For those who want a quick answer on how to create a pure 1:1 ratings ratio that actually makes ratings matter in Madden, simply perform the following four steps:
1) Restore all sliders to default settings. 2) Set difficulty to "Custom" (This is the most important step). 3) Set all human sliders to 50 (This should match the CPU sliders that are already at 50). 4) Set "Speed Threshold" to "0."
For those who want a detailed description that explains why this works and how this creates a pure 1:1 ratings ratio, read below.
We've all heard the argument and seen the videos that prove ratings don't matter in Madden. The Madden users who make this argument and create those videos, however, are not setting up their game to give ratings a chance to work on a pure 1:1 ratio.
In this video the user creates a left tackle with horrendous ratings, and the created player routinely shuts down the opposing pass rush. The reason why the ratings in this video don't matter is because the difficulty setting (All-Madden) is meant to favor the CPU. The AI skewers player ratings to favor the CPU and make the game more difficult for the user... In other words, the ratings are not working on a 1:1 ratio.
Now, it would make sense that simply adjusting CPU sliders to match Human sliders should promote perfect balance and create a pure 1:1 ratings ratio, but unfortunately that is not the case.
A look at human sliders on All-Madden difficulty.
The above picture shows Human sliders (all at 25) for All-Madden difficulty. If we adjust CPU sliders to match the Human sliders, we still haven't created a pure 1:1 ratings ratio because the All-Madden difficulty is scripted to favor the CPU. This will be the case with any difficulty (Rookie, Pro, All-Pro, All-Madden). Any pre-set game difficulty skewers ratings and will not allow player ratings to be judged on a pure 1:1 ratio.
How and Why Creating a Pure 1:1 Ratings Ratio Works
To create a pure 1:1 ratio we need to "default" Madden. When I say "default," I mean take out any scripted A.I. that has to do with ratings and how player skills are defined on the field. We only want players to behave in a way that their ratings suggest they should. To do this, we need to set difficulty to "Custom," and set all sliders (CPU and Human) to 50.
By removing pre-set difficulties (Rookie, Pro, All-Pro, All-Madden) and setting the difficulty to "Custom," we are removing the scripted A.I. that makes the game easier or harder for the user, and forcing the game to run purely on player ratings that are free from outside influence. If the other team is much better than yours, you will see and feel that through the ratings.
Setting "Speed Threshold" to "0" allows for differentiation between faster and slower players. Normally, setting the threshold so low creates remarkable speed differences that favor the Chris Johnson's and Jamaal Charles' of the NFL. But with ratings that actually matter, we see that "Pursuit" (a rating that suffers from the scripted A.I. of pre-set difficulties) actually matters with our custom difficulty. For maximum "defaulting" I recommend also playing with game speed at "Normal."
Try It Out
I'm sure there will be skeptics. If you are one of them I encourage you to try these settings and you'll see the impact of the 1:1 ratings (it's beautiful). I've play tested in practice mode and multiple "Play Now" games, and I can finally say with a smile that I've received the pure 1:1 ratings that I've been seeking for years.