In this NBA 2K20 guide we’ll provide some tips on how to climb the ranks and work your way up in My Career.
NBA 2K20 has now dropped, bringing with it perhaps the most detailed My Player Builder and My Career story mode in the franchise’s history. We’ve already run through some of the best builds available, but once you have your player created and ready to go, what’s it take to be drafted in the first round?
Embracing The Grind
My Career has for more than a decade defined the NBA 2K franchise, and NBA 2K20 is certainly no different. What makes My Career so special? It’s the risk and reward associated with the climb to NBA stardom, and the feeling of success after riding the grind.
And that’s ultimately what fuels the My Career experience: the grind. And it’s one hell of a grind, that’s for sure! Unless you’re prepared to drop real money on VC so as to quickly boost your player’s attributes, it’s going to take you many hours of grinding through the game’s many challenges before you reach NBA stardom.
Your staring point should be our My Player Builder guide, in which we’ll break down how best to create a player that suits your own individual play style. That should be your starting point when booting up My Career.
Once you’ve created your player and you drop into some matches and scrimmages, it’s all about teammate grade: how your teammates rate your individual performance.
Getting A Perfect Teammate Grade
Ideally, you want to be performing on the offensive end from day one, but your opening match for the Bay City Flames won’t have major implications on your draft projection if you do happen to have a poor performance. In my personal experience, anything from a B-grade upwards stands to put you in a good position, but it’s also not the worst situation if you end up with less.
One tip I’ve offered that hasn’t changed in the many years of My Career, is that you should try not to dominate in the early days of your career. That’s because, unless you’ve already boosted your player’s attributed with real money, you simply won’t have the skillset to do everything needed for an A+ rating.
That’s not to say an A+ rating isn’t possible early on, because it very much is. But the ultimately goal is to do the simple things really, really well. What are the simple things? Clear passes, pick-and-rolls, assists, and rebounds. Don’t try too hard, because forcing shots, passes, and drives will lead to turnovers, which arguably cause the biggest hit to your teammate grade.
In the early days, only take open shots: don’t force shots against stronger defenders, because you risk getting a “bad shot choice” teammate grade penalty. Miracle shots won’t win over your teammates, so try to get open, without over-demanding the ball, and hit those open shots.
Don’t be afraid to hit the gym and practice shooting to find your player’s sweetspot. It may feel like a grind, but it’ll be worth it once you start hitting those important shots. A “bad shot penalty” is the My Career equivalent of being sent to the G League.
I like calling for screenshots from teammates, or even a screen, which allows me to get out into space and either hit them for a pick and roll and drive for an assist, or take the open shot.
I would also look to identify your team’s best shooters as quickly as possible. Some shoot-first NBA 2K players may disagree but I find Assists and Pass-to-Assist achievements to be great ways to boost your teammate grade. A turnover may see you drop down a grade, but good spacing, a strong screen and an assist can quickly see you reclaim any grade you’ve lost. Assists are also great for VC, at 4 VC per assist.
One mistake I notice a lot of novice players make is that they over-dribble and try to execute a whole bunch of fancy moves to get around the AI. The AI will punish you with its defense and either force the stop, or steal the ball. Try to get past a defender once, but that’s it: if you can’t get by them that first time, look for a pass, call for a screen, or, if you’re open, take the jump shot.
Turnovers can make or break your career, but it’s not the end of the world. If you turn the ball over, get back on defense as quickly as possible: filling the lane, defending well and stopping a fast break will improve your teammate grade. You win back all of the grade you lost for the turnover, but it will minimise the impact to your grade.
Screens to me are also the bread-and-butter of the NBA 2K20 My Career offensive offering. Pressing B/Square to set a screen, ensuring your player’s feet and planted and not moving when the opposition player crashes into them. If your screen leads to an open made shot or an assist, you’ll get a “screen assist”, which can quickly boost your teammate grade.
Calling for a screen by pressing LB/L2, and then utilising the pick and roll is also a quick way to get assists, VC, and boost teammate grade. Just ensure you’re passing down a clear line of sight, and not directly to the opposition. The AI will quickly learn that you’re running the pick and roll, so be quick about it.
Tips To Get You Started
- Don’t force your shots: take open shots, and pass up any potential turnovers
- Don’t over-dribble: identify good defenders, pass when you’re challenged
- Move off the ball and set screens for your teammates
- Keep moving!
- Don’t force passes through traffic, especially on pick and rolls
NBA 2K20 is no different to past games in the series in that’s it’s “easy to play, hard to master”. A brutal mistress as I’ve called it in the past, and the defensive focus can make it difficult to succeed.
That’s why good defense is such an important component of the experience, and is key to a strong teammate grade. If you defend well, you won’t get a penalty even if your direct opponent scores on you. But if they get past you for an easy layup, you’ll likely get a “defensive breakdown” penalty, which is akin to a turnover.
Lock-on defense using the left trigger is great when you have a bit of space between you and the opponent, but don’t over use it. It allows you to “stick” to a defender, but it leaves you vulnerable to ankle breakers and quick drives to the basket.
Ideally you want to keep a good distance — not too close, not too far — and close enough to be able to both contest the ball and move into space. You don’t need to jump when they take a shot: so long as you’re locked onto them, your player will contest the ball with arms straight up.
Tips To Get You Started
- Play wary of screens from the opposition. If you can see one coming, keep some space so that you can move around them
- The AI will force mismatches on almost every play, so be wary of the arrow on your player, which points to your direct opponent. It will change once a switch takes place
- A steal is a great way to boost teammate grade, but forcing a steal and causing a foul can significantly impact your teammate grade. Try it once, and then back off
If you perform well on both ends of the court, you’ll boost your teammate grade during scrimmages, which will therefore boost your VC coffers, and have you rise up the draft projection ranks.
Have any NBA 2K20 My Career tips? Sound off in the comments below!