catches vs. single coverage||WR/TE||30|
|Max Security||High success rate on possession catches||WR/TE||30|
|Satellite||Wins RAC & possession catches vs. single coverage||WR/TE||35|
|Double Me||Wins aggressive catches vs. single coverage||WR/TE||35|
|Fearmonger||Chance to pressure the QB while engaged with a blocker||Dline/LB||25|
|Run Stuffer||Block shedding is more effective vs. run plays||Dline/LB||25|
|Unstoppable Force||Pass rush wins lead to quicker block shedding||Dline/LB||40|
|Reinforcement||Higher chance to defeat run blocks and disrupt catches||Dline/LB||35|
|Shut Down||Tighter coverage and more INTs on contested catches||Dline/Safety LB||30|
|Zone Hawk||More catch knockouts and INTs in zone coverage||Dline/Safety LB||35|
|Superstar Ability||Superstar Ability Description||Ability Type||Cap Cost|
|Homer||Reduces the requirements to get in the zone when playing at home||Zone Boost||05|
|Clutch||Easier to get in the Zone and impossible to be knocked out starting halfway through the 4th quarter in a close game||Zone Boost||05|
|Indoor Baller||Easier to get into the Zone when playing in a domed stadium||Zone Boost||05|
|In Specialist||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running In routes.||Receiver||08|
|Inside Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all throws outside the numbers (except on high/low throws).||Passing||08|
|Lofting Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all lob or touch passes (except high/low and cross-body throws).||Passing||08|
|Redzone Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all unpressured throws inside the red zone (except on high/low throws).||Passing||08|
|Sideline Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all throws outside the numbers (except on high/low throws).||Passing||08|
|Tip Drill||Players with this ability have an increased chance to catch passes that have been tipped into the air.||Coverage||08|
|Clutch Kicker||Kickers with this ability are immune to the 'Ice the Kicker' effect that occurs after opponents call timeouts in critical situations.||Kicking||10|
|Gutsy Scrambler||Passers with this ability won't be adversely affected by pass rush pressure while throwing on the run.||Passing||10|
|Identifier||Players with this ability can detect user-controlled defenders before the snap.||Passing/Blocking||10|
|Long Range Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all deep throws while their feet are set (except on high/low throws).||Passing||10|
|Roaming Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all unpressured throws while their feet are set outside the pocket (except on high/low throws).||Passing||10|
|Safety Valve||Passers with this ability improve the catch rating for all running backs who are open on pass plays.||Passing||10|
|Slant Specialist||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running Slant routes.||Receiver||10|
|Slot-O-Matic||When lined up in the slot; receivers with this ability make faster cuts and have better hands on short routes.||Receiver||10|
|Acrobat||Defenders with this ability will dive for increased range on pass breakups and interceptions.||Coverage||12|
|In Out Elite||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running out and in routes.||Receiver||12|
|Secure Tackler||Defenders with this ability have an increased success rate when using conservative or diving tackles.||Tackling||12|
|Unfakeable||Defenders with this ability are rarely faked out by ballcarrier moves (and cannot be faked out when user-controlled).||Tackling||12|
|Agile Extender||While in the pocket; passers with this ability are almost guaranteed to evade the first sack attempt by a blitzing defensive back.||Passing||15|
|Anchored Extender||While in the pocket; passers with this ability are almost guaranteed to break the first sack attempt by a blitzing defensive back.||Passing||15|
|Backfield Mismatch||Running backs with this ability have better catch in traffic and route running when coming out of the backfield against linebackers and linemen.||Receiver (HB)||15|
|Cross Specialist||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running Cross routes.||Receiver||15|
|Curl Comeback Elite||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running Curl and Comeback routes.||Receiver||15|
|Double-Move Specialist||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running Double-Move routes vs. man coverage.||Receiver||15|
|Gift-Wrapped||Passers with this ability have a better chance to complete passes to uncovered receivers.||Passing||15|
|Pick Artist||Defenders with this ability have higher chance to catch uncontested interceptions; and they have unlimited stamina on the return (until using a special move or breaking a tackle).||Coverage||15|
|Pocket Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all unpressured throws while their feet are set in the pocket (except on high/low throws).||Passing||15|
|Pocket Lead||Passers with this ability have extended range on all unpressured precision passing from the pocket (except on high/low throws).||Passing||15|
|Post Specialist||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running Post routes.||Receiver||15|
|Reach Elite||Defenders with this ability can reach out of engaged blocks to tackle or sack nearby ballcarriers.||Tackling||15|
|Route Technician||Receivers with this ability have a high success rate when creating separation on the last cut of any route.||Receiver||15|
|Set Feet Lead||Passers with this ability have extended range on all unpressured precision passing while their feet are set (except on high/low throws).||Passing||15|
|Sleight of Hand||Passers with this ability have an increased success rate when using pump fakes on double-move routes against zone coverage.||Passing||15|
|Streak Specialist||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running streak routes.||Receiver||15|
|Under Pressure||Defenders with this ability can apply pressure to the quarterback from a greater distance.||Line Play||15|
|In Post Elite||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running In and Post routes.||Receiver||20|
|Matchup Nightmare||Receivers with this ability make sharper cuts and frequently win contested catches when covered by linebackers and linemen||Receiver||20|
|Out Corner Elite||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running out and corner routes.||Receiver||20|
|Run Stopper||Quick block shed & tackles while engaged by run blocks||Line Play||20|
|Tackle Supreme||Defenders with this ability have better conservative/dive tackling; are rarely faked out by ballcarrier moves; and cannot be faked out when user-controlled.||Tackling||20|
|Conductor||Passers with this ability can make all hot route and blocking adjustments twice as fast (excluding audibles).||Passing||25|
|Fastbreak||Passers with this ability immediately respond to user input (and defenders react more slowly) on designed quarterback run plays.||Passing||25|
|Last Ditch||Passers with this ability have a higher chance of completing a pass animation (and throwing the ball) while being sacked.||Passing||25|
|Pass Lead Elite||Passers with this ability have extended range on all precision passing (except on high/low throws).||Passing||25|
|Secure Protector||Blockers with this ability reduce a pass rusher's chances of using a quick block shed move.||Line Play (O)||28|
|Dashing Deadeye||Perfect passing accuracy when throwing on the run when outside the pocket, excluding High/Low throws, Under Pressure & Cross-Body throws||Passing||30|
|Enforcer||Defenders with this ability don't allow broken tackles when hit-sticking ballcarriers - regardless of the runner's size or power.||Tackling||30|
|Focused Kicker||Kickers with this ability experience a slower kicking meter for better power and accuracy.||kicking||30|
|Leap Frog||Ballcarriers with this ability have faster and higher hurdle animations.||Ball Carrier||30|
|Man Up||Defenders with this ability play tighter coverage and force more catch knockouts in man-to-man.||Coverage||30|
|No-Look Deadeye||Passers with this ability have perfect accuracy on all cross-body throws (except on high/low throws).||Passing||30|
|Post Flag Elite||Receivers with this ability run sharper routes and catch more consistently while running post and corner routes.||Receiver||30|
|RB Apprentice||When lined up at running back; players with this ability have access to four additional hot routes during pre-play adjustments.||Receiver (HB)||30|
|Red Zone Threat||When in the red zone; receivers with this ability have a better chance to win contested catches against single coverage.||Receiver||30|
|Strip Specialist||Defenders with this ability can still tackle effectively while trying to strip the football.||Tackling||30|
|TE Apprentice||When lined up at TE; players with this ability have access to four additional hot routes during pre-play adjustments.||Receiver||30|
|Zoned Out||Defenders with this ability force more catch knockouts and react quicker in zone coverage.||Coverage||30|
|Arm Bar||Ballcarriers with this ability have more powerful stiff-arm animations.||Ball Carrier||35|
|Bulldozer||Ballcarriers with this ability have more powerful truck animations.||Ball Carrier||35|
|Finesse Specialist||Defenders with this ability have faster finesse move animations during their pass rush.||Line Play||35|
|Grab-N-Go||After securing a catch; ballcarriers with this ability can quickly shift momentum; change direction; and turn the corner without sacrificing speed.||Receiver||35|
|Gun Slinger||Passers with this ability have faster passing animations and increased velocity on bullet passes.||Passing||35|
|Juke Box||Ballcarriers with this ability have faster juke animations.||Ball Carrier||35|
|Lurker||Ability to make jumping and 180 degree interceptions when in coverage over the middle of the field.||Coverage||35|
|Outside Apprentice||When lined up at wide receiver (excluding slot); players with this ability have access to four additional hot routes during pre-play adjustments.||Receiver||35|
|Playmaker||Receivers with this ability will immediately and precisely react to a user's playmaker inputs.||Receiver||35|
|Power Specialist||Defenders with this ability have faster power move animations during their pass rush.||Line Play||35|
|Slot Apprentice||When lined up in the slot; players with this ability have access to four additional hot routes during pre-play adjustments.||Receiver||35|
|Spin Cycle||Ballcarriers with this ability have faster spin animations.||Ball Carrier||35|
|Backfield Master||When lined up in the backfield; players with this ability have access to four additional hot routes; better route running; and improved catching against linebackers and linemen.||Receiver (HB)||40|
|Edge Threat||Defenders with this ability use dominant pass rush moves while rushing from the edge of the defense.||Line Play||45|
|WR Apprentice||When lined up at any wide receiver position; players with this ability have access to four additional hot routes during pre-play adjustments.||Receiver||45|
|Edge Threat Elite||Defenders with this ability use dominant pass rush moves and apply significant QB pressure while rushing from the edge of the defense.||Line Play||50|
|Route Apprentice||Players with this ability have access to four additional hot routes; regardless of where they line up.||Receiver||50|
|Universal Coverage||Defenders with this ability play tighter coverage and force more catch knockouts in both man-to-man and zone.||Coverage||50|
|Bruiser||Ballcarriers with this ability have more powerful truck and stiff-arm animations.||Ball Carrier||55|
|Escape Artist||Passers with this ability are faster and more responsive to user input while scrambling behind the line of scrimmage.||Passing||55|
|Evasive||Ballcarriers with this ability have faster juke and spin animations.||Ball Carrier||55|
|Inside Zone Guru||Ballcarriers with this ability receive better blocking on Inside zone plays.||Ball Carrier||55|
|Outside Zone Guru||Ballcarriers with this ability receive better blocking on outside zone plays.||Ball Carrier||55|
|Pass Rush Elite||Defenders with this ability use faster pass rush moves for a better chance at shedding pass blocks.||Line Play||55|
|Pin-N-Pull Guru||Ballcarriers with this ability receive better blocking on pitch, toss, and counter plays||Ball Carrier||55|
|Hot Route Master||Passers with this ability have access to four extra hot routes during pre-play adjustments.||Passing||60|
|Human Joystick||Ballcarriers with this ability can quickly shift momentum; change direction; and turn the corner without sacrificing speed.||Ball Carrier||60|
|Protected||Passers with this ability receive better pass blocking from their offensive linemen.||Passing||65|
|QB Playmaker||Passers with this ability can elicit immediate and precise playmaker reactions from any receiver.||Passing||110|
So what is next? RATINGS, RATINGS, RATINGS! Head over to Muthead.com to see the full Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) Ratings database at launch.
You can find MUT Ratings here: www.muthead.com/20/players
Also stay tuned for some special editions of Gridiron Notes this week. Here is a quick breakdown of articles you can expect to see later this week.
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