Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) is an online game mode that allows you to create your fantasy lineup using current and former hockey players and compete online against other players from around the world or against the computer. It has been in EA Sports’ NHL franchise since NHL 11, which hit stores all across North America on September 7, 2010. Since then, the game mode has looked different. From the menus to the gameplay and more importantly, the modes within the mode.
Current Modes Within HUT
The current modes that are offered within HUT are as follows:
Play against the CPU, who are using other users’ teams, and gain Squad Battle points based on your performance in the game. Earn as many points as possible to rank up and get better rewards, such as more packs and coins.
Play the featured challenges for collectibles, coins, packs, and players. There are also 5 skill-level-based challenge categories with 30 games a piece that will grant you a ton of coins when completed.
Team of the Week
Play against the featured squad. The TOTW is chosen based on players’ real-life performances.
This mode can be played both on and offline. You draft your team in 12 rounds and play up to 4 games with the team you have selected.
The most competitive mode in the NHL series within the game itself. Play against the top players all over the world and try to get the top rank. Only available from Friday-Sunday.
Online games against other players from around the world. Gain points based on performance. The more points you receive, the better rewards you receive. Essentially the online version of Squad Battles.
You play 10 online games per division. Each win is worth 2 points, each overtime loss is worth 1, and each loss is worth 0, just like the NHL. Earn a certain amount of points in each division to go up to the next one. Try to get to Division 1 and win the title in each division for a chance at a good reward.
The Pros and Cons
Now I am going to talk about incentives, or lack thereof, to some modes.
Team of the Week
Team of the Week grants literally nothing. You play them, you beat them, you get coins. That’s it. A couple of hundred coins. You are better off playing Rivals or Squad Battles and working towards better rewards for the same amount of coins.
Draft Champions, you get a single icon collectible for winning 30 games. Icon collectibles build master icon players meaning they are very useful. However, winning 30 games for just one isn’t that rewarding. It’s a very boring and time-consuming game mode. This isn’t just my opinion. Almost every single NHL Twitch streamer I watch agrees.
The Worthwhile Modes
The only worthwhile modes in HUT this year are Squad Battles, HUT Rivals and HUT Champions. These are all very good modes that grant really good rewards. The only problem with them is the ongoing cycle. From Monday-Thursday, you are playing either Rivals or Squad Battles and then from Friday-Sunday, you are playing HUT Champions. This goes on every single week. There is no real variety. It’s just the same three modes over and over until the GWC (Gaming World Championship) qualifiers which start in March.
How Can It Improve?
EA Sports needs to add more variety to HUT. Give us more modes with better rewards. Some ideas I have heard from various streamers for more modes and ideas on how to generally improve HUT are as follows:
HUT 3 on 3: A 3 on 3 game mode implemented in HUT, which could work similarly to Rivals. I spoke with NHL streamer Henreek and he stated that he wants 3 on 3, but with a paid coin entry. It would work similarly to Battle Royale in MLB The Show, and you get better prizes for the more games you win. Two losses and you are out.
HUT Shootout: This can work as either a mode like Champions, where you can earn extremely good rewards, or Rivals, where it’s a relaxed mode you can play when you just want to have some fun.
Wager Games: Wager Games are one of the more popular requests over the years by the HUT and NHL community. Regular HUT games, but you pay an entry fee and winner takes all. There could be different buy-in amounts ranging from 5k coins all the way up to 100k coins. For example, if the buy-in is 5k, both players pay 5k to play and the winner takes home 10k. This is a legal way to do it, as there is no monetary value to these coins, as you earn them for free by playing the game.
Abolish Contracts: This is a must. Contracts are extremely annoying. They run out easily and when you are out, you have to pay a significant amount of coins to get back to a decent number and this process repeats itself. Not much to say. Simply, they need to be removed by NHL 21.
These are just a few of the ideas I have heard on how to improve HUT. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please comment below, as I would love to see them.
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May 15, 2020 at 1:45 am
May 15, 2020 at 1:48 am
After rookie, faceoffs are impossible and anyone who says they win them consistently are liars. It should be 50/50. Hell I’d be happy with 30/70. And you have a year between game release, you have to add more dialogue. It’s the same stuff all game every game. It’s quite annoying. I like Ferraro but the other guy….. no no. Bring back doc and BC.
I lose all 40+ faceoffs in any mode after rookie but I’d win every one if I played rookie. No matter what approach I take or how perfect my timing is. Taking it or tying them up. Doesn’t work.
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