Madden 23 “FieldSENSE” – Another Madden Gimmick or a Revolution?

What is FieldSENSE in Madden 23?

The short answer is – a more in depth way to control the feel of Madden and bring it closer to the real thing. Here is what the official Madden site says: “FieldSENSE is the foundation for consistent, ultra-realistic gameplay that gives you more control at every position and affects every game mode in Madden NFL 23.

Fueled by new physics-informed animation and animation-branching technology, FieldSENSE makes gameplay more authentic, bringing more variety and realistic physics driven outcomes.

FieldSENSE comes to life in Madden NFL 23 in four major ways, through new control mechanics that we’re calling: Hit Everything, Skill-Based Passing, 360° Cuts, and WR vs DB Battles. We’re starting on the defensive side of the ball with Hit Everything.”

While we are still waiting on getting a Madden 23 beta code to try these new gameplay features out first-hand, you can learn more details about the Madden 23 beta here.

What Versions Include FieldSENSE?

Like Madden 22, the new gameplay feature will only be playable on the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions. Sorry, not available on last generation systems.

How Does FieldSENSE Change the Gameplay?

There are various ways FieldSENSE changes gameplay, so let’s get into it. First up is what EA is calling HIT EVERYTHING.


Many have complained that the tackling and hitting animation has seemed canned and “pre-determined”, so this is Maddens attempt to make it more realistic. Hopefully what this means is no more will my guy unrealistically jump away from the ball carrier like he is on a slip and slide.

EA has also added “over 3,500 new animations”. Will it be simply a band-aid solution to make it feel fresh for a little bit, or will it bring realistic tackling for every situation?

Components of HIT EVERYTHING:

Hit The Pile

What is it? To me, this sounds similar to some of the claims that Madden has implemented in previous versions. Some key ideas — gang tackling seems more organic, and can be affected by more bodies hitting the pile, more momentum when hitting the pile, and possibly even the size and strength of players hitting the pile.

What this means essentially, is that on short-yardage situations, if a player with the ball is trying to get that first down or TD, if he has some bodies behind him pushing him forward, he will have a higher success rate.

Or maybe if a defensive player is trying to make a stop when two or more players are hitting a player with the ball, they realistically should drive that player backwards. If this is implemented well, it could bring a lot more realism to Madden.

Stand-Up Tackles

This is one of my new favorite additions for what it could mean. The idea (like in real life) is that if a player with the ball is held up by a defensive player, another defensive player could try to strip the ball or cause a fumble (by using Hit stick) on the ball carrier.

The player with the ball has the ability to protect the ball better from strips with the ‘protect-ball’ button (if you don’t know how to do this, click here for the Madden controls layout), reducing the chance to break the tackle or even can give themselves up, eliminating any chance of a fumble.

Based on past Madden games, this will probably go through many balances and tweaks before they get it right. My suggestion is to adjust the protect ball tendency of the runner (click here to learn how to make in game coach adjustments) at first until they get it just right.

This adds a whole new strategy. Instead of pushing for those extra yards and getting greedy, if players are often being stood up and gang tackled into getting a fumble, maybe more players become happy with just taking the few yards, rather than going for the home run on every down.

Madden says on their website that the outcome will be determined largely based off size of players and ratings.

Haven’t we heard this before though? Honestly I’m a little hesitant to believe the claims. This sounds similar to what Madden has promised in the past. We have heard before that tackling is more realistic than ever before, that momentum, or size matters. One thing I was very excited by in the past, was that if I was running with a big back (say Derrick Henry) versus a smaller defender (say a DB), player size would make a big difference. Yet here we are again, only time will tell.

If they manage to get this just right, this would be a great addition for more realistic gameplay.

Hitting Blocks

This sounds like you will have more control with the blocks. So on defense, you can blow up these blocks more often with momentum. On offense, it seems like we may be able to dictate the direction of the blocks in front of the player better, to get those big lanes/break it to the house runs.

Mid-Air Knockouts

The Madden team has been focused on bringing a more realistic approach to the interactions at the catch point for a while now.

This year they are attempting to move even further along in realism. It sounds like Madden 23 air attacks will be more focused on strategy for the defender. As far back as I can remember, when defending the catch, there have been the options of swatting the ball, playing the receiver (secure the tackle), or going for interceptions. I almost exclusively go for the ball to get the interception. Even if my player was not in the best position, Madden has been unrealistic enough that there is very low risk and very high reward for always going for the INT.

This year, it sounds like it may be the first Madden that makes me think twice. If it means going for the interception runs a high risk that after the receiver catches the ball he will have a higher chance of breaking the tackle and getting a huge gain in yards after the catch, I may need to play more strategically based on the situation.

If opting to swat the ball, the defender will play the ball better and even attempt to knock the ball out of the receiver’s hands, which also comes with a lower chance of breaking the tackle. If going for the tackle (best in situations where the receiver is short of the first down marker), this will give a very low chance of the receiver getting additional yards after the catch, however the trade off is the defender won’t play the ball at all making it a pretty easy catch for the receiver.

Add-On Blocks

This is for the offensive side of the ball and primarily this focuses on Running Backs and Tight Ends, although this will affect any blocker.

What this will help with is in those moments in Madden where a RB or TE is trying to get through the traffic.

If they are doing a chip block, adding onto a blocking pile (maybe pushing the pile to get those extra yards), a delay block or whatever. This will allow you not to get sucked into the pile of bodies. Rather you could push the pile a bit, chip block, and still break off easily from the pile.

This could go a long way with those weird animations of throwing a screen pass and the running back gets stuck in the blockers and defenders and can’t get out to his spot.

Branching and Physics Tech

The Madden website says that “Any collision on the field will now lean on our FieldSENSE system to determine if they should branch to a stumble or fall, both during the play and after the play is over.”

To me, this sounds like a more organic style of gameplay that mimics more closely to the real thing.

If you miss a tackle, you can trip up your own teammate (which we see at times in Madden 22), the angles of the tackle plays a big effect on whether the defender makes the tackle or stumbles or falls.

Also you can even hit a teammate making the tackle and knock him off the ball carrier and blow the tackle.

What I picture is, how in the NFL at times when you see two defenders going for a hit on the ball carrier and colliding with the other defender instead. We could see more of this. If so, that would add a good amount of realism.

That’s it for the HIT EVERYTHING mechanic of FieldSENSE.


Next is the new SKILL-BASED PASSING:

Maddens latest attempt of mimicking the real life of the NFL passing game, to make it closer to the great QB’s like Rodgers, Brady, Allen, Mahomes, Herbert, Willson and more (no particular order) is to add a new pass leading mechanic that is a meter to “dictate your power and trajectory” on passes.

To me this looks and sounds similar to the kicking meter in the game already, or maybe it is influenced heavily by NBA 2K and its shot meter.

The closer the shot is to the sweet zone (green), the more likely it is to go in. One thing though with NBA 2K is that it’s influenced by the players individual shot accuracy and range. Will this have the same bearing on Madden 23?

Will Trey Lance (unproven QB) be able to lead the pass and put it into as tight a window as (back to back MVP) Aaron Rodgers? Everyone wants to throw super accuracy passes, but will a 99 passer rated QB be noticeably better than a QB with a 75 passer rating?

How Skill-Based Passing Works:

The Basics

Madden is trying to make SKILL-BASED PASSING as intuitive as possible. It gives you control and visual feedback as you use it.

The idea is to press any receiver button (similar to icon passing in NBA 2K), use the left stick for leading the receiver.

Target Area and Target Reticle

This is where the visual feedback. Comes into play. When you press the receiver button, a target area appears on that receiver. This is where you gain the information about where you can lead the receiver and that receiver’s area where he can attempt to catch the ball. The size of this target will vary in size based on the “route of the receiver and depth of the pass”.

It sounds like there is some kind of auto-aim mechanic in play in the default settings to where it will automatically “snap to the edge of the target area”.

Free-Form Passing

This is the more advanced passing which gives the player more control.

Rather than keep you locked into a kind of set path for your passes based off the route of the receiver, you have freedom to let the ball rip to wherever you like.

I could see this mechanic being overly used by players who like to run around with the QB and wait until the defense crashes into contain the QB while he throws open a receiver across his body.

-Side note, to me this sounds like a mechanic that Madden introduced years ago that they dropped after only a couple Madden games because it didn’t work very well.-

Madden had to adjust some of the controls to get this new SKILL-BASED PASSING to work.
Since this is now done with the left stick (rather than leading a receiver with the right stick like before), and they had to eliminate the low pass mechanic button (since now the L2/LT is being used by the SKILL-BASED PASSING). You can still make low pass throws while using SKILL-BASED PASSING, however it’s a lot more involved than pressing down one button.

Passing Meters, the new mechanic has two meters. One is the POWER meter (activated in settings, select “Placement “) the other is the ACCURACY meter (activated in settings, select “Placement and Accuracy”).

If you want to keep things a little more simple, the power meter will be familiar to anyone who has been playing Madden for years. This will let you control the power like before (lob, touch or bullet pass), but with added visual feedback.

To throw a lob pass, release the button early in the meter.

Hold it down half way in the meter and throw a touch pass. Fill the meter completely by filling up the meter and you will throw a bullet pass.

If you want to get a bit more advanced with the Power and Accuracy at the same time, the power stays the same (lob, touch and bullet), but now you can influence the accuracy some more.

This second addition to the meter is very similar to NBA 2K sports shot meter.
As you hold the button down for the power of the throw, there are blue sections. If you release the pass inside the blue section this equals perfect accuracy. If you release it outside of the blue your accuracy goes down.

Another addition to this mechanic, if you throw under pressure or against your body, accuracy (blue sections in the meter) gets smaller, making it more difficult to stay accurate.

Skill-Based Passing Settings

A new setting in game options where you can choose your preferred passing method.

Passing slow down is for offline only. This is a kind of bullet time mechanic that slows down time to allow you to hit those accurate passes easier. Think the difference in the kicking meter in Madden, between rookie and all- Madden difficulties.

Passing free-form max distance and speed.

These two settings allow you to set precisely how far out of the throwing target area you can throw and the speed at how fast the reticle moves. EA Madden recommends getting into practice to dial it in.

Reticle visibility and meter visibility, allows you to turn on and off the visual feedback for these mechanics.

360° CUTS

If you are into more control in the running game this is something to get excited about.
While holding down the L2/LT button as the ball carrier, this allows for more precise cuts.
EA Madden describes it as “You’ll be able to easily cut a run back, cut off a blocker’s back to hit the lane, or make a cut into a tight gap. Whether you’re a running back, a quarterback on the run, receiver after a catch, or if you’re returning a kickoff or interception, 360° Cuts offer total control.”

I don’t know how many times I’ve picked off a pass trying to change direction only to have the player run strait into the direction he was heading and right into an opponent.

Hopefully this will fix this frustration and make for some sweet highlight reels of Barry Sanders like cuts. (If you have some you would featured on our website send us some clips here and we will feature the best ones here weekly).


The idea here is to give the player more control over the receiver at the line mostly and ways to counter presses. Even EA states that these were created with Face of the Franchise: The League and Squads in Superstar KO and Madden Ultimate Team in mind.

The elements of this new mechanic are:

WR Release Moves

By holding down the L2/LT and flicking the right stick in five different directions you have more control of your receiver’s foot movement off the line.

It reminds me of the cross mechanic in NBA 2K. These are chainable, so if you execute a number of these moves well against the defender you may break their ankles and leave your receiver wide open. Success is factored into the ratings of the receiver and the defender.

WR Cut Moves and Fakes

“These are in route moves against the defender. You do these by using both triggers on the controls L2/LT and R2/RT while running routes, flicking the right stick left, right or down plays a fake cut or stutter step in those directions.”

DB Press and WR Counter

This is a ratings based timing meter where the defender can press, jam and steer a receiver like before, but now instead of a more mechanical outcome Madden 23 is making it more dynamic and natural.

If a high rating DB is going up against a lower rated receiver that DB is going to be more effective.

You can also adapt to where the receiver is moving and more closely mirror his movements to hold up his route more effectively.

Defensive Evade

One of my other favorite additions to Madden 23. This seems like a very small addition but for me personally this is big.

By flicking the right stick left or right, this allows the defender to evade oncoming blockers instead of needing to dive on the ground or risk being swallowed up by a blocker.


That is the new FieldSENSE Madden 23 mechanic in detail.

What do you think? Is this going to be a game changer? What elements do you see becoming the biggest factors? What is your favorite changes to Madden 23 so far?

Stay up to date with all the latest tips, info and news of Madden 23 right here at Ultimate Madden.