Madden 23: Best Running Back (RB) X-Factors

Take a look at the best X-Factors for running backs in Madden 23.

The running game is no longer the backbone of most offenses. Offensive coordinators have changed the way the position is played, which has led to running backs having different roles to what they had in the past. Nowadays, running backs are a huge part of the passing game, and some backs are being targeted just as much as receivers. Madden 23’s Superstar X-Factors can help you to get the most out of these dynamic players. Be it for power backs, elusive backs, or hybrid types, the below abilities will help to enhance their current skill set. 


Over the past 20 years, the running game has become less and less important to teams. High-scoring games are what people want to see and passing the ball has become the focal part of offenses. NFL rules changes are now catered to quarterbacks and wide receivers, which has created the need to incorporate running backs in the passing game. 

The Satellite Superstar X-Factor increases run after catch and possession catch against single coverage. Most times you throw to your running back it will be in the flats or the middle of the field in traffic. The ability of your running back to hold onto the ball through contact or to break the first tackle will open up passes downfield, as the defense will be forced to play soft zones. Trigger this ability with three rushes of 10+ yards or more. The ability is lost after one tackle for loss. 

Freight Train

Running backs are not all built the same. Some backs are small, elusive, and quick, which helps to squeeze through holes. Power backs create holes using brute strength and explosiveness. Jerome Bettis, Adrian Peterson, and Derrick Henry are great examples of this archetype. 

Freight Train significantly increases a running back’s chance of breaking the next tackle attempt. Breaking the first tackle against a linebacker results in an almost guaranteed first down. Although this is a great ability for any player on offense, the most effective players will be Saquon Barkley and Derrick Henry types. Trigger the ability with three rushes of 10+ yards or more. The ability is lost after one tackle for loss.

First One Free

Elusive backs rely on misdirection and love to embarrass defenders with their elusiveness. Most teams nowadays have a one-two punch coming out of the backfield, consisting of a power running back and an elusive back. The duo works in tandem and shares snaps dependent on the game situation.  

The First One Free Superstar X Factor increases a running back’s fake-out rate on jukes, spins, and hurdles. Give this to backs already talented in this area to maximize the ability’s effectiveness. Trigger the ability with three rushes of 10+ yards or more. The ability is lost after one tackle for loss.

Wrecking Ball   

Some running backs thrive on creating contact. They spend most of their time getting pummeled by the defense, so putting a defender’s face in the dirt with a stiff arm or running them over like a bulldozer is sweet revenge. They are typically used as 3rd down backs that specialize in goal-line and short-yardage situations. 

The Wrecking Ball Superstar X-Factor gives players a high success rate on the next three trucks or stiff arms when in the zone. These skill moves usually lead to a field of green grass in front of you, so you should have huge gains or at least a first down the majority of the time that Wrecking Ball is active. Trigger the ability with three rushes of 10+ yards or more. The ability is lost after one tackle for loss.

So there you have the Madden 23 Superstar X-Factors to enhance your running backs. It’s very important to understand what type of running back you have before assigning them an ability. Don’t stress their weaknesses; amplify their strengths. It won’t do much to give Freight Train or Wrecking Ball to a small receiving back, just as it wouldn’t make the most sense to give a Derrick Henry First One Free. It’s also worth taking some of the WR X-Factors into consideration, as they can be great for your receiving running backs. 

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