If you’re looking for a football game to play now that the 2019 NFL season is underway, you should look no further than EA’s Madden Mobile 20, which is the latest addition to the popular series. You can take on AI and human opponents alike in a wide, wide variety of modes, all while building your roster from the ground up with real-life NFL players from the present and even some legends from the past. Indeed, it’s the complete pro football gaming experience for mobile players, and it’s here for you to enjoy regardless whether you’re an Apple or Android device owner.
This is quite a complex game, no doubt about it – this may be the Madden experience distilled for the mobile experience, but this isn’t your average “companion app” that strips away the actual sports action in favor of a more mobile-friendly mechanic such as card collecting. That’s why we made sure to go beyond the basic tips and bring you this new Madden Mobile 20 strategy guide, which covers a number of intermediate and advanced tips. We’ll be talking about Captains, coaches, some of the more commonly played solo modes, and some tips that could give you the extra edge you need, regardless whether you’re completing challenges against the AI or competing against human opponents in Overdrive.
1. Unlock New Captains With Overdrive Academy
If you’ve been playing Madden Mobile 20 for more than a few days, you’ve probably unlocked Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs as your first team captain. However, he is just one of many NFL superstars who could serve as your captain, and you can unlock more of them by playing Overdrive Academy, which can be found under Solo > Programs.
In this menu, the game will give you a quick recap of what you can expect when playing each of the four offensive schemes – West Coast, Spread, Vertical, and Smashmouth. You’ll want to go West Coast if you want to focus on short passing, Spread if you want to use your team’s superior athleticism to create mismatches, Vertical if you prefer a long passing game, and Smashmouth if you favor a physical running game. More importantly, however, you’ll want to complete each of the challenges in Overdrive Academy and unlock new Captains in order to maximize your roster.
What do we mean by this? Let’s take one scenario we had recently encountered – earning a 73-rated Tom Brady card for reaching the first Kickoff Points milestone as part of the game’s ongoing Kickoff special event. At that point, we had Mahomes as our starting QB, but if your team’s offensive rating is less than 70 at that point (just as ours was), it would be a waste to have the 75-rated Mahomes and the 73-rated Brady splitting time at quarterback. But by completing the three West Coast challenges in Overdrive Academy, we were able to unlock the Vikings’ Adam Thielen (a wide receiver), thus giving our receiving corps more potency while allowing us to start Brady at QB.
Take note that you can easily switch from one Captain to another by going to the My Team menu and tapping on your Captain’s photo on the lower part of the screen. Once there, you can change Captains and use your Captain Patches (which you can earn by playing Overdrive) to upgrade them. But there’s more about the Captain position on your team than just unlocking them with Overdrive Academy challenges, as we’ll explain in the next tip.
2. Why Else Does Your Choice Of Captain Matter?
Apart from allowing you more flexibility if you’re strong at a certain position, your choice of Captain in Madden Mobile 20 will also change the type of Captain Bonus you receive once you achieve a certain goal within the Overdrive matchup. For example, using the aforementioned Patrick Mahomes as your Captain will give you a bonus if you score three passing touchdowns in an Overdrive matchup, while opting for Adam Thielen will reward you with an additional 130 points if you’re able to connect on eight receptions.
If you have multiple Captains per scheme, you’ll need to consider the ease in achieving the goals when determining which Captain you want to use in Overdrive mode, as well as the number of bonus points you can earn. Taking the Smashmouth scheme as an example, you may have to decide on whether to go for the low-risk/low-reward option by using Titans RB Derrick Henry as your captain (65 bonus points if you accumulate 100+ rushing yards) or if you want to go for a whopping 8 first downs (with 160 bonus points) with retired NFL legend Marcus Allen as your captain.
Now how do you unlock these other Captains? You’ll need to accumulate a certain number of Overdrive Points across all your Overdrive games per scheme in order to unlock them. Now using Spread as an example, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is all yours if you complete the Spread tutorial in Overdrive Academy, and you can unlock Browns WR Jarvis Landry if you score 10,000 Overdrive Points with the Spread scheme, and Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey if you score 25,000 Overdrive Points with Spread.
3. Play All The Schemes, But Play Them Wisely
Based on what we told you in the first two tips, it should be obvious by now that you shouldn’t limit yourself to your preferred scheme. If you want to unlock more Captains, you need to complete all the Overdrive Academy tutorials, then play as many Overdrive matches as possible with those Captains and their corresponding schemes in place so that you can have more than one Captain per scheme. But there are a few other things to keep in mind when it comes to this particular mechanic of the game.
In particular, you might want to hold off on getting rid of your weaker players just yet, especially once your ratings reach the 7’s and you’ve got more than a few players with a 70-75 rating or higher. Choosing a Captain for a certain scheme would require you to have a certain number of players who specialize in the same scheme in order to fill up the Overdrive meter (for employing tactics) faster and get some much-needed bonuses in Team Power. This could range from a mere 0.5-second speed-up in filling up the Overdrive meter if you have two players with the same scheme as your Captain to a 2-second speed-up if you have 10 players with the same scheme. If you have nine players that match your Captain’s scheme, you could also benefit from a 24-point increase to your total Team Power.
4. How To Unlock More Coaches
Just like in previous editions of Madden Mobile 20, this year’s edition allows you to unlock multiple Coaches and their corresponding playbooks. As usual, you will start out with the man who inspired the whole Madden franchise to begin with – NFL coaching legend John Madden – as your default, or stock coach, as well as his Vertical playbook. But how do you unlock the rest of them?
For starters, you’ll need to complete the Overdrive Academy Coach Challenges (unlocked after you’ve completed the first three challenges), and once you’re done with that, you’ll need to win a certain number of Overdrive games using the given scheme for unlocking the next two coaches per scheme. After that, you may be asked to win a certain number of games using a specific coach.
Let’s take the Smashmouth scheme and see how this works – you’ll unlock the Cowboys’ Jason Garrett after completing the Smashmouth Coach Challenge in Overdrive Academy, then the Ravens’ John Harbaugh after winning 10 games using Smashmouth, then the Titans’ Mike Vrabel after wining your 25th Overdrive game under that scheme. In order to unlock the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll, you’ll need to install Vrabel as your coach and win 10 games with him at the helm, regardless of scheme.
5. Coaching Tactics Come In Different Varieties
Not only does each coach in Madden Mobile 20 come with unique playbooks – they also have their own special Tactics which you can employ at any time in an Overdrive game, just as long as they’re available to use. This year, nothing much has changed in terms of mechanics, but let’s run through the things you need to remember about tactics, or, if you’re a first-time player this year, the first things you need to learn.
As EA’s Madden Mobile 20 page states, there are three different categories of coaching tactics – Buffs, Adjustments, and Scoring Updates. You may have noticed that John Madden – your default coach, as we said earlier – is an example of a coach whose tactics are all Buffs, as each of them benefits your team by increasing the attributes of certain players per position. For example, if you’re activating the Go Wide tactic on offense, your halfbacks will get a +2 Catching buff, while your tight ends will get a +2 boost in Acceleration and your quarterbacks will see their Throw Accuracy Short rating also increase by 2 points.
The next type of tactic is the Adjustment, and these are offensive or defensive options that allow you to get some sort of strategic advantage over your Overdrive opponent. If you’ve already unlocked Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts by completing the West Coast Coaching Challenge, you’ll notice that he has two Adjustment tactics, including Force Outside Coverage, which tweaks your offense in order to give the opponent a harder time adjusting to outside coverage, and Increase QB Contain, which helps your defense by giving them a better QB Contain chance.
Lastly, we have the Scoring Updates, which add a twist to the Overdrive scoring rules designed to throw off the opponent. Of course, there’s another twist here, for those who are familiar with the game, and that’s the fact that the rule changes are “global,” per EA – that means they apply to both teams. For an example of a Scoring Update tactic, Smashmouth coach Jason Garrett (unlockable after you complete that scheme’s Coaching Challenge) has a Pass 20+ Yards Penalty tactic under Defense, which penalizes teams by 50 percent of their points if they complete a pass that’s over 20 yards. This would come in handy if your opponent is throwing a lot of long passes in order to score Overdrive Points in a fast-and-furious manner, though you’ll also need to stick to a short passing game or focus on rushing in order not to get penalized yourself.
It’s also possible for Scoring Updates to work to your advantage, as West Coast coach Jon Gruden (Raiders), in particular, has an offensive tactic that awards a 40-point bonus for each passing first down. On a less dramatic note, the aforementioned Frank Reich has his own offensive tactic that awards 3 points for each time the QB passes the ball to a HB or a TE – it doesn’t have to be a first down, so it isn’t as hard to pull off, but the reward, quite obviously, isn’t as substantial to match the lower risk.
Beware as well of the possibility that your opponent will use a Scoring Update to slow you down and compromise your ability to put Overdrive Points on the board. Using the above example with Garrett, it’s possible that your opponent has the Browns’ Freddie Kitchens as their coach, as he could counter Garrett’s Pass 20+ Yards Penalty with an HB Rush Penalty, which penalizes opposing teams 50 percent of their points based on their total HB rushing yards. It’s all about strategy here, so make sure you’re choosing those tactics smartly!
6. Why Should You Play Masters Series In Solo Mode?
Although we did emphasize that Overdrive mode is arguably the most popular and important mode in Madden Mobile 20, as it has been in previous editions of the game, we cannot understate the importance of the solo game modes either. These include the challenges available in the Masters Series, which allow you to unlock better players, as well as various other rewards such as badges and tokens which can then be exchanged for items, including, but not limited to player cards.
What type of challenges can you expect? As is usually the case in this game, you may have to run the ball through multiple zones across multiple attempts, throw touchdown passes to specific receivers, or prevent the opposing team from getting a first down while playing defense. You may also be assigned to special teams and run the punt return past a certain point on the field. And you’ve also got those standbys of EA Sports gaming – in here, we’re talking about those challenges where you have to avoid certain “hot zones,” or large red spots or patches of the field that oftentimes change direction, while rushing. It can be a lot of fun or quite frustrating, depending on how many times you have to repeat the challenge, and we certainly hope it’ll be more of the former than the latter for you – these challenges vary as you go along, so you won’t have to worry about having to perform the same type of challenge two times in a row, at least for the most part.
In Masters Series, you’ll start out with two options that are available right away – Training Camp and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Training Camp challenges tend to cost more Stamina and offer more rewards, as these would require you to engineer a fourth-quarter comeback or an overtime victory – generally, you’ll be up against a scrub-quality version of a given NFL team with their real-life 2019 roster, so it may seem easy to defeat them, but as we’ll explain later, there will often be some strategy required. Also, don’t get too overconfident, because you just might allow them to convert on a third down with a long pass, or pull off some other sort of heroics!
As for the JuJu Smith-Schuster option, this is the first in a series of player-specific series where you can earn a highly-rated (80 and above) version of the player in question after you complete the final challenge. You’ll unlock more player-specific series as your team’s OVR rating goes up, but just as it is in Training Camp, there are multiple challenges within each of the 10 stages, with “One Shot” challenges available as well. Take note that you can replay these challenges at any time while you’re still in any given stage if you want to grind for Masters Packs (and the badges and tokens within), but once you hit on the arrow to move on to the next stage, you cannot return to the stage you had previously completed!
One Shots are high-Stamina tasks that are oftentimes even harder than the ones required for stage completion, so while they may seem like “side quests,” they can also be very risky if you’re low on Stamina. Sometimes, One Shots may come in the form of trivia questions, so you may want to turn to Google (if you can type quickly) on your laptop or PC if you don’t know the answer! These will earn you Trivia Tokens that can be redeemed in the Sets menu.
Now that you know a bit about the Masters Series, let’s talk about the Sets menu, which is where you can redeem all the goodies you won through those challenges you completed.
7. Redeem Items In The Sets Menu
Once you’ve completed several challenges in Masters Series, or in a variety of other game modes or limited-time events, you can head to the Sets menu and exchange the currencies you won in the packs for other items – mainly resources, with a few player cards, naturally, thrown in.
Since we talked about Masters Series above, you will first need to exchange your Masters Series Tokens in either one of the two windows in order to redeem a Masters Series Locker or a Bonus Locker. Each will cost you 100 Masters Series Tokens each, so you may want to play more Training Camp in order to earn more tokens in less time. But if you want to actually reveal the contents of that locker, you’ll need to go to the third or fourth window, tap on the Masters Series Locker button to add the locker you had previously redeemed, then hit on Claim in order to open the locker, provided you’ve got 100 more Tokens, may they be Masters Series (third window) or Trivia (accessible in the fourth). Each locker comes with Whistles (for upgrading your coaches), Training Points (for upgrading your players), Captain Patches (for upgrading your captains), and two player cards, with a decent enough chance of getting someone with a 70 rating or better!
As for the Masters Badges, you can use them to unlock various Masters Series players – Drill Badges are earned in Training Camp, while Scenario Badges are earned in the player-specific series. Different players will have different badge requirements and will also cost you some Masters Series Tokens. For example, you can unlock a 71-rated Shelby Harris (Broncos DT) card with two sets of 10 Drill Badges each, plus 50 Tokens. And if you unlocked the 80-rated JuJu Smith-Schuster after completing all 10 stages of his Masters Series, you can upgrade him to 82 by sacrificing one of his five “Rivals” (Harris, Demario Davis, Derek Carr, Brandon Carr, Keenan Allen) and your 80-rated JuJu.
We hope to discuss Madden Today in a separate guide, but redeeming items for this mode works in a similar way, albeit with a few additional touches and twists.
8. Make Sure To Upgrade Your Coaches, Captains, And Better Players
This should probably be obvious, but it’s too easy to overlook the process of upgrading your players when they level up organically the more you use them in the various game modes. But that’s why you have Training Points as a regular reward – save them for your better players, as it wouldn’t do much good if you waste them on 65-rated players who could easily level up anyway if they’re somehow still in your starting lineup.
As we said, Captains can be leveled up with Captain Patches, but you shouldn’t limit your upgrades to a select few Captains alone, especially if you’re trying to unlock as many of them as possible. Coaches, likewise, can be upgraded with Whistles, and it’s also important to upgrade multiple Coaches, especially the ones you need to use in Overdrive in order to unlock the final Coach in a given scheme.
You can level up your players, Captains, and coaches by going to the Manage Lineup menu, tapping on Offense, Defense, Special, or on the photo of your Captain or coach, then tapping on the button that has the Training Points icon and the number of points needed to level them up. (That would be the Upgrade button when it comes to Captains and coaches – different button, different resource spent, same purpose!)
9. Advanced Tips For Overdrive And Challenges
Lastly, at least for this guide, we shall cover some tips that could help you win more matches in Overdrive against higher-ranked players and complete more challenges, may they be in Masters Series, Madden Today, or any of the many other game modes in Madden Mobile 20.
When playing Overdrive, one way for you to put the pressure on your opponent is to do just that – hit them with a “Pressure” simply by playing one of your defensive tactics. EA describes Pressures as “spontaneous challenges” initiated by the user, where you force your opponent to complete a certain task, such as rushing a certain number of yards, completing a pass, or what have you. Your opponent may have to complete a pass if they keep on scoring on the ground, or do the opposite and turn to their halfback if they’re doing most of their damage via their passing game. Likewise, opponents can do the same to you, with the intent in both cases being the same – you’re taking the other guy out of their comfort zone. Passing the Pressure will earn the recipient bonus points, while you’ll end up scoring some points on your end if your opponent fails it.
Also, in relation to tactics, remember that each tactic costs you tactic-specific points that you can spend depending on how full your Overdrive meter is, and you’ll want to fill up that Overdrive meter quickly by upgrading your Captains and having as many players with the same scheme as the Captain, just as we stated earlier.
As for the challenges, we did say that there’s some strategy involved in those Training Camp challenges where you need to come from behind in the fourth quarter or win in overtime. The latter is easier, as you’ll usually have to complete the one-minute-long fourth quarter, then head to the 3-minute OT period, where the first team that scores wins. But either way, the common thread here is that you’ll have to deal with a running clock while you’re on offense, forcing you to think quickly when choosing the play to call. But don’t rush things and leave your AI opponent with too much time to catch up! Sure, they may be very weak compared to your roster, but they can still mount a comeback to counter your touchdown at the 20-second mark, so don’t slack off on defense, and more importantly, don’t given them too much time. Ideally, you want to score that winning TD or field goal with 15 seconds or less to go.
During those challenges where you have to avoid the hot spots, you normally are not under time pressure, and you can stop your halfback from running. We suggest doing this – having him stop in the middle of the run – then restarting once the coast is clear and you’re at little to no danger of running into a hot spot. Also, choosing between evading hot spots and defenders in challenges where you need to avoid both may sound like choosing between a rock and a hard place – personally, we find the former easier. But if you choose to avoid defenders, make sure to use your skill move in order to juke, i.e. feinting to the left or the right to fake out a defender, or perform a spin move. Simply moving left and right with the in-game joystick oftentimes wouldn’t cut it.
For both Overdrive and solo challenges, it’s important that you master the art of completing a clean pass. Avoid passing to targets that are heavily covered, as that could easily lead to an interception – or lead to your QB missing badly when the defenders bat the ball away, or tackle the target receiver away from the ball. And take advantage of the new mechanic added in this year’s version of Madden Mobile – hit the Tap button when it appears above one of your receivers to give them an extra boost and improve their chances of catching the ball.
Yes, we understand that playing defense can be a challenge in Madden Mobile 20. But if you’re having a hard time shutting down your opponents in any mode that requires you to play defense (i.e. all modes except Overdrive), you can keep hitting the Switch button in order for the game’s AI to take over defensive duties for the most part – except for the split-seconds when you’re switching from one defensive player to the next. Indeed, it is gaming the system, but it’s a neat little trick that still works for those times when playing defense is too much of a chore.
And this wraps up our second guide for Madden Mobile 20. If you have anything to add to our list of tips and tricks, or just want to share your thoughts about the game, feel free to chime in using the comment section below!