NBA 2K22 PS5 PlayStation 5 1

Look, we get that the gacha element is exorbitantly expensive, but 2K Sports is generally quite generous with its card collecting modes. NBA 2K21 allowed you to assemble a pretty deadly squad without spending a cent, and while we can’t say for sure that NBA 2K22 will be the same, the very nature of basketball lends itself well to this format – it’s not like FIFA where EA Sports can pad out packs with players from Ligue 2.

So, what’s new this year, then? Well, the big addition – as already announced – is the return of Drafts, allowing you to assemble time-limited squads based on the latest cards in the game. You’ll be competing against the community for packs and prizes, with each season bringing new rewards. Sounds good to us. Triple Threat Online is also getting a new alternative mode named The 100, where your defense will also be tested.

The Courtside Report explains: “At the start of each run in Triple Threat Online: The 100 you will receive 100 points. After every game, win or lose, the amount of points your opponent scores against you will be subtracted from your 100. Once you hit 0, run over, and you are reset back to the bottom tier of prizes.” This should, in theory, mean everyone is able to get into the second tier of prizes, which we suppose is a good thing.

Weekly and Moment Challenges are also changing, with 2K Sports targeting player retention more than ever. You’ll now be able to play Pick-Up Challenges once per day, with your opponent determined by the strength of your squad. You’ll be able to get a different reward every 24 hours, so it’s all designed around making you come back every day of the week. There’ll also be new Event Cards you can collect, and getting them all will reward you with various different prizes.

In order to push players towards the Pack Market, you’ll be able to get limited edition holographic versions of cards exclusively when pulled from packs. While these will have the same stats and attributes as “standard cards”, we suspect 2K Sports is banking on that “limited edition” aspect tempting people to open their wallets. You’ll also be able to get your cards “graded” for MP bonuses, although frankly the explanation in the blog posts baffles us, so we’ll need to try that out for ourselves.

There’s much more information in the Courtside Report – a frightening amount, to be frank – but the other main thing that you need to know is that 2K Sports is adding a lot more depth to the customisation aspect, and will also be marking celebrities and pro players with icons, so you’ll be able to identify them should you meet them online. Tons to look forward to, then – assuming you can get past those microtransactions, of course.