Everything We Know About Dynasty Mode In ‘EA Sports College Football 25’

In late May, the EA Sports team invited a group of writers, podcasters, and content creators down to their Orlando campus to get a first look at EA Sports College Football 25. UPROXX was part of that group and got an opportunity to get our hands on gameplay and learn as much as we could about the most anticipated sports game release in a decade — for our full gameplay breakdown, go here.

Like most longtime fans of the game, the thing I wanted to know about the most was Dynasty mode. It was the core piece of the old NCAA Football franchise and set the standard for coach/GM career modes in the sports video game space. Road to Glory was fun (and seems very intriguing in the new version), but Dynasty is what makes this game so beloved. The question many had was whether Dynasty would remain the focal point of the new game, or if it’d get put on the backburner for other game modes that have become popular in Madden that also make more money for EA, like Ultimate Team.

I am happy to report that Dynasty remains the mode EA Sports College Football is built around. As principal game designer Ben Haumiller (who was part of the team that built NCAA Football 05-14) stated in his presentation, “Dynasty is what we’re about.” Another developer told me he felt Dynasty was where the majority of their focus had been as they put the game together, and they made sure that mode was built out as best as possible. For those that were worried Ultimate Team would take center stage, it and Teambuilder did not even get noted in the 2-hour presentation, proving Dynasty is, indeed, what they’re about.

We got a chance to see visuals of the recruiting and transfer portal process, along with details about what is and isn’t part of the game. Here, I’ll give you all of the information we were able to get about Dynasty, which I am extremely excited to get my hands on, and what I think it all means for when the game releases in July.


You’ll be able to go 30 years deep into each Dynasty, like the old games, and you will now have the ability to have 32 user-controlled teams in both online and offline Dynasties. The online Dynasty mode will NOT be available for crossplay, meaning you’ll have to play with folks with the same console as you — at least for the first iteration of the game.

They also brought back the ability to start your career as an offensive or defensive coordinator, as well as head coach. The word they really harped on with Dynasty was making it the “sandbox,” where gamers have the chance to make of it what they want. They seem to be delivering on that promise at just about every level.


Custom conferences are back, but with more depth than ever before. Not only can you move teams around, but you can change conference rules and create custom protected opponents. That means if you want the SEC to go to nine conference games each season with the conference championship game being played at the top-ranked team’s home stadium rather than at a neutral site, you can do that.


Custom schedules are also back, but your conference games are still locked in on your schedule each year and you cannot move them around. The reasoning is because the game uses the actual schedule rotations provided by the conferences going into the future, and their goal is to provide as authentic an experience as possible. They also went deeper to ensure annual matchups fall on the correct date, so rivalries are going to be on the week they’re played every year in real life. The schedules will also feature every non-conference game already agreed to, which means those games we laugh about being scheduled in 2032 will be in the game when you get to that point of your Dynasty.

Week 0 is also in the game, but they do not have licensing for the stadium in Dublin, Ireland, so games scheduled there will be at a different neutral site location in the game. Kickoff games are part of the game and are licensed, but will be scheduled by the CPU, so you cannot put UMass in the Duke’s Mayo Kickoff Game, sadly.


You will be able to import teams you create from the TeamBuilder website into Dynasty mode and play as the school you created. You can design uniforms, helmets, and fields to import into the game, and will be able to download created schools made by others if you want a custom option but aren’t big into graphic design. Full details on TeamBuilder will be arriving later this summer.


Skill Trees and Archetypes

When building out your coach, you will select one of three Archetypes: Motivator, Recruitor, or Tactician. Each of those will come with different strengths and weaknesses within the 11 skill trees each coach will gain attributes in. You will not be able to max out all of your skill trees in this version of the game, as it’s a departure from NCAA 14 where you would max out your recruiting and then go max out your game management skills. Instead, you’ll have to figure out what’s most important to you and build your coach accordingly, getting boosts in some areas but having weaknesses in others. The goal of the game at every level is to make sure the decisions you make throughout matter and have a lasting impact.

Coaching Carousel/Staff Hiring and Firing

The coaching carousel is back and you’ll get offers based on your reputation and performance, both as a coordinator and head coach.

A new wrinkle that many fans have wanted is the ability to hire and fire members of your staff. Your coordinators will also have skill trees, which means you can choose to have coordinators that fill in gaps in your skill tree as a head coach — giving you balance but not the big boosts — or you can hire like-minded coaches that will unlock the highest level boosts in those areas.

You’ll also be able to fire members of your staff and go into the coaching carousel and either try to poach coaches from other schools or hire from a pool of free agent coaches. However, each coach will have a “talent tree” of players (which you will be able to look at) that are attached to them from either the recruiting process or playing for them. As such, if you fire a guy, just like in real life, you’ll probably lose some players to the transfer portal.


The Basics

Each year will feature 4,000 prospects, with 32 earning 5-star status. Pitch grades also return, with 14 in total – including Proximity to Home, Playing Time, Sending Players to the NFL, and Brand Exposure – and many recruits will have dealbreakers, where they won’t consider your school if you don’t meet their required grade in certain areas.

Athletes are back and can play two or three positions, and it will let you know what your team needs and positional needs are in the recruiting screen, as well as which players are risk of transferring. The transfer portal is also part of the same screen, but won’t open until the offseason (more on that in a bit). The recruiting process is, as they worded it, a combination of some of their greatest hits, as they felt they rolled it back too far with the points-based system. Haumiller told me they simply thought they’d fix that “next year” and then had to wait 11 years for the chance.

Recruiting Process

There is a good bit more detail in recruiting compared to ’14, as you’ll assign hours to recruits. In the offseason, your recruiting hours and transfer portal hours will be one in the same, once again forcing you to make decisions on where to focus your efforts. You’ll also need to be cognizant of leaving roster spots open for portal guys. The early signing period also makes its debut in the game, with the portal opening after Early Signing Day.

The recruiting process will happen in stages, as will scouting. Gone is the ability to get a full scout on a guy in one week, as you won’t be able to get a guy’s skill tree until you bring him on an official visit. You will have to stay above a cut line through the process, going from a recruit locking in his top 10 to top 8 to top 5 and top 3. You’ll divide your allotment of recruiting hours across your recruiting board – the hours we saw on the screen were 55, but I don’t have it confirmed if your recruiting hours to spend are dependent on your staff’s skill trees or not.

Players will again have things that are important to them within the 14 pitch grades and those will impact how interested they are in your school. There will no longer be a way to manipulate recruiting logic to pull in guys that weren’t interested in you by throwing points at them. If they value proximity to home most and live in California, even if your Georgia Bulldogs are No. 1 in the nation, they won’t be interested.

Within that, it will be much harder to rapidly build a smaller program into a national title contender. No longer will you spend one year with a small school and be able to bring in 4-stars and 5-stars, like in ’14. Those top recruits will not consider your school and have you locked out with dealbreakers early on. Instead, you’re going to have to truly build up the program over years, building up those pitch grades to be able to land top tier talent, both in the portal and recruiting, years down the line.

Recruiting Visits

Once a player locks in his Top 5, you’ll be able to bring him on a visit and you will once again be able to design a recruit’s visit to show him the things that matter to him – or hide things you’re not highly-regarded in. What game you bring someone to will also matter this year, with the game’s outcome (win or loss) impacting how well the visit goes. For example, if you bring a recruit to a game against No. 2 Ohio State, a win will move you a lot closer to signing him than if you bring him to a UL Monroe game and win. On the flip side, a loss to a highly-ranked team won’t hurt you as much, but losing to a lesser school will likely tank your chances with that recruit.

Complementary and competitive visits also are back, meaning bringing three quarterbacks to the same game will not go over very well. On the flip side, if you bring a running back and offensive lineman, you’ll get a boost for that visit.

Transfer Portal

The Portal will open after the early signing period and will be part of the offseason process, so it’s a shortened process compared to high school recruiting. The portal section is a tab you can toggle to from the recruiting page (using L1/R1). Service academies can use the portal, unlike in real life – as can Clemson, which Dabo Swinney will surely not like. You will have to manage your offseason recruiting hours for both the portal and the remainder of your HS recruiting. Like in real life, players you were close to landing in high school recruiting will remember that when they enter the portal and you are likely going to end up as one of their preferred destinations in the transfer portal.

You also can encourage your own players to enter the portal to clear up your roster. They are also bringing back the offseason step of trying to persuade players not to go to the NFL or go into the transfer portal, with Very Low, Low, Moderate, High, Very High chances of success in stopping a guy from leaving your school.

Players will enter the portal based on a number of factors, most notably how you are doing in holding up your end of the bargain with their dealbreakers. For example, if you land a recruit based off Playing Time and he doesn’t play as a freshman, he’s at risk to enter the portal. Throughout the year, it will let you know who is at risk for the portal, and it will be up to you whether you make adjustments to try and keep guys or continue on the same plan and let a guy hit the portal.


There is not NIL in Dynasty mode, and they have a pretty good reason for that. When developing the game, NIL was done by the collectives and wasn’t (legally) something coaches and the schools controlled. Beyond that, given how quickly things have changed with NIL, they didn’t want to put something in the game that was outdated as quickly as it was built – that point got enforced when the NCAA settlement to allow schools to pay players came down a few hours after our presentation.

So, in the future, NIL will likely make its way in once that’s something schools do, but for the first year it will not and the reasoning is solid. Also, I was told not to expect there to ever be a way to commit financial crimes or do grimy stuff in the game, as it’s a rated E game and they’re not changing that, plus the schools they partner with won’t want to that element involved.


One thing that was made clear is that you will be very limited with what you can do in terms of editing players compared to the old NCAA Football franchise, but for good reason. Because the players in this year’s game are actually the guys that are on the rosters, you won’t be able to make considerable edits to them beyond Teambuilder mode. It’s a small price to pay to have the game back with the actual players in it.


Rivalry games are all in the game, with the appropriate name at every level — for example, Georgia State-Georgia Southern is in the game as Modern Day Hate. If your rivalry game has a trophy, that trophy is in the game and they probably did a motion capture session of players celebrating with a wooden model of that trophy. You will be able fill your trophy case and look to take down rival schools. Records are also back at the school, conference, and national level, as are the many national awards your players can win.


I forgot to add this initially, but you will not be able to export draft classes to Madden. That is because the players in the game are the actual college football players, and the licensing deals for EA CFB and Madden are totally separate. The Madden deal is through the NFLPA, and active players in college football won’t have signed there. This is one of the small prices to pay for the game being back with real players — and no, once you get 6 years deep into a Dynasty, this doesn’t change (yet, at least).


My biggest takeaway from the presentation and talking with developers at EA was that Dynasty will be what fans have wanted it to be. Now, that doesn’t mean it will have everything folks have ever wanted and won’t have some flaws to tweak going forward, but after spending 11 years ideating on what a modern Dynasty mode could be, I do believe they’ve created something that will be really enjoyable. What they’ve done with recruiting looks very cool and I’d guess there will be more to learn as we get closer to launch about how everything works, as we got just a high-level look at the process.

One of the things I’m most interested in seeing is how long it takes to build a program in this game. It used to be you could turn just about any program around into a contender in two years. From everything we saw and everything I heard from people in the building, that won’t be the case in this game. What I don’t know is if that means it’s now a 4-year job or a 7-year job to make that incremental climb to being a perennial title contender, but I’m excited to get in there and find out. It is truly going to be a process of building a program, not only in having early issues in recruiting and the portal, but on the field, where the new gameplay changes make it very difficult to thrive with lesser players.

We’ll find out exactly how it all works on July 19 (or July 16, for those that get the Deluxe Edition), but you can put to rest any fears that Dynasty would be pushed to a backburner in the new game.

Uproxx was invited on a hosted trip by EA Sports for reporting on this piece. They did not review or approve this story. You can find out more about our policy on press trips/hostings here.