NBA 2K23 MyCAREER offers another year for players to achieve their basketball dreams, but those dreams could come at a cost.
While using in-game VC to maximize your MyPLAYER isn’t new, several changes in NBA 2K23 have made the process even more difficult.
NBA 2K23 MyCAREER requires massive investment to max out your MyPLAYER to 99 OVR
Microtransactions are nothing new, but NBA 2K23 MyCAREER may be taking it too far for your MyPLAYER this year.
While you start MyCAREER with a meager 60 OVR player, your progression through quests and other challenges in MyCAREER should push this rating up over time.
While esports titles like Madden 23 and MLB The Show 22 allow attribute boosts based on your progress in the game, things are a bit more disconnected with NBA 2K23.
MLB The Show 22 increases your attributes from game to game, with in-game performance itself affecting which stats rise and fall.
Madden 23 still uses a skill points system, but all of those points for reaching 99 OVR are earned naturally as you play through a few seasons.
Unfortunately, the road to maximum MyPLAYER in NBA 2K23 looks harder than ever as it is heavily tied to virtual currency.
NBA 2K23 has almost doubled the VC cost to fully utilize your MyPLAYER
While it’s a time-honored tradition for sports players to get the most out of their player, in the NBA 2K series it’s becoming increasingly expensive.
VC, or virtual currency, is used in-game to boost your stats, and 2K tends to sidestep the cost of buying it separately by insisting you can play without it.
Last year the average cost to max your MyPLAYER to 99 OVR was around 250,000 VC, but that has increased significantly.
According to players on Reddit, the cost to get your MyPLAYER to 99 OVR is approximately 460,000 VC in NBA 2K23.
That’s an estimate partly because the building cost can vary slightly depending on the player, but the other reason is that you can’t even check this in-game.
At least not until you grind into MyCAREER to increase your player’s overall max limit, because even the attribute screen only shows the cost of increasing it to your current max.
In our case, with a character that has played countless games and completed all major main quests in MyCAREER, including College Flashbacks and The Classic, that player is still sitting with a max OVR of 90.
The cost of upgrading this player from 70 OVR to 90 OVR is almost 230,000 VC, but those numbers aren’t even accessible until you’ve already put hours and hours into the game.
NBA 2K23 MyCAREER quests offer a fraction of the maximum upgrade cost
The defense for 2K and other developers that involve microtransactions is always that players are “not required” to spend additional money to play.
That’s technically true, and that’s why they’re still getting away with it, but the reality for NBA 2K23 is that without paying, the time investment would be astronomical.
In our journey through all of the core quests, including The Classic, and becoming MVP of The City, we were sitting at 70 OVR with around 60,000 VC.
While some of this comes from quests, the vast majority comes from simply playing NBA games in MyCAREER, which yield between 500 and 1,000 VC per game depending on performance.
One user pointed out that an average of 1,000 VC per game would still require 460 games, roughly 4.7 MyCAREER seasons if you sweep every game along the way.
If you spend just 20 minutes on each game, which can often take longer, that’s more than 154 hours of gameplay for the games alone.
In reality, the number is likely significantly higher since it doesn’t include time to complete quests, loading times, and cutscenes before and after these games.
Microtransactions are king, whether 2K will admit it or not
While you can still play MyCAREER with a less powerful MyPLAYER in NBA 2K23, you will find that the skill gap has already disappeared at a rapid pace.
Playing online in any of the many MyCAREER game modes will quickly become populated with players ready to fight their way to the top as soon as possible.
In hopes of staying competitive, players will likely turn to VC to gain an edge while saving time.
It’s almost certainly no coincidence that the average cost to max a MyPLAYER to 99 OVR is extremely close to the most expensive VC bundle sold by 2K.
If you’re willing to spend $99.99 on top of the $59.99 to $149.99 you already paid for NBA 2K23, depending on the edition, you’ll get 450,000 VC.
Only the exorbitantly expensive Michael Jordan and Championship Editions of NBA 2K23 included 100,000 VC upon purchase, so players willing to spend a little more can save some later, but it’s nowhere near enough to max out.
Between the massive product placement and the constant pressure on players to spend more, NBA 2K23 seems to simulate capitalism better than basketball.