Madden NFL 21 Beginner’s Tips

The early hours of Madden NFL 21 can be quite daunting so we prepared these beginner's tips to help you get started on this journey

If you’ve just indulged in the Madden franchise with the release of Madden NFL 21, there’s a lot of things you need to know about to the game before you can play it on a competitive level which is where these Madden NFL 21 Beginner’s Tips come in.

Madden NFL 21 Beginner’s Tips

To help you understand all the ins and outs of Madden NFL 21, we’ve prepared this guide to walk you through all the beginner tips and tricks you need to know about this game.


The tackling mechanics have been reworked a bit in Madden NFL 21, so getting tackled won’t make you all clumsy with the ball.

However, your QBs still have a chance to get injured if they get tackled hard enough.

This is where the sliding ability comes into play. Not only does sliding allow you to gain some more ground, it also helps you avoid being tackled. This will help you keep your team in good shape.

The sliding ability has also been reworked. This new slide can only be done at a certain time, which is when your player is running at maximum speed and there is no defender near him.

To perform the slide, keep holding the acceleration trigger (R2 for PlayStation and RT for Xbox) and hit Square (for PlayStation) or X (for Xbox).

Do note that there is a small animation that happens before you actually slide.

If a linebacker or cornerback is too close to you when you hit the slide, they may catch you as that small animation is happening.

If you perform the slide properly, you won’t be able to be targeted by any opponents (even the defenders controlled by the opponent player themselves). The opponent will automatically jump over you instead of tackling.

Audible on Offense

When you’re on the playcall screen, you’ll choose an offensive play and the opponent will subsequently choose their defense.

When you reach the line, you may come to the conclusion that the opponent’s defense is way too good for your offense.

This is where the audibles will help you out. They’ll allow you to switch up your play at the line.

When the game shows the players on the field after the players are done selecting their offense and defense, the game gives you the option to check your play by hitting R2.

If you have a few open lanes to hit, you’ll see green in this menu.

If you check the play and realize that your offense is poor compared to the opponent’s defense, press X to open up the audible window.

This window will show you a list of preset plays for different offensive playbooks.

You can now switch to the play you think will hold up well against the opponent’s defense.

There is a time limit to this, so do this as quickly as you can. These options will give you one or two players to which you can lateral to.

Learn to Lateral

The first thing you need to do to be able to properly perform a lateral is to select any option play in the menu excluding the read options.

When you’re on the field, hold R2 to see the defender you can lateral to and then snap the ball. Start running in the direction you want and as you’re running, watch that defender at all times.

This defender will either run into the QB or the RB. If they crash into the QB, press L1 (or R1 if there is another defender) to lateral the ball. This will grant you some open area to run with the RB.

The lateral should be used very carefully and strategically. If you don’t do it properly, it can cause a fumble. So, only do a lateral when you actually need to.

Performing Hurdle and Jurdle

Performing a hurdle is very easy. All you need to do is to press Triangle (on PlayStation) or Y (on Xbox) while you’re controlling a player with the ball during offense.

You can also perform a ‘jurdle’ by moving the left analog stick right or left as you press the hurdle button. The jurdle is a mix of the juke and hurdle. It’s an even better way to dodge the defenders

Even though these are very simple moves to do, you still have to perform them very strategically.

Make sure there is enough space between you and the defender while performing the hurdle/jurdle so you don’t mess it up.

Performing Different Tackles

There are 4 different types of tackles you can perform in Madden 21.

  • Strafe Assist Tackle: Hold LT to strafe and then press A to perform a Strafe Assist Tackle.
  • Breakdown Tackle: Press A when you’re in range of the ballcarrier to perform a Breakdown Tackle.
  • Aggressive Tackle: Press X when you’re in range of the ballcarrier to perform an Aggressive Tackle.
  • Hit Stick/Cut Stick Tackle: When you’re in range of the ballcarrier, flick the Right Analog Stick upward to perform a Hit Stick tackle, or downward to perform a Cut Stick tackle.

Stop a Run

Before calling your defensive play, look at your opponent’s formation and personnel grouping.

Doing this will allow you to set up your defensive formation in a way where you’ll be able to stop the run more consistently.

If your opponent has a formation with two tight ends, you can match that with a base 3-4 or 4-3 formation to stop the run with ease.

Similarly, before the snap, look at the opponent’s formation and make adjustments accordingly to align your players in a way where they’ll be able to perform more efficiently in their role.

Look at the offensive alignment to see if there is a disbalance in the two sides of the formation. If one side has more players, then adjust the formation to defend the play better.

You can adjust the defensive line by pressing left on your D-pad and then moving your Left Analog Stick in the direction you want them to go.

Each player has a unique run fit assignment, depending on the direction where the run goes.

You can see the assignments pre-snap by pulling the left stick and press X to see the assignments if the play goes to the left, or B if you want to see the assignments if the play goes to the right.

The final tip to stop the run is to make sure you have the right personnel during one play situations.

The pass rush specialist Defensive Ends that weigh ~250 lbs get tackled easily. You should sub in a better run-stopping defensive end when you think a run will happen.

Ultimate Team Tips

Ultimate Team is a mode in Madden NFL where you can build your own team by purchasing players using coins and opening cards.

You can then use your team to go against opponents with their own unique teams.

The Ultimate Team mode is ever-evolving, but there are a few basic tips you need to know to be able to progress quickly in this mode.

How to Build Your Team
During the early stages of Ultimate Team, you’ll have the option to choose a MUT Captain, and then base your whole roster around him.

The team captions in Madden NFL 21 are RB Eddie George, DT La’Roi Glover, WR Ed McCaffrey, and CB Aeneas Williams.

When picking a player, look at his team chemistry to see what players you’ll be able to add to your roster with him.

Also, take note of the different positions that people focus on throughout the game’s run.

You can change your MUT Captain whenever needed during the season. So, don’t spend a gratuitous amount of time thinking about what captain to pick.

That said, it’s better to stick to a captain and to build your roster around him instead of constantly swapping him out.

There will be a lot of new players introduced to the game during its run.

What you need to know is that you should focus on their individual stats instead of just picking them based on their MUT rating.

Instead of spending all your money on a single top-tier player early on in the season, distribute that cash and use it in a way where you’ll be able to make it back quicker.

Rather than going after an expensive player that currently has the most hype surrounding him, go after the well-established players that you know will always perform well.

One player you need to keep an eye out for is Sam Mills. You can continuously upgrade his overall throughout the whole season.

An important mechanic to keep note of when building your roster is depth.

Some of the most crucial players on your roster will be deeper in the depth chart. This is especially true for skill positions with two or more players on the field.

On offense, get some good running backs and wide receivers; while on defense, get the secondary stars.

A decrease in stamina will lead to a player’s talent level decreasing as well. This means that if you have a very talented player at the top of the depth chart, and poor players at the bottom, running a pass-heavy offense will become very difficult.

If you wish to play with a ground and pound style at running back, getting a rotation going in your offense is very important. This can be done by having two or more top-tier players in your backfield.

Find Your Best Plays and Formations
Finding plays and formations which you consistently perform good with is very important to progress in Ultimate Team.

This doesn’t mean that you should just find one formation and stick to it forever, it means that you should experiment with different running/passing plays and formations to find a few which you perform the best at.

These will then become your go-to plays/formations, which will help you continuously perform well, provided that you use them against the right opponent formations.

If you find your best plays and formations, you’ll have one for every situation.

Finding them will take time, but it’s worth it in the end. Randomly picking plays and formations will not get you very far in Ultimate Team.

Keep Up with the Meta
The Ultimate Team mode is ever-changing. You may have a great team in the early stages of the game.

If you don’t keep yourself updated with the new players and the meta of the game, that same team might end up become very poor.

Always check the home screens to see the different releases and promotions.

Staying up to date with the new additions to the game will allow you to continuously update your roster to make it better and better as time goes on.