More Madden 20 Superstar X-Factors, Zone Abilities Details Revealed

A brand new Madden 20 community stream arrived on Thursday night to bring fans more insight into the upcoming EA Sports title. The latest topics on the agenda included the highly-anticipated new features known as “Superstar X-Factors” and “Zone Abilities.” These will give specific players extra power or skill during a game and bring about interesting use of strategy by gamers on both sides. Here’s more details about the upcoming Madden 20 Superstar game abilities.

Madden 20 Superstar X-Factor, Zone Abilities

Senior Game Devoloper Clint Oldenburg was on the EA Madden Twitch channel’s Daily Drops stream on Thursday night. He dove into exactly what Superstar X-Factor and Zone Abilities will entail. It’s going to be an interesting new way of playing the game involving unique skills and abilities exclusive to specific players.

In Madden 20, there are 50 Superstar X-Factor players. These are the most elite players in the league who are game changers. They have special abilities as well as “Zone Abilities.” Gamers use in-game objectives to activate these special abilities. Interestingly, gamers on defense can also activate counters to these abilities.

“Bazooka” is one example of a Superstar X-Factor Zone ability which cover athlete Patrick Mahomes has. When Mahomes meets his in-game objective, such as complete X number of passes for a certain distance or more, it will increase his maximum passing distance in a game. So he’ll be “in the zone.” Mahomes is on record as saying he’s thrown as far as 83 yards in a game. The developer said 80 yards might be the max in Madden 20.

So Patrick Mahomes will have a Zone Ability (achieved by completing objectives). He will also have four Superstar Abilities which he can use during game situations.

Other in-game star abilities to use

Cover athlete Patrick Mahomes will be one of many X-Factor players with special abilities in the game. In addition to X-Factor players, there will also be a group of players who are Superstars. These players will also come from all positions, offensive and defensive. Here’s a few other abilities concepts they touched on in the latest stream:

  • Rack em’ Up – Rack catch specialists will excel at making these catches. They’ll be better at making contested catches after earning a certain number of in-game objectives.
  • Fear monger – Pass rusher zone abilities. These players will be able to apply more pressure to a QB from distances.
  • First One Free – Running back Zone ability. If the player achieves a certain amount of rushes (i.e. four rushes for 45 yards to get in zone), that player’s next attempt at a fake out move will have a higher chance of working out.

They provided a number of other star abilities during the latest stream:

  • Escape artist – provides scrambling abilities for QBs.
  • Fast break – a running back version of Escape Artist.
  • Slot-o-matic – A slot specialist such as Julian Edelman who will have enhanced skills or abilities in the slot position.
  • Enforcer – A defensive ability to prevent broken hit stick tackles. Examples they gave are Bobby Wagner and Harrison Smith.

To recap, Superstar abilities are always available for a player in game and used in specific situations. Zone abilities are earned during a game by completing certain objectives such as passing or rushing for a certain amount of yards. As mentioned, there are defensive counters to the offensive zone abilities, so this sets up a whole new way of playing competitively!

It’s a lot to digest and learn about. Luckily, there’s a complete in-depth look at these Madden superstar abilities over at EA’s Madden Gridiron Notes.

Gameplay teasers, animation updates

A few other tidbits arrived on the latest Madden 20 Community Stream via Twitch. Senior Designer Greg Heddlesten stopped by to discuss animation quality updates for Madden 20. He spoke about having a number of athlete actors stand in to help them film the motion captures for quarterback-specific motion.

They showed examples for Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers’ signature passes or motions. The EA developers are working to make the game more authentic than ever.

Celebrations will again be authentic to the players. They’ll be based on certain celebrations that fans have seen in the NFL before. So gamers should definitely look forward to seeing these new in-game celebrations appear in Madden 20.

In addition to all of that, they teased a few gameplay updates for Madden 20. In particular, they have been re-working how pressure applied towards a quarterback will affect their abilities. Additionally, the developers have been working on adjusting the broken hit sticks tackle aspect of the game to prevent it globally. These will play into the new X-Factor and Superstar abilities aspects of the game.

The new Madden 20 game arrives on August 2, 2019 for the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Get more of our latest Madden news here.