Madden NFL 16 arrived this week, and EA Sports’ new gridiron giant features unprecedented competition across the board, whether you're trying to put together your Ultimate Team or guiding your favorite squad to the Super Bowl.

In addition, the game has a number of online features that will test your skills, but it’s great to know what you’re getting into, as there are a number of hardcore gamers who memorized playbooks and will dominate with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos.

Looking to score victories online? Make sure you bring these tips into every game.

Prepare for an Uphill Battle 

Even if you pick one of the top NFL teams we recommended, chances are you may pair up against a veteran player with certain pass and running plays nailed down. Practice to hone your team skills, and recognize the weak links in your Ultimate Team so you can find suitable replacements. 

Additionally, it never hurts to get some off-field practice against the computer. Feel free to tweak a variety of options in terms of difficulty, penalties and more, so you're able to focus on specific areas, whether it's passing, running or defending. No one will see the difficulty you're playing on in the single player mode, so go ahead and modify it to get the hang of things, then return online with your squad and show them what you're made of. 

Moving on, don't forget the Skills Trainer. You can practice certain skills in whatever area you prefer until you eventually master them. Some of the drills can be a little tiring, but it's all about ironing out the wrinkles and becoming a peak performer. 

Mastering Draft Champions 

The new Draft Champions mode is a dynamic new challenge added to the Madden series. In it, you piece together a team using a 15-round selection hub, choosing three players at a time to join your squad. From there, you'll head into battle with others and eventually make your way to the next round, where you can recruit even more superstars.

With Draft Champions, the selection can be a crapshoot. There are situations where you'll be handed rookie picks with lower stats, but they're still worth recruiting, as you can gain expertise and eventually make them stars. Likewise, players like Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck can be available from time to time as well, so it helps to keep a spot open for higher-stat players. That's easier said than done, as the beginning rounds can offer a surprise or two. We received Alex Smith early on, and his numbers last year were impressive. 

When it comes to player selection, be a little bit picky, but don't go overboard. Go ahead and welcome a rookie if you think he’ll be a good fit for your team, but make sure to leave a spot open for a more established veteran who has no problem getting the ball down the field or putting on a good defensive game. 

Don't forget to try the Head-To-Head drafts as well. You'll be able to pick players against a particular foe, then prove your worthiness right then and there on the field. Winning four games in a row in this mode will score you a Draft Champion award, and more items for your Ultimate Team. However, make sure you practice first. After all, your adversary won't lay down for you, even if he or she ends up with weaker picks.

Want more football greatness? Read our strategic defensive preview and prepare for a real challenge with these NFL teams.