Major new gameplay features are being introduced with Madden NFL 17

Posted May 12th, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Todd Gurley Madden NFL 17

The first vague details on Madden NFL 17 leaked overnight and now EA Sports has followed up with some detail on what the new features will mean to the game.

All three phases of football have been addressed, including long-overdue attention to special teams, new ball-carrier controls, and a new defensive AI system. The “renewed focus on Franchise mode” will be explained at a later date.


We’ve added a tiered system to the types of special moves different players are able to pull off – depending on their attributes, ratings and speed. So now, expect your bigger bruising backs to be more effective with truck moves and stiff arms, while smaller, shiftier backs have more effective jukes and spins. Now don’t worry if you’re not a magician yet on the sticks. New Ball Carrier UI Prompts help teach moves available to you, while the new Path Assist helps you navigate and anticipate down field. Additionally on lower skill levels, you can put the work on us and we will pick the appropriate moves for you, unlocking the fun for all of our players.


The new Defensive AI System is built on up to date NFL Strategies – such as Gap Play, Force Defenders and improved Zone Coverages. It’s time to force your opponents to stop being so one dimensional. New Gap Play AI brings a new level of NFL authenticity and strategy to your defensive teammates. Each of your teammates has a gap assignment on run defense that puts them in position to better defend the run. Force defenders protect the outside of the field, pushing the ball carrier back inside allowing cut back defenders to make the big play. Finally Zone Coverage has been completely overhauled, with the addition of 8 new zone concepts never before seen in Madden. Defenders have more awareness of threats to each zone and can pattern match receivers, creating defensive counters to stop virtually every passing concept. It’s our most realistic AI to date and it’s across the entire field.

Special Teams

Special Teams, the 3rd phase of football, is where big games are often won and lost. For the first time years we’re bringing the excitement back to special teams. A New Kick Meter is designed to increase the challenge of the kicking game like we see in today’s NFL. Additionally, the ability to ice the kicker allows you to turn up the pressure on those late game winning field goal attempts. New trick plays and a new block kick mechanic add new elements to the risk and reward of Special Teams.

Madden NFL 17 releases on August 23 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The game is now available for pre-order on Amazon where it is 20% off ($48 for standard or $64 for Deluxe) for Prime members.

  • MoneyMayweather

    Doesn’t sound like Liquid A.I. to me keith unless 8 new zone defenses was availble in Madden 64?

    • HeatFan786

      Doesn’t matter what names EA uses, they recycle stuff from time to time. The best Madden, at least for me, was 05. Ever since then, it’s been up and down.

    • Keith.

      I don’t know, Money…the 1997 article I referenced earlier described Liquid AI as being “based on real playbooks and schemes[,]” so you tell me.

      • cubs223425

        It’s a sim version of a pro sports game. Shouldn’t they ALL be based on real playbooks and schemes? I feel like bragging that the game’s strategy AI is based on real stuff is like bragging you have real rosters…just a baseline thing we should all expect.

      • Casor_Greener

        In Keith’s defense, Every sports game says the same bs every year before the new game comes out. Rarely do they deliver

  • I like the sounds of it. Especially the special teams stuff because FG kicking has been too easy for too long. But why add in an ‘ice the kicker’ mechanic when there’s no evidence that it actually works in the NFL? Plus the AI has been calling TOs on game winning FG attempts for years so how will it be different?

    • I think it’s fair to try and add a sense of pressure on the user (or CPU I suppose for those kicks). At least make them feel like there’s more riding on them than any other kick. Hopefully it doesn’t do something crazy beyond that though.

      • Yeah that’s fair enough. I just don’t want them to have it so it’s a case of call a time out = -5 to all kicking stats or something like that. Maybe a shaky camera, controller vibration, louder crowd etc, anything superficial that doesn’t actually affect the kicker’s ability to make the kick would be fine with me.

        • cubs223425

          NBA 2K tried the screen shake. It did nothing but be there and be useless, then they took it out after a few years, if I remember correctly. I’d rather it be that the meter’s a little faster or slower when iced, to throw off the timing a bit. That, and a “clutch” or “consistency” rating could affect that change.

        • James Tweedle

          I’m thinking it may be like it was in NCAA and the kick meter becomes “frozen” so you can’t see the power gauge move. I could live with that, definitely

  • Nathan Shane Long

    That was my biggest hope for Madden 17 was for the overhaul and reprogramming of the core gameplay all three phases of football and that has been done

    • cubs223425

      Don’t believe it just because they say it. It’s always all-new and better than ever. It’s usually slightly different and just as cheese-tastic.

      • Nathan Shane Long

        What they’ve done with the defensive AI has never been done before though it will really stop the cheese from Madden 16 such as outside run plays or mainly inside zone run cheese

        • DounteOnlineFranchises

          U can say that again…. Guys who use thoses small backs to squeeze between your RE and wait for that tackle to block days are gone…. Back in Madden 12, these tools were already in the code as far as AI making those awareness reads without the user switching but apparently it’s become a new feature some 5 years later!! This might become a good thing don’t u think

        • Skopin

          That’s assuming they deliver. I’m skeptical that the game will play much different than last year, or the year before. They always come out and say how much they are changing, but it still feels the same, and you don’t really see all the changes they tout.

          The war in the trenches has been the big focus the last two years, and we still don’t see realistic line play.

          • Nathan Shane Long

            I feel like this new coding and reprogramming will be the best one yet for the defensive AI

  • Dj

    Can we double team specific WRs and TEs? Or how about bracket coverage on specific receivers? Without these abilities, it’s not real defense.

    • Thatdude1994

      Or have your best CB follow the best WR, tired of people putting their best WR against your 2nd/3rd stingers.

  • Brian

    I bet the new kicking meter is a spinning wheel with green and red areas that determine if you make it or miss it. The worse the kicker or further the distance the greater the red area.

  • Just a guy

    I’ll give it to them, the press team at EA/Madden are some of the best in the video game business.

    They hype up the game every year and it always falls short it seems. Maybe the devs need to get on the same level as the marketing team?

  • JZ

    This game is the same quality as NBA Live which is now canceled. Madden devs throw around words like gap play, improved zones. They do this every year. The fact is EA does not have the talent to make a good football or basketball game. If they had the talent they would make a great game like NBA 2k and MLB The Show. Instead you got a bunch of shady crooks trying to scam off some trash game because its the NFL and its our only option. You say something negative about Madden on a EA ran site or stream and you get banned instantly. Go to Operationsports forums and say something negative about Madden. You will get banned. Go to EA’s twitch stream and say something negative and they ban you in chat. If they knew they had a great product they wouldn’t be so touchy.

    Last good Madden for its time was 2005. I was the #1 online player in the world in Madden. Barley played online since then and don’t even care. I just want to play a solid football game franchise.

    • Future_

      Eh, I don’t know if I would say they don’t have the talent to make the games. I think a lot of it is their development cycle and no reason to truly innovate. They’re on this yearly cycle and there is only so much that can get put in the game and tested (not that their testing has been all that great) and released on time. Not to mention they have the NFL adding restrictions on what they can add and not add (this is an assumption based on concussions no longer being in the game). After having heard recent interview with Rex Dickson, he is very passionate about this game and wants the product to be what everyone has been waiting for.

      Maybe we’ll get it and maybe we won’t. Who knows.

    • Skopin

      Live actually has some potential. There’s a lot that it does right, but it needs a good two to three more years of development to smooth everything out. If they hadn’t started from scratch 3 times, it might be pretty decent.

  • cubs223425

    “New Kick Meter”

    Something that happens almost every year, but has never actually been needed or mattered.

    Maybe they’ll inject more than a month of fun into this one. I might get it, but I expect it’ll take about 2-3 weeks before I just wish it were MVP Baseball, like everything else out of EA.

  • Thatdude1994

    They better allow you to edit ratings in franchise mode, too many progression mistakes and it ruins the fun.

  • DohnJenver

    The one feature I hope for every year, that never gets put in, is a home field advantage. Crowd noise has zero effect in Madden. There’s no difference between playing on the road and playing at home, other than the jersey you wear.

    Playing at home vs playing on the road is one of the biggest advantages in sports, especially football. Madden talks “authenticity” over and over, yet have ignored one of the most important factors of a football game.

    • Yep, that’s a big deal to me too.

    • Future_

      God yes this needs to be done. Home and away games feel the same, there is no home field advantage right now. Nothing, no false starts or delay of games from too much crowd noise. No one trying to distract field goals.

    • Skopin

      No sports games have really done anything like that since the old NCAA basketball games (can’t remember if it was 2k or EA). I do wish more games would really focus on the crowd interaction; it can add a ton to the atmosphere of the game.

  • Future_

    I want to be happy about what they are saying and I am happy but at the same time very very cynical about Madden this year. Last years cfm was a mess for the first few months of the game and for me, it never fully recovered my interest after that.
    I am taking the approach of “I’ll believe when I see it” or in this case play it. I really hope the leaks about Franchise mode being revamped are true since that is a mode that is in desperate need of an update. I tend to play against the cpu a lot and having them run the same three plays on offense all game long was beyond annoying.

  • hungryandrew

    Lies Lies Lies!!!

  • hungryandrew

    Isn’t there a new kick meter like every 2 years? Innovative in EA Sport’s minds.

  • hungryandrew

    How long will this monopoly continue?

    • BravesFan24

      As long as people continue to buy Madden and spend hundreds on Ultimate Team, and as long as the NFL and NFLPA continue to prefer having an exclusive license rather than competition.

      I don’t see either of those things changing any time soon.

      • Future_

        Yep, it’ll stay as it is until the NFL changes their agreement and opens it up to all developers. It would be nice to have competition out there again. I miss the days of 2k series and nfl gameday and nfl football club and okay maybe there were too many but still variety was nice.

        • hungryandrew

          I long for those days, multiple options for a football game. I’m a franchise guy, and EA’s Madden franchise mode is a joke. Don’t get me started on game play and presentation.

  • Sweetness

    Really excited about this game. Looking like EA will finally have the football genre on lock down. Nobody will be able to make football games now. Game over 2k. Try again

    • BravesFan24

      Haha EA has had the football genre on lockdown for 10+ years already thanks to the exclusive license.

  • Nino Marley

    I have been gone for awhile but is this part of the 3 year plan?