2K21 MyTeam Six Things To Do
A new release in the NBA 2K series brings with it what I consider the best part of the entire cycle: The chance to begin again in MyTeam, the team-building online mode that gives players a chance to assemble the best of the NBA's past, present, and future on a fantasy team that could feature Damian Lillard throwing lobs to Shaq -- or Bob Cousy doing the same for Anthony Davis. And, yeah, it means that players can go back to ripping open packs and hoping for new thrills rather than yet another Galaxy Opal John Stockton. (No offense, Stock.)
But MyTeam is a deep, feature-rich mode with content of all sorts for players to enjoy -- and it got significantly deeper this year, with tweaks to the popular Domination and Triple Threat modes and the introduction of a new Limited mode that will bring custom rule sets to head-to-head online play alongside the primary Unlimited mode and a new Seasons feature -- strongly reminiscent of MLB The Show's time-limited Innings programs -- allowing players to earn XP, level up, and claim rewards.
And the reward currently at the end of the rainbow for Season 1, subtitled One Will Rise, is so good that it serves as the focal point of six important things players should do when starting out in 2K21 MyTeam that AREN'T opening packs.
On this page:
Level Up, Level Up, Level Up
That reward? A 96 OVR Pink Diamond Stephen Curry that is one of just four Pink Diamonds available in MyTeam to start -- and probably the best one. You'll get it for reaching Level 40 in the Season Progress XP path, and you can be sure that it will be one of MyTeam's best shooters and most lethal scorers in the early weeks of the game.
And to get it, all you're going to need to do is gain XP -- like, millions of it. While early levels in the Season XP path require just hundreds or a few thousand XP, every level past 20 requires at least 10,560 XP more than the last level to ascend to the next tier, and Levels 35-40 all require 75K XP or more.
Whatever you do in MyTeam appears to contribute to your Season XP, so you'll progress by just playing. But it's going to take a lot of playing to get all the way up to Curry -- and you have just about six weeks to do so, as Season 1 is set to end 43 days from this Friday, September 4, which would mean Season 2 is coming on Saturday, October 10.
Double Up, Double Up, Double Up
The best way to gain XP fast currently seems to be completing Season Agendas, most of which reward XP when goals are satisfied.
There are, at present, more than 10 groups of Season Agendas available to players, including daily, weekly, and season-long goals and time-limited sets of Moments Agendas that challenge players to chase milestones inspired by some of those performed in the real-life NBA Playoffs this week.
There are also categories devoted to the cards that players will earn while leveling up on the Season XP path -- which range from a Silver Rick Fox to an Amethyst Scottie Pippen.
Each of the individual goals in a group will award XP, and completing an entire group might add additional awards like Tokens, MT, or packs, so there are also non-XP incentives to be a completionist with these Agendas.
And if you're looking for a place to start, the best Agendas to do immediately are the four related to the Free Agent Anthony Davis card you get (as a reward pack you need to open) merely for opening the Season Progress tab that is at the top left of the first page of the main MyTeam menu. Knocking all of those out (in, say, a Domination game) will provide the XP necessary to jump a few levels quickly.
Collect Some Uncut Gems
While leveling up might be one of your main objectives in MyTeam for good reason, how you do that without a great roster early on may be difficult for some. Fortunately, the Rewards tile under the Pack Market tab has plenty of rewards for Tokens that can help fill out your roster.
The Rewards pools -- one each for the seven primary tiers of MyTeam cards, from Emerald all the way up to Galaxy Opal -- are the best current way to spend Tokens in exchange for cards, with each Emerald requiring just three Tokens to unlock.
The Emeralds aren't going to be world-beaters, generally, as they have fairly mediocre stats and lack the Badges that help turn good players into great ones. But there's a Klay Thompson among the Emeralds -- a surprisingly big name for the tier, and a player whose shot release has traditionally been easy to master -- and a Henry Bibby that has a whopping 30 Badges, including 11 Gold ones, and could slot nicely into your backcourt.
More fun and useful players await at the Sapphire and Ruby tiers when you unlock them (by nabbing 10 Emeralds and 10 Sapphires, respectively), and the Rewards tab will eventually include the Token Market that allows players to swap Tokens for packs or outstanding players. For now, though, finding the Emeralds or Sapphires that fit your team and play style might be the difference between struggling and soaring early on.
For a Limited Good Time
Speaking of early on: If you don't dive into Limited this weekend, you might end up missing a chance to grab the Pink Diamond Ralph Sampson the mode is advertising as its Season 1 reward.
To unlock that Sampson, you'll need to earn a Championship Ring each week; at the end of the season, you'll get a prize based on how many Rings you've collected, with Sampson being the prize for collecting all six Season 1 rings. And while each win in Limited promises a chance at a Ring, your chances will obviously be better with multiple Rings.
But remember that the idea of Limited is, well, limited lineups with "unique creation rules" -- this week's being that every player used must be from a 2020 Playoffs team, and that players can only use one Ruby or better player, with every other player needing to be no better than a Sapphire.
That should keep Limited fun, as it should be easier to play against theoretically equal teams. But you might still want to time your games right: Playing as early in the Limited window (which seems to expire Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern) as possible should help you play before a metagame has developed, while playing at peak times might match you up with lesser players.
Dominate and Threaten the CPU
The best way to grind out the accumulation of Tokens and MT, though, is by tackling the two main offline play modes, Domination and Triple Threat.
The former is, at the outset of this year, almost exactly like it was in 2K20: Three series of challenges against the Current NBA, Historic teams, and All-Time outfits stocked with some of the best players franchises ever employed. Players can earn up to three stars per each Domination game by playing on progressively harder difficulties, and up to three rewards as a result.
But the minor change this year is that Domination is a little harder: The lowest difficulty available in the Current tier is Pro (up from Rookie), while the hardest is Hall of Fame, up from All-Star.
While good and disciplined players can still beat the CPU on Hall of Fame with the underpowered teams that MyTeamers will have to work with early on, that bump in difficulty might make the slightly smarter grind the offline version of Triple Threat -- especially because every single win in the 3-on-3, first-to-21, win-by-two mode up to 25 will earn some sort of reward, and higher win totals will return big-time cards.
At 100 Triple Threat offline wins, players will earn an Amethyst Isaiah Rider; at 200, the reward is a Diamond Stephon Marbury; and, finally, at the 300 win maximum for now, there's a Diamond JaVale McGee.
Every Triple Threat win also grants a chance to open the Vault, which can return Tokens, MT, a pack, or even a Diamond Brian Winters. The Vault pool rotates every so often, too -- the current one resets on September 16 -- so there's reason to keep coming back to Triple Threat and grind away. And, of course, the mode being 3-on-3 helps keep Contract usage down, something that's very helpful early on in MyTeam.
Crack the Locker Codes
Finally, and maybe most importantly, making sure to enter the Locker Codes that the 2K team releases to the community is a great way to get boosts and valuable cards for nothing more than the labor of entering the code.
The best place to find an updated list of active and archived Locker Codes is our own Locker Codes page, which is updated frequently with every code and what it can get you, and has all of the instructions you need for redeeming Locker Codes.