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Madden 13 Ratings Explained: OL Strength

Offensive linemen have a lot of strength for a reason in Madden.
Offensive linemen have a lot of strength for a reason in Madden.

Madden ratings have long been shrouded in mystery, but now we’re finally starting to get some answers straight from the source. One of EA’s more involved designers is spilling the beans in his blog, beginning with the mechanics of Strength for offensive linemen.

Throughout the lifetime of the Madden NFL series, gamers have had to make their own educated guesses on how exactly each rating category works. Luckily it looks like that won’t be the case for too much longer. We’re a bit late on this, but you certainly want to hear it.

In the first of many blogs promised to come to, former NFL player and current EA developer Clint Oldenburg explains the inner-workings of Madden 13 ratings, this time being OL Strength.

Despite the obvious inference from the word “strength,” it turns out that STR rating in Madden 13 pretty much has nothing to do with helping a lineman push a defender further backwards or get a pancake block. Instead, the STR number from a lineman is matched up against one unrevealed rating from the opposing defender. If the lineman’s STR is the higher number, there will be an increased chance to hold the block for a longer period of time. That doesn’t make it a whole lot easier to determine STR’s value when playing the game, but a bit of knowledge never hurt.

Also in the blog, which may be even more interesting than all the blocking nuances, are the details about how Madden 13 “Ratings Czar” @Donny_Moore, Oldenburg, and the rest of the team determine some of the individual player scores in a given rating. Their approach is more thorough than a lot of fan critics have speculated.

“Lastly, I went with subjective types of data to round out each player’s STR rating. I looked at things such as invidual game grades, team stats such as rushing yards, tackles for loss given up, sacks allowed and win/loss record. And as a former player, I also have a unique knowledge of certain guys I’ve played with or against that may help more accurately rate those players to further separate one linemen from another.”

The blog is a few days old, but the information is valuable nonetheless. We’ll be glued to it in the future when more Madden 13 ratings mechanics are exposed. In particular, we look forward to seeing how ratings like Awareness, Play Recognition, and Block Shedding are not only implemented, but researched as well.

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