Pro Basketball Manager 2022 is the latest in a long line of basketball management games from Umix Studios. The franchise started in 2014 and is really the only player in the race to be the best basketball management simulator.
While franchises like NBA2K and EA’s NBA Live aim to give an authentic basketball experience, they lack depth when it comes to management. Enter Pro Basketball Manager 2022, which allows you to take control of every single aspect of your basketball team. From scouting players to managing trades and contracts, Pro Basketball Manager 2022 is about as deep a management game as it gets. You’ll spend time tinkering with in-game tactics as well as hiring the right staff to take your team to the next level. The depth can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming without a massive Steam Workshop to help guide new players. However, the content in the game is good enough that a community should build over time, and that will only make the onboarding process for new players even easier.
What really makes Pro Basketball Manager 2022 stand out is the sheer amount of available basketball teams. Pro Basketball Manager 2022 features 160 playable competitions—including 25 international competitions, 11 continental competitions, 12 female competitions, and over 40 national cups—spread across 55 countries. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but thankfully you can limit your game to include only the leagues you want. Want to only coach in the Serbian league? Go for it. Want to become the next Steve Kerr in the NBA? Feel free! The options are seemingly limitless, with hundreds of teams available to coach.
One big downside to having all of those teams available is that there are very few licenses available in the base game. The first thing I noticed was that none of the NBA teams are licensed, and players have been renamed to things like Stephen Curri (instead of Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors) and LeBron Jamas (instead of LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers). It’s a little on the nose and feels pretty tacky, but it’s at least better than using random name generators.
The players feel like their real-life counterparts when it comes to their play styles and statistics. There was a massive amount of attention paid to creating players in-game, and that attention to detail is very appreciated. You can also download community mods that replace the fake league, team, and player names with their authentic names. I spent most of my time playing without using that, just to see how the base game felt without any mods, and I never found it too distracting. That said, it is nice to be able to have real names to go off of.
If I were to criticize anything in Pro Basketball Manager 2022, it would be the way tactics are handled. There are plenty of options for the player to mess around with, but it is one of those things that feels incredibly difficult to master. Even when coaching the USA National Team against Puerto Rico, a game that should be a massive blowout win for team USA, I found my team struggling to create shots and use their skill to their advantage. I’m sure part of that is an intentional decision to put more parity into the game, but the learning curve for players can make the game feel pretty inauthentic at times. Other sports management games like the Football Manager series do an incredible job of teaching the strategic aspects to players, so Pro Basketball Manager 2022 has some work to do in that regard. Still, once you figure out the system, it at least seems to make sense.
Graphically, Pro Basketball Manager 2022 is nothing special, but I wasn’t expecting it to be. Management games like this are essentially just spreadsheet managers, so better graphics can often actually be a detriment. The more leagues you have in the game, the more graphic assets that need to be loaded and the slower the game is. I found myself lowering the graphic settings, and you would be wise to do so as well. The menus are really the only graphics that matter, and overall they feel quite clean. I could argue they look a bit outdated at times and can be challenging to navigate at first, but it all works out well once you get the hang of the design.
Overall, Pro Basketball Manager 2022 is a promising management game that still has room to improve. However, it will absolutely scratch the basketball management itch, and options are plentiful. Whether coaching in the German league or taking Team USA to FIBA gold, there is plenty of fun to be had, even though there is room for the franchise to grow.
Pro Basketball Manager 2022 is available now on Steam.
Pro Basketball Manager 2022
- Rating - 7.5/107.5/10
Pro Basketball Manager 2022 is a promising management game that still has room to improve. However, it will absolutely scratch the basketball management itch, and options are plentiful.