Imagine going into the biggest exam of your life with no plan.
No scheduling blocks of time to study, no mental preparation to calm your anticipated stress, and no idea of what time to go to bed and wake up at. Chances are your aspirations of doing well in that class will be as doubtful as an NFL player with an ACL tear playing in next week’s game.
That’s what it’s like in Madden. You MUST have a plan going into EVERY play with your user or you will be drowning in confusion on defense, especially if you want to try and get user picks in Madden 23.
How To Get User Picks In Madden 23
First Tip For Success: Knowing The Weakness of Your Defense
Offensively, you need to know how to conceptually attack every coverage in the game to be consistent. Every defense has at least a couple of weak spots in certain areas on the field.
The defense, just like the offense, must be aware of these weak spots. One of the most common mistakes I see, even at the pro level, is someone user lurking a receiver that is running into the strong suit of the defense.
Why run and guard a crossing route when you set your “zone drop” flats to 30 and have a player manned up on the crosser to stop it? Before the play starts, identify the strong suits of your defense and what routes you are intending to stop with the defense out there.
Then look to user-defend the weak areas of the field that the CPU will not guard.
Second Tip For Success: Route/Play Recognition
As soon as the ball is snapped, you should be using your peripheral vision to identify what routes all the receivers will be running. This will take practice and a lot of repetition. The more repetition, the more often you should be able to diagnose the play a few seconds in.
Once you diagnose the play and have an idea of where each receiving target is going, remember the weakness of your defense and sprint to the receiver attacking the weak spot.
So say you run a cover 2 shell on defense. Knowing that the deep portions of the field are vulnerable in Cover 2, you should sprint deep with your user to guard a skinny post if you see one develop.
Final Tip For Success: Post-Play Recognition
Once the play is over, check to see if your mid-play diagnosis was right. Keep track of the routes that might have slipped by mid-play or you did not recognize at first.
There is a great chance your opponent will go back to a play that worked early in the game later in the game. Try to recall those routes that slithered into the weak spots of your defense early on so later in the game you can jump those routes for 6.
Your Urgent Next Step
Usering is 1 of the 12 fundamentals you need to be competitive in Madden for a lifetime. A good user can be the difference between blowing coverages for 40+ yards and getting that crucial user pick 6 to close out the game.
You can explore the 11 other fundamentals at TheMaddenAcademy.
Are you practicing getting user picks in Madden 23? Want even more tips to improve on the field? Join the official SGO Discord server!