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


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Reinforcement

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 Mack
LOLB
Chicago Bears
99
Unstoppable Force
2 Sacks
Bobby Wagner
MLB
Seattle Seahawks
99
Shutdown
Force 2 incompletions
Aaron Donald
RDE
Los Angeles Rams
99
Fearmonger
2 Sacks
DeAndre Hopkins
WR
Houston Texans
99
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard receptions
Julio Jones
WR
Atlanta Falcons
98
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard receptions
Luke Kuechly
MLB
Carolina Panthers
98
Shutdown
Force 2 incompletions
Antonio Brown
WR
Oakland Raiders
98
RAC 'Em Up
3 20+ yard catches
Von Miller
LOLB
Denver Broncos
97
Fearmonger
2 Sacks
Patrick Mahomes
QB
Kansas City Chiefs
97
Bazooka
Complete a 30+ air yard pass
Todd Gurley
HB
Los Angeles Rams
97
First One Free
Rush for 10+ yards 3 times
JJ Watt
LDE
Houston Texans
97
Fearmonger
2 Sacks
Odell Beckham
WR
Cleveland Browns
96
RAC 'Em Up
Make 3 20+ yard receptions
Travis Kelce
TE
Kansas City Chiefs
96
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard receptions
Fletcher Cox
DT
Philadelphia Eagles
96
Fearmonger
2 Sacks
Jalen Ramsey
CB
Jacksonville Jaguars
96
Shutdown
Force 2 incompletions
Tom Brady
QB
New England Patriots
96
Pro Reads
Make 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Earl Thomas
FS
Baltimore Ravens
95
Zone Hawk
Force 2 incompletions
Michael Thomas
WR
New Orleans
95
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard catches
Philip Rivers
QB
Los Angeles Chargers 
94
Fearless
Make 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Ezekiel Elliott
HB
Dallas Cowboys
94
First One Free
Rush for 10+ yards 3 times
Stephon Gilmore
CB
New England Patriots
94
Shutdown
Force 2 incompletions
Harrison Smith
SS
Minnesota Vikings
94
Reinforcement
Force 2 incompletions or TFLs
Adam Thielen
WR
Minnesota Vikings
94
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard receptions
Zach Ertz
TE
Philadelphia Eagles
93
Max Security
Catch 4 consecutive targets
Richard Sherman
CB
San Francisco 49ers
93
Shutdown
Force 2 incompletions
Melvin Gordon
HB
Los Angeles Chargers
92
First One Free
Rush for 10+ yards 3 times
Andrew Luck
QB
Indianapolis Colts
92
Pro Reads
Make 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Calais Campbell
LDE
Jacksonville Jaguars
92
Unstoppable Force
2 Sacks
Le'Veon Bell
HB
New York Jets
92
First One Free
Rush for 10+ yards 3 times
Drew Brees
QB
New Orleans Saints
92
Fearless
Make 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Eddie Jackson
FS
Chicago Bears
91
Zone Hawk
Force 2 incompletions
Geno Atkins
DT
Cincinnati Bengals
91
Unstoppable Force
2 Sacks
Myles Garrett
RDE
Cleveland Browns
91
Unstoppable Force
2 Sacks
Mike Evans
WR
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
91
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard receptions
Byron Jones
CB
Dallas Cowboys
91
Shutdown
Force 2 incompletions
Saquon Barkley
HB
New York Giants
91
First One Free
Rush for 10+ yards 3 times
Christian McCaffrey
HB
Carolina Panthers
91
First One Free
Make 3 10+ yard receptions
Cameron Jordan
LDE
New Orleans Saints
91
Unstoppable Force
2 Sacks
Russell Wilson
QB
Seattle Seahawks
91
Blitz Radar
Scramble for 10+ yards 3 times
AJ Green
WR
Cincinnati Bengals
90
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard receptions
Chris Harris
CB
Denver Broncos
90
Shutdown
Force 2 incompletions
George Kittle
TE
San Francisco 49ers
90
RAC 'Em Up
Make 3 20+ yard receptions
Aaron Rodgers
QB
Green Bay Packers
90
Gambler
Make 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Alvin Kamara
HB
New Orleans Saints
90
Satellite
Make 3 10+ yard receptions
DeMarcus Lawrence
LDE
Dallas Cowboys
89
Unstoppable Force
2 Sacks
Joey Bosa
LDE
Los Angeles Chargers
88
Unstoppable Force
2 Sacks
Derwin James
SS
Los Angeles Chargers
88
Reinforcement
2 incompletions or TFLs
Juju Smith-Schuster
WR
Pittsburgh Steelers
88
Double Me
Make 2 20+ yard receptions
Ben Roethlisberger
QB
Pittsburgh Steelers
85
Pro Reads
Make 3 consecutive passes for 5+ yards in the air
Cam Newton
QB
Carolina Panthers
84
Freight Train
Rush for 10+ yards 3 times
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