NHL players might play in large arenas in front of thousands of fans in every game, but hockey is a sport that, at its core, lives on small community rinks and outdoor ponds. The team at EA Canada has worked hard to capture that spirit of the game, and NHL 23‘s World of Chel mode has worked hard to do just that in recent years. In NHL 23, World of Chel offers the next step in a community experience that captures everything great about hockey while giving players many different ways to experience the game.

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Like most sports games, NHL 23 has a wealth of modes for players to take part in, including the standard Franchise modes and Be A Pro mode, where gamers can either join or manage a team all the way to the moment that they hoist the Stanley Cup. The World of Chel offers fans a completely different experience, giving the players the opportunity to express a lot of individuality, compete in arcade-like modes against other players, or even join a club and try to achieve greatness together. Getting started in NHL 23‘s World of Chel can seem like a lot and a bit intimidating to players that have never ventured into that mode before, but a few simple steps will help any fan feel like they’re right at home in no time.

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Build A Player

The first thing to do in NHL 23 World of Chel is to establish the identity of the player’s created pro, as that will be how they are seen by all other players in the mode, and it gives fans a chance to represent their favorite teams and express their love for the game. There are ample ways to customize a created pro inside World of Chel, from the appearance of the skater down to the apparel and equipment she or he uses in games.

The first thing players should customize on the way to becoming a dominant NHL 23 World of Chel player is their pro’s name, age, height, weight, and other basic details, keeping in mind that some categories like the combination of height and weight will have an effect on actual attributes in the game. Players looking to have a pro that utilizes speed and deking ability should avoid having a taller and heavier player, while fans of the power forward loadout will want a player with more size, so they can have better checking ability.

In casual modes like NHL 23 Ones, Threes, and Pro-Am, skaters can be customized with jerseys, cargo pants, jeans, toques, parkas, and a lot of other gear that can be unlocked as players progress through levels from earning XP in the game. Skaters will also have a pro appearance loadout for the long-running modes options of EASHL and Drop-In games, which is limited to equipment style and type since apparel will be dictated by the uniform of the club the player is part of. As fans attain the higher levels and earn a lot of hockey equipment bags full of gear, they will find that there are a lot of skates in particular that help them stand out even when part of a club.

World of Chel Ones and Threes

Ones in World of Chel is exactly what it sounds like, as it is a 3-player game that is 1v1v1 in a short, 3 minute competition to see who can get the most goals against the AI goaltender in that time frame. Penalties and faceoffs are abandoned in Ones, as is the full rink, as this mode is played on a rink a slightly less than half the length of a full hockey rink, making it very similar to backyard or pond hockey. Ones is all offense, and is a great chance to work on creative skills like deking and trick shots in NHL 23, but gamers have to be careful about committing to big hits or pursuing the puck in the corners, as that can often lead to an opponent having a clear breakaway at the goal.

Threes is also fast-paced and offense focused, but it is a team-based game inside NHL 23 World of Chel that will pair a player with two teammates against another team of 3, with both teams having AI goaltenders. Like in Ones, penalties don’t exist in Threes, so big hits are plenty and players can get aggressive offensively and defensively, especially if they have good teammates. Adding to the fun are Money Pucks, which are worth more than one goal for the team that scores with it, with some being worth two or three goals and others taking goals away from the opposition as well as awarding one to the team that scores. Threes games can have time limits, which are usually around the five-minute mark, but most games will end when the goal total is reached by a team, for example, the first team to score seven goals wins the game.

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EA Sports Hockey League

The EA Sports Hockey League returns in NHL 23, giving players the chance to join a club and work with their friends to reach Division 1 and become the best team in the league. In the EASHL, each player uses their created pro and is locked into the same position throughout the game, so they will need to decide which position they like the most and try to become the best at that position in NHL 23. As teams win games, they earn points and advance through the divisions until they reach Division 1, the highest division there is. Teams also earn rank points, and each new rank achieved earns the club a hockey bag, filled with new logo, uniform, and arena items to customize their club’s experience.

Alongside the EASHL are Drop-In games, which are the exact same format but match a player with random teammates through matchmaking for a one-game experience. The mode is great for players who don’t have a club yet, or anyone who wants to work on some individual skills and level their pro up a bit, but there is more of a “free for all” feel to Drop-In games because no one involved is committed to the club and is just trying to pad some stats at their position in NHL 23. Because of that, it can get a bit toxic at times, but players can still use Drop-Ins as a good option to earn XP and new gear as they level up.

NHL 23 is available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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