Madden 21 The Yard: Beginner’s Guide – Rules, Scoring, Prototypes, & more

Madden 21 The Yard is here.

The Yard is a whole new game mode in the game.

And from first impressions, it's the part of Madden 21 that's getting the best reviews.

But the rules are completely re-written, so here's how to win in The Yard.

Make Your Avatar

The first thing you need to do when loading up Madden 21 The Yard is to create your avatar.

READ MORE: Madden 21 review - the Yard shines through

This virtual representation of yourself is what will be diving around the field as your character.

EA has tried to make this as customizable as possible, so there are plenty of options for different uniforms and accessories and you will rarely see players wearing the same things.

Don't worry too much what you do pick as you can edit these later, but if you have a position in mind already, think about height and weight that suits.

Playing both sides of the ball

Speaking of positions, this is the first difference of The Yard.

rsz madden 21 the yard positions
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BALLER: You have to play both sides of the ball in The Yard

You play both sides of the ball, which means when you go into a game and pick a position, you're actually choosing two.

  • QB & Safety
  • MLB & Center
  • WR 1 & CB 1
  • WR 2 & CB 2
  • SLOT
  • HB & OLB

It's worth pointing out that the game is pretty fun no matter what position you pick. If you are playing the CPU then you will pick the plays no matter which option you choose.

You Play Everywhere

Whilst there are clear positions at the snap of the ball, the madness of Madden 21 The Yard kicks in as soon as the ball is live.

READ MORE: Madden 21 best playbooks

There are different rules to normal football which means that the positions are fluid and players all over the field.

Oh, and you can pass multiple times, so anyone can be a QB. That's worth learning early, for both offense and defense.

For example, you can hike the ball to anyone on the field by holding LT/L2 and the designated receiver button.

You can lateral the ball as many times as you like behind the line of scrimmage, so you have to retrain your brain not to flood the ball carrier after that first lateral.

Mississippi Rule

Madden 21 The Yard is based on backyard football, so there are no linemen.

READ MORE: Madden 21 complete controls guide

There are set rules in each location that require you to wait behind the line of scrimmage before you can blitz the opponent.

You can see a big red line up until its ok and the line turns green. The game won't let you cross it so you don't have to worry about getting it wrong.

Make sure you read the house rules of each location whilst the game is loading.

House Rules

Every location in The Yard has its own "House Rules," which serve as modifiers to the game mode.

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WILD COLOURS: You won't see a player wearing the same thing as a teammate

There are different starting points on the field, different lengths of Mississippi rules and different numbers of drives in the game.

READ MORE: Madden 21 MUT Beginners Guide

The Yard is meant to be a short, sharp hit of fun - so make sure you know the rules to avoid being cut short or losing because of a mistake in understanding.

Different Scoring

One major difference between Madden 21 The Yard and the NFL is the scoring.

Its not a straight forward six point TD.

The Yard encourages creative gameplay and big plays so you get the standard six points plus the following in game scoring;

  • Interception = 1 point
  • A Play of 40+ yards = 1 point
  • Score a TD after at least one successful double pass or lateral = 2 points

In addition to this, after a successful TD you will be given the choice of 3 different point after attempts worth one, two or three extra points from the 5, 10 and 20 yard lines respectively.

READ MORE: Madden 21 realistic sliders settings

The eagle eyed amongst you will spot that this means you can score 13 points in a play. If you are lucky enough to have a 40+ yard interception returned for a TD with a lateral along the way followed by a 20 yard 3-point conversion!

Prototypes Explained

Once you have created your character, you can start to level them up in different positions. Each time you go into a game you select which position to play and then select a prototype.

rsz madden 21 the yard prototypes
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UPGRADE: Spend your points wisely and play different positions

This prototype will change the size and shape of your player and should be aligned to the position. So if you've selected QB/S position then select a QB or Safety Prototype.

As you play, you earn more XP to spend on upgrades.

Truzz - Scrambling QB

Your player can mainly work on speed and finesse running, with some throw accuracy too. You start out with the First One Free X-factor ability which gives you a high fakeout rate on the next juke, spin, or hurdle.

The Buffalo - Power QB

Your player will work on stats across the board from speed, to power running and throw accuracy. But in addition to this they will be able to increase tackling and hit power.

READ MORE: Madden 21 offensive money play to go deep

It will also make your player taller and heavier with the Wrecking Ball X-Factor. This hives you a high success rate on the next three trucks or stiff arms.

Golden Arm - Pure Passer QB

Your player will have the ability to get boosts on throw on the run and accuracy stats, as well as coverage on defense.

You will have the Gambler X-Factor which gives you faster passes that can't be picked by AI defenders.

Raczilla - YAC Reciever

This option gives the ability to boose the WR release, as well as power running and route running.

You get the Rac 'em up X-Factor which wins RAC catches vs single coverage.

U Can't Guard - Possession Reciever

Focused on receievr, this allows for development of route running, catch in traffic and WR release.

READ MORE: Madden 21 everything you need to know about pass rush

You also get the Maximum Security X-Factor which gives you a high success rate on possession catches.

The Lock - Lockdown Corner

Good boosts on both sides of the ball with press, finesse running and catch available.

The X-Factor you get is Shutdown. This gives tighter coverage and more INT's on contested catches.

Jacked Up - Hybrid Safety

A balanced prototype with good tackle boosts available.

You get the Zone Hawk X-Factor which gives you more INT's in Zone Coverage.

Fast Cat - Elusive RB

Maxed out finesse running makes this a dangerous prototype. You also get some catch and route running.

READ MORE: Every coverage ability in Madden 21 explained

You start out with the First One Free X-factor ability which gives you a high fakeout rate on the next juke, spin, or hurdle.

The Magician - Balanced RB

Balanced boosts across the board for finesse and power running, but also catch and WR release.

You get the Grab and Smash X-Factor which gives you high success rate on stiff arm/truck after a catch.

Brick Wall - Power LB

Maxed out hit power and blocking will be available with this option. Which teams nicely with its Avalanche X-Factor which means that downhill hit sticks cause fumbles.

The Blanket - Coverage LB

With boosts to speed, hit power, press and coverage this is a great defensive prototype.

You get the Zone Hawk X-Factor which gives you more INT's in Zone Coverage.

Manimal - Possession TE

Decent boosts for both catch in traffic and blocking make this a good prototype.

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

You also get the Maximum Security X-Factor which gives you a high success rate on possession catches.

Zeus - Finesse TE

This gives your player a mix of boosts to blocking, speed and finesse running.

You get the Rac 'em up X-Factor which wins RAC catches vs single coverage.

Additionally, there are 17 secondary skills that can be unlocked by developing certain Prototypes. Those skills are as follows:

  • Acrobat - Diving swats and interceptions
  • Pick Artist - Better catching and improved stamina on INT returns
  • Tip Drill - Higher chance to catch tipped passes
  • Comeback - Reduced Zone objectives while losing
  • Deep Out Elite - Improved catching on deep passes outside the numbers
  • Short Out Elite - Improved catching on short passes outside the numbers
  • Deep In Elite - Improved catching on deep passes inside the numbers
  • Pocket Deadeye - Perfect pass accuracy while throwing from the pocket
  • Lurker - Spectacular catch animations for lurking defenders
  • Short Route KO - Improved knockouts in man vs. short routes
  • Escape Artist - Improved scrambling speed behind the line of scrimmage
  • Deep Route KO - Cut-sticks guarantee tackles and add fumble chance
  • Juke Box - Faster juke animations
  • Enforcer - Guaranteed tackle after hit-sticking ball carriers
  • Inside Deadeye - Perfect pass accuracy on throws inside the numbers
  • Mid In Elite - Improved catching on medium passes inside the numbers
  • Spin Cycle - Faster spin animations

READ MORE: What's in the Madden 21 1.03 patch?

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