Madden 21: Complete Controls Guide for PS4 & Xbox One – Offense, Defense, Pass Rush, Ball Carrier Skill Stick, The Yard, Franchise Mode & more

Some buttons have moved and new abilities have been added. Don’t get caught out of position on the field!

Tom Owen by Tom Owen
madden 21 controls guide

Madden 21 controls are slightly different this year, so you’ll want to be prepared before you hop into a game.

Whether you’re new or a pro, the new buttons and systems will change how you approach Madden.

The biggest difference comes with new pass-rushing mechanics which offer new play to beating out the OL, and a memory system for blockers to match it.

With that said, let’s jump right in!

Offense Controls

Here’s what you need to know when you have the ball.

Madden 21 Passing Controls

madden 21 controls passing
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Low PassHold LT whilst passingHold L2 whilst passing
High PassHold LB whilst passingHold L1 whilst passing
Bullet PassHold pass buttonHold pass button
Touch PassPress & release timing of pass buttonPress & release timing of pass button
Lob PassTap pass buttonTap pass button
ScrambleLS + RTLS + R2
Pump FakeDouble tap pass buttonDouble tap pass button
Throw AwayPress in RSPress in RS
Throw – #1AX
Throw – #2BO
Throw – #3X
Throw – #4Y
Throw – #5RBR1

Passing is pretty much unchanged from previous versions but learning how to introduce different types of passing into your game is massive.

READ MORE: First impressions of Madden 21 trial gameplay

Try to avoid doing a bullet pass for every play. With picks being a bigger part of Madden 21, utilize the low and high passes too.

Madden 21 Ball Carrier Controls

madden 21 controls ball carrier
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Stiff ArmAX
SpinB or rotate RSO or rotate RS
Jump HurdleY + LS▲+LS
Protect BallRBR1
TruckRS UpRS Up
Dead LegRS DownRS Down
Juke LeftRS LeftRS Left
Juke RightRS RightRS Right

The ball carrier buttons have been moved around slightly so the previous precision modifier is now a taunting button.

The Dead Leg is a new style of juking that is aimed at stopping in your tracks and letting defenders go flying past you.

Madden 21 Ball In Air Offensive Controls

ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Possession CatchAX
Switch PlayerBO
Run After CatchX
Aggressive CatchY
Defensive AssistLBL1

Nothing much has changed here but the importance of getting it right has.

READ MORE: Which are the best players in Madden 21?

If you get it wrong you will get picked or make simple drops more often in this years game.

Madden 21 Blocking Controls

madden 21 controls blocking
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Player MovementLSLS
Switch PlayerBO
Aggressive Impact BlockRS UpRS Up
Aggressive Cut BlockRS DownRS Down

It’s rare you would be controlling a blocker outside of The Yard mode, but just in case!

Madden 21 Preplay Offense Controls

madden 21 controls preplay offense 1
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Motion PlayerLS Left or Right (Hold)LS Left or Right (Hold)
Player LockDouble Press LSDouble Press LS
Pass ProtectionLBL1
Show Play ArtLTL2
Fake SnapRBR1
X-Factor VisionRTR2
Hot RouteY
Switch PlayerBO
Snap BallAX
Pre-Play MenuPress RSPress RS
TimeoutMenu ButtonTouchpad
Gameplay Camera Zoom InD-pad downD-pad down
Gameplay Camera Zoom OutD-pad upD-pad up

Not much is different with the pre-snap controls but setting up your player is key to success in Madden.

READ MORE: Whats in Madden 21’s patch 1.03?

So if you don’t know these off by heart, practice.

Madden 21 Player Locked Receiver Controls

madden 21 controls player locked receiver
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Individual Play ArtLTL2
Just-Go ReleaseRTR2
Player LockDouble press RSDouble press RS
Route RunningLSLS
Change up (on LOS)Flick RSFlick RS
Foot Fire (on LOS)Hold RSHold RS
Conservative Change-up releaseAX
Cut Out of Press (on LOS)Flick RSFlick RS

Again, these are most useful when playing as a WR in The Yard or face of the franchise, but worth knowing.

Defensive Controls

Madden 21 Defensive Pursuit Controls

madden 21 controls defensive pursuit 1
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Defensive AssistLBL1
Strip BallRBR1
Breakdown TackleAX
Aggressive / Dive TackleX
Switch PlayerBO
Hit StickRS UpRS Up
Cut StickRS DownRS Down
Blow-Up BlockRS FlickRS Flick

When defending its best to use conservative tackling so you don’t miss and leave a wide-open score.

READ MORE: How to contain a mobile QB in Madden 21

But if you are feeling brave, and controlling Bobby Wagner, the hit stick can be deadly.

Madden 21 Ball In Air Defensive Controls

madden 21 controls ball in air defense 1
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Defensive AssistLBL1
Ball HawkY
Switch PlayerBO
Play ReceiverAX

Despite the changes to the speed of control, usering is still the best way to go on defense.

It’s hard but the difference when you crack it is huge.

Madden 21 Defensive Engaged Controls (incl. Pass Rush)

madden 21 controls defense engaged
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Reach TackleLS Left or Right + XLS Left or Right + ■
Bull RushRS DownRS Down
Switch PlayerBO
Club/Swim MoveRS Left or RightRS Left or Right
Rip MoveRS UpRS Up
Speed MoveRTR2

Playing the defensive line has completely changed for Madden 21.

Along with these button additions there is a whole new points system you will see on the screen, with OL having their equivalent.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Madden 21 coverage abilities

OL will learn from your moves, so do the same move too much and it won’t be effective anymore.

Switch up users on the DL, and switch up moves.

Madden 21 Defensive Coverage Controls

ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Press/Chuck ReceiverA + LSX + LS
Switch PlayerBO
Player MovementLSLS
Defensive AssistLBL1

This is mainly for those that want to play as a CB, whether this is in The Yard or a regular mode.

We would advise usering the MLB or SS.

Madden 21 Preplay Defensive Controls

madden 21 controls preplay defense
ActivityXbox One ControlsPS4 Controls
Linebacker AudibleRight D-padRight D-pad
Defensive Line AudibleLeft D-padLeft D-pad
Defensive KeysLBL1
Show Play ArtLTL2
Fake SnapRBR1
X-Factor VisionRTR2
Coverage AudibleY
Switch PlayerBO
Defensive Hot RouteAX
Pre-Play MenuPress RSPress RS
TimeoutMenu ButtonTouchpad
Gameplay Camera Zoom InD-pad downD-pad down
Gameplay Camera Zoom OutD-pad upD-pad up
Show / Weak Side Gap AssignmentRT + A + BR2 + X + O
Pump Up CrowdRS UpRS Up

Now you know all the buttons for Madden 21 it’s time to practice, practice, practice!

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Madden 21 MUT

Tom Owen