Skip to Content

My NBA 2K18 Ultimate Guide: 17 Tips & Tricks for Building the Ultimate Deck

NBA 2K18 has just dropped for a number of gaming platforms, and while it would be too much to expect a similarly rich playing experience on your mobile device, 2K Sports’ new game, My NBA 2K18, makes for a pretty good companion app for iOS and Android users alike. You get a lot of the features you may be familiar with through the NBA 2K series, such as the ability to scan your face (this time using your phone or tablet’s camera). But otherwise, this is the NBA 2K experience reimagined for the mobile gamer, as it comes with an NBA 2K-themed card game, chances to earn Virtual Currency, and a variety of tournaments which you can compete in to earn new cards, currency, and other rewards. Again, it’s not the NBA 2K you know if you’re a PlayStation, Xbox, or PC gamer, but it’s as good as it gets for mobile device owners, and you can integrate it with your copy of NBA 2K18, as you would expect from a companion app.

There are a lot of things to learn when playing this game, and a lot of mechanics that you need to get down pat if you want to make the most out of your playing experience. If you played previous versions of this game, you probably have an idea of what to do and how to play. We already shared a few My NBA 2K18 guides, providing some general tips and tricks, as well as hints on how to get rare players in the game. But even then, we still recommend that you check out our My NBA 2K18 ultimate guide, whether you’re a new player who needs to learn the game, or an existing player that needs to learn about the new features, or get a refresher on what the game is about.

1. At First, Putting Players In Their Right Positions Is Everything

For those who are also NBA fans (which we would assume would be a lot of you), you can’t expect to get good results if you play Kristaps Porzingis at point guard, or if you’re starting Stephen Curry at center. In other words, you should be mindful of each player’s preferred position, and make sure you’re assigning them to that position. Doing so would give you a nice statistical boost that could maybe even turn the tide in a game, and you can also benefit from additional energy if you’re playing playoff matches. Those positions are there for a reason. Don’t overlook this aspect of My NBA 2K18, especially in the early goings.

2. Log In Every Day, Even For A Few Minutes

It’s important that you’re logging into the game at least once a day. Even if you don’t have enough time to play an actual game, logging in even for a few quick minutes (or seconds, for that matter) will be good enough so that you can redeem your daily login reward, which comes in the form of a free card pack. If you log in four days straight, you get a guaranteed Uncommon or Rare player. Logging in for eight days straight will get you a guaranteed Rare, with a chance of getting an Ultra Rare. And if you’re patient enough and log in for a good 20 days straight, you get anywhere from Ultra Rare to Elite guaranteed! In short — keep logging in daily so you could do away with those common cards sooner rather than later.

If you miss out on buying a certain pack, you can spend about 100 coins for that, although the costs could sometimes get prohibitive. As such, be sure you’re logging in — it doesn’t matter how long you stay logged in, just as long as you’re working toward getting better daily rewards! Remember, though, that once a new month starts, your progress gets reset. As far as the current month goes, you should start your daily login streak no later than October 12 if you want to get the 20-day reward, because come November 1, you’re going back to square one.

3. Complete Those Missions

We will be talking more in depth about getting new player cards later on in this guide, but since we’re starting out with the most basic of the basic tips, we’re going to tell you as early as now that you should be completing Mission Tasks in the game. Each task completed will get you tickets as a prize, and these tickets can then be spent in the Ticket Store. Mission Packs sold in the Ticket Store cost as low as 25 tickets and as much as 300 tickets, and you might want to save up your tickets for a later time, because the more expensive packs increase your chances of getting a Rare or Elite card.

4. Oftentimes, Less Is More

Anyone familiar with the sport of basketball should know that NBA teams can easily consist of more than the standard 12 players. But when it comes to My NBA 2K18, it’s oftentimes better to simplify your in-game life and not go overboard with the card collection. As a companion app, there are truly a lot of card collecting game mechanics in this title, but don’t go too far and randomly collect new cards when you probably won’t be using most of them anyway. Focus on building a good nucleus for your team, and you should be in good shape.

5. Sacrifice Cards To Make Stronger Ones Better

The game allows you to sacrifice cards that may be further down in the rarity tier — weaker, common cards that you probably won’t be needing once you’ve improved your team quite a bit. This is called the Training process, though as you can see, it obviously works more like RPG training or enhancing rather than actual pro basketball training.

Simply go to MyCards to review a list of cards you already have, then tap on the card you want to level up. Tap on the Train button, and sacrifice any weaker cards you want to give up; this will allow the target card to improve quite significantly, so don’t be afraid to give up a card or two instead of hanging on to those cards for no good reason.

6. How To Create ‘Pro’ Cards

In relation to the above tip, you could also create a “Pro” version of certain cards, but the requirements here are that both your target card and sacrifice card must be identical, and that both cards are maxed out. The game allows you to combine these cards to create a formidable “Pro” player, though as you can see, it won’t be easy to meet the requirements, and it’s also going to be quite time-consuming. But once you’ve gotten your first Pro player, it’s going to be more than worth it at the end of the day.

Once you’ve maxed out a Pro player’s level, you can still make them even better. That would require supercharging them, which. Increases their level cap, thereby allowing you to turn this player into a Hall of Fame-level talent, at least as far as the My NBA 2K18 universe is concerned!

7. Basic Tips For Earning More Virtual Currency

Virtual Currency or VC is your main form of currency in My NBA 2K18, and there are a few ways for you to earn more of that virtual dough in the game.

Playing as many Quick Games as you could may end up as a good source of VC, which you can then use to unlock new clothes, shoes, and other items you can use to customize your player in MyCareer. These new items are mostly for cosmetic purposes, but it’s definitely fun to customize your player and let your creativity shine through. The Mission Tasks we mentioned above can also earn you some VC, and you should make sure to complete at least a few per day, as the tasks refresh on a daily basis. Additionally, you can connect My NBA 2K18 to your PSN or Xbox Live account, should you also be a console gamer — that’s a great way to add to your VC total if you’ve got either one of those consoles.

8. Does The Chat Room Help?

Although My NBA 2K18 is not as much a social game as city-building or base management titles, there are some social features you might want to check out, such as the chat room. You might be wondering why taking part in chat room conversations is so important, but actually participating is merely optional. You can just sit back and lurk — if you sift through the trash talk and the trolling (par for the course in every chat room), you might pick up a few new tips or tricks, or have your memory jogged on one of the tips we have in this ultimate guide.

9. Tips For Using Facial Scan

Now this is another mostly-cosmetic feature in the game, but it’s also one of the most fun features. The game, as mentioned in the overview, allows you to scan your face and use it when playing, much like you can do in the console and PC versions of NBA 2K18. When scanning your face, you should be sure that you aren’t wearing any glasses, or any other accessory that could distort the scan and make the scanned image look decidedly unlike you.

It’s as simple as that — scan your face using your device’s camera, and make sure there’s nothing in the way while your photo is being taken and scanned. For better results, you can also ask a friend to hold your phone or tablet up so you can use the rear-facing camera; these days, we’re seeing a ton of phones with high-quality front cameras for great-looking selfies, though in most cases, the rear shooter is still the one you want to use if you’re after clarity and crispness.

10. Scout Your Opponents And Learn Their Tendencies

Now we’re moving on to the actual card battles — this is where the fun part begins, after all. But as you’ll find out soon enough, winning games is surprisingly easy, provided you’ve at least evenly matched against your opponent.

Basically, you should be paying close attention to the tendencies of your opponents. For example, when do they play their rarer cards, and when do they “burn” cards, or play weak and ineffective cards that are almost sure to lose? You want to take note of these things, though you may also notice that players usually field their rarer, stronger players when playing the first and second cards. (Not necessarily the smartest strategy, but it’s surprisingly common.) If you notice a player doing this, you can burn your weak cards in the first or second turn, then save your better cards for the other rounds. The important thing here is winning, and not necessarily dominating your opponent en route to an easy victory.

11. How Do Playoffs Work?

Playoffs work differently than the other game modes in My NBA 2K18. Instead of being playable at any time, they play out automatically during specific times of the day. You can, however, make changes to your team at any time, and add stronger players to your deck if you acquire them at some point in the day. Changing your deck in the middle of the game is allowed, but it won’t affect your current game; instead, this will impact your lineup in the succeeding game.

Playoffs also require that you have a larger team — you will be needing 15 players, plus three cards as support. That means you might need to get a little picky when trying to enhance, or train your starting five. You could end up having some weaker players that could be used to fill out that playoff roster instead. But in any case, you wouldn’t be able to change your Playoffs lineup once the schedule kicks off; you can train the players in your 15-man team, but you would no longer be able to swap players in and out while in the middle of a schedule.

When it comes to determining your seeding in the playoffs, or should we say your tier, the game will base this on the strength of your lineup. If you make it to a higher tier, that means you can win better rewards, though you also have to contend with the possibility of facing tougher opponents.

12. What Happened To Season Mode?

You may be asking us what happened to Season Mode — why are we talking Playoffs right away and not even mentioning the regular season? To answer that question, the folks behind My NBA 2K18 apparently replaced Season Mode with Playoffs, allowing for a more casual take on team management, one that doesn’t take as much time as the old game mode. Back in the day, Season Mode required players to be online and managing their lineups at odd hours of the day, but this time, you don’t need to invest as much time and effort as you used to. The good thing here is that you can take part in playoff games as often as you want — even if you lose in the first round after failing to manage your team properly, you will still get a pretty decent, though definitely not great reward.

13. Position Becomes More Important In The Playoffs

By now, you should be aware of the importance of playing each of your players at their preferred position. Sometimes you may need to make some exceptions to this rule, but in the playoffs, there’s no excuse for playing someone out of position, as anyone who is out of position will lose more Energy during playoff games. We should also reiterate that you aren’t actively playing games in the playoffs, but rather setting the lineup before the start of a new game. You might want to use some Energy cards to ensure that your best players are at full strength, but the main thing, once again, is to avoid those out-of-position players even more so in the playoffs than in Quick Games.

14. How To Refill Energy

We probably should include this tip as well, as we mentioned Energy cards in the above tip. You will get Energy refill cards each time you complete a quick Game, and if you want to use these refills during the playoffs, all you need to do is to go to the Manage Playoffs screen, then drag the Energy card on the player whose Energy needs some replenishment. That’s all there is to it, if you want to make sure that your top players are feeling fresh, with their stats all at their full potential by the start of the next game.

15. Win More Quick Games And Head 2 Head Games For Rarer Cards

Moving on to the topic of acquiring rarer cards in My NBA 2K18, we did mention some of the ways you can get these cards in passing. But we’re now going to be discussing things in greater depth, so read on if you want to have some Uncommon players or better replacing those commons on your lineup.

The most natural way to earn rarer cards is to play and win more Quick Games and Head 2 Head matches. As you win more games and improve your overall talent level, you will move up in the prize tiers, with the chances of rarer cards increasing as you keep advancing. As of the moment, the highest prize tiers are Ultra Rare, Epic, Epic Prime, and Elite; while that’s a lot of superlatives, there’s a chance 2K Sports will be adding even more in subsequent updates. Just remember that the draft board will reset each time you draw a Rare card or better.

16. About The Ladder Rewards

Rarer cards can also be acquired as ladder rewards, and this can be done simply by playing games, regardless if you win or lose. For starters, you get one Uncommon player card for playing 10 games. Once you play 70, you get one Rare player card. Playing 500 games gets you one Ultra Rare foil card. Playing 2,000 games gets you a random player card corresponding to your team’s rarity, and that reward remains the same once you hit the 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, and 50,000 game milestones. Obviously, your team rarity should keep improving as you play more games and hit more milestones, so if you’re patient enough, your milestone rewards could easily include some Epic cards!

17. Other Ways To Get More Rare Players

There are a few other ways in which you could acquire some rarer cards in My NBA 2K18. You’ve got the Champion’s Choice Spinners, for one — you will find these in Head 2 Head mode as one of the prizes in the Card Draft. These are wheels you can spin, with the spaces including a variety of possible rewards, and these rewards could include some rarer cards. You can get better Spinners with more useful and significant rewards by playing Head 2 Head mode as often as you could, and climbing up the leaderboard. Then you’ve got daily logins, as we had mentioned above — just as a reminder, daily login rewards reset at the start of each month, and the best possible reward comes once you’ve logged in for 20 straight days!

Then again, maybe you’ve got some extra real-life cash lying around — how about buying the cards in the in-game store? If you’re interested in spending real money to buy players, you will first have to buy Credits, which are My NBA 2K18’s premium currency. Go to the Store tab and choose the packs you want to buy, but do not spend your Credits on the first interesting pack you see! The game often launches some special offers that are available for a limited amount of time, and you could hold out for those packs if the deal is attractive enough. But those who want a guaranteed chance at the rarest of the rare will have to spend a lot of Credits for the pricier packs — as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, so don’t expect a good chance at rare players if you buy the more affordable packs instead!