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Help »   Manual »   The cup system 

The cup system

Participating in one of the Hattrick cups is an exciting challenge for every manager, as well as a good way to gain experience for your players and to earn extra cash for your club. The Hattrick cup system has been designed to offer a meaningful experience for teams at every level. It has also been designed to ensure that every team is guaranteed at least three cup games every season.

Every team in Division 6 and above will get to play in the National Cup. If eliminated early from the National Cup, the team will instead get to participate in a lower tier cup. If your league has more than six divisions, there will also be a Divisional Cup for each division below Division 6. Teams in these divisions (Division 7 and below) will play in their respective Divisional Cup instead of in the National Cup.

These Divisional Cups, like the National Cup, have their own lower tier cups for teams that are knocked-out early.

Cup fixtures

Cup matches are always played in the middle of the week. The first round of the National and Divisional Cups always takes place a few days before your first league match of the season. The Challenger Cups consists of teams that have been eliminated from either the National or Divisional Cup, and for this reason the first Challenger Cup starts one week after the National Cup and Divisional Cup. There are separate Challenger Cups that correspond with the National Cup and with each Divisional Cup. Your first cup opponent and the cup you will play in are announced one week in advance. In coming rounds, your next opponent and current cup will be announced shortly after all matches for the current cup round have ended.

Cup Venues

The main rule is that the strongest team still in the cup will play away against the weakest team still in the cup. To decide this, we use a cup ranking, explained further down.

In the cup's last six rounds, rankings no longer influence home or away advantage, as all matches are played at neutral venues.

Cup Draw

How is your opponent in the cup decided?

In the first round of the cup, the highest-ranked team will always play away against the lowest-ranked team in the cup.

Before the first round kicks off, the draw for the second round is made. For this draw, it is assumed that all high-ranked teams progressed from the first round.

If a lower-ranked team wins in the first round, it will inherit the place of its opponent in the second round. This could give it an easier opponent than it would otherwise have gotten in that round.
However, this advantage does not last. Before the second round starts, the draw for the third round is made. Again, all remaining top-ranked teams are matched against the remaining low-ranked teams.

The advantage of this system is that for any cup round, all remaining teams will know what happens if they progress to the next round. There is always another match, the winner of which will play the winner of your match in the next round.

Here is an example of how the Hattrick Cup draw works:

1. In the first round, we have the following 16 teams and matchups:

First Round


The expected Round 2 matchups, as made known before Round 1 starts, are these:


However, two Round 1 matches ended in surprise wins for the underdogs - Teams 16 and 14 outperformed. Because of this, the actual matchups in Round 2 will be:


Now, when the draw for Round 3 is done, the system again assumes that the top-ranked teams will win, hence creating this draw:

Team Rank8-TeamRank2

If Team 16 wins again, it will acquire the seat of Team 8.
If Team 14 wins again, it will get the seat of Team 6.

Cup Ranking

The cup ranking is used when creating the cup draw. It is a static ranking that does not change once the cup has started. The first factor for the ranking is what division the team plays in during the current season. Teams are then ranked within these divisional groups as follows:

1. Active relegated teams
2. Active teams that neither relegated nor promoted
3. Teams that promoted by their own strength
4. Teams that promoted for "free" (replacing a relegated bot)
5.Bots, in case of vacant spots

Teams within each group above are sorted according to the ranking at the end of the last season. The ranking stays the same for the duration of the cup.

Joining a Secondary Cup Later

For Challenger and Consolation cups, the time of entry is also factored into the seed. Teams who entered early are guaranteed to be seeded higher than those who joined later. The cup ranking of each team still matters, but only to decide in which order teams that entered on the same date will be seeded.

One example would be that your team manages to stay in the National Cup until round 5 or 6 before being eliminated. As your cup journey continues in a lower-tier Challenger Cup, you will always be seeded lower than teams that joined before you. The highest-ranked team of those who entered in the first round will play against the lowest-ranked team of those who entered most recently.

The Different Cups and Their Formats

The most important cup in every league is the National Cup. This is open to every team in Division 6 and above that has a human manager. Only the very best teams will have a chance to win the National Cup, but any team that progresses far in this competition will be well rewarded.

However, if your team is eliminated early from the National Cup you will get a second chance. If you are eliminated in any of the first six rounds of the National Cup, you will instead gain a place in one of the three national Challenger Cups. Participating in the Challenger Cups will still be more attractive for your club than just playing friendlies, but rewards are still a lot lower than the National Cup. If you can, staying in the National Cup should always pay off.

The three Challenger Cups are, originally, the Emerald, Ruby, and Sapphire Cups, though they may have different names in some leagues. The Emerald Cup takes on any team that is eliminated from the National Cup in round 1 or 6. Teams eliminated in rounds 2 and 5 are moved to the Ruby Cup. And teams eliminated in rounds 3 and 4 are moved to the Sapphire Cup. The three cups run parallel to each other and to the National Cup, and one winner will be crowned in each one of them.

Teams that are eliminated in round one of the Emerald and Ruby Challenger Cups will gain a place in the Consolation Cup. This Cup does not give any prize money or other perks, but the winner still gets a trophy.

In leagues with more than six divisions Divisional Cups are organized for Division 7 and below. The Divisional Cups follow a similar pattern to the National Cup. They have one main cup, the three Challenger Cups - Emerald, Ruby, and Sapphire - and one Consolation Cup. The only difference is that the overall prize money is lower.

The size of the Cups is determined by the number of teams that are qualified for the cup and have human managers. The smallest possible Cup size that still makes room for all qualified human teams will be chosen. Once all human teams are in, the Cup will be filled up with bot teams to complete the starting field.

1. The amount of qualified teams managed by humans is counted
2. The smallest cup size that fits all the teams managed by humans is chosen
3. The Cup is then filled out by the human teams first
4. Regular bots from the league system are used next
5. If this is not enough, new bot teams are created for the purpose of the Cup only

Week National Cup Challenger Cup
Challenger Cup
Challenger Cup
Consolation Cup
Teams Teams Teams Teams Teams
1 16384
2 8192 8192
3 4096 4096 4096 4096
4 2048 2048 2048 2048 4096
5 1024 1024 1024 2048 2048
6 512 512 1024 1024 1024
7 256 512 512 512 512
8 128 256 256 256 256
9 64 128 128 128 128
10 32 64 64 64 64
11 16 32 32 32 32
12 8 16 16 16 16
13 4 8 8 8 8
14 2 4 4 4 4
15 - 2 2 2 2
16 - - - - -
  • Losing teams in round one and six of the National Cup will move on to the the Emerald Challenger Cup.
  • Losing teams in round two and five of the National Cup will move on to the Ruby Challenger Cup.
  • Losing teams in round three and four of the National Cup will move on to the Sapphire Challenger Cup.
  • Losing teams from the first rounds of both the Emerald and Ruby Challenger Cups will move on to the Consolation Cup.

Team effects

One important aspect of the Cups is the tactical options that they present. Staying in the Cup for a long time gives you more competitive games, which also means more opportunities to increase confidence and team spirit in preparation for the league. Cup games also give your players more experience, which along with higher ticket sales makes a long cup run even more valuable. However, not all Cups will impact your team in the same way.

Cards and injuries are in full effect in all the cups. Cards picked up in cup games count the same as cards in league games for suspensions and yellow card accumulation.

Team spirit, confidence, fan mood: Only National Cup and Divisional Cup games will have an effect on these values. Matches played in any other cup behave like a friendly when it comes to the impact on future team spirit, confidence, and fan mood.

Experience: The National Cup and Divisional Cup give players twice as much experience as a league game. Challenger and Consolation Cup matches give your players half the experience they would get from a league game.

Cup income

Ticket sales are an important benefit from a successful Cup run. The longer you progress in any Cup, the more spectators will come and thus more revenue will be generated. The National Cup and the Divisional Cups are considerably more attractive to the fans than their corresponding Challenger and Consolation Cups. While a National or Divisional Cup game (at least in later rounds) can attract similar attendance to a league match, the other cups are more comparable to friendlies when it comes to attendance. The National Challenger Cup will attract three times as many spectators as an international friendly between the two teams. The National Consolation Cup will attract twice as many spectators as an international friendly between the two teams. The Divisional Challenger Cup will also attract twice as many fans. The Divisional Consolation Cup will attract 50% more spectators than what an international friendly between the two teams.

The home side gets 2/3 of the crowd revenue and the away side gets 1/3. In the last six rounds the teams split the revenue 50/50. In general, fans aren't very interested in the first couple of rounds of the cup, but their interest will increase as it goes on. Additionally, the fans of a lower division team will want to see a match against a higher division side, but the reverse is not true. The best teams in the cup also get some prize money as shown in the table below. There is no top scorer award for the cup.

National Cup

Position National Cup Challenger Cup Consolation Cup
Winner 1 500 000 US$ 300 000 US$ -
Runner-up 1 000 000 US$ 150 000 US$ -
Semifinal exit 750 000 US$ 100 000 US$ -
Quarterfinal exit 500 000 US$ 50 000 US$ -
Round of 16 exit 250 000 US$ 25 000 US$ -
Round of 32 exit 200 000 US$ - -
Round of 64 exit 180 000 US$ - -
Round of 128 exit 160 000 US$ - -
Round of 256 exit 140 000 US$ - -
Round of 512 exit 120 000 US$ - -
Position Divisional cup Challenger Cup Consolation Cup
Winner 300 000 US$ 150 000 US$ -
Runner-up 150 000 US$ 100 000 US$ -
Semifinal exit 100 000 US$ 50 000 US$ -
Quarterfinal exit 50 000 US$ 25 000 US$ -
Round of 16 exit 25 000 US$ - -
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