Guide to the Competitive PRO-AM of NBA 2K18


More than a few months have passed since the release of NBA 2K18 for console and PC. Without doubt the best basketball title around, of which we have done more than a few guides and of which you can find our review here. This guide to competitive pro-am was NBA 2K18 born with the desire to help users understand a game that has now shown to all its strengths and weaknesses, especially with regard to the delicious online modes. The strong point of this game is in fact the huge online section that ranges from the famous "parks" in which to play 3vs3 and 2vs2, up to the arenas of 5vs5.

The Walk-on, due to its random nature, is certainly not the ideal place to test yourself as an actual quintet. However, it changes radically when we go to create our own team in pro-am team mode. Since in this mode there are real teams of pro players, which have archetypes of a certain type, well-rooted and sometimes damn effective game philosophies.

I will try to guide more or less experienced users to the discovery of this mode, I will reveal some tricks of the strongest teams and try to suggest some solutions to try to undermine even the most fearsome teams.

An example, real, very high play


Let's start with the assumption that there is, in absolute line, no stronger archetype than all the others. This year NBA 2K18 it is structured to make certain players strong against some and weak against others. After several months of playing, however, we have learned that some players remain very, very strong, especially if they are in the right game system.

The first rule is therefore to have a balanced quintet. In principle it is a good rule to have a player with primary skill in direction, the passer card at minimum gold level is basic to increase the shooting percentages of all your teammates. The director can be employed by playmaker or small wing director, both very interesting solutions. In the case of the playmaker, the strongest use sniper directors, who are able to shoot high-speed dribbles and then take devastating shots from outside.


In the rest of the team it's a good idea to have at least a couple of primary shooters, a pure sniper and a long shooter. These players are essential against the zones and to open the paint. Completing the quintet is a center capable of taking a lot of rebounds and finalizing the game, and a shooter who pulls chestnuts out of the fire at the most delicate moments of the game. With this quintet you should be able to tackle most games, play a varied attack game and have the right spaces to attack.

Be careful to create overly unbalanced teams. In fact, if you play with too many snipers, you risk paying the penalty in defense, if you play with too many penetrators you will make life easy for opponents who will just close in the area. The first rule is to make archetypes that complement each other.

Kyrie, in the pro-am 2k, probably wouldn't play...


Like any online game, it also NBA 2K18 has limits. This year the limit is a series of glitches that, in fact, ruin the gaming experience. These glitches allow you to buy and use animations reserved for certain types of players, on others who might not have them. Long glitches that dribble as point guards, shooters that make dunks with contact. All this in the absolute immobility of the 2k that you can see from the ban of the "sly" players.

Based on this assumption, all the strongest teams in the world rankings use the same, boring, game system. They create four archetypes with shooting skills as primary or secondary. For example: a defensive shooter, a sniper penetrator, a sniper rebounder, and a sniper creator. These four players place themselves, at each attack, in the corners and open at 45 degrees, leaving the field wide open. The fifth player, usually the strongest in the group, attacks with a sniper playmaker, (or a creator playmaker or small director wing), playing an infinite one-on-one finish either with a three-point shot, or with a two-point shot (if he beats the defender) or with a three-point flush in case of help.


Half an hour of possessions made of feints and counter feints to take a shot from the dribble or to push the defense to help. The hot zone glitch, custom releases and passer card do the rest, helping even players who are not pure shooters to score with monstrous percentages. The last frontier of this tactic consists of playing with 3 small wings, one of which is a director, and two long ones, in order to have a giant well over two meters put in the position of playmaker and often marked by players who do not exceed six feet. Not the ultimate in fun or sportsmanship, but it is a tactic that, once you have passed a certain team ranking, you will surely have to face.

Embiid is a perfect example of a perfect long five out.


Like any strategy or tactic, the five out isn't 100% unbeatable either. There is a system, adopted by the same team that play five out, which consists of creating a sniper defender, possibly guard, 2.03 high and able to defend on point guards, guards and small wings, going to stop at the root the five out of the opponents. Thanks to the sniper skill then, in attack can safely play in the corner, receiving discharges and forcing the defense to a mark.

The second countermeasure is to... not play. If, in fact, you come across teams that are too strong, with records well above our possibilities, if you go out before the two ball the game does not record a defeat at the table. Of course, it's an extreme and radical solution, but sometimes it's the only solution to avoid spending an abundant half hour of our lives watching a point guard play in isolation one on one.


My advice, after almost 600 games of pro-am walk-on and over 300 in elite team, is to create a team that puts team fun first. Of course, losing is never good, but neither is winning hundreds of games in a team where only one player plays while the others watch. Create a team that can play the pick & roll, look on you tube for some patterns to apply in the game, try to defend a zone and study how to attack zones 2-3 and 3-2.

Most teams don't get to this level of depth and getting to Elite level 3 or 4 shouldn't be impossible even for novice teams. Always try to engage everyone, focus on defense and run on the back foot. Don't get demoralized if your player misses open shots and keep moving the ball. Remember, this one NBA 2K18 lives on "parizali". Often it will seem to you that things are going extremely well, and the next moment extremely bad, giving partial to both teams.


This NBA 2K18 is designed to recreate the course and atmosphere of real American games, do not hesitate to call time-out when opponents put together many points in a row, often this is enough to break the rhythm. Play calmly, without losing control and remember that in the end, no matter how addictive and competitive, it's still a game.

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