Whether you pound the rock or air it out, having a good offense is what makes Madden enjoyable.
Driving down the field with the pressure on, making big plays and scoring points by picking apart your opponent is why we are all here.
There are lots of details to learn on offense, like what plays to run to beat certain defensive coverages. Understanding the meaning of Cover 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be needed to reach the highest levels in the game. However, everyone starts somewhere right?
So what are the basic foundations on offense you should learn on Madden 20?
Our offense-based tips will help you navigate the game and hopefully lead to wins.
The single biggest influence on both rushing and passing is learning the correct timing.
For rushing, it's important to not press the run button until you hit the gap on the line. This is the biggest mistake players make when they haven't played Madden for long. The Speed button (RT/R2) is not unlimited and the timing of when to use it helps to beat the defenders angles when closing you down. Using it to burst away at the correct moment will bring more success in getting big yardage.
For passing, knowing your receivers routes and when they will cut is vital. The reality of the game means that the cut is the tiny window that your plays have separation and the defender must react to something they don't know is coming. That window closes quickly. Start by practicing with 1 receiver and grow your confidence up to knowing when and what order each receiver will be in the best window within their route.
Go through your progressions
When passing, it's important to know before the snap where your receivers will be but also what order you will consider them as options. Again, this is no different to a real life QB. You need to go through your progressions from the WR1 down to the HB dump off, whilst also avoiding sacks.
It is very common for inexperienced players to have one plan pre-snap, and then wait for them to become open, and throw regardless of what they see. This leads to sacks and picks for the defense. You need to have a Plan B, C and D. This takes a lot of practice, but will drastically reduce your turnovers and work wonders with your air attack.
Read the defense & learn audibles
Before the snap it's important to read what the defense is showing. Go through a mental checklist. How many defensive linemen are there? How many safeties? Is this Cover 1 or 3? If I motion a player, does the defender follow and show they are in man coverage?
There is a lot of depth to this tip. And if you have read our guide to the foundations of a great defense, then you can use this to your advantage by knowing what they are doing.
A game in the NFL is no different to a game of chess. You are trying to second guess what your opponent is doing and vice versa. A core mistake a lot of casual players make, is thinking they set the tempo of the game by picking plays on offense. If you pick to rush through the middle, only for the opponent to put 6 players on the defensive line and then pinch them in the middle - you have to audible to doing something else or you will get 0 yards or fewer.
Use the indicator that shows if defenders will overpower your run and move to the side that's green. If it's all red then consider changing to a pass play. Likewise, if you're in a pass formation and there's only 3 defensive linemen, consider a run up the middle.
Study your opponent
Know your opponent and their weapons.
Depending on the game mode this will mean different things. If you are in MUT, you have less to go on before the game, but can quickly work out in a game who the player is using as their go to User on defense and also where their superstar and X-Factor players are.
In Franchise, you have a lot of stats in game from the season to assess these things. If an opponent has double digit interceptions with a player, it's naïve to think you will do something different to other players and be able to pass through them.
Assess what plays they are selecting after each play and consider what plays you have that will beat it. All players will have a way of playing defense, and the more ways of offense you have in your locker the better the chance you will have of beating them.
If a player is constantly blitzing, then adjust to quick passes and screen passes until they stop. If they are dropping off into coverage a lot, then run the ball down their throats and pick up the easy yards.
Variety & depth
Running the same plays to the same plays makes you predictable. If you opponent is doing this, then you need to take advantage, but it's important that you do not fall into the same trap. The more options of good plays that you can go to, the more chance of success you have.
Learn some good plays that beat different defensive formations and know where they are in your playbook. This will keep your opponent guessing and give you big plays at their cost.
Also, to keep the opponent guessing don't always pick the most obvious play. It's entirely possible to get a first down on 3rd and 10 by running the ball - especially when the defenders are all in a deep pass coverage.
Take what the defense gives
There is always the temptation in Madden to go for the big play. You prepare in advance the play (using our money play guide) and then you ignore the read of the defense. Then you snap the ball and stare at the receiver ignoring the progressions. You then force the throw. Best case a wasted play. Worst case a pick.
It's important to read the game every play. Notice where the holes are. Have a Plan A, but make sure you are still assessing its credibility and going to Plan B or C if it's not open.
Also, it's all about first downs, keeping possession and working the clock. Mix up your passes and runs and keep working up the field. Sometimes it can be better to get 3 FGs, then go for 1 TD and the other time give up easy field position or turnovers.
Be calm and thoughtful, every single play.
Run the ball
Players often get too focused on passing, as it's a lot of fun. However, it's important to control the clock and run the ball. Madden 20 seemed to have addressed some of that balance and upped the importance of the run.
It also stops you getting too predictable and will help open up passing opportunities as your opponent moves to shut down the runs.
So those are our tips to making your offense more consistent and efficient. As with any game this will take some practice. Fortunately, on offense you are in control of the tempo so you can find your way through the pre-snap menus and take some time to make your reads.