Madden 23 gameplay final changes revealed following Closed Beta

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Madden 23 gameplay is set for a flurry of changes this year, but even more fine tuning was made following the Closed Beta.

With new Gridiron Notes breaking it all down, here are all the last-minute gameplay adjustments being made to Madden 23 before launch.

Madden 23 gameplay changes revealed following Closed Beta

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We already knew that Madden 23 gameplay would look very different this year with the introduction of FieldSENSE, but even more adjustments have been made.

FieldSENSE was teased when Madden 23 was first announced, and this revamped gameplay engine tries to move away from the animation branching we've seen in the past.

The first glimpse came via the Madden 23 Closed Beta, which we also got to try, and participants had the opportunity to provide direct feedback to EA about their experiences.

Following the conclusion of the beta, EA has now revealed new Gridiron Notes breaking down the top fan feedback and what changes they've made as a result.

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Madden 23 gameplay gun bunch formation
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SKILL BASED PASSING: Things are drastically different this year

The top piece of feedback they received was actually fans asking not to change too much, particularly when it comes to coverage reaction time in-game.

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EA clarified that while they've polished and cleaned things up, the overall experience will still be very much like the one players experienced in the beta.

They addressed the requests to have referees back on the field in live gameplay and reaffirmed it's part of their roadmap, but it won't be here yet in Madden 23.

Play Awareness and the ability to run the same plays constantly was addressed in the following ways:

  • Logic added so that when defensive backs are playing in linebacker positions, they will have slower reaction time to the running game.
  • Removed the ability to hot route TE’s to a pass block assignment when in a 2-point WR stance
  • Adjusted the Corner Route in Bunch formations and the corner hot-route in the Hot Route Master and Slot Apprentice abilities to align with the other corner routes throughout the playbooks.
  • Made improvements to man coverage pre-snap alignment vs. bunch formations
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Additional tuning and AI changes were made for pulling linemen to be more explosive at the line of scrimmage, but devs also pointed out that Speed rating will affect how you work around your offensive line.

There were complaints of pass blocking not being strong enough, but EA clarified this was a bug and not a balance issue, and they've remedied that for launch.

Madden 23 Beta Patch Notes

In addition to the more complex changes outlined above, here are the Gridiron Notes for other changes made based on beta feedback ahead of launch:

  • Tuning to catch animations to increase range for jumping INT’s
  • Tuning to significantly decrease situations where the player is requesting ‘Play Ball’ without seeing the corresponding animation response.
  • Tuning to significantly reduce the frequency of fakeouts by man coverage defenders
  • Added new logic so the fakeouts could be used in super-win situations where the ratings delta is heavily in favor of the WR
  • Tuning to significantly reduce fumble chance on QB hits inside the pocket
  • Tuning to significantly reduce fumble chance on QB hits while in the early portion of the throw
  • Tuning to reduce fumbles by non-QB ball carriers on hit-sticks and strip-ball attempts
  • Significant reduction to ‘punch-out’ fumbles by AI-controlled defenders during stand-up tackles on Competitive game style
  • 27 new hit-stick animations have been added for launch
  • Most of the existing animations have been updated to make them look/behave differently
  • Tuning to increase catch success for WR’s in contested-catch situations when in a mismatch.
  • Logic added to include WR physical attributes such as height to play a more significant role in the success of contested catches.
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Lastly on the gameplay front, EA clarified that there will be an onboarding flow and tutorial type system to make learning the new Skill Based Passing easier.

They've also added more contrast and color-coding to in-game feedback and the Skill Based Passing interface for extra clarity to players.

We've got more details here on several changes to Franchise Mode that were also made following feedback from the Closed Beta.