How to Play With Friends in Madden 23 (2024)

Whether you’re trying to play a casual game of football with a buddy sitting on the couch next to you or looking for something more competitive against each other online for bragging rights (or higher stakes), Madden 23 has plenty of options. Of course, some of those options include franchise mode, which is a mode that has been going through some severe issues over the last couple weeks (and much of this year), which is partially why we feel the need to explain ways you can play with others if you got burned and now can’t fathom starting another franchise.

By adjusting the quarter length, style of play, and and time of day, you’ll also be able to customize the terms of your potential friendship-ruining contest before kick-off. Rest assured that you don’t need to even tempt fate by creating a rift in your friendship with a heated game between the two of you. Perhaps you would prefer to team up together and add another friend into the mix by playing on a team together versus online opponents.

With an assortment of ways that you can play with friends, it’s worth going over the possibilities and walking you through how to set up each of them.

How To Play With Friends: Madden NFL 23

How to Play With Friends in Madden 23 (1)

Play Now

Probably the easiest menu to dive into if you’re sitting around the pad with a football-loving friend and you want to a game going quickly is the Play Now one. From there you can choose Play Now again to select home and away sides (flip a coin or rock-paper-scissors to decide?) and create a matchup with teams of your liking. Once you decide on a few variables like the aforementioned quarter length and style of play, it will be time for the two of you to clash for Madden 23 supremacy.

Don’t forget about the Pro Bowl and Madden Legacy games options where the two of you can control either the NFL’s current best players or legends from the past.

Online Head-To-Head

As you might expect from the title of the Play With Friends menu, this is a good one to peruse for linking up to play games with buddies online. Online Head-to-Head is merely an extension of the Play Now mode but with your friend being miles away instead of in the same room. Choose Play A Friend from the menu, find your friend’s online ID from the list, and then create a game once you’ve selected them.

From there you can customize the length and difficulty, but you’ll be unable to alter the competitive style of play. Send the game invite when you’re ready, select your team, and wait for your friend to accept.

How to Play With Friends in Madden 23 (2)

Superstar KO & The Yard

Superstar KO and The Yard are similar modes in that they both allow you to team up with buddies to play games on the same team, but they also have their subtle differences. Superstar KO will see you and up to two friends building a team with a handful of superstars and a celebrity coach and then playing quick 11-on-11 games with OT rules. To add friends to your team, simply ensure that you set your size to either 2v2 or 3vs3 depending on how any friends you have in tow. You’ll need to agree on what roles each of you will play on the team before facing online opponents.

The Yard, on the other hand, has you taking the player you create in the Face of the Franchise career mode into the online realm. You can once again partner with up to two friends but the games are meant to be loose like backyard games and only involve six players on each team. Whether or not you choose to play Ranked H2H or Live Events, you’ll then want to create a party so you can add your friends to your team. The roles that you settle on should suit your players’ archetypes if you want the best chance of success. Winning games will translate to rewards that will allow you to upgrade your player’s skills or attire. You can even play against three other friends online in The Yard by using a matchmaking password for the ultimate Madden friendship experience.

Madden Ultimate Team

MUT might not exactly be the best place to go for playing with friends in Madden 23, especially if you haven’t kept up with collecting the cards to build a decent team, but there are a couple ways to explore the realm together. You’ll find the opportunity to play an unranked game against a friend within the online menu, which should satisfy those who wish to not only compare skills but also assembled lineups.

The other point of interest will be Squads, where you can once again join up to two other friends, only this time you’ll each bring a component of your MUT squad to form your collective team. While it will help if everyone knows their role and communicates, it can sometimes be more fun when you’re not taking it too seriously and just messing around with your buddies.

Franchise Mode

If you have a lot of friends and are looking for something a little more elaborate while still playing with them, perhaps consider starting an online franchise. Granted, you would need 31 friends to be precise if you want to fill every team in the league with someone you know. Alternatively, you could find an existing franchise looking for a handful of members instead of starting one of your own. A good place to look would be on reddit or even our own Operation Sports forums.

The upside of being in a franchise is that you’ll now have to be better than your friends at roster management along with besting them on the field in any games you play. The downside to joining an online franchise is that there have been plenty of server issues affecting franchise this year, making franchise completely inaccessible at times.

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