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Madden 18 gameplay styles

Breaking Down Madden 18’s Arcade, Simulation, And Competitive Game Styles

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New to this year’s Madden 18 is the option to set your gameplay experience to one of three gameplay styles. Not to be confused with the difficulty level, Madden 18 offers three unique gameplay styles: Arcade, Simulation, and Competitive. The pros at Madden School have played all three styles so far, and we want to share our experiences with our loyal members. So to help you choose the style that is best suited to your game, we’re breaking down Madden 18’s Arcade, Simulation, and Competitive gameplay styles.

Each game style offers you the chance to play and experience a different style of football in Madden 18.


For those of you who might remember playing the old NFL Blitz game franchise, Madden 18’s Arcade play style will feel somewhat familiar. Arcade mode is filled with big hits, fast action, and plenty of huge game changing plays. In Arcade style, you’re almost guaranteed to cause a fumble if you can land a hit stick on your opponent.

You can play Arcade style against the CPU, friends, and it is the gameplay style for certain MUT Challenges. Arcade is definitely fun if you’re looking to play a quick action filled game, or if you’re just starting out with the Madden franchise series and need some practice.


If you’re looking for an authentic NFL gaming experience, then Simulation style is perfect for you. Simulation style takes into account the overall ratings for both teams with the higher rated team receiving a slight edge during the course of a game. Simulation style in Madden 18 is very well done, and this gameplay style promises to get better and better. Remember, as EA releases updates and patches throughout the course of the season, they fix certain bugs and improve various aspects of the Madden gaming experience. .


This is the default game style for all online Head to Head games in Madden 18. The Competitive gameplay style is all about your skills on the sticks. Of course, various ratings and measurements play big roles in your overall success when playing Competitive. One of the most important things to keep in mind when playing the Competitive style, keep moving your sticks and trying to gain yards. Many times, you can engage a defender in a tackle battle giving you the opportunity to bust out of a tackle and break a long run. Keep playing through the whistle as they say.

Hope this clarifies the differences between the three different gameplay styles in Madden 18. Honestly, all three are fun to play and have something to offer Madden players of all levels. Arcade is great for action packed gameplay, and also helps to get new players accustomed to the Madden series. Simulation provides those of you who want an authentic NFL game experience. And Competitive style allows you to test your raw Madden skills against other great Madden 18 players.  

Which one of the three game styles do you prefer? Are you satisfied with the accuracy of Simulation, or the action filled Arcade style gameplay? Maybe you’re confident in your raw stick skills, and you’re just sticking to Competitive style. Be sure to leave your comments in the section below.


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6 years ago

why can’t you change to Simulation mode in unranked online games? My friends and I would like to play the most real game play possible. not arcade/competitive mode. this need to be fixed

Dave Davis
Dave Davis
5 years ago

i saw the option to choose between the three settings when I first turned the game on. Is there a way to go back and change the mode I selected?

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