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All of the New Madden NFL 21 X-Factors and Superstar Abilities Revealed (Gridiron Notes)

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Madden NFL 21

All of the New Madden NFL 21 X-Factors and Superstar Abilities Revealed (Gridiron Notes)

The latest Gridiron Notes is available, as the team goes over the Madden NFL 21 X-Factors and Superstar Abilities, which primarily consist of additions, re-balances, and removals.

Below is a list of all the new X-Factor abilities coming to Madden NFL 21:

Ankle Breaker
Truly devastating receiving threats are the ones that catch and can’t be caught. When they enter the zone; they have increased fakeout rates on spin/juke/hurdle after the catch.

Avalanche
There are tacklers and then there are these guys. When they enter the zone any successful hit-stick made while running towards the line of scrimmage will result in a fumble.

Blitz
Effective D-Line captains aren’t just examples to follow; they are motivators. When they enter the zone; all opposing blockers have their resistance bars wiped out.

Bottleneck
Bottleneck defenders realize that the best way to stop a route is to act early. When they enter the zone; they are highly likely to dominantly win any man press encounter.

Grab and Smash
Not all receivers need fancy footwork. When they enter the zone; they have increased success chance on stiff arm and truck attempts following the catch.

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Relentless
The most tenacious defenders beat their blocks by sheer force of will. When they enter the zone; their rush move attempts are free.

Universal Coverage
The most physical coverage defenders prevent catches from happening even when their target has hands on the ball. When they enter the zone; they are nearly guaranteed knockouts.

Vanguard
Vanguard players are the reason running backs thank their blockers in the postgame interview. When they enter the zone; they are nearly guaranteed dominant impact block wins.

YAC ‘Em Up
The best physical receivers don’t just come down with the ball; they carry it home. When they enter the zone; they are nearly guaranteed to break their first post-catch tackle.


Below is a list of all the new Superstar abilities coming to Madden NFL 21:

Adrenaline Rush
Pass rushers with this ability will have all of their pass rush move points restored after sacking the QB.

B.O.G.O.
Defenders with this ability are granted a free pass rush move once per play after spending a pass rush point.

Balance Beam
Avoid stumbling when carrying the ball.

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Bench Press
Defenders with this ability apply bonus fatigue to their man coverage target after a successful press win.

Chuck Out
Defenders with this ability apply bonus fatigue to their target after a successful zone chuck.

Closer
Locker room pep talks go a long way. Players with this ability can easily enter the Zone in the 2nd half.

Comeback
When playing from behind; players with this ability can easily enter the Zone.

Deep In Elite
Receivers with this ability catch more consistently while catching passes 20+ yards from the LoS; inside the numbers.

Deep In Zone KO
Defenders with this ability force more catch knockouts and react quicker in deep zone coverage; 20+ yards from the LoS and inside the numbers.

Deep Out Elite
Receivers with this ability catch more consistently while catching passes 20+ yards from the LoS; outside the numbers.

Deep Out Zone KO
Defenders with this ability force more catch knockouts and react quicker in deep zone coverage; 20+ yards from the LoS and outside the hash marks.

Deep Route KO
Defenders with this ability force more catch knockouts and react quicker in deep zone coverage; 20+ yards from the LoS and outside the hash marks.

Defensive Rally
Defenders with this ability will grant a bonus pass rush point to all defensive linemen on any 3rd or 4th down.

Double Or Nothing
Pass rushers with this ability must spend double the pass rush points to perform a move but are granted dominant wins.

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El Toro
Defenders with this ability will receive dominant bull rush wins when their pass rush points are full.

Energizer
Ballcarriers with this ability will replenish a portion of their stamina upon successfully performing any skill move.

Extra Credit
Pass rushers with this ability are granted an additional maximum pass rush move point.

Flat Zone KO
Defenders with this ability force more catch knockouts and react quicker in any flat zone coverage; less than 10 yards from the LoS and outside the hash marks.

Fool Me Once
Blockers with this ability gain blocker resistance points as a faster rate.

Instant Rebate
Defenders with this ability are refunded a pass rush point when they successfully shed blocks.

Lifeguard
Blockers with this ability defend against swim/club pass rush moves as if they had an additional resistance point.

Matador
Blockers with this ability have stronger protection against dominant bull rush moves attempted by defenders.

Medium Route KO
Defenders with this ability force more catch tackle knockouts in man-to-man versus medium routes; 10-20 yards from the LoS.

Mid In Elite
Receivers with this ability catch more consistently while catching passes 10-20 yards from the LoS; inside the numbers.

Mid Out Elite
Receivers with this ability catch more consistently while catching passes 10-20 yards from the LoS; outside the numbers.

Mid Zone KO
Defenders with this ability force more catch knockouts and react quicker in any mid-field zone coverage; less than 20 yards from the LoS inside the numbers and 10-20 outside.

Mr. Big Stop
Defenders with this ability will start and 3rd or 4th down with at least half of their maximum pass rush points.

Natural Talent
Blockers with this ability start every new blocking encounter with built-in resistance.

One Step Ahead
Defenders with this ability generally react much faster to receiver cut moves when in man coverage.

Outmatched
Defenders with this ability are highly likely to win contested catches against running backs.

Quick Draw
Passers with this ability have faster passing animations when they are throwing under pressure.

Reach For It
Ballcarriers with this ability will frequently attempt to gain extra yards while being tackled.

Ripper
Defenders with this ability will ignore 1 bar of blocker resistance when attempting rip pass rush moves.

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Screen Protector
Blockers with this ability will dominantly win impact blocks on screen plays.

Second Wind
Players with this ability have a chance to replenish their stamina, once per play, when it is half depleted.

Short In Elite
Receivers with this ability catch more consistently while catching passes less than 10 yards from the LoS; inside the numbers.

Short Out Elite
Receivers with this ability catch more consistently while catching passes less than 10 yards from the LoS; outside the numbers.

Short Route KO
Defenders with this ability force more catch tackle knockouts in man-to-man versus short routes less than 10 yards from LoS.

Speedster
Defenders with this ability will ignore 1 bar of blocker resistance when attempting speed pass rush moves.

Spinner
Defenders with this ability will ignore 1 bar of blocker resistance when attempting spin pass rush moves.

Stonewall
Defenders with this ability will frequently prevent additional yardage gains while tackling.

Swim Club
Defenders with this ability will ignore 1 bar of blocker resistance when attempting swim/club pass rush moves.

Tear Proof
Blockers with this ability defend against rip pass rush moves as if they had an additional resistance point.

Tight Out
Passers with this ability improve the catching prowess of all tight ends who are open on pass plays.

Tough Nut
Blockers with this ability have an increased number of blocker resistance points.

Unspun
Blockers with this ability defend against spin pass rush moves as if they had an additional resistance point.

Unpredictable
Defenders with this ability are less likely to increase their blocker’s resistance bars when performing shed wins.

The next Gridiron Notes is scheduled to arrive on August 18, focusing on Madden NFL 21 Ultimate Team.

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  1. Meh, seems like they are going to rely on abilities more and more to bring about dynamic gameplay between players instead of fixing certain aspects of the game. We don't need fatigue and stamina oriented abilities, we need stamina and fatigue to just work properly and then the ratings can do their thing.
    I wasn't a big fan of the abilities when they were introduced. I'm disliking them the more they add. They are obviously very H2H oriented which is to be expected as that is the direction Madden seems to be moving. I'm fine with the idea of abilities/badges if they are implemented differently and less.... gamey I guess is the word I am looking for. I don't like abilities that give silly boosts or things like 100% fumble chance if a player in the zone makes a tackle. I'd rather abilities just represent what a player can do. I'd like to see McCaffrey have his route running ability simply represented by more precise route running animations that get him more separation organically. I'd rather Lamar Jackson simply have more animations that allow him to do more elusive actions, I'd rather his vision while running be much more superior than other QB's.
    The abilities just seem to be another band-aid fix for a game that severely needs many areas reworked. Since EA cannot fix ball carrier logic, to make Lamar Jackson a threat running the ball they just give him abilities to artificially raise his attributes so that he breaks more tackles or jukes better than other players. He will still zig zag run like all other CPU ball carriers, he will still run full speed and never set up blocks, he will never cut back, etc. He'll simply be a mindless ball carrier that runs just like every other CPU ball carrier except he'll have boosts to his tackle breaking/avoiding.
    It's clear that SS/XF abilities are the focal point of gameplay design going forward, so it's all going to be about balance/tuning of course.
    These systems are definitely things I have mixed feelings on. In general, I appreciate what Superstar Abilities do for player differentiation and while most X-Factor abilities are fine, they are certainly a handful that appear too gamey or otherwise problematic (ex. Avalanche, Bazooka).
    As I've said before, this really wouldn't be such a problem if we could edit individual abilities (which, based on this blog, doesn't seem to be the case for the second year in a row). There's really no good reason why we shouldn't be able to edit abilities in the same manner we edit ratings or traits. Maybe the fact that they're tied to title updates, rather than roster ones, has something to do with that. If that's the case, perhaps there'd be a way to edit them only within Franchise or something (as opposed to main menu roster management). Yes, I know the process of switching characters and "re-rerolling" exists within Franchise, but that's a less-than-ideal system to put it mildly.
    Or, instead of having to turn all abilities off to avoid the not-so-great ones, perhaps they can introduce an option to keep Star abilities but turn off X-Factors or something like that.
    All these abilities seem like just a bunch of fuss to cover up for poor attributes that are already in the game. Like someone else said....just rework the game so that the attributes actually mean something and make a difference in players. Stop having 85% of the roster be between a 70 - 85 score. Use the actual ratings.
    Also, it said that MUT was the next blog. I thought we were getting an update on whatever they were going to do for Franchise next?
    ewto16
    All these abilities seem like just a bunch of fuss to cover up for poor attributes that are already in the game. Like someone else said....just rework the game so that the attributes actually mean something and make a difference in players. Stop having 85% of the roster be between a 70 - 85 score. Use the actual ratings.
    Also, it said that MUT was the next blog. I thought we were getting an update on whatever they were going to do for Franchise next?

    Franchise news August 15th or before based on the twitch from Kraelo and Clint this week.
    I'm ok with the abilities if they keep them balanced and not over powered.
    Abilities need to be
    1. Fully editable
    2. Untied from dev trait
    3. Tierable
    4. More nuanced
    Long way to go for me to consider them a positive.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    roadman
    Franchise news August 15th or before based on the twitch from Kraelo and Clint this week.
    I'm ok with the abilities if they keep them balanced and not over powered.

    It's seems Like Franchise and MUT will be last official develop updates prior to launch. Maybe they could do a Misc. Gridiron on August 21, but most likely MUT might be last official news since early access is 8/25. August 15th is a Saturday. So I could see that Franchise update being between August 11th-August 17th. I expect they will start dropping gameplay and FoTF videos around the next 2 weeks.
    It looks like The Yard might be another post-launch mode. I feel that is something they should try to promote prior to launch. It looks like we won't get any Next Gen news until after launch. I expect them to go over next gen news around October.
    XtremeDunkz
    Abilities need to be
    1. Fully editable
    2. Untied from dev trait
    3. Tierable
    4. More nuanced
    Long way to go for me to consider them a positive.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

    Tiered is an absolute must.
    I'm fine with all of the Superstar abilities in principle. If they work as they are intended and help to give players a little more individuality then I'll be fine them in practise too.
    I didnt like the X-Factor abilities in principle or in practise last year, and I probably won't again this year.
    I'd rather abilities weren't used exclusively to differentiate players from each other but, to be fair to EA, they greatly increased the range of ratings, and have made some solid gameplay improvements over the last couple of editions. I know it's easy to rag on Madden, and it's justified in a lot of cases, but they have actually been (successfully to an extent) trying to make ratings mean more.
    I totally understand why they use them...in much the same way NBA 2k has the badge system...and APF2k8 had the Ability and 🌟 system. All about how it's implemented. You have to find a way to make players different. If this is the way to do it then hey...
    ewto16
    Also, it said that MUT was the next blog. I thought we were getting an update on whatever they were going to do for Franchise next?

    You mean they'll have another set of patch notes? Cuz at best that's all there will be. :y14: Lol.
    TarHeelPhenom
    I totally understand why they use them...in much the same way NBA 2k has the badge system...and APF2k8 had the Ability and 🌟 system. All about how it's implemented. You have to find a way to make players different. If this is the way to do it then hey...

    I don't play NBA so I can't comment on that. So let's take APF 2k8 , in that game you have bronze , sliver, and gold players , the difference is in 2k8 they are always bronze , silver , and gold. there is no turning them on and off. You didn't need to accomplish tasks to activate them and their abilities were not super powers the way some are in Madden. When some of these guys become activated they are literally unstoppable. It's much different then APF is.
    The Avalanche one alone is enough for me to skip this game. Guaranteed fumbles is dumb and annoying. I stopped playing last years game because getting hit by an Enforcer always led to a fumble.
    Problem is that they dont play different.
    Everyone with the same ability plays the same.
    Had humprey with with a 97 man cov and no ability and he got abused by bums with below 90 route running in any route but had an ability.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    SageInfinite
    I like the fact that players are different and stand out, but the way they’re implemented is just unrealistic and arcade like.

    This is spot on my friend!
    JMD
    I don't play NBA so I can't comment on that. So let's take APF 2k8 , in that game you have bronze , sliver, and gold players , the difference is in 2k8 they are always bronze , silver , and gold. there is no turning them on and off. You didn't need to accomplish tasks to activate them and their abilities were not super powers the way some are in Madden. When some of these guys become activated they are literally unstoppable. It's much different then APF is.

    I agree
    APF abilities were more of a skill that either a player did or didn't have. A player always had a said ability but it wasn't overpowered and wasn't a guaranteed success. A gold player would dominate a generic. But it wasn't a guaranteed success that each play that gold player would would win those interactions even against generics. Madden's abilities are boosted skills that are guaranteed success that are either guaranteed wins or drastically improves win percentage. There should never be guarantees.
    I like the concept of abilities. I'm all for player differentiation. But, I don't want abilities that negates ratings. It doesn't matter if a player doesn't have abilities , if he has high enough skill ratings, he should still be as effective. I don't mind the situational abilities. But I don't care for the arcade stuff. Like Avalanche, that seems over the top. So facing a team like Seattle will be a pain if both Adams and Wagner gets in zone multiple times in games. When you do know of a real life defender getting "in the zone" and you know they're going to get a fumble.
    I rather them have a full tendency system or expand on traits. But with the abilities, I just want balance. I rather the abilities be based on specific situations that ratings can't cover.

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