Now that NHL 21 is out worldwide, you might be wondering how to get started in Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT). NHL’s signature mode has a plethora of new features this year, as well as some returning ones. So what should you know about HUT in NHL 21, and what tips should you keep in mind when building your squad. Let’s go over 10 tips that you should know for Hockey Ultimate Team in NHL 21.
1. Don’t forget to claim your returning user packs.
Before you do anything Hockey Ultimate Team, you should make sure that you have received all of your pre-order items (if you did pre-order NHL 21), as well as claim any returning user packs. For you to be eligible for returning user rewards, you must have played HUT in NHL 20.
2. Grind in HUT Challenges and Squad Battles…if you can
After you have received your starter pack (as well any pre-order and returning user rewards you were owed), the team you possess might look a little weak. Luckily, you can boost your team before hitting the ice in online play through offline HUT Challenges and Squad Battles. Each HUT Challenge typically has three objectives, and while you’ll only have to complete one to move on, satisfying all three objective requirements will yield you the maximum reward. In Squad Battles, players can take on other HUT teams or custom teams created by influencers and pro athletes in offline play and receive coins or packs.
This sounds time-consuming, and to be honest, it is. But, if you have the time and can grind, it’s highly recommended. By completing challenges regularly, you make sure that you have coins in your account and more flexibility to improve your roster.
3. Have a synergy gameplan
If you’re new to HUT, let’s point out that Hockey Ultimate Team features synergies, which are quite similar to chemistries in Madden Ultimate Team. Synergies boost attributes of player card in HUT, but to utilize these boosts, you must have them activated. To activate a synergy, you must meet the cost of it. The cost can be met if you have enough players that have that specific synergy.
New players need to get familiar with these synergies, as having active ones can help give you an edge against the opposition. You should also make sure that you pick the right synergies. Ideally, you should activate synergies that boost Speed, Acceleration, Faceoffs, Endurance, Deking, and any shooting attribute.
4. Speed, speed, and more speed
When constructing your ideal HUT team, keep this tip in mind: speed matters. Thanks to backchecking nerfs and skating modifications, this year will be all about which teams have the better playmakers, shooters, and more specifically, which squad has the fastest players. Expect a lot of odd-man rushes in NHL 21, and if you don’t want to get left behind in the game, make sure you have the speed necessary to keep up.
5. Don’t sweat the goaltending position
One mistake that HUT beginners usually make is invest heavily in a goaltender. It’s not hard to understand why players would make this mistake, as having a good goalie is very important when it comes to having team success in hockey. However, NHL 21 is different, especially when it comes to HUT. Instead of looking for the goaltender that has the best overall, it’s more important to focus on goalie height and synergy when looking for a netminder. This doesn’t mean you should grab any random goalie, but keeping in mind that having the highest-rated netminder is not necessary.
6. Did you forget to add a coach?
Let’s get back to synergies for a minute. If you’re having difficulty completing a team synergy, you may need to add a coach to your squad. Coaches are equipped with team synergies, but keep in mind this: not every coach is created equal. There are three different levels of coaches, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Bronze coaches add one point to a team synergy, while Silver coaches add two. Lastly, Gold coaches add three points to a synergy.
7. Change your strategies
If you find yourself struggling in HUT, considering changing your strategies. Team strategies can be changed at the HUT Team section. Here, you can change how your team breakouts of the defensive zone, set Neutral Zone setups, as well as modify your Power Play and Penalty Kill setups.
8. Don’t spend your Coins on packs
We highly recommend that you don’t spend your hard-earned Coins on HUT packs, especially if you are a ‘no money spent’ player. While it might seem like a good idea to grab a pack and see if you can get a big pull, the odds of you actually doing so are pretty low. Rather, it would be smarter to stockpile Coins and then choose a specific player to grab. Not only will this ensure that you pick the right card that fits the synergy and setup of your squad, but it also minimizes the risk.
9. Work the market
If you’re looking for an alternative way to make HUT Coins quickly, keep a close eye on the Auction House. You should regularly check to see if any Gold player items are relatively cheap (~500-800 Coins) on the market. If you do find them, scoop them up quickly and re-list those items. Since team collections have returned for NHL 21, all Gold player items have at least some monetary value. Don’t estimate this method if you are looking to make some cheap Coins.
10. Check into HUT frequently
Lastly, we should emphasize that you should log into Hockey Ultimate Team. Logging into HUT once every day ensures that you receive a free daily pack. These packs reset every 23 hours, and each of these packs includes a mix of player items or Coin rewards. You are also guaranteed to receive one Monthly Collectible in each daily pack. Monthly Collectibles, which can also be obtained through daily challenges, can be used to receive free collectibles or packs.
Additionally, spending regular time in HUT and playing games will ensure that you keep up to date with the latest promos.