Madden 22 Beginner’s guide to defense – Controls, tips, and tricks

Lock the opposition down with these tips.

Madden 22 season is in full swing, and that means a chance to make some big hits, and shut opposing offenses down. If you’re new to Madden, you might struggle with stopping other players from scoring players. If you fall in that category, we have you covered. Let’s go over the basic defense controls you should know for Madden 22, plus some helpful tips that could take your game to the next level.


Here’s a breakdown of the defense controls you should get familiar with in Madden 22


  • Show Play Art – LT/L2
  • Player Lock – Left Stick (x2)
  • Coverage Audible – Y/Triangle
  • Defense Hot Route – A/X
  • Pre-Play Menu – RS/Right Stick (Push)

During the play

  • Strafe – LT/L2
  • Defensive Assist – LB/L1
  • Sprint / RT/R2
  • Strip Ball – RB/R1
  • Dive Tackle – X/Square
  • Breakdown Tackle – A/X
  • Move Player – Left Stick
  • Press/Chuck – A/X + Left Stick
  • Hit Stick – Right Stick (Up)
  • Switch Player – B/Circle

Ball in air

  • Ball Hawk (Interception) – Y/Triangle
  • Swat – X/Square
  • Play Receiver – A/X

Defensive Engaged & Skill Stick (During Play)

  • Contain – LT/L2
  • Speed Rush – RT/R2
  • Swat – Y/Triangle
  • Switch Player – B/Circle
  • Rip – RS/Right Analog (Up)
  • Bull Rush – RS/Right Analog (Down)
  • Club/Swim – RS/Right Analog (Left or Right)


Now that we’ve gone over controls, let’s share a few tips on how you can improve your defense:

User with precision

Rather than controlling a lineman, you should almost always user with either a linebacker or safety. This is especially true in online play. By manually controlling a linebacker or safety, you can provide a roadblock that will either prevent, or limit, the number of times the opponent throws down the middle of the field. It will also give you a slightly better chance of getting interceptions via the Y/Triangle button.

Don’t always go for the big hit

It might be tempting to use the hit stick to create big hits and possibly jar the football loose from the carrier. However, one minor issue with this is that you might miss, thus leaving plenty of space for the runner. Avoid using the hit stick excessively. In some cases, especially if you have the carrier lined up perfectly, it’s fine to use. But in most cases, stick with A/X to wrap the ball carrier up and bring him down. This will limit the amount of yards given up on a given play.

Watch for tendencies

We mentioned this in our running guide, and our defense guide last year, and it’s worth repeating: be on the lookout for tendencies. In Madden 22, you want to keep a close eye on what plays your opponent is running. If the opposition is calling different plays on different downs, it’s going to be harder, but not impossible for you to stop. However, if you see that the opponent likes to run the football on first down, and a pass on second down, it will be easier to to game plan for future drives. Why? Well, if you see that the opposition likes to run on a certain down, then you, in response, can call a run-stuffing play like a blitz to stop the running back dead in his tracks.

Keeping an eye on these trends can give you a competitive advantage against sloppier players, so be mindful of them while playing in online affairs.

Other tips

  • Man v. Zone Coverage – It’s important to know the difference between man and zone coverage plays. In simple terms, man coverage is a type of play in which a defensive player (i.e. cornerback, safety, etc.) is assigned a specific receiver to cover during the play. This, however, usually doesn’t apply to defensive linemen. In zone coverage, a defensive player is assigned a zone. That player’s job is to cover that specific area of the field. You need to know this because some players will look to exploit certain coverage plays. For instance, some players will go for short passes to beat Cover 3 or Cover 4 Zone plays.
  • Look for speed – If you follow our recommendation and do plan to user with a linebacker or safety, you might to look for a fast player to control. If you are playing in MUT or Franchise mode, look for players with high Speed and Acceleration attributes. If you are playing Online Head to Head, look at the rosters and find teams that have agile linebackers and safeties.