NHL 22 Early Access Release Time: Countdown to Launch, Download Now

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NHL 22 Early Access is almost here as some players prepare to get unrestricted play with no time limit days before the title's official release date.

We've got all the details on the NHL 22 Early Access Release Time so you can get your hockey journey rolling as soon as possible.

NHL 22 Early Access Release Time and Date

While the situation was a little less certain when it came to the NHL 22 Trial, which didn't have an official release time and was still a bit up in the air even as it was getting released, Early Access is definitive.

You needed to be an EA Play or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber in order to take advantage of the EA Play Trial of NHL 22, but you'll need to have the right pre order placed to get Early Access.

NHL 22 Early Access Release Time
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ALMOST TIME: The buzzer is prepped to go off for Early Access soon

Players who pre order the X Factor Edition of NHL 22 are the only ones who receive three days of special Early Access, so those who placed a pre order for the Standard Edition will still need to wait for the official release date of October 15, 2021.

As for those who got their pre order in for the X Factor Edition already or who choose to place that pre order now, the NHL 22 Early Access Release Time is Midnight ET on October 12, 2021.

NHL 22 Early Access Release Time


For clarity, that equates to 11pm CT or 9pm PT on October 11, 2021, as NHL 22 is set for a simultaneous worldwide release in the same way other EA Sports titles have come out.

Can you use the New Zealand Time trick to unlock sooner?

One piece of the puzzle that always pops back up around the time a new game is set to release is changing your console to New Zealand Time to trigger an early unlock.

The theory behind this works for titles with a Midnight Local Time release in every area, as you can get your console to see it as Midnight Local Time in New Zealand much earlier, but comes with a risk as some players have had console issues after altering the time zone.

However, it's not an option this time, as NHL 22 is doing a simultaneous worldwide launch, meaning changing your time zone just means you get to pretend you're in New Zealand when the game unlocks at the same time as everyone else.

Pre Download or Pre Order the NHL 22 X Factor Edition

At this point, if you're looking for Early Access to NHL 22, you're likely in one of two boats: you either already place your Pre Order and need to get the download going or you are still on the fence about pulling the trigger on the X Factor Edition.

If you're looking to pre download NHL 22, the process will depend which platform you're on.

PlayStation users who have already placed their pre order for NHL 22 should be able to pre-load now on PS4 or PS5, but we haven't been able to confirm that.

As for Xbox, the pre-load option may be available within the Microsoft Store, but the most reliable method requires the Xbox app on your mobile device to be setup to initiate downloads.

If you've got the app set, you can start the download for NHL 22 from within the app by searching for it and selecting Download to Console, which works even if you don't own the title.

NHL 22 trial release time download xbox
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DOWNLOAD: Just tap the button to get it installing right away

If any of these methods are giving you issues, the surefire option is to go ahead and subscribe to EA Play or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, as you'll be able to download the NHL 22 Trial.

While it's locked with a 10-hour time limit, the NHL 22 Trial is indeed the full game, and you'll have unlimited Early Access without that time restriction once the NHL 22 Early Access Release Time has arrived.

If you haven't yet pre ordered the NHL 22 X Factor Edition, that is probably your best course of action as you'll also receive a discount on the game itself for being a subscriber to EA Play.

You can use the following links to pre order NHL 22 right now, including a few with discounts for EA Play members:

Microsoft Store


PlayStation Store

Best Buy

You can find more details here on the various pre order rewards that comes with the Standard and X Factor Edition of NHL 22.

For more articles like this, take a look at our NHL page.