Continuing on in our series of the best archetypes to upgrade in Madden’s franchise mode, today we are covering halfbacks.
We spent thousands of skill points on all of the different archetypes for each position and documented the results of our experiment. This effort took weeks of data collection and man hours and we hope that you find the actionable takeaways that we recommend worth it.
There are 3 archetypes you can use your skill points on to upgrade halfbacks in Madden.
- Elusive Back
- Power Back
- Receiving Back
We spent 100 skill points on each of these archetypes and we’ll go through what we found in much more detail a little later on in the article. First, let’s start with what Madden claims each archetype’s top skill increases are:
Madden Claims: ELU, SPN, JUK (ELU rating hasn’t been in Madden for a couple of years)
Reality: JUK, COD, SPN
Madden Claims: SFA, TRK, BTK
Reality: BTK, AWR, TRK
Madden Claims: CTH, RLS, SRR
Reality: SRR, CTH, CIT
Our Recommendation For Upgrading Halfbacks
Upgrading halfbacks isn’t as clear cut as quarterbacks or many of the other positions where there is a clear winner.
Note: Our recommendations do not take into account superstar abilities that unlock at specific overall ratings. We are only looking at which upgrades produce the best individual attribute increases.
If there is a specific superstar ability you are working towards getting, it can make sense to upgrade that archetype even though the individual attribute increases might be low.
The Halfback attribute that is most important to Madden players is usually speed.
The archetype that gives you the best chance of upgrading speed is Elusive Back.
That among many other reasons is why our recommendation for best HB Archetype is Elusive Back.
Why Elusive Is The Best Archetype For HBs
There are 2 main reasons that Elusive Back is our recommended archetype for running backs.
- The highest expected value for total individual attribute increases
- The highest expected value for important attributes like Speed.
Highest Expected Value For Total Attribute Increases
We did 100 tests for each HB archetype and marked down every individual rating increase they got then added all of it together for the total number of individual ratings increases.
What we found for these 100 tests is that the expected value of ratings increases for Elusive Back was the highest of all archetypes.
- Elusive Back: 441 rating increases on 100 attempts. Expected Value = 4.41
- Receiving Back: 418 rating increases on 100 attempts. Expected Value = 4.18
- Power Back: 388 rating increases on 100 attempts. Expected Value = 3.88
Highest Expected Value For Important Attribute Increases
Remember though, total rating increases aren’t the entire story. What most gamers want is rating increases that are noticeable and effective on the field.
By far, the most important individual rating for running backs is Speed.
Below you can find the expected value increase for Speed for each HB Archetype:
- Elusive Back: 7 increases out of 100 attempts. Expected Value = .07
- Receiving Back: 6 increases out of 100 attempts. Expected Value = .06
- Power Back: 2 increases out of 100 attempts. Expected Value = .02
Receiving back was a very close 2nd place but elusive back slightly beat it out.
Turning to another important attribute like Acceleration, here is what we found:
- Elusive Back: 14 increases out of 100 attempts
- Receiving Back: 9 increases out of 100 attempts
- Power Back: 0 increases out of 100 attempts
Against the Elusive back archetype wins.
Going beyond the information presented above, it really just comes down to what ratings you want to increase.
It is mostly as you’d expect. Elusive Back upgrades mostly attributes like Juke, Spin, and Change Of Direction.
Power Back upgrades mostly Break Tackle, Truck, Stiff Arm, and a ton of Awareness. Note: The Power Back Archetype resulted in 14 strength rating increases out of 100 attempts while Elusive and Receiving provided 0.
Receiving Back gives you almost exclusively receiving upgrades like Short Route Running, Catch, and Catch In Traffic.
Final Rankings, Raw Data, and Conclusion
Which halfback archetype to upgrade isn’t as straightforward as other positions. That being said, our recommendations are:
- Elusive Back
- Receiving Back
- Power Back
You can move Power Back up 1 spot if you plan to mostly use a power run game that doesn’t include your running back in the passing game.
Madden School Unlimited members have full access to all of the raw data that went into this experiment so you can dig into the details further.