Madden 23 franchise mode is designed with real-life off-season chaos in mind

Madden 23 franchise mode is designed with real-life off-season chaos in mind

Madden 23 franchise mode is designed with real-life off-season chaos in mind


For a sport that kicks off an entire season in less than six months, the NFL has done a great job of staying relevant throughout the year. In its quest for authenticity, Madden NFL 23 needs to reflect that. With NFL training camps about to reopen, football fans may be looking back on what is without a doubt the most important offseason in recent memory — arguably the most important offseason in the entire NFL history. Big-name wide receivers like Tyreek Hill and Devante Adams pushed themselves from regular roles to new teams for big salaries. Star QBs are traded like Russell Wilson and retired (and then not) like Tom Brady, while other veterans like Bobby Wagner and Von Miller join teams that have knocked on the door of the Super Bowl.

For this year’s Madden, Tiburon’s team tried to give franchise players more control, a right that fans have seen the likes of Adams and Brady claim for themselves. New contract tools and a deeper free agency experience are some of the big changes to the game mode, and if done right, should give players an equally crazy feeling when building a championship-caliber team.

Every NFL team knows that you don’t just win games on the field. Sometimes a season can be decided in the draft room and the front office. Madden 23’s new contract tool finally replaces the series’ outdated model of guessing the best position to get players to sign you based on vague starting positions. Tiburon calls these new tools “simplified,” and they’re true, but they’re also objectively more nuanced than ever, which is great news for players in both solo and online leagues.

Starting with Madden 23, you’ll be able to offer free agents one of four basic contracts: Team Friendly, Player Friendly, Neutral, and Highest Offer. It’s still possible to fine-tune it outside of these templates, but at least being able to compare how cost-effective it is for players and teams should go a long way towards understanding one of Madden’s most opaque components.

These free agents will measure your trade from a financial standpoint, but they will also consider a longer, sometimes humorous, list of factors. That includes whether they’re ready to make the starting lineup, what the team’s overall prospects are for winning games, and even whether the team exists in a state that imposes income taxes. Yes, teams like the Dolphins, Buccaneers and Jaguars can sometimes have an edge in free agency, but that’s just one of many factors.

The system isn’t entirely new to Madden. Long-time players may remember what’s been going on in the game over the past few years, but not a few seasons now. Assuming it will do better and be more real, this may still mean that money tends to win in the end, but not always.

Victory ends on the field, but starts in the front office.

Player attributes also add new roles, making some players a better fit for your team than just their on-court skills. For example, someone like Bobby Wagner would wear the emblematic “Mentor” badge, which would give players younger than him an XP boost in the same position. These roles play directly into free agency roles, as knowing who is in the locker room will help players decide where to sign, such as wing players looking to team up with elite QBs.

Another new question is performance in free agency. Phased rollouts have always been the case, but Madden 23 will now limit your available contract offers within each phase. An example given by that the initial free agency period will allow up to five offers per team, but not more than that. More offers will be made available in subsequent phases of the free agency period. This is to make sure players don’t just throw money around (even if the jaguars do it in real life).

For online franchises, the impact of these changes seems destined to be amplified. In My Crazy League, we’ve put certain out-of-game restrictions on free agency to seek something closer to parity, or at least something that takes into account our different time zones. Madden 23 will bring such a system directly into the game, ensuring that a team with deep pockets doesn’t snag every viable player by the deadline on day one.

For players who want to pinch coins more often than toss them into the wind, the Madden 23 will also feature a roll cap for the first time. While the specifics are still a bit hazy until I see the actual situation, it was explained to me that the unused cap space could be used for the next league year, giving Madden players more flexibility in how they build their team. I’d love to know exactly when this flip happened and what’s going to happen in the next few years, but as far as I know so far, it’s a welcome addition.

Last year’s scouting update greatly enhanced the talent pool and the process of discovering future stars in the annual draft, and Madden 23 will build on that to build a smarter AI scouting team. Since the process has been streamlined to basically take place in the context of the weekly franchise, the scouting report will now reveal more about it. In Madden 22, finding a passing QB might unnecessarily reveal attributes like Break Tackle and Spin Move, but in this year’s game, you’ll unlock pertinent information first — like Throw Power and Short Accuracy.

In Connected Franchise, each team owner can turn skill-based passing on or off.

While Madden 23 will be primarily marketed with its new “Fieldsense” overhaul, which includes new mechanics that apply to basically every position on the field, one of the biggest changes, skill-based passing, even in the connected franchise The midfield will also be optional at the player level. This means the league will not need to collectively decide whether to implement the new pass control. Every team owner can decide for themselves. That’s good news, because the major new system in Madden can go either way – maybe the community will love it and it’ll be around forever, like the Hit Stick, or Tiburon’s hastily scrapped it and it’ll be a mess , such as QB Vision.

I’ll be diving into the Madden 23 beta this week, with more ideas from the virtual grill soon. Meanwhile, the biggest changes to the franchise mode in Madden 23 don’t appear to be out-of-the-box materials, but they could be much-needed tools that allow all team builders to not only take to the field in jerseys, but The front desk also wears suits. Madden NFL 23 will release on Xbox Series X, PS5, Xbox One, and PS4 on August 19.

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Wilbert Wood
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