How Do Challenges Work in Top Shot?

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about challenges. We’ll explain what they are, how they work, and how you can complete them yourself.


Last Updated: July 2021

✅ NBA Top Shot is available to all users globally and in the UK.

What are Challenges?

With NBA Top Shot, there are three ways in which you can gain Moments (the highlights around which the platform is based). The first is via packs. In theory this is the most-effective method, but – because they sell out so quickly – packs are very hard to actually acquire. The second is via the Marketplace, which lets you buy Moments directly from other users. The third is via challenges.

To complete a challenge, you must match a certain set of goals. Do so, and you’ll be given some seriously valuable rewards. These come in the form of unique Moments, which cannot be acquired from packs. Because of their rarity, they’ll also be worth a whole lot of money on the Marketplace.

How Do Top Shot Challenges Work?

When Top Shot make a new drop (i.e. make new packs available), they will usually create a challenge to tie into it. New challenges might also be created for no specific reason at all – simply as a way to get new, unique Moments into the Top Shot ecosystem.

Either way, there will usually be at least two challenges available at any time. Before you start trying to enter them, however, there are three crucial factors to know about.

Completion Requirements

Completing a challenge will always revolve around acquiring a certain number of Moments, with those Moments being of a particular, exact type. You need to tick both boxes – number and type – to get your rewards. As usual, those Moments can be acquired via the packs from the new drop, or through the Marketplace.

In the current Seeing Stars Challenge, for example, you must collect 12 specific Moments from the Series 2 Seeing Stars set. The particular Moments you need are clearly listed on the challenge page. Even if you collect 12 Seeing Stars Moments, you’ll fail the challenge if they’re not the exact highlights you need.

Time Limits

This is what truly makes challenges tricky to complete. Given long enough, most Top Shot fans could collect a specific group of Moments. With challenges though, you only have a certain amount of time in which to do so.
In fairness, these time limits aren’t overly harsh. Even the shortest challenges will last one week, and in some cases you’ll be given three whole weeks. The remaining time for each contest is shown as a ticking clock on the main ‘Challenges’ page.

You can collect the Moments needed for a challenge at any point during this time frame. You will only actually complete the challenge, however, if you’re still holding those Moments when the countdown expires.

Unique Prizes

The main attraction of challenges isn’t just that you’re given Moments. It’s that those Moments are only available to the people who completed that challenge. They can then choose to hold those rewards for posterity. Alternatively they can sell them on the Marketplace for a sizable sum – after all, within a given ‘set’, these challenge rewards will always be the rarest Moments of all.

The number of copies for each reward depends on the number of people who completed the challenge. With a common challenge, for example, 1,000 versions of the Moment in question might be minted. For a rare challenge though, this might shrink to fewer than 100.

As Top Shot fans know, a Moment’s serial number can also affect its value – along with sheer rarity – with lower numbers being more prized. Challenge rewards are not given out on a ‘first come, first served’ basis here. Instead, the names of everyone who completed the challenge are thrown together, and serial numbers are distributed randomly.

Frequently Asked Questions About NBA Top Shot Challenges

It depends. You might get lucky, and get three Moments you need from a $14 pack. More likely, you’ll need to go hunting in the Marketplace. Prices here start at $6, and can escalate into the thousands. Generally though, common challenges are much cheaper to complete than rare ones.

The exact same challenge will not be repeated. That said, Top Shot will usually create multiple challenges for each set. The Run It Back Series 2 set, for example, has already had four different challenges at the time of writing.

Yes. Because of the rarity of these Moments, however, it won’t be cheap. Even a common Anthony Davis reward for the Series 2 Cool Cats challenge currently has a $533 lowest ask. A rare Trae Young reward from the Holo Icon challenge – which only 58 people completed – is selling for a mighty $19,500.

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