Like most sports titles over the last several years, the in-game slider settings have become an increasingly crucial and useful in-game tool for people. Now, the sight of all these sliders and options at your disposal can be overwhelming for many, but the perfect slider settings — depending on what you’re looking for — can help to create the most realistic or unrealistic gameplay experience possible. For the last few years, EA Sports has included the ability to customize skill levels, how frequently penalties are called and even how fast the game plays. I will include these factors in my NHL 21 sliders and settings.
In this article, I will breakdown and explain the sliders I use to recreate as realistic NHL hockey as possible. You can check out my breakdown on the settings I use in part one here.
Now, by no means am I beginning to say that these settings will fix all of the glaring AI legacy issues that exist in the NHL series. Yes, you will still continue to become frustrated with the gameplay in NHL 21 at times. However, I believe that focusing in on these settings does mitigate some of the painfully brutal AI legacy issues, allowing for more enjoyable and authentic gameplay.
Important Settings I Adjust Right Away
- Difficulty: Superstar
- Period Length: 6 Minutes
For me, six minute periods result in the most realistic stats when it comes to: shots and hits per game.
- Attribute Effects: 10/10
Having the attribute effect set to the max attempts to create player separation. (Full disclosure: it isn’t super effective but it is better than not playing on the max.)
- Game Speed: 0/6
Slowing the game speed down helps to eliminate the constant back and forth, up-and-down gameplay that comes on default settings. At times, it still will play arcade style but you can’t get any lower than 0.
- Skating Speed: 30 (this is a range, it can go a little higher than this as well as I show below — personal preference)
This goes hand and hand with game speed. Adjusting skating speed will also play a role in reducing the up-and-down gameplay.
- Skating Agility: 90
Hockey players, perhaps the most agile of athletes, stop and turn on dimes so increasing the agility focuses in on that.
- Player Acceleration: 30 (this is a range, it can go a little higher than this as well as I show below — personal preference)
Much like skating speed the lower the acceleration the less of the run and game you will get.
My Goal: I like to play an uptempo forechecking style based on speed and skill, so a lot of my choices with the settings will reflect that desire. To be clear though, I hate the general fast paced, up-and-down arcade style of gameplay that the NHL series has become known for over the years. The settings above help in slowing down the overall game speed but still allow my team to properly aggressively forecheck.
NHL 21 Sliders For Realism
Penalty Time Scaling: 3/6
Sim Engine Scoring: Medium
Sim Engine Shot Frequency: Medium
- This will result in shots falling into the standard NHL range of 25-35 for most games when simulated.
Coincidental Penalty Time Scale: 5/6
Attribute Effect: 10/10
Broken Stick Frequency: 35/100
Game Speed: 0/6
Fatigue Effect: 65/100, 60/100
Fatigue Recovery: 40/100, 45/100
Injury Occurrence: 30/100, 35/100
- In general, when I play a sports game I always try to set the sliders to give the CPU the advantage. However, with the NHL franchise I feel like their yearly releases are already set up with the computer having the far superior advantage (i.e. ping pong passing). Having said that, you will see a lot of my slider options are favoring the user in an attempt to try and balance the uneven gameplay.
Back Skating: 90/100
Puck Carrier Agility: 90/100
Puck Carrier Skating: 90/100
Player Acceleration: 35/100, 38/100
Skating Speed: 35/100, 38/100
Skating Agility: 88/100, 100/100
- Raising the skating and agility attempts to allow your user-controlled players the ability to walk the blue line in the offensive zone and stop and start on a dime etc.
One Time Accuracy: 45/100, 55/100
Shot Accuracy: 45/100, 55/100
Shot Power: 47/100, 53/100
Slap Shot Accuracy: 40/100, 51,100
Slap Shot Power: 50/100, 50/100
Pass Assist: 100/100
Min Pass Speed: 40/100
Max Pass Speed: 49/100
Saucer Pass Speed: 55/100
Pass Accuracy: 65/100, 100/100
Pass Interceptions: 80/100, 80/100
Pass Reception Ease: 88/100, 90/100
Reception Reaction Time: 20/100, 20/100
Puck Control Rating Effect: 80/100, 80/100
Puck Speed Reception Effect: 25/100, 25/100
Pickup Type Effect: 25/100, 25/100
Bouncing Puck Receptions: 80/100, 80/100
Incidental Stick Contact: 50/100
Puck Control: 88/100, 90/100
Deking Impact: 20/100, 20/100
Spin Deke Impact: 20/100, 20/100
Skating Impact: 15/100, 15/100
Goalie Cover Frequency: 10/100
Goalie Passing: 90/100
Goalie Cross Crease Reaction Time: 60/100, 70/100
- 99% of the time I choose to avoid trying to score using the cross crease legacy glitch goal and I instead try to snipe my way to victory.
Goalie Save Reaction Time: 55/100, 70/100
Goalie Deflection Reaction Time: 55/100, 70/100
Goalie Screen Effect: 70/100, 65/100
Goalie Screen Persistence: 70/100, 65/100
Board Effect Non Puck Carrier: 15/100
Board Effect Puck Carrier: 15/100
Hitting Assistance: 55/100
Stumble Threshold: 30/100
Fall And Stumble Ease: 30/100
Aggression: 88/100, 85/100
Hitting Power: 39/100, 41/100
Size Effect: 35/100, 35/100
Speed Effect: 33/100, 33/100
Checking Balance Rating Effect: 83/100, 83/100
Preparedness Effect: 51/100, 51/100
Incidental Contact Effect: 20/100, 20/100
Poke Check Accuracy: 40/100, 40/100
Poke Checking Power: 45/100, 45/100
Stick Lift Effectiveness: 59/100, 59/100
CPU Penalties: 22/100
CPU Teammate Penalties: 40/100
Tripping: 12/100, 12/100
Slashing: 12/100, 12/100
Elbowing: 30/100, 30/100
High Sticking: 12/100, 12/100
Cross Checking: 30/100, 30/100
Boarding: 30/100, 30/100
Charging: 30/100, 30/100
Delay Of Game: 30/100, 30/100
Holding: 30/100, 30/100
Hooking: 15/100, 15/100
Interference: 70/100, 70/100
AI Learning: 5/6
CPU Difficulty Adjustment: 6/6
CPU Faceoff Difficulty: 50/100
Fight Difficulty: 51/100
CPU Strategy Adjustment: 4/6
User Strategy Adjustment: 0/6
NHL 21 Sliders – Final Thoughts
In short, adjusting these sliders allows me to enjoy the game more than I would if I left the sliders alone. Unfortunately, the adjustments do not fix everything that needs to be fixed in NHL 21 but it does seem to me to play closer to an authentic NHL game. As I progress in my season, it is inevitable that I will further tweak a slider or two but these current settings seem to be working pretty well right now in complementing the game style I want to play.
How are these sliders working for you with the particular game style you try to play?