NHL 23: The 10 tips you should know for HUT

What you should know for HUT in NHL 23.

Screenshot by Gamepur

EA Sports NHL’s signature hockey mode, Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) is back for NHL 23. The goal of HUT is simple: build a team full of current and former hockey players, and take them out on the ice for supremacy. HUT can be a rather tough mode to navigate, but we can help with that. Here are 10 tips that you should know for Hockey Ultimate Team.

Related: NHL 23: Beginner’s guide to scoring – How to shoot & score goals, controls, and tips

1. Rivals has changed

For NHL 23, the main way of playing Hockey Ultimate Team has changed. Rather than a traditional 5v5 format, the NHL team has tweaked HUT Rivals for the 2022-23 season. Now, each week will bring a different theme. These themes included truncated games, 3v3 play, and international ice rinks, among others. Make sure to check the rules for each week.

2. Start grinding in HUT Challenges and Squad Battles

If you need to build a strong team without spending money, take a look at HUT Challenges and Squad Battles. Challenges and Squad Battles are single-player modes where users take on the AI. Win games in both, and you’ll be able to receive rewards like Coins, collectibles, and even packs.

Getting good rewards from Challenges and Squad Battles can be time-consuming. However, you can get a good amount of Coins, plus some packs that can help boost your squad.

3. Be smart with team building

If there are two things that should be looking for in terms of players, it’s size and speed. Bigger players are harder to take off the puck and generally have better checking stats. Speed, on the other hand, is quite important for blowing past defenders and creating quick chances. With the Frostbite engine, odd-man rushes are less of a thing, and it is a bit tougher to create those cross-crease plays. Nonetheless, speed can still kill in NHL 23.

4. Change your strategies

If you find yourself struggling in HUT, try changing your team strategies. Strategies affect your team’s positioning throughout the three zones, plus breakout commands, and PP and PK setups.

Team strategies can be changed in 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.

5. X-Factors change the ice

Superstar X-Factors are back for NHL 23 for all modes, including HUT. These abilities are reserved for the best cards in the game, and you will need to decide which cards on your team should have active abilities. The reason is that EA, much like in Madden, has set a cap on the number of Ability points you can allocate to your squad.

Much like last year, EA has included two types of “power-up” cards into HUT: X-Factors and Power-Up Icons. These require a collection of Power-Up Collectibles, player items, and coins for upgrades.

6. Don’t forget to do your sets

Sets are very important in NHL 23. There are a variety of different types of sets, ranging from jersey and logo exchanges to collectible exchanges and even special X-Factor choice sets. Keep in mind that most of these have “cooling periods.” During these times, you won’t be able to do a set. This usually occurs immediately after you have completed one that can be done repeatedly.

We’ll talk more about which sets you should and shouldn’t do in a second. If there’s one set we do recommend completing with regularity, it’s the Gold player exchanges. There are a number of them, but two of the more popular re-rolls are ones that take either eight Silvers in exchange for two Golds, or eight Golds for a chance at a Premium Gold. These sets are perfect for using up non-valuable Gold and Silver items, and you might be able to get a really good card.

7. Be careful with MSP sets

Throughout the year, EA will have special promos in HUT. During these promos, the NHL team will typically have a couple of major sets featuring high-rated Master Set Players (MSPs). While you might want to ensure that you get every single one, the reality is that unless you’re someone who’s willing to spend money on HUT, don’t go too crazy with these sets. This is especially true during the early stages of the game, in which most of the big sets will feature high 80 OVR cards that will get overwhelmed by the meta in the near future.

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t do any of these sets. However, should you want to, make sure that you are adding a player that you can immediately slide into the top of your lineup. And, pick players you know you will use over a long period of time.

8. Don’t spend your Coins on packs

This is a tip that we’ve stated for years, and we’ll do it again for NHL 23. As the heading suggests, we highly recommend that you don’t spend your Coins on HUT packs, especially if you are a ‘no money spent’ player. It might seem like a good idea to grab a pack and see if you can get a big pull, but 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 fast, keep a close eye on the Auction House. You should regularly check to see if any Gold player items are relatively cheap (~500-950 Coins) on the market. If you do find them, scoop them up quickly and re-list those items.

Because of Team Building Sets and X-Factor cards, Gold cards will have a good amount of value throughout the year. So, you’ll need to be quick when looking through the House, and buying up items.

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 day, and each of these packs includes a mix of player items and/or Coin rewards. Additionally, you will also obtain at least one Seasonal Collectible. These can be used for a variety of different sets, including ones for packs, and even random high overall players.