I’ve scanned the best playbooks on offense and defense, combining the NFL’s best coaches and most popular community creations to bring you this all-encompassing breakdown of the best playbooks in Madden 22.
How to download, create, and edit playbooks in Madden NFL 22Before we jump into which playbooks you may want to use, remember you can always tweak pre-existing setups. From the main menu, if you head into settings (identified as the NFL logo), then ‘Playbooks’, you’ll be able to browse or edit playbooks already in your game.
There you can add or remove plays or even entire formations to your liking. The Madden team is good about updating playbooks automatically as the year goes on to reflect real-life playcalling, but you have the ability to mess with that if you prefer to.
If you want to add even more to that list, head into the community files menu and scroll to playbooks where you’ll find hundreds of user-generated playbooks automatically sorted by number of downloads. You can download them to your own game right there, and even return to the general playbook menu to tweak these creations even more to your liking.
Before a game, you can also load out with any offensive or defensive playbook by choosing it in the options menu on the screen where you ready-up with your opponent. Just because you’re playing as a particular team does not mean you’re bound to their playbook.
The best Madden 22 offense playbooks
49ers: Kyle Shanahan
If you don’t want to dip into the user-generated content world of Madden, my favorite playbook in Madden is Kyle Shanahan’s and the 49ers’. Like in real life, Shanahan’s Madden playbook focuses on a ton of 21 personnel—or formations with two running backs in the backfield and one tight end on the line of scrimmage. This is a playbook built for players who want to stretch drives into long marches, wearing down their opponents with a ground game that may average as high as seven yards per carry in the hands of great players, but it also minimizes risky throws for beginners.
Holygrail has been one of Madden 21’s top-rated playbooks for half a decade, and its streak continues in Madden 22. This custom playbook from user Driff2K is shotgun- and singleback-heavy, with a focus on receivers running one-cut routes meant to separate on lesser defenders. Don’t just take my word for it though: it’s been downloaded more than three times as much as the next most-downloaded community playbook. The community loves it.
As implied in its name, this college-like playbook leans on the plays that many NFL diehards said would never work in the NFL. Not only were many pundits proven wrong with QBs like Lamar Jackson shining when using such plays, but in Madden, you can sometimes get away with them even more. The option takes practice (and you can do so in the Skills Trainer), but once you learn how to read the defense in that split-second when the ball is snapped, the option can be the most devastating play in Madden.
The best Madden 22 defense playbooks
Patriots: NE Coach (Bill Belichick)
Just as Shanahan is known as a long-established offensive guru, so too does Belichick’s reputation as a defensive mastermind precede him. Though his name and likeness isn’t in the game, the Patriots playbook in Madden offers a diverse scheme fitting of the coach who is always one step ahead of his opponents each week. You’ll have access to four nickel packages, crucial in covering the often pass-happy players in Madden, as well as some exotic blitzes out of nearly every package, including 3-4 and 4-3 schemes.
Due to an apparent bug, all custom defensive playbooks currently lack attribution, but whomever made Moneyplays, I thank you. It’s the most diverse Madden playbook I’ve found yet, taking plays out of virtually every formation in a greatest-hits manner. It’s an approach that would probably be too diverse for a real team to practice, but in Madden you can get away with it. When players talk about learning the meta of Madden online, this playbook is built to put all the popular plays in one place.
The adage, “it’s a passing league” is true in Madden H2H like it so often is in real life. RealNoFlyZone is built as a counterpunch to the hail mary hopefuls you’ll often find online. With exotic plays in every nickel, big nickel, and dime package in the game, you’ll have extra defensive backs on the field to swallow up the speedy skill players on the offense. This is a playbook built for depth in the defensive backfield, though, so it’s best used if you’ve got four or five good cornerbacks. If playing a dime leaves you vulnerable in certain matchups, you may want to rethink your plan of attack.