Skill-Based Passing is designed to give you even more control over every pass you throw by combining a new passing meter to dictate your power and trajectory on pass and a new control for pinpoint precision. With Skill-Based Passing, you can now lead receivers open and place the ball where only they can get it. You’ll have the ability to make back-shoulder throws, place it into the perfect spot on a corner route, hit your receiver for an end zone fade, or drop it over the defense on a streak. Skill-Based Passing will open up your offense in a whole new way.
How Skill-Based Passing Works:
- The Basics
Skill-Based Passing is designed to be intuitive with both the control scheme and the visual feedback you receive when using the mechanic.
To use Skill-Based Passing, press any receiver icon to throw the ball and then use the left stick to aim your pass to lead the receiver. Skill-Based Passing can be used intuitively post-snap to throw the ball however you want, to whoever you want. It’s that simple.
However, there’s multiple layers to what Skill-Based Passing offers and we’ll start with the first thing you’ll notice when using it; the target area and target reticle.
- Target Area and Target Reticle
Visual Feedback is a key element of Skill Based Passing, ensuring players get the feedback needed to build their skill and achieve full control.
When you go to throw the ball to a receiver, you’ll notice the target area underneath them. This target area represents two key things; where you can aim your pass when using the left stick and the area the receiver can guarantee a catch attempt. Keep in mind that the target area can vary in size depending on the route of the receiver and depth of the pass.
Within that target area, you’ll see a new reticle so you can get that visual feedback for where you’re trying to lead the receiver. You’ll be able to move the reticle via the left stick. By default, the reticle will snap to the edge of the target area in the direction of your left stick input. For our more advanced players who want finer control over ball placement, we present to you Free-Form Passing.
- Free-Form Passing
Free Form passing is another layer of control you can master as you become your favorite NFL quarterback. Free-Form gives you the ability to pinpoint your throw to your receiver both within and outside of the target area.
A huge factor in unlocking Free-Form was capturing new catch animations to better pair with the throws real life quarterbacks make. Hold LT/L2 and aim down and away from your receiver with the left stick for a back-shoulder catch to keep the defensive back from making a play. Want to really lead your receiver on a streak? Use Free-Form to aim outside of the target area and down the field to let your receiver run under it. You’ll also be able to target the sidelines and corners of the end zones much easier with Free-Form to enable our new fade catch animations.
With Free-Form being activated with LT/L2, EA has removed the low-ball pass from Skill-Based Passing. However, you’ll still be able to throw a lower trajectory pass by holding down LT/L2 and moving the left stick down to have the receiver make a catch closer to the ground.
- Passing Meters
There are two new passing meters you can use with Skill-Based Passing, allowing you to choose what feels best.
Power Meter: This first meter focuses on you determining the power of your pass. The Power meter will help you visualize what type of pass you’re throwing depending on when you let go of the receiver icon. Release the receiver icon early to lob it, release the receiver icon in the middle of the meter to throw a touch pass, or hold the receiver icon to fill up the meter and fire a bullet pass. This meter is activated by selecting “Placement” as the Passing Type under the Skill Based Passing Settings.
Accuracy Meter: This meter offers you the ability to influence not only the power on the pass, but your accuracy as well. This meter is activated by selecting “Placement & Accuracy” as the Passing Type under the Skill Based Passing Settings.
Holding down the receiver icon starts the meter. Similar to the power meter, releasing the button early results in a lob pass, releasing in the middle releases in a touch, and holding it all the way down results in a bullet. Additionally, there is a blue portion of the meter where if you release the ball you are guaranteed an accurate or perfect pass. If you release the pass outside of this blue section, you won’t receive the accuracy boost to your pass and your quarterback’s accuracy ratings and game context will determine how accurate the throw is.
Developer Tip: The accuracy field on the meter can become more difficult to time and shrink when facing pressure, trying to throw on the run, or trying a cross-body throw. Your quarterback’s accuracy ratings and Superstar X-Factor abilities also scales the accuracy within the meter.
- Skill-Based Passing Settings
There is also a total control and customization with Skill-Based Passing under game options found in the settings menu.
You’ll be able to select between the Power Lead & Accuracy or Power Lead mechanic to use Skill-Based Passing.
It is encouraged that players to take advantage of the new Skill-Based Passing, you can select the classic passing type to use the legacy passing mechanics.
There is a offline only slowdown feature for Skill-Based Passing. When beginning your throw, the game will slow down so you can have more time to place the ball exactly where you want to.
You can also tune the speed at which the slowdown occurs so you can find the setting that works best for you.
Passing Free-Form Max Distance
You’ll have the option to select the maximum distance you want to pass lead outside of the target area when using Free-Form.
This setting ranges from keeping your reticle just outside the target area for safer pass leads to allowing you to pass lead the ball anywhere on the field.
Passing Free-Form Speed
This setting will allow you to tune how fast you want your reticle to move when using the Free-Form mechanic.
We recommend hopping into practice mode to really dial in the sensitivity that feels best.
Allows you to turn on/off the visuals for the reticle when leading a pass.
Allows you to turn on/off the visuals for either passing meter.