Defense is a major component of Madden NFL 22’s core gameplay loop. Whether you’re trying to prevent touchdowns or the opposite team from getting too close to your Goalpost, your defensive lineup will make or break you.
Additionally, playing Madden NFL on your next-gen console will enable the Next Gen Stats Star Driven AI. This feature makes a single-player campaign considerably more difficult, as opponents will adapt better to your antics.
This guide’ll review all major Defense tips and tricks in Madden NFL 22. Whether you’re playing against the CPU or your friends, the list below will help you come out on top.
Before you begin, make sure you’ve mastered the following: Defensive Engagement, Defensive Pursuit, Ball-in-Air Defense, Special Teams Defense, Blocking, and Defensive Coverage.
Alternate Between Zones
There are three main zones in Madden 22 that you will need to master. Here are a few scenarios where each zone might be useful:
- Hard Flat– Hard flats usually cover defense on the outside short areas of Cover 2. Use Hard Flats if your opponent loves to gank in through the short outside routes.
- Soft Squats – Soft Squats are fundamentally the opposite of Hard Flats: they cover the deeper and larger corner routes. Soft Squats are effective for a long-passing play.
- Cloud Flat – Cloud Flat is a combination of both Hard Flat and Soft Squats. Use these when you must catch an opponent that is neither too close to the short outside routes nor on very long routes, like the 3rd or 12.
Use Shade Coverage
Another important trick in the book is using shade coverages to protect a certain map area against 1-on-1s.
To use shade coverage, here is a step-by-step guide:
- Press Y/Triangle to make defensive adjustments when the opponent’s offense is on the run.
- Flick your right stick towards whatever direction you want to use shade coverage for.
The left flick is a defensive strategy that can help you guard the inside. The right flick helps guard the outside. The top flick plays the topmost coverage, and the down flick is quite the opposite: underneath coverage.
Use man-to-man Defense
We mentioned earlier that shade coverage is important against the 1-on-1 defense. Man-to-man defense is an integral part of the game you’ll use more often.
Here is exactly how to use man-to-man defense:
- Press Y/Triangle to bring up defensive adjustments as soon as the round begins.
- Press Y/Triangle again to bring up quick adjustments.
- Individually choose each defender against the opposing offensive player.
Use a Defensive Playbook
Playbooks are very important in Madden NFL 22’s defense setup. Playbooks have the biggest learning curve, and you can’t use a single playbook for multiple scenarios.
Here are 3 of the best playbooks in Madden NFL 22:
Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Playbook
If you are playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, here are a few formations that you need to check out:
- Dime 1-4-6
- Dime 2-3-6 Will
- Nickel 1-5-5 DBL A Gap
- 3-4 Odd
There are a few other formations, but we found the above four most effective.
Multiple D Defensive Playbook
Multiple D Defensive Playbook has been the go-to for many players. Here are a few formations that we recommend:
- 5-2 Normal
- Dollar 3-2-6
- Nickel 3-3-5/Wide
- Nickel Normal
New England Patriots Defensive Playbook
The Patriots defensive playbook is effective if you want to cover the most map. Here are a few of its formations that we recommend:
- 3-4 Bear
- Dime 1-4-6
- Dime 2-3-6
- Nickel 3-3-5 Odd/Wide
Use a Defensive team
Instead of using playbooks, you can maximize your Defensive playstyle by selecting teams that are inherently good at defense. However, using teams like this may give you a slight disadvantage in your offense. These are the best defensive teams in Madden NFL 22, along with their rankings:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (90)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (88)
- Chicago Bears (87)
- New England Patriots (86)
- Denver Broncos (86)
Contains have been a little bugged on Madden NFL since the start, whether we like it or not. Unless they fix it in an update, which will take a few months at least, contains should be your go-to for defense.
It is also relatively easy to perform a contain. Press RB/R1 twice as soon as you find yourself cornered. This will engage the use of the Quarterback contain.
Switch up your Camera Angle
Camera angles play a big role in determining how well you do out in the field. Different camera setups work for different playstyles, and the Defensive Perspective is by far the best option for a defensive playstyle. If this setup does not work, you can toggle through different camera modes to find the one that best fits you.
Madden NFL 22 Tips (CPU and PvP)
Here are a few other tips that will help you go the extra mile with your defense:
- Use Match Defenses because they are very effective against rollout corners. Rollout corners are very common in online PvP matches.
- Focus on dropping field goals instead of touchdowns. Yes, field goals can be a mild annoyance, but no worse than touchdowns.
- Try lowering the difficulty to better understand the game. When playing against the CPU, gradually increase the difficulty until you can breeze through matches on the highest difficulty levels.
- Most importantly, understand that you cannot stop every advancement the opponent makes. Use this knowledge to build a flexible gameplay experience that minimizes the damage dealt instead.