Madden NFL Mobile: EA’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Game

Okay, so maybe Madden NFL Mobile isn’t THAT bad. But after seven months of rollercoaster emotions, it’s time to put some thoughts down on digital paper.


This is going to be a series of bullet points showcasing thoughts and observations in some type of vague order (it makes sense if you squint hard enough!). Basically, it’s a lame excuse for me to lazily ignore transition sentences.

  • Sports games are, generally speaking, the most difficult to integrate into mobile devices for a variety of reasons. Think about the controls: how do you include all the possible moves a basketball player, for example, can do on offense (like all the different dribble moves and post moves)? That applies to football as well, and EA made it extremely simple for players, with an analog stick for movement and a do-it-all button that, well, does everything from juking to increasing the probability of an interception if you’re on defense and you swipe upwards when prompted. Great work.
  • While Madden Mobile does utilize the dreaded energy/stamina system, I can’t criticize EA too much for it considering the system is basically the foundation for all mobile games (another notable example is Kim Kardashian: Hollywood). What makes this game special is the Auction House. It’s a lot of fun checking out all the players and collectibles, and it can be fun to take part in some intense bidding wars. Plus, I think the stamina usage is fairly reasonable. I’m maxed out at level 50 and I get thirty stamina points. At this point, that covers six regular season games, or approximately ten mini-games (most mini-games are three or four stamina points). Not bad, considering the aforementioned playability and exploration you can do when you’re waiting for your stamina to recharge.
  • The Auction House is really addicting, especially if you know how to abuse the system – and other Madden Mobile players. The image at the very top is my defensive lineup and you’ll notice some pretty great athletes. 99 Richard Sherman was actually a reward for completing the Domination set (basically the acquisition of twenty collectible cards from the most difficult mini-games). 96 JJ Watt was the ultimate prize from the Halloween set. I bought (and by “bought” I mean Madden coins, not real money; I have not and will not ever spend real money on this game) the rest for below market value. 99 Jack Lambert is currently selling for 500K to four million coins. I got him for 86K bahaha. You get the idea. The key is searching for specific ratings and specific positions at egregiously low prices (warning: this is extremely time-consuming because a lot of people do what I do). Because I’ve played so long, I’m looking for players that are all rated in the high nineties. For the most part, if you buy someone that’s 97-99 for under 300K, that’s a bargain and you can resell that player for at least 400K. Just today, I bought 98 Deion Branch for 285K and resold him for 500K.


  • For whatever reason, you can’t call audibles and you can’t scramble with the quarterback. Yet, the computer can (and will) do it whenever it feels like. There are also a disconcerting lack of penalties, with the benefactor always being the computer (of course). A lot of people have been complaining about that and EA hasn’t fixed it. Typical.
  • One of the biggest problems with Madden Mobile is its continuous network/connection conundrum. While I’ve only rarely experienced it, a lot of players have been reporting for the past seven months that they can’t play the game or they’ll get kicked out of the Auction House at the worst time (that, I’ve experienced). Lately, there’s also been some type of delay when a person makes a bid in the Auction House. It doesn’t matter if they win or lose – their coins or player will either never show up or show up after around five minutes. That’s stressful!
  • Unless you’re truly shitty at this game, you’ll be winning Super Bowls with ease. There’s a catch though: your team needs to be rated at least ten points higher than the computer for you to have a chance at winning after the third season. Also, if you reel off a five-game win streak, the next game will literally be impossible to win (in November, my 93 team lost to the 79 Bucs because of that fucking ridiculous quirk). Do you know what that means? You need to strategically pick the games you want to lose. Ideally, you would lose your Week 15 or Week 17 game so you can face the easier computer in the playoffs. Trust me: losing to a vastly inferior opponent will have you cursing up a storm and possibly physically assaulting nearby objects. It fucking sucks.
Just so you know: 99 Richard Sherman gives every player +5 Awareness so some players have better overall ratings here than in reality.

Just so you know: 99 Richard Sherman gives every player +5 Awareness so some players have better overall ratings in my lineups than they do in a vacuum.

  • A lot of people pay real money in this game and I think they might legitimately be mental. Madden Bucks are the “special” currency here and the price is through the freaking roof. You can use them to purchase bundles and packs which is fine and all, but I hope people realize how much money they’re doling out for a mobile game. Right now, most of the packs cost around 2,000 Madden Bucks. That’s $19.99. There was a point when certain packs were at least 7,000 Madden Bucks… and 12,000 Madden Bucks is equivalent to $99.99! I mean, do the math. That’s nucking futs.
  • There are a lot of negatives to this game. There really are. But it also happens to be one of the most enjoyable games out there, with real meat behind it. Like I said before, I’ve been playing this game for seven months. It has real staying power, unlike the vast majority of mobile games out there. You just need to be patient (or rich, if you want to both spend copious amounts of money and feed EA’s evil belly).
Last note: special teams is pretty useless, in terms of kickoff and punt returns. Nobody on your team can block and you're lucky if you return the ball even fifteen yards.

Last note: your players are useless in terms of kickoff and punt returns. Nobody on your team can block and you’re lucky if you return the ball even fifteen yards.

Click here for an update on my roster and more problems with the game!

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