​Pass Coverage Changes Coming to Madden NFL 23

Jul-21-2022 | Categories: Madden 23 Tag: Madden 23 Coins, Mut 23 Coins

We revealed the official trailer for Madden NFL 23 featuring the FieldSENSE gameplay system and a deep dive on foundational football changes coming this season.

What are you most excited for in regards of the pass coverage changes we've announced below and is there anything else on your mind regarding pass coverage we should discuss with the team?

- Pass Coverage

We received a ton of feedback at launch last year around pass coverage and continued to action on specific coverage call-outs through Title Updates post-launch. Like every Madden season, we know that players have high expectations for defense, specifically pass coverage and this year is no different. This year, we are solidifying our basic, fundamental coverage principles with a focus on zone coverage and defending the deep pass.

- Spot Drop Zones

We will be featuring ‘spot-drop’ zones as our core zone coverage concept within our defensive playbooks and AI. This means that by default, all the zone coverages in our playbooks will be strictly using spot-drop zone logic and covering a specific area of the field, instead of a mixture of both spot-drops and match coverages like we had last year. The main purpose of this change was to make the play-art in the play-call screen the central source of truth for players so they can better predict how their zones will react during the play.

Match Zone coverage concepts are still accessible through our Coach Adjustments menu during your play selection. Simply flipping the Zone Coverage Coach Adjustment to ‘Match’ will bring back our in-depth ruleset for match coverages, those that convert from zone to man during the play, when specifically calling the match coverage play types.

- Drift Logic for Deep Zone Defenders

Drift Logic is all new coverage behavior for Deep Zone defenders. This logic prevents deep zone defenders from ‘drifting’ too far up the field without having a vertical threat in their area. This will prevent those ‘Third Window’ throws on deep crossing routes. Drift Logic allows the defender to recognize a receiver approaching his zone sooner, plaster him in coverage as he crosses his face, and not get beat underneath. Players told us those third-window crossers were completed too consistently and this new ‘drift’ logic aims to address that feedback.

- Zone Defender Locomotion

We’ve captured a whole new set of defensive back specific movement animations and along with AI support, the defenders in Madden NFL 23 will back-pedal, flip their hips, strafe and look back at the ball more smoothly, more athletically, and more realistically. Not only will defensive backs look the part, but these new movement animations also get them to where they want to go with more efficiency, which will make passing windows against zone coverage much tighter.

- Route Specific Break-on-Throw Logic

We’ve also added dynamic break times for each type of zone defender when facing specific routes. Zones that are supposed to take away specific routes or areas of the field will now break on the throw faster versus those routes than they will against routes their zones are not designed to take away. One example of this is a hard flat zone aggressively breaking on a route to the flat instead of leveraging deeper routes first; another is deep outside third defender in Cover 3 breaking faster when a corner route enters their zone.

- New End Zone Coverage Logic

Previously, our deep zone defenders made little logic adjustments when they were covering in the endzone. This resulted in defenders squeezing down on routes breaking to the inside while disregarding the underneath zone defenders resulting in the sidelines and the corners of the end zone being left wide open. This year, those outside deep zone defenders stay outside and sit on those out-breaking or third window crossing routes. They let the route come to them and then they aggressively break on the throw.

- DB Catch vs Swat

With our zone coverage defenders playing stronger fundamental football, we have tuned the balance between ‘play ball,’ ‘play receiver,’ and ‘swat’ so that you’ll see defenders use a wider variety of behaviors when the ball is in the air, rather than always attempting the interception. This coincides with tuning on how far defenders are allowed to see the ball when not facing it and promotes more organic mid-air interactions at the catch point, via our FieldSENSE Hit Everything branching technology and mechanics.

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