Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown.
I’ve really been enjoying MyCAREER and 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K17, as you probably know if you’ve read my last two Friday Five columns, or regularly tune in to the NLSC Podcast. With the less intrusive story and increased amount of gameplay in the first season compared to last year, I’ve been able to steadily build up my MyPLAYER and have some memorable games in my rookie campaign. As such, I thought that I’d share a few tips on how to build your MyPLAYER in NBA 2K17, based on my experiences with the game so far.
Now, I must disclose that I did invest in some Virtual Currency on Day 1 (on top of my pre-order bonus), so I have been able to accelerate the process somewhat. I certainly won’t encourage anyone to engage in microtransactions, though since you will need to keep the VC flowing in, I would recommend getting the MyNBA2K17 app and playing the daily games for extra VC. Aside from that, strong performances and endorsement deals will help build up your VC reserves. With that being said, here are five tips for building your MyPLAYER in NBA 2K17.
1. Choose your MyPLAYER Archetype Carefully
The addition of MyPLAYER Archetypes in NBA 2K17 was a good idea in theory, preventing users from creating 7’3″ monsters who could dribble and shoot like Stephen Curry. In practice, however, some of them are a little restrictive. For example, the shooting ratings for the Playmaker Point Guard Archetype are a little low, and don’t represent floor generals who can both shoot and rack up assists, such as the aforementioned Curry, or stars of yesteryear such as John Stockton and Steve Nash. As such, it’s important to pay attention to all of the ratings caps. Note that your physical attributes will also have an effect on your ratings, so watch those triangles!
Consider how you want to play the game, and what skills you’re going to want to max out. Ratings that are capped around the 13th-15th level are going to be decent, allowing your player to be reasonably competent in that area. However, if said area is your bread and butter, you’re going to want the opportunity to max it out at Level 25. Each MyPLAYER Archetype has its strengths and weaknesses, though I will say that the Playmaker Archetypes are fairly good choices if you want to be an all-around, two-way player. If you want a little more scoring punch, you’ll probably want to sacrifice playmaking ratings and opt for something like Shot Creator or Sharpshooter.
2. Prioritise Upgrades According to your Playing Style
Just as your MyPLAYER Archetype should suit your style of play, so too should the priority you give to ratings upgrades. As I discussed in a previous column, Virtual Currency rewards are much stingier in NBA 2K17, so it’s very important that you spend your VC wisely. It should go without saying, but save your VC for upgrading your ratings before buying clothes for your MyPLAYER, or refurbishments for your MyCOURT. You might want to keep some aside for animations – more on that in a moment – but generally speaking, when you’re first trying to build up your MyPLAYER, your VC should mostly be going towards rating upgrades.
Once again, the skills that are your bread and butter are what you should focus on upgrading first. While it isn’t a terrible idea to upgrade a few areas at once, especially if you’re aiming to be a two-way player, first preference should always be given to your key skills. For example, if you prefer to drive and score in the paint, favour Layups & Dunks. If you prefer to do your damage with jumpshots, upgrading Mid-Range Shooting, Three-Point Shooting, and Shooting Off Dribble should be your priority. If you’re short of VC for the next level upgrade, and you’re still a bit low in a key area, keep saving and upgrade it at the next possible opportunity.
3. Choose Animations that Suit You
When we create our MyPLAYERs, it’s often tempting to choose animations that somewhat resemble our real life dribbling and shooting forms. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it won’t necessarily result in the optimal choice. Some jumpshots have easier release timings than others, while some are faster and thus more elusive. Needless to say, there’s a distinct advantage in selecting a shooting form that you can consistently get good releases with. Also note that after completing your connection with Coach K in MyCAREER, you’ll unlock the Jumpshot Creator, and can put together your own custom jumpshot animations.
The same goes for other moves, particularly dribbling animations. NBA 2K17 has changed things up a bit by removing canned Signature Size-Ups, so you might need to experiment and find out which moves you can effectively string together. Elite 2 seems to be the preferred set of crossovers, and since switching to them, I’ve found them to be quite good. New dribbling moves are behind VC paywalls this year, so you may have to start simple, and choose carefully. Unless you have a lot of VC to spare, hold off on expanding your array of dunk packages. Also keep in mind that backscratcher dunks get blocked a lot in 2K Pro-Am, so assign them with caution.
4. Run Drills & Put in Extra Work
I’ll be the first to admit that it can get very tedious attending all of the optional “extra work” practice sessions in NBA 2K17’s MyCAREER. While I made a point of hitting the gym as often as possible at the beginning, I did begin to slack off a little after a while. On top of it getting a little boring, the more endorsement deals you get and connections you make, the more your schedule will fill up. However, since you’ll eventually need to start earning upgrades by Doin’ Work, it’s important that you do keep attending those sessions when you can, and accepting invitations to work out on your MyCOURT. Always attend team practices!
The quickest way to fill the Doin’ Work meter is by running through the various drills, exercises, and invitations from other players to play 1-on-1, 2-on-2, and 3-on-3. Completing these drills and exercises is also the only way to upgrade certain ratings, such as Hands, Shot IQ, and Hustle. Perhaps the most important drill is Free Throw Golf, which is only available during scheduled team practices. Since it’s the only way to upgrade your free throw rating, and all Archetypes seem to start out with an unreasonably low rating in that area, I suggest heading to the foul line and triggering that drill each and every practice, as soon as the free shootaround begins.
5. Earn Badges
Beefing up your ratings is obviously important, but earning Badges is what will put your MyPLAYER over the top. Badges are earned by performing certain moves and reaching specific statistical marks, in order to establish certain player traits. For the uninitiated, there are Personality Badges which affect hot/cold streaks and ambient animations, and Skill Badges which provide additional boosts to help tip the odds in your favour with certain skills. For more information on how to unlock the MyPLAYER Badges in NBA 2K17, check out this guide. Note that the Skill Badges you can upgrade to Silver and Gold tier depends on your Archetype.
Since this year’s MyCAREER doesn’t restrict us to eight games in our rookie season as NBA 2K16’s “Livin’ Da Dream” did, the opportunity is there to earn Badges much quicker. Having played more MyCAREER games in NBA 2K17 and earned more Badges, I can attest to them making a difference, both in MyCAREER and 2K Pro-Am. You might need to go out of your way to earn some Badges, while others you’ll find yourself earning just by playing “your game”, but either way, I definitely recommend getting them. Once again, boosting your ratings is obviously vital, but Badges will definitely give you that additional edge.
Hopefully, these tips will help out a little in building and improving your MyPLAYER this year. Do you have any advice for your fellow NBA 2K17 gamers as far as Archetypes, animations, and methods of earning Badges are concerned? Feel free to share any tips in the comments section below, as well as in the NLSC Forum! That’s all for this week, so thanks for checking in, have a great weekend, and please join me again next Friday for another Five.