This year, EA Tiburon restructured Madden's franchise mode (now called Connected Careers). We're here to help you build a championship team.

You can use this handy guide to help you with everything from scheduling practices to drafting like a pro. We'll also tip you off on how to navigate the needlessly confusing Connected Careers mode.


Connected Careers' main hub features a news story carousel and tweets from media members. Pay attention to these, because they'll give you the heads' up on potential problems with possible draft picks, as well as what's going on around the league in general.


When you first enter the mode, whether you choose to play as a player or a coach, you must choose your backstory. This isn't just a superficial aspect to your character, but a way to shape your player or coach. For instance, choosing to be a possession receiver means your attributes will be different than say, a speed WR. Similarly, the XP it costs for a possession receiver to pick up certain XP packages is different than other types of players. You also get to pick whether you're a high round talent, low round gem, or undrafted player coming out of college. Although where you are drafted can change your player's attribute scores, the high draft pick is not necessarily better in all phases of the game.

Backstory matters the most when determining your coaching personality. You choose from three different kinds of coaches: motivators, strategists, and team builders. In general, it costs motivators less XP to buy retirement and free agent upgrade packages, while strategists pay less for XP upgrades for their players. Team builders get an XP break on contract packages.

Click on the link below for a list of upgrades and XP costs for each coaching backstory.



Team Builder

To get the most out of your team, you're going to want to spend your XP wisely. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you're a player, it's better to spend your XP on a few different attributes you need help with than a single, large chunk on something you're already good at. Why spend thousands of XP pushing your speed from 96 to 97, when you can really upgrade a cheaper, lower-rated category or two by several points?
  • Avoid spending points on traits like Force Pass or Tuck and Run for quarterbacks, since if you're playing the games yourself these attributes won't be applicable.
  • If you're a coach, save up your XP for the Scouting upgrade, which gives you double the points each week for scouting players. It's invaluable, and scouting is otherwise severely hampered without it. If you reach one of your season goals as a coach, you should have enough points at the end of your first season to buy it. The next big upgrade on your list should be the QB XP Boost Package, which increases the amount of XP your QB gets. 
  • Think long and hard about buying retirement upgrades for a position. Many positions – even important ones like running back – can be re-stocked in free agency or via the draft. Unless you want to try and keep a player from retiring who has sentimental value to you or is a once-and-a-lifetime player (like a left tackle or quarterback), you're better spending your XP elsewhere. It's worth noting that you have to buy the retirement upgrade before the player you're trying to convince to stay actually retires.
  • As a coach, avoid spending a lot of XP on defensive ends (such as buying the swim move upgrade), since they are still underpowered in the game.
  • It costs too much XP to buy upgrade packages for your tight ends. In some cases, it can cost as much XP to buy upgrades for a TE as a linebacker. To me, the position just isn't that valuable.


Practicing regularly earns your player or coach XP that that you can spend on upgrades. By its very nature practicing is tedious, but it's valuable and there are ways to get the most out of the experience.

While you can choose from a range of practices that vary in time and XP offered for success, I like to maximize my time with practices that offer the most points for the least amount of time. For instance, the Halftime practice gives you 600 points for two quarters of work. Likewise, 3rd Quarter Rally is 700 points. Even if you don't complete the practice's objective completely, in some cases you may still end up with some consolation points so don't back out of the practice if you are losing.

Read on for more tips for Connected Careers, including a way to get a sneak peak of some players' overall attribute ratings.