Praise the basketball gods: Contacts have been eliminated entirely from NBA 2K23’s squad-building MyTEAM mode. In past iterations, you had to apply Contracts to players in order to use them in single player and online matches, but now you’ll be able to use whoever you want whenever you want. Thank heavens for that!

In fact, 2K Sports will be giving you a use for all the cards in your collection – even when they’re not starters in your squad. A new mode named Exhibitions will allow you to send players on “vacation”, and when they come back they’ll return with prizes to help bolster your roster. We doubt these rewards will be particularly meaningful, but we like the idea.

Other additions and improvements include the addition of online co-op in Triple Threat Online, allowing you to team up with friends and combine your card collections. Similarly, the fast-paced Clutch Time mode is getting a single player version, so you’ll be able to enjoy the fast-paced shenanigans against the computer.

And then there’s the new Trophy Case: “With 15 Event Cards for each NBA franchise, showcasing key moments of their history, players can earn a Pink Diamond player for each team.” Of course, this will all arrive in addition to familiar favourite features, like the Battle Pass-inspired six week Seasons, allowing you to unlock rewards as you complete various objectives.

We know MyTEAM’s over-emphasis on microtransactions makes it a controversial mode for many, but between Locker Codes and regular promos, it’s one of the most generous Ultimate Team alternatives out there. You really don’t need to spend a cent to build a decent roster, and there’s quite a lot of single player content, too.