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An all-new MyTeam experience In NBA 2K21

Reading Time: 14 minutes

Hello everyone! Erick Boenisch from Visual Concepts, back once again. It feels like just yesterday that I was writing the MyTeam Developer Diary for NBA 2K20! Writing this piece every year is something I very much look forward to; the team here at Visual Concepts makes it easy with their endless ambition and relentless work ethic.

This has been an interesting year for, well, all of us. Our world has changed in many ways. The way we go about our lives is very different than it was at this time last year, but one item that has remained constant is the drive and ambition behind the team working on MyTeam. We designed much of this game from our homes. Thanks to video conferencing, I now know the name and face of every kid that has a parent working on MyTeam. You better believe they made sure to make cameos during meetings. From our homes to yours, let’s learn about what we have in store for you in NBA 2K21!

MyTeam across generations

Before we dive in on the new features you’ll be playing this year, I want to first cover a very important piece when it comes to MyTeam and the transition between PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

For those of you who start your NBA 2K21 MyTeam experience with the launch of PS4 on September 4, I am excited to confirm that your entire collection and progress will carry over once you start playing the PS5 version of the game. This means you will have access to all of your pulled and earned cards (and any evolution progress associated with them), your progress in Domination, Triple Threat, etc., and your entire balance of VC, MyTeam Points, and Tokens. It’s all there!

In NBA 2K21, your entire MyTeam collection and progress will seamlessly carry over from PS4 to PS5 so you can enjoy MyTeam, uninterrupted, all year long! No strings attached.

The carryover is quite simple and there is nothing you need to do. In fact, you can even go back and forth playing the PS4 version and the PS5 version at-will. You’ll learn more about NBA 2K21 for PlayStation 5 soon enough.

Last bit here, and this is a good reminder. For anyone who purchases the Mamba Forever Edition of the game on PS4, you will receive a copy of the Standard Edition of NBA 2K21 on PS5. You can get all the details in our FAQ here. For all of my MyTeamers out there, this is great value and lets you start playing MyTeam ‘early’ this year without the worry of losing any progress/time spent. We got you!

MyTeam Promo packs

For those of you pre-ordering your copy of NBA 2K21 through PlayStation Store, we have some really cool packs in store for you! Specifically, with the purchase of any edition of the game through the PlayStation Store, you’ll receive two free MyTeam promo packs. PlayStation Plus members will also receive three MyTeam promo packs per month for 10 months! That’s 30 packs for those of you counting at home.

Pre-ordering the Standard Edition of NBA 2K21 alone grants you 10 free Promo Packs, allocated at one pack per week. If you decide to go with the Mamba Forever edition, you will be granted 40 free Promo Packs, allocated as 10 on the first day you play, and then three per week for the next 10 weeks.

So what’s in these Promo Packs? Every pack will grant you an NBA player to add to your team. Beyond that, there will be rare pulls in these packs that will be some of the best cards in the game at launch! One that I have been playing with and loving recently is Diamond DeMarcus Cousins. We all need a little Boogie in our lives, right? Point being, these packs aren’t something you should overlook. They will not only give you a player in every pack, but they also have a chance to give you one of the best cards in the game at launch!

As a reminder, you can pre-order NBA 2K21in North America right here and Europe here.

Enough. Let’s finally talk features.

Seasons & seasonal content

One of my favorite things about MyTeam is how the mode is always evolving, whether it be through new cards that change the meta, or new content that provides exciting rewards. That being said, I have become very interested in structuring that evolution into a mechanism that you, our community, can really sink your teeth into. In NBA 2K21, we are going to introduce the Seasons concept into MyTeam. Let’s clarify one thing at the top; Seasons are free for everyone, there is no paid component to it.

I have two key tenets to the MyTeam Season design for 2K21: 1) New prizing updates across most modes every Season, and 2) Add something NEW to the mode every Season. I’m going to be intentionally vague here so as not to spoil any plans, so please bear with me. Some Seasons will add new content for you to play (think something like Spotlight Sims), while other Seasons may add new features to the game, or add a reward twist that you will be chasing all Season. The main point is, I really want each passing Season to feel fresh. I want the start of a new Season to create a buzz in the MyTeam community that we can all rally behind and be excited about.

With the high level ideas out of the way, let’s dive a little deeper into what a Season truly is. While the duration of each Season is not a fixed period of time, they will generally be about six weeks in length.

During the Season, you will be working to complete Daily, Weekly, and Seasonal-based Agendas. As objectives are completed, you will earn XP that will be used to raise your Season Level. Every time you level up, you will earn a reward. Reaching the final level within a Season earns you the grand prize for the Season. It’s going to take a lot of playing to get there, but we are always going to make the reward completely worth it. In fact, let’s talk about the Season 1 prize for reaching the highest level: Pink Diamond Steph Curry! A PD Steph Curry is going to be a beast to go against in the early game. All you’ve got to do is play to earn it. Interested yet?

Brand new for NBA 2K21, Seasons will bring new content and new ways to play MyTeam all year long! Earn the Season 1 grand prize, Pink Diamond Steph Curry, by simply completing Seasonal Agendas!

MyTeam Limited

MyTeam Limited is a brand new MyTeam game mode for NBA 2K21. This new mode is only available for play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each week. The twist here is that the rules for the mode will be changing every single weekend when a new event is activated!

Let’s start with the basics. MyTeam Limited is an online 5v5 multiplayer mode where you will compete against fellow MyTeam players who, like you, are chasing Championship Rings (more on that in a minute). The twist that I alluded to above is where the ‘Limited’ in MyTeam Limited comes into play. We will be introducing new lineup restrictions every single weekend to change up the meta of the game. For example, one weekend we may limit you to players 23 years old and younger. Another weekend, we may say that all players in your lineup need to be Ruby or lower. The controls we have built in will allow us to create some very fun combinations that will both allow and encourage you to use a wider breadth of the cards in your collection. Looking for high-end budget cards is going to be an important part of card collecting in NBA 2K21!

Now, about those Championship Rings. Every weekend, there is a new Championship Ring up for grabs. When you win a MyTeam Limited game, you will be rewarded with a prize. You’ll be able to view that prize, but you have an important decision to make with it. Do you want to keep the prize we gave you, or do you want to trade it in for your choice of one of two other mystery prizes? The mystery prizes may be better or worse than what we offered you (they may also contain the week’s Championship Ring). We are going to throw some creative prizes your way to make these decisions tough for you!

New to NBA 2K21, MyTeam Limited is a limited-time game mode available every Friday-Sunday that features new rules every weekend! Find and collect the Championship Ring from each weekend during the Season to earn a powerful card that will make you the envy of all your opponents!

After the final Limited event of the Season, you will trade in your Championship Rings for a tiered prize based on how many rings you collected. If you were lucky enough to collect every Championship Ring in a given season, you will earn the MyTeam Limited grand prize for that season. That grand prize will be a very high end card that will instantly make you the envy of all of your future opponents. And let’s be real, it will wreck the CPU in Triple Threat games! For those of you who manage to get one or some of the Championship Rings available in a season, we have tiered prizes for you as well, based on how many you earned!

MyTeam Unlimited 2.0

Introduced in NBA 2K19, MyTeam Unlimited instantly became the go-to mode for many in MyTeam. In NBA 2K21, Unlimited is undergoing its next evolution. This year, Unlimited will consist of 9 Leagues that you need to play through before you can reach the top!

Every League in MyTeam Unlimited 2.0 will consist of up to 12 games. In order to advance to the next League, you will need to win a certain number of games in your current league. For example, in the first league, you only need to win three of your 12 games to advance. Once you get that third win, you automatically level up to the next league. You do not need to play the remaining games for that league. As you move up the league structure, more and more wins will be required to level up. To keep things interesting and to keep you on your toes, if you do not meet the win requirement to advance to the next level, you will still need to win a certain number of games (out of 12) to remain on your current level!

The Exchange

New to NBA 2K21, The Exchange allows you to turn in/exchange your cards for some great prizes! Every Season in MyTeam this year will feature new Exchanges for you to collect and complete to earn exclusive cards only available here. Yes, some of the cards you get from here will be truly elite. The quality of the reward is going to dictate how much effort is required to complete the Exchange. For example, a sample Exchange may require you to trade in a Western Conference PG rated 90 or higher and an Eastern Conference PG rated 90 or higher to earn a higher rated player. The system is incredibly flexible and will allow us to create Exchanges geared toward our newest users as well as some of our most dedicated and passionate users.

The Exchange is a new feature within NBA 2K21 that allows you the opportunity to exchange some cards you may no longer be using for cards that will become staples in your starting lineup. This sample Exchange affords you the ability to exchange a collection of cards for a Pink Diamond Bob Cousy!

My favorite aspect of this feature is that it gives you yet another avenue to utilize what were non-used cards in your collection in NBA 2K20. Between MyTeam Limited and The Exchange, you really need to be very aware of what you are doing when you decide you no longer need a card in your collection because it doesn’t fit in your ‘best’ lineup. MyTeam Limited has no ‘best’ lineup, and you literally never know what we will throw at you in The Exchange!

Badge customization

After taking a one-year hiatus in NBA 2K20, the ability to customize your players with unique badges has returned for NBA 2K21! I have to be honest, I really missed this feature last year. There is something to be said for pulling the latest and greatest card and then having the ability to truly make it your own by customizing it to better fit your play style.

For those of you newer to the MyTeam experience who may not understand this one, there will be Badge Cards available in MyTeam that allow you to both Apply badges and Upgrade badges on players. For example, if you have a card that doesn’t have Clamps on it (and the player is eligible), you can take a Clamps badge card and apply it to your player. This is an awesome way to customize your team more than ever!

There have been some changes and improvements since you last saw this feature. Badge cards will be available in Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Hall of Fame (oh yes!). To upgrade a player, you need to first apply the Bronze version of the badge. To upgrade to Gold, you will need to then apply the Silver version of the badge before adding the Gold version of the badge. Hall of Fame versions of badges are going to be very rare, and will be made available primarily through prizing and playing the game (Season level rewards is one area where you can definitely find these). For anyone familiar with the game, you know how powerful the right Hall of Fame badge can be to the game experience! Another change, and this is a really important one, is we are going to limit what badges can go on players based on their archetype/play style. It doesn’t make much sense to apply a Brick Wall badge to Steph Curry, right?

Customizable evolutions

Evolution Cards was clearly one of our star additions to the NBA 2K20 MyTeam experience. The ability to obtain cards and power them up to higher gem tiers felt very rewarding as it gave people a chance to build some sweat equity with their collections. Evolution Cards are back in NBA 2K21, and better than ever!

New to NBA 2K21, you will now have more control over how some of your Evolution Cards evolve as they tier up. That is because we are introducing the concept of branching in the evolution process! When you have an evo card that reaches a choice tier, you will make a selection between two badges that you want to focus on adding to the given card.

Evolution Cards are back and better than ever! New to NBA 2K21, you will now have more control over how some of your Evolution Cards evolve as they tier up. Will you improve Shaq’s rebounding ability or his shot blocking ability? The choice is yours!

This means that not all fully evolved Evolution Cards will be identical in NBA 2K21, and I think that is a fantastic thing. MyTeam is a mode about fantasy. A mode about user choice and customization. The addition of Customizable Evolutions to the game this year takes us that one step further to differentiating player lineups and gives you yet another tool to give your team the edge out there on the courts. I can’t wait to see the choices you will all make this year. We’ve got some crafty ideas planned!

Objective Tracker

You’ll sometimes hear a company say they have added a feature as a ‘quality-of-life’ item. In NBA 2K21, that’s exactly what the Objective Tracker is. MyTeam players are going to have a lot going on this year. You are going to get Season Agendas galore that you are simultaneously chasing down (score points with this player, win this many games in this mode, make 9 threes with a Sapphire, etc.). With this new feature, you will have the ability to tag up to 9 Season Agendas or Dynamic Goals of your choice. You will then be able to see and review those tagged Agendas/Goals when entering into offline gameplay in MyTeam, as a reminder of what you set out to accomplish in the current game.

No longer will you have to try and remember how many points you were supposed to score with Klay Thompson. Now, set it and review it as you start your next game. This is a feature I’m really enjoying in NBA 2K21. I think there is even more we can do here to make this more useful for you in the future. Stay tuned on this one!

NBA 2K21 MyTeam starts NOW

Inside NBA 2K20, we have launched a special MyTeam Moments Challenge. Live until Friday, August 28, players who successfully complete this challenge will immediately earn 21 Tokens in NBA 2K20. More importantly, you will also earn a free MyTeam pack that will be waiting for you to open in NBA 2K21 on September 4! I’m not going to spoil the contents of this pack, but I will say that it doesn’t have any players in it… and that you absolutely want it! Don’t be the person that misses out here!

For more information on this challenge, please head over to our official MyTeam Twitter account. I strongly recommend you throw us a follow, as this is where all the latest MyTeam news, content releases, Seasonal information, and Locker Codes will be coming from!

Closing thoughts

In many ways, I view NBA 2K19 as the rebirth of MyTeam as we currently know it. It had a lot of new features that laid the groundwork for where we are today. NBA 2K20 did a fantastic job last year of carrying the torch and adding staple features of its own. To me, NBA 2K21’s MyTeam proves that the development team behind it have truly hit their stride; the feature set this year speaks for itself. New modes. New ideas. And new ways to delight players all year long.

Personally, I’m a part of a number of different gaming communities. I think many of us are. The value presented to this development team by you, our MyTeam community, is second to none. We keep each other honest, and I think that is incredibly important for the long-term growth of this mode. And we’re never going to stop growing this mode. Our implementation of Seasons this year is going to show you exactly what I mean when I say that.

I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to every single person here at Visual Concepts that worked on MyTeam in NBA 2K21. Your hard work is about to be enjoyed by millions! It was a wild ride. Work from the office. Work from home. Work from somewhere else. Kids and pets in star roles during meetings. I’ll never, ever forget this year. Through it all, we never stopped grinding, and it shows!

Until next time, my friends. On behalf of everyone here at Visual Concepts, thank you for your continued support. NBA 2K21 is only a couple short weeks away. We can’t wait for you to get your hands on it!

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