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Major Madden NFL 16 Improvements Revealed

Mr. MUT Coin

Posted on June 16 2015

EA Sports revealed yesterday at E3 some new changes coming to Madden NFL 16. Improvements to AI, new features on defense, and how penalties will be better implemented have been brought into focus.


Our hardcore simulation fans have been demanding realistic penalties for years. The team finally made this a point of emphasis in Madden NFL 16, and penalties will play a bigger factor than ever before.

In addition to several new penalties being added, we have updated all pre-existing penalties and built a system to control penalty frequency.

Every player is assigned a Penalty trait based on real-world NFL data, which determines how likely they are to commit a penalty; an undisciplined player has a far greater chance of committing a penalty than a disciplined player.

Players’ in-game strategy has an impact on penalties as well.  For example, pressing cornerbacks are more likely to commit a defensive holding penalty, while goalline and max protect calls make offensive holding penalties more likely. Mistiming the “Off the Line” mechanic can easily draw a neutral zone infraction or encroachment penalty.

Finally, all penalty sliders have been updated to allow players to fully customize the experience to their liking. The Default slider setting is based on NFL penalty averages over the last five seasons to make both penalty type and frequency as authentic as possible.

Encroachment, False Start, Offensive Holding, Facemask, Defensive Pass Interference, Illegal Block in the Back, Neutral Zone Infraction, Defensive Holding, Illegal Forward Pass, Illegal Touching, Delay of Game, Kick Catch Interference Running into the Kicker, Unnecessary Roughness and Roughing the Passer.


As the Madden NFL franchise moves forward with its “Player Sense” theme, one of the biggest detractors was a lack of true head tracking for all players across all situations.

Madden NFL 16 includes added logic for QBs, RBs, WRs and defenders so that each head and eye track (the ball and players around them) uniquely based on their position.

Quarterbacks will scan the field for open receivers, ball carriers will alternate their gaze between incoming defenders, and players will track other players around them after the play. You may even see players looking up at the scoreboard on a breakaway run.


The quality of player motion has been a primary point of emphasis for the Madden NFL team for several years now. This year, we made huge strides in pre, post and during play motion quality. This touches several major systems like huddle break, walk to line, pile get up logic, pile avoidance, post play path finding and more. When it comes to in-game animation quality improvements, the list is endless.

Players can expect a dramatic reduction in pops, warps, slides, and other issues in Madden NFL 16. This will continue to be a focal point for us as we strive towards our goal of animation quality.


In addition to all the new features being added, the team continue to address the feedback and concerns from the MUT community.

A number of legacy issues have been addressed in Madden NFL 16, mostly around exploited mechanics or solidifying features meant to counter those exploits. Here are some highlights:

  • QB Spy logic updated (QB swerves the spy exploit)
  • Flip the Play to speed up huddle break issue has been addressed
  • Out of position subs causing exploitable routes has been addressed
  • Rocket Catching / Mossing / DB Glitches have been significantly reduced and/or eliminated
  • A large percentage of the known “nano-blitzes” have been removed
  • The PA End Around exploit play has been addressed.
  • Route swapping exploits have also been resolved.
  • A variety of ‘money plays’ have been revised or altered.
  • Resolved the friendly quit glitch for Madden NFL 16



Play Ball (Ball Hawk) is back and has been heavily revised to ensure the most aggressive path possible to the ball. As with past years, the user plays the ball by holding the Y/Triangle button as soon as the pass is released.

Play Ball is the best way to challenge the receiver for the catch, but comes at the risk of triggering a catch animation behind the receiver and giving up a big play.


New this year is the Play Receiver DB mechanic. Hold the A/X button once the pass is thrown to play the receiver. This drives you towards the receiver as opposed to driving you to a catch point.

Hit receiver can be used to dislodge the ball during the catch, but comes at the expense of not being able to trigger interceptions.


Forget everything you remember about Pro-Tak. Madden NFL 16 delivers the most dramatic tackles in franchise history with a fully organic, physics-based gang tackling system. We now have fully realized momentum-based organic interactions on tackles that support a limitless number of defenders attaching to the ball carrier.

The system is complemented by new dynamic gang tackle animations that can “go organic” based on additional defenders in proximity.

We also worked on the stat-tracking side – Assisted Tackles and Half-sacks are now being tracked appropriately in the stats screen. It all adds up to the most authentic tackles ever seen in Madden NFL. Gang tackling is back!


While most players raved about the changes to tackling in Madden NFL 15, some users complained about feeling too much “suction” in the conservative tackle system. The team took this feedback to heart and tuned both the tackle cone and match distance to eliminate warping (or suction) from the tackling system without sacrificing control or responsiveness.

Aggressive tackles were also improved so that defenders always dive towards the ball carrier instead of just at his facing direction.


Defensive quick adjustments give users the ability to adjust any of their defenders on the field without having to manually switch to the defender. Simply select the group (DL, LB, DB), choose individual adjustment, select the defender and set the assignment.

This addresses a long-standing legacy issue that put the defense at a disadvantage when it came to pre-play adjustments.

Madden NFL 16 also includes a few key defensive improvements demanded by the community. A few of the highlights include:

  • QB Spy logic has been updated to be more effective at stopping rushing QB’s
  • Contain Defenses and logic have been improved to help counter the new rollout and scramble mechanics
  • New mechanic where users can now make their defenders in spy assignment abandon the spy and chase the QB at any point in the play. This is done by clicking in R3 once he ball has been snapped.
  • Resolved an issue where users would not have time to audible to onside kick recovery when their opponents caught them in normal return vs. onside kick.
  • The offense can no longer use no huddle to consistently cause AI defenders to be called offsides.

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