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Should Madden 25’s “Ball Hawk” Feature Be Exclusive?

Should EVERY player really be able to "Ball Hawk" next season?
Should EVERY player really be able to "Ball Hawk" next season?

If you haven’t been using the new ‘Ball Hawk’ feature in Madden 13 this past season, then I’m sorry to say you are doing something very, very wrong. The feature is so powerful, in fact, that some community members are calling for it to be tied to a rating in Madden 25.

‘Ball Hawk’ is a feature that was first introduced in Madden 13 that should have been wildly controversial, but many players probably didn’t even realize how it worked, or what it was doing for them and not much stink came about it.

In previous editions of Madden, players needed to hit the “Y” button on their Xbox 360 controller in order to jump up and try to snag a pass out of the air while on defense, but you still had to get into position before you did it. B-Hawk changed all of that.

The new ‘Ball Hawk’ in Madden 13 meant that when you held down “Y” to jump up for a pass, it did more than just attempt to grab the ball, it actually moved you in a direct line to cut off the pass. That means you could actually run around in a circle with a safety, while holding “Y” the whole time, and if a pass went anywhere near you (or anywhere at all for that matter), your player would literally start chasing to intersect the flight path through the air the very millisecond the ball left the hands of the QB.

Ridiculously powerful, right? It is, and for that reason it was apparently a big topic during a community day where notable members like EA Game Changer Shopmaster talked about the need to tie the skill to some kind of rating. But how would you tie an auto-pilot ability to a rating? Well, one way might be to adjust the range at which ‘Ball Hawk’ can activate, with the higher the rating meaning the longer range available to the player. Players with the highest ratings would then be able to get the best positions on a pass by being able to get a jump on the ball much earlier.

Another way to deal with ‘Ball Hawk’ might be to tie it in to Madden’s trait system, rather than an actual numbered rating. If the feature was moved into something trait-specific, it might make it easier on the head of Ratings Czar Donny Moore, and also further differentiate the big playmakers in the NFL from all the rest.

What do YOU think should happen to ‘Ball Hawk’ in Madden 25?

What should be done with 'Ball Hawk' next season?

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  • Joshua Ring

    I say leave it as it is and just make slight tweaks, becuz even as it stands now. The DB still has to catch the ball based on their catch rating. So Ball hawk with someone who has a 65 catch rating is usually only going to pan out into a deflected pass 9/10 times. Whereas Ed Reed or Earl Thomas will prolly pick it off 8/10 times cuz their catch rating is much higher. I kind of like the area of effect idea you have going tho. i.e. players with a 99 ball hawk rating….their animation should begin from just about anywhere on the field, but players with a 60 ball hawk should only be able to activate within 3-6 feet of the intended receiver. Any thoughts?

    • GoMadden

      Hmm… that’s an interesting take on it. It is true that pass deflections in general are not represented as much as they should be, and keeping ball-hawk probably does help with that.

      I do think there’s something to making it a “range” based on the rating like you said. Perhaps make it a trait, and have the rating modify it, much like the Power Move rating and the Bull Rush trait.

  • Justin Njenga

    Too many drop picks in last madden…*sigh

  • Mike Hauben

    Ballhawking makes the game 100% unplayable, and Im extremely glad to find out that this “new mechanic” is why. Without exaggeration, I have lost my first 40 online games, and have scored… maybe once. Why? Because I get intercepted almost every throw. Players just ballhawk and intercept everything I do. I understand pressing Y to jump for a catch, but the fact that it now actually automatically moves you in the pass trajectory is absolutely the most broken thing Ive ever heard. I will never play a Madden game again because of this feature. At least in Battlefield 4 when I was getting wrecked, its because I knew I just sucked at FPS. In this, its because EA Sports made an “auto intercept” button.