With the uncertainty surrounding the NFL, Madden 12 will see a rush of new gamers.  At madden-school, we have been advising professional and novice gamers alike for over 4 years.  Every year madden changes, and madden 12 will be no different, but there are a few core principles that always set apart the elite gamers from the rest of the pack.

1. Better Team Ratings Doesn’t Equal Better Madden Team

This is a popular misconception with newer madden gamers.  While teams like the Colts, Packers, Patriots, and Falcons are great teams in real life NFL, they aren’t necessarily the best madden teams.  A key example of this has been the popularity of the Oakland Raiders among professional madden players.  The raiders haven’t been any good since 2002, yet for the past 4 years they have been the team of choice for the madden gamers making the real money.

2. Money Plays Don’t Win Games, Schemes Win Games

As someone who has seen 20,000 new members register on our madden forums, this is something that I consider to be the most hurtful tenancy to developing successful madden players.  Everyone is looking for the 1 “money play” that they can go to when they really need a first down.  Money plays are great to have and every madden player worth his salt has some.  What differentiates the pros from the joes is the use of those plays.  Beginning and average madden gamers sometimes call the same money play 10-20 times a game.  These plays may work consistently versus average competition, but once you play a veteran madden player, you won’t be able to run the same money play over and over again so it is important to develop a scheme.

3. Clock Management

One of the most overlooked Madden tips, that is useful for any madden game whether it is madden 98 or Madden 12, is clock management.  If you score at the end of both halves, you will win 90% of the games you play.  By scoring at the end of halves, you give yourself 2 extra possessions that your opponent doesn’t get.  While it is good to score as fast as you can, it is better to be able to score at the exact second that you want to.

4. Madden Guides

Madden guides are a growing phenomenon and can be found all over the web.  There are 2 problems that you will run into when purchasing a madden guide (also known as madden ebooks). 

The first is buying a cheap, poorly made guide.  When looking to improve your game, you might buy the cheapest product from some below average madden gamer looking to make a quick buck.  Before you buy a madden 12 guide, make sure it has a few qualities.  Make sure it comes with high quality videos, the website that is selling it has been around for at least 3 years, and there are active users on the website that is selling the guide.

The second big problem is buying a madden guide and then going right into a game with it.  While buying a madden guide will dramatically improve your madden ability, it is not an instant winning formula.  Go into practice mode and spend 30 minutes to an hour going over every play and incorporate the schemes into your offense.