Traits in Madden 16. What they mean and how to see them for MUT

Today we talk through every trait in the game, how you can see them on players on muthead and what they mean for your scheme.

To see them on players watch the first little bit of the video, I give a tutorial on how to get to the advanced filters on

Traits have been a thing in Madden for a long time but they’ve kind of been in the background for a while until it was confirmed on the mutcast earlier this week that they affect gameplay in MUT and the community has been in a bit of a buzz about them. But here are the best explanations the community has for them at the moment:

Clutch: It’ll give players boosts to stats during the end of half or the game. Not sure if it happens on 3rd and 4th downs. Could be why everyone seems to covert those on me. Or I just suck. Probably a little of both.

High motor: offense – they keep looking for more blocks after their first one. Defense if he gets knocked down he’ll get back up to pursue the ball carrier. There are so many things this could apply to but I’m not sure if it does like if he’s tired will he keep using defensive pass rush moves, or play at a high level? Or will they chase a ball carrier down from across the field? So this could go from important to have to REALLY important to have depending on how many things this touches.

DL Swim, Spin, Bull Rush – Pretty self explanatory although something I think unnecessary code-wise. So the Swim and Spin are finesse moves and the bull rush is a power move. I had a video planned out on this before this specific topic got brought up so you’ll see a deeper dive into this in the near future, but why have finesse and power move ratings then on/off switches for these moves when you can just have ratings for these moves? It seems like unnecessary complication to the code and confusion for us gamers.

Plays Ball in Air – Conservative, Balanced, Aggressive

Conservative will be the guys that wait for the WR to catch then try and smack them. Known as playing the WR. Kam Chancellor is the model citizen here.

Aggressive will be the guys that go up for the pick or swat to try and defend the ball in air. Not sure on the swat part but surely they’ll go for the pick when afforded the opportunity. And don’t call them Shirley. That joke really doesn’t work in print.

And balanced is self explanatory, it’s the middle ground between the two. Not sure how the game determines what a balanced guy does. Probably something about not dropping an egg or something.

Big Hitter: Some say this increases hit power. I think (among others) that it just has to do with whether or not the CPU goes for hit sticks if the player isn’t controlling them.

Makes Sideline Catches: Dragging feet before you step out of bounds. It’ll make the WR more likely to stay in bounds on passes near the sideline. I think in last year’s game and before this was more valuable. This year with possession catch I don’t see too many WRs not dragging their feet if you hit A on the Xbox.

Drops Open Passes: Exactly what it says. Will the WR get a case of the oops? I can’t believe Brandon Marshall has this trait. He’s made some crazy aggressive catches for me but now that I see this, I have seen some weird drops from him. Then again, I’ve seen that from almost all of my WRs.

Fights for extra yards: Whether your RB gets that “struggle” animation that you sometimes see. I think this allows it to happen more frequently. Because JJ Watt’s 90 HB doesn’t have the trait but I’ve seen him plow for extra yards. Can’t remember the animation he gets off the top of my head though.

Covers Ball: Always, Brace for All, Big hitters, medium hitters and never brace.

Weirdly only the big guys like linemen, out of position linemen, kickers, punters and some other stragglers have Always as the cover the ball trait. It must be how they hold the ball with  the animation where they always hold it high and tight to their chest. Maybe it makes them slower because of it. I don’t know I’m just spitballing like a porn star.

Brace for all seems to be the best trait as the player is running free until a hit is coming. But not many high end RBs have it. Could be that when a player braces for a hit they go down easier. So I take back what I said about it being the best.

Anyways, most of the best RBs like Bo Jackson, Eric Dickerson have brace for big hitters which means they’ll still be going strong against most tacklers trying to break it rather than not fumble. I like this but Bo has fumbled more for me and I’ve cause more fumbles from Bo than I thought were regular. That’s maybe due to fatigue, don’t listen to anyone’s anecdotal evidence. I’ll see if I can’t test these attributes down the road.

Brace vs medium hitters is what it sounds like. Fewer fumbles but fewer broken tackles is what I’d guess.

Covers ball never is only given to two WRs and two RBs. Michael Irvin, Isaac Bruce, Walter Payton and Curtis Martin. Weirdly all legends players. I’m not sure how to take that. Do you guys notice them fumbling more than normal? I had Walter for a while and didn’t notice anything strange myself.

Throws ball away is a CPU Trait. When you are controlling the QB it doesn’t come into play.

Throws Tight Spiral is owned by most top end QB except Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. And how could we forget the GOAT Tim Tebow. But besides for the cosmetic spin on the football, I’ve read that it makes the ball easier to catch for WRs. This might be something to be tested.

Senses pressure – Either it’s awesome and relates to how quickly or short your controller vibrates before getting hit as a QB or it’s just a CPU trait. It would be really cool if it affected the game when you are playing as a QB. If anyone knows about this one please let me know in the comments.

One thought on “Traits in Madden 16. What they mean and how to see them for MUT

  1. Re: ‘Covers Ball’ trait and the ‘never’ value, I have noticed more fumbles from Walter Payton. Enough that I wondered why he fumbled so much, when he has relatively high strength, awareness and carry, that it’s the only explanation.

    I’m not exactly sure how the cover ball trait works, but here’s my spin on it: that “always” is the most secure, “brace vs all hits” is the next best, “brace vs big hits” is next, “brace vs medium hits” is second worst and “never” is the very worst. From my experience, this is what I’m inferring.

    I could have the big/medium hit in the wrong order, but I’ve noticed more fumbles from the ‘medium’ carriers, such as BCA Lesean McCoy, than from the ‘big hit’ bracing halfbacks. (BCA McCoy: 91 strength, 90 awareness, 87 carry, so he shouldn’t fumble much in theory, but he did for me, even when not trucking, juking or doing spin moves.)

    The Covers Ball trait is probably combined with awareness, strength and carry attributes as well to determine a ball carrier’s secure handling, so it’s a bit of grey area. Then throw in trucking/spin moves for an increased chance of fumbling, and it’s a mess. Not to mention luck or chance.

    Great video, by the way! I have wondered about traits and how they affect gameplay, especially the ‘high motor’ trait, so I gained some insights about this from your video. Food for thought, as it were, until EA says more, which they probably won’t!


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