Madden 23 skill-based passing - how to pass precisely

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Image of a player catching the ball in Madden 23.

If you want your passing to be as accurate as possible, you'll want to use skill-based passing in Madden 23. Unlike traditional Madden passing where you only need to hit a button prompt, this requires more inputs and even more planning. It can be hard to understand, so we're here to help.

In this Madden 23 guide, we'll break down the various methods and techniques within skill-based passing. It can all sound quite confusing when you first start out, but our breakdown of specific control shortcuts and an explanation of the mechanics should help.

Elsewhere, feel free to read up on all things FIFA 23. We've got a look at the ongoing beta test, as well as details on when the web app will likely arrive. If you're a dedicated Ultimate Team player, you'll also want to see our ratings predictions for this year.

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What is skill-based passing in Madden 23?

In Madden 23, skill-based passing is a new control format included as part of the FieldSENSE improvements made this year. It aims to make passing more reactive to your inputs, and as such a more involved process than just tapping a face button. Instead, there are variables tied to the directions you hold the thumbsticks, whether you tap or hold a face button, and so on.

There are two types of skill-based passing in Madden 23: Placement, and Placement and Accuracy. As we'll get into, they are fairly similar, with both requiring you to use a combination of sticks and buttons to aim your pass and determine the ball's trajectory. The main difference is that the Placement and Accuracy setting adds a blue meter prior to a pass, which you need to land within to ensure the ball gets past defenders.

Of course, if that all sounds too confusing and you'd rather use the traditional Madden passing method, you can choose that option as well. For purists loyal to the franchise for decades, it may be the optimum decision.

Image of a player being tackled in Madden 23.

How do I use skill-based passing in Madden 23?

To select skill-based passing in Madden 23, you'll need to go into the settings menu. Head there, choose Controls, and scroll down to the skill-based passing toggle. As mentioned, the most involved mode is Placement and Accuracy, and that's the one most hardcore Madden 23 players will want to learn. With that done, these settings will be active in all game modes, though you may want to browse through the tutorials to get a proper grip on how it works.

Equally, you'll notice that when performing these pass gestures, a small circle appears around the feet of the receiver. If timed properly, you can use the left and right sticks to aim whereabouts in that radius the ball lands. That can be the difference between a successful catch or the defender intercepting.

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See the table below for a list of the various gestures you can perform with skill-based passing, and Placement and Accuracy mode turned on. From bullet passes to over-the-shoulder lobs, the whole gamut of American football passes is here.

Move How to perform
Bullet passHold down face button until the meter is full
Lob passTap the face button without filling the meter at all
Touch passTap the face button but release before the meter fills
High passHold LB/L1 while pressing a face button
Over-the-shoulder passHold the left stick up while throwing
Back shoulder fadeHold the left stick down and right while throwing
Pass between linebacker and two deep safetiesHold the left trigger, move the left stick up and right, and pass
Manually aim shot landing spotMove the right stick up and right while throwing

That's it for our look at skill-based passing in Madden 23! It's no doubt a big change compared to the one-button gestures of previous games, but afford you a lot more control over where the ball goes. Give it plenty of practice in the free modes and against AI opponents, and you should get to grips with it in no time.

Want to read even more on this latest Madden game? If so, check out how to perform traditional passing gestures, as well as how to celebrate. Alongside a look at whether the game is coming to Game Pass, you can find all the details you'll need!