Madden NFL 21 Closed Beta Feedback

Tonight on the EA Twitch Channel, Clint Oldenburg sat down with Agent K for a segment of Talking Madden where they discussed feedback from the Beta. Below you will find links to the rebroadcast and Gridiron Notes, as well as a brief summary of the latest news. For the #FixMaddenFranchise crowd out there, Agent K acknowledged that they have received your feedback and are working internally to address the community's concerns regarding Franchise mode. They are hoping to have additional information to share regarding Franchise in mid-August.

To watch a rebroadcast of the Closed Beta Feedback stream, click here.

To view the Closed Beta Feedback Gridiron Notes, click here.

Key Highlights Summary

Additional Gameplay Features

Celebration Run Mechanic on LT/L2

Due to positive feedback regarding the new celebration mechanic, it has been confirmed as LT/L2 for Madden NFL 21. So, no more three-button combo mechanic to celebrate your way into the endzone!

Loss of Precision Modifier on LT/L2

With the implementation of the Skill Stick in Madden NFL 21, the Precision Modifier from Madden 20 has been deemed unnecessary and eliminated. Ballcarriers will be steered using the Left Stick in conjunction with their special move ratings.

Pre-play Defensive Adjustments Updates

The new DB Lock-On mechanic in Madden NFL 21 can be activated by pressing LB/L1 while usering a player during or before the play. The Defensive Keys menu can now be found using RB/R1.

DB Lock-On Mechanic

The DB Lock-On mechanic can be activated pre-play using LB/L1 and it allows you to lock your user-controlled player in man coverage against a specific receiver. Once activated, you can steer your player relative to the leverage on the locked-on receiver rather than the whole field, allowing for greater control over DBs. When activated, you will have to react quickly to cuts made by the receiver to keep up with their change in direction.

Ball Carrier Archetype Run Styles

A new feature in Madden NFL 21 is the concept of Ball Carrier Archetypes. The two main archetypes are Agile and Bruiser. Agile ball carriers will be able to change direction faster/smoother and utilize quicker special moves. Bruisers change direction slower and have slower, but more powerful special moves. Agile Small, Agile Tall, Bruiser Quick, and Bruiser Heavy are subsets of these two main archetypes that only affect animations, and are based on a player's height, weight, and ratings.

Most Upvoted Feedback

User on defense feels slow/sluggish

This is something that will mostly remain unchanged. In previous versions of Madden, defenders were able to change direction too quickly and cover too much ground, while simultaneously defending against multiple route combos. In Madden NFL 21, defenders will have to make each step count and commit to guarding against specific routes while being vulnerable to others. Defenders with higher ratings will be able to cover more ground.

Change back Hurdle/Truck

Based on player feedback from the Beta, Hurdle and Truck have been switched back to the same buttons we have always been accustomed to. This means Hurdle will be Y/Triangle, while Truck will be the Up direction on the Right Analog. Custom controller mapping is something the development team has on their to-do-list for the future. Unfortunately, this is not a feature they will be able to deliver this year.

Players aren’t reacting to the ball when thrown (both offense and defense)

This situation was caused by bugs in the catching system. Frequently dropped interceptions were also caused by the same bug. EA has made significant improvements to the catching system to help reduce the likelihood of these instances occurring for launch. They will be keeping an eye on this moving forward and making any adjustments necessary through Title Updates.

Zone Coverage doesn’t feel effective

Zone coverage systems have received additional tuning since the Beta. Below is an outline of improvements made in this area for launch:

  • Improved reaction times relative to breaking on the ball, which scales per defenders’ Zone (ZCV) rating, or Man (MCV) rating in Match Zones
  • Added logic to modify break-on-ball reactions based on the facing direction of the defender, meaning if he can clearly see the throw, he will break faster than when he cannot see the throw
  • Improved zone behavior for defenders with Zone coverage abilities
  • Fixed issues in Cover 4 Quarters and Palms causing zone defenders to react too much to Play-Action
  • Fixed logic problems with Quarter-Flat zones inappropriately matching vertical routes
  • Fixed logic problems in Cover 3 against HB Wheel routes
  • Improved underneath zones’ dropping logic
  • Cover 3 and Cover 2 coverages will get more updates later after launch via Title Updates

Player Switching Logic doesn’t feel intuitive

Based on player feedback, the player-switching system for the launch of Madden NFL 21 has been reverted back to the same system used in Madden 20.

Film Study Ability

Feedback regarding this ability was polarizing. Film Study will not be available at launch but will be introduced later in a Title Update after more balancing and tuning adjustments are made.

Fatigue penalties for scrambling QB’s are too severe

Feedback in this area seemed to be that scrambling QBs were too hard to counter, while the fatigue penalty for out-of-position ballcarriers was too severe. In an effort to help balance these two critiques, EA has reduced fatigue penalties for carries that do not end with a hit (slide, run out of bounds, etc.) and increased the fatigue penalty for carries that do end with a hit (more significant penalty with hit-sticks).

AI pass-rush doesn’t seem as effective as user pass-rush

Stats from the Beta revealed a low number of sacks per game. In an effort to better balance the pass rush, EA has slightly boosted the win probability for AI-controlled pass rushers.

QB’s can be stripped in the pocket without starting a throw on Competitive

In the Competitive game style setting, strip sacks on QBs in the pocket have been disabled for all defenders except pass rushers with the Strip Specialist ability.

‘Past Max THP’ passing feedback and Penalty

If you received the 'Past Max THP' notification during the Beta and were unclear on its exact meaning, you were not alone based on the feedback. This alert meant that the receiver you were targeting was beyond the range of your QBs Throw Power (THP) rating. To make this alert more intuitive, EA has changed it to 'Out of Range'. With the exception of crossbody throws, QBs can no longer be hit with both an Accuracy and Power penalty on the same throw.

Top Reported Bugs From Madden NFL 21 Closed Beta

The following bugs have been fixed for launch:

  • Rainbow-colored Arms/Pink Arm Equipment
  • Incorrect Player Pictures
  • Visors not positioned on helmets correctly
  • Gamertags cover the play clock when playing Online
  • Coach adjustments reset after every drive and Coverage Depth Adjustment automatically sets to zero

The next set of Gridiron Notes is scheduled for Friday, July 31st, and will focus on X-Factor and Superstar abilities for Madden NFL 21.

What are your thoughts on today's latest Madden NFL 21 news? Share your feedback with us in the comments below.