Madden NFL 25 is reintroducing the heavily acclaimed Connected Careers system of its predecessor, this time as “Connected Franchise”. For any new comer, this absolutely massive career option can be intimidating because of all that it has to offer.
It’s easy to be tempted to jump right into the action straight away, but if you’re looking for a competitive, thorough, and rightfully ideal football experience, you’ll need to work with patience and go through the Connected Franchise mode in a heavily systematic way.
Madden NFL 25 Connected Franchise
When you start off a Connected Franchise, you can choose to do it either online multiplayer or an offline career. Interestingly enough, you can play the offline careers multiplayer, allowing for a co-op franchise.
When it comes to playing online, you will need to create your own League or choose an already existing one.
Leagues can be public or private, and the owner of the League has plenty of options at hand. Once you’ve set up your league, you can choose to Be a Coach, Be a Player, or Be an Owner. Being an Owner is a brand new addition, and for all its vastness we’ll thoroughly cover it in an entirely different guide.
Playing as a Coach
Playing as a coach is basically itself the classic franchise mode in the previous additions to the series. It has been chopped down a little though, making it more focused on the coaching aspect, while the rest of the management system has been transferred to the Be an Owner mode.
This doesn’t mean you won’t be busy – coaching is a tough and demanding job, and you’ll find yourself reiterating the old tasks such as drafting players, signing agents, managing player contracts, negotiating/terminating contracts, and much more.
When it comes to Connected Franchise, the coach’s ultimate objective is to reach the top of the Hall of Fame, matching the immortal legend of Vince Lombardi as the most effective coach to have ever existed in football history.
Once you start the Be a Coach mode, you will have the option of choosing a real-life coach, a Hall of Fame legend that you may have unlocked in Madden Ultimate Team, or creating your own.
Obviously, most of us would prefer the last option, but it’s never too bad to be in the “that’s what I would do if I were you” position.
Creating a coach from scratch will require a backstory and your team. The backstory will actively and passively affect your team and players. There are three backstories to choose from, namely Motivator, Strategist, and Team Builder, each with their own set of unique perks that would help you in your career.
The Motivator is the coach that every player wants to play for. He has the brilliant inspirational vibe to him, making him naturally attractive for free agents.
As a Motivator, you will get a 25% discount on packages that increase a free agent’s desire to sign with you at a given position, and also a 25% discount on packages that withhold a position player’s retirement.
The Motivator is a good choice for a long-term plan, but if you want immediate positive results, you might want to consider the other backstories instead. Nevertheless, the ability to convince the best players to play for you, and that too at great discounts, is a great perk for any coach.
The strategist is the true master of the on-field game. His ability to accelerate the players’ skills through discounted attribute costs makes him an ever evolving and dependable coach.
As a strategist, not only will improving player attributes be easier, you will also gain more experience as a coach with discounts on XP packages, Trade packages, and Progression packages.
The strategist is an excellent backstory that most users will sway towards. The effectiveness of its perks are almost immediately noticeable, and keeping your players performing well is very easy.
The Team Builder is a very different backstory from the other two, and its perks are utilized best by more experienced Madden players. As a team builder, you will get more scouting points every week, trading will be much easier, and you will be able to re-sign players more easily with 25% discounts on resigning packages.
As you may have deduced from the rather subtle perks, the Team Builder backstory is challenging, and its effectiveness is only seen if you’re planning to put in lots and lots of time in your coaching career.
This is perhaps the only backstory that can truly make it easy for a user to take a weak team, work on it, and turn it into one that wins every game and every championship it participates in.
Thus, it is recommended for veterans who are looking for a real challenge.
Creating Your Coach
Once you have determined the backstory and (hence) the core attributes, you’ll have to create your coach’s looks. If you have a GameFace, you can use that as well, otherwise you’ll just have to make-do with whatever the game has to offer.
Do remember that whatever you choose here will be final, so take your time if looks matter to you.
After finalizing the face and physique, you’ll need to select his offensive and defensive playbooks, and also his habits on the field (passive, aggressive, etcetera). These options are also permanent, so you should really consider thinking over your choices before finalizing them.
Once you have picked a backstory, you will be asked to select a team. Most players will automatically go for the teams they support in real life, but it’s important to understand the correlation between the team players and the coach.
As a coach, you might be used to certain formations, tactics, and playstyle, while the team you’re using could be accustomed to another.
This conflict through differences can later become problematic, with players losing form if they aren’t playing according to your scheme. Thus, choosing teams shouldn’t be as intuitive and natural as it is, and you would definitely need to make compromises from one or both ends to get the most balanced overall unit.
Since backstory does have some impact on your team’s performance, different teams and their playstyles can be associated with different backstories. Some teams may work best with a Motivator, while others will benefit greatly with a Team Builder coach.
Of course, this is no hard-coded rule, but it’s one to surely follow if you don’t have preferences, or are looking to get the best combination possible for a strong and successful career as a coach.
Here are teams categorized according to which backstory they would work with:
CAR, CHI, CIN, DEN, DET, HOU, KC, PIT, SF, TAM
ATL, BAL, BUF, DAL, GB, NE, NO, NYG, NYJ, OAK, PHI, WAS
ARI, CLE, IND, JAX, MIA, MIN, SDC, SEA, STL, TEN
Goals are essential if you are looking to earn more and more XP, which in turn will allow you to strengthen your team’s players. In order to have a look at the weekly, milestone, and season goals, you need to access the Goals box from the Home menu.
Weekly goals are minor tasks that you would need to carry out in the next game, whenever applicable. They mostly concern with giving you minor XP rewards, and also give you an idea of methods you will have to use to accomplish them.
Though these goals aren’t highly rewarding individually, carrying them out regularly will allow you to stack up a lot of XP, which can be spent in many ways. This is important, so you should consider taking on these goals every time you plan to actively play a game.
Season Goals are completely different. These are more focused, and highly relevant to the coach you chose or designed. If you enable Coach Firing, then you will have to really look towards these goals in a serious manner, or you risk getting fired if you don’t.
Basically, these are tasks that the team and management expects you to accomplish in the season. Note that you won’t get rewards for the accomplishment of these goals individually, but will get an accumulative reward towards the end of the season.
The types of season goals depend on the coach and team. Teams and coaches with low prestige will have easier goals, while the top tier teams and highly skilled coaches will have challenging ones.
Milestones are more like Achievements and Trophies, except they give you XP and Legacy Points. They’re the ideal things for the most hardcore completionists, but some of them are stupidly difficult – to such an extent that they aren’t even worth the smallest of efforts.
For most players focused on building a good career, milestones should be ignored completely. Let yourself complete the ones that can be completed naturally, and consider them as occasional bonuses.
Additionally, milestones don’t have much to do with Achievements and trophies, so it is possible to get 100% completion even without them.
Goals change and evolve every year, and on average will get tougher and tougher. If you aren’t achieving your seasonal goals for several game years, the NFL will tend to forget you even if you have a Super Bowl ring in your first set of years.
As a coach, you’ll have things to do every week of the game.