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My NBA 2K20 Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Cheats & Strategies for Building a Strong Deck

In less than two months from now, another NBA season will be kicking off, and it’s going to be quite an interesting one, what with all the player movement that took place during the offseason. That’s also going to make things interesting in the world of video gaming, as 2K Sports’ NBA 2K20 will be arriving soon, but mobile gamers can check out the title’s “companion app” for iOS and Android as early as now.

That’s right – 2K Sports and Cat Daddy have teamed up to bring you the latest version of this app/card collecting game, and it’s called My NBA 2K20. The game allows you to collect cards of your favorite NBA players, with all rosters up to date for the 2019-20 season, as you take part in card battles against real, human opponents from around the world. How long do you think it will take you before you come up with a powerful deck that could take on all comers?

While this is definitely a more casual game than the high-end console and PC equivalent, that doesn’t mean it’s a back-to-basics, bare-bones title with easy-to-learn mechanics. In fact, there are various game modes to choose from and a wide range of features you can access as you strive to build the perfect deck and come up with the best possible starting lineup!

However, we’re going to stick to the basics in this My NBA 2K20 beginner’s guide and start out by discussing some of the game’s more fundamental features, while focusing mainly on the Quick Games you will likely be playing more often than the other game modes, not to mention the tips and strategies you can employ if you want to dominate the competition during your first week or so of gameplay.

1. The Basics Of My NBA 2K20

As the name suggests, My NBA 2K20 is more of a companion app for the “actual” version of NBA 2K20 that will be coming later this year to multiple platforms. That means you won’t be getting actual 5-on-5 games with 12-minute (or less, depending on your preferences) quarters along with full NBA rules, stunning and realistic graphics, substitutions, injuries, and all the other features you can expect from a high-end basketball video game. Instead, this is more of a card battler type of game, where you can collect a deck of cards and play your best five against those of your rival. But since this is still a basketball title at heart, some of the sport’s rules will still apply when it comes to the card battles you can take part in.

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Once you start My NBA 2K20 for the first time, the first thing you will be asked to do would be to choose your favorite team. In terms of starting with a good team or a bad team, this choice wouldn’t matter, as you’ll start out with a set of five common, low-rated cards regardless whether you choose last year’s champion Toronto Raptors, the much-improved Los Angeles Clippers or Brooklyn Nets, or expected bottom-dwellers like the New York Knicks or Phoenix Suns. You will then get to play a game against the opponent of your choice, though the tutorial will ensure that you end up victorious – but how do these battles play out anyway?

Regardless of position or rarity, all players are rated based on four attributes – Offense (OFF), Defense (DEF), Rebounding (REB), and Playmaking (PM). With that in mind, the game will randomly choose four attribute-based matchups – either based on an individual attribute or a combination of two – with each matchup representing each of the four quarters in an actual basketball game. You will then be asked to choose the player you think would beat your opponent’s pick, based on the matchup at the moment – of course, you won’t be able to see your opponent’s cards, so your choice of cards to play would mostly boil down to each player’s respective attributes.

Take note that having a higher raw rating for a given attribute, say, Offense, does not guarantee victory in any given matchup, especially if both of your ratings are fairly close to each other. There are other variables that could come into play, such as the Support Cards that you may have at any given time – the game will start you out with two Support Cards, on top of your five Player Cards, and, without going into depth just yet, these cards serve as buffs that could increase a player’s ratings during matchups. Certain players also have designations, e.g. Hustler, Triple Threat, etc., that offer a certain percentage chance of one or more stats/attributes getting boosted during a matchup. We’ll get to those details a little later on in this guide, but to sum it all up, the mechanics are far more complex than simply determining which team has a better rated player!

2. About Draft Picks And Patterns

If you win a battle against an opponent, you will then be taken to a screen where you can “draft” new players to your team – after your tutorial victory, you will get nine picks, but after that, you will get two picks by default per victory and one per loss, with the option to watch an ad video to earn an extra four picks. We strongly recommend watching those videos, because even if you may typically end up with scrubs during the draft process, you’ll need as many chances as possible to choose new players if you want to successfully match the pattern of the day.

As My NBA 2K20 explains it in the tutorial stage, draft board patterns change on a daily basis and can be global, meaning for everyone playing the game, or personal. Either way, these are “secret” patterns that are purposely not revealed, but if you are able to guess the pattern in question – this would pertain to the arrangement of cards that remain on the board – you will get a special reward on top of the players you add to your deck via your draft picks.

Related: My NBA 2K20 Advanced Guide: Tips, Tactics & Strategies to Dominate All Game Modes

The quality and rarity of drafted players will all depend on the tier you are currently in, and this tier will increase accordingly as your deck’s overall strength improves. For example, if you reach the Ultra Rare tier, that means you have a chance of scoring an Ultra Rare player during a draft, with the odds improving as the bar fills up, or in this case, if you increase in tier to Ultra Rare+ or Ultra Rare++. Be aware, though, that far more often than not, you will be ending up with common players, with a lot of duplicate scrubs with less than impressive stats!

Fortunately, there is a way to put these weaker and/or duplicate players to good use, and we shall be discussing that in our very next tip.

3. Make Sure To Improve Your Players, But Prioritize The Right Ones

Just like in real life, it’s not a good idea to let players stagnate in terms of development. And in the world of My NBA 2K20, that means making sure to train your players whenever you have the necessary resources to do so. Those necessary resources are the same cards we mentioned above – common, low-rated cards and/or duplicates of such, as you won’t be fielding these players anyway, especially once the quality of opposition starts ramping up as your deck gets stronger.

Depending on a sacrificed card’s rarity, the target card will gain experience (EXP) and level up – once you reach a certain level for a player (depending again on their rarity), their card will become eligible to be combined into a higher-end, more powerful Pro card.

how to improve players in my nba 2k20

At the end of the day, your resources will be limited – you may be diligent in drafting players and watching videos to get more picks, but if you train players willy-nilly, you’ll find yourself out of common cards/dupes to sacrifice before you know it. That said, you should focus your upgrading efforts on your better, rarer players – don’t waste your time and resources upgrading those 2019 second-round picks or undrafted rookie free agents or veteran benchwarmers (for those who are familiar with the current NBA rosters), because they won’t be much help to your team anyway.

4. When Can You Create A Pro Card And How Do You Do It?

In addition to training your players by sacrificing cards that you don’t need or no longer need, you can also upgrade your players to Pro level to give their stats a generous boost across the board. But before you can do that, you’ll need to have duplicates of the player you wish to combine into a Pro, and make sure that both the dupe to be sacrificed and your target card are at maximum level – that way, you can create a player that’s considered a Perfect Pro. You also need to check that the players being combined are NOT on any one of your decks, regardless of the game mode – this is a basic requirement for combining that often gets overlooked.

If you aren’t able to level up both sacrifice and target players to the current cap, then that’s okay – you can still combine them to get an Imperfect Pro. However, you always want to aim for Perfect Pros for the best possible stat boost and the best possible activation chances for special abilities, and you want to save your card-combining efforts for your better and rarer cards, instead of the useless common ones you may usually end up with while drafting.

5. All Players Should Be In Their Ideal Positions

While in the real world, there are some players who could play well even when not in their ideal or usual position – LeBron James, for one, would come to mind here – most players are only effective while playing one or two out of the five positions, and that too applies in My NBA 2K20. Sure, you may want to play one of your better, higher-rated players out of position if their stats are much better than those of your other players – their stats will drop off a bit, but if they’ll still be better overall than everyone else, it’s an exception worth making if you want to win more games against rival teams.

But in most cases, we would recommend making sure that everyone is lined up at their best positions – a PF/C, for instance, should only be played at power forward or center, while PG/SG could be played at either point guard or shooting guard positions. This allows each player to perform up to their full potential and gives them the best chances of activating their special skills – of course, you wouldn’t expect your point guard to unleash his elite Play Calling ability when you’ve got him lined up at center.

When in doubt, or if you’re looking for a quick way to make sure everyone is properly lined up (as far as your current deck can go, that is – you may still have some players out of place if you’re particularly short at one or more positions), you can always let the game auto-fill your starting lineup for all applicable game modes. My NBA 2K20 is very reliable when it comes to auto-selection, but we should also add that it never hurts to fine-tune your lineup even after having the game set it all up for you.

6. Don’t Play Your Best Cards Too Early (And Other Basic Strategies)

Conventional wisdom will tell you that it’s better to look primarily at each player’s stats before choosing a card to play. That in itself is true, but there’s more than just choosing your best offensive player for an Offense matchup or your best defender for a Defense matchup. In fact, there’s a fair bit of strategy involved when it comes to choosing the right cards to play, so unless you’re up against a newbie with only a few games’ experience, you may need to deliberate a little before choosing your cards.

my nba 2k20 quick game mode

One piece of advice we could give you in this beginner’s guide is to play your weakest cards sometime during the first two matchups, so as to potentially lull your opponent into a false sense of security after they get the “first-quarter” or “first-half” lead. This may not always work, because after all, you cannot see what’s behind your opponent’s cards, but the bottom line here is that you don’t want to waste your best card on an early matchup and find yourself with your back to the wall and your weakest card(s) remaining for the third and fourth matchup.

When talking about your weakest card, it often makes sense to pair it up with your strongest card – in the event you’ve got an Ultra Rare card or better in the early goings – during those two-card matchups. The only time this strategy could fail is if your opponent has a similar-strength deck or better and is using their best two cards (or a standout Ultra Rare or better and a weaker one, like yours) against your pair of cards. But it usually works during those early games, and could give you a good advantage if you easily win the two-card matchup in question.

Also, keep those special abilities in mind before choosing a card to play. If you have a Hustler in your starting five, you’ll probably want to save him for a Rebounding matchup, due to the bonus you could get when the ability is activated. Be sure to review your best cards and familiarize yourself with the players’ stats and special abilities before each series of games – this could help you make a more informed decision when choosing which cards to play and when to play them!

7. You May End Up With Better Cards By Opening Free Packs

For the most part, your draft picks will serve as training materials for your better players. But if you’re looking for a better chance to improve your team than picking player after player in hopes of finding someone with a higher rarity tier than majority of your deck, you may want to wait every four hours so you can open your free packs. The free packs, which can be accessed by tapping on the shopping cart button on the bottom menu, won’t always give you a high-quality player.

But we’ve observed so far that the odds of getting someone who could serve as more than just training material are higher than they are when drafting. With that in mind, set your phone’s notifications accordingly so that you could be informed whenever there’s a free pack to open! Again, this is not a surefire way to get rarer players, but rather an option you could consider if you want a better chance at strengthening your deck sooner rather than later.

8. Complete The Daily Drills

While the term “drills” might conjure images of players shooting the basketball in a round-robin formation or running 5-on-5 scrimmages, that’s not the case when talking about a card battler like My NBA 2K20. The “daily drills” in this game are the equivalent of quests, where the game will ask you to complete certain tasks within the day, such as drafting a certain number of players in a game. Completing drills will earn you Tickets, which you can then spend at the Ticket Store once you’ve gotten enough. So what can you expect to find in the game’s Ticket Store?

my nba 2k20 training

Well, for starters, the Basic Goals Pack sells for 30 Tickets, and guarantees you a random card of Rare to Epic rarity. That’s all well and good, but you might want to wait until you’ve gotten 100 Tickets so that you can buy an Intermediate Goals Pack. That’s going to guarantee you a random card between Epic and Elite, and if you think about the long-term benefits, you may find it more rewarding to accumulate those hundred Tickets rather than spring for the first Basic Goals Pack once you can afford it and get a solid player who’s merely on par with the weakest player on your starting five.

9. Log In Daily For A Month To Get High-Rarity Players

Last, but not the least, we would strongly advise all My NBA 2K20 players to log into the game, even for just a minute or less a day, to qualify for the daily login rewards. At first, you won’t get much in terms of quality and rarity, but as you keep logging in consecutively, you will be eligible for progressively better rewards until the 28th consecutive login, where you could find yourself earning an Elite rarity card! To be specific, you will be eligible to earn Rare cards from days 5 to 10, Epic from days 15 to 21, Epic Prime from days 22 to 27, and finally, on day 28, you’ll be able to open an Elite Login Reward Pack.

my nba 2k20 rewards

Yes, it’s going to take quite a fair bit of patience and close to a month of logging in, but as we mentioned above, you can always log in and exit immediately if you don’t have time to play an actual game – that’s still going to count as a daily login on your end. Make sure you do this daily because you’re going to go back to day 1 if you miss a daily login – unless you’re willing to pay premium currency to “buy back” the days you missed!

And that sums up our beginner’s guide for My NBA 2k20. We hope you’ve learned something new from the tips and tricks we shared in this article. If you happen to know additional strategies for the game, feel free to drop us a line in the comments below!