Sam is a reformed personal finance blogger that now focuses on mobile gaming and the obsessively fun "Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes" (SWGOH).
Madden NFL Games
Of the activities that I spend significant portions of time enjoying, video games have a prominent place (5-10%). When I drill down further into that number and look at how much of that time was spent playing one of the Madden football games, it is probably about 20%. So all in all, I may have actually spent 1% of my life playing Madden football games. If that doesn't make me an expert, then what does?
For those of you new to the Madden series, here's a refresher: Since the ’90s, the premier football games made for console, and now mobile, gaming have all had the Madden label. At first, all this meant was that you would get Coach Madden's voice for color commentary and some NFL licenses.
Now, it means that you get to experience every level of football from the perspectives of players, coaches, and general managers. As you know, if you've seen my review of Tap Sports Baseball, sports management games are my absolute favorite, and I am always super excited to sit down and play some Madden.
So let's get started!
Availability and Specs
Whether you use an Apple or an Android-based device, you can download and play Madden NFL mobile. I've played the game on both and haven't noticed any huge differences, so I'll treat them alike.
Madden is clearly designed for a small tablet experience, but you can certainly play in stretches on a larger tablet, like a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 or an upper-tier smartphone like an HTC One or LG G3.
- Tip: Some improvements you'll notice immediately over last year's edition are the improved load times and smoother gameplay. Translation: Madden is lighter and faster than before, so if that bothered you in the past, it's worth another try.
- Cheat: Use a larger screen if possible, because the buttons on-screen will be in different places given the situation. You'll also want to be able to swipe without blocking out everything else on the screen. So if you have a tablet that is less than a couple years old, then I recommend using it to get the most out of the experience.
Like a lot of sports games, and mobile games in general, the core management aspect is all card-based. You'll start off the game with a group of benchwarmers and borderline starters, and as you play you'll acquire better players until you've got a roster worthy of contending for the Super Bowl. So, in essence, you'll be spending a good chunk of time as a general manager building the roster.
Your currencies to use are cash (which you'll pay for using real money) and gold coins.
- Cheat: Unless you normally spend real cash to win in games, don't open your wallet for Madden NFL mobile. After all, isn't that why you're reading a tips and tricks guide? The good news is that there are coins aplenty in Madden. The bad news is that everything is expensive, so it all balances out.
Building Your Roster
After you've gone through the obligatory tutorial, opened your first pack of cards, and auto-managed the depth chart, you get to take your first look at the team.
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Based on the franchise you choose, you'll probably have one recognizable face ranked in the high 70s or low 80s. The rest of your team will be a smattering of 60s and low 70s and will undoubtedly include players you've never seen or heard of. Not to worry! It'll only take a few days to really transform your team.
While we're on the subject, let's get to the ratings because you'll need to know how important an upgrade is as you move forward:
- Less than 60: temporary players that you'll want to replace ASAP.
- 61-65: one week starters; If you haven't purged 90% of the low 60s from your team in five days, something is wrong.
- 66-70: ten day starters. You should be done with these guys before day 11.
- 71-75: starters. You will learn to depend on these guys as you fill other holes.
- 76-80: quality players. Upgrading from your low 60s starters to the high 70s will result in a huge jump in performance.
- 81-85: good players
- 86-90: really, really good players
- 91-95: awesome players
- 96-100: best-of-the-best players
Tip: Once you have assessed your team’s strengths and weaknesses, go to Live Auctions in the Marketplace and browse for available players to improve your team. Note that it’s not worth spending a lot of coins to upgrade players by only five or six points.
Let's get down to the core management issue, which is all about the coins. Some good tricks to get points:
- Stats and achievements: As you go through the tutorial and poke around the different parts of the app, you'll get rewarded with coins. Likewise, as you unlock achievements, you can also get more coins.
- Daily drills and games: If you're tight on time but want to make sure you're not falling behind, set aside 10 minutes a day for daily drills and games. Not only are the coin bonuses pretty sweet, but it'll keep you sharp for game time.
- Live events: Live events are head-to-head events with significant prizes for top performers. Always check these out.
How to Get Great Players
Unlike Tap Sports Baseball, Madden NFL Mobile offers more than one way to improve your roster. You've got some coins to spend, so let's dive into the best ways to spend them:
- Live auctions: As in past versions of Madden NFL, the new game has a robust auction system in place where you can pick up and also sell players. Pricing will generally scale with overall rating, but there are bargains to be had. It's going to be a thrill, and you'll often end up with the short end of the stick, especially if you're after a good player. So while the best deals are in live auctions, it won't be easy getting them.
- Tip: Pick and prod to get the best deal. As with any auction, you're going to have to bid late to win.
- Card Packs The other main way to build your team is through the luck of the draw. When you buy card packs, you'll get a pack of players of different ratings and positions. Starting out, card packs are great because you have a roster full of holes to fix, and nowhere to go but up. But once you've toned the team into a contender, you'll spend less time buying card packs, and more time stalking the auctions.
"Madden NFL Mobile"
Gameplay Tips: Offense
My favorite part to cover, gameplay tips!
- Improve the skills positions first. Stock up on players you're going to control or use like QB, RB, WR, THE, DE, LB, CB, KR, PR. It'll make the game more fun, and you'll notice the improvement more easily.
- Speed speed speed. Going back to Coach Jimmy Johnson and putting DEs at DT, LBs at DE, and S at LB, football video games always come back to speed. There's nothing like breaking through the line of scrimmage and watching your player separate from the defender.
- Running plays work better against the computer. For whatever reason, the computer AI has a lot of trouble getting around blocks. Run some running plays inside so that you can line up your blocker with the defender, and you'll go 8-10 yards before first contact.
- When passing, throw it short. Going back to computer AI, the most important thing is to complete the pass. You'll have opportunities to run by the cover guy or juke them to break a long play. Also, your offensive line is going to suck when you start, so you won't have time to wait long for the receiver to get open.
- Go for it on fourth. This is nothing new for longtime Madden players. Forget what you've seen in the NFL. In Madden, the odds are skewed in your favor when you play offense. Assume you have four downs and play accordingly.
Gameplay Tips: Defense
Here are some tips when you're on the defensive side of the ball:
- Play DE, or OLB. Rushing the passer is the most fun part of the game, and it's going to save your behind when you have chump players in your secondary. Make it your mission to get sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
- Change players as needed. The most obvious tip is to change players when you get blocked, or when you're pursuing the tackle. Don't leave it to the computer to make the play.
- Master the interception swipe. When your opponent throws the ball and it's in mid-air, you'll see a swipe command in the middle of the screen. When you swipe at the correct time, your defender gets a pass defense bonus and is more likely to get an interception. This is an absolute must.
- Play man-to-man. Man-to-man defense will buy you time as long as your defense is not horrific. Time gives you an opportunity to rush the passer and make a big play.
Time to Play
Now you've got everything you need to get started with Madden NFL Mobile, so it's time to play. This year's version is a lot of fun whether you enjoy the management part of things or the actual gameplay, so if you like football at all, give it a try.
And if these tips have helped, let me know! Hope you have a lot of success and fun in the process!
BRO DUDE on April 06, 2018:
Austin on December 31, 2016:
Best game ever I surely very recommend this game
Caleb on November 18, 2016:
Doesn't work don't do it
Cain on November 01, 2016:
How do you get cash?
email@example.com on February 22, 2016:
Madden Man on August 23, 2015:
Can you redo the tutorial
Big glizzy on July 06, 2015:
I had to restart madden mobile and my offense was 95 and defense was 94 and special was 95 madden 16 will be better
john on May 23, 2015:
Need active league members. Tournament every Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday. League name is psychopathic rydas
Trey on April 23, 2015:
Why can I not make a league?
Emily on April 18, 2015:
How do I change my name
Peter on February 08, 2015:
at level 20 you unlock the play QB sneak which is a play designed to let your QB scramble. Otherwise just push the joystick up. Your QB will just shuffle for a little bit but once he hits the line of scrimmage bam he's OUTTA there
theeza on December 20, 2014:
How do you rest the game. I can't always starts ata point. Tried to clear date and chache but nothing helps. WTF?
wasfd on December 10, 2014:
i wish you could change name
J on December 09, 2014:
You can't make the QB scramble, you can't change your name, you can't take a player off the auction, and you can't upgrade a player. You earn money by completing games, and you look at stats by going to my team and clicking on the player.
H on December 02, 2014:
can you upgrade a player if yes how?
SwaGGxFlavor on December 01, 2014:
How do you take a player down from your auction?
SwaGGxFlavor on December 01, 2014:
How do u take a player off the auction
Yeebay on November 21, 2014:
Is it possible to look at stats?
4_back_21 on November 15, 2014:
LOVE IT but how do u get cash
sean on November 11, 2014:
how do I change my name?
banana on October 13, 2014:
How do you earn money
Mitch on September 16, 2014:
How do you make the QB run/scramble? The CPU does it often but I can't figure out how.
Nick Deal (author) from Earth on September 13, 2014:
I recommend it - it's been more addictive than I expected!
Russell Pittock from Nakon Sawan Province, Thailand. on September 12, 2014:
I'm a big fan of the Madden series and have played it to distraction on Playstation. If i get round to the latest mobile version then this hub will prove invaluable. Many thanks.
Nick Deal (author) from Earth on September 07, 2014:
You need to drag and drop the player from your bench to the drop slot. Then you can set the starting price, duration, etc.
Mason on September 07, 2014:
How do u put players up for auction
William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on September 03, 2014:
Best wishes on that! ;-)
Nick Deal (author) from Earth on September 03, 2014:
I grew up with Madden so I'm biased, but I always liked the idea of building the roster and calling the plays. I would love to run an actual NFL franchise!
William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on September 03, 2014:
I'm a football fan, but I don't see what folks see in the Madden games. Thanks for sharing some insights! ;-)
Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin on August 31, 2014:
Seems like a lot of fun. It is on mobile now.