The 2016 football season might have come to a close, but the team behind Madden 16 is still hard at work on improving the game leading into the release of Madden 17. This week, EA has announced the addition of a new mode for Madden Ultimate Team, Salary Cap Ranked.

According to the blog post, Salary Cap Ranked isn’t just a new game mode, but a fundamental change to the Madden Ultimate Team experience. With the release of Salary Cap Ranked, each player will be assigned a cap value. For the launch of the new mode, it will be labeled as beta thanks to the size and the release window.

The mode comes from player feedback asking for competitive support in Madden Ultimate Team, and will serve as a new way to test your mastery of the game as the team building is equally as important as the gameplay.

When the Salary Cap Beta title update is released, every player will receive an additional number, which will be referred to as the cap value. The cap value of individual players will not be based on OVR, but individual statistics. In an example posted on the blog, the Schefter Star version of Za’Darius Smith with 87 OVR has a cap value of 52, while the Superlatives version of Cameron Wake with 94 OVR has a cap value of 46.

salary cap ranked 2

Salary Cap events are where you’ll play the most important games, and is structured similarly to Draft Championship ranked events. You’ll play until either 6 wins or 2 losses, whichever comes first. The entry fee for the modes will be different, with Salary Cap utilizing event tickets with one required to compete. Draft Championship ranked tickets will also be usable to enter Salary Cap, and everyone who logs in after the update will receive one free ticket.

Another difference can be found in the way you build your team. Rather than selecting from a 15-round draft pool, you’ll be using player items from your item binder to put together a 34-man team where the cap total of that team cannot exceed 1000 points.

salary cap ranked 3

Of that lineup, 32 of the 34 players will be “base players”. Base players are defined as players at specific positions that are purposefully selected in order to ensure that there are always enough players to fill every offensive and defensive formation.

Here’s a list of the 32 base players:

  • QB1
  • HB1
  • WR1
  • WR2
  • WR3
  • WR4
  • TE1
  • TE2
  • FB1
  • LT1
  • LG1
  • C1
  • RG1
  • RT1
  • LE1
  • RE1
  • RE2
  • DT1
  • DT2
  • LOLB1
  • ROLB1
  • MLB1
  • MLB2
  • CB1
  • CB2
  • CB3
  • CB4
  • FS1
  • SS1
  • SS2
  • K1
  • P1

The goal is to intentionally leave you short on some positions, allowing for the final two players in your lineup to be flex players, or players that can be used anywhere outside of kicker and punter. That’s intended to allow for further strategy.

As for how the game will play, there have been a few modifications specifically for the game mode thanks to the condensed lineup. During a Salary Cap event, injuries will be turned off. Fatigue will also be slowed. Understanding fatigue will also play into your strategy.

If you’re new to Madden Ultimate Team, EA is also doing a few things to help bring you into the fold. The welcome and starter packs will be improved to include more gold player items. Journey 4 will also be introduced as a series of short solo challenges meant to help you unlock 11 players, with a 96 OVR Aqib Talib serving as the final “Journey Master” reward.

Will you be checking out the new mode when it launches? Let us know in the comments or on social media. In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted on the latest Madden news.

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Adam Capps
Storied gamer and novice sports fan, Adam has been playing video games and writing about them since 2011. When he's not working on articles, you can find him listening to music, cooking a mean pizza, or reading what other people have to say on hot topics.