NHL 21 is making some changes to the matchmaking experience that should result in a better time for players. A new update is coming soon that adds a “Max Average Ping” setting that players can use to restrict the maximum ping for an online match.
In a blog post, EA Sports said one of the loudest pieces of feedback it has received since launch is that players are willing to wait a longer period of time to find a match if that match has a good connection. This is particularly important in competitive modes.
With the new Max Average Ping setting, players should get a better experience because they can define what ping they are OK with. The ping range is between 20 ms and 100 ms. Players can also select “Any” if they don’t care about ping.
“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,” EA said.
This update also addresses what EA calls “match dodging.” Players who found a match but one with a poor connection rating would understandably leave before the game starts. But with the new Max Average Ping setting, players should know what they’re getting into from the start.
“With this change, 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,” EA said.
NHL 21 launched in October for PS4 and Xbox One. The game is playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X through backwards compatibility, and players might experience improvements in terms of frame rates and load times, but EA is not creating a bespoke version of NHL 21 for the next-gen systems.
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