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Welcome to our NBA 2K22 Beginner’s Guide. In this section, we’ll give you some early tips and tricks to help you learn some of the new gameplay tweaks and find the best modes to play.
NBA 2K22 Beginner’s Guide
Slow Things Down
NBA 2K22 is, at launch, a much slower-paced game than NBA 2K21 because of the way the game handles stamina loss. If you played last year, you’re probably used to spamming dribble moves at the top of the key to get yourself open for a three. Or, if you instead tried to rim run with fast, athletic players, you’re used to getting out on the break and knifing through defenses.
In NBA 2K22, if you hold the sprint button down or use a bunch of dribble moves, your stamina will fall off of a cliff. This wasn’t as big of a problem last year because you could still shoot well when tired. In 2K22, your shot meter will actually decrease as you lose stamina and your release slows. This makes it harder to hit shots and gives your opponent more of a window to contest.
So, our advice is to slow down. With stamina, shooting is actually a bit easier this year. Take advantage of that by playing a bit more conservatively and you’ll find success.
Abuse the Pick and Roll (Against the CPU)
If you’re an offline player, one big tip is to take advantage of the changes Visual Concepts made to AI help defense. In the past, defenders would crash on you off a pick and leave their man wide open. This made it easier to three hunt on the wings if you were having trouble scoring.
In 2K22, those defenders don’t seem to crash as much, which lets you play a pick-and-roll game that feels more like a real NBA game. Now, it’s all about reading the defense and making the correct decision. If you call for your center to set a pick and his man switches to you, toss it to the big fella and let him work against a smaller defender. If they don’t switch, congrats on your open lane. Get to the bucket and hit a layup or get fouled.
To initiate a pick-and-roll simply hold down L1 (LB on Xbox) while pointing toward whichever player you want to bring for the pick. The key here is to be patient. If you don’t get the switch and don’t see a lane, don’t force it. Reset and try again. Remember, you want to play smart and slow.
Pick a Mode – NBA 2K22 Beginner’s Guide
This goes for players who want to really delve into NBA 2K22 this year. Whether you want to play MyTeam, MyCareer, or MyWNBA, you probably need to make a choice and stick to it. That doesn’t mean you can’t dabble with the other modes, but all three have a season pass with content to unlock. It seems a bit easier to finish out the pass than it did last year, but if you spread yourself too thin, you might not get all of the rewards.
That said, if you’re a casual player, don’t sweat it. All three modes have plenty to do and meandering from one to another isn’t a problem unless you really want to compete with other players.
Stick With Offline in MyTeam For Now
If you’re already a top-end MyTeam player, this tip isn’t for you. You likely already have the stick skills to compete in online. However, for newer players (or those in need of a refresh), playing offline modes like Triple Threat Offline and Domination will do two, very helpful things.
First, you’re getting in practice. Obviously, tricks that work against the CPU won’t work as well against human players, but you are dialing in your shot timing, which is key. The second and more important thing is that you’re building up your team with great players through rewards. Going in with a starter team and trying to compete in Triple Threat Online or Unlimited is tough. If you do want to jump straight to online, consider trying out the new Draft mode or going into Limited where other player’s rosters will have a ratings cap.
Pick Trae Young as Your MyTeam Starter – NBA 2K22 Beginner’s Guide
Simply put, Trae Young is far and away the best Starter player in MyTeam this year, especially if you’re following our last tip and starting out playing offline. The man starts as a relatively unassuming PG, but quickly evolves (upgrades) into a deadly shooter with great speed for the early game.
Then, once you fully evolve Trae Young, you can pick up another Starter. You can keep doing this until you have all five. We picked Jayson Tatum as our second Starter to work on, but your mileage may vary depending on which players you get while working on Young’s evolution. Eventually, you’ll have all five Starters.
Use a Build That Fits Your Style in MyCareer
If you search around the internet, you’re sure to see several “best MyCareer build” lists. These are great, but what you really should do is just think of the player you want to play as and build your character that way. Unless you’re planning to compete with the best players in The City, you’ll be fine with whatever build you choose.
Personally, we like playing tough defense (blocks seem a bit overpowered so far this year), setting up our teammates, and hitting the occasional three when the defense sags off. That might not be for you, so play around with the editor and find something that you like. You’ll have much more fun that way.
Don’t Forget to Grab that State Farm Drip – NBA 2K22 Beginner’s Guide
This last one is a goof, but it is pretty silly to run around The City with State Farm’s official outfit on. Once you log in and finish the starting missions, check your Quests. You should have one that takes you to Jake from State Farm. Talk to the guy and you’ll have the full outfit to put on when you have a particularly grueling pickup game to play.