Category Archives: Madden NFL 18

Biggest Risers and Fallers in Madden NFL 18 Ratings

As JuJu Smith-Schuster was sprinting to a Pittsburgh Steelers-record 97-yard touchdown reception last week against the Detroit Lions, the rookie receiver kept looking back. There was a reason why: his Madden speed.

It might be the first time a player ever used Madden (and his alleged slow speed in it) to judge whether he could outrun a player in real life. Madden actually had his speed rating at an 89 — a number that changed for the first time this week from the initial 88 — but the game is starting to give the receiver credit as the midseason point approaches.

Smith-Schuster started with a 73 overall rating. Now the NFL’s leading rookie receiver in real life (24 catches and 424 yards) is at 77, which is a little low considering who is in front of him. That includes his struggling teammate, Martavis Bryant, recently reinstated Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon and a gaggle of rookies, including Tennessee’s Corey Davis, the Chargers’ Mike Williams and the Rams’ Cooper Kupp.


But don’t worry too much, JuJu. Madden ratings tend to figure themselves out — and the game has already recognized the 20-year-old’s route running (up eight, from 69 to 77) and awareness (up from 68 to 77). Soon enough, the rest could catch up.

With that in mind, here’s a spin around the “Madden NFL 18″ universe at midseason, with all the good and bad through the game’s virtual byte-sized eyes. To be up front, this is not a comprehensive list.

The 99 club

“Madden NFL 18″ initially had three players with a 99 overall rating: cover boy Tom Brady, Denver linebacker Von Miller and Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Of those, only one remains: Miller.

Brady lost his 99 rating before Week 2, dropping to 98 likely due to a two-point drop in throwing power from 97 to 95. He’s still the highest-rated quarterback in the game, one position ahead of the injured Aaron Rodgers.

Donald dropped as low as 97 before Week 3, but rebounded to 98 the following week, his current rating. His block-shedding dropped from 91 to 88, perhaps explaining his one-point dip.

Miller remains a 99 and saw only small changes from his overall rating, with his block-shedding dropping from a 95 to an 88, while his awareness moved from a 92 to a 96 and his acceleration from an 89 to a 90. His man coverage dropped two (64 to 62) and his zone from 74 to 72. His finesse and power moves also dropped one point each.

Meanwhile, Miller has two new contemporaries at the top of Madden: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski and Houston defensive end J.J. Watt.

Watt started as a 98 and graduated to a 99 before Week 5, the same week a fractured left leg ended his season. Gronkowski, meanwhile, was boosted up before Week 4 to a 99 when his awareness jumped from 92 to 94 and his catching from 95 to 96.

Who could join them? It’s tough to truly understand the Madden formula and what will warrant bumps in ratings. Based on who is out there, Gronkowski, Miller and Watt could end up having company. There’s no reason to think Brady and Donald can’t once again achieve 99 status.

The best candidates to crack the 99 club:

Khalil Mack, OLB, Raiders: Mack moved from 97 to 98 already this season (he did so last week). Mack has 42 tackles in real life, which puts him on pace for a career high. He also has a shot to hit double-digit sacks for the third straight season. If he gets there, he could get the last bump he needs.

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: Not actually sure what the Madden raters have against Brown, who should be a 99 in my opinion instead of his holding-steady 97. He leads the NFL in receptions (57) and receiving yards (835) and has three touchdowns. His awareness rating is 99 and his spectacular catch rating is up to 98.

Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: He hasn’t gotten into the end zone much but is still on pace for a 1,234-yard season. It’d be his fourth straight 1,000-yard year, although his lowest total since his injury-shortened 2013. A few more touchdowns, though, and Brown’s rating could bump up, especially since he has been 98 since launch.

5 Tips You Should Knew Before Starting Madden NFL 18

Madden NFL 18 is almost upon us, with its full official release happening in just two days. Our review for the game is already live, and you can check that out here. EA’s annual football game has several new features, including a brand new story mode separate from regular gameplay, that you’ll want to take stock of before just diving right in.

Madden NFL 18 has been released on August 25 for PS4 and Xbox One, but here are five tips I wish I knew before starting the game:


You Hardly Play Any Football in Longshot

Longshot mode in Madden NFL 18 is the series’ first attempt at a story mode. Whether or not it will appeal to you is hard to say, as it certainly has its fans, but it also has its detractors who say it’s watered down on both the Telltale and football aspects.

One thing is for sure, though, you don’t play much actual football in the game mode. You never play a full Madden-style 11-on-11 game. You play a few very specific scenarios under the guise of “memories.” Besides that, you play two matches of 7-on-7, one to 21 and the other ending with a cinematic after getting to 28 points. The only time you do play a real 11-on-11 situation is during the game’s climactic challenge, but it just presents you with a series of challenges (lead a 99-yard touchdown drive, i.e.), rather than having you play the full game. Depending on how long you take with these, it’s likely that actual football will take up no more than 1/5 of your actual playtime during Longshot.

But Longshot Does Offer Useful Rewards

Sure, we may not have cared much for Longshot has a game mode, and you might not either, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t rewarding. Playing through and completing the Longshot mode will give you rewards for your MUT Squad.

The Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) is the ultimate fantasy football mode, allowing you put players from all different teams and even different eras on one roster and pit them against both CPU and Online opponents. And while the rewards in Longshot will likely not be substantial, depending on your playthrough, I’m sure you’re not one to leave money on the table.

It’s More Adaptive Than Previous Installments

For a years now, Madden games have always tried to adapt to what’s going on in the real life NFL season. This is usually something as simple as stat changes based on players’ performance, but Madden NFL 18 takes it to a whole new level with its Play Now Live feature.

Play Now Live lets you jump into the NFL season at any point, with any team and play that match. This will take into account live stats, trades and injuries, and even the commentary will be updated to include context of how the team has done so far in real life. Playing Madden during the NFL season might me more rewarding than ever, and Play Now Live might be the only real way to play during that time.

Trading is More Difficult to Exploit

If you’re a Madden veteran, you’re probably very practiced at gaming the system during Franchise Mode. Easily exploitable trade A.I. combined with the possible unexpected emergence of rookie players might have made your franchises pretty lucrative with just one or two trade offers that CPU teams would accept.

Well that isn’t the case anymore. The Franchise Mode AI in Madden NFL 18 has now been tuned to add bonus trade value to both rookies and players in the first year of their contracts, making it much harder to nab those players that the game thinks are up for grabs but may not be. Also, in the NFL landscape of Le’Veon Bell holdouts and Jimmy Garoppolo holdouts, Franchise mode has also adapted to put a higher premium on backup running backs and quarterbacks.

You’re Probably Better Off Without the “Target Passing” Feature

One of the new features in Madden NFL 18 is the “Target Passing” feature. This makes it so you’re not just pressing a button to determine who to throw the ball to and holding that button down more the faster you want to throw it. Instead, Target Passing gives you more control over exactly where you want to throw the ball around your targeted receiver.

Unfortunately, this should be considered a work in progress. It seems the only real option for the Target Passing mode is to throw slightly in front of your intended receiver, which would be where it goes anyway with just one button press and no loss of surrounding vision. Any alterations to your ball placement will likely confuse the receiving AI into missing your pass. This isn’t to say that a system that allows you to, for example, back-shoulder a pass or throw your receiver open by putting it deeper, wouldn’t be good. It certainly would be. But, as far as we can tell, Target Passing is not that system just yet. Maybe give it a few more Maddens.

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Why You Should Be Excited To Play Madden 18

We have been super excited for Madden 18 for months and that is why we have had a section of the site all ready to offer people the best place to buy Madden 18 coins. But for some people getting excited about an annual sports game can be tough, even if it is a game they are into. Well today if you have not yet jumped on the Madden 18 train, we have some reasons as to why you should be excited to play this year’s Madden!


It Looks Better Than Ever

While gameplay always comes first. When playing a sports sim, you want it to look like it does on TV and as this is the second year EA have used the Frostbite engine. Madden 18 is one of the best looking sports games that is out there right now. It has a presentation that really does suck you in and makes the game look more like a TV broadcast than ever before.

It Has A Story Mode

This is a bit of a weird thing, but with Fifa and the NBA 2K series introducing a story mode to their games. Madden 18 is also doing the same thing. Now while some people may skip this mode and just get straight into Ultimate Team. It is a fun mode and one that is very different to anything you have ever experienced in a Madden game before.

Better Game Play

Skill really does matter in Madden 18 with a target passing system, coverage assignments and lots of different play styles. You are going to really have to think about the way you approach the game. There is going to be far more skill required to play Madden 18 than any other entry in the series!

Madden 18: Turn Your Offence Into An Unstoppable Machine

Madden NFL 18 is one of those games that intrigues a lot of people, including those with only have a passing interest in American football. That’s why we’ve created a guide listing the best beginner Madden 18 tips and tricks to strengthen your defence and turn your offence into an unstoppable machine.

Madden NFL 18

Madden NFL 18 Guide – Learn the formations

If you’re not sure how they work, it will put you off almost instantly but understanding the pros and cons of each is essential if you want to have a productive game of football. Formations are intimidating.

You can execute any play regardless what formation you have, but certain lineups are going to be more successful depending what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re truly new to the series you’re best off starting with a team like the Miami Dolphins who more often than not stick to three formations.

If you’re looking for a more balanced approach that lets you think more on your feet, always use Singleback. It’s best to use the I Formation, Strong I or Weak I to run the ball and Shotgun if you feel the need to go for a long pass.

Naturally you  have defensive formations on top of this, and the key ones are 4-3 – which will give you coverage against most plays – 4-4 – to slow down running plays and potentially blitz the QB – and 3-4 – which will target an opponent’s running back. There are more options which will usually lean slightly more towards running the ball or passing, but as general rule the above will help your game no end.

Madden NFL 18 Guide – Look at your opponent

So you’ve chosen your formation and play and you’re feeling pretty good about the upcoming down. The thing is, that’s really where the game starts.

There’s every chance they’ve read you perfectly and are set up to stop you making any gains. Before the ball has even be handed off it’s imperative to look at your opponent and see how its defence has lined up and then try to figure out if your idea is going to work.

If they seem perilously close to the line of scrimmage there’s a good chance they’re aiming for a blitz, or the eradication of your QB. There’s no hard and fast rule with this, but observe the positioning of their linebackers to figure out how it matches up with your play. If they seemed more relaxed with their safeties sitting deep, it’s fair to assume they think you’re going to pass

You can also call hot routes which will specifically let you change the pathway of a receiver to circumvent the defence immediately. This is where you have to be smart. A quick press of R3 will take you to an in-play menu where you can call an audible to rearrange your line-up to give you the upper hand. It is, however, crucial when you get further into the game. A lot of this will be trial and error at first as you start learning how to read another team and understanding what is and isn’t possible.

Madden NFL 18 Guide – Learn the passes

Naturally passing the ball is incredibly important in Madden but it’s not just a case of tapping a button and seeing it perfectly fall into your receiver’s hands.

Where Madden 18 is concerned EA has delayed the amount of time it takes for a receiver to get into the right position so being patient and holding off an extra half-second before allowing your QB to make an attempt will make all the difference. Instead you have to learn the system and work out what each pass means.

Bullet Passes, as they sound, are short, quick passes best suited for short attempts whereas Touch Passes allow you to control the pass with more finesse, making them better in situations where you’re trying to steer your receiver near the sidelines.

There’s also numerous types of passes you can unleash and, again, choosing the right one for the right situation could be the reason you complete a play.

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