Madden 23 continues from the changes and improvements to franchise mode from last year. Madden 23’s franchise mode gives you an detailed franchise-running mode that gives you a good sense, at least virtually, of what it’s like to run a franchise.
Below, you will find some tips and tricks for playing franchise mode in Madden 23. These tips are geared toward beginners of both Madden and Madden’s franchise mode. Further, while you can choose between three roles for franchise (Player, Coach, or Owner), this guide will operate under the assumption that you’ve chosen either Coach or Owner.
Madden 23 Franchise Mode tips
Here are the best tips and tricks help you build up your own football dynasty in Madden 23. Beyond the below tips, change your settings to either Rookie or Pro difficulty for the easiest paths to multiple Lombardi trophies.
1. Set up your schemes
Schemes are the lifeblood to any team’s success (or demise). As such, it is wise to build around your chosen scheme, whether with the current NFL coach or one you create yourself. In Madden 23, you can easily set your schemes and see just how much your roster is built toward successfully executing those schemes.
You can change or adjust your schemes through your coach settings on the main page. From there, you can pick one for both offense and defense, including the playbooks you desire. It’s best to choose a playbook that fits the scheme; after all, you don’t want a run-heavy playbook for a traditional West Coast offense.
The top right will show the scheme fit percentage of the roster, the higher of course being the better. When looking at players to sign and trade (more below), look for the purple puzzle icon, which indicates that player is a good fit for your scheme.
You’ll also see a roster breakdown below that, showing you how many players at each position fit your scheme. Like with the playbooks, it’s best to find as many players who fit your schemes as possible. At times, fit is better than than the highest overall player.
Note that most teams will already have a good scheme fit, so change them at your discretion. Yes, even some of the rebuilding teams will have good scheme fits so long as their players match what the coach endeavors.
2. Plan games ahead of time
Like in real life, you can game plan for your opponent in Madden 23. You can view your weekly strategy from the main screen, giving you a detailed look at your upcoming opponent, their strengths, their weaknesses, and star players. Just because a team acts one way in real life doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll act the same in Madden 23, so be sure to check every week to see how the virtual version of the team is doing, what the favor, and your best points of attack.
For example, the above shows a Kyle Shanahan-led game plan of defending the short pass. It shows the top threat as quarterback Aaron Rodgers because, yeah, obviously, and also shows their run-pass tendencies to the right. This is all info you can use to stifle your opponent and emerge victorious.
3. Upgrade and manage your staff
Another aspect to improve your team is through the hiring, firing, and development of your coaching staff. In Madden 23, you can do just that.
There are four main coaching positions for you to oversee in franchise mode: Head Coach, Offensive and Defensive Coordinators, and Player Personnel. Each coach also has gameday goals you can complete for boosts and eventually, upgrades .
The Personnel trees deal with player contracts and trades. The more you level up your Player Personnel, the more you’ll save on signings and re-signings, as well as trades.
The Head Coach trees pertain to players and staff improvements. The more you upgrade these trees, the more benefits your players and coaches will receive.
The Offensive Coordinator trees deal with unlocking the potential of your offensive players and increasing their outputs from practice and training. Upgrading these trees will allow for things like equipping Superstar X-Factors on your offensive players.
The Defensive Coordinator trees deal with your defensive players, much like the offensive side. This also includes the ability to equip Superstar X-Factors on your defensive players.
There are four overall skill trees, with each coach having two trees. Those trees are Player Growth, Staff Modifications, On-Field Performance, and Player Acquisition and Retention.
Work toward maxing these skill trees for your chosen staff as soon as possible. The more boons to your team, the less difficulty you’ll have in defeating your foes.
4. Prepare for the draft
Professional football does not lend itself to staying in contention every year like many big market teams in baseball, signing the best free agents every offseason. Rather, you must be a shrewd negotiator of contracts as well as have a discerning eye for young talent as football success has been proven to begin with drafting well. This holds true in Madden 23.
Use your scouts to get detailed info on the upcoming draft class whether auto-generated or downloaded. If you know you’re going to be drafting toward the middle or end and really want a player projected to be taken early, worm your way up (more below). Employ a mix of the best player available and team need strategies, and remember to look for scheme fit!
5. Upgrade your team via free agency
Particularly if you begin your franchise with a team that has ample cap space, head to the free agency market to see who’s available and at what price. In Madden 23, the best available free agent is wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (88 OVR). At his rating, he can either come in as your top receiver or the number two to ease the pressure on your WR1. Chris Harris, Jr. (84 OVR) is also there, a fine option to add at corner.
Start at preseason Week 1 and immediately head to the free agency pool, nabbing up the best players for your team before other teams can snatch them from you. Most will only ask for a one-year deal, so it’s really a cost-effective strategy to sign a free agent or few.
6. Trade away your late picks
There are many legends and Hall of Famers who were drafted in later rounds, maybe the most famous of modern times being Tom Brady. However, in Madden and most every football game franchise mode with a draft ever, you are rarely, if ever, going to find a difference maker past the first few rounds. Really, after the first two rounds, it may be difficult.
The biggest reason is that players drafted later in Madden games have low overall ratings and low potentials. It’s hard to turn a sixth rounder into, well, Tom Brady, when they’re 62 OVR and a very low potential of making it to 70 OVR, let alone the 90 needed for most elite players.
Do your best to package late round picks to move up in the draft yourself and nab players you’ve (hopefully) scouted. This is far more productive than wasting picks and money on players who are unlikely to ever see playing time.
7. Upgrade your team via trades by gaming the Madden franchise AI
Trades in Madden don’t seem to follow any sort of logical sense. Rather, the game’s AI has a weird mix of prioritizing things like draft picks and quarterbacks over players with high ratings, including 99 Club members. You can view our detailed guide on the easiest players to trade for and on gaming the franchise mode AI to make trades for all 99 Club members, plus other tricks to nab nearly any player you desire.
Now you have everything you need to know to start your own franchise and eventually, dynasty in Madden 23. Pick your team, set your schemes and game plans, and go win the Lombardi trophy!
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