Madden NFL 25 is now available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, allowing players everywhere to dive into EA Sports' latest football triumph and experience every new feature that it has to offer. We broke down some of the more significant changes in the game, but now it's time to discuss something that fans may want to take note of – Connected Franchise.
With this, you'll get more of a hands-on with the goings-on behind the scenes, not just on the field. You'll be able to make a number of improvements to your player and/or coach, while playing around with different options featuring legends from the game, including coach/player Mike Ditka and William "The Refrigerator" Perry.
Owner's mode plays a big part in the game, but we'll break that down later this week. For now, here are some helpful tips that will get you the most out of the bulk of Connected Franchise.
The Outside View
With this mode, you're going to have the opportunity to not only see your standings in the league, but also see what kind of media you're getting. Those who dabble in social media will have something to say about your team, either with positive support or negative scrutiny. You'll want to pay attention to what they have to say, because, even though it may seem like a small voice, they could have a huge impact on the fan feedback – and they play an important role in the success of your team. After all, if you don't have the fans on your side, who's going to pay the players' salaries?
Player depth charts are also worth taking note of. You'll see where a player's progress increases or decreases depending on how they're doing on the field. This is vital as well, because if you have a player that's doing too much in one department and not overall, they'll have an effect on the team. The more a team's chemistry is deflated, the more it shows on the field.
Coach ratings are important as well, and though you can't compare stats with other coaches like you can players, it's important to keep this up as well. The last thing you want to do is have a locker room lose confidence in their leader. It may take some effort, but you can keep everything balanced and then bump up ratings, especially with more team victories.
Enhance Your Skills
Last year's Madden NFL 13 introduced the ability to use experience points to increase overall skill. This year's game improves upon that by not only letting you earn XP through games played, but also through successful practice drills.
Accumulating XP is a good thing, as it allows you to not only upgrade your player, but also your coach. The better the ranking, the better it affects the team – and not just the person you're leveling up.
Player upgrades can be tricky at first, with so many categories to choose from depending on the skill set. For instance, a running back can be improved in everything from stiff arm to elusiveness to awareness. It's important to balance these across the board, because maxing out one thing does not a good player make. Sure, they may stiff arm like a pro, but if carrying isn't given any points, they could drop the ball, leading to a fumble. Balance is everything here.
Trading players is a key part of business in the football world. Sometimes a player just doesn't "mesh" when it comes to team chemistry, either by a development in ego or simply not fitting in to a coach's playbook style.
Thankfully, Madden NFL 25's trade system runs a lot smoother than previous years, thanks to a trade screen that makes it easy to see what offers are available, both from your team and from other teams.
EA Sports paid a good amount of attention to suggestion from members of the community, thus making trades a bit more easygoing than before. Some "hot prospects" are still outside of reach, depending on demand, but you simply have to look at what offers are available and make the best decision you can. Not all of them will pan out – just look at the Raiders over the past few seasons – but remember to keep the fundamentals in mind. Remember – have fun with it. Sometimes the least likely choice could be the greatest fit.
Finally, EA Sports has gladly brought back a number of classic players for Connected Career, including Randall Cunningham, Mike Ditka and William "The Refrigerator" Perry. It's fun to see these guys back in action, putting them back in classic uniforms – or new ones – alongside your fellow squad mates.
Don't be afraid to try these players out. They may seem "old" now, but EA Sports has put them back in their prime years. Cunningham can really compete in this game, alongside the likes of Peyton Manning or even the hot hand of Cam Newton. Be sure to try them, and other NFL legends, out.
If something doesn't work, don't be afraid to experiment. That's the whole point, trying to find a team that meshes the right way for you. They can't all be like Madden's All-25, after all. It's a matter of finding the squad that can get the job done for you – and it's not an overnight process.
Madden NFL 25 is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and coming later this year to Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Get our official strategy guide for Madden NFL 25!