The Basics of Madden 18 Ultimate Team

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EA has finally convinced me to give Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) a real shot this year. It all started when I bought the Madden 18 G.O.A.T edition which includes some packs and cards to get started in Ultimate Team. If you are new to Ultimate Team, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. In this first article, I’ll provide an overview of the Ultimate Team mode. Make sure to check back on some tips and strategy on how to build your Ultimate Team.

What is Madden Ultimate Team?

Madden Ultimate Team, also known as MUT, is a game mode in Madden that lets players open packs of virtual trading cards of current and former NFL players to develop their own ultimate NFL roster to use in Madden. It’s like a combination of old school trading cards and fantasy football. Users can auction off cards for in-game coins which can then be used to buy other cards or packs of cards. Users can also trade cards with other users.

In addition to coins, there are also MUT points. MUT points are purchased through the X-box Store or the Playstation Network. Points can also be used to purchase cards and packs. Learn more about coins and points here.

Let’s Talk Cards

The core set of cards vary in quality from bronze to elite. The quality of the card determines the player’s ratings for Madden gameplay purposes and increases the overall rating of your team.

MUT Cards

Notice the difference in Cameron Wake Silver and Cameron Wake Elite OVR Ratings

There are other special cards such as power up cards than can be “leveled up” by completing in-game collections. Gaunlet Champions, Rookie Premiere, Legends, GOATs, Kickoff Challenge Gold, Baby GOATs, and Longshot are some of the other special card collections than can be collected through completing in-game tasks or other special events.

You can cycle through the “back” of each card to learn more about remaining contract uses, key attributes, boosts, and if the card can be listed for auction or traded.

MUT Cards

In addition to player cards you will find cards for coaches, stadiums, uniforms, and playbooks.

You also have to keep an eye on contracts. Each time you participate in a game with your team in solo challenges or head to head, contracts are deducted from your players’ cards. If you use all the contracts on your card, you have to replenish the contract uses before you can use the card again.

Getting around the MUT Menu

There are several tabs to scroll through on the Ultimate Team menu.

The first is the live tab that includes objective and other new events that pop up over the course of the NFL season. Objectives include daily tasks such as “WIN A GAME” and “COMPLETE A SET” that help you earn extra coins.

MUT Daily


The longer term goal is to complete the MUT MASTER objective and earn a 95 OVR Sean Taylor card and 500k coins. It won’t be easy!

MUT Master

The play tab is where you will find all of the various game modes you can compete in using your Ultimate Team.

  • Solo Challenges – Complete these challenges against the CPU to earn cards and coins.
  • Seasons – In seasons, you play against human opponents through an Ultimate Team Season of 10 games. With 7 of them and you make the playoffs. Win 3 playoff games and you make the Super Bowl. The higher you get, the better the rewards.
  • Salary Cap Ranked – To play this mode, you have to use in-game tickets to gain access. Tickets can be purchased with coins or points. This is one of the modes to play if you want to compete for the Madden Club Championship Series.
  • MUT Champions  This mode is scheduled to open on August 28th. The goal is to get a chance to participate in a Weekend League. To do so, you have to win three games in a row in a “Knockout Tournament”. If you make the weekend league, you want to try to win as many games as you can. The top players will get some sweet loot with number one ranked player winning 250k coins and 4 elite players. Learn more about MUT Champions here.
  • MUT Draft – This mode lets you draft a team (it used to be called Draft Champions). It costs 5 tickets to enter the ranked drafts. You do not use your ultimate team set for this. Instead you get to choose from a group of players for key positions to use. It can be fun especially if you like the idea of drafting.
  • MUT Squads – This is where you can team-up with two other players to play Madden cooperatively. The last time team play was available was in Madden 25 (2013).

The store tab is where you can buy packs, list cards to auction or trade, and open new packs. Don’t spend too much time in the auction house because you will constantly be sniped at the last minute on cards you want!

The team tab is where you will set your line-up, look through your cards and items in your binder, complete collections through the upgrade sets section, set your coach, playbooks, uniforms and stadium, and lastly set your team name.

Madden Ultimate Team

MUT Levels

The last thing I’ll mention is as you complete challenges and games in MUT you will gain XP that goes towards increasing your MUT level. Increasing your MUT level opens up new solo challenges and also makes new packs available for purchase in the store.

What do you like most about MUT? Post in the comments below.