The best quarterbacks in NFL history know how to read a defense and change the play at the line of scrimmage. The same is true in Madden 22 when calling audibles and hot routes before the snap. While it’s prevalent on both sides of the ball, offensive audibles are arguably more important to master. So how do you call an audible and Madden 22, and when should you change things up at the line of scrimmage?
How to call an audible
To call an audible at the line of scrimmage in Madden 22, press Square (PlayStation) or X (Xbox) to pull up the audible chart. Here, you’ll find a series of plays you can change to while in the current formation. You can change these plays from a different menu, which we’ll touch on later. You’ll usually have a quick pass, run, play-action, or deep throw audible option on offense by default. On defense, you’ll have a man coverage, blitz, cover 2, and cover 3 to choose from. From this screen, you can also flip the play entirely.
If you like the current play but wish to change one of the routes, you can hot route receivers by pressing Triangle (PlayStation) or Y (Xbox) to bring up the Receiver menu. Then, press the button attached to the receiver you wish to hot route and use the sticks and bumpers to change to a new route.
Most players that are eligible to catch a pass will have all the same hot route options. Things change when you start hot routing RBs and TEs in the backfield. You can have them pass block if you feel like your opponent is getting ready to blitz or have them run wheel routes and swing routes toward the sidelines.
The Smart Route option tells that receiver to run their route up to the first down marker. You cannot Smart Route every option, though. For example, putting a WR on a curl route and then selecting Smart Route will have them run right up to the first-down marker and stop. If the marker is only a yard or two away, they’ll stop their route short instead of running the default 7 to 8 yards. Contrarily, putting a receiver on a Go route doesn’t give them the ability to Smart Route since they’re running clean past the first down marker. You’ll know when you’ve triggered a Smart Route if the menu goes away after you select it. If the Hot Route menu stays up, then you can’t use the Smart Route feature.
Finally, Option Routes give the receiver two routes to run depending on the coverage. Players with high awareness know to stop in between zones in zone coverage or keep running away from a defender covering them man-to-man. You can only trigger option routes out of the backfield.
On defense, you can hot route defenders to double-cover receivers man-to-man or have one of your blitzing linebackers drop back and cover a zone in the middle of the field. If you’re playing against a mobile quarterback, putting one of your blitzing linebackers on a QB Spy will help keep them in check.
When should you call an audible in Madden 22?
You can make all the fancy changes in the world, but if you’re ultimately sending receivers into coverage, what good is it? Call an audible when you believe the play you’ve queued up isn’t going to work against what the defense is showing. Here’s an example:
In the images above, the offense is running up the middle. However, defenders are crowding the line of scrimmage, and it doesn’t look like this play will work very well. (Even though the green box indicates a favorable run to that side of the line, that box doesn’t always mean the run will work)
So, the offense audibles to a pass play, but the QB knows they’ll have to get the ball out quick. He sends the TE on a go route up the seam and watches the blitzing LBs. If they blitz, he’ll hit the TE for a big gain. The only defender he has to worry about is the safety taking the TE in man coverage. However, the distance between them will leave the TE open for a quick pass right after the snap. If the LBs drop back, he can hit his RB out of the backfield, hoping he’ll break a tackle or his WR on an out route near the sideline.
On the other hand, if the defense comes out in the Nickel or Dime, leaving noticeable space open on the line of scrimmage, you can assume they are gearing up to defend a pass play. Switch to an inside run, and take advantage of the hole in the defense. This presents a solid opportunity to press Triangle after the play to hurry to the line of scrimmage and exploit the open hole. You could also audible to a play-action pass since the defense may see another run coming and choose to blitz. It’s here that football becomes a game of chess instead of checkers.
How to customize audibles
To customize audibles in Madden 22:
- Scroll over to Rosters and Playbooks from the Main Menu.
- Select Playbooks.
- Select the offensive or defensive playbook you want to edit.
- Go formation by formation to change the in-game audibles for your new playbook.
Making a custom playbook is time-consuming; however, if you find that you’d rather have more runs or play-action passes in your audible options, then it’s the best way to do so without changing formation over and over again.
To use your new playbook:
- Select Advanced Settings once you’ve picked a team (you don’t have to use the same team whose playbook you edited).
- Scroll through the playbooks until you find the non-team-specific playbooks. Your playbook (NewBook in the image above) will be at the end.
Keep in mind that you can only change audibles for use in Exhibition games, local multiplayer, and online head-to-head. You can not use these changes in Franchise Mode or Ultimate Team.