madden 21

In our Xbox One and Xbox Series X reviews of Madden NFL 21, we criticised Franchise Mode for being a cut and paste from previous entries. And even then it hadn’t received the right amount of care and attention as other modes. However, in their latest post-release update for Madden 21, EA Sports have focused on bringing Franchise mode in line with a host of improvements.

The headline improvement is ‘CPU QB Draft Logic Improvements’. Far too many players were seeing teams with the number one draft pick simply picking up a new QB, instantly replacing their rookie QBs from the season before. A new algorithm has been implemented to ensure that there are several criteria that must be in place before a new QB is selected. It should make the Draft far less predictable and much more exciting.

Other improvements focus on making your Franchise unique:

  • Commissioner Controls: Undo FA Signings – Offseason Only – Accessible through the transaction log. Simply highlight the player to revert the signing.
  • Commissioner Controls: Team Override Settings – Levels the playing field by toggling on and off individual settings for Heat Seeker tackling, Ball Hawk, and Switch assist.
  • Commissioner Draft Tools – Players are finally able to assign autopilot on during the draft, as well as pause proceedings. 
  • Commissioner House Rules: Play Cool-Down and Repeat Play Limits – Sick and tired of being beaten by the same play time and time again? House Rules are now also available in Franchise mode after appearing in Madden Ultimate Team last year. Restrict the amount of times a play can be called, or put a cool-down timer in place, the choice is yours!
  • Commissioner Setting – X-Factor Customization Restrictions – Restrict who is able to edit player X-Factor abilities: Commissioner only, Any User or None.
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Many of these new features are designed for players who play together in Franchise mode and will be available for existing Franchise saves and new ones too. So, you don’t need to worry about having to start from the very beginning again as these can be implemented in all saves.

More updates are due in February that will further improve trade logic for all teams, and better stat collecting with Franchise League History. Want to see the outcome of Super Bowls and leading players from three seasons ago? Now you can!Franchise mode finally seems to be getting some love, and for those that play as a group in this mode, some welcome changes are coming for sure. We don’t have an exact date on this update but expect it to be coming very soon. Is this enough to tempt you back into Madden NFL 21 on Xbox, or is it too little, too late? Let us know in the comments below!


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