The Next Madden 21 Patch Adds New Features to Franchise Mode

The Next Madden 21 Patch Adds New Features to Franchise Mode

Written by on | OpenCritic

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While the next-gen version of Madden 21 launches on December 4, you won't have to wait that long to see some major changes to Franchise mode. In a new blog post, the Madden team at Tiburon highlighted a wealth of upcoming changes to one of the game's longest-running, but most underserved, modes. This update is set to hit the game on Thursday, November 12.

"A priority for the team has been to make sure the updates delivered post-launch do not require a restart/new Franchise save to take advantage of them," begins the update. "While this means it takes a little extra time to develop each release, we've heard the feedback from the community on this issue."

The list of changes largely affects how X-Factors are used in the game, with more freedom given to players to choose how these highly sought after skills are assigned to the players. As a coach, you'll now have the ability to respec Superstar and X-Factor abilities for any player who is eligible. These abilities will still be limited to those that suit your players' archetypes, so you can't just give speed halfback something like Freight Train, but it opens up new options to players playing the long game in Franchise mode.

Commissioners will have more control over how many players of various Dev Traits are in the league too, and can raise or lower the default limit (with the blessing of their leaguemates, undoubtedly). Players with Dev Traits rated Star and bound by this limit, and should it be approached, eligible players will regress and lose their traits.

In other areas, the game will also receive a new Playoff Bracket view for your league's postseason matchup tree. Like a March Madness bracket for the newly expanded 14-team NFL playoffs, you'll be able to see what each conference's road through the playoffs may look like. 

In the offseason, it will now be easier to see which players have retired across the league. Previously, there was no hub for this activity, and the Madden team says it's been a long-requested feature. On top of all that, league commissioners have been given a wealth of other new tools, too. This includes undoing free agent signings, turn on or off some gameplay settings such as Ball Hawk and Heat Seeker, or leaving them individualized per team, to allow each user to customize their own experience in leagues where that's allowed. 

Commissioners will also be able to use new Draft tools, such as assigning auto-pilot and using pause and resume functionality. Lastly, commissioners will be able to limit the number of times team can run given plays in a game, to cut down on teams spamming certain plays. Instead of limiting the number of times it can be called outright, you can also institute cool down periods where a set number of plays must be run before that play can be run again.

All of these features will be available on Thursday, November 12, and presumably they'll all be in the game from day one on next-gen versions of Madden 21.

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Mark is a Boston transplant now biking around in Portland, Oregon. He likes most game genres, binge-watching HBO, and fighting for animal justice. He can be read on OpenCritic, GamesRadar, and over a dozen other outlets to date. He especially enjoys covering battle royale, horror, and sports games.