NBA 2K12 beginner's guide

Here we are with NBA 2k12. A game that on its face looks so simple with its neat and tidy square menu options. Then you get into Association mode and you find out there are dozens of options. That's where our guide comes in.

Below you will find basic entry information to get you started. We will cover tips for each game type and a few tips on how to collect achievements.

Game Types

Quick Game

Pretty basic stuff here. Select two teams, select your options and go at it. This is a great spot to practice if you are new to the game or to sharpen up before you jump into Association or Create-A-Player.

Pick the Heat. 2K12 ranks each team based on various statistics and the Miami Heat have come out on top. They have a 1st rank defense and 3rd offense. Picking them will give you a nice starting edge. Of course you should make your opponents one of the worst teams to help solidify this edge.

Familiarize yourself with the controls. As you play these Quick Games you can test out each button and figure out its exact intent. Offense and defense have slightly different controls and it is important to know these differences.

Use Quick Games to learn the teams. If you are looking to get serious it will be crucial to know who is your three point shooter is and who can guarantee good passes and much more. Knowing this information can vastly improve your game.

This is a great place to get achievements. Find an achievement you want to get, grab a good team and hop right in to get it. More details about achievement hunting below.


This is the in-depth team mode. You will track, build and play as a team until they are the number one team in the NBA. Not for the light of heart, this mode can be tough and long. Having previous experience with the NBA 2K series is helpful, as is knowledge of real life basketball.

Pick a strong team.

If you are new to 2K12 it will help you in the same ways as it did in Quick Game. You can than build on this already good team to make them amazing.

Money doesn't grow on trees.

You have to keep an eye on salaries and other various expenses. Make sure you don't bankrupt yourself.

Take advantage of practices and drills.

You will learn how your team plays and you can potentially make them better.

Balance is key.

Sure it is great to have NBA legends on your team but if they are all Point Guards your team is going to suffer in all other aspects. Check your roster and keep it balanced.

Scout out players to fill in gaps in your team.

Even the best team has some players that might not be worth keeping. Scout out some better people to fill these positions. Association is all about team building and management.

Keep the team happy.

Have your players in the appropriate positions and keep the team chemistry up. Kobe isn't going to be doing work from the bench, so make sure he is out there playing.


This mode is pretty self-explanatory. You will make a character and play solely as him through the season. Don't worry if your guy is terrible at first, this mode has a large RPG element to it so you can build out your guy over time.

Let the loses slide at first.

Your guy is going to suck in the early stages, it is unavoidable. It won't help if you get drafted to a bad team either. Just stick with it and in time you will be shooting baskets from half court.

Use up your drills when you can.

These give you points used to level up based on your performance. You can also use the points however you feel. If you can shoot like a pro, play the shooting drill and then use the points on other things like passing or dribbling.

Don't spam passes and shots.

Your performance is graded and you are awarded points after each game. If you make a bad pass you lose points. If you allow the opponents to complete a pass and then get a basket, you will lose a lot of points. It will take time to learn what you can and can not do. Scoring, completing passes, assisting in defense can all yield points, but you can lose them again very quickly so be cautious.

Set the game length longer.

Since you gain points as you play, the more you play the more points you will earn. This can also work against you if you tend to lose points as I mentioned above so make sure you are ready to play these longer games and that you know you can gain points from them.

Biggest tip here, be a team player.

You can't control the other people on your team but you can certainly help them. Pass, play solid defense, take the shot when you are sure you can make it. At some point your guy will be amazing and can hog the ball all you want. In the beginning this is not the case and you need to rely on your team.

Online Play

There really isn't much to discuss here. However keep this in mind; blindly jumping into a quick match can be disastrous for you. Many people online are going to know exactly what they are doing, and if you are new to this series it means bad news for you. If you want to play online, find some friends and practice with them. Get your skills honed, and some time in with the various teams before you jump online. It is no fun to end a game of basketball with 0 points.


Most of the achievements are pretty straight forward. Complete various tasks inside of the game and they will unlock themselves. Some things to keep in mind:

You can modify the game settings in your favor.

Simply pause the game and go into game settings to find sliders you can shift around. You can make it so you basically cannot miss a shot, or have your opponents constantly get fouls. It's not pretty, maybe its cheating, but it gets results.

Luck will play a roll in some of them.

For instance winning a game within the last few seconds can take some setting up. Using the game settings I mentioned above though can help in this. Set yourself up for failure, then change the sliders so that you can make an epic comeback.

Many achievements require you to be in a non-simulated game.

This simply means you have to actively play. You can't have the computer simulate the game for you, as this will not give you an achievement even if the events required to unlock it normally happened.