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NHL 24 Franchise Mode Beginner's Guide

Prepare to secure the Stanley Cup with our NHL 24 Franchise Mode Beginner's Guide.
NHL 24 Franchise Mode Beginner's Guide

While some players are sure to spend their time in Be A Pro or World of Chel, nothing quite compares to building a dynasty in NHL 24 Franchise Mode. The bulk of upgrades this year focused on core gameplay mechanics, but those and a few additional tweaks are sure to impact every player's Franchise Mode experience.

Whether you're a new player looking for help on where to start or a veteran seeking a refresher, our NHL 24 Franchise Mode Beginner's Guide will cover everything players need to know. Customization provides so many ways to play, but not all of them will be the best fit for you.

NHL 24 Franchise Mode Beginner's Guide

NHL 24 Franchise Mode Guide

After some proper innovation last year, NHL 24 Franchise Mode is sadly not that different than what players saw in the previous installment. The only change of note is refinement of the X-Factor progression system for young players considering their age, playstyle, potential, and attributes. Also, while not exclusive to Franchise Mode, full replays have returned when playing offline so you can relive every big scoring play.

Some players may be disappointed about a lack of new features in Franchise Mode, but but the gameplay innovations have had a ripple effect that could alter how players handle things in NHL 24. The biggest set of gameplay changes is specific to goalies with the new Exhaust Engine combining Goalie Fatigue and Sustained Pressure.

First off, it means that you'll have to start considering endurance and durability ratings for your goalies. If you take a risk on the wrong goalie, the consequences could be much more severe in NHL 24 Franchise Mode. On the other side of the puck, the new Sustained Pressure system is a true gamechanger.

More than ever before, you want an offensive unit that can keep the puck moving around the opposing team's net. With attempted shots and consecutive passes, you'll tire out the goalie and open up easier and easier scoring opportunities. Make sure you're building a roster with these things in mind, especially if you plan to play key games rather than fully simulating.

Authentic or Custom League or Expansion Draft

NHL 24 Franchise Mode Guide

The first big choice you have to make in NHL 24 Franchise Mode is one that got a bit more complex with last year's introduction of Custom Leagues. If you want maximum flexibility, go with Custom League at your Franchise Mode creation to make one in just about any configuration you can imagine. You'll spend some extra time in setup, but it'll help you really tailor the NHL 24 Custom League towards how you want to play.

If you'd rather stick to something a bit more familiar, your other two options are Authentic or Expansion Draft. If you choose Authentic, you'll be playing in the existing 32-team NHL with the authentic rule set. You have to choose one of the established teams, but if you do Authentic you will still have the option to seek relocation after the season begins.

Finally, there's the 33 Team Expansion Draft. You'll be able to create a custom team from scratch and enter the league as a new expansion club where you'll draft from teams across the league. This is an exciting and fun option to play, but be careful not to overdraft compared to what your budget will be able to handle.

Relocation vs Custom Teams at Creation

NHL 24 Franchise Mode Guide

If you want to make your own team, there are some definite differences in how each way to go will impact your experience. As mentioned above, going with a custom team for the Expansion Draft comes with additional challenges as you carefully draft a team that is hopefully both viable and affordable. You'll also have the benefit of not bringing any existing team's baggage along for the ride if you choose to relocate.

If you'd rather have a custom team made from scratch without the uncertainty of the Expansion Draft, you can also create fully custom rosters ahead of time. Make sure to create your Custom Team in the Creation Zone first. You'll want to make some roster adjustments between that team and any others for your Custom League. This is the most time-consuming path to take, but it will be more than worthwhile to some players.

Scouting, Free Agency, and Fog of War

NHL 24 Franchise Mode Guide

If you're hoping to beef up your team with scouting or free agency, NHL 24 Franchise Mode has some challenges for you to overcome. You'll need to assign scouts to various locations and keep checking back on things throughout the season to maximize your hopes of scoring the right draft prospects.

As for free agency, by default NHL 24 Franchise Mode uses a Fog of War mechanic that masks key information about players on opposing teams. If you want to make more informed decisions, you'll have to get your scouts to fill in the gaps by evaluating other players and teams. If you're worried about having to tackle this, Fog of War can be turned off at any time in Settings under Franchise Mode Rules.

Owner Goals, Player Expectations, and Budget Management

NHL 24 Franchise Mode Guide

There are so many different aspects of NHL 24 Franchise Mode that you'll continue to discover as you play, but there are a few to keep in mind early on. Unless you've turned it off, keeping your budget under control while handling your team is going to be one of the biggest constant Franchise Mode struggles.

As you're working to find the balance between maximizing your team's potential and staying fiscally responsible, both Owner Goals and direct expectations from players will play a role in your decision making. Players will come to you at times with requests that could be about their own playing time, but others may pressure you to improve the team in specific areas.

You have the option of taking a risk with persuasion or agreeing to their request. If you fail persuasion or aren't able to deliver on the promise, that will damage your morale and relationship with that player and overall in Franchise Mode. Similarly, meeting Owner Goals gives you a small monetary boost but is more about keeping your owner happy long-term.

Ultimately, our NHL 24 Franchise Mode Beginner's Guide just scratches the surface of every nuanced mechanic in the game.The best way to really get a feel for the flow of Franchise Mode is to try creating a few dummy leagues. Simulating forward in no pressure leagues where you're not worried about the outcome will help you know what potential hiccups are coming before you dedicate hours to building your own dynasty.