The Madden dev team has been talking a lot about being able to Run Free in Madden NFL 25, and how the Force Impact system and precision modifier give you the ability to do things you’ve never done before. Many people have been asking for specific examples of what these moves are, and how to execute them. Here’s the skinny on how to go around, over and through any defender who is foolish enough to get between you and the endzone.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Let’s start out simple with some of the moves that all ball carriers can execute. All players have access to the basic skills, though players with higher ratings in certain areas will be able to pull off flashier versions. Let’s go through the moves for those who are new to the game or want to keep things simple.
When you watch video of NFL running backs, you’ll see that very few of them are at full speed when they get the ball. Smart runners like Frank Gore, Ray Rice and MJD are going about 80 percent when they take the handoff, and then burst through the hole when it appears. The same mindset has been into Madden NFL, having players build up to their max speed naturally, but also providing the option to hold down RT/R2 to quickly reach top speed. This is good for outside plays when you need to beat a defender to the edge, or on cutback runs where you want to dart through an opening on the backside.
Deceleration and Stutter Steps
The opposite of hurrying to your top speed is slamming on the brakes to make a defender fly past. This is achieved by holding LT/L2, which slows your player down and allows you to access precision moves. Sometimes, the simple act of slowing down is enough to shake a defender who is running full speed and taking a bad angle. If you really want to cross them up with a quick stutter step, that move requires nothing more than a tap of the precision modifier.
Jukes, Back Jukes and Jump Cuts
One of the first things any good running back learns is how to lead a defender one way and cut back the opposite direction with a juke. Slightly more advanced (but just as useful) is the back juke, which will counter a defender who’s coming in from the side and diving at your feet. Jukes can be executed with a simple flick of the right stick left or right (or down for a back juke), and are most effective against bigger, slower players who aren’t as good at changing direction. Ball carriers can also make jump cuts which, when paired with the acceleration burst, make misdirection plays lots of fun. Get the defense going one way, jump cut and burst through on the backside and you’re off to the races. We’ll dive more into precision jukes and some combo moves in a bit.
A favorite of long-time Madden NFL players, the spin move is perfect in the open field. Tapping the B/O button triggers a basic spin, and doing the same while holding down the precision modifier allows your runner to cover up and protect the ball from enterprising defenders.
Sometimes you’re just inches from the first down marker, but a defender is bearing down to stop you short of the line. In those circumstances, the best option is to dive for extra yards. Tapping X/Squarewill execute a basic dive, but adding the precision modifier triggers a precision dive where you’ll reach the ball out and stretch for every inch. Furthermore, if you attempt a precision dive at the goal line, while behind a blocker you’ll execute a precision high dive over the back of your teammate and into the end zone.
The effectiveness of dive tackles has improved in Madden NFL 25, so you’ll definitely want to re-familiarize yourself with hurdling. Tapping Y/Triangle will pick up your feet and escape the shoelace grabs, and there’s also a “hop over” hurdle available for use with the precision modifier.
A new mechanic that's been introduced this year is the stumble recovery, which provides a small window during the stumble animation where you can pull down on the right stick and regain your balance. If you miss the window or are afraid of getting crushed by a defender, you can also flick the right stick forward to dive for extra yardage. Just like real NFL backs, you have to know when to try and regain balance, or simply get as many yards without putting yourself at risk.
FEEL THE POWER
Even though all ball carriers can pull off nearly all the precision modifier moves, there are certain things that are best left to the bigger, stronger backs. Here’s a look at the moves you’ll want to bust out when you’re controlling a powerhouse like Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch.
Any player can pull off a stiff-arm, but the bruising backs are the best at using it to take a defender out. Tapping A/X executes a “physics punch” stiff-arm that quickly pops a defender and knocks them off-balance. Holding the stiff-arm button lets you “wall-off” the defense, which keeps them from getting close enough to lay a hand on you. Players with a strength rating over 90 can pull off a particularly devastating stiff-arm variant, complete with a hard shove capable of laying out defenders. Think Marshawn Lynch’s vicious Beast Mode run in the 2011 playoff game against the Saints and you’ll get the general idea.
Trucks and Truck Spins
Another arrow in the power back’s quiver is the physics truck, which is made more formidable than with the introduction of the Force Impact system. When you press the right stick forward before impact, your back will lower his shoulder and attempt to go through a defender. Try it out with a back like Michael Turner and laugh as smaller defenders try and stop a human steamroller. Adding the precision modifier creates a more powerful truck move, and exceptionally strong players can get extremely low to the ground in order to generate maximum force.
Those looking to add some finesse can use the truck spin combo, which is executed by holding the precision modifier, pushing the right stick forward, and then rotating it 90 degrees left or right. Consider this move on outside runs like stretch plays to initiate contact with a defensive back then spin off another defender when he comes in to help.
THE SPEED FACTOR
It’s not only the strong who survive in the NFL. Speedy, shifty backs like Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy can use their elusiveness to get out of trouble. Quickness has always been an asset in the Madden NFL franchise, and it’s on full display this year.
Left-Right Juke Combos and Precision Jukes
What do you do if defenders are closing in from both sides? Well, one option is to execute the left-right (or right-left) juke combo to leave both guys in the dust. Simply hold the precision modifier and flick the right stick left, then right (or vice-versa) and watch your player shake and shimmy his way through the defense. Players with substantial agility like Sproles can even execute precision jukes that allow them to make a cut on a dime.
Spin Jukes, Juke Spins and Jab Step Spins
If you push the right stick left and then roll it 90 degrees forward (while holding the precision modifier), you can spin away from one defender and juke another. This sneaky move will let you shed the tackle of one defender while seamlessly slipping away from a second that has you lined up for a big hit.
Related to this move is the juke-spin combo. This combo is executed by holding the precision modifier, pushing the right stick to the right then rolling it 90 degrees down. Pulling this move off makes your player cut quickly to the right, then spin back to the left. It’s a great move for when a defender is trying to cut off your route to the sideline and you want to cut back toward the middle of the field. Those agile enough can show their stuff with a jab step spin that will really put defenders out of position. It’s downright nasty.
Precision Back Jukes and Back Juke-Spin Combos
Back jukes have been touched on earlier but there’s more that can be done with the precision modifier. Holding the modifier and tapping down on the right stick creates a bigger hop with a higher fake out chance, and high-agility guys can make an even bigger jump that will make defenders miss more often.
Complementing this is the back juke-spin combo that starts with a hop, ends with a spin and leaves defenders scratching their heads. Hold the precision modifier and pull the right stick back, then roll it left or right for the spin. This is a fun move to try in space with an aggressive defender, and it never gets old watching those guys dive at nothing but air.
So there’s your guide on how to Run Free in Madden NFL 25. Hopefully now you’ll have the tools to excel on the field regardless of whether you like to make people miss or seek out contact. Start training your thumbs and enjoy the freedom to call up the perfect move for almost any situation.
Of course, after giving the ball carrier so many weapons we had to come up with ways to balance it out on defense. Infinity Engine 2 features the all-new Force Impact system and offers ways for the defense can counter the new running game. Stay tuned for the Infinity Engine 2 Producer Video.
Madden NFL 25 will be available on Tuesday, August 27, for Xbox 360 and PS3, and fans can learn more at the Madden website. Pre-order today to receive exclusive Franchise Packs for your Connected Franchise and Madden Ultimate Team!
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