Madden 19: Complete controls guide (Offense, Defense, Running, Catching, and Intercept) on PS4 & Xbox One

We have listed all the controls for offense, defense, and before the snap to give you the edge on Madden 19.


Madden has some of the deepest control sets in eSports. With 22 players on the field doing vastly different things at any one time, Madden has always had to give you several controls for each position, and this year is no different.

If you are a Madden veteran then this year’s offering only has a few new features to master, but if you are new to the game and want to catch up to the competition, then this is for you. Let’s start with the most common controls you’ll need…

Ball Carrier

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Stiff Arm

X

A

Dive

X

Spin

O

B

Hurdle

Y

Precision Modifier/Hesi

L2/ Tap L2

LT/Tap LT

Pitch

L1

LB

Sprint

R2

RT

Protect Ball

R1

RB

Truck

R Stick Up

R Stick Up 

Stop Juke

R Stick Down

R Stick Down

Juke Left

R Stick Left

R Stick Left

Juke Right

R Stick Right

R Stick Right

These controls are similar to the way they have always been, but the game mechanics are a little different. The Real Player Motion physics allow you to make more precise cuts and change direction in a hurry. If you lay off the acceleration button and save the bursts of speed for when you make cuts, you’ll find you make many more yards as a running back and can even leave defenders grabbing at air. Turning while holding the sprint button turns you from an agile athlete into a lumbering truck, with wide turns that fool no one. So behind the line of scrimmage and in traffic stay off the sprint button this year and wait until you have open space ahead of you.

The precision skills are not quite as deadly as they were last year, but they are still a great way to dodge would-be tacklers. LT/L2 and any of the spin, juke, and stiff arm buttons will produce a precision skill version of that move. You are more likely to fumble while doing these moves, but you can also affect more than one defender. Below you can see a precision juke move used to dodge a defender and break into space.

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Passing

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Low Pass

Receiver Icon + Hold L2

Receiver Icon + Hold LT

High Pass

Receiver Icon + Hold L1

Receiver Icon + Hold LB

Bullet Pass

Hold Receiver Icon

Hold Receiver Icon

Touch Pass

Double Tap Receiver Icon

Double Tap Receiver Icon

Lob Pass

Tap Receiver Icon

Tap Receiver Icon

Scramble

L Stick + R2

L Stick + RT

Pump Fake

Press L Stick

Press L Stick

Throw Away

Press R Stick

Press R Stick

Mastering the passing game will lead you to victory in Madden 19, but it will take some time and skill. You can make several different types of pass in Madden 19. Bullet passes (Hold receiver icon) are for times when there is no defender between you and the receiver. It's a fast and direct ball thrown by the quarterback. This is ideal for out routes and screens.

The touch pass (double tap receiver icon) is for when you need to fit the ball between tiers of defenders. For example, it can be used for a crossing route that is coming between the zone coverage of a linebacker and a safety. The lob pass (tap receiver icon) puts air under the ball and is ideal for deep routes where you want to drop the pass in behind a cornerback in man coverage. Maybe your speedster has a step on his corner and you need to get the ball over the defender, that is the perfect time for a lob pass.

The high/low pass mechanic has changed control layout this year. Now you need to hold LB/L1 for a high pass just after you hit the receiver icon, and hold LT/L2 for a low pass. These are really precise mechanics for throwing into tight coverage. In the endzone if you have a height advantage then you can throw a high pass for your receiver to out-jump his cornerback, or if your wide receiver is blanketed on a curl route, you can throw the low ball so he can just collapse on it. The low pass is especially good for avoiding interceptions and keeping your receiver away from big hits on a crossing route.

Catching

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Sprint

R2

RT

Strafe

L2

LT

Aggressive Catch

Y

Run After Catch

X

Switch Player

O

B

Possession Catch

X

A

Maximizing your catch rate and the yards you can make after the catch is an easy way to move your offense down the field more effectively. The aggressive catch (Y/▲) is a must for all high passes and any time you are throwing the ball into good coverage. You want to use the Run After Catch (X/■) mechanic when you are wide open and especially on crossing routes where there is usually far more space laterally than up field. It will help you transition between receiving and running with the ball and allow you to maintain your momentum much better.

The possession catch (A/X) is useful along the sideline to make sure the receiver gets his feet in, but it's also great if you are leading the receiver into trouble. If there is a safety coming downfield in a hurry who is going to lay a big hit, then possession catch will make sure you get to ground before he arrives.

Here you can see the combination of a bullet pass and the run after catch mechanic to score a touchdown.

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Defensive Pursuit

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Strafe

L2

LT

Sprint

R2

RT

Defensive Assist

L1

LB

Strip Ball

R1

RB

Dive Tackle

X

Switch Player

O

B

Conservative Tackle

X

A

Hit Stick

R Stick Up

R Stick Up

Cut Stick

R Stick Down

R Stick Down

Blow-Up Blocker

R Stick Flick

R Stick Flick

Making plays on defense is vital to frustrate your opponent and win games in Madden. Not every play can be a turnover, but making sure tackles, breaking up passes, and picking up sacks are all important in getting to fourth down and making your opponent punt the ball away.

Using a mixture of strafe (LT/L2) and sprint (RT/R2) is the best way of getting around. The strafe mechanic allows your defender to stay extremely agile and change direction very quickly, with the sprint button allowing you to close distance rapidly once you have maneuvered yourself into position. While use of the hit stick (R Stick Up) is the most likely tackling method to create fumbles, it is also the most likely to miss, especially in the open field where your opponent can use a precision move to get away. A conservative tackle (A/X) or using the cut stick (R Stick Down) is most likely to result in bringing the ball carrier down. The dive tackle (X/■) is best used for rushing the quarterback or trying to get to a scrambling passer. It's also very useful on outside runs where the back has a bit more space and you are trying to make a tackle for loss.

Stripping the ball (RB/R1) is another mechanic to try and force a fumble, but constant use of it lowers your chances of making successful tackles. Save it for the fourth quarter when you absolutely need a touchdown or gang tackles when the ball carrier is stood up amongst multiple defenders.

Ball In Air Defense

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Sprint

R2

RT

Strafe

L2

LT

Defensive Assist

L1

LB

Ball Hawk

Y

Swat

X

Switch Player

O

B

Play Receiver

X

A

Just like on offense, you want to make sure you know how to play the ball in the air when you are on defense. A good mix of sprint (RT/R2) and strafe (LT/L2) will get you in position when in coverage. If you want to make an attempt at the interception, then the ball hawk mechanic (Y/▲) is for you. However, this comes with the risk of missing completely and allowing a reception. The swat (X/■) mechanic is far more likely to end up with an incompletion than the ball hawk. Using swat simply sends your defender into the skies to get a hand on the ball and keeps the receiver from making the catch. You can see below the perfect time to try the ball hawk, on a lobbed pass down the sideline that isn't quite perfectly timed.

If you are too far away to affect the ball in the air, then you want to use the play receiver (A/X) mechanic to make a tackle immediately and perhaps force the receiver to drop the ball as he comes down with it.

The defensive assist button (LB/L1) is a godsend to newer players. Pressing it will let the computer take over and get your player where he should be. This is especially useful in coverage where it can be very easy to become lost and not fully sure of where you are supposed to be.

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Pre-snap Offense

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Motion Player

L Stick Left or Right (Hold)

L Stick Left or Right (Hold)

Player Lock

Double Press L Stick

Double Press L Stick

Pass Protection

L1

LB

Show Play Art

R2

RT

Fake Snap

R1

RB

Hot Route

Y

Audible

X

Switch Player

O

B

Snap Ball

X

A

Pre-Play Menu

Press R Stick

Press R Stick 

Timeout

Share

Menu Button

Pre-snap controls can be rather daunting, but mastering it is perhaps the easiest way to improve your own level of performance in Madden 19. Modern football is all about getting favorable matchups and keeping defenses off balance. The ability to motion receivers (hold L Stick left or right) can alter how your opponent can defend certain routes. Hot Route (Y/▲) gives you options to change one route in particular, or you can change the entire play with an audible (X/■). Fake snapping the ball (RB/R1) can get an opponent to jump offside and give you a free play, though continued use of it can cause your own offense to false-start and cost you five yards.

Pre-snap Defense

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Defensive Keys

L2

LT

Defensive Line Shift

L1

LB

Show Play Art

R2

RT

Linebacker Audible

R1

RB

Coverage Audible

Y

Audible

X

Switch Player

O

B

Defensive Hot Route

X

A

Pre-Play Menu

Press R Stick

Press R Stick

Timeout

Share

Menu Button

Just like on offense, you can change things up before the snap on defense. You can slide your whole defensive line left or right to affect how your opponent will block you, you can change the responsibility of just one defender with a defender hot route (A/X) or change the entire defensive play with an audible (X/■). Switching players (B/O) is vital on defense, because often you will need to switch to where the ball is going rather than trying to run all the way to it.

Defensive Engaged

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Reach Tackle

L Stick Left or Right + ■

L Stick Left or Right + X

Hands Up/Bat

Y

Power Move

X

Switch Player

O

B

Shed Block/Finesse Move

X

A

More often than not there will be a blocker between you and the football, and knowing how to quickly get beyond him will minimize the yards you allow and even help you create turnovers against unsuspecting players. The reach tackle (L Stick Left or Right + X/L Stick Left or Right + ■) is a nice mechanic to allow you to influence the runner even when you are partially blocked, and if it is a pass you can still influence play by getting your hands up (Y/▲) to try and block a pass.

The key pieces here are the power (X/■) and finesse (A/X) moves that get you off blocks completely and allow you to pressure the quarterback or get to the running back in good time. The faster you can get to the quarterback the more turnovers you can create, and getting turnovers are the surest way to prevent giving up points. 

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Defensive Coverage

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Strafe

L2

LT

Player Movement

L Stick 

L Stick

Switch Player

O

B

Carry, Deliver, and Follow Receiver Out of Press

R Stick Direction Roll

R Stick Direction Roll

Press/Chuck Receiver

R Stick Toward Receiver

R Stick Toward Receiver

Blocking

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Player Movement/Block on Collision

L Stick

L Stick

Switch Player

O

B

Aggressive Impact Block

R Stick Up

R Stick Up

Aggressive Cut Block

R Stick Down

R Stick Down

Player Locked Receiver

Action

PS4 Controls

Xbox One Controls

Route Running/Move Player

L Stick

L Stick

Individual Play Art

L2

LT

Just-go Release

R2

RT

Cut Moves While Route Running

R1 + L Stick Direction

RB + L Stick Direction

Aggressive Footfire Release

■ + L Stick Direction

X + L Stick Direction

Conservative Change-up Release

X + L Stick Direction

A + L Stick Direction 

Cut Out of Press

R Stick Flick 

R Stick Flick 

For those that want to get into the nitty-gritty of football, Madden 19 allows you to control a blocker, lock yourself into a receiver and run the route yourself, and also play tight coverage as a defensive back.

All these options are rather risky, as it leaves decisions on where to go with the ball up to the computer, and any errors as a defensive back, especially at the line of scrimmage in man coverage, can often be punished with a touchdown.

The receiver play is a nice option though. With the ability to start a franchise and control a player on every snap, the receiver position will be one of the most selected. Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr have made the receiver position cool again, and with the ability to make your own cuts (RB + L Stick Direction/R1 + L Stick Direction) and work yourself open, it will be far more used than throwing blocks or jamming receivers at the line.

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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