Madden CFM: Should you buy the development trait or not?

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I see this question come up pretty often. Is it better to spend your Madden CFM XP to upgrade your players or save it to buy the development trait to earn even more XP?

There’s not a simple answer because there are various factors that come into play.

Cost of Development Trait

The most obvious factor is how much does the development trait cost. It varies from player to player and I’m not exactly sure what the cost is based on. Compare the two Saints QB’s below. Luke McCown is old and his development trait costs 13,500 XP while the younger Garrett Grayson costs more at 16,500 XP.

Madden Development Trait Madden Development Trait

Leveling up to Superstar

So let’s use Brandin Cooks as an example and try to take him from quick development to superstar. I’ll focus on him with game prep making sure we use a skill drill that gives XP bonuses to wide receiver to grind him to superstar as fast as possible from Week 1 of Season 1.

It costs 16,875 XP to take Cooks from quick to superstar.

Superstar Development

I will do the same with FS Von Bell. He is a rookie and is currently at normal development. It costs 13,500 XP to take Bell from normal to quick.

Vonn Bell Development

With no adjustments to XP sliders, Brandin Cooks receives +400 XP from the game prep drill plus another 200 XP for being a focus player. Vonn Bell receives +300 from the game prep drill and another +100 XP for the focus player.

Note: This is also a newly created coach so there are no XP bonus position packages owned.

I will be simming the games so any milestones or XP achieved from weekly goals will be random. I also moved Bell up the depth chart to be the starter. With only 600 XP for Cooks and 400 XP for Bell per week it would take 28-33 weeks from game prep alone.

Game Prep XP

Fast forward 8 Weeks…..

Cooks is up to just over 8k XP and Bell has almost 5k…still a long way from becoming higher development players. Since my coach has enough XP, I will buy the defensive back XP boost since Bell is not gaining XP as fast. The coach XP boost adds another +120 XP per week for Bell.

Week 8 XP

Fast forward to Week 17….

After hitting a few milestones and having some good games, Cooks has enough XP to buy the superstar development package.

With the superstar development trait, Cooks earns +600 XP from the game prep drill and +300 XP from the player development focus. That’s an additional 300 XP per week going from quick to superstar.

The Saints made the playoffs but lost in the divisional round. Vonn Bell aged 1 year and the price of the development trait dropped to 12,420 XP so I was able to advance him to quick development before Season 2.

Dev Trait

Going from normal to quick increases Bells weekly game prep XP to +620 from +420. After buying the coach boost for WR game prep, Cooks maxes out at +1120 XP per week.


Unless you are in a franchise with XP sliders tuned up, it’s not worth it to buy the development package to gain 200-300 XP per week. That’s 4,200-6,300 XP more per season from game prep with the potential for more depending on weekly goals and milestones. In order to justify the cost of buying the development upgrade package at 13,500 to 16,875 XP, you would need to keep the player for 2-3 seasons worth of development. Considering most franchises don’t last that long, it’s better to just upgrade your player’s attributes and traits.