NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

The latest game in the NBA 2K series is frustrating to play if you don’t want to spend any additional money on top of the $US60 ($75) you have to shell out to get the game.

Technically, you don’t ever need to buy anything in NBA 2K18. It’s just much, much easier if you do. Virtual Currency is the only currency in the game, and was introduced in the 2012 instalment (NBA 2K13).

It’s something you’ll use across game modes in 2K18, but it’s especially prevalent in the single-player myCareer mode, where you use it both for upgrading characters and customising them.

In 2K18, like other installments, you’re able to earn Virtual Currency after every game, and you’ll start off with 6,000 VC. That seems generous until you actually start having to use your VC, where you’ll find that things are pretty expensive.

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

When I spent the entirety of my 6,000 VC on my character, Xavier World Peace, he went from an overall rating of 60 to 62. You can still earn VC by playing games and it will scale with how well you play during the game, as it has in previous games in the series.

But still, playing a game with my modest skill only netted me around 500 VC. Once I’d accrued another 1,000 VC, I tried to upgrade World Peace again. Fooling around with different stats, I realised that I’d be able to raise his overall rating one point if I spend about 4,000 VC.

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

If you’d like to customise your character in any way, Virtual Currency becomes even more precious. In particular, if you want to change your character’s hair, you have to purchase a haircut before you see it on the character itself.

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

You also won’t be able to see the price until you put it in the cart — this particular haircut costs 1,500 VC.

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

Not all haircuts are this expensive, but this is just a small part of character customisation. What if you want a tattoo? Well, all tattoos other than the 2K logo are locked until you reach an overall rating of 70, and then actually adding the tattoo to your character costs an additional 1,000 VC.

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

This is the same for clothes, shoes and player animations — you have to raise your overall rating to unlock the good stuff, and then you still have to pay VC to actually purchase it. Want Michael Jordan’s signature dunk? Well, first you have to to unlock it, and then you can still have to pay for the animation.

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

That means you have to play hours of games to earn VC… or buy 75,000 of VC for $US20 ($25). In general, playing myCareer mode is a constant reminder of how much VC you don’t have, as the game will frequently present you with the option to purchase more.

NBA 2K18 Is Riddled With Microtransactions

Fans of the NBA2K series aren’t wholly opposed to the idea of buying a currency, but the overall sentiment online appears to be that 2K18 feels more predatory than previous games in the series.

One fan estimated that in order to get to an overall rating of 86 and not spend any money, you’d have to play over 200 games.

2K has not responded to requests for comment on NBA 2K18‘s VC system.

Microtransactions like these are never popular with players, and for good reason. Who wants to spend another $US20 ($25) when they have already spent $US60 ($75) on the game itself? It’s disheartening to see a basketball series I’ve enjoyed in the past feel so sleazy in its latest instalment.

At least let me preview the hair, NBA 2K18. Not everyone looks good with dreads.


  • I have never really been a big fan of the NBA 2K games but i dabbled every couple of years. I was looking to pick this years iteration up but will probably give it a miss now. I get using skill points to improve your character but to make the prices so high and the earn rate so low is just plain profiteering.

    • It’s a shame because the actual gameplay is the best it has ever been but the microtransactions totally ruins the whole experience

      • “the actual gameplay is the best it has ever been”

        No! It’s the exact same core gameplay than 2k17, you can also see the same rotation, spacing mistakes by the AI, the logic behind contested / difficult shots is more retarded than my trisomic uncle and the “not animation based” movement of your character is still animation based and so there are still animation bugs, glitches that fuck up the gameplay.

  • Another example of a game being balanced around microtransactions to add to the list.

    Im sick of getting less game for more money.

  • I remember the days of PC games, where you could enter a cheat code and get infinite money. Is the amount of VC synced with a server so memory modifications are not available?

  • This is why I went live, I am.more than happy to sacrifice a few things for a game I can play without pumping more money into.

  • Micro transactions are part of many games now and I’m sick of hearing people complain about them. What do we get games for? If you ask me we get them so that we can play them, if you don’t want to use money in the game then don’t, I never would and I don’t feel that it hurts my experience at all. MyCareer mode is about developing your player, play games to earn vc and develop your player, every player has to go through a development process, if you are too impatient for that and just wanna be good right away then you have an option to spend a bit more money to make it happen, no one is being forced to buy vc, actually play the game and earn some, this is a huge game and there many ways to earn vc, you will enjoy the game a lot more if you stop complaining and just play.

    • I’ll agree that Microtransactions are a necessary evil when game prices aren’t going up but dev costs are, at the end of the day the devs and publishers have to make money somehow. Where i personally draw the line is when the gameplay is weighted to push you into spending more money or when the game is more or less “Pay to Win” which it sounds like this is.

      Now i’ll admit that i havent played 2k18 but from what ive heard from friends who have it sounds like this is exactly how the game is set up. This isnt going to hurt people whoa re very good at the game as they can earn the currency at a fair rate but people with more mediocre skills will be in for the long grind if we dont want to cough up the cash.

    • Game companies love people like you who will bend over an take anything they give you. This game was clearly designed to force you to buy bullshit in game money for even more bullcrap. 2K has taken this too far and pretty much all of the fanbase are pissed about it.

      The previous games have never been this heavy handed with micro transactions. Its a scummy move by 2K games and you saying “Micro transactions are part of many games now and I’m sick of hearing people complain about them.” frankly makes you a coward for not willing to stand up to bullshit buisness practices.

    • First it was “it’s just cosmetic, so it doesn’t matter’.

      Now it’s “they’re in all games, so they don’t matter’.

      In a few years it’s going to be “Hey, kids! Isn’t gambling great!”

      This shit isn’t going to stop, nor are people going to stop complaining, because companies aren’t happy with SOME of your money, they want ALL your money, and they’re going to do everything they can to manipulate you even coughing more up.

  • Haven’t spent an extra cent on nba2k in the last few years. Love it. Best basketball game hands down. 18 is much better than 17 in every way.

    Honestly, if the earn rate was any higher I’d be MVP in MyCareer in my first season. Where is the fun in that? As it is I will be MVP in my second season.

    People just want everything right now these days.

    • I’m not a fan of nba and don’t watch it on tv but I’ve played a few nba games in the past and thought I might give the game this year a try. I’ve decided after 2 days of owning the game I’m returning it tomorrow and the reason why is because I paid $100 and the only real way to upgrade your character is by spending more money… nope not acceptable in my book ???

  • I actually created a website that helps you find 2K players to run with. The website url is and it’s free to join. Just add your MyPlayer and search other Myplayers in the database. Lots of cool features.

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