Last year, the new-gen versions of NBA 2K21 introduced The W, which let you create your own WNBA MyPlayer for the first time and build your own path to stardom by playing for one of the league’s 12 teams. NBA 2K22 wants to build off its success and make the experience even more authentic, putting an emphasis on making calculated decisions that will positively or negatively impact how you progress during your career.
Today, Visual Concepts highlighted more of what that would involve in its latest Courtside Report, stating there will be greater rewards and bigger consequences depending on how your actions. You’ll also have the opportunity to grow your skills and renown by making connections with WNBA superstars who will help you boost various abilities.
One big addition is getting an all-new badge progression system being added to the mode. You can customize your badges freely, allowing you to create unique builds depending on your player’s specialties. Badges come in four categories: finishing, shooting, playmaking, and defense. When you create your MyPlayer, the badges available will appear next to your attributes. By playing games, you’ll earn badge points, and once you earn enough to fill a meter, you can equip or upgrade a badge.
How your spend your off-time will also impact your player. Visual Concepts is adding three playable activities to participate in on these days that will contribute to either bettering your craft, gaining more popularity, or beefing up your bank account. If you partake in scrimmages, which only last one quarter, you have the opportunity to improve your chemistry with teammates. If being a team player is important to you, you’ll want to spend some time here. You also have the option to join practices to work on specific skills, which will only help you earn badges and upgrades for them faster.
However, if you want to leverage the connections you make around the league, contact workouts let you challenge WNBA superstars, such as Candace Parker, A’ja Wilson, and Nneka Ogwumike to 1-on-1, 2-on-2, or even 3-on-3 games of 21. You start your The W journey with three WNBA contacts, and each player specializes in different skills that will help you improve your badge categories. Earning a W against one of these players boosts your badge progress significantly. And if you lose, you can keep trying until you prove yourself. You also have the option to eventually team up with them for workouts instead of always going head-to-head.
The W online is also back, with some improvements. You can now team up with friends before hitting matchmaking, so you can take to court together. Playing online also lets you earn season XP, which can go toward rewards, such as adding historic contacts for workouts. This will refresh every season, but it looks like for season one, you get legends from the Houston Comets and New York Liberty to learn from. Exclusive clothing and signature animations will also be available.
We noted in our NBA 2K21 review that The W had promise, but needed more to it. Hopefully, Visual Concepts added enough depth to make the mode worth playing for the long haul. Time will tell. Also note that The W and its features are only available for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S verions of NBA 2K22, which launches on September 10.
For more on all the announcements about NBA 2K22 so far, check out our feature detailing them here.