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NHL 21 Announces Changes to HUT Matchmaking

In 2020, in-person competitions do not exist. Thanks to the pandemic, multiplayer has been more focused on online play than ever before. This focus magnifies the current problems with online play. Internet connections are often inconsistent. Even two players on wired internet can have wildly different experiences playing each other online. NHL 21 announced changes coming to Hockey Ultimate Team (or HUT) that aim to improve matchmaking overall.

EA plans to introduce a new “Max Average Ping” setting to it’s NHL 21 Ultimate Team matchmaking. As the name suggests, players can choose a ping ceiling. This helps make sure they only play in connections they are comfortable playing in. Here’s how EA explains the change:

“At the team setup screen, you’ll be able to select between 20ms – 100ms or set ‘Any’ for no Ping restriction during matchmaking. Your Max Average Ping will not restrict you from finding a match on your most optimal server. For example, if you receive ~25ms Ping to your closest server, but set your Max Average Ping to 20ms, you will still be able to find matches on the server that gives ~25ms.”

Mitigating Queue Dodgers

The hope here is that players who match into games will be discouraged from instantly jumping out of a high-ping games. Currently, you can exit out of a game up until the moment the puck drops. This will change, as well. “With this change,” the EA Sports NHL team writes in a blog post, “HUT Rivals and HUT Champions games will now count towards your record once a matchup with your opponent is found. Players who quit out of a game at any point after a Matchup is made and the Loading screen begins will receive a loss.”

Hopefully, as the blog post finishes, this change will help streamline the HUT matchmaking experience in NHL 21. The Max Average Ping will be coming in the next NHL 21 patch.

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