The game of Madden has always been fun because anyone could pick it up and enjoy a game in less than 45 minutes. As the game grew and went online back in the early 2000’s there became an instant split in the community. For the first time each player had an opportunity to compete and see how their skills matched up with other players around the world. We immediately witnessed the birth of two separate communities, the Madden Sim community and the Madden Freestyle community. With this division in the game the term “Madden Cheat” was born.
The Sim community considered anything not witnessed on NFL fields in real life to be a cheat. Most of them back then considered user catching the biggest Madden cheat and a programming exploit in the game. In a Sim player’s mind a low rated player should not be able to dominate a game because they had blazing speed or an incredible jump rating. Sim players also dislike that fact that Freestyle players only use 3-5 offensive plays in a game, and not their entire playbook. They considered this to be a cheat based on the fact they only used plays that they could exploit AI weaknesses.
The Freestyle community believed in playing the game as a form of football, but finding out everything they could do within the game to give themselves an advantage. For a Freestyle player everything comes down to having great stick control to manipulate their players to achieve unthinkable moves. Freestyle players spend hours practicing the game to find out how catch animations were connected to certain pass routes or play calls. These players never consider these moves as cheating; they just see them as bending the confinements of the game with great skill.
Both types of players are needed to make the Madden community thrive. The Sim community makes up the majority of the people that purchase Madden, year in and year out. The freestyle community is largely responsible for all the patches that EA has to deliver during the year to fine tune the game and eliminate what some consider Madden cheats.
If you plan on playing Madden 12 online, in person or in a league here are a few things that you may want to be aware of when competing.
- AI trickery – there are logistics in the game that aren’t completely sound and when discovered allow players to trigger a desired result almost every time. One of the main AI Madden Cheats from this past season (Madden 11) was the Spy Blitz from the Safety position. Players would line the safety up in the “A” gap, assign him to Spy the QB and at the snap, manually rush for an uncontested sack.
- Breaking auto motion or creating a QB Draw. The QB Draw has been taking out of the game, but when you quick audible back and forth from some FB Dive plays it will allow the QB to become the primary runner. This is used with auto motion when in the Wildcat formation and players will wait until the play clock is running down to prevent the delay from taking control of the player in the QB position.
- One of the biggest Madden cheats some complain about is putting cornerbacks at receiver or vice versa. This tactic is frowned upon in both the Sim Community as well as the Tournament community. The main culprit of this tactic is the random online player who will add Green Bay Packers DB Shields to their receiving corps because of his 97 speed. Trust us, it can be a real headache to handle.
- Going for it on 4th down or punt/field goal fake. Each of these are true to the NFL game but frowned upon in the Sim and Freestyle community. This is a tactic mainly used by random online players.
There are countless other things that people do in Madden that someone may consider a cheat, but everyone’s main goal should be to have a good time…and remember it’s just a game.