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Madden NFL 24 Defense: From Novice to Pro

Oct-21-2023 PST

In Madden NFL 24, the thrill of the game lies not only in your offensive prowess but also in your ability to outsmart your opponent on defense. If you find yourself struggling to make crucial stops, it's likely because you haven't yet mastered the art of user-controlled defenders. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore four defensive methods, ranging from beginner to advanced, that will help you become a force to be reckoned with on the defensive side of the ball.

The Role of Safeties

Before delving into the defensive strategies, it's crucial to understand the importance of choosing the right player to control on defense. While linebackers were once a popular choice for user-controlled defenders, they have been nerfed in recent years, making it challenging for them to make crucial plays. Unless you have a linebacker with the "Lurker" ability, it's best to avoid using them.

Instead, opt for safeties, particularly when you're in the nickel or dollar formation, as they can be subbed in for linebackers. Look for safeties with good speed and height, as these attributes will enable them to cover more ground effectively. Now, let's dive into the four user-controlled defensive methods that will help you dominate on the field.

1. Strafing Method (Beginner)

The strafing method is a beginner-friendly technique that focuses on guarding the underneath routes that your opponent frequently targets. To execute this method:

a. Use the left trigger (L2) to strafe with your user-controlled safety.

b. Stay within your assigned zone and wait for the receiver to enter your coverage area.

c. When the receiver enters your zone, move your joystick to mirror their movements to stay with them.

d. If the opponent attempts a pass, press the Y or Triangle button at the right moment to intercept the ball.

This method is effective at thwarting opponents who rely on quick slant or drag routes. By taking away their favorite target, you force them to make riskier decisions or hold onto the ball, giving your pass rush an opportunity to apply pressure.

2. Stand Still Method (Intermediate)

The stand still method is a step up from strafing and involves a degree of anticipation. Here's how it works:

a. Begin by selecting your user-controlled safety.

b. Hold the L2 button to strafe but stay still for a brief moment.

c. Assess the play as it unfolds and identify a potential target.

d. When you've made your choice, sprint toward the receiver you believe the quarterback will target.

e. Intercept the pass by timing your button press accurately.

This method introduces an element of unpredictability into your defensive strategy. By momentarily freezing your movement, you force your opponent to guess your intentions, making it harder for them to complete passes.

3. Hover Method (Advanced)

The hover method requires a higher level of comfort and skill with user-controlled defenders. In this approach, you become a roaming enigma in the middle of the field, making it difficult for your opponent to predict your actions. Here's how to employ the hover method:

a. Take control of your safety.

b. As the play unfolds, move your user-controlled defender in a circular or zigzag pattern, jumping between potential targets.

c. Your goal is to create confusion for your opponent, who won't know which receiver you'll cover.

d. Occasionally commit to covering a receiver if you see a high-probability target.

e. Intercept passes or disrupt plays by surprising your opponent with your user-controlled defender's positioning.

The hover method adds an extra layer of complexity to your user-controlled defense. By continually shifting your focus and movement, you force your opponent to think twice before making throws, ultimately increasing your chances of turnovers.

4. Circle Method (Advanced)

The circle method takes the hover technique to the next level by emphasizing continuous circular movement to cover various passing lanes. To execute the circle method:

a. Choose your user-controlled safety.

b. Maintain a circular movement pattern, ensuring you cover a wide range of potential passing lanes.

c. As the play unfolds, adjust your movement to mirror the routes developing on the field.

d. Intercept passes or disrupt plays by changing direction and intercepting passes when opportunities arise.

By consistently moving in a circular fashion, you create uncertainty for your opponent, making it challenging for them to predict where you'll be positioned. This method can effectively neutralize a variety of offensive strategies, making it a valuable tool in your defensive arsenal.


Mastering user-controlled defenders is a pivotal aspect of becoming a formidable force in Madden NFL 24. Whether you're a beginner looking to get started or an advanced player seeking to refine your skills, these four defensive methods will elevate your game and help you secure crucial stops. Remember, the key to successful defense in Madden NFL 24 is to keep your opponent guessing and create turnovers that swing the momentum in your favor. So, get out there, practice these techniques, and become a defensive powerhouse on the virtual gridiron.

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