This game guide will help users play the NCAA Next mod and inform the user of tips, tricks, and the necessary steps to do to avoid known bugs and crashes that may result in some of the mods we have implemented, in addition to just overall basic game concepts.
This guide is primarily tailored around the "ISO" Mod, which is our modernization of the game databases and game engine that requires users to apply our patched game files into a new "ISO" game image to play on their game emulators and consoles.
The first thing users should do when starting the game is to make sure the settings are properly applied.
Go to My NCAA and go into the various game settings. We recommend enabling Widescreen mode in Visual Options, for example.
In our Game Guides, we have a few slider and gameplay settings our team members use to play the game as well!
One of the new features that our mod adds, as of V13, is the addition of the Accelerated Clock option. This feature allows users to quickly wind down the play clock and game clock to 17 or 20 seconds after the play is picked. This option can be enabled by turning on EASY PLAY mode in the EASY PLAY settings, and then going to the Easy Play menu and enabling it.
With accelerated clock enabled, a good formula for figuring out how long to set the Game Quarter Length to is to double the quarter length you currently use, and subtract 1 or 2 minutes.
For example, 5 minute quarters == 9 minutes with accelerated clock.
For 7 minutes == 12 minutes with accelerated clock.
Starting a Dynasty
The Dynasty is the meat and bones of the NEXT mod. In this mod, we completely re-wrote the game database to be as modern as possible, including adding missing FBS teams, re-aligning conference structure, adding real coaches and strategies, real player rosters, adding in real bowl games, full 12-game conferences, more conference championships, removing divisions where applicable, and the mother of them all -- adding in the College Football Playoff!
The first option to consider is whether you want Coach Contracts to be enabled or not. This can be chosen by pressing L2/R2 buttons. If you are using our Coach Carousel mod, which allows users to FIRE CPU Coaches, you will need to disable Coach Contracts.
One thing some users like to do is to customize the dynasty with different teams from FCS or their own created school. When you start a dynasty, at the team selection screen, you can also press SELECT to open up the swapping menu to swap in FCS or Created Schools with an existing FBS team.
Simulation of Games
One pro-tip for simulating games is to be sure to exit the Schedule screen after you simulate a block of games at a time. We have seen memory issues when you try to do multiple simulations in a row. We have tried to reduce this problem in a recent patch, but it may still occur if you do not exit the schedule screen and then re-enter.
We recommend pressing L1/L2 buttons to show the "Weekly" schedule (which shows all teams) when simulating. This has been tested to have less bugs than when simulating in the single team schedule screens.
When users reach the Playoff Round, we currently have a known bug where if you SAVE at the Semi-Finals round, exit the game completely, and then re-start later, and re-load the save, the entire off-season will have a bug where no bowl games will be scheduled except the National Championship game after the CFB Semis are played. Essentially, there will be no bowl games besides the playoff.
So, if you reach this stage, use SAVE STATES if you have to leave, or play the Semi Final games first before you save and exit.
We are working on a fix for this!
End of Year
The End of the Year, after National Championship game is played and BEFORE you enter the off-season is the best time to do any DB Edits to your dynasty save files, if you plan on doing any of this!
The off-season is a fun stage of the NCAA Football video games and the NEXT mod has made some edits to how transfers behave, as well as modifying the names, types and attributes. Before you get too far into the off-season tasks, there are a few things to keep in mind and they will be discussed in each of the follow sections.
Budgets & Transfers
The budget section is important to NOT skip, even if you don't change the budget spread. Skipping this will not show the Transfers at all with the way this mod works. This is because the transfers have been set to waive the 1 year waiting period, so players can start immediately. But, because the way this is done, if you skip Budgets, and enter Transfers stage, it will not show the new transfers because they are already assigned to the team with their waiver year removed.
Second thing to keep in mind in Budget stage is that the CPU coaches have their disciplinary budgets set between 20-25%. This gives them more budget for recruiting and training. It's recommended to keep user coaches in the same range.
Finally, in the Transfers stage, we have modded NCAA Next to have up to 12 Transfers OUT of any school. That means, you could lose 12 players each year if your team has players that want to leave! Teams that typically pick up these transfers are lower performing teams or have positions of need. It's more likely you get transfers the worst your team is, and less likely the better your team is.
Recruiting acts the same way as it has before, but with the added new features like modernized names, more player archetypes due to much more variety in player attributes, and adjusted skin tone diversity based on real-life per-position data.
One thing to note here is that it is recommended to save during recruiting, after Week 5 due to a randomly occurring bug in the Position Change stage where no players show up. Players are still on the team, but they won't show up for some reason here!
Like was mentioned above, it is recommended to save after Recruiting is completed, but before entering Position Change Stage, and then re-loading this save. This will avoid a bug where no players show up. Don't fret too much, as the players are still there, even if you don't make the save. You just won't be able to change player positions.
In V13.4, we will be making a big change to recruit positions and stacking OL players to the left side, and DL and LB players to the right side. This is to allow CPU depth chart selection processing to be "smarter" about who they pick for their starting line ups. This should not affect anything else, except putting the best OL, DE, and OLB players into the starting lineups by default.