Any player’s journey within the World of Chel in NHL 22 is bound to be filled with both thrilling and frustrating moments, and it’s entirely possible to experience both of these extremes within the same game. For those who are just starting their virtual hockey career and are perhaps overwhelmed with the options within the World of Chel, you might want to check out my piece on some fun things to do as an introduction. Once you’ve settled in a little and played a few games online in either the 3-on-3 or 6-on-6 mode, you’re more likely to be grappling with how to compete with the more skilled players who will humble you soundly in a blowout and leave you wondering where you went wrong. The truth is that blossoming into your best self on the ice will probably take some time and practice, and you might also need some World of Chel tips and tricks.
World Of Chel Tips And Tricks
With that in mind, below you’ll find some ways to maximize your potential and also be a good teammate in the process. We’ll start with some general items that you can apply regardless of your position, and then get a little more specific about what you’ll need to bear in mind when trying to perform in your designated role.
Current Or Next Gen?
You would think that if you have a next-gen system, then the best way to play in the World of Chel would be to take advantage of that state-of-the-art hardware that many are still trying to procure, but you would be wrong. You see, since the player base for NHL 22 is rather small to begin with and theoretically there are still fewer people on next gen than current gen, it’s easier to find teammates and opponents to play with in drop-in games on the older consoles. It’s especially hard to find a full 6-on-6 game, where it might take a number of false starts and entering new dressing rooms before finally fielding a full team on both sides. Needless to say, it’s hard to learn to be a good teammate when you can’t find any.
Choose Your Loadout Wisely
What kind of player do you want to be? A speedy sniper? A bruising grinder? A pinpoint passer? Based on your position, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices. For instance, nobody wants someone who’s using a defensive defenseman archetype trying to play center on their team. Some of this choice then will be based on your own personal preferences, but whatever loadout you end up picking, make sure you bear in mind your player’s strengths and weaknesses before entering the game. The other considerations should be how your own loadout complements those of of your teammates or counters the build of an opponent.
Avoid High Ping Speeds
It’s hard to be a team contributor when you’re experiencing major lag, so you may want to avoid hitting the ice when you can see in the dressing room ahead of the puck drop that your connection to the rest of the group is labelled as fair or worse. It’s obviously annoying when you get a lag spike during a game and are useless until you can finally catch up to the action, but it’s possible that a bad connection can impact you negatively in smaller ways during a game. On a connection that’s fair rather than good, you may find yourself struggling to win faceoffs and perform passes with any precision. On defense, you can end up just a split second too late when trying to stay in front of an attacker.
Pass The Puck
Whether in real life or in the World of Chel, nobody likes a puck hog. Yes, we all know that you’re capable of deking out the entirety of the other team because you claim to have done it once before when no one was watching, but it’s probably better to get the rest of your squad involved instead. Considering a key way to score in NHL 22 is through the one-timer, especially the juicy cross-crease ones, there’s a ton of incentive to finding the open teammate and delivering an accurate pass that will allow them to rocket the puck into the back of the net. Don’t just look for your fellow forwards when in the attacking zone either, as there will be times when the opposing team collapses around the net that one of your defensemen will be open at the point for a booming slapper.
Get Back On Defense
It’s hardly uncommon in drop-in games to find forwards who seem to only be concerned with playing in the offensive zone and barely give any effort when the puck goes back to the other end. The worst offenders will commit to “cherry picking” by never even entering the defensive zone and instead lingering by the center red line to wait for a breakout pass that can give them an easy shot at a goal on a breakaway (which are easily the hardest shot for any user who’s playing goalie to stop). This is a terrible strategy from a team perspective though and should be avoided at all costs, as your absence in defending essentially gives the opposing team a 5-on-4 power play whenever they’re in your end.
Adapt To Teammates
Part of what makes hockey such a great team sport is that you need to be able to react and even anticipate your teammates’ next moves if you want to truly mesh as a unit. It’s astounding how quickly this can happen if you’re an attentive teammate, as it’s possible to establish some potent chemistry during the course of a drop-in game with a group of strangers. This starts with knowing when you’ll be required to cover for a defenseman who’s moved up into a rush so as to avoid disaster should the play quickly go back the either way on a turnover. After you’ve racked up a handful of games with the same group of people, you’ll start to be able to master advanced strategies like cycling the puck and develop a sixth sense for knowing where a teammate will be.
Don’t Take Chances
Particularly when you’re playing defense alongside strangers in drop-in games and can’t be sure that they will be the kind of teammates that cover for you, it’s typically best to not to take too many chances. This comes into play most when holding the blue line in the attacking zone or deciding whether or not to race an opposing player for a loose puck in the neutral zone. The argument for playing it safe on defense becomes more compelling whenever you’re the last man standing between the puck and your goalie. If the consequence for things going wrong on a 50/50 play is a breakaway opportunity streaking ominously towards your net, it’s usually a better idea to stay back and avoid disaster.
Guard The Net
An open adversary standing at the front or side of the net is the last thing you want to see as a defenseman because you’re often then just a quick pass and a one-timer away from yielding a goal. Before you go chasing someone who has the puck in a corner, make sure you’re not abandoning someone who’s camped out between the faceoff circles, as they can do far more damage than that opponent in the corner. Another aspect of defending that player in front of the net is obstructing the passing lanes to prevent them from ever getting a shot off. It can take some time to learn how to anticipate when that centering pass is coming and how to position yourself in the ideal place to either make an interception or block the shot.
Though it’s true of the entire team that you should try to avoid penalties whenever possible, it’s something that defensemen might need to remember more than others because it can be easy to get yourself in trouble when trying to shut down an offensive rush. This probably happens most when using the poke check, which can be an invaluable tool to get the puck off a player’s stick when used correctly, but will lead to tripping someone if you’re reaching too far and get your stick into (or let’s be honest, even somewhat close to) an opponent’s skates. The other big area to be careful is the big hits that some people love to deliver, as you’ll find yourself serving two minutes in the penalty box (or giving a penalty shot to your opponent in 3 vs. 3) should you take too many strides towards someone before bringing the hammer down. This could even end up being a five-minute major instead if you mash someone into the boards from behind.
Stay In Your Net
That’s right, the bar is set so low for user goalies in drop-in games that you can earn your team’s respect simply by staying between the pipes and not actively sabotaging your team by skating out to the red line like a fool. It’s far too often that you’ll find people who insist on trying to play the puck as goalie, and then they’ll frequently end up either getting beaten to the puck by an opponent or passing the puck right to an opponent, both of which usually end in goals against.
Freeze The Puck When In Doubt
When the action gets chaotic and opponents are buzzing around the net, there’s never any harm in covering up the puck and conceding a face-off in your end. For whatever reason, many user goalies prefer to be brave (read: stupid) and try passing a puck they’re handling after a save to a teammate despite the fact that they’re surrounded by opposing players. As you can likely imagine, this has a tendency to lead to an easy goal for your opponent when the errant goalie pass ends up on one of their sticks and they have an empty net as a surefire target for the puck.
Know When It’s Not Your Night
With how hard it is to play the position and keep pucks in front of you in NHL 22, it’s not surprising that even experienced user goalies are going to have games where the bounces aren’t going their way and every shot from your opponent seems to find the back of the net. In a drop-in game where this is happening, there’s zero shame in deciding to quit when you sense that you’re overmatched or are simply having an off game. There are worse things in the world than leaving a competent AI goalie in charge for the rest of the game.