NBA 2K19 Beginner’s Guide and Game Modes

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Source: NBA 2K19

When starting out a new game of any sort, it can be extremely challenging to see what you want to do first, and where you should start. NBA 2K19 is no exception, as there are plenty of game modes, challenges, and styles that you can attempt to test your skills.

Many people will have certain ideas in terms of how they want to play the game, and what methods they wish to use to prove they are the best.

Where to start

To start, if you have never played any NBA 2K game, it is best to get acquainted with the controls and mechanics of the game. To do this, you can either play in a “Play Now” match and mess around, or go into practice mode. Practice mode can be found under different game modes, but the easiest is under domination mode, where you can learn the basic controls and how to make plays.

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Starting game mode

The first game mode I would say to get started in is the MyTeam game mode. MyTeam has you play with certain player cards and create teams of your choosing from cards that you earn. This is beneficial because you start at the lower end of the scale, and work your way up through playing better people.

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You also learn how each player benefits in different ways. You learn what skills benefit which position, as well as how they can combine to create terrifying offenses, or soul-crushing defenses.

Also, once you get the basics, you then gain access to better player cards, better teammates, and play against better players, making you grow exponentially.

Tips for Beginner Offenses and Defenses

For any beginner, the basics are of utmost importance. As such, here are some simple tips for those wanting to get better at both aggressive and defensive play.

For offense, the most important thing to understand is that coverage can hamper your game play. Gone are the days of defenders just randomly flying up in your face and being able to randomly get a block. Instead, timing is key. Make sure to maximize the efficiency of your shots by trying to always find the open player. The more open the player is, the better chance their shot has of going in, whether it's a 3pt shot, or a drive through an open lane.

For defense, the most important thing is understanding how to cover your opponent. Each player, at the start of the defensive phase, is assigned a man-to-man defense. As such, it is your job, depending on who you pick, to defend your man and not let them get any open space. Also, time your jumps and block attempts. If you jump, or attempt a steal, and miss, you have now given your opponent a large window of opportunity to make a play, as you need to recover from your unfortunate mistake.

Basic Basketball Rules

  • Shots made outside the arc are worth 3-points, inside the arc are worth 2, foul shots are worth 1 point;
  • Excessive physical contact with an opponent can lead to a foul;
  • Your team has 24 seconds to take a shot once taking over possession of the ball;
  • Once you pass the mid-court line, you cannot take the ball back across it;
  • You must keep the ball within the outside lines of the court;
  • Game consists of four quarters of play

Creating your own style

Once you get the basics down and get a feel for how you want to play, you can move on to MyCareer. Although many tend to go for this first, the mechanics in MyCareer ramp up the difficulty if you want to actually advance in your career. This is because you get graded for specific aspects of the game that are relevant to your position. For instance, if you don’t make the proper pass during a game, or falter on making a shot, you get exponentially penalized.

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You can also tailor your character to your exact style, and have fun experimenting on how they affect your overall game play and techniques.

Much more to experience

These are not the only modes and play styles you can try out. These are just the best to use when getting started. Try out everything, and anything, if you want to actually dive into the game. The most important aspect is to have lots of fun and enjoy yourself while playing basketball.

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NBA 2K19 Game Modes

If you have never played an NBA 2K game, you’re in for a treat. NBA 2K19 builds on it’s previous versions, bringing an all-star lineup of game modes, enjoyable combat, and challenging rewards.

Each of these game modes can yield you good rewards, as well as a strong challenge, but everyone is satisfied in their own way. As such, here are the breakdowns for each game mode, and what they can give you.

Play Now

The most basic of basics, play now is for those that don’t have a lot of time, and want to just get started on a regular game. You are able to quickly pick a team, either from current rosters, specific iterations of team rosters, and all-time stars. No matter who they are, you are able to play them.

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This is a great tool for you to get used to playing the game in general. With a multitude of players to choose from, you can test out how you want to play, and also just have fun in general. No stress, unless you’re going head to head against someone, and just general enjoyment of the game. More for those that picked the game as a stress reliever.



The perfect mode for those that want to go from the streets, to the stars. In this game mode, you take on a single player in a specific position. You must guide your player through the dangers and perils of playing in an overseas league, and work your way into the big leagues of the NBA.

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You will have to follow direct orders and requirements if you want to gain fame. Following the wants of your sponsors and employers will grant you greater favor with them, as well as a larger purse to walk around with and upgrade your player. This mode is best played if you want to test your mettle against the best of the best, while feeling like an actual player, as it is you plus 4 NPCs against other computers.


A much harder game mode to work with, MyTeam gives you reins of the entire team. From the playbook to your players, you get to make the decisions about how you play and who you play against. You will have to mix and match players that you unlock and hire, as well as find the proper synergy and playstyle that fits your players the best. If you do not pick the right ones, you will end up losing against others that have built a stronger squad.

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You can also take them against a roster stacked with challenges. These come in the form of weekly challenges that you will have to play through, against the computer. As you play through them all, you will be rewarded handsomely for your wins, as well as given the opportunity to play against other great players and their rag tag squads.

The BlackTop

These are your awkward games that you may want to play when you aren’t able to play a full game in Play Now. These include 1 on 1s, 2 on 2s, and much more. You can test combinations of players, as well as see if you can take on the greats with a single player. You can also practice general tactics and plays, as it has a practice mode for you to mess around in as well.

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For more articles like this, take a look at our NBA 2K page.