Coach Skills Deep Dive
FLEXING YOUR COACHING MUSCLE
New to Dynasty mode this year is the introduction of Coach Skills, which allow you to customize your skills in order to gain an advantage over the competition. Whether it’s locking up recruits early or coming out swinging in big road games, Coach Skills let you tailor your experience and specialize in the areas you believe are most important. Let’s take a look at the various skills you can unlock and how they can help you rise above the rest.
THE OLD BALL COACH
Most players start their Dynasty as a Head Coach, opting to control all facets of the team. However, a coach’s duties are vast, and require both thorough game-planning and great recruiting. The Head Coach skill tree has been split into two branches: Game Management and Recruiting.
THE GAME MANAGER
The Game Management skill tree offers on-field boosts, including influencing player abilities, recognizing what sorts of plays the other team is running and keeping players disciplined and poised even in pressure-packed situations One such skill is Coachstradamus, which allows you to see the last play called by your opponent. Upgrade the skill to level 2 and you’ll have a 10% chance of identifying the play type your opponent will run next. Become a true Coachstradamus and you’ll have a 25% chance of correctly guessing the opponent’s upcoming play.
Another example is the Big Game skill, which lets your team start off HOT in rivalry games. When a team is HOT, the players get a dynamic ratings boost that allows them to play above and beyond their typical skills. Upgrade it once and you’ll also come out HOT in bowl and championship games. Put in another skill point and you’ll come charging onto the field VERY HOT and ready to jump all over the other team.
Here is a full listing of the Game Management skills and an idea of what they offer at their base level. Each skill can be upgraded to level 3, but you’ll have to wait until the game launches to see what the higher level skills can do!
Antifreeze- Nothing gets to your kickers. Nothing.
Level 1: Ice the Kicker is ineffective 50% of the time.
Road Warrior- Your quarterbacks shine on the road and don’t get rattled by Home Field Advantage.
Level 1: No controller vibration.
Matchup- Find the best mismatch and then attack. All matchups are shown from the offensive point of view.
Level 1: Passing Matchups appear in Preplay Coach Cam. (Coach Cam + Right Stick to the right)
Setup Artist- Successful run plays will set up the play action pass plays faster and vice-versa.
Level 1: Decreases the yardage needed for Setup Plays by 10%. Choose plays that are in the same formation type (pass or run).
Clean Laundry- Play disciplined and avoid costly penalties. Caution: Increasing team aggressiveness will cancel this skill.
Level 1: CPU is 50% less likely to cause penalties.
Light a Fire- Players can get HOT and COLD. Call a timeout to fire up your team when they need it. HOT players get performance bonuses.
Level 1: Call a timeout to get all COLD or lower players back up to NORMAL.
Big Game- The bigger the game, the HOTTER your team starts. HOT players get performance bonuses.
Level 1: Your team starts off HOT in rivalry games.
Coachstradamus- Learn which plays and play types your opponent calls so you can be a step ahead.
Level 1: You are shown your opponent's previously-called play. This can be seen in the upper-right of the play select menu.
Clutch- Your team always seems to get HOT in high-pressure situations and perform better. HOT players get performance bonuses.
Level 1: You start the fourth quarter HOT if the score difference is 14 or less.
Some say that a football game is won or lost before the players even set foot on the field, and those individuals will likely gravitate toward Recruiting skills. These abilities provide you more recruiting points in certain situations or at specific points in the calendar.
One Recruiting skill you may want to unlock quickly is Kitchen Sink, which provides you with 50 extra points to assign to EVERY recruit, EVERY week at its base levels. At level 2, you get 100 extra points, and at the max level you get 200 extra points. And 200 extra points per recruit per week really adds up over the course of the season. Kitchen Sink is a high-level skill that unlocks after you put 10 points into your Recruiting skill tree, and it’s definitely worth the investment.
Another option is The Closer, which boosts the number of recruiting points available in the last half of the season. When unlocked, the skill provides 500 bonus points a week for weeks 8-15, and that number jumps to 1000 bonus points at level 2 and 1500 at level 3. If you’re the type of coach that backloads your recruiting, then this skill will give you that extra oomph late in the season.
Here’s the full list of Recruiting skills, with a first-level description of the benefits.
Locksmith - Get back into locked-out recruiting battles. You can unlock up to five prospects in a year, but you must be in the prospect's top 10 and have offered a scholarship.
Level 1: Open one locked recruit per season. You need to be within 2000 points of the last place team to use this skill.
Scouting- You have a knack for discovering some of the best high school talent in America. You can scout more efficiently and for less.
Level 1: Increased scouting efficiency allows you to uncover around 25% of a prospect’s true skills each week for 50 points.
Royal Treatment- Your entire staff goes the extra mile to make sure prospects have great visits.
Level 1: you will receive a bonus of +250 points the week a recruit visits your school,
The Opener- You have an early edge on your competition during recruiting.
Level 1: Increase your recruiting points total by +500 points in weeks 1-7.
The Closer- You have an edge on your competition late in the season during recruiting.
Level 1: Increase your recruiting points total by +500 points in weeks 8 through 15.
Letter of Intent- You really know how to close out the deal on signing day.
Level 1: You gain +1500 extra recruiting points for the off-season and a 5% chance you will steal a prospect from their top school.
Pipelines- You specialize in getting to know high school coaches.
Level 1: You only need five players minimum, from a state, to declare it a Pipeline (six is default).
Kitchen Sink- Your work ethic is second to none and it pays dividends on the recruiting trail. You can assign even more points to a prospect each week.
Level 1: Each recruit can have +50 extra points assigned to them each week.
Insta-Commit- You've got the gift. Nobody makes a better first impression or closes a deal faster. You must be that prospect's top school.
Level 1: You gain a +5% chance of an instant commitment, when you offer a scholarship.
While many fans may choose to immediately opt for head coaching glory, others like to start off as a coordinator and work their way up the ranks. These individuals will also have specific Coach Skills, as both coordinators have their own skill trees. Each coordinator gets nine unique skills whichcan be upgraded up to level 3. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s available:
Up Tempo- Stay healthy, fatigue more slowly and prevent injuries. This skill is perfect for up-tempo teams.
Level 1: Players gain +2 to Injury and 10% increase in Stamina for games.
Ball Security- Stress the importance of protecting the football.
Level 1: Players gain +1 to Carrying for games.
Cannon- Be ahead in the arms race. Train your players to be better passers.
Level 1: QBs gain +1 to both Throw Power and Throw Accuracy for games.
Air Traffic Control- Never underestimate the importance of solid receiving mechanics. Get your HB, FB, TE and WRs ready for games.
Level 1: Players gain +1 Catching +2 Spectacular Catch and +2 Catch in Traffic for games.
Daylight- Everyone has to carry the rock sometime. Condition your players to be able to run with the ball at game time.
Level 1: Players gain +1 Break Tackle, +2 Spin Move and +3 Elusiveness for games.
Bulldozer- Your O-Line knows how to open up the gaps and control the line of scrimmage. Your run blocking is stellar.
Level 1: Your offensive line gains +2 Impact Blocking for games.
Great Wall- The best offense is behind a great wall. You develop good pass blocking technique.
Level 1: Your offensive line gains +1 Pass Blocking for games.
Mathlete- You believe football is a game of brains.
Level 1: Players gain +1 Awareness for games.
Athlete- Physical conditioning is the core to any star player.
Level 1: Players gain +2 Agility, +1 Strength and +1 Acceleration for games.
Road Closed- Your players get off their blocks quickly to stop the run.
Level 1: Your defensive players gain +1 Block Shedding for games.
Recharge- Stay healthy, fatigue slower and prevent injuries. Perfect against up-tempo teams.
Level 1: Your defensive players gain +2 Injury for games and 10% increase to Stamina.
Charge- Your tenacious pass rush causes fits for the opposition.
Level 1: Your defensive players gain +1 Power Moves and +1 Finesse Moves for games.
No Fly Zone- Your players are very disciplined with their zone coverage assignments.
Level 1: Your OLB, MLB, CB, SS, and FS gain +1 Zone Coverage for games.
Shutdown- Lock on a WR and shut him down.
Level 1: Your CB, SS, and FS gain +1 Man Coverage and +2 Press Coverage for games.
Tackling- Nobody gets away from your defenders.
Level 1: Your defensive players gain +1 Tackle, +1 Pursuit and +1 Hit Power for games.
Ball Burglar- You play a very aggressive style of defense, always Going after the ball.
Level 1: Your defensive players gain +1 Catching, +2 Spectacular Catch, +2 Catch in Traffic for games.
Pure Instinct- You believe that defense runs on instincts.
Level 1: Players gain +1 Awareness for games and +2 Play Recognition for games.
Athlete- You know the best way to channel and focus raw talent.
Level 1: Your defensive players gain +1 Speed, +2 Agility, +2 Acceleration and +1 Strength for games.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SKILLS
Perform well in games to earn XP, and when you secure enough XP, you’ll level up and earn a skill point. Head coaches gain XP for accomplishing a variety of goals, both in-game and over the course of a season. Head coaches can also assign the skills of their CPU coordinators, so you’ll still have full control over how your program is run.
For coordinators, the XP is tied to their unit’s on-field performance and recruiting. Offensive coordinators will earn points for gaining yards and scoring touchdowns, while defensive coordinators gain XP from shutting down the opposing offense and forcing turnovers. User-controlled coordinators will also be able to recruit, and can utilize their head coach’s recruiting bonuses for their benefit, and reap the XP benefit for signing prospects.
Coordinators can transfer all their skill points when they make the jump to head coach. So if you upgrade all nine of a coordinator’s skills to their max level, you’d start off your head coaching career with 27 skill points to allocate on the various Game Management and Recruiting skills. Not a bad reward for paying your dues.
What happens if you go through a season and realize you’re not happy with your skill point allocation? You can reallocate your points and focus on other areas once the offseason hits. Make sure you’re comfortable with the adjustments though, because you won’t be able to make sweeping changes again until the year is over.
When starting up your Dynasty you’re able to determine how many points coaches are given at the start (on a scale of 1-20), as well as how quickly you level up. Start mapping your path to coaching stardom now, and decide which skills you just can’t live without. Be forewarned though, the CPU coaches in your Dynasty will also be developing their skills, and they’ll change their tactics every time you start up a new Dynasty. Being a coach has never been so rewarding.
Fans can keep up to date by visiting the NCAA Football website, Facebook, and Twitter for exclusive assets and unique insights into all of this year’s new features. College football enthusiasts can also get involved in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #PLAYTRUE.