One of the most important parts of team development in franchise mode is individual player progression. In this post, we are going to go on a deep dive on how progression, XP, and skill points all work in Madden 23. By the end of it, you will know what players to draft, what players to develop, and what players to trade for.
Let’s start with the basics. Progression is a function of 3 different things: Overall Rating, Age, and Development Trait. This is pretty obvious to any experienced Madden player.
The lower your age and overall, the less XP each skill point will cost. The higher your development trait, the cheaper it is to upgrade your player.
We’ve built a handy tool for anyone in a Madden 23 franchise that you can use below. It tells you how much XP it costs to upgrade any player by 1 skill point based on overall rating, age, and dev trait. At the end of the article, we’ll use the data we collected to go over some actionable takeaways that can really make a difference.
How Development Traits Impact Skill Points
We’ll start with how a player’s development trait impacts how much XP it will cost to upgrade him because it is the most straightforward and easiest to understand.
In some previous Madden games, the way it worked was a Normal dev player would cost the most to upgrade, a Star dev player would cost 25% less and a Superstar or Superstar X-Factor (SSX) player would cost 50% less. This had always been the conventional wisdom but it doesn’t apply anymore
That equation has been tweaked slightly in recent years. It is now a Normal dev player costs the most to upgrade, a Star dev player costs 20% less, a Superstar player costs 35% less, and a Superstar X-Factor (SSX) player costs 50% less.
The easiest way to explain this is to use an example:
If a normal dev player costs 10,000 XP to go up 1 skill point, then that same player would cost only 8,000 XP if he was star dev, and only 6,500 XP if he was superstar dev or 5,000 XP if he had a SSX dev trait.
You can imagine how much of an advantage it would be in player development to have a development trait like Superstar or Superstar X-Factor. Those players will develop significantly faster than Normal development players.
How Age Impacts Skill Points
It is common sense if you’ve played in a Madden franchise before that the younger a player is, the easier he is to progress.
But we spent the time collecting a ton of data and going through it all to find out exactly how it works.
There are 2 major cutoffs for age where after you get to that age, skill points become much more expensive. Those ages are 25, and 28.
The way we went about figuring this out was we kept a player’s overall and development trait consistent and edited his age by 1 at a time. The following results are for a 80 overall normal dev quarterback but the percentage change is what matters as it applies to every player in the game.
Cost to Go Up 1 Skill Point On A 80 Overall Normal Dev Player
- 20 Year Old – 8800 XP
- 21 Year Old – 9350 XP (6.25% increase)
- 22 Year Old – 9900 XP (5.88% increase)
- 23 Year Old – 10450 XP (5.55% increase)
- 24 Year Old – 11000 XP (5.26% increase)
- 25 Year Old – 12760 XP (16% increase)
- 26 Year Old – 14630 XP (14.65% increase)
- 27 Year Old – 16500 XP (12.78% increase)
- 28 Year Old – 22600 XP (37.33% increase)
- 29 Year Old – 28930 XP (27.67% increase)
- 30 Year Old – 35200 XP (21.67% increase)
- 31 Year Old – 40810 XP (15.93% increase)
- 32 Year Old – 46530 XP (14.01% increase)
- 33 Year Old – 52250 XP (12.29% increase)
- 34 Year Old – 57750 XP (10.52% increase)
- 35 Year Old – 63250 XP (9.52% increase)
There are a few takeaways from the table above.
When it comes to age, there are 2 big jumps to be aware of. The first happens when a player turns 25 years old, and the second happens when a player turns 28 years old.
It shows that you can progress a player very quickly up until age 25 then it starts to slow down. Once a player turns 28 it becomes almost impossible to meaningfully increase a player’s overall rating.
How Overall Rating Impacts Skill Points
Next up, we are going to talk about how overall rating impacts progression. Let’s start out with the basics.
The only rating that matters for this is your highest overall rating.
In Madden 23 each position has specific archetypes that you can develop your player in. For example with quarterbacks you have 4 different overall ratings: Strong Arm, Field General, Improviser, and Scrambler.
The only rating that matters here is the highest one. So if you have a QB that is an 80 overall Strong Arm, 70 overall Field General, 68 overall Improviser, and 65 overall Scrambler, it will cost you the same XP to upgrade him as a different quarterback who is an 80 overall Strong Arm, 80 overall Field General, 80 overall Improviser, and 80 overall Scrambler.
The 2nd quarterback will have significantly better individual ratings than the 1st quarterback but he will cost the exact same to upgrade. This is something to keep in mind as you decide which archetype to upgrade with your skill points.
Let’s dive into the actual numbers.
There is a floor at 50 overall. That is the absolute cheapest you can get skill points and any overall below that will not result in any cheaper skill points.
The absolute cheapest skill point in the game is when you are 50 overall or below, 20 years old, and has a superstar x-factor development trait. If you meet all of those criteria, it will only cost you 1144 XP to get a skill point. You cannot get any cheaper than that.
The absolute most expensive skill point in the game is when you are a 99 overall, 40 or more years old, and are a normal player. That will cost you 155,100 XP per skill point.
Below we will run you through a table of how much XP it costs to a 20 year old normal dev player at each different overall rating.
Note: The percentage increase in XP that we call out applies to any age player.
Cost To Go Up 1 Skill Point On A Normal Dev 20 Year Old
- 48 Overall – 2288 XP
- 49 Overall – 2288 XP
- 50 Overall – 2288 XP
- 51 Overall – 2358 XP
- 52 Overall – 2428 XP
- 53 Overall – 2499 XP
- 54 Overall – 2569 XP
- 55 Overall – 2640 XP
- 56 Overall – 2640 XP
- 57 Overall – 2675 XP
- 58 Overall – 2675 XP
- 59 Overall – 2710 XP
- 60 Overall – 2745 XP
- 61 Overall – 2851 XP
- 62 Overall – 2956 XP
- 63 Overall – 3062 XP
- 64 Overall – 3168 XP
- 65 Overall – 3273 XP
- 66 Overall – 3555 XP
- 67 Overall – 3836 XP
- 68 Overall – 4153 XP
- 69 Overall – 4434 XP
- 70 Overall – 4752 XP
- 71 Overall – 5209 XP
- 72 Overall – 5702 XP
- 73 Overall – 6160 XP
- 74 Overall – 6652 XP
- 75 Overall – 7145 XP
- 76 Overall – 7562 XP
- 77 Overall – 7779 XP
- 78 Overall – 8131 XP
- 79 Overall – 8448 XP
- 80 Overall – 8800 XP
- 81 Overall – 8976 XP
- 82 Overall – 9187 XP
- 83 Overall – 9363 XP
- 84 Overall – 9574 XP
- 85 Overall – 9785 XP
- 86 Overall – 9996 XP
- 87 Overall – 10243 XP
- 88 Overall – 10489 XP
- 89 Overall – 10736 XP
- 90 Overall – 10982 XP
- 91 Overall – 11721 XP
- 92 Overall – 12460 XP
- 93 Overall – 13200 XP
- 94 Overall – 13939 XP
- 95 Overall – 14713 XP
- 96 Overall – 15171 XP
- 97 Overall – 15628 XP
- 98 Overall – 16086 XP
- 99 Overall – 16544 XP
Let’s talk a little about what these numbers mean.
The first big jump we see is once a player gets to 65 overall. Up until then each incremental skill point is relatively cheap. Each skill point costs somewhere between 0-4% more (sometimes less) than the one before it.
From 66 overall to 76 overall, each incremental skill point costs somewhere between 6-10% more than the one before it.
Once you get to 77-90 overall though, each incremental skill point only costs between 3-4% more than the one before it.
At 91-95 overall, each incremental skill point costs somewhere between 5-7% more than the one before it.
At 96-99 overall, each incremental skill point costs somewhere between 2-3% more than the one before it.
Honestly, none of this makes a whole lot of sense as to why it was done this way but this is indeed how it works.
The information above might all seem like a bunch of numbers that don’t mean anything but there are plenty of actionable takeaways.
Actionable Takeaways & Information
The first takeaway is pretty obvious but development traits play a huge role in progression. If you have a player that you want to become good, you need to do everything in your power to make him at least Superstar or ideally Superstar X-Factor.
The 2nd takeaway we found is to get rid of your 24 year olds and/or your 27 year olds. They are about to hit a massive wall and will not progress very fast once they become a year older. Trade them before they hit that wall.
The 3rd takeaway is just how much more valuable 20 and 21 year old rookies are than 23 and 24 year old rookies. 24 year old rookies are un-draftable no matter how much value you think they have. They only have 1 year of getting any sort of reasonable progression.
Another useful piece of information that can help you in your leagues is when a rookie comes in with a hidden development trait, he will be treated for progression purposes as a Superstar dev (even if he is Star or SSX dev) until your trait is unlocked.
On a related note, years in the league do not matter. A 23 year old in his 3rd year will cost the same to upgrade as a 23 year old rookie (all else being equal). There is no benefit whatsoever to being a rookie outside of some of the award XP you are eligible for.
There is also no change in any of this based on position, spot on the depth chart, scheme fit, or anything else that we didn’t mention above.
Amazing content. Thank you so much
Glad to help! Thanks for stopping by
Are end of the year dev upgrades available for cornerbacks this year that lead the league or has a high # of interceptions?
This is upon further review, but it seems to me like the XP needed for a player to upgrade is always at Superstar levels when a player his hidden. I’m not even sure if the intent of this article was to help you discover a hidden dev trait for a rookie or not, but google brought me here when that’s what I was searching for lol
Great work nonetheless, would love feedback on this
Yes, as far as I know you are correct. When a rookie has a hidden dev trait, he will be treated as a “Superstar” for XP purposes regardless of whether he is a Star, Superstar, or SSX.
If a rookie is just a “Normal” dev trait, can you eventually get him to superstar or X-factor by using him a lot and doing well with him?
Yes you can trigger in-season development games and/or end of the year development upgrades if you put up good stats with a younger player.
Great, thanks so much for all the info!
Do skill points carry over from year to year if unused? Or do you lose some or all of them?
They do carry over until you use them