For the first time in the EA Sports NHL franchise history, NHL 23 will finally feature Cross-Platform Matchmaking. Cross-Platform Matchmaking was one of the most requested features from the NHL community and EA Sports is fulfilling that request this year. While EA Sports will not have Cross-Platform Matchmaking on day one, they plan to have this feature fully up and running sometime in November.
Since this is a completely new feature coming, not only to NHL 23 but to the franchise in general, there are a lot of questions surrounding this and how it will actually work. EA Sports has done a fantastic job explaining exactly how all this will work and the plans on how it may evolve in the future.
How exactly Cross-Platform Matchmaking will work
NHL 23 will be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. With that being said, there are theoretically 4 different player pools that will be featured in this Cross-Platform Matchmaking feature. If you look at the picture above, two hockey sticks means that you can play with and against that generation of console. If there is one hockey stick, that means that you can only play against that generation of console.
For example, PlayStation 4 users will only be able to play with other PlayStation 4 users, but against Xbox One players. You will only be able to play with your console type and play against the other current generation console type. That means if you have a PlayStation 5, you can’t play against gamers with an Xbox One. You would only be able to play against gamers with an Xbox Series X|S and only play with PlayStation 5 players on your team. There will also be no Cross-Platform Matchmaking against other generations of consoles. At least for now.
EA Sports has plans to eventually make it where you can have people from PlayStation consoles and Xbox consoles on the same team, but for now you will only be able to play against the other consoles.
Game Modes featuring Cross-Platform Matchmaking
At least for the start of NHL 23, Cross-Platform Matchmaking will only be available in World of Chel and Hockey Ultimate Team. This makes complete sense as these are the two biggest game modes and the ones that have the highest player count. You will not be able to use Cross-Platform Matchmaking in Online Versus Play yet, but we know EA Sports will be hard at work with bringing that in the near future.
The benefits on Cross-Platform Matchmaking
There are many benefits of including Cross-Platform Matchmaking into NHL 23. You can now play against your friends that are on opposite consoles and you will have more competition with some of the other consoles toughest competitors that you would not otherwise see if it wasn’t for this feature.
However, the biggest benefit of including Cross-Platform Matchmaking is that it should drastically reduce wait times to find opponents. EA Sports is essentially doubling the player pool and increasing the number of players you can search for. There is nothing worse than trying to play EASHL with a couple of your buddies late at night and finding an opponent is taking forever because of the time of night you are searching at. Cross-Platform Matchmaking will double your chances of finding an opponent and make playing NHL 23 games a whole lot quicker.
What does the future hold?
Cross-Platform Matchmaking is a brand-new feature coming to the franchise and there are going to be some bumps in the road. EA Sports is currently trying to fix as many of those bumps as possible so that this feature doesn’t become delayed and can be released on time in November. As the years go on and the NHL franchise gets used to having this feature implemented into the video game, you will see more game modes have this integrated and will eventually be able to partner up with opposite generation consoles and have them on the same team.
The gameplay for NHL 23 appears to be very smooth this year and it will be entertaining to do battle with players from different consoles. NHL 23 is just a little over one month away from its release on October 14, and it appears that the announcement’s regarding the game is only getting started.