NBA 2K20: Complete controls guide (offense, defense, shooting, dribbling, stealing) for PS4 and Xbox One

Before you can dominate an opponent you need to be able to handle yourself on court.


Hoops season is so close you can almost taste it, but if you can’t wait for the NBA to get back on the court you can take it over yourself NBA 2K20.

Players all over the world are getting their hands on the title and looking to get stuck into all the new features in the game before the NBA season starts.

But to get started, you need to know the controls. With a host of new features, the only sure-fire way to crush your opponents is to have total mastery of the controls. There have been a few changes from last year, but we have what you need to rain down points and win games in NBA 2K20.

To make the highlight reel plays you have to be able to do the basics first.

READ MORE: How to shoot the perfect 3-pointer

Basic Offense

ActionXbox OnePS4
Regular PassAX
Bounce PassBO
Overhead PassY
ShootX
Call PlayLBL1
Icon PassRBR1
Post UpLTL2
SprintRTR2
Move PlayerLeft JoystickLeft Joystick
Pro StickRight JoystickRight Joystick

These are the basic controls that you need to compete in 2K at any level. Although basic, if you use them well, they are some of the most important controls you’ll need when competing across every game mode.

Like in previous editions of NBA 2K, the trick is ensuring that you time when to press your buttons and which direction to hold your joystick in order to make the right pass or bucket.

Being able to use a range of different passing styles is crucial. Whilst a basic flat pass may work for short passes from man to man, if you can throw an overhead or a bounce pass from time to time, it will make your play far less predictable and therefore much more difficult for your opponent to defend against you.

READ MORE: The most OP badges for your MyPlayer

Off-Ball Offense

ActionXbox OnePS4
Call for BallAX
Set ScreenBO
ReboundY
Tell CPU to ShootX
Post UpLBL2
SprintRBR2
Move PlayerLeft JoystickLeft Joystick

Regarding shooting, it is all about timing. Each player has their own different timing. For example Carmelo Anthony has one of the fastest release in the game, whilst Dirk Nowitzki has a very slow release, so you will need to spend some time on the practice court figuring out which players work best for you.

Learning players hot spots will help massively.

Those players with high shooting attributes will be slightly more forgiving if you don’t get your timing spot on. So if you’re attempting a three with one of the A+ shooters for example, you will have more leeway than shooting with those who don’t.

Basic Defense

Arguably more important than offense, it is crucial to learn the defense controls like the back of your hand to stop your opposition from picking up easy baskets. Being able to steal consistently is vital, but it is also the control that will give away the most fouls.

Look for those players with an A-grade steal, they will be your best friend when defending.  Being able to block and take charge well are two other key features for basic defending

READ MORE: NBA 2K20: New Features, WNBA, MyGM 2.0, Soundtrack & more

ActionXbox OnePS4
Player SwapAX
Take ChargeBO
Block/ReboundY
StealX
Double TeamLBL1
Icon SwapRBR1
Intense-DLTL2
SprintRTR2
Move PlayerLeft JoystickLeft Joystick

The Off-Ball Controls are all self explanatory. These are the absolute basics which any 2K player needs to know in order to play the game at any level.

Off-Ball Defense

ActionXbox OnePS4
Take ChargeBO
Block/ReboundY
StealX
Post EngageLBL2
SprintRBR2
Move PlayerLeft JoystickLeft Joystick

That’s what you need to survive on the court, but to thrive there is plenty more to learn. Those 2K players who want to be a little more specific with the choices they make on the court can use a whole host of more advanced controls…

Advanced Offense

When it comes to attacking, simple passing and shooting doesn’t always work. There is a whole lot more that you need to know if you are going to be able to outwit your opponent and grab that W.

Playcalling in offense will help you pick up points.

From knowing how to call a timeout to being able to run a pick and roll, here’s a list of all the important advanced offense controls in NBA 2K20.
ActionXbox OnePS4
Call TimeoutAX
Positional PlaycallingPress LT and RT then select the teammates action buttonPress L1 and R1 then select the teammates action button
2K Smart PlaycallingPress the left arrow and select 2K Smart PlayPress the left arrow and select 2K Smart Play
Post UpPress LT and select Post UpPress L1 and select Post Up
Quick IsolationPress LT and select IsolationPress L1 and select Isolation
Dynamic Quick PlayPress the left arrow and choose desired Dynamic Quick PlayPress the left arrow and choose desired Dynamic Quick Play
Pick Control BasicPress and hold LT to have a teammate set a pickPress and hold L1 to have a teammate set a pick
Pick Control SidePress and hold LT. Use LS to choose the pick side.Press and hold L1. Use L3 to choose the pick side
Pick Control Roll or FadePress and hold LT. Use RT to choose Roll or FadePress and hold L1. Use R1 to choose Roll or Fade
Slip Screen and Early FadePick a call and then press LT again before the screener gets hit to have them Slip or Fade early.Pick a call and then press L1 again before the screener gets hit to have them Slip or Fade early.
Icon Pick ControlPress LT and RT, then press and hold the teammates action button to have them set a screen.Press L1 and R1, then press and hold the teammates action button to have them set a screen.
Running BaselineHold LB and use the right analogue stick to move the in-bounder.Hold L2 and use the right analogue stick to move the in-bounder.

The advance defense controls are difficult to grasp, and will take some time to master. Calling zones is probably the most confusing feature for new players but one which can be the difference between winning and losing when executed properly.

READ MORE: Best MyPlayer Archetypes for each position

Advanced Defense

ActionXbox OnePS4
Intentional FoulPress and hold X when near the ball handlerPress and hold ▢ when near the ball handler
Double TeamPress and hold LTPress and hold L1
Icon Double TeamPress LT, then press the desired double teamers action buttonPress L1, then press the desired double teamers action button
Team Intentional FoulPress the view button to commit a Team Intentional FoulPress the touchpad to to commit a Team Intentional Foul
Defensive Pressure AdjustmentsPress LT, then press the action button of desired defender.Press L1, then press the action button of desired defender
Call 2-3 ZonePress the left arrow and select 2-3 ZoneSwipe from top to bottom on the touchpad
Call 3-2 ZonePress the left arrow and select 3-2 ZoneSwipe from left to right on the touchpad
Call Man to ManPress the left arrow and select Man to ManSwipe from bottom to top on the touchpad

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Dribbling

Brookyln’s Kyrie Irving has some of the best handles in the game.

Dribbling isn’t as simple as just taking the ball up the court. Being able to handle the ball well and step past your man will help to open up the court and give you plenty more options on offense. Here is the list of those all-important dribble moves you need to know.

ActionXbox OnePS4
In and OutRB and move right analogue stick up then quickly releaseR2 and move right analogue stick up then quickly release
HesitationMove R right then quickly release when dribbling with right-handMove R right then quickly release when dribbling with right-hand
Hesitation EscapeRB and move right analogue stick then quickly release when dribbling with right hand.R2 and move right analogue stick then quickly release when dribbling with right hand.
CrossoverMove right analogue stick left then quickly release when dribbling with right handMove right analogue stick left then quickly release when dribbling with right hand
StepbackRB and move right analogue stick down then quickly release when driving.R2 and move right analogue stick down then quickly release when driving.
SpinRotate right analogue stick clockwise then quickly release when dribbling with right hand.Rotate right analogue stick clockwise then quickly release when dribbling with right hand

Half SpinRotate right analogue stick in a quarter-circle from right to up then quickly release when dribbling with right hand.Rotate right analogue stick in a quarter-circle from right to up then quickly release when dribbling with right hand.

READ MORE: NBA 2K20 MyPlayer: How to earn badges for your player

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Tom Young

20 year old student currently studying Sports Journalism at the University of South Wales.

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