The XFL is in ‘Madden 20’ thanks to a dedicated team who made it happen
There is no official XFL video game, but thanks to a dedicated team there’s a workaround for that.
If you want to play as XFL teams in the latest Madden video game “Madden 20,” then there’s now a way. All eight teams — St. Louis BattleHawks, D.C. Defenders, New York Guardians, Tampa Bay Vipers, Houston Roughnecks, Dallas Renegades, L.A. Wildcats, Seattle Dragons — are included in a new mod released by the people behind the @XFL2KMod Twitter account.
If you’re new to mods, basically think of it as an editor for the video game. You can’t change everything within the game, but you can change enough to offer a unique gameplay.
“When you are in the editor, jerseys, helmets, pants, referees uniforms, fields, stadium interior walls, etc. look a certain way,” Tyler West, the leader behind the mod, told Sporting News. “We must use Photoshop to edit these things and export them as textures using another software to do so. Everything in the game has a file, so it’s just a find and replace mining-style operation alongside of the creation process.”
The uniforms and stadiums for all eight teams are complete, but the mod team only released the initial beta with four of the teams being completely finished products with full rosters. As of now, seven of the eight teams are done with the entire league expected to be finished by the end of XFL’s Week 5.
As for how West and his team were able to give the game an authentic look, he says it’s not too difficult once you’ve been doing it for a while.
“You’re just playing the copycat game trying to get it exactly how it looks in real life,” he says. “There’s a lot still to be tweaked but at face value it’s been a lot of progress in a short time frame. I have been creating jersey numbers for each team from scratch, which is quite tedious, so that’s why some teams have jerseys but, for instance, the Renegades still had the Browns’ orange numbers on the away jersey.”
Of course, not everything is going to be perfect. As you can see from the Jordan Ta’amu screenshot above, there are plenty of XFL features — the field logo, the BattleHawks decoration around the stadium. But if you look up top, you’ll see the Chicago Bears logo. If you play at home with St. Louis, you’re actually playing at Ford Field because it most closely resembles the BattleHawks’ dome stadium.
“We are only allowed to use what is already in game; we can’t build The Dome in St. Louis for instance,” West says. “So for the BattleHawks, being the only XFL team outside an NFL city, my goal was to pick an NFL stadium that was as close as possible. Dallas, Houston, and D.C. are the other teams in the league who don’t have their real stadiums in game, however we can at least use stadiums in their NFL market.”
Another unfortunate limitation is you can’t play with full XFL rules. For instance, the XFL has unique kickoff rules and no kickers on extra points. But thanks to the addition of college football in “Madden 20” the team was able to add a few rule changes from the XFL.
“This is one of those things we wanted so bad, but as of now we haven’t cracked the code on kickoffs,” West says. “We’re working on a solution for PATs. We want to make it so teams go for two every time, but we can’t add a 3-point try or a 1-point try that isn’t an extra point. The time clock inside two minutes isn’t possible either, so we use college clock rules for first downs. We set play clocks to 25 seconds, and catches only require one foot inbounds.”
Right now the mod is just a beta version, which means it will be fully finalized in the future. Part of the future mod will include CFL teams as well as AAF teams.
“Ever since [EA Sports] dropped create a team, I longed for some way to customize a football game again,” West says. “I worked on some NFL redesigns in the fall, and worked on a different college football project, but as XFL season approached I couldn’t help but get excited. So I planned a project which was meant to be private, just for me, that I would share with others every once in awhile. But then I realized the potential and figured this could be something special.”
How to play with the XFL mod in ‘Madden 20’
You can download everything you need here.
This mod only works on PC, meaning you can not use it on Xbox or PlayStation. Use the “XFL_README.txt” file to follow instructions on how to download. As the top of that document reads, you will need a few things in order for this to work properly.
You can follow along with the XFL2KMod Twitter account for the latest updates.
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