Best Abilities in Madden 23


Madden 23 offers players 26 X-Factor and Superstar abilities that can be activated by meeting specific in-game criteria, which have the power to significantly impact player performance both in Ultimate Team Mode and Franchise Mode.

Hot Route Master is one of the premier X-Factor abilities for quarterbacks, providing access to different routes on all receivers while aiding them fitting passes into tight windows. Meanwhile, Zone Hawk increases interceptions when in zone coverage coverage situations.

First One Free

Suppose you want to maximize the potential of your running backs. In that case, the First One Free X-Factor ability can make their initial spin, juke, or hurdle more effective and help evade tacklers without contact so they can quickly rush for over 10 yards into the end zone. Be mindful, though; this X-Factor could be lost if your running back gets tackled for a loss.

Red Zone Deadeye can also prove invaluable to quarterbacks, giving them an edge in winning games without settling for field goals and attempts.

Offense-minded offensive linemen could benefit from equipping themselves with special abilities such as Gunslinger to run through defenders and reach the quarterback and Freight Train, which turns them into an unstoppable force that’s hard to bring down on first contact. You could also equip defenders with skills such as Shutdown, which increases chances of forcing fumbles from opposing running backs; in addition, linebackers could qualify Medium Route KO or Deep Route KO abilities, which improve coverage capabilities and help dominate in Franchise Mode or Ultimate Team respectively – don’t forget that all aspects must work in harmony – just like when equipping your offense and defense are perfectly balanced!

Zone Hawk

Zone Hawk is an X-Factor that can make an immediate difference on both pass and run defense, making him an invaluable asset to linebackers and cornerbacks. This ability increases the chances of shed blockers while helping players win one-on-one matchups in flat zones, making it particularly helpful for players like 89 OVR Jalen Hurts, who possess impressive coverage skills.

Madden 23’s top defensive X-factors excel at both run defense and pass defense, yet some excel more in certain positions than others. Here are five-star abilities to consider adding to your roster.

Unstoppable Force is an incredible defensive X-factor that increases sack production by increasing the odds of shedding blockers, which makes this skill invaluable to defensive linemen and outside linebackers and can help slow down opposing rushers.

Contrary to other X-factors, this one requires a successful hit-stick tackle at the line of scrimmage to activate. Though difficult to do so, its effect in run-and-pass defense makes it an invaluable option for defensive linemen.

Red Zone Deadeye is an effective X-factor for quarterbacks, providing perfect pass accuracy in the red zone and improving catchers’ chances of making contested catches. Meanwhile, Shutdown X-Factor allows defenders to eliminate receivers from an offensive coordinator’s game plan.

Unstoppable Force

This fan-favorite Superstar Ability transforms any character into an unstoppable freight train as they break through an opposing team’s defensive line. It is one of Madden 23’s premier abilities for pairing with players with high offensive pressure, making them virtually unbeatable on offense.

Offensive linemen must often make it difficult for opponents to tackle running backs, often leading to forced fumbles and extra yards for big backs such as Derrick Henry, who can quickly be shedding any tackle – even the hit stick – and go for additional gains.

Shutdown, an elite-tier ability, gives defenders more dominant pass rush wins than usual by increasing pass rush points when spent and providing greater chances for sacking the QB.

Film Study is an invaluable ability for linebackers and safeties, as it allows them to analyze game tape of opponents. Film Study allows linebackers and safeties to analyze an opponent’s blocking scheme to identify likely beat targets – this helps plan their blitzes more efficiently, reduce errors on third down conversions, provide one-on-one block-shedding services as well as stoppers for intercepted passes via tackles.


Defensive passes thrown into the middle of the field can be challenging in Madden 23, but having the appropriate linebacker ability can make life easier. Lurker gives defenders spectacular catch animations when lurking near middle zones; Unstoppable Force allows elite pass rushers to use strength, speed, and tenacity combined for increased win rate and block shed speed against single pass blocks.

Apart from increasing your defense’s overall efficiency, these abilities can also increase the success of your tackles. Secure Tackler gives defenders a higher chance of successfully performing conservative and diving tackles that don’t utilize a hit stick, while Strip Specialist gives them more options at stripping ball carriers on run plays.

These LB abilities are essential in creating an effective core defense that can neutralize any offense, yet their main drawback lies in not being as effective against teams with exceptional skill players at the WR and TE positions. Run Stuffer, and Selfless can compensate for this lack of effectiveness by increasing your odds of staying with receivers longer, disrupting throws, or making interceptions – try pairing these abilities with those like Acrobat or Mid Zone KO for an overall balanced defensive package.


Madden 23 offers an expansive collection of X Factor and Superstar Abilities that can make a significant difference to players’ performances, but users may have difficulty selecting those they should equip on their players and determining if their cost in AP warrants their investment. Here are a few helpful hints that may assist them.

X-Factors are what separate NFL superstars. They allow players to force fumbles, win 50-50 balls, increase yardage after catch, ignore pressure in collapsing pockets, and remain competitive despite injuries or sideline timeouts. But not all X-Factors are equal: some are superior, while others negatively affect gameplay.

Running backs in the NFL are known for their power and speed, so it should be no surprise that running backs in Madden are among those most equipped with X-factor abilities. These abilities can boost their strength and speed to become a threat against any defense while helping their teammates by blocking them.

Selfless is one of the best X-factor abilities for running backs, making it easier to block for him and take down multiple defenders at once. It is an ideal ability for running backs who wish to lead their teams effectively; though with a 2.5 rating, it may not make the most significant impactful difference, it still makes an impactful contribution towards making team victories possible.


No matter the competition – whether online or in a local league – having an elite player with exceptional skills with an “X-Factor” effect can make all the difference in outcomes. An extraordinary talent may help force fumbles, win 50-50 balls, and even avoid pressure in collapsing pockets.

Below is a list of the best X-Factor and Superstar abilities for both offensive and defensive linemen, each offering its distinct benefit and significantly enhancing performance. Unstoppable Force allows better block shedding; El Toro provides dominating bull rush wins, while Inside Stuff increases chances for defenders to shed blocks against inside zone plays.

Reinforcement is an X-Factor ability designed to stop both the run and pass by making it easier for players to earn sacks against quarterbacks and running backs, defeat run blocks more effectively, disrupt catches more efficiently, and disrupt plays altogether. Furthermore, it increases defenders’ effectiveness in man coverage and gives them more chances to knock out short routes, making this must-have equipment for any star defensive lineman or cornerback who focuses on breaking up passes. Additionally, this gear makes blitzing linebackers and cornerbacks who blitz more effective pass breakup attempts more efficient and reliable. Momentum Shift is also an invaluable X-Factor for defensive superstars as it eliminates any abilities earned by opposing teams and disrupts their progress.