If you’re someone who turns on NBA 2K22 on a daily basis and focuses pretty much exclusively on playing the MyCareer mode online, whether in the Neighborhood on current gen or The City on next gen, you might feel like it’s not all that hard to reach level 40 over the course of a season. But for more casual players like myself who might have other games they want to play or even just other modes within NBA 2K22 that they want to enjoy, they are likely going to find that the rate of progression to ascend levels is akin to a snail’s pace. Even if you do devote a fair share of time within MyCareer, you still could find yourself getting virtually nowhere in your quest for the next level thanks to certain areas of the mode being worth more in the pursuit than others. With that in mind, I want to talk about some ways to improve Season XP in NBA 2K.
Improving Season XP In NBA 2K
As the newest season of MyCareer (Power Within) continues on, it seems like a great opportunity to take a closer look at what areas of the mode could use some fine tuning to make reaching level 40 feel less insurmountable and frustrating for anyone who is not an everyday player. Some of these might be more realistic than others, and the truth is that the developers appear committed to making XP just as coveted as VC (perhaps even more so since you can’t buy XP with real money), but they would certainly all help to alleviate the feeling of hopelessness that accompanies the hunt for level 40 for more casual players.
More Double XP Tokens
When you’re trying to rack up as much XP as humanly possible, having the ability to double the amount that you receive following games can be nothing short of a godsend. Unfortunately, the tokens that can accomplish this for you are as elusive as they are coveted, and you’re typically relegated to unlocking them as season prizes at a few different levels — or getting lucky and unwrapping one in your daily reward. Credit where credit is due, you have to appreciate how 2K has at least changed the daily reward to a 30 minute double XP token rather than the old method of having the timer for your 30 minutes of double XP start immediately after it’s unlocked.
If casual players are ever going to be motivated to try to reach level 40 (or even level 20 for that matter), it will be necessary get that sweet double XP more often than the way the current system allows. One way the developers could make things a little easier for this kind of player is to have everyone receive one 30 minute double XP token at the outset of every day (and maybe even a triple XP token every week?). For the hardcore hooper, this would provide a nice little boost at the start of a session, but for those who might only log on once every few days or so, the way that these would accumulate over time would allow you to have a bank of them that could keep you earning extra XP over a session that lasts a couple of hours. It might still not be enough to get us to level 40 before the dawn of a new season sets everyone right back to level 1 again, but it would at least make jumping levels slightly more of a breeze.
Whether playing 3-vs-3 games in the park or 5-vs-5 ones in the rec, the bane of everyone’s NBA 2K existence is having one or more of your teammates leave you hanging by quitting a game. This wouldn’t be quite so bad if your human teammates were replaced by competent AI players who make smart decisions and hit open shots. Instead, what we consistently end up with are scrubs who your opponent can pretty much ignore on offense since even the builds that should be able to shoot will usually brick open looks. The truly awful thing about people quitting is that it also happens to be rather contagious, so once one person decides they’ve had enough and drop out, you can expect others to follow like clockwork and soon the fun multiplayer game you envisioned playing becomes an unfulfilling solo venture.
When you’re stuck with a bunch of lame AI teammates on account of quitters, the only thing that can really keep you from following suit and leaving yourself is the knowledge that you won’t receive any progression rewards if you abandon ship. While it makes sense that people should naturally be punished for taking their ball and going home, it’s perhaps time for NBA 2K22 to boost rewards for those of us who stick around. In exchange for having to endure a terrible experience alongside AI teammates, there should be some kind of “survivor’s bonus” instituted that provides a bonus on the XP you collect. This should be exponentially boosted for every member of your team that decides to leave, so if you’re playing a game in the rec and all four of your teammates quit, the XP reward for sticking it out better be huge. Suddenly, you might actually be excited to see teammates quit rather than experiencing the familiar sense of dread.
Boost Old Gym XP
As someone who enjoys playing 3-on-3 street basketball but would rather sidestep the waiting around that goes hand-in-hand with competing on the affiliation courts, the addition of the no-squads Old Gym in next-gen NBA 2K22 and its automatic matchmaking was a terrific move by developers that NBA 2K players had been wanting for quite some time. Whenever you’re looking for a quick game and don’t have any friends online to form a squad, the Old Gym is then the perfect destination to get a quick fix of basketball without needing to worry about anything other than the nightmarish possibility of being paired with a 60 overall teammate.
But why is it that games in the Old Gym always wind up giving you such a small return of XP for the investment of your time? It’s completely mystifying as to why affiliation games in the Park should be worth more in the way of XP than ones in the Old Gym, and there doesn’t really appear to be a logical reason to justify it. Is this a way of giving you something extra for all of that inevitable waiting in the Park? Is it to encourage people forming squads and playing together? Are Park games more challenging than those in the Old Gym? Even when comparing the length of Old Gym games that go until a team scores 21 points (which last roughly around 10 minutes) to games in the Rec with 5 minute quarters (which last roughly 30 minutes), the ones in the Rec are a way more efficient method of collecting XP because, win or lose, you’re bound to earn far more than triple the XP in the Rec than you do in the Old Gym.
It’s almost a necessity to take advantage of any chance to increase the amount of XP you receive following games, so it’s important to stay aware of the regular events that are held throughout the week. These can range from double XP for Rec games on the weekend to sponsored events in locations like the event center in the middle of The City or in designated parks. As long as you take note of when these are happening and make sure to clear your schedule to ensure you’re available to play during these times, you’ll no doubt be satisfied by that welcome bump of XP whenever the final shot of the game sails through the hoop.
The trouble with these events though is that if you don’t know when they are happening — or are otherwise occupied during the limited time they are running — then you’re simply out of luck. It would be much appreciated instead if there was some sort of event running no matter when you happened to be available to log on and play some basketball. Remember how I was just saying that the amount of XP you earn in the Old Gym should be increased? How about at least having a certain time of day when you can receive double XP for playing games in the Old Gym? In fact, there really should never be a time when you enter the City or the Neighborhood where there isn’t a certain court you can play games on that will allow you to earn double XP if you choose to make that your focus. By doing this, you would also expose more people to the types of games that they might not normally play and this could force them to use skills that are outside of their comfort zone.
More Offline XP
Without question, the group that gets neglected the most when it comes to attempting to accumulate XP over the course of a season is anyone who prefers to play MyCareer offline rather than online. These folks are bound to be a little disappointed to find that any games you play versus the CPU as one of your builds will earn you little to no XP no matter how well you happen to perform in these games. There has to be a way for anyone who prefers to avoid the frustrations and added stress of the online environments to also be rewarded with XP for the investment of their time. Even if this is at a reduced rate than what you would see being given out after Rec games, any little bit would be appreciated and true offline grinders would put in however many games are necessary to push all the way up to level 40.