Connected Franchise Mode is the part and parcel of Madden NFL 15 journey which can be taken on in offline mode or with up to 31 players. EA Sports has very carefully designed this year’s CFM experience with a wide array of new features and improvements made to the pre-existent modes.
Madden NFL 15 Connected Franchise Mode
Immediately after embarking upon your Madden NFL 15 journey, the first thing you encounter will be CFM.
Although it solely depends upon a user’s preference to jump into online/offline modes, both offer equally challenging environment. It is at the start of your journey that you will be asked to either create a league or join one.
Selecting a Role
Once you’re done with your initial choice joining/creating a league, you will be asked to determine your role – whether you want to be a player, coach, or own your favourite NFL team. Do note that when opting for a player, you can both create a player or bring back a current/former NFL player.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the things that you need to consider when opting for any of the roles stated above.
Be a Player
Being a player not only allow you to take control of your favourite NFL character, but also create an entirely new one. You’ll be able to choose your player’s position, your player type, and even your backstory. Aside from this, you’ll be asked to select a team for which you’ll play and earn experience.
While opting for this role, you’ll have the option of choosing from a wide array of styles – both on offense and defense.
With all new improvements and new features, it is crucial that take good amount of time to select your position. Furthermore, take a moment to have a look at the team’s scheme before signing-up.
I’ve provided some of the positions below which might interest you:
With this position, although you’ll have below-average tackling and pursuit, but you will also have amazing hit power. In addition to this, poor awareness can be countered with decent speed and acceleration. Upgrade your player in poor departments and you will good to go.
While a balanced halfback suffers with trucking and elusiveness, above-average agility and awareness makes up for it. The idea is to do anything, but not exceptionally well. Some well-spent XP bonus here and there and you’ll be on your way to a superstar.
Pocket Passer Quarterback
With Pocket Passers, your players mostly stay in the pocket and not move a lot. Pocket Passers have great throwing accuracy, power, and elusiveness, but do not have off the charts speed and carrying.
Be a Coach
Similar to being a player, you can either create your own coach from scratch or control your favourite coach. Being a Coach allows you to sign, trade, and draft player while acquiring experience to upgrade your coaching abilities.
While creating a coach from scratch allows you to totally customize how your coach looks and performs, opting for a pre-existing allows you to inherit all his traits.
Selecting Team to Coach
While playing the CFM and assuming the role of a coach, it is generally a good idea to evolve your own team over the course of a couple of seasons. Whether you want to choose a team which can dominate in the first season or a team which is future proof, these are some viable options:
Kansas City Chiefs
With the addition of Alex Smith as the much-needed quarterback, KCC has come in strong this season. With a strong defence and quite a lot of LBs, KCC will certainly prove to be worthwhile.
With the return of quarterback Peyton Manning and bunch of raw talent, Broncos is easily the team to consider this season. One thing that you should keep in mind is to evolve Brock Osweller to take the position of Peyton Manning.
Having won the Super Bowl last season, Seattle Seahawks remain strong with quarterback Russell Wilson and halfback Marshawn Lynch. With a CFM overall of 90, it will sure emerge out as one of the top teams in this season.
With the inclusion of WR DeSean Jackson, Alfred Morris, and Robert Griffing III, Redskins are most certainly future-proof. The only department in which this team lags is the defensive side. Any coach who will put anything in the defensive department will take this team pretty higher.
With an overall CFM of 84, Philadeplphia Eagles have players like Darren Sproles, LeSean McCoy, and Nick Foles which make the team’s strong offensive squad. Anyone who wishes to take this team to the winning streak must focus on its defence.
Having an overall CFM of 82, Indianapolis Colts is another team with great potential with players like Trent Richardson.
There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind; first off, try and look for a WR to have with T. Y. Hilton and strive to make better the defence of this team. Do so and you will good to go!
This team has an overall CFM of 81; however you should make sure to develop the star player quarterback Jake Locker. Try and boost his confidence level and he will eventually come out strong.
In addition to Locker, Zach Mettenberger is another dark horse at Titans’ disposal. Anyone who is planning to rebuild this team should know that they already have a pretty strong defence and need more work done on the offensive side.
St. Louis Rams
With an overall CFM of 84, St. Louis Rams is pretty strong in the defensive side.
Players like quarterback Sam Bradford has raw talent which can be further boosted with some of the confidence. Other than Bradford, players like Tre Mason and Zac Stacy are already on their journey of becoming superstars.
With an overall CFM of 83, Oakland Riders has a combination of both youngsters and veteran players that has helped them in creating a strong line-up. Other than the offensive line-up, the team’s defensive line-up also contains a mixture of young players and seasoned veterans.
Having an overall CFM of 84, this team has both a defensive and offensive line-up. Players like Mike Wallace can beat down any defender, hands down. As the coach, you’ll have to work on the quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s confidence.
With a CFM of 83, this team has a pretty strong defensive line-up. With players like CB Joe Haden, you can expect to shake the offensive line-up of any team. Other than this, you need to give a boost to Johnny Manziel’s confidence. Furthermore, Manziel can also rely on the support from the newly-signed Ben Tate.
Having a massive overall CFM of 86, Cardinals have some really great players like CB Patrick Peterson. With already a strong offensive line-up, if you’re planning on taking this team, make sure to make better the defensive line-up to keep the other teams’ LBs at bay.
New York Giants
New York Giants has a pretty strong line-up in both offensive and defensive side. With some new players added to the rosters, players can expect a comeback in this season. They currently have a CFM Overall of 80.
Having an overall CFM of 84, Steelers have some amazing talent on the offensive side with QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown. On the defensive side of the ball, they have plenty of amazing LBs and the young Ryan Shazier.
Having an overall CFM of 81, you need to have quarterback Matt Ryan to keep the strong offensive line-up of the team intact. Furthermore, the team can come out in great form if the coach decides to bring back WR Julio Jones.
Be an Owner
Similar to two roles provided above, being an owner allows you to create a new owner or choose from a pre-existing one. Other than this, you’ll be able to rebuild your stadium, set your own prices for everything, and more.
All in all, this role is for people who don’t want to miss any aspect of the CFM.
Being an owner gives you the real taste of the true NFL experience. Whether you want to keep your fans happy or strictly stick to business, we have got it all in this section.
The finances tab is the area where you’ll receive full reports of spent/earned money and should be the main focus area for those who want to keep it strictly business. The finances tab is further divided into four categories:
Tickets and their prices is the backbone of your income so it is important that you take some time in managing these.
While you can raise the prices for quick revenue, it’ll not serve you well in the long-term business plans. This is where you should pay heed to your fans’ feedback and set things accordingly.
As a general rule of thumb, you should opt for cheaper tickets for the upper levels and try to fill them as soon as possible.
Merchandise is another thing that can generate your decent amount of revenues. A hardcore fan always looks for some official merchandise to show his affiliation to the team. However, if this merchandise is super-expensive, no one will buy it.
You need to set a decent price-point so that your fans don’t turn against you.
Concessions refer to edibles during the match and are divided across five distinctive levels with level five being only accessible to the team. Once again, pricing holds significant importance in this department which can be checked based on fans’ feedback.
Team Revenue is the place where you need to look at to get your income placed against expenses. Obviously, your primary target should be having more income than expenses, but keeping them balanced is the real deal.
Instead of making decision which will only help you in the short run, you should go for something which will better suit your long-term goals. Remember! The more sugar you add, the sweeter it will become.
As an owner, you should have a keen interest in the condition of your stadium. While you can always upgrade or renovate your stadium, you can also relocate it to another city – if the rating is below 20.
Furthermore, there are five areas you can upgrade. Once again, keep checking fans’ feedback to know where you lack.
Under the marketing section, you will be able to manage different marking sections that will help you bring in more revenues and get your team the exposure it needs.
Your player popularity and player marketing indirectly affects many other things. Under the Merchandise tab, I mentioned that hardcore fans tend to purchase their favourite team’s merchandise and this is where player popularity comes in.
Always keep an eye out on the NFL Top 10 and try to get your players on that list.
The team popularity is divided across three sub-sections – having different levels of fans. Your Local Fans are the most loyal fans, but they are a few in number. Regional Fans are greater in number, but are very hard to please.
And lastly, there are National Fans which are extremely valuable and hard to capture. The rule that applies here is simple: win games and you’ll go on increasing your fans – event to National levels.
Media and Publicity
Every week, you’ll be given a chance to speak to media which will eventually affect your Fan Happiness. In Media Relations tab, you’ll be able to discuss your current or future plans and see how fans react to it.
You need to know that making promises which you won’t fulfil won’t do you any good.
One side of being an owner is to keep the Fan Happiness as high as possible.
Keeping your fans happy will not only make them come to more games, but also buy more merchandise and concessions which will eventually mean more income. However, fans tend to act like real people and can be hard to please.
Therefore, you need to know which type of fans you have and try to please them using any tactics that you feel are necessary.
Coaches and Trainers
Loyal fans and fans in general will always worry about their team’s success and know that staff plays an important role in all this. You can check the Staff Page to hire new staff members or fire someone.
Staff members have coach, scouts, and trainers and idea is to go for the best available.
Team Value and Team Success
Team Success is basically the record of your team’s wins and losses and pits team against the 32 other teams in the league. As for the Team Value, it basically pits your team against other team in a wide array of categories ranging from Fan Happiness to Concession.
In this section, you’ll be able to get a clear look of who’s lagging behind you and who’s surpassing you.
Backstory Decisions and Their Impacts
Backstory is something which significantly determines how your characters perform their given roles. There are pros and cons of every decision so make sure to take your time and come up with the backstory which suits you the best.
While as a player, going with Early Draft Pick allows you to receive decent initial ratings, but you’ll also have high expectations and normal development trait. As for Late Draft Pick, you will get decent initial ratings along with fair expectations and rapid development trait.
As for Undrafted, you’ll have both lower ratings and expectations, but super star development trait.
While as a coach, motivator will give you both FA and retire package discount, Team Builder will give your Scouting and Contract discount, and Strategist will give your experience boost and trade/progression package discount.
Coming to being an owner, although being a former player ensures roster happiness and 500 legacy score, you’ll start off with $0 funds in your pocket. Being a fan ensures fan happiness and success happiness, but again no funds in your pocket.
As for a wealthy business, you will begin with $10 million, but no legacy score and player happiness.
What is Fantasy Draft?
Before you kick off the league, the game will put forth the option to start Fantasy Draft. For those of you who don’t know, Fantasy Draft basically deprives all players of their current squads and adds them in a pool to be drafted.
In Fantasy Draft, all 32 team participating in the league take part in it. Without the ability to play in the pre-determined rosters, Fantasy Draft is sheer test of a player’s skill against other players.
Just before you jump into playing the league, you’ll be asked to revise a large number of options ranging from Skill Level to Player Progression Frequency. Here, you will be able to determine how much you want CPU to handle the game and how much you want it for yourself.
Checking Your Goals
Once the league starts, you need to give some time to your goals – as a player, as a coach, and as an owner. This is the time to talk to your advisors, see the team roster, and free agents.
Not only in Madden NFL 15, but also in previous games, Pre-Season has always had great importance. Although the wins/losses of these sessions don’t count, players tested out during the season add confidence which plays an extremely important role in CFM.
During the Pre-Season, after the first week is over, players will be asked to cut down the roster to 53 players, but not at once. Here’s a quick rundown of cut days:
- Second Week – 65 Players
- Third Week – 59 Players
- Fourth Week – 53 Players
It is important that pay heed to the Pre-Season to decide whom you wish to cut.
Sorting Out the Roster
Sorting out the roster before the game starts is very important.
With the depth chart, you’ll see if you need to make any adjustments, fill in any spots, or check your backups. Most of the times, many players tend to neglect the importance of backups, though they can win games in different situations.
Checking Your Newsfeed and Tweets
Your customizable Newsfeed will give you all that you need to know about the other teams and what’s happening around. This Newsfeed is highly customizable and players can alter it to show any news that they want.
Other than the Newsfeed, you will also receive never-ending tweets from your fans and other people and will be updated of the latest happenings in the CFM universe.
What is Action Tab?
If you don’t have any clue what you need to do next to advance in the CFM section, you need to have a look at the Action Tab which will enlists all your goals and weekly games that you need to complete to advance to the next phase.
Game Prep and Activities
Game Prep is a brand new feature in Madden NFL 15 which has also been in previous instalments in a different form – the practice mode. Throughout the season, players must set aside some hours to develop their team.
Using this, players will not only increase the confidence of their players, but also earn bonus XP which can be used to increase a player’s ratings or traits.
Aside from this, each week, the advisors will update some activities which will target different weaknesses and you’ll have the freedom of either completing them or ignoring them to concentrate on something else.
Those who have played the previous NFL games might know about the Trade Center. You should always check for the Trade Center if you have more than 2-3 players for a similar position or have plenty of veteran players.
The other teams will notify you within a week and will try to strike a deal.
Another situation when you should consider trading is when you cannot get your desired position.
Check your Upgrade Screen and you will see in which position you are lagging behind. Once you have done that, head over to Trade Center and see if you can find any suitable trade for your desired position – especially in the online league with other human players.
Earning and Spending XP
As you progress through the games, you will be accumulating XP which you will be able to use to Purchase Upgrades and Traits. However, do note that upgrades for higher rating players are far more expensive than lower rating ones.
Another thing that you should bear in mind is that you won’t lose the already earned XP no matter what. So it is sometimes wiser to accumulate it and buy something worthwhile rather than spending it on useless traits.
Coming to traits, here are some traits that you need to have to turn your youngster into a superstar:
- Development Trait
- Big Hitter
How to Earn XP
One great way to earn XP other than drills is by scoring goals. If you check the Team Goals for the season, you will see how many goals you need to have to gain the bonus XP. The goals are divided into three categories which can be found below:
- Weekly Goals
- Season Goals
- Milestone Goals
While season goals give you a decent amount of XP, Milestone Goals not only provide the bonus XP, but also some of the legacy rewards. Other than this, Milestone Goals have varying time frame depending on the game.
When a player is injured during the season, you’ll get every detail regarding it in the Injury Report tab. You can also add an injured player to the injured reserve to make space for another player in the roster.
And lastly, you can also view the injuries for the rest of the league.