Madden 21: Complete Controls Guide (Pass Rush, Offense, Defense, Running, Catching, and Intercept) for PS4 & Xbox One

Here’s ALL the Madden 21 controls for Xbox One and PS4 including the new pass rush controls.


Madden 21 has arrived on our consoles, and with next-gen iterations still in the distance, there is plenty to explore across Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

If you’re new to the game, or an experienced veteran, here are the controls for Madden 21 across offense and defense, with subtle changes bringing dramatic effects in the title’s gameplay.


Big changes in this year’s edition come via ball-carrying controls, as well as configurations both at the line and in the secondary on the defensive side of the ball.

In this Madden 21 controls guide, RS and LS refer to the right and left analogue on either console controller. The buttons R3 and L3 refer to the pressing of the right or left analogue to trigger the action.

Madden 21 Ball Carrier Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Stiff ArmXA
DiveX
SpinO or rotate RSB or rotate RS
HurdleY
Jurdle*▲+LSY+LS
PitchL1LB
SprintR2RT
Protect BallR1RB
TruckRS UpRS Up
Dead LegRS DownRS Down
Juke LeftRS LeftRS Left
Juke RightRS RightRS Right

Note that with the ball, changes have been made with the L2/LT button. Used as a precision modifier in previous editions, it’s now the taunt/celebration button.

So, make sure not to use it when attempting to beat defenders this year; otherwise, you’ll be turning the ball over time and time again by fumbling.

New to this year are the Dead Leg (replacing the stop juke), and the ‘Jurdle’ – a hurdle that goes over and to the side of an opponent, rather than all the way over a defender.

Madden 21 Passing Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Low PassReceiver Icon + Hold L2Receiver Icon + Hold LT
High PassReceiver Icon + Hold L1Receiver Icon + Hold LB
Bullet PassHold Receiver IconHold Receiver Icon
Touch PassPress Receiver IconPress Receiver Icon
Lob PassTap Receiver IconTap Receiver Icon
ScrambleLS + R2LS + RT
Pump FakeDouble Tap Receiver IconDouble Tap Receiver Icon
Throw AwayR3R3
Throw (Receiver 1)XA
Throw (Receiver 2)OB
Throw (Receiver 3)X
Throw (Receiver 4)Y
Throw (Receiver 5)R1RB

Madden 21 Catching Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
SprintR2RT
StrafeL2LT
Aggressive CatchY
Run After CatchX
Switch PlayerOB
Possession CatchXA

Passing and receiving controls remain largely untouched from previous versions of the game. Learning the advanced passing and catching controls may seem subtle, but doing so can lead to devastating results.

Madden 21 Defensive Pursuit Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
StrafeL2LT
SprintR2RT
Defensive AssistL1LB
Strip BallR1RB
Breakdown TackleXA
Aggressive / Dive TackleX
Switch PlayerOB
Hit StickRS UpRS Up
Cut StickRS DownRS Down
Blow-Up BlockerRS FlickRS Flick

Open-field defending has been mostly left unchanged from Madden 20, where the safe bet one-on-one is to use the breakdown tackle.

Madden 21 Ball in the Air Offense Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Possession CatchXA
Switch PlayerOB
RAC CatchX
Aggressive CatchY
Auto Play / Defensive AssistL1LB
StraftL2LT
SprintR2RT

Madden 21 Ball in Air Defense Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
SprintR2RT
StrafeL2LT
Defensive AssistL1LB
Ball HawkY
SwatX
Switch PlayerOB
Play ReceiverXA

As above, defensive play when the ball in the air is unchanged from the ball-hawking additions brought in a few seasons ago. For new players, it’s safer to defend at the line of scrimmage.

However, if you do find yourself controlling a player in the backfield, holding triangle/Y will not only act as an attempted intercept but likely an incompletion, should your player be unable to pick off the pass

Madden 21 Preplay Offense Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Motion PlayerLS Left or Right (Hold)LS Left or Right (Hold)
Player LockDouble Press L3Double Press L3
Pass ProtectionL1LB
Show Play ArtL2LT
Fake SnapR1RB
X-Factor VisionR2RT
Hot RouteY
AudibleX
Switch PlayerOB
Snap BallXA
Pre-Play MenuR3R3
TimeoutTouchpadMenu Button
Camera Zoom InD-pad downD-pad down
Camera Zoom OutD-pad upD-pad up

Madden 21 Preplay Defense Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Defensive KeysL1LB
X-Factor VisionR2RT
Show Play ArtL2 (Hold)LT (Hold)
Linebacker AudibleRight D-PadRight D-Pad
Defensive Line AudibleLeft D-PadLeft D-Pad
Camera Zoom OutUp D-PadUp D-Pad
Camera Zoom InDown D-PadDown D-Pad
Coverage AudibleY
AudibleX
Switch PlayerOB
Defensive Hot RouteXA
Off the lineR2 (Tap)R2 (Tap)
Pre-Play MenuR3R3
TimeoutTouchpadMenu Button
Show / Weak Side Gap AssignmentR2 + X + ORT + A + B
Pump Up CrowdRS UpRS Up

Madden 21 Defensive Engaged Controls (New Pass Rush Controls)

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Reach TackleLS Left or Right + ■LS Left or Right + X
SwatY
Bull RushRS DownRS Down
Switch PlayerOB
Club/Swim MoveRS Left or RightRS Left or Right
Rip MoveRS UpRS Up
Speed RushR2RT
ContainL2LT

Defensive line play has been re-written in Madden 21, with beating offensive linemen via engagement now dependent on your skills with the right analogue.

For the new pass rush controls, flicking up on the right analogue and swimming by moving the stick laterally is the key. Still, your miserliness is crucial: too many attempts of the right stick will deplete your lineman of stamina, so use in moderation.

In Early Access, the swim move seems hugely effective.

Madden 21 Defensive Coverage Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Press / Chuck ReceiverX + LSA + LS
Switch PlayerOB
Player MovementLSLS
StrafeL2LT
Defensive AssistL1LB

For new players, it’s strongly recommended that you control linemen or blitzing players when on the defensive side of the ball.

Madden 21 Blocking Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Player MovementLSLS
Switch PlayerOB
Aggressive Impact BlockRS UpRS Up
Aggressive Cut BlockRS DownRS Down

Madden 21 Player Locked Receiver Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Individual Play ArtL2LT
Just-Go ReleaseR2RT
Player LockDouble Press L3Double Press L3
Route Running/Move PlayerLSLS
Change up (on the line)Flick RSFlick RS
Foot Fire (on the line)Hold RSHold RS
Conservative Change-up ReleaseXA
Cut Out of Press (off the line)Flick RSFlick RS

While these controls will be most useful when switching to a wide receiver in Face of the Franchise, it might be worth refining these skills in practice modes.

Madden 21 Special Teams Offense Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Snap / Kick Power / AccuracyXA
Switch PlayerOB
AudibleX
Flip Play■ + R2X + RT
Fake SnapR1RB

Madden 21 Special Teams Defense Controls

ActionPS4 ControlsXbox One Controls
Jumping Block AttemptY
Switch PlayerOB
AudibleX
Diving Block AttemptX
Flip Play■ + R2X + RT
Show Play Art / Jump SnapR2RT

Now that you know all of the controls for Madden 21, it’s time to hit the gridiron and dominate your NFL counterparts.

Looking for Madden 21 guides?

Madden 21: Best Money Plays (Offensive & Defensive) to use in MUT, Online and Franchise Mode

Madden 21: Best Playbooks (Offensive & Defensive) to Win Games on Franchise Mode, MUT, and Online

Madden 21 Relocation Guide: All Uniforms, Teams, Logos, Cities and Stadiums

Madden 21 Defense: Tips to Crush Opposing Offenses

Madden 21: Best (and Worst) Teams to Play with on Franchise Mode, Online, and to Rebuild


Daniel Beswick

When Daniel isn't trying to find the best sports gaming simulator ever made, he is looking at stats for Fox Sports Australia, contributing, to the Emerging Cricket movement, or on twitter @DGBeswick1.

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