NBA General Manager 2018 is From the Bench’s latest offering in this popular sports management series, just one of many from a company that’s also brought us titles like Baseball General Manager and Fantasy Manager Soccer. Once again, you’ll have a chance to manage a team of real-life NBA players, choosing any one out of the 30 NBA teams and leading them to glory in any one of the game’s various modes. Each player is rated to reflect their real-life counterparts’ performance in actual games, so you’ll need to choose carefully when improving your team through new acquisitions, or by upgrading your existing players. If you’ve got enough resources, you can even bolster your team by adding legends from the NBA’s past, allowing you even more ways to customize your team and make them better!
We already covered the basics of the game in our NBA General Manager 2018 beginner’s guide, as well as the features you may likely be using the most when playing the game. So let’s move on to the other features, and talk about some ways you could earn more cash (common currency) and coins (premium currency), as we present to you our NBA General Manager 2018 strategy guide for intermediate to advanced players. Keep on reading if you’re looking for even more ways to win, regardless of your preferred mode!
1. Buy The Special Packs If You’re Willing To Spend Real Cash
NBA General Manager 2018, as we see it, isn’t exactly one of those pay-to-win games — it’s possible to win even if you choose not to spend a single cent, just as long as you’re patient and don’t try to rush things. But if you have no problem parting with your real-world money, you can take advantage of the special offers, which often cost less than $15 USD, or its equivalent in local currency. For example, you can get a starter pack for only a dollar or so, though this is a one-time-only deal where you can get $30 million in cash, and six Mr. Clutch power-ups. (It would be too easy, after all, if such cheap offers were available every time around!)
Currently, the special offer for non-first-timers is the Conference Semifinals Pack, which costs $14 USD, and comes with rewards such as 50 million cash, 420 coins, and a level 20 LeBron James. That’s not bad at all (the deal is advertised as 75 percent off), though once again, buying these packages with real money is merely optional.
2. Log In Daily For Extra Cash, Watch Videos For Bonus Coins
Now if you want to earn free cash and coins without having to part with your hard-earned money, you can take advantage of the daily login bonuses, which reward you with at least 100,000 cash or more for each time you login, with the value increasing each day — make sure you actually log in at least once day, or the count will reset back to Day 1! That might not be a lot of common currency, but it could add up. That too applies to coins, where you can earn one coin for each video you watch — you can access this on the right side of the home screen, in the area that says “Free Coins.” We know — one coin a video is not much at all, and the only thing you could use that for is to accelerate an early level-up for any one of your players. But if you keep watching these 15-30-second videos, you could easily earn double digits in coins each day if you play the game regularly!
Also, don’t forget to watch the video after you open the game and collect your daily login cash, as you could earn even more bonus cash for watching the ad! And if you’ve got a From the Bench account, you can connect that to your game, which will automatically add 70 coins to your balance. That’s a pretty good incentive to open your own FTB account, wouldn’t you agree?
3. Player Ratings Could Update Dynamically
See those ratings your players currently have? The good news is that they can improve as their real-life equivalents play actual NBA games, but the bad news is that those ratings can also decline, should a player’s real-life equivalent have a bad night. That’s something you may want to take into consideration when adding new players to your team, or choosing players to upgrade. For example, if your best player is of journeyman caliber (you could check sites such as basketball-reference.com to get an idea of their real-life performance) and good for only 10-12 points per game or less (without good supporting stats), you might want to save him for the bench, and target better players (real-life and in terms of in-game rating) via the Trades tab. One specific example would be J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers — he’s decent at this point in his career, but not great, which means you might be in trouble if he’s your team’s best player and he starts putting up subpar numbers in real life. On the other hand, if you’ve got someone like the Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, and his rating is at 270, there’s a solid chance his rating could increase if he puts up good games against the Cavaliers in the ongoing Eastern Conference Finals.
Pro-tip: Now that the 2017-18 NBA regular season has been over for several weeks, it could be a good idea to prioritize good players from teams that didn’t make the playoffs (i.e. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks), or teams that got eliminated early in the postseason (i.e. Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers).
4. Should You Buy A New Roster Slot?
NBA General Manager 2018 allows you to keep rosters of up to 20 players, and once you reach the limit, you’ll either have to release a player, or buy a new roster slot. You can buy new roster slots for as low as 50 coins, with each new slot getting unlocked after you buy the last one, though we probably shouldn’t say “as low as” — those 50 coins might be best used on a top-caliber player from the Buy Now pool. We would recommend that you leave this option alone until you’ve reached a point where your least talented player has a rating of 250 to 300 or so. If you’re at a point where you’ve got several players with ratings of 200 or lower, you can easily cut them if you’re somehow able to buy a newer and better player.
5. Complete Those Jobs
You can access the Jobs tab under Franchise, and this is where you can complete a number of tasks where all you need to do is to deactivate a player or two (sometimes your entire team, in the World Promotion job) for several minutes, in exchange for a power-up and extra cash. For the duration of the job, you won’t be able to use that player (or players) in any game you play, so you may want to hold off on playing new games if the player the game selected for the job is one of the better hands on your team. You will, however, be rewarded quite richly after the job is completed — choose one out of the six geographical locations for “promoting” your new job, and you’ll win a random power-up.
Hiring a Marketing Director under the Franchise tab allows you to earn more power-ups for each succeeding director you hire — so once you get the second Marketing Director, that means you’ll be able to choose two locations instead of one after each job is completed.
6. Replace Your Head Coach As You Go Along
In as much as it’s good to save your coins for Buy Now players that sell at a huge discount, you’ll also want to save up some coins to hire a new coach. Your Level 3 coach, for instance, costs 40 coins, and will get you two improvement slots, with the option to level up players until level 19. (The Level 2 coach, by comparison, only allows you one improvement slot, and only lets you upgrade players until they reach level 9.)
That means you’ll need to make sure you have enough coins to buy a new coach, though if you used up your coin balance by getting a 2,000+ rated player for less than 300 coins (like we did when we signed Draymond Green from the Buy Now list), it’s perfectly understandable if you want to hold off in the meantime. It’s not everyday, after all, that you can get such a highly-rated player at such a low price.
7. How Does League Mode Work?
League Mode is the last major game mode in NBA General Manager 2018, and it puts you in a six-team league with five other human general managers that are at a similar player level as you are in. You’ll get to play a total of 15 regular season games, with two to three games played each day at set times, after which you’ll play three semifinal games (if you qualify), then three Finals games, if you’re lucky and talented enough to make it past the semis. Finishing first place or second place will get you promoted to the next league (the leagues are Rookie, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, and All-Star), and if you finish on top of your league, you could also win some coins — it’s 10 coins if you win the Rookie League. Second to fourth placers will win a cash reward, while fifth or sixth placers don’t get any reward at all in the Rookie League, or could get demoted if in a higher league. Basically, you want to finish no lower than fourth place in League Mode, as that’s going to ensure you of some sort of prize after league play is over for the given season, while also guaranteeing that you don’t get demoted for poor performance. Naturally, you’ll also need to spend cash on improving your team if you don’t want to finish in the bottom two of your given league, and better yet, if you want to win it all!
8. The Jerseys Are Only There For Cosmetic Purposes
If you click the Locker Room 2018 tab, you’ll see a selection of jerseys, including your team’s home jersey, which you have by default, the official away jersey, the city edition jersey, and a throwback jersey from past seasons. These jerseys may look spiffy, and you may be tempted to spend anywhere from 195 to 500 coins (at least for the team we’re using — the 76ers) to buy these jerseys to add to your collection. But as far as we can see, the only benefit they have is aesthetic, with no additional boosts to your team aside from giving your players something else to wear when the default home jersey starts becoming too monotonous. We’d only recommend buying jerseys if you’re flush with coins; otherwise, you’re better off spending your premium currency elsewhere.