Game Guides

Madden 21 – How To Use RPO (Run Pass Option)

It's all the rave these days.

by Dean James


Football has had many different terms used within it over the years, with so many different types or play styles changing over the years. It seems like there is always something new that is the talk of the town for a few years, with the latest over the last couple years being the RPO, or the Run Pass Option. This has been a big deal in college football especially, but even made its way to the NFL more recently due to the influx of mobile quarterbacks. Utilizing RPOs in Madden 21 can be very helpful to diversify your playbook and fool your opponents, so knowing how to use them is very important.

How To Use RPO (Run Pass Option)

RPO became and incredibly popular term over the last few years, with some people even jokingly turning how often announcers say the term into a drinking game. Madden 21 naturally had to have RPOs back again this year, as they are going to continue to be a force this upcoming season.

The Run Pass Option is just as it sounds, a play that gives the quarterback the opportunity to run the ball himself, hand off to a running back, or pass the ball depending on how the defense is set and then how they react upon the snap. There are three types of RPOs in the game, classified as Peek, Alert, and Read, each of which work a little bit differently.


RPO Peek

The RPO Peek is the first of the RPO choices, which has two parts to it. At the start of the play, the running back will run in front of the QB, with you having the option to press X on PS4 to hand it off to him. If you do not press X, then you will keep the ball and very quickly have to make the decision on where to throw it. This decision should be made based on how the linebacker reacts to the play. If you see him crashing in on the defense, you will want to throw it, but you can run it if he stays back. You have to be careful not to hold onto the ball for too long on a throw, as you may end up getting an ineligible man down field penalty as a result.

RPO Alert

RPO Alert plays run pretty much in the opposite way of the RPO Peek, as the running back is the first option here. Once you snap the ball, you will hand off the ball to the running back automatically if you do not press anything. However, if you do press a receiver button before the running back gets the handoff, you will end up throwing it. This works well for very quick slants or other type plays that get the ball out of the QB’s hands quickly.

RPO Read

Lastly we have the RPO Read, which is the most difficult of the trio. This is because there are three options at your disposal on each play instead of two. In the RPO Read, you can either hand the ball off to the running back, throw the ball with your QB, or run the ball with your QB. This means there are more defenders that you have to watch pre-snap and upon the snap to see how they react to decide what you want to do. Like before, you can hand the ball off to the RB by pressing X as they are running by the QB. If you pass on this, you are defaulted to pass after that, but you can take off by pressing R2 to scramble and run for some yards.

RPOs should be a big deal in Madden 21 yet again, so learning how to execute them, as well as how to defend them is going to be vital to your long term success online this year.

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