Madden NFL 18 is upon us, which means that eager football fans will soon start their journey in franchise mode. Over the years, EA Sports has gradually added more depth, allowing players to tinker with every aspect of the NFL season. While this has been great for diehard football fans, the level of detail may bog down some of the more casual players. No worries, though — we’ve got you covered: here’s how to become a Madden NFL 18 franchise mode master, along with explanations on playing as a sole player or controlling the team as an owner.
You have options for Madden NFL 18 franchise mode, but most players will likely spend the majority of their time in franchise mode within the traditional “Coach” role. You make all of the decisions an NFL head coach makes, and technically “play” as the coach, but when game time comes around, you play Madden as you’re accustomed to — controlling every facet of the in-game experience.
You can either take the helm of a current NFL team or draft a custom team from scratch. If you choose to go the latter route, check out the tips below, otherwise skip to the bottom section for general franchise mode tips.
General franchise tips
Weekly training: Each week before a game, you have the opportunity to train the offense and defense with skills exercises. The game automatically selects a skills training that is beneficial for the upcoming opponent, but you still have choices to make. You can select three focus players who will gain the most experience from the exercise. Generally, up and coming players like rookies or burgeoning stars should be your focus players. You have the option to simulate the training and still receive experience points, but you will receive the greatest reward by actually playing the exercises and achieving a Silver or Gold rank.
Upgrade attributes: After each game, a list of players with available attribute upgrades displays on screen. The game recommends attributes to upgrade, but sometimes you may want to go rogue and choose a different option. Usually we opt for upgrading the player’s lowest attribute value.
Pay attention to goals: To spice things up, players have individual weekly goals which, when reached, dole out bonus experience points. To check your weekly goals, simply click on any player in the team menu and scroll over to “Weekly Goals.” Players also have season and milestone goals, which you can build on throughout the course of the season.
How to draft a quality team
To build a custom team, simply open a new franchise in the cloud and choose a team. Then, in the “Starting Point” setting, choose Fantasy Draft.
In real life, the NFL Draft has seven rounds. In Madden NFL 18, since you’re filling out an entire active roster, be prepared for a 53-round draft. For the first few rounds, you’ll have a minute and a half to pick a player, but as the rounds pass, your time to make a pick will drop down to 45 seconds.
To build a successful Madden roster, you need to be smart in the draft. So how should you allocate your picks?
For the first few rounds at least, there’s a general formula. With your first round pick, we recommend drafting the highest rated QB available. You have no control over the draft order so your pick could come at the beginning, midway, or at the end of each round. In the second round, go for either an offensive linemen or a defensive linemen. Whichever one of those you don’t select in the second round, you should pick up in the third round. In the fourth round, you should still be able to snag an elite running back. In the fifth, shoot for a cornerback or an elite wide receiver. Whichever you don’t take in the fifth, pick that position up in the sixth.
As for how many players you should have at each position, follow these rough guidelines, but you can tweak it to taste and player availability. There’s no single, optimal composition. You can check out all current NFL rosters to see variations of the breakdown.
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