Last year, Superstar and X-Factor abilities were added to the Madden franchise. These new abilities, when equipped to a player, gave a special in-game boost to a specific player when a certain objective was met. Both are returning to Madden 21, including Madden Ultimate Team, but the amount of abilities you can active during a game has changed. That’s thanks to a new mechanic that has been added to MUT, entitled Ability Caps.
In a Madden 21 Gridiron Notes article on August 18, the Madden development team discussed this new feature. Simply put, Ability Caps are the caps, or the limits, that will decide how many active abilities you can have during a game. Last year, in Madden 20, MUT players could choose three players on offense and defense (six total) that could have an ability active.
This year, there will be a 10 point Ability Point (AP) limit at the start of the year. The Madden devs stated that there will be times during Madden 21’s life cycle where the AP limit will increase. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that each ability’s AP cost will differ based upon the player archetype. For example, the Hot Route Master ability will cost 2 AP for a Field General QB, but 4 AP for a Scrambling QB.
As far as X-Factors go, the standard from last year will remain the same. Players will still be able to have three X-Factor players on offense and defense (six total). However, there will be no AP cost for default X-Factor abilities. If new X-Factor variations are released, though, with different triggers and/or knockdowns, those new modified abilities may come with an AP cost.
Lastly, the Madden devs noted that each card will have a maximum of five abilities active during a game. The number of abilities that a card can have active will depend on this tier list:
- 80 OVR: Tier 1 Ability Slot
- 85 OVR: Tier 2 Ability Slot
- 90 OVR: Tier 3 Ability Slot
- 98 OVR: Tier 3 Ability Slot
- 99 OVR: Tier 3 Ability Slot