NBA 2K19 has dropped, and players are getting their chance to try out the latest edition in the single player campaign, MyCareer, which places you in control of a rookie player looking to build up from a non-league start into all-time greatness. Although the MyCareer mode is fun, it can be frustrating — as players unwilling to spend money on virtual currency can find themselves in control of a vastly under-skilled player for several in-game months.
Just getting through the opening character creation with a player ready to perform is not guaranteed. Every decision you make after slapping a face on your character will have an effect on his effectiveness on the court. Don’t make the mistake of getting off on the wrong foot by building a player who has been set up to fail. The opening learning curve for your 60-rated created player is hard enough if you didn’t start with a VC injection already, so don’t make it even harder.
Choose the Right Archetype for Your Skills
Once you customize your character’s face, you start to develop his playing personality. This comes in the form of choosing both a primary and secondary playing style. Each style carries its own pros and cons, and you also have the option to double down on a particular skill set by choosing the same archetype for both. The most important thing when building your character in this section is to play to your personal strengths. While it may be tempting to make your character a specialist where you are weakest to make up for it, your badges and takeover abilities rely on succeeding in your player’s archetype, so doing so can actually greatly hinder your development.
Driving & Finishing
If you dream of being the player who cuts opposing teams apart in the lane, this is the archetype for you. It focuses on inside scoring, with layups and dunks receiving large boosts, as well as high speed and acceleration ratings. As a trade-off, these players struggle with jump shots, as their mid- and long-range shooting is poor.
This can be a confusing name as it is easy to think this means your player will be a distributor of the ball, creating shots for teammates. Instead, it’s an ability to create shots in tight windows for himself that makes a shot creator, which brings forth excellent mid and close-range scoring as well as serviceable efforts from deep.
The modern NBA is all about the deep ball, so you can’t go wrong with making a player that can knock ‘em down. It speaks volumes about the modern style that even centers have the ability to focus on making it rain from downtown in 2K19. These shooters rely on others to help them get looks, if not supported with a secondary type, as they are not great dribblers or passers.
Passing & Ball-Handling
This is the way to go if you want to be the engine that keeps your teammates running. In addition to good pace, these players can dribble and pass with the best of them. Unfortunately, they struggle when it comes to getting points themselves, with low-to-mid ratings across all scoring fields.
You can’t win a championship on offensive output alone, and that’s where the lockdown defenders come into the mix. Choosing this option is a massive sacrifice on the offensive end, with nearly all of your offensive stats neglected. On the other hand, it boosts everything you need to keep the other team off the board, from blocks and steals to turn the ball over to speed and lateral quickness. If you want to be a strong defender you’ll need to invest at least a secondary archetype into defense.
Cleaning the board may be thankless work, but it can swing games. Earning second chances at one end, and denying them at the other, gives you the advantage of extra possessions, and put back buckets are a great way to run up your scoring. If you go this route with your big man, your home is by the bucket, as you will have limited speed and outside scoring ability. What you get by the bucketful is rebounding ability, raw strength, and jumping ability to put it to work.
If you want to dig down in the trenches but with a little more personal glory, the post scorer is your guy. Just like the rebounder, he utilizes strength more than speed, but his focus is on making shots, not grabbing misses. Post scorers are terrors laying it off the glass, and capable of throwing down a thunderous dunk or hitting a mid-range jumper if the situation calls for it.
Your Build Matters
In many games, the character creation section is a purely aesthetic endeavor. This is not the case with NBA 2K19, as the decisions you make when creating your player will affect his on-court abilities. There are three decisions to be made, and each comes with its own trade-offs.
If there’s one thing everybody knows about basketball players, it’s that they’re tall, so it’s tempting when creating your player to just make him as tall as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. While height will improve your ability to grab rebounds and get shots off without being blocked, shorter players are given better ball handling abilities to make-up for their smaller stature.
As with height, more is not necessarily better. When choosing your weight you are ultimately making a decision of strength versus speed. The heavier your player is, the more equipped he’ll be to use his muscle, but he will also be worse off on speed-based skills and agility.
There are two main decisions being made when you decide just how lanky your player is. The longer your arms are, the better you can handle contested shots and the more effective you’ll be at swiping the ball. On the flip side, players with shorter arms are much harder to dispossess, and excel at nailing open looks.
Putting it All Together
With so much to consider when creating your MyCareer player, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. The key to creating a player you’ll be happy with is approaching the entire process as a single act, not a series of smaller choices.
- Choose the type of player you want to be. It’s important to know exactly how you want to play before you make your first decision. This allows you to make choices for skills and build which work together cohesively. It’s generally not wise to put all of your skills into driving and scoring then making your player as short as possible, for example. If you know the type of player you want to be, choose measurements which compliment it. If you know how you want to look, find a play style which matches your body.
- Diversify your player’s abilities. There is a strong temptation when doing character creation to double-down on your primary skill by making it your secondary skill as well. While this can pay off if you really know what you’re doing, this leads to a character who is usually very poor at everything but his specialty. Newer players are much better suited to choosing a secondary skill which assists their primary a little, but also boosts some of the attributes your primary missed.
- Play to your strengths. When in doubt on a choice, err on the side of the ability you are most confident in being able to carry out. The more effective your player is at his primary skills, the faster he’ll earn VC to improve his abilities. While neglected areas may get lower caps due to your archetype selections, you can actually upgrade them faster by scoring well with a player you’re better at playing than you can by giving them an initial boost then being dragged down by poor performances.
Have you had a chance to try out the MyCareer mode yet? We’d love to hear about your pro! Are you a slasher who can make it rain, or a rim protector who dominates the boards? Let us know in the comments below!
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