Madden 23 Defense Tips: Interceptions, Tackle Controls, and Tips and Tricks to Crush Opposing Offenses

Learn how to become a defensive mastermind and lockdown every opponent in Madden 23.


Madden 23 Defense Tips: Interceptions, Tackle Controls, and Tips and Tricks to Crush Opposing Offenses

In the NFL, defenses win championships; in Madden 23, this isn’t any different. Defense is probably the most important aspect as you can stop your opponent from scoring and, if you’re skilled, score yourself. To win a game, it is vital to learn how to intercept, swat, user rush, and more.

So, here is the ultimate Madden controls guide with tips and tricks on how to play defense.


How to intercept the ball

To intercept the ball in Madden 23, the targeted defender has to be selected, and the user must press the Triangle button on PlayStation, Y button on Xbox, or R on PC.

How to play defense in Madden 23

In order to play impeccable defense in Madden 23, you must anticipate the opponent’s plays and make adjustments to defend them. To do so, Madden provides a screen from which you can select plays based on formations, concepts, play types, and personnel.

Certain formations are better suited to defend specific plays. For example, a 3-4 set is centered on linebackers, which is helpful against rushing plays. A nickel or dime formation has more DBs on the field, making it easier to defend against passes.

There is also a coaching adjustment screen from which zones can be modified to play specific areas on the field. Here, you can also change the way that DBs interact with receivers and how aggressive you want tacklers to be.


Once you’ve selected a play, you can select any player to either cover a receiver or blitz. Here, you can make audibles and adjustments to fit the play to your needs. Doing this effectively will render your opponent scoreless and surely bring the W.

How to tackle

There are four different types of tackles in Madden 23:

  1. Conservative Tackle: X on PlayStation, A button on Xbox, E on PC
  2. Dive Tackle: Square on PlayStation, X button on Xbox, Q on PC
  3. Hit Stick: Flick Down on the Right Analog Stick on PlayStation and Xbox, W on PC
  4. Cut Stick: Flick Down on the Right Analog Stick on PlayStation and Xbox, S on PC

How to swat

To perform a swat in Madden:


  1. Select the defender the ball is being thrown near by pressing Circle on PlayStation, B button on Xbox, F on PC.
  2. Press Square on PlayStation, X button on Xbox, Q on PC to swat the ball.

Full Madden 23 defense controls for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox

Pre-Play defensive controls

Madden 23 pre-Play defensive controls
ActionXboxPlayStationPC
Momentum Factors / X-Factors VisionRT (Hold) R2 (Hold)Left Shift (Hold)
Show Play ArtLT (Hold)L2 (Hold)Left Ctrl (Hold)
Pre-Play MenuR3R3Tab
Call TimeoutViewTouchPadT
Switch PlayerBCircleF
AudibleXSquareA
Defensive Line ShiftLeft D-PadLeft D-PadL
Linebacker AudibleRight D-PadRight D-PadEnd
Coverage AudiblesYTriangleC
Defensive KeysRBR1P

Pursuit defensive controls

Madden 23 pursuit defensive controls
ActionXboxPlayStationPC
Player MovementLeft Analog StickLeft Analog StickArrows
SprintRT (Hold)R2 (Hold)Left Shift (Hold)
Defense AssistLBL1Alt
Switch PlayerBCircleF
StrafeLTL2Left Ctrl
Dive TackleXSquareQ
Conservative TackleAXE
Strip BallRBR1Space
Hit StickFlick Up on the Right Analog StickFlick Up on the Right Analog StickW
Cut StickFlick Down on the Right Analog StickFlick Down on the Right Analog StickS

Engaged defensive controls

Madden 23 engaged defensive controls
ActionXboxPlayStationPC
Player MovementLeft Analog StickLeft Analog StickArrows
Speed RushRTR2Left Shift (Hold)
ContainLTL2Left Ctrl
Switch PlayerBCircleF
RipFlick Up on Right StickFlick Up on Right StickW
Bull RushFlick Down on Right StickFlick Down on Right StickS
Club/Swim LeftFlick Left on Right StickFlick Left on Right StickA
Club/Swim RightFlick Right on Right StickFlick Right on Right StickD
SwatYTriangleR

Madden 23 defensive tips

Here are tips on how to play good defense in Madden 23.

1. Don’t use linebackers in coverage without abilities

Linebackers rarely animate to pick the ball in the air. They are also much slower and can’t jump higher than a defensive back. So, use linebackers as blitzers or add linebacker abilities such as the Lurker ability.

2. Blitz your user in coverage

By blitzing your user in pre-play, you’ll be able to start coverage with a tiny speed boost.

3. Shift the D-Line

You can stop runs by shifting the D-Line to the strong side, opening a gap that you can seal with your user.

4. User blitz down the middle

User blitzing gives the selected player a speed advantage. If you set up your defense so that your user can pass through the middle of the O-Line, the pressure can arrive much faster.

5. Edge blitz outside of a contain

Contains are protections set up where a defensive edge protects the outside of the pocket, preventing a rollout. If a blitzer comes from outside of the contain, the O-Line gets confused, and pressure can arise while also keeping the QB in the pocket.

Best defensive teams

  1. Buffalo Bills: 87 DEF, 81 OFF, 83 OVR
  2. Green Bay Packers: 87 DEF, 83 OFF, 84 OVR
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 87 DEF, 88 OFF, 87 OVR
  4. Los Angeles Chargers: 85 DEF, 81 OFF, 82 OVR
  5. New Orleans Saints: 85 DEF, 80 OFF, 82 OVR
  6. Philadelphia Eagles: 85 DEF, 85 OFF, 85 OVR
  7. Los Angeles Rams: 84 DEF, 81 OFF, 82 OVR
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers: 84 DEF, 76 OFF, 79 OVR
  9. San Francisco 49ers: 84 DEF, 81 OFF, 82 OVR
  10. Cincinnati Bengals: 83 DEF, 85 OFF, 84 OVR

With these tips and tricks, you can improve your defensive skills and lock down your opponents in Madden 23.

Looking for more Madden 23 guides?

Madden 23 Best Playbooks: Top Offensive & Defensive Plays to Win on Franchise Mode, MUT, and Online

Madden 23: Best Offensive Playbooks

Madden 23: Best Defensive Playbooks

Madden 23: Best Playbooks for Running QBs

Madden 23: Best Playbooks for 3-4 Defenses

Madden 23: Best Playbooks for 4-3 Defenses

Madden 23 Sliders: Realistic Gameplay Settings for Injuries and All-Pro Franchise Mode

Madden 23 Relocation Guide: All Team Uniforms, Teams, Logos, Cities and Stadiums

Madden 23: Best (and Worst) Teams to Rebuild

Madden 23 Running Tips: How to Hurdle, Jurdle, Juke, Spin, Truck, Sprint, Slide, Dead Leg and Tips

Madden 23 Stiff Arm Controls, Tips, Tricks, and Top Stiff Arm Players

Madden 23 Controls Guide (360 Cut Controls, Pass Rush, Free Form Pass, Offense, Defense, Running, Catching, and Intercept) for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X & Xbox One


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