Madden 20: These defensive adjustment controls will stop every offense

Making stops on D is tough, but mastering the pre-snap controls will make you unpredictable.

Tom Owen by Tom Owen

Every year, Madden tries to make its gameplay more and more immersive. One of the biggest strides in recent years has been the ability to adjust your plays on both offense and defense whilst in pre snap.

They have been a part of Madden as early as 2015, but with each year they get more complex and become more important to the game. Whether you’re a franchise player or a MUT grinder, you will need to know what they do to achieve your best play.

Pre snap adjustments are one of the key elements that elevate players from the casual to successful. Some players do hundreds of adjustments before each and every snap, this is a continual learning process through every game.

Below we have explored all the Defensive Adjustments you can make. When you are in the game, have selected a play, you will see your players at the line of scrimmage. Pressing the Right Stick (RS) in will bring up the following option;

Audible – RS in then X/Square

After you have chosen a play, you may wish to change your mind or see something in the offense you want to prevent. Maybe you they have sent a receiver in motion, or you realise you have picked something incorrectly but don’t want to use a timeout.

The X/Square button will open up some options to change the play to a small selection of other plays. This usually includes at least 1 blitz, 1 standard man cover, 1 standard zone cover and 1 deep pass preventing defense.

You can cycle through different sub formations using right and left on the D-pad but these will be limited. Once you get the hang of this, you can actually pre-set what you want these to be.

Position Adjustments – RS in then the relative positional button

Remember, these adjustments change a whole group of players, but you can’t be a great player without taking the time to learn the below. Be particularly careful with the guessing plays – which we have spoken about before.

Defensive Keys (All Defenders) – LB/L1

Guess Pass – Press RS Up. This overrides any play recognition stats looking for a run – all players will play the pass. High risk, high reward.

Guess Run to Side – Press RS Left/Right (depending on guess). This overrides any play recognition stats looking for a pass or run down the middle – all players will play the run on the side you guess. Very high risk, very high reward.

Guess Run up Middle – Press RS Down. This overrides any play recognition stats looking for a pass or run to the outside – all players will play crash the middle of the OL line. Very very high risk, very very high reward.

Option QB – Press A/X. or Option RB – Press X/Square. This sets up a defense to prevent option runs and predicts in advance which player to focus on in the eventuality.

QB Contain – Press RB/R1. This sends the outside rushers further wide; it reduces their chances of getting a sack but increases the prevention of a QB scrambling out for rushing yards. A must against the likes of Lamar Jackson.

Secondary – Y/Triangle

Give Cushion – Press LS Up. This moves the secondary (Cornerbacks and Safeties) further away from the line of scrimmage. It allows for gains underneath but makes deep passes harder.

Show Blitz – Press LS Left. This makes the secondary move to the line of scrimmage as is if they are blitzing. The key word is “show”. This isnt an actual blitz play.

Base Align – Press LS Right. This moves the players to a base position for the defense, which ignores what the offense has done. It can be used to confuse the opposition.

Press – Press LS Down. This makes the secondary move closer to the receivers before the snap. This makes shorter passes harder, but opens them up over the top if they have a very quick WR.

Individual – Press A/X. This allows you to do all of the above but towards a specific receiver. You can guess a side to shade – which means to guess where the ball will be thrown to.

Quick Adjust – Press Y/Triangle. This is a quick way of doing an individual adjustment. There are as many as this list to choose from.

Overtop – Press RS Up. This is similar to the Give Cushion option but rather than move, the secondary just predicts that’s where the ball will go and plays to that effect.

Outside – Press RS Right. This makes the secondary plan for an outside pass.

Inside – Press RS Left/. This makes the secondary plan for an inside pass.

Underneath – Press RS Down. This makes the secondary plan for a short pass like a slant or drag route.

Sticks – Press LB/L1. This makes the secondary give some cushion but protect the first down marker. They will allow things shorter than 10 yards but then hold their coverage there.

Man Align – Press RB/R1. This is the opposite of base align, even in Zone the secondary will stand opposite their man. Sometimes good for hiding zone coverage.

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Defensive Line – Left D Pad

SpreadPress LS Up. This makes the defensive line spread out, thus making them better at rushing the passer wide, but can leave them open for a run up the middle.

Shift Line Left/Right – Press LS Left/Right (depending on choice). This moves the DL either way, if guessing this can counter the equivalent shift on OL.

PinchPress LS Down. This makes the DL tighter for a run up the middle. But a run or pass to the outside can cause problems.

Quick Adjust – Press Left Dpad. This is a quick way to individual adjustments for the DL.

Slant OutsidePress RS Up. This makes the DL aim their rush around the outsides of the OL.

Slant Left/Right – Press RS Left/Right (depending on choice). This makes the DL aim their rush to the side of the OL you choose.

Slant InsidePress RS Down. This makes the DL aim their through the middle of the OL.

Linebackers – Right D Pad

SpreadPress LS Up. This makes the defensive line spread out, thus making them better at rushing the passer wide, but can leave them open for a run up the middle.

Shift Line Left/Right – Press LS Left/Right (depending on choice). This moves the DL either way, if guessing this can counter the equivalent shift on OL.

PinchPress LS Down. This makes the LB tighter for a run up the middle. But a run or pass to the outside can cause problems.

Quick Adjust – Press Left Dpad. This is a quick way to individual adjustments for the LB.

Zone All Press RS Up. All LBs change to being in Zone defense.

LOLB/ROLB Blitz – Press RS Left/Right (depending on choice). Depending on choice, an OLB will become a blitzer

Blitz AllPress RS Down. All LBs will blitz the QB. Another high risk, high reward play.

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Individual Adjustment – RS in then A/X

When you want to make an individual adjustment, you need to be selecting that player when pressing these buttons. Depending on your players position it will give different options that will be very similar to those above.

One of the most key is Man Coverage (RS up and select the receiver you want to cover), and this will allow you to double team if the opposition is heavily relying on one player.

Also, for those that run the QB a lot, QB Spy (RS left) is a huge advantage. Once the play is running, press in RS again and that player will start his pursuit. Remember to wait until the QB is out the pocket and not protected.

Tom Owen

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