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NHL 23

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Sports
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Bucharest (EU), EA Vancouver (US)
Release Date: Oct. 14, 2022

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'NHL 23' Details Updated Features and Innovations, Shows Off Gameplay - Screens & Trailer

by Rainier on Aug. 30, 2022 @ 10:02 a.m. PDT

NHL 23 brings players together with the most socially connected Chel experience ever and adds women's players to the Ultimate Team.

Electronic Arts is bringing hockey fans together with EA Sports NHL 23, the most authentic and immersive NHL game ever.

NHL 23 is greater together and will bring an all-new level of social play never before seen in the franchise when cross-platform matchmaking comes to the game in November 2022, allowing matchmaking between players of the same platform generation in World of Chel and Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT).

Powered by the Frostbite engine, NHL 23 brings fans new levels of authenticity with gameplay improvements that include over 500 new last chance playmaking animations, living arenas and atmosphere, deep franchise-mode customization and new ways to play HUT, including the addition of IIHF Women’s National Teams in HUT, allowing the best women’s and men’s players in the world to compete on one lineup.

EA Sports has also revealed two cover athletes for NHL 23 that represent an exciting new generation of hockey talent—Anaheim Ducks phenom Trevor Zegras and Canadian professional hockey and women’s national team member Sarah Nurse, the first woman to grace the cover of EA Sports NHL.

In a historic first, IIHF Women’s National Team members can now play alongside men in a Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) lineup, allowing players to make their dream team of the sport’s best players. After their introduction last year, national teams will continue to play a prominent role in NHL 23, as national team players will have both base and master items incorporated into HUT events. In addition, players can now compete in a variety of new rotating game themes in HUT Rivals. NHL 23 also introduces three additional tiers of HUT Rivals Rewards based on win or win streaks.

For the second year, the EA Sports NHL franchise returns to the legendary Frostbite engine, bringing whole new levels of visual immersion to the game. From electrifying new OT Winner, Hat Trick and Shootout celebrations that will hype you up, to raucous stadiums with overhauled levels of Crowd Awareness and Moment to Moment Reactions, NHL 23 has the most authentic in-game atmosphere in franchise history. A whole new series of Last Chance Puck Movement gameplay animations add even more excitement to the game, with over 500 new Stumble Action animations, loose puck plays and enhanced goalie AI.

EA SPORTS has released a new NHL 23 gameplay deep dive trailer that gives fans a first look at the all-new gameplay innovations and updated features of the game, which will be the most authentic representation of hockey yet. NHL 23’s gameplay experience boasts brand-new features such as last chance puck movement, new assisted strategies and X-Factors, updated AI awareness and more, while building upon our dedicated community’s feedback. 

Fans can look forward to the following adjustments and additions in NHL 23 with more to be revealed: 

Last Chance Puck Movement

Contact with another player is one of the most frequent occurrences in gameplay and now in NHL 23, Last Chance Puck Movement adds another layer of authenticity and excitement to gameplay with 500 new animations related to player contact and desperation plays.

Last Chance Puck Movement encompasses a new series of desperation gameplay animations that react to player contact with one another for more accuracy and authenticity.

In previous EA SPORTS NHL titles, various levels of contact resulted in a loss of offensive player control to reward defense, but this model lacked authenticity and impeded in-game action. Last Chance Puck Movement keeps the game flowing by allowing players to react to contact rather than freeze so you can create more dynamic plays on the ice.

A new mechanic accompanies this addition to gameplay. When players double-tap “shoot” or “pass” buttons while skating towards a loose puck, they’ll be able to dive, in a desperation attempt, at the puck.

Last Chance Puck Movement brings EA SPORTS NHL closer to the reality of on-ice hockey plays, so it’s only fitting that we focused on replicating real-world examples of desperation plays seen in the NHL to develop and improve this aspect of gameplay. 

To balance this feature, desperation moves have been added to defensive play features. Therefore, if a defensive player is in a favorable position, desperation plays made by the defense using Last Chance Puck Movement will be countered more easily.

New Updates to Strategies

In addition to Last Chance Puck Movement, NHL 23 will bring you more control over every action with updated strategies.

There are two new strategies added to NHL 23. The first, is the 1-3-1 power play, and the second, which serves as a counter to 1-3-1 is the 1-1-2 on the penalty kill, which you might know as Triangle +1 or Wedge +1.

In addition to these strategies, NHL 23 will feature Assisted Strategies which will include an in-game pop up that notifies players if there’s an opportunity to modify their strategy during the game, increasing the competitiveness of play.

NHL 23 will also feature more control over face-offs with the ability to rearrange player positions before and after face-offs. This feature allows you to set up plays with more accuracy than in previous years, improving gameplay strategies.

On the Power Play, you can assign three different roles to players: Distributor, Finisher and Puck Carrier. Based on your assignment, the game’s AI will distribute the puck based on role, position, situation, and X-Factor tendencies, adding an extra layer of differentiation to the feel of players on-ice.

New X-Factors

NHL 22 introduced the X-Factor system to highlight the greatest skills of some hockey players while providing players with the most significant abilities that appear in-game. NHL 23 brings you two new X-Factors to accompany our two cover athletes.

The first is Sarah Nurse’s “Relentless,” which increases your ability to shoot and pass while off balance, a fitting skill for the high-scoring player. The second, is Trevor Zegras’ “Skilled Up,” which allows you to recreate his viral flip pass over the net.

In addition to these two new X-Factors, the team has maintained and balanced existing X-Factors by improving underutilized skills.

Alongside the new X-Factors and improvements to current ones, the X-Factor AI has been upgraded to better reflect their strengths. Now, passing-based X-Factor players will now take more passing risks and shooting-based players will find new openings in defense.

AI Awareness

On top of updates to X-Factor AI, goaltending and teammate awareness has been an area of focus for NHL 23.

AI goalies will now play more like a human player than ever before with the addition of 300 new save animations that were previously unavailable to AI players. This added level of skill should keep AI goalies more authentic than in previous years. Alongside these new save animations, AI goalies will have improved goalie intelligence as well as proper position and puck tracking.

But AI goalies aren’t the only AI players that are getting an update in NHL 23, AI skaters will also bring you closer to the game with increased team awareness, just like you’d see in a regular hockey game. AI skaters now gesture to indicate when a player is open and which player is most likely to score when on the defensive side. AI skaters will also lift their sticks to show when they’re taking a line change.

Community Feedback

As always, we are focused on incorporating community feedback into new iterations of the EA SPORTS NHL franchise. So, based on your feedback on NHL 22, we’ve updated pass-assist by reducing the number of times you’ll feel like you’re off target. This will be most applicable to powered and out-of-vision passing.

With balancing the game in mind, we are also improving the ability to intercept or disrupt those passes based on your positioning. Don’t expect defenders to act as a catch-all for pucks though, offensive players may still be able to pass the puck behind the defender if their positioning is more favorable.

In addition to these changes, we’ve implemented improvements to the game as a result of feedback from poke checks by reducing player movement speed while in the defensive skill stick and decreasing the effectiveness of poke checks when chasing or in a poor position, to balance gameplay. We also increased puck carrier speed to create more separation between players and ensure that the fastest skaters in the league act like it. 

Your feedback is always a vital part of developing EA SPORTS NHL titles and we will continue to implement community insights into NHL 23.

NHL 23 will solidify itself as a best-in-class social experience with the introduction of cross-platform matchmaking, currently planned for November 2022. The launch of cross-platform matchmaking across same-generation consoles for World of Chel and HUT will shorten queue times and create fewer player pools to ensure players will have more options to face off.

Franchise Mode returns to NHL 23 with unprecedented levels of league customization, bringing an all-new level of versatility to the game, including adjustments to the numbers of teams, games played, divisions, conferences, playoff rounds, league salary cap and more.

EA Sports NHL is continuing to offer HUT content migration to ensure a smooth experience for players across console generations. Following a November update, players who start playing NHL 23 on PS4 or Xbox One will be able to transfer their HUT Team value and progress to the next generation of their respective platforms in PS5 or Xbox Series X|S.

Fans that pre-order NHL 23 will get a variety of bonus in-game content. The EA Sports NHL 23 X-Factor Edition includes the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 or Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game, three days of early access, 4600 NHL Points, one HUT X-Factor Player Choice Pack, HUT X-Factor Power-Up Starter Pack, X-Factor Women’s HUT Choice Pack, five World of Chel X-Factor Zone Ability Unlocks, two Be A Pro X-Factor Slot Unlocks and XP Boost and Bonus Trait Points, and a signed Sarah Nurse World of Chel Jersey. All pre-order editions and information can be found here.

EA Play members can get more out of NHL 23 with three days of early access, and member-only rewards throughout the season.

EA Sports NHL 23 is coming to PS4, Xbox One ($59.99) and PS5, Xbox Series X|S ($69.99) on Oct. 14, 2022

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