Madden 20: How to activate every X-Factor Superstar ability (PS4 & Xbox One)

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Madden 20 is full of new features, and you can read our review of it to see how they change the classic Madden play.


One of the new features that EA Sports have introduced is superstar and X-Factor abilities. These  make elite players stand out by giving them certain boosts in different scenarios.

Superstar abilities are always on for a number of players as long as the situation is right. Players like Julian Edelman have a Slot-O-Matic ability that gives him a boost from the slot while Damon Harrison is a Run Stopper and has a quicker shed & tackle when engaged by run block.

These are all well and good, but the real gold lies with the X-Factor abilities.

Only a handful of the very best players have these, but they vary and need to be unlocked during games to get the players "in the zone". Once players are in the zone it can be hard for opponents to live with them, but players can be knocked out of the zone too, so you have to keep playing well to retain these abilities.

What are these abilities, and how do you unlock them?

QB X-Factors


Pro Reads, Gambler, Blitz Radar, Fearless, Bazooka

There are 5 different quarterback X-Factors, and they can hold one of the halfback ones too. These are all powerful abilities.

Pro Reads will highlight the first open receiver with a big electric red border to their receiver icon. This is excellent for new players, but it is important to bear in mind that while it will highlight the first open player that receiver is not necessarily your best option, especially in long yardage situations.

Gambler is a superb ability that means you can't be intercepted by AI defenders, and only one QB has this amazing ability.

Blitz Radar will highlight extra blitzers after the snap to make it easier to spot threats and know when to get the ball out quick.

Fearless makes it much easier to stand in the pocket and deliver as it means throw accuracy is unaffected by defensive pressure.

Bazooka is another one owned by just one quarterback and it increases max throwing distance by 15+ yards.


READ MORE: Complete Madden 20 controls

Receiver X-Factors

Double Me, RAC 'Em Up, Max Security

Receiver X-Factors are often triggered by catching multiple passes of a certain distances (for exact activation requirements see the table below).

Double Me is pretty OP and allows receivers to win aggressive catches against single coverage.

RAC 'Em Up, as the name suggests, has to do with running after the catch. It allows receivers to win RAC catches against single coverage which will often add big yardage afterwards.


The final Receiver X-Factor is Max Security which increases the success rate of possession catches.

Halfback X-Factors

Freight Train, Satellite, First One Free

While it is a ball carrying X-Factor, Freight Train is actually only owned by one quarterback. It increases the chance to break the next tackle attempt.

Satellite is one for receiving backs as they win RAC & possession catches vs single coverage.

First One Free increases the fakeout rate for the next juke, spin, or hurdle move which means making a solo tackle is almost impossible.


READ MORE: Madden 20 review

Pass Rush X-Factors

Unstoppable Force, Fearmonger

These two pass rush X-Factors can really throw off an offense.

Unstoppable Force means that pass rush wins lead to quicker block shedding, giving them a faster path to the quarterback.

Fearmonger increases the chance to pressure a quarterback even while engaged with a blocker, and that pressure leads to an decrease in QB accuracy.


READ MORE: Best Madden 20 playbooks

Coverage X-Factors

Shutdown, Zone Hawk

There are two coverage X-Factors and they play to if you are in man or zone coverage. Shutdown provides tighter coverage along with more interceptions on contested catches.

Zone hawk creates more catch knockouts and interceptions in zone coverage.

Safety X-Factors



This one is for the run-supporting safeties. It gives them a higher chance to defeat run blocks and disrupt catches.

Here is what you need to do to activate each players X-Factor ability.

READ MORE: Fastest players in Madden 20

Player Position Team OVR X-Factor Activate with...
Khalil MackLOLBChicago Bears99Unstoppable Force2 Sacks
Bobby WagnerMLBSeattle Seahawks99ShutdownForce 2 incompletions
Aaron DonaldRDELos Angeles Rams99Fearmonger2 Sacks
DeAndre HopkinsWRHouston Texans99Double MeMake 2 20+ yard receptions
Julio JonesWRAtlanta Falcons98Double MeMake 2 20+ yard receptions
Luke KuechlyMLBCarolina Panthers98ShutdownForce 2 incompletions
Antonio BrownWROakland Raiders98RAC 'Em Up3 20+ yard catches
Von MillerLOLBDenver Broncos97Fearmonger2 Sacks
Patrick MahomesQBKansas City Chiefs97BazookaComplete a 30+ air yard pass
Todd GurleyHBLos Angeles Rams97First One FreeRush for 10+ yards 3 times
JJ WattLDEHouston Texans97Fearmonger2 Sacks
Odell BeckhamWRCleveland Browns96RAC 'Em UpMake 3 20+ yard receptions
Travis KelceTEKansas City Chiefs96Double MeMake 2 20+ yard receptions
Fletcher CoxDTPhiladelphia Eagles96Fearmonger2 Sacks
Jalen RamseyCBJacksonville Jaguars96ShutdownForce 2 incompletions
Tom BradyQBNew England Patriots96Pro ReadsMake 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Earl ThomasFSBaltimore Ravens95Zone HawkForce 2 incompletions
Michael ThomasWRNew Orleans95Double MeMake 2 20+ yard catches
Philip RiversQBLos Angeles Chargers 94FearlessMake 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Ezekiel ElliottHBDallas Cowboys94First One FreeRush for 10+ yards 3 times
Stephon GilmoreCBNew England Patriots94ShutdownForce 2 incompletions
Harrison SmithSSMinnesota Vikings94ReinforcementForce 2 incompletions or TFLs
Adam ThielenWRMinnesota Vikings94Double MeMake 2 20+ yard receptions
Zach ErtzTEPhiladelphia Eagles93Max SecurityCatch 4 consecutive targets
Richard ShermanCBSan Francisco 49ers93ShutdownForce 2 incompletions
Melvin GordonHBLos Angeles Chargers92First One FreeRush for 10+ yards 3 times
Andrew LuckQBIndianapolis Colts92Pro ReadsMake 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Calais CampbellLDEJacksonville Jaguars92Unstoppable Force2 Sacks
Le'Veon BellHBNew York Jets92First One FreeRush for 10+ yards 3 times
Drew BreesQBNew Orleans Saints92FearlessMake 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Eddie JacksonFSChicago Bears91Zone HawkForce 2 incompletions
Geno AtkinsDTCincinnati Bengals91Unstoppable Force2 Sacks
Myles GarrettRDECleveland Browns91Unstoppable Force2 Sacks
Mike EvansWRTampa Bay Buccaneers91Double MeMake 2 20+ yard receptions
Byron JonesCBDallas Cowboys91ShutdownForce 2 incompletions
Saquon BarkleyHBNew York Giants91First One FreeRush for 10+ yards 3 times
Christian McCaffreyHBCarolina Panthers91First One FreeMake 3 10+ yard receptions
Cameron JordanLDENew Orleans Saints91Unstoppable Force2 Sacks
Russell WilsonQBSeattle Seahawks91Blitz RadarScramble for 10+ yards 3 times
AJ GreenWRCincinnati Bengals90Double MeMake 2 20+ yard receptions
Chris HarrisCBDenver Broncos90ShutdownForce 2 incompletions
George KittleTESan Francisco 49ers90RAC 'Em UpMake 3 20+ yard receptions
Aaron RodgersQBGreen Bay Packers90GamblerMake 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Alvin KamaraHBNew Orleans Saints90SatelliteMake 3 10+ yard receptions
DeMarcus LawrenceLDEDallas Cowboys89Unstoppable Force2 Sacks
Joey BosaLDELos Angeles Chargers88Unstoppable Force2 Sacks
Derwin JamesSSLos Angeles Chargers88Reinforcement2 incompletions or TFLs
Juju Smith-SchusterWRPittsburgh Steelers88Double MeMake 2 20+ yard receptions
Ben RoethlisbergerQBPittsburgh Steelers85Pro ReadsMake 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Cam NewtonQBCarolina Panthers84Freight TrainRush for 10+ yards 3 times