The Ultimate NBA2K Roster Editing Checklist

Over the last couple of years, I’ve grown to appreciate custom rosters. My hat goes off to those guys who dig and start editing the official NBA2K official roster into one that plays not only the way they would like it to, but those who download it.

However, even though are some great rosters out there, there are probably ten times (or more) that number of rosters that have a lot of holes in them. It’s probably because the roster project was a bigger time commitment than they expected. But, I’ve even seen rosters that are complete that are missing players, haven’t assigned plays to players or just have attributes that don’t make any sense.

Because of that, I felt like it would be a good idea to put together a pretty detailed NBA2K roster editing checklist so you’d know what areas you need to address up front.

So what I’m going to do first is talk about planning your vision of a roster and then I’ll go into the more detailed checklist.

What kind of roster do you want?

Before you begin your project, you’ll need to decide what kind of roster you are going to create. Here are some custom roster ideas you might consider. These aren’t unlike some of my MyTeam theme team ideas I already shared with you.
  • Real NBA roster If you want to focus on the cleaning up the official 2k roster, you aren’t alone. Many people tackle this project each year.
  • Legends roster Have a love for the greatest players who ever played the game? Then the legends roster is for you.
  • Roster from a particular year As a Pacers fan, a couple of my favorite teams were the one in 1998 where Reggie beat Jordan in Market Square Arena with a last second shot and the team that went to the finals in 2000. It would be great to play either one of those seasons if there were only a roster for that year.
  • Roster for a particular team I guess this is an extension of the roster for a particular year, but I would love to have every Pacers rosters since the team’s inception. I know that in NBA2K, they had a year where they had all of the best Chicago teams Jordan was on.
  • Hometown teams roster Another one of my favorites is the hometown team roster. This is comprised of players from their hometown states.
  • FIBA roster If you like the International Basketball Association, then focusing on the FIBA rosters in a similar way to that you could choose to do for NBA rosters.
  • Olympic roster In a similar strategy, you could opt for creating the Olympic teams rosters.
  • ABA roster Since the Pacers were in the NBA, it would be great to relive the ABA days, complete with the players, uniforms and the trademark basketball (if that’s even possible).
  • Euroleague roster A few years back, the Euroleague teams were actually in the game. Fans of that league might want to recreate that.
  • Fictional roster I also am a big fan of this roster concept. Here you make up all of the players and put them on your roster.
  • College or high school roster I know there has been a time or two that I have seen guys create rosters for colleges and even for high school players.
  • Celebrity roster Make a list of all time celebrities and put them in the game. You could even include you and your friends.
  • WNBA roster While not possible now, supposedly the WNBA is going to be in NBA2K soon. Maybe it will be a possibility.
Once you know what kind of roster you want to create, it is time to set some rules about how you will address the process.

Roster rules you might want to consider before you begin

After you have decided what kind of custom roster you are going to make, you might want to consider some of these issues up front before you begin the process.
  • What will done look like? Have a good image of what done will look like for you so that you can actually USE the roster. Roster editing doesn’t really matter if you never use it. How will you know what kind of job you did.
  • Sources of information Where will you get your information. Will you watch game videos from YouTube, get your stats from or use some other service.
  • Assignment process How will you determine ratings? What kind of scale are you going to use? What kind of criteria will you use to assign badges. These are just a few of the ideas you might want to consider.
  • Gameplay only or MyLeague ready Are you mainly interested in playing games or are you interested in using it for realistic MyLeague purposes.
  • Real life and simulation stats Will you care if the stats from simmed games look as good as stats in games vs users?
  • Collaborating A roster project is huge project. Will you rely on the work of others for your roster? If so, what parts? Will you actually partner up with someone else or a group of other roster editors?
I’m sure there are other things you might want to consider but the main thing I wanted to accomplish is to get you to think about mapping out your project so you can get a clear idea of how to tackle it right.
With that out of the way, let’s go through a list of all of the items that you’ll need to work on.

Coach2K’s roster editing checklist

OK. Now, it’s time to break down each part of the roster you’ll need to consider editing. Let’s go through them.
  • Correct players Believe it or not, many teams don’t have correct rosters. You’ll need to take the time to make sure the right players are on the right teams. and make sure that you add any missing players.
  • Individual player editing Each individual player has a host of things you need to take a look at. Here is a list of those items.
    • Position
    • Vitals
    • Body
    • Attributes
    • Tendencies
    • Badges
    • Hot zones
    • Signature skills
    • Contract
    • Appearance
    • Shoes
    • Accessories
    • Injuries
  • Team editing Every team also has specific areas you’ll need to review.
    • Rotations
      • Starters
      • Bench
      • Reserves
      • Two way contracts
      • Rotation timeline
    • Coaching sliders
    • Points of emphasis
    • Staff
    • Playbook
    • Playtypes
    • Uniforms
    • Courts
  • Free agents With the bulk of the work out of the way, you’ll need to take a look at the free agent pool to see how deep you want to edit the free agent pool.
  • Draft classes Many people just focus on draft classes. For each of the players in the draft classes, you’ll have the sort of process to go through. And you can also take some of the same similar roster ideas and apply them to draft classes.
  • Gameplay sliders and settings The icing on the cake are creating a set of sliders and settings that will work with your roster specifically.
That’s quite a list. And it’s pretty daunting. I honestly don’t know how people get through the entire project. It’s an incredible time consuming one at that. It’s likely that when and if you finish your roster project, it is time for the new game to come out and you have to start the process all over again.

An alternative option to editing a complete custom roster

If you think editing your own full custom roster is to much of a project, there is another idea. Consider specializing in one of the areas above.
I’ve seen people who only work on appearance of the players, only work on courts, only work on signature skills or only work on playbooks. There are many roster editors who would appreciate a specialist in a specific are of the roster.

What are your suggestions for wanna be roster editors?

What kind of suggestions and tips would you give to future roster editors? Can you think of anything I need to add to the checklist?


Coach2K is a fictional NBA2K player. C2K has been playing video basketball games since the Mattel handheld basketball game was released way back in 1980. You can contact Coach2K on Twitter by clicking here.

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