How To Play as Mascots in NHL 23

NHL 23 is defining what it means to be greater together. So grab your friends and gear up for the most connecte.

Sports games with annual releases often face the same problem of functioning more like an update to the previous year’s installment rather than being a completely new experience. There are rare instances when an entry will give a significant overhaul to features or add something that breathes fresh life back into the series – such as the surprisingly fresh FIFA 23. Unfortunately, its studio-mate NHL 23 falls victim to the genre’s yearly release cycle, and prioritizes small refinements over reinvention.

Playing as the iconic Mascots of a hockey team in NHL 23 brings a degree of hilarity and charm to otherwise stressful competition on the ice.

The ubiquitous appeal on a hockey team of any level in NHL 23 comes from the charm of their Mascot, a costumed representative of the fans that players can take control of on the ice. Offering a unique enjoyment different from the high-intensity matches of professional athletes, Mascots are intentionally goofy alternatives that look absurd while playing. However, Mascots might not make the top 10 rankings in NHL 23, but the hilarity of seeing a costumed coyote shoulder check Spartacat more than makes up for it.

Every athlete in NHL 23 has statistics based on their overall Rating that infer players to their strengths and weaknesses. Mascots are no different; having the same category scores define their ability to perform in a game of hockey, albeit with far lower stats than any of the leading athletes present in the game. Unlike the superstar athletes in NHL 23, Mascots are only playable in select modes and, unfortunately, cannot compete alongside many of the normal players.

Players must unlock certain Mascots throughout their progression, exploring all of NHL 23‘s new features before fully utilizing specific figureheads. For example, the Mascot of the Nashville Predator, The Gnash, starts off a player’s roster of selectable Mascots. Unlocking other Mascots, such as Carlton the Bear from the Toronto Mapleleafs or Gritty from the Philadelphia Flyers, requires players to gradually traverse multiple modes NHL 23 has to offer.

Playing as Mascots in NHL 23

The best way to play as a Mascot in NHL 23 comes from the “Threes” game mode once players have unlocked a good amount of different Mascots. A short, three-minute competition makes up “Threes” mode, where players have to score as many goals as possible during that short period. Unfortunately, mascots aren’t the best goalies in NHL 23, leading this mode to be an extravagant display of scores that add to the hilarity of only Mascots on the ice.

Available Mascots the player has gained are valid choices in “Threes,” sometimes seeing up to ten distinct mascots on the ice at once. There are no faceoffs or penalties tied to this mode since the Rink has been shrunk down from its normal size. However, the limitations of standard rules make this Mascot mode have its sense of competition among the ridiculous nature that arises. Players can choose Mascots from either the Western or Eastern conferences to build strange rivalries, but unfortunately, Mascots cannot fight in NHL 23 to escalate that animosity.

NHL 23 Summary:
Returning to the ice once more, EA Sports presents NHL 23 for the new NHL season to be released on all current and next gen consoles. The new NHL title will feature a shared cover with two athletes, Trevor Zegras and Sarah Nurse. Nurse’s inclusion marks the first time a female hockey player has even been featured on an NHL cover.
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
EA Sports
EA Sports
Online Multiplayer, Online Co-Op
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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

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