I know as a fellow gaming enthusiast you‘re probably wondering if you can get NBA 2K22 for free through your PlayStation Plus membership.
The short answer is: Unfortunately, the standard edition of NBA 2K22 is not currently available for free in the PS Plus Game Catalog or as a monthly title.
However, it has been offered for free temporarily in the past to PS Plus subscribers, and may be again in the future!
In this detailed guide, I’ll explain when you might be able to get NBA 2K22 for free with PS Plus, what editions are available, new features, and how to get the most out of NBA 2K22 even without a PS Plus membership.
A Quick Refresher – What Does PlayStation Plus Offer?
For those new to the world of PlayStation gaming, PlayStation Plus (commonly shortened to PS Plus) is Sony‘s premium subscription service that unlocks online multiplayer access and free games each month for PS4 and PS5 gamers. Here‘s a quick refresher on what benefits a PS Plus membership provides:
Online Multiplayer – Want to compete or cooperate online in your favorite games? PS Plus is required for online multiplayer on PS4 and PS5. This applies to popular titles like Call of Duty, Fortnite, Elder Scrolls Online, and any game with online connectivity.
Free Monthly Games – An active PS Plus subscription nets you 2-3 free games each month that are yours to keep and play for as long as you remain a member. These are selected from a mix of AAA hits, indie darlings, and retro classics approved by Sony.
Game Catalog – Higher tiers of PS Plus grant access to an instant library of 400+ downloadable PS4 and PS5 games, with new titles rotated in monthly. This Netflix-style game catalog is great for trying games you‘d hesitate to buy at full-price.
Exclusive Discounts – PS Plus members save big with exclusive discounts and sales for games, DLC add-ons, and more in the PlayStation Store. If you‘re buying digitally, the savings add up.
Cloud Saves – Online cloud storage lets you backup your game saves securely so you can continue playing on another console or recover from console issues seamlessly.
For the low monthly cost, PS Plus pays for itself in free games and savings alone!
Now back to the main question: scoring NBA 2K22 for free with your membership.
When Will NBA 2K22 Likely Become Free on PlayStation Plus?
Reviewing the PS Plus game history offers clues for when popular titles like NBA 2K22 go free. While it‘s impossible to know exactly, here are the most likely scenarios:
As a Monthly Free Game (Summer 2023)
Past NBA 2K games have eventually been offered as monthly PS Plus titles in the year following their release.
With NBA 2K23 launching September 2023, I predict NBA 2K22 will be featured as a free monthly game in Summer 2023 to attract interest in the new release.
Joining the Game Catalog (Early 2023)
Major sports games like Madden NFL and FIFA have entered the PS Plus Game Catalog around 6-12 months post-launch.
NBA 2K22 may follow suit, joining the catalog around early 2023 to reach more gamers (and sell microtransactions).
Limited Time Free Trial
Short term free trials for games are sometimes held exclusively for PS Plus subscribers, usually weekends.
I could see a free trial for NBA 2K22 occurring during a major NBA event like the Finals or All Star Weekend.
Cross-Gen Bundle Returns
The Cross-Gen edition of NBA 2K22 with PS4 and PS5 versions was free in October 2022 for PS Plus Premium members.
With inventory clearanced out, I anticipate this Cross-Gen NBA 2K22 bundle returning as a perk periodically.
Based on these trends, your best bet is to grab NBA 2K22 the next time it inevitably returns free via PS Plus during 2023. Let‘s review what versions are available to purchase in the meantime.
What Editions of NBA 2K22 Can You Buy?
While waiting for NBA 2K22 to come back around free on PS Plus, you can always purchase it. Here are the editions available and what you get with each:
- Base version of the game
- 5,000 Virtual Currency (VC)
- 5,000 MyTEAM points
- 10 MyTEAM promo packs
- Boosts for MyPLAYER progression
- Usually $59.99 (frequent sales for $29.99)
Cross-Gen Digital Bundle
- Includes Standard Edition on both PS4 and PS5
- Upgrade to PS5 version free when you get the new console
- Same MyTEAM extras as Standard Edition
- $79.99 (sometimes $49.99 on sale)
NBA 75th Anniversary Edition
- Celebrates league‘s 75th Anniversary
- 100,000 VC
- 10,000 MyTEAM points
- 10 MyTEAM tokens
- 22 MyTEAM promo packs
- Special cover art and exclusives
For the best value, go Cross-Gen if you plan to get a PS5. But the Standard Edition is sufficient for most gamers.
Let‘s explore what gameplay improvements and new features NBA 2K22 brings to the table this year.
What‘s New in NBA 2K22? Key Gameplay Enhancements
NBA 2K22 stacks up as one of the biggest leaps forward yet for the series with substantial improvements across the board:
Superior Shooting & Finishing
- Reworked shot stick aiming with better odds for stick skill
- New shooting badges to expand builds and personal playstyle
- Enhanced footwork, dribbling signature moves, dunk packages and layup physics
Based on feedback, shooting and finishing got heavy focus this year for the most satisfying on-court action yet.
Smarter CPU Opponent AI
- Defensive AI makes smarter plays reading shots, passing lanes, and spacing
- Offensive AI has better awareness moving without the ball and driving strategically
- Players feel and act more like their real-life counterparts
You‘ll need sharper reads and reactions to beat the AI thanks to these upgrades.
Expanded Arsenal of Moves
- Each star player has their own deeper signature shot arsenal
- Special content like the MJ dribble moves pack
- More control over signature dribbles and size-ups
The wider moveset allows more mimicking of NBA legends and custom playstyles.
Enhanced Graphics & Presentation
- Crisper player models and facial rendering, plus enhanced body movement physics
- Improved hair, sweat, and player interactions make the game feel alive
- Little details like removing ball trails add realism
Combined with the PS5 power, NBA 2K22 is visually indistinguishable from a real NBA broadcast now.
MyCAREER Story and The City – What to Expect
The cinematic MyCAREER story experience returns in NBA 2K22, along with The City – the shared open world multiplayer playground. Here are details on what these signature modes bring this year:
MyCAREER Storyline Set Entirely in The City
- For the first time, the entire MyCAREER narrative takes place within The City environment without cuts
- New quests and choices branch based on your position, relationships, and playstyle
- NPC interactions are deeper and lead to unique events or rewards
- Prelude gives you a tour of The City and tests before NBA path
More to Do in The City
- Daily quests and new activities spread throughout distinct boroughs
- New minigames and unlockables as you explore
- Join affiliations for perks and reputation
- Earn rewards for repping your home court
- Special seasonal events and updates
MyCAREER and The City feel more intertwined for the most immersive NBA lifestyle experience yet on next-gen consoles.
MyTEAM Mode Enhancements – What‘s New?
MyTEAM also gets plenty of additions this year as 2K‘s popular fantasy team builder and collector mode continues evolving:
- Fast paced 5v5 first to 11 wins gameplay, offline or online
- Chance to win promo packs and other rewards
- Super revamped matchmaking and leaderboards
Clutch Time offers intense competitive mini-matches for veteran MyTEAM players.
New Seasonal Approach
- Revolving seasons with new rewards and agenda goals
- Limited time events and evolutions
- Invincible cards of NBA greats will be highly sought after
Seasons keep engagement fresh as you build your dream lineup over time.
Three vs Three Play
- Alternate 3 on 3 streetball matches, halfcourt only
- Specialized smaller courts in cool locations
- Faster games perfect to learn mechanics or test teams
The quicker matches provide greater variety when you want a change of pace.
While waiting for free access through PS Plus, purchasing NBA 2K22 grants you hundreds of hours perfecting your MyPLAYER in these great modes.
Now to address some common questions players have about what exactly you can access without a PS Plus subscription.
Can You Play NBA 2K22 Without PlayStation Plus?
As you may know, a PS Plus membership is required for online multiplayer gaming on PlayStation. Does this mean you need to subscribe to PS Plus to fully enjoy NBA 2K22?
The good news is PlayStation Plus is only required for the online multiplayer and connected features.
You can experience the following offline singleplayer and couch co-op modes in NBA 2K22 just fine without PS Plus:
- MyCAREER story and The City exploration
- Quick Play (offline modes against AI)
- MyNBA franchise mode
- MyGM team management
However, PS Plus becomes mandatory for online components like:
- MyTEAM challenges and auction house
- Play Now Online matches
- Park/Pro-Am/Rec multiplayer
- Online MyLEAGUE leagues
So if you just plan to play solo offline, you can grab the full game and have hundreds of hours of fun with NBA 2K22 without needing PS Plus!
But to take your skills online and experience the community, you‘ll have to subscribe. Let‘s dig into other common questions players have about NBA 2K22.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some other topics and questions players often have about NBA 2K22 based on my experience:
Q: Can you game share NBA 2K22 with a friend?
A: Yes! As long as your friend purchased NBA 2K22 and sets their account as primary on your PS4/PS5, you can access their copy via game share. You‘ll need your own PS Plus sub to play online though.
Q: Can you transfer progress from NBA 2K22 on PS4 to PS5?
A: Unfortunately no – the PS4 and PS5 versions don‘t directly transfer progress. But buying the Cross-Gen edition lets you pick up where you left off by uploading your saves to the 2K cloud from PS4 and downloading on PS5.
Q: Will MyPLAYER transfer from NBA 2K22 to 2K23?
A: No, your MyPLAYER doesn‘t carry over to the next 2K game – you have to start them from scratch again each year. But any earned badges and other legacy data does transfer over.
Q: How big is the install size for NBA 2K22?
A: Expect a large 150 – 200 GB install on PS5 and around 70 – 100 GB on PS4 depending on edition. Make sure you have ample hard drive space!
Q: Are the graphics better on PS5 vs. PS4?
A: Absolutely – the PS5 version has much improved framerate, visuals, sweat, hair physics and overall immersion thanks to the new hardware. Playing in 4K is highly recommended.
Q: Does NBA 2K22 run at 60fps on PS5?
A: Yes! The PS5 edition offers a silky smooth 60fps gameplay experience at 4K resolution. This is a massive leap over the 30fps on PS4.
Let me know in the comments if you have any other NBA 2K22 questions! I‘m always happy to help PS Plus subscribers get the most out of their membership.
The Verdict – Should You Buy NBA 2K22 Now or Wait for Free Access?
At the end of the day, should you go ahead and purchase NBA 2K22 now? Or remain patient and wait for free access through PS Plus?
Here are the main factors to consider:
Buy Now If:
- You‘re a hardcore basketball gamer who buys annual releases
- Want to play online MyTEAM or with friends
- Find a great sale or used copy under $40
Wait for Free If:
- You usually play singleplayer franchise modes
- Already have a big backlog of games
- Comfortable waiting ~6 months for PS Plus
As a fellow gamer on a budget, my advice would be to wait if you‘re primarily a solo franchise player who won‘t get heavy into online play right away. Add it to your wishlist and grab it next time it‘s offered free!
But if you want to hoop online with friends, dig into MyTEAM, or just love midnight launches for new releases, go ahead and grab NBA 2K22 while it‘s still fresh.
Well, I hope this helped explain whether or not you can get NBA 2K22 free with a PlayStation Plus membership! Let me know if you have any other PS Plus or NBA 2K questions. Enjoy and watch those ankles!