With Madden NFL 25 now available in stores, players are able to experience the newest features EA Sports has put into the game, from an improved running experience to the revamped Connected Franchise mode, which lets you select a player or coach in the hopes of guiding them to success.
Not only that, but Connected Franchise also gives you the chance to be the ultimate team owner this time around, with a new mode devoted to running the day-to-day basics of an NFL football team. You can choose from 30 different team owners – or create your own "dream" owner – and decide how things are going to be run, or if a change is needed should the fan feedback get below what you were expecting.
This is a very complex mode, and will take some time to really get into, but certain Madden fans are sure to get a lot out of it. To help you along, we've come up with some tips to get you started with your newfound ownership. Good luck.
Try Out Different Owners
When you step into Owner's Mode, you may be tempted to go with your default team – like, in my case, the Denver Broncos, since they're in my hometown. However, don't be so quick to make your decision. Shop around and see how other owners rank in terms of level, legacy score, and offensive and defensive schemes. For instance, the Cowboys may have had up-and-down seasons over the past few years, but Jerry Jones remains a prominent owner of the team, and seeing how he runs business in his new stadium could provide an interesting new business angle. Play around and see what each one has to offer.
Balance is Everything
When you're in Owner Mode, you'll have six categories that calculate your overall ranking amongst the teams – Finances, Stadium, Staff, Marketing, Fan Happiness and Team Success. Each of these factors is vital when it comes to the success of your team. For instance, if you're lacking in finances, you may need to bump up the cost of items within your stadium, which could, as a result, have an effect on fan happiness and maybe even your staff, depending if they get any pay cuts.
On the main page of your ranking sheet, you'll see your advisors with suggestions on how things are going – and how you can make them better. It's best to take their advice, as they can really help you move in the right direction to increase your rating. Don't let them make all the decisions, though – ultimately, this is your show, and you can still run it however you see fit. Just try and make sure you don't run it into the ground. Balance things out.
Obviously, money is an important thing in owner's mode. Without it, things just don't tick. You'll need to keep a close eye on player and staff salaries, making sure people aren't overpaid for the jobs they aren't doing while, at the same time, rewarding those who add on to their success. Check over departments carefully, keep contracts in check – sometimes you'll just need to let a coach go if things aren't working out – and don't be afraid to chase after "dream prospects".
By that, I mean even retired players. If your team is popular and valuable enough, you'll be able to attract a variety of candidates to fill the roles – maybe even retired coaches who want to get back in the game, but who are just not sure how.
Your Stadium is Valuable
When you're running a stadium, you need to make sure everything is up to speed in order to keep the fans happy. After all, without their revenue, what do you really have? Make sure to upgrade whenever you get the chance, in the hopes of attracting fans with new features. Also, watch out for feedback from the media, as well as others. Their feedback could go a long way toward making things better.
When it comes to pricing food and parking, be fair, but try not to be ridiculous. Ten dollars for a hot dog does not make for happy fans, even if you do cash in on the ones hungry enough to buy in.
When All Else Fails, Try Something Different
If you feel the fan feedback isn't going the way you want it to, or finances may be getting a bit stretched out where you're currently staying, then check out the options to move the team. This is best left as a "last ditch" effort, or if you're really one of those fans that wants to see Los Angeles get a contending football team again. Check out offers on the table, then decide on your city. You'll get some negative feedback from your "former" fans, and maybe a few others in the media, but eventually it'll be for the best. If that still doesn't work, you can always move back. It worked for St. Louis and Oakland, didn't it?
Madden NFL 25 is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.