NBA 2K's MyTEAM has a steep bar for entry. At least it can feel that way.
When you're just starting out with a weaker lineup and match up with teams stacked with diamonds and galaxy opals, it's not much of a game at all. And to avoid these matchups entirely, you'll have to play a lot to survive the rat race once NBA 2K21 is released. But you don't have to fall victim to a weak lineup.
You just have to be smart about it.
CATCH THEM ALL: Fill out your NBA pokedex for big time galaxy opal rewards
No price is better than free, and NBA 2K20 gives you a few options for free players. We expect plenty of the same with NBA 2K21.
The first option is locker codes for individual players. MyTEAM has several temporary locker codes to unlock major players. Right now the 98 overall Pink Diamond Kobe Bryant is free using the locker code KOBE-JHE93-J987G-PWEHD.
Along with free players NBA 2K20 has had plenty of free packs. We expect this to stick around for NBA 2K21 as well. Whether attached to events or temporary locker codes, you can probably find a free pack or two at any time. These packs could help give you the talent you need to compete. Right now there are free Flash Live Series Packs using the locker code FLASH-PACKS-DROP-APRIL.
As long as you keep up to date on temporary locker code goodies, you can stack up your team for the cost of nothing at all.
UNLEASH THE MAMBA: You can unlock Galaxy Opal Kobe Bryant while it lasts
NBA 2K20 has plenty of different routes for unlocking players, and most come without any cost if you have the time. While there might not be many for NBA 2K21's MyTEAM on release, they should filter in over time.
The best player to unlock right now for free is Galaxy Opal Kobe Bryant, who can be earned by completing Kobe's Spoltight Sim and Historic Spotlight Sim.
Beyond challenges, you can also unlock players by collecting. You can collect 10 players from each tier set to unlock the next tier via tokens. You can also unlock players by collecting specific numbers of players, all the way up to Galaxy Opal level players.
GOING ONCE, TWICE: You can find some valuable pickups in the marketplace
Some players are easier to unlock or open than others, but if you don't have the time to work to get them, the community market is your friend.
Through the community marketplace you can purchase cards that can sometimes over-perform their worth. Since cost is really just attached to accessibility and not talent, there are some hidden gems for quite cheap.
A few of these cheaper players that can outperform their costs are Dan Majerle, Pink Diamond Shaquille O'Neal, and the infamous Ruby Thon Maker. Cards like Ruby Thon have returned year after year as a quality budget pickup, so you can expect this to keep up for NBA 2K21.
How to grow
EARN BIG: Daily challenges are a great way to stack MT
Once you've established a lineup with enough talent to take games consistently, the real grind begins.
Take your accomplished team into Unlimited if you're confident enough, or grind out other game modes to keep growing.
Make sure that you take note of challenges you face, daily, weekly, or monthly. These offer big time rewards for only the cost of adjusting your lineup while playing. More avenues for mt and packs is always going to help.
Also be sure to take advantage of evolution cards and item upgrades along the way so you're getting the best out of your lineup, even on a budget.
Play to your team's strengths
SPOT THE MISMATCH: Lebron James is able to overpower Khris Middleton at SF
To succeed in MyTEAM you need to know your team inside and out. That's the ultimate way to improve your game without spending a single mt.
While it may seem impossible to match up against a player like Galaxy Opal Shaquille O'Neal with a player like Ruby Thon Maker, much of 2K20 comes down to strategy. Sure you might have to surrender some post presence, but by playing to your strengths, in this case Maker's shooting ability, you can stretch the matchup into your favor.
Managing 5 matchups and all the ways they can change with bench players is the hidden challenge to NBA 2K games.
Master this, and it doesn't matter how weak your lineup's stats really are.