Madden 20: New X-Factor abilities – Another October title update is live

More of a tweak than the last update - but what are the cool new abilities EA have added?


In the first week of October, we got a pretty big title update. Well, the tweaking for the month wasn’t finished and EA Sports have published another update today with some interesting edits.

There is a mix of new abilities, franchise updates and gameplay adjustments. The headlines are;

New X-Factor & Superstar Abilities

X-Factor and Superstar abilities are new to this years Madden and fans are still working out their role in the game. With each update, they are changing and it’s hard to keep up. It is important to note these will be available from the update today for Ultimate Team and Superstar KO game modes, but Franchise players will have to wait for a future update;

  • New X-Factor Abilities:
    • Protective Custody (HBs) – Ball carriers with this ability are immune to fumbling when in the zone.
    • Mossed (WRs, TEs)– they will win contested catches regardless of coverage on passes of 50 yards or more.
  • New Superstar Abilities:
    • Lumberjack – Defensive players prevent broken tackles and can cause fumbles when using cutstick tackles
    • Out My Way – Defensive ability that always wins vs. impact block attempts vs. WR’s, TE’s and RB’s
    • Goal Line Stuff – Defensive ability allowing quick blocksheds against 1-on-1 run blocks within 5 yards of the goal-line
    • Inside Stuff – Defensive ability allowing quick blocksheds against 1-on-1 run blocks on inside running plays
    • No Outsiders – Defensive ability allowing quick blocksheds against 1-on-1 run blocks on outside running plays
    • Tank (TE’s) – ball carriers with this ability break all hit-stick tackles

READ MORE: 7 tips to a dominant defense in Madden 20

Franchise Updates

The update is generally to fix bugs in the franchise experience but there is a stand out point;

  • Updated players that are “Last Chance” (players that will enter Free Agency the following week if not re-signed) to now be listed as ‘0’ years remaining in the Team Salaries menu.

So no more confusion over your players with 1 year left and those hitting Free Agency. This has been a bugbear of many franchise players for a while.

Gameplay Updates

The gameplay updates are slightly more impactful, with the following highlights;

  • Re-introduced stumbling for ball carriers in specific situations

This was taken out from the previous game due to annoyance from players that it was too prevalent. It will be interesting to see how much they have dialed it down when reintroducing it.

  • Tuning to reduce the frequency of ‘auto-broken’ tackles vs. AI-controlled and user-controlled defenders when using conservative tackle on Competitive game style

This reduces the impact of the broken tackles rating, players like Barkley won’t be as effective as they have been early in Madden 20.

  • Fixed an issue allowing inaccurate sky kickoffs near the sideline to be frequently recovered by the kicking team

This has come to be known in the community as the ‘Scum Kick.’ This fix will now force kickoffs that are very inaccurate to sail out of bounds.

READ MORE: Why EA Sports Need To Increase Minshew’s Rating

New X-Factors Players:

  • Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, replacing Chargers RB Melvin Gordon
    • X-Factor: First One Free
    • Superstar Abilities: Juke Box, Inside Zone Guru

  • Packers CB Jaire Alexander, replacing Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
    • X-Factor: Shutdown
    • Superstar Abilities: Man-Up, Acrobat

READ MORE: Most Dominant Madden 20 Playbooks

  • Chiefs DT Chris Jones, replacing Panthers QB Cam Newton
    • X-Factor: Fearmonger
    • Superstar Abilities: Power Move Specialist, Under Pressure


Tom Owen

Contributor. I joined RealSport in 2019 contributing to Madden content.

I have followed the NFL for 15 years since playing Madden 2004, alongside being an avid life long gamer. I have been in a national Madden franchise league called NFL Out of Hours for 5 years.

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