Creating Custom Teams

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Even though not all NBA Live games feature a Create-a-Team function, it is still possible to add extra teams through DBF editing. However, please note:

  • NBA Live 95, NBA Live 96 and NBA Live 97 feature four custom teams, but you cannot add any more teams.
  • NBA Live 98, NBA Live 99 and NBA Live 2000 contain a much more in-depth Create-a-Team function. You only need to edit the DBFs if you want to change attributes that cannot be accessed from within the game.
  • NBA Live 2001 encounters problems in Franchise Mode when you add custom teams.
  • NBA Live 2002 is a console only release, and thus cannot be edited.
  • NBA Live 2003 allows custom teams to be added through DBF editing.
  • NBA Live 2004 allows custom teams to be added through DBF editing, but Dynasty Mode supports 29 teams only. You cannot have more or less than 29 teams in Dynasty Mode, or the game will crash.
  • Likewise, Dynasty Mode in NBA Live 2005 onwards will only support 30 teams. You can still add custom teams for use in exhibition (Play Now) games.

You will need...

  • DB Commander
  • A knowledge of DBF Editing
  • A backup of your roster in case anything goes wrong

Creating your Custom Team

First of all, prepare the players you wish to place on your custom team. You will not be able to sign players to an empty team, so you must have them ready to transfer through the DBF.

  • If you are creating a team with new custom players, you can simply create the necessary players ready to be transferred to your new custom team.
  • If you wish to use existing players while also leaving them on their original teams, you will need to create duplicate entries in the database. The method is the same as editing the All-Star teams. Open the players.dbf file you wish to edit in the left window and a second copy of the file in the right window.

Dbc all-star.jpg

  • Locate the player in the right hand window and use it as a reference to copy all of the player's values to their entry in the left window. You must copy all of the attributes exactly except for PLAYERID (leave this as it was), TEAM (this will be your custom team's ID), SALARYTEAM (this must match the TEAM column) and ROSTERPOS (change to the desired roster position)

  • If you are simply moving a player to a custom team, you will only need to change his TEAM and SALARYTEAM to the appropriate ID number once you create your new team.

  • From NBA Live 2005 onwards, you must also do this for appearance.dbf. Once again, use the left window to modify the new entries for existing players and the right window to open up the second appearance.dbf file as a reference.

Open teams.dbf using DB Commander. Move to the final row in the database. Press the down arrow key to begin a new row.

Dbc newrow.jpg

You will need to start filling in the values for the new team. First, enter False in the DELETED column. Enter the next available number in the TEAMNUM column. This must be a unique number.

Dbc newteam.jpg

Next you will need to assign two abbreviations. The first column, ABBREV, is the team abbreviation that will be displayed on the score overlay and in various statistic screens eg Atl for Atlanta, Bos for Boston etc. Choose an appropriate abbreviation for your custom team.

The second abbreviation refers to art files. Now, depending on whether you're going to create your own art for the custom team or use an existing team's art, you will need to assign the appropriate abbreviation. If you're using another team's art, refer to their TEAMABR2. If you plan to add your own jerseys and court and so forth, create a new unique TEAMABR2 value.

Fill out the rest of the team attributes. If you're unsure of the correct value, please refer to the specific Teams.dbf Editing Guide for an explanation of each column. Make sure that you set the ISHUMAN attribute to False.

Now you must open teamgear.dbf to add the jerseys to the database. Begin a new database entry by pressing the down arrow key at the last entry.

Dbc newrow2.jpg

Enter False for the DELETED column, the next available number in the ID column, and your custom team's TEAMNUM in the TEAM column.

Dbc newteamgear.jpg


0: Home Jersey
1: Away Jersey
2: Alternate Jersey
3: Classic Jersey (Home)
4: Classic Jersey (Away)
5: Classic Jersey (Alternate)
6: Practice Jersey (Home)
7: Practice Jersey (Away)

Note: This step does not apply to NBA Live 2001 as it does not utilise a teamgear.dbf file. For NBA Live 2003, you only need to add a home jersey entry and an away jersey entry, as well as any entries for retro jerseys if you wish. From NBA Live 2004 onwards, you must make entries for the home, away, home practice and home away jerseys as well as any retro jerseys if you wish to utilise them for your custom team.

The art file that is used for each entry is determined by SHPNAME.
home: Home Jersey
away: Away Jersey
serd: Alternate Jersey
clXX: Classic Jersey
prXX: Practice Jersey
Where XX is a number such as 01.

If you create your own custom jerseys for the team, the filenames must correspond to TEAMABR2 and the SHPNAME values you have entered. For example: eghome.fsh would be the correct name for a home jersey file for a custom team with a TEAMABR2 value of eg. Likewise, if you create a custom court you must use the same TEAMABR2 value (for example, egcrt.fsh). For more information about the rest of the fields and examples of the values you can use, please consult the individual Teamgear.dbf Editing Guides.

Since this guide is covering the DBF editing aspects of adding a custom team, we'll assume that you are using existing team art or have already created custom team art for use with your team. You are ready to start adding the players to your team's roster.

Simply open players.dbf and locate the players you wish to add to the roster. Change their TEAM, ORIGTEAM and SALARYTEAM values to the TEAMNUM value you assigned earlier. Reorder the roster by editing each player's ROSTERPOS value:

0: Starting Centre
1: Starting Power Forward
2: Starting Small Forward
3: Starting Shooting Guard
4: Starting Point Guard
5-11: Active Bench
12-14: Inactive Roster

Make sure that none of the players share the same ROSTERPOS value. If you like, you can assign the players ROSTERPOS values in any order and then reorder the roster from within the game.

With the players set to your custom team's roster and their unique ROSTERPOS values assigned, it's time to close DB Commander, run NBA Live and reload your roster. Congratulations, you've successfully added your own custom team! You may now make further changes to the roster and depending on the TEAMCODE you have chosen, you may sign and release players and trade with other teams.