Madden 21 X-Factor Abilities: Full list, leaked Superstar & X-Factor players, Confirmations, Gridiron notes, EA reveals & more


Madden 21 ratings week is behind us, and we've moved on to the new X-Factor and Super Star Abilities in the game.

We've listed leaked X-Factor abilities and their attached players that were released, though these are of course not confirmed.

What is confirmed however is which abilities will be in the game, thanks to the most recent Gridiron Notes (where you can also read over the thoughts behind these decisions).

So let's go over everything we've learned about Madden 21 X-Factor and Superstar Abilities.

Quarterback X-Factor abilities

Pro Reads highlights the first open receiver from the pocket.

  • Tom Brady
  • Drew Brees

Bazooka adds 15 yards to a players maximum throwing distance, up to 80 yards.

  • Patrick Mahomes

Gambler players cannot be intercepted by AI defenders. This is ideal for Franchise Mode.

  • Aaron Rodgers
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CAN'T STOP ME: Lamar Jackson's combination of abilities are frightning

Truzz this new X-Factor ability means the player cannot fumble when being tackled.

  • Lamar Jackson

Blitz Radar highlights all blitzing players outside of defensive linemen.

  • Russell Wilson

Running back X-Factor abilities

First One Free increases the fakeout rate of a players next juke, spin, or hurdle.

  • Saquon Barkley
  • Dalvin Cook

READ MORE: Madden 21 The Yard: What is the new game mode?

Freight Train increases the chance to break the next tackle.

  • Ezekiel Elliott
  • Derrick Henry

Wrecking Ball gives players a high success rate on the next three trucks or stiff-arms.

  • Nick Chubb

Ankle Breaker increases fakeout rates on spin, juke, and hurdles after the catch.

  • Christian McCaffrey

Wide receiver & tight end X-Factor abilities

Double Me means these players win aggressive catches against single coverage.

  • Travis Kelce
  • Mike Evans
  • DeAndre Hopkins
  • Julio Jones
  • Davante Adams
  • Adam Thielen

RAC 'Em Up means these players win RAC catches against single coverage.

  • Stefon Diggs
  • Tyreek Hill
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PLAYMAKER: The right ability can make all the difference

Max Security means these players have a high success rate on possession catches.

  • Keenan Allen
  • Amari Cooper
  • Michael Thomas

YAC 'Em Up increases the chance to break the first post-catch tackle.

  • George Kittle

Defensive X-Factor abilities

Unstoppable Force increases the win rate and block shed speed against one-on-one pass blocks.

  • Khalil Mack
  • Myles Garrett
  • Joey Bosa
  • Demarcus Lawrence
  • Cameron Jordan
  • TJ Watt
  • Danielle Hunter

Fearmonger applies significant pressure on QBs even when the X-Factor player is engaged with blockers.

  • Fletcher Cox
  • Chandler Jones
  • Von Miller

Relentless gives players their first rush move attempt for free.

  • Nick Bosa
  • JJ Watt

Reinforcement gives a higher chance to defeat run blocks and disrupt catches.

  • Derwin James
  • Harrison Smith
aaron donald madden 20
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BRING THE PAIN: Defensive stars have abilities to turn the tide

Avalanche ensures downhill hit-sticks force fumbles.

  • Bobby Wagner
  • Jamal Adams

Blitz means players wipe out opposing blockers resistance bars.

  • Aaron Donald

Run Stuffer increases the win rate and block shed speed against one-on-one run blocks.

  • Calais Campbell

Momentum Shift knocks all on-field opponents out of the zone, and loses any progression they had toward the zone.

  • Chris Jones

Shutdown allows tighter coverage and more frequent interceptions on contested catches.

  • Tre'Davious White
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Richard Sherman
  • Jaire Alexander
  • Stephon Gilmore

READ MORE: Madden 21 Gameplay: New features, skill stick & more

Zone Hawk means more interceptions in zone coverage.

  • Devin McCourty

Bottleneck means dominantly winning man press attempts.

  • Jalen Ramsey

Unassigned X-Factor abilities

Hi-Lo Deadeye all high and low passes are thrown with perfect accuracy.

Run N Gun has perfet accuracy while throwing on the run.

Brick Wall passers are almost guaranteed to break the first sack attempt by any blitzing defender.

Omaha passers have full vision of the secondary's defensive coverage before the snap.

patrick mahomes madden 21
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INCH BY INCH: The right ability can be the difference between winning and losing

Mossed players have greatly increased success rates on aggressive catches of 55+ yards regardless of coverage.

Wrecking Ball running backs have increased success rate on the next three trucks or stiff arms.

Grab And Smash receivers have an increased success chance on stiff arm and truck attempts after the catch.

Vanguard blockers are nearly guaranteed dominant impact block wins.

Selfless players allow all on-field teammates to enter the zone as well.

Universal Coverage defenders are nearly guaranteed knockouts.

Superstar abilities

Brace yourself, there are a LOT of Superstar abilities in Madden 21.

Quarterback Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Players
Fearless
Immune to throw penalties caused by pressure when feet are set in the pocket
Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan
Hot Route Master
Access to four extra hot routes during pre-play
Tom Brady
Set Feet Lead
Increased throw power on bullet precision passes made while their feet are set
Tom Brady
Conductor
Able to make all hot route & blocking adjustments twice as fast
Tom Brady
Escape Artist
Faster and more responsive to input while rolling out of the pocket
Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson
Quick Draw
Faster throwing animations when under pressure
Kyler Murray, Carson Wentz, Lamar Jackson
Dashing Deadeye
Perfect accuracy on all throws under 40 yards while running outside the pocket
Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers
Red Zone Deadeye
Perfect accuracy on all unpressured throws inside the red zone
Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees
No-Look Deadeye
Perfect accuracy on all cross-body throws up to 20 yards
Patrick Mahomes
Anchored Extender
While in the pocket, almost guaranteed to break the first sack attempt by a DB
Dak Prescott
Gutsy Scrambler
Immune to throw penalties caused by pressure while on the run
Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson
Sideline Deadeye
Perfect accuracy on all throws outside the numbers
Carson Wentz
Sleight of Hand
High chance of success on pump fakes and double moves
Matt Ryan
Roaming Deadeye
Perfect Accuracy on all unpressured throws while feet are set outside the pocket
Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson
Gunslinger
Faster passing animations and increased velocity on bullet passes
Aaron Rodgers
Fastbreak
Immediately respond to user input (and defenders react more slowly) on designed QB runs
Lamar Jackson
Tight Out
Improve the catching prowess of all tight ends who are open
Lamar Jackson
Lofting Deadeye
Perfect accuracy on all lob or touch passes
Drew Brees
Indoor Baller
Easier zone targets when playing indoors
Drew Brees
Safety Valve
Improved catching for all running backs who are open
Drew Brees
Clutch
Midway through the 4th quarter in close games, players can easily enter (and remain in) the zone
Tom Brady, Russell Wilson
Agile Extender
Almost guaranteed to evade the first sack attempt by a blitzing DB in the pocket
Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson
Juke Box
Steerable juke animations
Lamar Jackson
Long Range Deadeye
Perfect accuracy on all deep throws with their feet set
Russell Wilson

READ MORE: Madden 21 Face of the Franchise - Rise to Fame

Running back Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Players
Arm Bar
More powerful stiff arm animations
Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry
Balance Beam
Avoid stumbling when carrying the ball
Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook
Bruiser
More powerful truck and stiff arm animations
Nick Chubb
Reach For It
Frequently attempt to gain extra yards while being tackled
Nick Chubb, Ezekiel Elliott
Leap Frog
Will hold onto the ball if tackled during a hurdle
Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Chistian McCaffrey
Energizer
Replenish a portion of their stamina upon successfully performing any skill move
Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook
Evasive
Steerable juke & spin animations
Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey
Backfield Mismatch
Better catch in traffic and route running when coming out against LBs or DL
Saquon Barkley, Kyle Juszczyk
Tank
Break almost any hit-stick tackle
Leonard Fournette, Derrick Henry
Backfield Master
Four additional hot routes, better route running, and improved catching vs LB & DL
Chrstian McCaffrey
Playmaker
Immediate and precisc reactions to playmaker inputs
Christian McCaffrey
Second Wind
replenish their stamina once per play, when its half depleted
Josh Jacobs
Bulldozer
More powerful truck animations
Josh Jacobs
Matchup Nightmare
Sharper cuts and frequently win contested catches when covered by LBs & DL
Alvin Kamara
RB Apprentice
Four additional hot routes when lined up at RB
Alvin Kamara
Closer
Reduced zone objectives in the 2nd half
Derrick Henry
Juke Box
Steerable juke animations
Dalvin Cook
Nasty Streak
Frequently attempt & win impact blocks against LBs & DBs when playing lineman or fullback
Kyle Juszczyk

READ MORE: Madden 21 Pre-Order NOW: Editions, Prices, & Bonus Content

Wide receiver & tight end Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Players
Short In Elite
More consistency catching passes less than 10 yards from the LoS, inside the numbers
DeAndre Hopkins, George Kittle, Michael Thomas
Mid In Elite
More consistency catching passes 10-20 yards from LoS, inside the numbers
Courtland Sutton, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, Zach Ertz, Julian Edelman
Deep In Elite
More consistency catching passes 20+ yards from LoS, inside the numbers
Stefon Diggs
Short Out Elite
More consistency catching passes less than 10 yards from the LoS, outside the numbers
Tyreek Hill, George Kittle, DJ Moore, Michael Thomas
Mid Out Elite
More consistency catching passes 10-20 yards from the LoS, outside the numbers
Keenan Allen, Julio Jones, Kenny Golladay, DJ Moore, Adam Thielen
Deep Out Elite
More consistency catching passes 20 +yards from the LoS, outside the numbers
Allen Robinson, Mike Evans, Travis Kelce, TY Hilton, Amari Cooper
Outside Apprentice
When lined up outside have access to four additional hot routes
Allen Robinson, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Julio Jones, Davante Adams
Juke Box
Steerable juke animations
Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham, Tyreek Hill
Grab-N-Go
Quickly shift momentum, change direction, and turn the corner without losing speed
Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham, Tyreek Hill
Return Man
Quickly shift momentum, change direction, and turn the corner without losing speed on kick and punt returns
Cordarelle Patterson, Andre Roberts
Red Zone Threat
When in the red zone, better chance to win contested catches against single coverage
Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, Kenny Golladay, Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp
Second Wind
Chance to replenish their stamina once per play, when its half depleted
Chris Godwin
Route Technician
High success rate when creating separation on the last cut of any route
TY Hilton, Amari Cooper, Julio Jones, Davante Adams, Michael Thomas
Tank
Will break almost any hit-stick tackle
Rob Gronkowski
TE Apprentice
Four additional hot routes when lined up at TE
Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz
Leap Frog
Will hold onto the ball if tackled during a hurdle
Travis Kelce
Route Apprentice
Four additional hot routes regardless of where they line up
Goerge Kittle

READ MORE: Madden needs to abandon 99 OVR and move to FIFA's system

Offensive lineman Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Players
All Day
Allow less frequent shed attempts
Mitchell Schwartz, Tyron Smith, David Bakhtiari
Edge Protector
Reduce an edge rushers chance of using a quick shed move
Mitchell Schwartz, Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, David Bakhtiari, Ryan Ramczyk
Screen Protector
Will dominantly win impact block on screen plays
Zack Martin, Jason Kelce, Trent Williams
Post Up
Almost guaranteed to win any double team block they are engaged in
Zack Martin, Brandon Brooks, Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff
Nasty Streak
Will frequently attempt and win impact blocks against LB & DB
Quenton Nelson, Lane Johnson, Trent Brown
Unspun
Defend against spin pass rush moves as if they had an additional resistance point
Andrew Whitworth
Lifeguard
Ability to defend against swim/club pass rush moves as if they had an additional resistance point
Brandon Brooks, Ronnie Stanley
Tough Nut
Increased number of blocker resistance points
Terron Armstead
Puller Elite
Frequently attempt and win pull blocks
Quenton Nelson, David DeCastro
Matador
Stronger protection against bull rush
Rodney Hudson, Brandon Scherff
Tear Proof
Ability to defend against rips as if they had an additional resistance point
David DeCastro
Fool Me Once
Gain blocker resistance points at a faster rate
Lane Johnson, Ryan Ramczyk
Natural Talent
Start every new blocking encounter with built-in resistance
Jason Kelce

Pass rush/run defense Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Players
Swim Club
Ignore one bar of blocker resistance when attempting swim/club pass rush moves
Joey Bosa, Demarcus Lawrence, Arik Armstead, JJ Watt
Edge Threat
Faster, more dominant pass rush moves off the edge
Khalil Mack, Von Miller, Myles Garrett, Joey Bosa, Demarcus Lawrence, Nick Bosa, Calais Campbell, TJ Watt
No Outsiders
Faster run shed moves against outside zone plays
Khalil Mack, Von Miller, Joey Bosa, Aaron Donald, Cameron Jordan, TJ Watt
Under Pressure
Apply pressure to the QB from a greater distance
Chris Jones, DeForest Buckner, Demarcuse Lawrence, Fletcher Cox, Aaron Donald
B.O.G.O
Free pass rush move once per play after spending a pass rush point
Shaquil Barrett, Josh Allen
Run Stopper
Do not need to spend a point on shed attempts during a run play
Calais Campbell, JJ Watt
Inside Stuff
Faster run shed moves against inside zone plays
Grady Jarrett, Kenny Clark, Aaron Donald, Calais Campbell, Cameron Heyward
Edge Threat Elite
Faster, more dominant pass rush moves and apply significant pressure off the edge
Chandler Jones, Za'Darius Smith, Cameron Jordan, Danielle Hunter
Instant Rebate
Refunded a pass rush point when successfully shed blocks
Kenny Clark, Cameron Jordan
El Toro
Dominant bull rush wins when their pass rush points are full
Myles Garrett, Chris Jones, DeForest Buckner, Fletcher Cox, Grady Jarrett, Aaron Donald, JJ Watt
Speedster
Ignore one bar of blocker resistance when attempting speed rush moves
Nick Bosa, Danielle Hunter
Extra Credit
Granted an additional maximum pass rush move point
Nick Bosa, Danielle Hunter
Strip Specialist
Still tackle effectively when trying to strip the ball
Khalil Mack, Myles Garrett, Shaquil Barrett, Chandler Jones, TJ Watt
Unpredictable
Less likely to increase their blockers resistance bars when performing shed wins
Cameron Heyward
Reach Elite
Reach out of engaged blocks to tackle/sack nearby ball carriers
Geno Atkins, Chandler Jones, Ryan Kerrigan
Ripper
Ignore one bar of blocker resistance when attempting rip moves
Geno Atkins
Goal Line Stuff
Quicker run sheds near the goal line
Chris Jones
Secure Tackler
Higher success rate on conservative tackles
Fletcher Cox
Defensive Rally
Grant a bonus pass rush point to all DL on any 3rd & 4th down
Arik Armstead
Adrenalin Rush
All pass rush points restored after sacking the QB
Von Miller
Out My Way
Dominant impact block wins against WR, HB, or TE
Za'Darius Smith
Mr Big Stop
Start 3rd & 4th down with at least half ot ehr maximum pass rush points
Za'Darius Smith

Off-ball linebacker & defensive back Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Players
Out My Way
Dominant impact block wins against WR, HB, or TE
Bobby Wagner
Lurker
Can make jumping, 180-degree interceptions while lurking in a zone in the middle of the field
Lavonte David, Eric Kendricks
Outmatched
Highly likely to win contested catches against running backs
Fred Warner
Tackle Supreme
Better conservative/dive tackling, are rarely faked out by ball carrier moves, and cannot be faked out when user controlled
Bobby Wagner
Short Route KO
Force more catch tackle knockouts in man-to-man vs short routes less than 10 yards from the LoS
Chris Harris Jr, Tyrann Mathieu, Jaire Alexander, Marlon Humphrey
Medium Route KO
Force more catch tackle knockouts in man-to-man vs medium routes, 10-20 yards from the LoS
Micah Hyde, Justin Simmons
Deep Route KO
Force more catch tackle knockouts in man-to-man vs long routes, 20+ yards from LoS
Darius Slay, Jaire Alexander, Marlon Humphrey
Flat Zone KO
Force more catch knockouts and react quicker in any flat zone coverage, less than 10 yards from LoS & outside hashes
Derwin James, Tyrann Mathieu, Richard Sherman, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore, Harrison Smith
Mid Zone KO
Force more catch knockouts and react quicker in any midfield zone coverage, less than 20 yards from LoS inside the numbers, and 10-20 outside
Lavonte David, Budda Baker, Fred Warner, Eric Kendricks
Deep In Zone KO
Force more catch knockouts and react quicker in deep zone coverage, 20+ yards from the LoS and inside the numbers
Justin Simmons, Devin McCourty, Earl Thomas, Kevin Byard
Deep Out Zone KO
Force more catch knockouts and react quicker in deep zone coverage, 20+ yards from LoS and outside the hashes
Tre'Davious White, Richard Sherman
Acrobat
Increased range on pass breakups and interceptions
Tre'Davious White, Chris Harris, Darious Slay, Jaire Alexander, Stephon Gilmore, Jalen Ramsey
One Step Ahead
React much faster to receiver cut moves when in man coverage
Stephon Gilmore, Jalen Ramsey
Pick Artist
Higher chance to catch uncontested interceptions, and unlimited stamina on the return (until using a special move or breaking a tackle)
Tre'Davious White, Micah Hyde, Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kevin Byard
Bench Press
Apply bonus fatigue to their man coverage target after a successful press win
Jalen Ramsey
Chuck Out
Slow down their target after a successful zone chuck
Byron Jones, Richard Sherman
Stone Wall
Frequently prevent additional yardage gains while tackling
Budda Baker, Jamal Adams, Earl THomas, Harrison
Tip Drill
Increased chance to catch passes that have been tipped into the air
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Unfakeable
Rarely faked out by ball carrier moves (cannot be faked out when user-controlled)
Derwin James, Devin McCourty
Lumberjack
Do not allow broken tackles and cause more fumbles when cut-sticking ballcarriers
Derwin James
Enforcer
Don't allow broken tackles when hit-sticking ball carriers - regardless of the runner's size or power
Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner, Harrison Smith

Kicker & punter Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Players
Focused Kicker
Slower kicking meter for better power and accuracy
Josh Lambo, Johnny Hekker
Clutch Kicker
Immune to the 'Ice The Kicker' effect that occurs after the opponents call timeouts in critical situations
Justin Tucker

Unassigned Superstar abilities

Name
Ability
Positions
Homer
Easier zone targets at home
Any
Protected
QBs receive better pass blocking from all OL
QB
Human Joystick
Ball carriers can change direction & turn without losing speed
QB, WR, TE, HB
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