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Madden 21: How to Run RPO (Run Pass Option) Plays

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Madden 21: How to Run RPO (Run Pass Option) Plays

In this guide, we’ll be running you through how to run RPO in Madden 21. RPO, also known as Run Pass Option, was introduced to the Madden series with the release of Madden 20. This guide will talk you through how to select and use RPO plays in-game, as well as the different types of RPO and which ones you’ll want to use in different scenarios.

Run Pass Option in Madden 21 Explained

RPO is a selection of plays that gives players the option to either run or pass depending on what the defense appears to be doing.

These are some of the most complex moves you can pull off in Madden 21, and so can be overwhelming to newcomers.

That being said, they’re complex for a reason. Run Pass Options give players an added level of control over their offensive plays which can be crucial to confusing your opponent and winning the game.

How to Use RPOs in Madden 21

Run Pass Options can be found in your playbook in their own special RPO section. The easiest way to find them is to sort your plays by ‘Play Type.’ Then you can simply tab over until you see the RPOs option.

As was the case in the last Madden game where they were introduced, players have three different RPOs they can use. These are Peek, Alert, and Read. They all work a little differently to one another, so down below we’ve explained how each one works and when you’d want to use them so that they’re most effective.

Peek RPO

Peek RPO allows you to see how a defense is moving before allowing you to decide whether to pass or run the ball.

Peek RPOs can be difficult to utilize as you’re only given 1-2 seconds to decide whether you want to run the ball before the game locks you into a pass. If you don’t pass fast enough after that, you could be hit with a penalty for having an illegal man down the field. As such, it’s imperative that you figure out what’s going on with the defense and react to that in a split second if you’re going to use Peek Run Play Options effectively.

The best way to do this is to hold the left trigger to view the pre-play overview of the field. When the ball is hiked, you need to watch the defender with a P over their head in this view, and see how they react to the ball.

If they attack the line of scrimmage by rushing your RB, pass the ball, as you can quickly make it around them and have one less player to worry about guarding your opponent’s defensive line.

If the defender doesn’t rush your RB, run the ball, as you’ll have then have a better chance of finding a running lane.

When you’ve decided what you want to do, simply press X on PS4 or A on Xbox One quickly to run the ball, or press the button of the receiver you want to pass it to if that’s your preferred option. Neither is necessarily wrong, it all depends on your opponent’s defensive movements.

Alert RPO

Alert Run Play Options are similar to Peeks, but they’ll automatically hand the ball off if you don’t make a choice quick enough.

That does mean you’ve got less time to react and decide what you want to do. If you don’t do anything, your player will automatically hand off the ball. If you want to pass into an open lane for your receiver, quickly press the button of the receiver you want to throw it to.

Read RPO

Saving the most complex Run Play Option in Madden 21 until the end is the Read RPO. This works very similarly to the Peek RPO, but you’ll have the added option of running the ball with your QB.

The Read RPO therefore gives you three options, you can pass the ball to another player, run it with your RB along the planned path, or send it to your QB and have them run in a completely different direction, which can throw off your opponent’s defense.

What makes the Read RPO so effective in Madden 21 is the fact that if you can execute it, it’s incredibly difficult for your opponent to defend three different possible options. On the flip-side, you’ll also need to be able to react very quickly, pinpointing the weakness in the enemy’s defense and choosing the correct option to successfully exploit your opponent’s defense.

To run the ball in a Read RPO, press X on PS4 or A on Xbox One. To pass it to another player simply press the button of the receiver you want. Finally, to scramble with the QB, press and hold RT on PS4 or RT on Xbox One.

That’s the basics of running RPO plays in Madden 21. Head over to our wiki for more tips and tricks, or you can browse through more of our guides and coverage below.

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