Wen Pax? How To Buy Packs on NBA Top Shot

How To Buy Packs on NBA Top Shot

Wen Pax?

For those who aren’t hip with the meme, it’s the response you send to Top Shot regardless of their tweet. Kind of like the “my wife left me” response to Adam Schefter.

It’s posted half ironically, half seriously in most cases though.

That’s because packs are sought after and we do truly want to know when packs will drop. Traditionally, a sports card collector would be used to getting packs when adding to/starting their collection. Why? They typically have better expected value (EV) than buying individual cards. Plus, a good pull can be a thrilling experience.

But if you head to Top Shot’s website and the ‘Packs’ tab, you will notice they’re all sold out. What gives?

That’s because they are dropped more like sneakers than they are physical trading cards. This means that there is a set date and time (usually announced a day in advanced). A queue is then opened and users sit around to wait and see if they have been chosen. You can’t just pick one up, unfortunately.

Packs will be tough to come by. Get used to that now.

When the queue begins you will randomly be assigned a spot in line. The lower the number, the less you will have to wait. Top Shot always will say how many packs are available, so you can also use the spot in line to determine if you even have a chance.

Are you 230,000th in line and there are only 100K packs? Better luck next time.

NBA Top Shot Pack Drop Line Queue
What the queue/line looks like as they update you.

Since each time there is a pack drop you are randomly assigned a number, your odds of getting a pack reset each time. This means you could in theory go months with securing a pack due to bad luck and bad spots in line.

Conversely, you can get really lucky and hit on 3 pack drops in a row (I’ve seen it happen).

If you are apart of the chosen few, you will get the opportunity to open your pack or you can save it. It’s been confirmed that at some point in the future you will be able to resell your packs on the marketplace (no timeline on that as of me writing this).

NBA Top Shot Common Pack Unveiling

Opening a pack is really fun. You click to reveal the moments you got in it. The team shows first. You see Golden State…”is it a Curry moment?! Nah, it’s just Oubre…”

Packs range in pricing and moments inside:

  • A base pack will contain 3 moments and cost you $9.
  • A Cool Cats pack will contain 5 commons and a Cool Cat for $14.
  • Rare packs cost $199 and contain a single rare moment.
  • Legendary packs are $999 and give you 3 rares and one legendary!

How Else Can I Get Packs?

There are other ways to acquire “pax” that don’t require you to sit with everyone else in a queue. They too don’t necessarily guarantee you will get one, but they’ll likely help you understand the game and improve your odds.

Stress Tests

In order to test their server loads, queues, and other technical aspects of a drop, NBA Top Shot will occasionally hold what are called “stress tests”.

With a limited number of base packs available (say 3K or so), they will announce a stress test with only a few hours’ notice and at irregular times.

If you are ready, following the right people on Twitter, and have the availability, stress tests can offer a lightened load of other queue members and could improve your odds. Just realize, stress tests go quick as they aren’t many packs available.

Pre-Order/Pre-Registration Packs

Unlike Stress Tests, pre-order packs do guarantee those in the queue a pack. They will be typically be released in a week’s time for the pre-sale, so it lets everyone get involved.

They are always for base packs, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any good stuff in there.

Pre-registration packs typically take a few hours in the queue before you can secure one, but beggars can’t be choosers. You’ll walk away with a pack at the end of it, so long as you are willing to wait a few weeks to open it.

Rebound Packs

Rebound packs are relatively new. I just participated in one after the latest Legendary Holo Icon drop. When I wasn’t able to secure that one, I was able to wait around in the queue and get what is called a “Rebound Pack”.

It was just another base pack, but it too was guaranteed to me so long as I stuck around. This is likely a way to get something instead of nothing for true Top Shot collectors and active participants.


Packs are fun and a way to get hooked quickly. As the Top Shot community gets bigger, Dapper Labs will ultimately figure out new and creative ways to drop packs and give users those dopamine hits they so crave.

Right now, it’s limited to pack drops, but we know that at some point you will be able to buy packs in their marketplace which should expand the opportunities we have to get them.

Until then, let’s just cross our fingers and send good vibez in hopes that we snag that awesome moment we’ve been looking for in a pack!

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