Like last year, Madden NFL 21 lets you choose where your path to the draft begins, but this time there are even more colleges to choose from. Several of the country’s most prestigious football programs are available to commit to when your player wraps up their high school football career. Schools available to choose from include:
- Michigan State
While there are no bonuses to be considered in choosing your college, you should pick one that you feel suits you and the athlete you’re building, perhaps even modeling your career after real-life players that have come before you.
For example, a scrambling quarterback may fit Oregon, while a bruising runningback may make sense to commit to Oklahoma. Your choice will only affect the story in the most minor ways, as it basically determines who you can’t play in the story mode – since you can’t play your own team, of course. Find the fit that’s right for you.
While you have direct control over which team you play for in college, the NFL Draft plays out a bit differently. During a pre-Draft press conference, one reporter will ask if you have any wishes as to yur landing spot in the NFL. It’s here where you can put your thumb on the scales if you want to.
Two dialog options will allow you to either randomize the draft pick or force your favorite team to take you. Your favorite team is attached to your profile based on who you picked when you first began playing Madden NFL 21. You can change it at anytime, but just understand that if you choose to force your favorite team to draft you, this is where the game will pull that information.
If instead you don’t want to know where you’ll end up, choose the dialog option that states you have no preference, then wait until draft day for the cutscene where you’re selected. Depending on how you played in college, you may be chosen quickly or you may be stuck waiting a while to hear your name called, but if it’s a mystery you want, this is the option for you.
The story threads in Madden NFL 21 Face of the Franchise run several seasons deep. Along the way, there will be an abundance of objectives to reach and milestones to hit. All of that will be calculated in your Legacy Score. You can find your Legacy Score in two places.
First is on the landing page for Face of the Franchise where you’ll see a leaderboard featuring the scores of you and all your friends who have also started Face of the Franchise.
For a deeper look, you should open the page called Rise To Fame. In it, you’ll find a full legacy leaderboard where you can see how your career stacks up to all the other pros in the league with you. As you begin, you’ll be in the thousands, but as your career blossoms, you can watch your name become more and more famous in the sport as you etch it forever in the annals of NFL history.
There’s something else important in Rise To Fame, too. Your overarching objectives will be listed here. Long-term stuff like “Make the Hall of Fame” will be there for a while, but more immediate goals show up here too, such as “Win Rookie of the Year” or “Win your first playoff game.” To maximize your Legacy Score, you’ll want to hit as many objectives as you can throughout your career.
If you want to rush through the Face of the Franchise story, the game’s default setting of skipping several weeks at a time until the next major story beat is a good place to start. To speed things up even more, you can also sim through games, either partially or in full.
Like in other modes, your sim options are quite extensive. You can elect to play only the “Key Moments,” offense, defense, or even play or ski[ certain quarters. As this year’s game lets you play as one of three offensive positions, it may be wise for you to play only the offensive side of the ball. This will ensure you can control your avatar and still hit your objectives, but skip the rest in the interest of time.
If instead you want to slow things down and have full control over your career, head into the options and revert Face of the Franchise to Classic mode. This will alter the story mode to basically play out like a traditional Franchise. You’ll get to play every game without the chunks of time being removed from the experience.
On your path to greatness, you’ll probably get to unlock an X-Factor ability. We have the full rundown of these special skills in our Madden NFL 21 X-Factor abilities list, but for Face of the Franchise, you actually get to pick your own.
Depending on your position, different X-Factor abilities will be available to you. For example, we chose “Truzz,” a skill which prevents a player from fumbling due to a tackle after they’ve five times for positive yardage. It can only be deactivated if the player gets tackled for a loss, so this new X-Factor is one of the best to go with in our opinion, especially if you’re playing as a runningback or a scrambling quarterback.
Over the course of your career, you’ll also unlock other X-Factor abilities, as well as earn more slots for Superstar abilities, so be sure to customize them as you go to create the best character build for your team and career.