Earlier this month, the Madden 24 team deployed a patch that was meant to address the in-game player fatigue system in such a way that it would disrupt the competitive meta of frequently blitzing defenders to cause chaos for opposing offenses. Unfortunately, the patch didn’t work nearly as intended and players have been left with a worse system for a few weeks and counting as a result.
On January 10, EA Tiburon deployed the patch, targeting players who aren’t dedicated pass rushers and thus likely undersized to suffer more severe stamina penalties when engaging with bigger offensive lineman. In short, blitzing defenders from groups other than the defensive line needed to be nerfed. Here’s how the patch notes say it should’ve worked:
- Tuning to fatigue logic so defenders who are not dedicated pass rushers will suffer a more severe fatigue penalty when engaging with a pass blocker that is significantly bigger than them.
- DEV NOTE: With the prevalence of Defensive Back blitzes being used as staple defenses, we noticed that there were many cases where the DB would get picked up by a Tight End or an Offensive Lineman that was significantly bigger and stronger than the defensive back but the blitzing DB would be able to engage in this mismatch over and over again without fatiguing. Now if a defender who is not a dedicated pass rusher having a Power Move and Finesse Move rating below 70 engages in a blocking mismatch where they are outweighed by 90 lbs or more, they will suffer a significant fatigue hit.
However, players quickly found several issues with this update. For one, where the notes say “if a defender who is not a dedicated pass rusher having a Power Move and Finesse Move rating below 70,” it seems to be the case that the defender suffers the stamina penalty if either is true, not both as the “and” seems to suggest.
Worse, however, is that even non-pass-rushing players are suffering these penalties. Safeties playing zone coverages may be blocked at the second level of the defense, where they typically start a play, and still see previously unseen stamina penalties. Given the weight differentials at play as well, players are reporting that even dedicated pass rushers who may be leaner than average, like the Eagles’ Hassan Reddick, are getting gassed at an unrealistic rate.
The design of the retuning was meant to hinder players in the competitive circuit spamming blitzes in Ultimate Team (MUT) and Head-to-Head modes. Instead, it’s severely worsened stamina across the board, regardless of the game mode, affecting even Franchise players who tend to be self-governing and potentially insulated from abusive metas going on elsewhere in the game’s community.
On January 16, nearly a week after the patch, the Madden team addressed the issue publicly, stating more updates would follow as the team sought to repair the fatigue system it had broken a week earlier. It also announced fatigue would be turned completely off in MUT until a long-term fix is deployed.
We’re aware and working to resolve an issue players are experiencing with the latest fatigue tuning.
As we work on a resolution, fatigue will be temporarily disabled exclusively in Ultimate Team. Other Madden 24 modes are unable to be updated until a future Title Update.…
— MaddenNFLDirect (@MaddenNFLDirect) January 16, 2024
Now a week since that update, the team hasn’t said anything further on the subject, leaving players wondering when a fix may arrive. Annually, a game patch tends to arrive just before the Super Bowl, which will be played on February 11 this year. A patch fixing fatigue just before that game would mean the stamina system in Madden 24 will have been broken for approximately one full month.
We’ve reached out to the team to learn more about the patch’s timing and whether it has any suggested fixes in the meantime. We’ll update this story should we hear back.