Madden 20 is back in action for August, roughly a month before the 2019/20 NFL season kicks off. So far EA has revealed several new additions for their flagship football franchise, including 'Superstar X-Factors,' the return of NCAA football, and more additions for Madden 20 gameplay this year.
Madden 20 Gameplay Changes
As of right now, there hasn't been any actual gameplay footage released for Madden 20. The next entry in EA's franchise was only just revealed for the first time in mid-April, so it won't be until at least E3 during June that we'll get our first glimpse at Madden 20 gameplay.
But we do have some details about gameplay changes for Madden 20. Firstly, the pump fake mechanic has been reworked. You can now double tap a receiver's icon to pump fake to a specific receiver, but you can also use this same double tap button press if you want to pull out of throwing the ball, right before it leaves your hand.
There's also much more detailed first down and sack celebrations for players in Madden 20. For example with running backs in Madden 20, you'll notice that they only have access to specific celebration moves, and EA has even implemented celebrations for individual players including Cam Newtwon, Richard Sherman, and others.
Just below, we've broken down some of the more detailed Madden 20 gameplay changes that EA has announced for the upcoming game.
- There will be significantly less gameplay shown both before and after each individual play.
- Pass rush has been retooled so you have more creative options on the line of scrimmage.
- Throwing under pressure will be changed, so excellent pass rushers will have an impact on the QB, but elite QBs will be able to manage the pressure.
- Multiple defenders can now pile on the QB for one seamless sack animation.
- When players get knocked down to the ground, they'll be more responsive with getting off the ground as quickly as possible.
- Linebackers and defensive linemen won't be able to make acrobatic interceptions.
- Animations have been polished for blocking, catching, and tackling.
- When using the no-huddle offense, the accelerated clock will tick off the time it would take for the player furthest away from the huddle to make it to the line.
- Different game speeds are being removed entirely from Madden 20.
Madden 20 Superstar X-Factor
In mid-May over on EA.com, Madden NFL gameplay designer Clint Oldenburg introduced a new feature for Madden 20: Superstar X-Factor. There will be 50 total players in Madden 20 awarded the title of 'Superstar X-Factor,' each of which has unique abilities.
All 50 of these Superstar X-Factor players will be assigned an in-game objective tailored to the particular player. Complete the objective for the player, for example, complete a certain number of passes over 30 yards as Patrick Mahomes, and you'll increase the quarterback's maximum pass distance until he's sacked or intercepted. This is known as Mahomes' Zone ability, and every X-Factor player has their own Zone ability.
But outside of the X-Factor players, there will be a certain number of Superstar players in Madden 20. These athletes won't have the full title of 'Superstar X-Factor,' and as such they won't have a Zone ability like the one detailed above. So far example with Julian Edelman, the receiver has a Superstar ability where he excels at route running and contested catches out of the slot receiver position.
Madden 20 Superstar Abilities
Just below, Oldenburg has detailed a few more Madden 20 Superstar abilities:
- Pass Lead Elite - Extended precision passing on all throws except for high and low throws.
- Pocket Deadeye - Perfect passing accuracy when passing with the QBs feet set from within the pocket.
- Match-Up Nightmare - Player gets open and wins contested catches when covered by a single linebacker or defensive lineman.
- Edge Rush Elite - Frequently uses dominant pass-rush moves when rushing from a defensive end position.
But in the Madden 20 Franchise mode, your Superstar abilities tie into the players' development traits. Players are going to need the development traits to unlock said Superstar abilities. In Ultimate Team, Superstar abilities are actually going to replace Chemistry abilities from former years, so you'll need to pick and choose wisely for each player.
Madden 20 Cover Star
In previous Madden games, there have been public votes to decide the cover star of the game. This year however there wasn't any such voting, as EA has selected Patrick Mahomes to be the cover star of Madden 20. This follows on from Antonio Brown as the cover star for last year's game (who then went on to have an interesting season, to say the least).
But there's no doubting Patrick Mahomes as one of the best players in the league based on the last NFL season. The backup QB came out of nowhere to replace Alex Smith on the Kansas City Chiefs, and ended up throwing for over 5,000 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions on the year.
Madden 20 Face of the Franchise
In Madden 18, the Longshot mode was introduced as a story mode for the game, as you stepped into the shoes of a college QB, looking to get drafted by an NFL team. In Madden 19 Longshot returned again, this time having you play as a QB drafted to a team in the lower rounds, having to prove your way to start on a roster.
For Madden 20 however, Longshot mode will not be returning. Instead there's a brand new mode, called 'Face of the Franchise: QB1,' which looks to be replacing Longshot. "We're looking forward to players experiencing Face of the Franchise: QB1, our new career campaign," an EA Sports rep told GameSpot.
Details are just being revealed about the Madden 20 Face of the Franchise mode. Over on Game Informer, it's revealed that you'll start off as the backup QB of a powerhouse college team, who gets thrust into the spotlight suddenly during the college playoffs.
You can customize your character, and choose from ten college teams to be a part of (more on that below). Reporters are going to ask you questions, and there'll be choice-based dialogue options similar to Longshot. From the playoffs, you'll head to prove yourself at the NFL Combine in front of scouts from pro teams, undergoing drills and workouts for various teams.
After the Combine, it's time for the NFL Draft. Here you'll be drafted (or not drafted at all) to an NFL team based on your performance in the college playoffs and the Combine so far. From there, you'll need to work your way up to the rungs to become a starter in the NFL, not entirely unlike last year's Longshot campaign.
Madden 20 College Teams
As we mentioned previously, there are a number of college teams that you can play for in Madden 20. This is a first for a Madden game to feature college teams, and just below you can see a roundup of the ten teams you can play for during your time as a college QB in Face of the Franchise.
- Florida State
- Texas Tech
Madden 20 Livestreams
EA won't be presenting a showcase onstage at E3 2019, so they'll be announcing new information for Madden 20 in other ways. Just below, you can see the full Madden 20 livestream schedule, which kicks off today on May 2. First up is news on the Face of the Franchise mode, which effectively replaces last year's Longshot story mode.
As of right now, these are all the details you need to know about Madden 20, releasing in August. Whenever EA reveals any new information about their football sim, we'll be sure to update this guide straight away.
For a look at all of the other confirmed games for 2019, be sure to head over to our 2019 Game Releases Guide. You'll find a regularly updated list of 2019 games, sorted by release date, and by platform.