EA made it official and confirmed that Madden 18 will feature an online multiplayer game mode. Madden’s new game mode, MUT Squads, is an extension of Madden Ultimate Team. The game mode lobby is found under MUT and features 3v3 games. MUT Squads will allow users to play with their friends, or you can join solo and the lobby will match you with teammates.
Once you’re paired with teammates and an opponent, you get to assign roles. Instead of “locking” onto a specific player or position such as QB, RB, MLB, DE, etc.., players assign themselves roles before the start of each contest. The roles are Offensive Captain, Defensive Captain, and Head Coach.
Each role plays a different part on the team and takes on different responsibilities unique to their title. Since it’s MUT, then users will bring in their own players and coaches for their side of the ball.
The Offensive Captain will bring their offensive players, playbook, and special teams players. They are also responsible for calling the plays on offense. It stands to reason that the user in the role of Offensive Captain start each play with control of the QB.
However, users in that role can switch to a different position mid-play, or post snap. For example, the Offensive Captain might take control of the RB on a running play after the snap of the ball. That is if another user isn’t already controlling the RB position when the play begins. One of the best features of MUT Squads is that users don’t have be locked in on one specific position even after the ball is snapped and the play has begun.
Offensive Captains are also responsible for calling all of the audibles and making all of the pre-play adjustments while a team is on offense. On defense, the Offensive user can choose to play any one of the 11 positions given another user isn’t already controlling that spot. Clearly, the role of Offensive Captain is perhaps the most vital, and will certainly be the most sought after role in MUT Squads.
Like the role of Offensive Captain, the Defensive Captain bring in all of their defensive players from their MUT. They also bring their defensive playbook, and the audibles that accompany it. The role of Defensive Captain is also responsible for calling all of the defensive audibles, and then making the pre-play adjustments.
The Defensive Captains can control any of the 11 players on the defensive side of the ball given another user isn’t already controlling them. While on offense, the Defensive Captain can control any player they choose with the exception of the QB (before the start of the play).
Remember, games can be won and lost on defense, so the role of Defensive Captain is crucial to the success of the team. Making the proper pre-play adjustments while on defense can either make or break a team.
At this point you may be wondering about the Head Coach’s responsibilities in a MUT Squads contest. Well, it’s very similar to an actual Head Coaches duties in a real football game. The Head Coach is responsible for managing the clock by calling timeouts, and making decisions such as whether or not to accept penalties.
The Head Coach also brings in the uniforms, the stadium, and then decides on the ‘head coach’ for their team. You can clearly see that the user in the Head Coach’s role doesn’t have as much in-game control as the other two users. Seems like the Head Coach will serve as more of a ‘floating’ player. On defense, they can control any of the 11 players not already controlled by another teammate. And on offense, they can control any of the 11 players with the exception of the QB before the snap of the ball.
According to Jake Stein, a MUT producer and an EA developers blog writer, the Head Coach’s role is “perfect for your friends that may be newer to Madden Ultimate Team or aren’t ready for the challenge of calling plays, but still want to experience cooperative Madden.”
Now begs the question, “what if one or both or my teammates quit the game?” EA thought of that and tailored the game to where another user or teammate will simply take over the role left by a player who leaves/quits the game. That gives users a chance to complete an entire contest regardless of whether or not their teammates play the whole game.
Basically, if a user in the Defensive Captain’s role leaves a game, then either the Offensive Captain or the Head Coach will take over those responsibilities. Hopefully both of your teammates don’t decide to leave a contest, but if they do then you can still finish your game (and get your rewards).
We’ve been waiting for Madden to bring back an online multiplayer mode for several years now and they’ve finally done it. MUT Squads seems like a game mode with the potential to stick around in future titles. We’ll get our first look at the new MUT Squads game mode when EA holds its annual EA Play event. The event is being held this weekend June 10-12 in Hollywood, California.
Does MUT Squads seem like a game mode you’ll be interested in come August? What are your thoughts on the three different roles users will decide on? Would you rather see this game mode separate from MUT? As always, feel free to comment below.
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