Electronic Arts SportsThe circular EA Sports logo Electronic Arts NHLThe EA Sports NHL logo
Electronic Arts SportsThe EA Sports logo


Posted December 22nd at 9:00pm.

We’ve been listening to all your feedback. In our latest patch, we were able to address some of the top issues we’ve been hearing from you – the community. Some of the issues we are still hard at work on fixing/improving, others work this way by design and we want to explain why we’ve made these design choices.

One of the major pieces of feedback we receive is around why games loop to a previous faceoff. This is an intentional design choice, as NHL® 18 has a Faceoff Recovery mechanic built in to prevent games from disconnecting.

The short explanation is that a faceoff loop (faceoff recovery) prevents your game from disconnecting.

For a more detailed explanation, read below to find out more about desyncs and the Faceoff Recovery mechanism in NHL® 18.

What is a desync?

 A desync occurs when the information being transferred to all consoles is inconsistent with one or more consoles. Because the information has to be processed on each console, if one console returns different values to the game server, we don’t know which are accurate and inaccurate, thus we can’t continue the game going forward with these inaccuracies.

What causes a desync to happen?

NHL, like other sports titles, has the game processed locally on the console. This includes your online games, which means all consoles involved in a game process their own game results that get communicated and shared out to the other consoles. If the information transferred between consoles is inconsistent with one or more consoles, a desync occurs.

In most video games, a desync would result in the game disconnecting and the outcomes of the match would get thrown out. However, NHL® 18 has a Faceoff Recovery mechanism that tries to restore all consoles back to a point in time where all consoles are processing the correct values.

What is a Faceoff Recovery? Why do they happen?

The Faceoff Recovery mechanic is a game recovery mechanic that occurs when the game attempts to recover a previous save state to avoid the game from being disconnected.

If you’ve noticed your game has gone back in time to a previous faceoff in the game suddenly, the game has avoided a disconnect because of the Faceoff Recovery mechanic. Most players refer to this as a “Faceoff Loop”.

The goal of the of the Faceoff Recovery mechanic is to allow you to complete your game instead of instantly being disconnected and results being thrown out. We attempt faceoff recoveries several times before we abort the game entirely.

Sometimes the recovery happens and the issue is corrected resulting in no other desyncs that game. Other times, unfortunately, the desyncs cannot be recovered from no matter how many times we loop back to a previous faceoff which results in a game disconnect.

How do Faceoff Recoveries work?

Whenever there is a stoppage in play (a faceoff), the game makes a milestone save state that it can revert to. Should a desync occur, the game will attempt to recover the previous milestone save state to allow you to finish your game instead of disconnecting.

In some instances, this has resulted in a goal disappearing. We are looking into this issue to try to prevent this from happening.

What have you done to reduce desyncs/disconnects?

So far, we have been able to solve for a variety of desync/disconnects that could occur. Here are some of the major desyncs we’ve managed to solve for:

  • September 27 Patch
    • Fixed an issue where poke checking the goalie would cause a desync in gameplay
  • October 27 Patch
    • Fixed an issue where playing a 6v6 match would sometimes cause a desync at the opening face-off
    • Fixed an issue where a user would encounter a desync in gameplay after using the HUT auction house to geta new player
    • Fixed an issue where playing with 12 friends in a HUT game will cause a desync after the first goal is scored
    • Fixed an issue that caused a rare desync at the end of a game in Competitive Seasons
  • December 6 Patch
    • Fixed an issue where a variable in skating could desync when triggering a fight and there was a loose stick.

Thank you for your continued feedback. We will continue to monitor and continue to work towards improving the game based upon your feedback. See you on the ice!


NHL® 18 is available now - Buy your copy today!

EA SPORTS NHL® 18 delivers the creativity of today's young NHL stars with new Creative Attack controls and the first-ever Defensive Skill Stick. Play the fast-paced, arcade-inspired 3-on-3 EA SPORTS™ NHL® THREES mode, or reshape the league entirely with the new Expansion Draft and your own custom 32nd NHL team. Do it all with the most co-op and competitive multiplayer options ever delivered in an EA SPORTS NHL game.

Previous NHL 18 Roster Update #2

Related Articles

NHL 18 December Content Update is Now Available - NHL 18 - PS4, Xbox One - EA SPORTS Official Site

From Xbox One X 4K compatibility to a new Spengler Cup Tournament mode, find out all the improvements made to NHL 18 on PS4 and Xbox One!

November 30th Roster Update NHL® 18 - EA SPORTS

There is a new roster update now available for download in NHL 18 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Learn The Basics of HUT 18

Learn the basics of HUT 18, including what is Hockey Ultimate Team, how to get your HUT team started and how to improve your team.

November 16th Roster Update NHL® 18 - EA SPORTS

Updated rosters are now available for download in NHL 18

NHL 18 Roster Update #2

Stay up-to-date with the latest rosters from the NHL and other leagues.