NBA Top Shot Packs Guide

Seemingly simple, but buying packs can actually be quite confusing when coming to the NBA Top Shot collectibles world. Before we start, be aware that the packs drop at NBA Top Shot Shop at random intervals (usually every few days).

The packs contain different number of cards (per pack edition) with different rarity tiers, from different card sets and ultimately with very different resale values. This guide helps you understand which packs are actually worth buying and how to do that.

How to buy packs

In order to start buying Top Shot packs you need to setup a Dapper Wallet account. Once you set up your Dapper Wallet, just deposit real world money or cryptocurrencies in there and you are ready to go.

Pack buying requirements

Most – but not all – of the NBA Top Shot packs can be purchased just with fiat money or cryptocurrencies.

Some pack types (usually rare packs) have requirements that need to be fulfilled before you can buy them. Most often the requirement is to own a set number of cards prior to the sale.

Usually, NBA takes a snapshot of your Dapper wallet a few days before the packs release, so the best way to fulfil this requirement is to spend some time trading cards or making a few cheap buys on the marketplace.

However, due to high demand, even having those requirements met doesn’t mean that you will actually be able to get the pack on time. Packs often sell out in a matter of minutes.

Every time a new pack gets released, everyone meeting the requirements can get in a queue. Queued buyers get a random number marking their line number and you complete the purchase when its your turn.

Of course, that’s provided that there are still packs left to buy. In truth, sometimes you will be able to get the packs and sometimes you won’t – that’s just life.

Understanding different types of cards in packs

First things first. NBA Top Shot calls their cards “moments”, as each of them is a moment from the actual game that took place in the real world. Don’t get confused when reading about “moments” anywhere online.

You can see on the image above that the card info contains name of the player, the name of the action he played, date of that play, rarity tier and the “Set” name (“Cosmic”, Holo MMXX”, “From the Top”).

There are 3 main rarity tiers when getting cards (ahem, “moments”) from packs:

  • Common Tier – includes cards that have or will have 10.000+ copies total
  • Rare Tier – includes cards that have or will have 150 – 4.999 copies total
  • Legendary Tier – includes cards that have or will have 25 – 499 copies total

Most packs contain cards from more than just one rarity tier. For example, this pack contains 6 moments, one of which is a Metallic Gold LE Series 2 moment and five are a moment from the Base Set Series 2:

Usually, the pack’s website contains the requirements needed to participate in the sale and all the other info you need to know when deciding if you want to buy this pack.

Card values

Card value depends the following factors:

  • Card Rarity – cards get better resale value the rarer they are
  • Player on the card – popular players are worth more money. Rookies are sometimes worth more for their potential.
  • Lower issued number – 1/499 is more often than not, more valuable than 347/499 issued number of the same card
  • The captured action – importance of the action played on that particular card. A game winning basket will very often be more valuable than a random in game block made by the same player.

In a nutshell, this means that there can be a lot of different “moments” of the same player.

As each of those moments represents a particular play made by the player, there can be a lot of different cards with different resale values. Be on the lookout for a good combination of rarity, action and player. For example there can be “moments” like:

  • A common “dunk” by LeBron James,
  • A rare “block” by LeBron James and
  • A legendary winning “3 Pointer” by LeBron James.

Guess which one would be worth the most money in the resale market.

Card sets

At the moment there are 35 different sets containing different rarities cards, with some issued with more cards and some less.

Most of the sets don’t have all of their cards issued yet, but new packs are coming out every week containing different cards from different existing sets.

Don’t get confused when seeing the “set” marking on the card, as it is actually quite helpful when determining card value. Some sets are more valuable than others – more on that in an article soon.


Another way of getting new NBA Top Shot cards (besides packs) are Challenges.

Challenges are a very straightforward way of getting a particular card. In order to complete a challenge, you need to complete a series of smaller challenges. These smaller challenges usually require you to own a few particular “moments”.

Once you manage to obtain those moments, your big “Challenge” will be completed and you will get the “moment” you see named as a “Prize” on that particular Challenge.

Parting words

You are now ready to start collecting NBA Top Shot cards and packs.

If you want to meet more people who are already trading and who can help you with more details about the NBA Top Shot go to their Discord group channel where you can also track all the news regarding the game.