By default, Madden comes prepackaged with playbooks designed to imitate real NFL teams.  But what if you don't like the mix of formations and plays in any of them.  Why use a playbook that only has a handful of good plays and a boatload of bad ones.  Moreover, why not collect the best plays from all the playbooks into one playbook that you can use or at the very least, build a playbook with the best plays for the way you play and make reads.  Building your own custom playbook can be a time consuming task, but there are shortcuts to creating the perfect playbook for your tastes.

In this article we introduce a video method to show players how to start with a clean playbook.  It is much easier to begin with a virtually empty playbook and build an offense by adding plays to it than to edit the default playbooks.  Lastly, the empty playbook can be used over and over to build several schemes that display each Madden player's personality.

Many Madden players settle for the team playbooks as they are and limit themselves to a handful of formations and plays.  When one playbook seems to get stale, they migrate to another playbook and start the cycle again.  They never feel like they have the playbook they want.  Fortunately, Madden has included a custom playbook feature that allows players an ability to assemble the formations and plays they like most. 

Although custom playbooks are available, there are many players that find the process of building a playbook a daunting process.  There are thousands of plays from hundreds of formations available to choose from.  Sorting through all those plays can be time consuming, not to mention an exercise in trial and error that could force players to run back to the confines of stock playbooks. 


Once your playbook is empty, adding plays is easy.  In about 30 minutes, you can build a customized playbook containing virtually all of the plays that fit your system of reads.  Whether you go shotgun and sling the rock 50+ times a game of you line up in 2 TE sets and run it down your opponent's throat, beginning with an empty playbook invites a multitude of possibilities.  You can even combine philosophies and create a game plan that accounts for multiple strategies.

As you build your playbook, plan ahead.  Your playbook can hold up to 8 formations, 41 sets, with a total of 500 plays.  Once added, your plays will be the basis for handling the multitude of situations you might face during a game.  Have you thought about what you might run on 1st and 10, 2nd and long, 3rd and 8, or 4th and 7.  Do you have plays that will help you move the ball downfield quickly when time is running out or plays that will help you run the clock to keep a lead.  In addition to situational football, you'll also need to think about adding plays to combat your opponents.  Make sure you have plays that beat man coverage, and zone coverages like cover 2, cover 3, and cover 4. 

Setting audibles for each formation is an important step before your playbook is field ready.  We recommend a conventional process for choosing audibles that you apply to each formation in your playbook.  A single train of thought will add a degree of simplicity when you use your playbook on the field. 

In the convention we use for this video run plays are set to the square button, short passes are mapped to the triangle button, deep passes are set to the L1 button, play-action passes are linked to the R1 button.  By using this system for all of the formations and sets in our playbook, we will be able to change plays quickly with less confusion causing less delay of game penalties.