Madden 20 Franchise Mode: Top tips on how to build a dominant team

The mode is as much about building a team as it is about playing. Here’s how to get to the Big Game.

Tom Owen by Tom Owen

Building a team is the most exciting part of franchise mode.

If you are part of a league, or even those that play on a hard difficulty setting, you will know that only one team can win the Lombardi trophy each year. It’s tough emotionally. But what helps is being the best general manager (GM) you can be.

Some teams are harder than others, depending on what you have to deal with when you start the game. But to those that know they aren’t going to be the best player in the world – being the best GM is up there as a good consolation.

Here are Realsport’s tips on how to build a great team.

Salaries and Managing Cap

You cannot underestimate the skills needed to manage an NFL team’s salary. There have been many franchise players who are fantastic players but have failed due to their inability to manage cap space.

The current salary cap in Madden is around $200m in 2019, all your players’ salaries need to fit under this mark to keep the league even and fair. There is also now a 5th-year option in Madden to reflect real life.

The temptation is to just go after all the best players you can. But the cap is here to prevent that. Be aware of what salary each player is on.

A quick tip is to go to the salaries page, filter on the 2020 salary and then look at the overall ratings. You’ll see very quickly that you will have some player’s who might not be that good, earning a lot of money.

BIG MONEY: If you don’t save up, you won’t be able to afford to resign Mahomes

When it comes to Cap problems, the quicker you deal with it the better.

Thing long term, you will suffer penalties for cutting these deals but once that is dealt with you will have much more space to get talented players in free agency in a future seasons time.

READ MORE: Dallas Cowboys Franchise Team Needs in Madden 20

Finally, when resigning players – weight up the cost of the contract they want versus their skills and their role on your team.

Don’t just look at the overall rating. Consider performance, depth and other things. If you have an emerging rookie, you might decide they are worth the chance when they are so much cheaper.

What you do now, affects seasons 3,4 and 5. Just remember to balance the books and have a multi-season mindset.

Scheme and Playbooks

This is a very small part of the game in terms of visibility but has a huge effect on performance when you are playing.

You have to make sure your players, scheme, and playbook all lineup. It is within your gift to choose which you change, and often changing it wholesale is the most exciting situation to be in.

READ MORE: Best playbooks in Madden 20

Under schemes, there is a screen that shows how well your current players fit the schemes you have selected.

KITCHEN SINK – Cleveland like a blitz

This is a basic view, and sometimes your player can be good in an archetype position, without it being the main one listed. That said, it’s a good steer and can show you where you might have gaps in your depth. A score of 80% up is a decent result.

Offense

  • Run and Shoot
  • Air Raid
  • Pistol
  • Spread
  • Vertical Power Run
  • Vertical Zone Run
  • Multiple Power Run
  • Multiple Zone Run
  • West Coast Spread
  • West Coast Power Run
  • West Coast Zone Run

READ MORE: Best Money Plays in Madden 20

Defense

  • Tampa 2
  • 46 Defense
  • Base 4-3
  • 4-3 Under
  • 4-3 Cover 3
  • Multiple 4-3
  • Base 3-4
  • Multiple 3-4
  • 3-4 Under
  • 4-3 Quarters
  • Disguise 3-4
  • 3-4 Storm

You may choose a scheme you like to play with, and then need a new set of players, so get trading. Remember, you get XP boosts for players that fit the scheme. This is shown on the player card in purple and can really help develop young talent over a season or two.

Finally, you need to make sure your playbook matches what you want your scheme and players to be. There is no point in having a 3-4 defensive scheme and then playing with a 4-3 playbook that doesn’t suit your players or what they are good at.

Upgrading and Training

Over the course of Madden, your team is never perfect and you always have positions that are more like projects. You might have a talented rookie whos not great yet, but has Star dev and you want to work them up to being a stud.

Make sure you choose your training focus with consideration. You get 3 slots a game week to focus on a player. Try to focus on young players that will benefit the most from it. If you cycle through your team beforehand, you can see who is close to an upgrade on the XP bar in their player card.

READ MORE: How to pass rush and sack the QB in Madden 20

Choose the positional training elements carefully, make sure you spread the love around the team or focus on an area you know has a few young players you want to develop.

Once you get an upgrade point, you need to pick this carefully too. Picking the archetype that matches scheme will help with long term XP growth, but can also add to stats that might already be too low. Likewise, picking whatever is their current archetype will make them better at this but won’t add to all stats.

Before upgrading, check the important stats using RB/R1 on the player card and choose which ones you want to work on. Then select archetype that relates to this stat.

READ MORE: Out of position players hit Zero Chill

Face of the Franchise was a brand new game mode for Madden 20. It lets you step into the College Football Playoff as a QB, and hopefully guide them to being a number one overall pick.

The storyline takes on a former high profile recruit who spent four years on the bench after another QB transferred to his school.

Your QB is forced to start the College Football Playoff semi-final, when no one believes in you. Your performance in the CFP and subsequent decisions will mold your player into a draft prospect.

The aim of the mode is to go number one overall, so what do you need to do to do that?

Here is the journey to number one overall we took with Joe Burreaux.

Part one – Creating your player

GEAUX TIGERS: You get the choice of eight college teams

After deciding your player’s appearance and choosing your school, you are given the opportunity to choose what type of QB you are, and the type of personality you have.

In terms of your potential draft position, these decisions don’t have much of an impact. Whatever you pick can lead to being a number one overall pick. This is more about you having the player you want.

There are four options for each and will only decide the ratings your player has throughout the CFP and into the NFL.

READ MORE: Lamar Jackson joins the most OP players in Madden history

For Burreaux, I selected the improviser archetype for decent mobility and passing and the team player personality type

Continue reading our How to go number one overall in Face of the Franchise piece here.

Tom Owen