Popular game modes in NBA 2K23 and why you should play one over the other (2024)

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NBA 2K23 is a huge game, designed to be played every day, with lots of different content to keep you busy until next year’s iteration drops. For a newcomer, it can seem pretty overwhelming since it's hard to know where you should invest your time and energy right off the bat.

Here are some of the more popular game modes, broken down so you know which ones are competitive or casual, online or offline, easy to pick up or require a big investment of your time, and which ones let you play on your own or require you to have a squad.

Michael Jordan is often regarded as the greatest player in basketball history and famously wore the number 23. So for 2K23, they honoured his legacy by giving us 15 of Jordan’s greatest moments for us to relive in-game. 2K made sure each of these challenges is as true to the real experience as possible with spot-on visuals and modified gameplay to ensure that you truly experience what basketball was like during his reign. There’s no penalization for changing the game difficulty so your skill level wont impede your ability to get rewards. There are 6 rewards for beating all the challenges. The MyCareer rewards are a UNC Jordan jersey, Jordan calf sleeve and Jumpman gold necklace. While the MyTeam rewards include a Jordan coach card, a 99 OVR free agent Jordan card and ‘95-’97 Bulls alt jersey.


This offline story mode is single player and gives you the experience of an NBA career. You can design your character to look like you, by either painstakingly customizing their face, hair and body using the in-game tools, or by doing a face scan using the MyNBA2K23 app on your phone.

No matter how well you dominate in the NBA your rookie season, top sports analysts Kendrick Perkins and JJ Reddick will constantly be reminding anyone who’ll listen that your franchise made a huge mistake taking you one pick ahead of Shep Owens. This adds a whole new hater aspect to the MyCareer experience making it quite comedic.

Other new features of MyCareer are having a high fashion and music rating to improve your marketability. This is essential in order to make VC through endorsem*nts and receive perks to help grind your build. For the players who enjoy story modes in basketball this has a lot more to offer than previous 2K titles.


Also known as the city. This game mode is single player, and lets you play online as the character you made in your MyCareer. You play casual street ball to 21, either 2v2 or 3v3, with friends or strangers and everyone makes a bit of VC after the game to use on upgrading their character. Team grade and winning bonuses determine how much VC you win in Park games. You can totally blow the game and still potentially get 100 VC while, if you perform well, you could get over 400. There isn't a ton at stake during this game mode. If you’re in the Park alone, it's better to go to the no squad court so you can’t get kicked off by a two or three person team that are ready to go. If you get no enjoyment from playing the CPU you can go straight to Park once you build your player in MyCareer.


ProAm is much more competitive than Park and requires you to have a squad to participate. You play either 3v3 or 5v5, and the game matches you to another team so there’s no waiting around for worthy opponents to try and take you on. Your reputation is on the line when you play ProAM, as games that are lost or abandoned will negatively affect your ranking. Players with high rankings are able to make a name for themselves in NBA 2K and gain a following, inspiring some to create content or get noticed by the 2K League, since 5v5 ProAm is the game mode most similar to the 2K League structure.


Instead of wagering your reputation like in ProAm, AnteUp is about wagering your in-game currency known as VC. AnteUp is played 1v1, 2v2 or 3v3, so players can enter this game mode with or without a squad. This game mode is essentially Park, but with the addition of 1v1 and real VC on the line. Courts will have different VC wagers at the top so you know how much you’re going to lose or win before starting a game. If you know you’re good, and want to build your in-game currency faster, AnteUp is the place to do it. This mode is tryhard central, so you need to be pretty confident in your squad's abilities. It's not going to be easy to take these people's VC.


This couch co-op two player game mode allows for a lot of freedom and customization. While playing against your friend, you can play as 1 to 5 NBA players at a time. This game mode is very fast-paced, similar to Park, with no time outs or substitutions. You also get to decide how long the game lasts, ranging from as quick as first to 5 points and as long as first to 50, it's really up to you. You have complete control of the players you want on your team, as long as they are on a roster in the game. So, if you can’t choose between the Lakers, Heat or Cavs iteration of LeBron James, just make a team with all three. This game mode is quick and easy to pick up anytime, as long as the person you’re playing with can play on the same console as you.


This is the ultimate single player fantasy game mode for NBA 2K23. Players are acquired via cards you collect by either grinding for them, bidding on them in the auction house, or by getting lucky when opening packs. Once you’ve assembled a half decent team, you can play 3v3 or 5v5 offline against the AI or online against another player to gain MT, XP and rewards, helping you grow your card collection and stay competitive.

What’s interesting about this game mode is that it starts off fairly realistic at the game’s release date but, as new content and different versions of players drop every Friday, the game steps further and further into the realm of pure fantasy. Glitch cards will be released that will allow players to do things they could never do in real life, like a Steve Nash that dunks like Vince Carter or a Ben Simmons that shoots threes like Stephen Curry. With each update, you never know if the best players need to be bought, acquired by luck or grinded for, so you’ll need to keep up to date on MyTeam either through the website 2KDB.net or a content creator like Canada’s own HTB so you don't fall behind.

PlayNow Online

If MyTeam seems like too much of a time commitment and you want your players strengths and weaknesses to be true to life, you should try out this game mode. PlayNow Online is a great way to play competitive 5v5 against another player online without having to grind for your team. Teams are premade, so just pick your favourite NBA team and go head to head with a friend or a stranger right away. If you choose to play online with randos, depending on what team you choose, 2K will match you with another player using a team with a similar skill level so it (hopefully) won't be a blowout. If you choose the current Raptors roster, you won't be paired up against someone who picked the 2017 Warriors.

The W

This game mode is found within the WNBA section that you’ll see on the home screen. This is the female MyCareer where you can play out your WNBA fantasy similar to the long standing male version. Here you will create one of ten builds for your preferred height, weight and wingspan and pick a team to be drafted to. The Las Vegas Aces won the previous championship so this might be a good place for your player to start. To ensure your success you’ll need to dominate on and off the court through skill and popularity. Building fans for yourself as well as the WNBA. If you wanna take your W player outside of the CPU gameplay there’s also a Park where you can play against other people whether its friends or randoms.


This game mode is for those that aren’t necessarily skilled at the game of NBA 2K but do have a high interest in basketball. Basically, you play the role of a NBA GM and do everything in your power to ensure a championship win for your chosen franchise. What’s cool about this game mode is, you can sim or play the games for your team. So, if your team isn't very strong it’s best to sim for a few years and build up your roster before you jump on the court and control the players yourself. A player's loyalty score is pretty much irrelevant in every game mode, except in MyGM. If you choose the Toronto Raptors as your franchise, it's going to be a lot harder to recruit someone like Klay Thompson who has high loyalty as opposed to someone like Kevin Durant whose loyalty score is much much lower.

Popular game modes in NBA 2K23 and why you should play one over the other (2024)
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