NBA 2K20: Gameplay, Soundtrack, Release Date, MyGM, Demo & More

More news on 2K's latest basketball game has dropped, giving us the best AI we have ever seen.

A few days ago we saw a complete revamp of MyGM with the core aim of making the game feel more realistic.

Ronnie 2k and the other developers have just released new information regarding gameplay. Let’s hope they can improve from NBA 2K19. 


NBA 2k developers have just released a brand new trailer highlighting some in-game footage of the NBA’s biggest stars.

Players like Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving and Buddy Hield all feature suggesting new animations for 2K20 from these players.

Motion Engine Upgrade

2K have improved player footwork by adding smarter foot-planting allowing for more explosive movement from a stationary position. The devs explain ' you’ll quickly feel the difference between a lumbering big vs. a quick, explosive guard.'

They have analyzed real life motion patterns and emulated them into NBA 2K20:

"We wanted sprinting to be a valuable resource and not something that everybody automatically does everywhere they go. This year, you’ll notice a flashing yellow effect around the Stamina bar when your energy level drops below a certain threshold.

"Once hit, you’ll quickly ramp down to a run speed and get tired much faster. So it’s important this year to pick and choose when you want to explode with your first step and not abuse the Sprint trigger all game long."

Handles & Sauce 

Signature dribbling styles are now more of an accurate representation of real life player dribbling styles.

"We added new concepts such as stop variation – dead leg/punches, hesi lifts, inverts,. Cuts and first steps also vary from one style to the next, allowing us to differentiate speedsters (De'Aaron Fox, John Wall) from players like DeMar DeRozan who move with more wiggle."

READ MORE: Which NBA 2K20 version should I buy?

There are now 27 different styles of sprint animations to accommodate for the different player styles and physical attributes.

Here’s the list of styles: Base, Big, Power, Fundamental, Quick, Slasher, Shifty, James Harden, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Dennis Johnson, John Stockton, Allen Iverson, Tim Hardaway, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Isiah Thomas, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Stephen Curry, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard.

2K developers are also introducing new size-up mechanics allowing for cleaner chained dribble moves.

Read and React

On-ball defense is getting a buff, a small arrow under the player they are guarding will help show the defender where the player will move next. The better the defender the longer the arrow will show for. 

They continued with:

"Thanks to the motion engine upgrade and its improved defensive footwork, and an improved body-up ride system, 1-on-1 battles now resolve in a much more predictable way, showcasing the differences between attacking a flat-footed defender vs. highly skilled Lockdown.'

READ MORE: Everything we know about NBA 2K20

Their aim is to reduce players spamming the steal button and bumping the opponent which exploits the gaming mechanics. 

Shot Solutions & Paint D

Attacking and defending the rim was another area of focus for the gameplay team. I talked about the concept of Shot Solutions a few years back. The basic idea in real life is that good slashers can find unique solutions to get through the defense when attacking the rim.

2K20 has completely re-architectured dunks and layups:

"The new gather feature allows you to kick off an advanced gather on the floor, read the defense, and select how you want to finish that gather by re-deflecting the Pro Stick as you takeoff. Say, for example, if you started a euro gather but saw the defense close in, you could re-deflect the Pro Stick down to branch to a floater finish to avoid contact."

Post scorers will have a refreshed system with new moves, shots, fakes and more. Post defenders will have access to an expanded post body-up system that will help them lock down spins, drives, drop steps, and hop steps on the other end.

Working-off ball 

A few months back the Ask-a-dev section of 2KTV showed players spend 90% of their time off-ball. Here is how they will make sure this aspect of the game is fully featured.

Screens, both on-ball and away from the ball, were also rebuilt and feature much better interactions between screeners and screen defenders. 

READ MORE: NBA 2K agree deal with Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson

The new content offers complete control to help defenders navigate around screeners much more effectively and get into better position without getting stuck on other players. 

They are also introducing the concept of quick screens, performed by tapping the Set Screen button. It carries a high risk/reward and must be used sparingly, but can be a great tool to quickly rub your cutting teammate’s defender and slow him down just enough to help your teammate get open.

The next step in AI 

2K Devs have added a new 'Dynamic freelance engine' where teammates will create intelligent off-ball play with no need to even call a play.

This new system, alongside the continuing evolution of ACE, makes running a structured offense much simpler for the average gamer.

READ MORE: All you need ahead of the NBA 2K20 Demo

AI defense is stepping up its game as well. The transition defense module has been re-written and introduces some new options, including “Protect the Perimeter” and “Wall up” (the transition positioning used against elite downhill players.) Also look out for new team-specific and player-specific adjustments in ACE, including:

- Utah’s on ball adjustments to Harden in the playoffs

- Toronto’s top lock deny scheme against Curry

- Player-specific Takeover awareness

- Legendary team and player adjustment adds and improvements

You can now customize your shot meter to have a green flash, splash, or splat effect. I know how much you guys love customization. 

Badges & Takeover

There will now be 80 badges in NBA 2K20 for your player to stand out from the crowd. Developers have assured us they have put tons of work into making each badge worth grinding for. 

Takeover will return to NBA 2K20 with promises of badges being more balanced.

More information on badges, attributes and take over will be released soon so stay keep an eye out for any new information.

MyGM 2.0

Speaking of MyGM, in a recent blog post 2K lifted the curtain on the renovations the game mode will see in 2K20.

Accessibility is high on the agenda this year for 2K, as well as a focus on the player making meaningful choices.

With that in mind the introduction of Action Points is set to limit how much you can get done in one day as a general manager and force you into tough decisions that will have a noticeable impact. You can’t explore trade options, talk to players, and scheme with staff all at once.

Different difficulty settings will choke off your AP supply, making life even trickier for you. Why should you up the difficulty? Well, a new scoring system and leaderboard adds to the competitiveness of MyGM, allowing you to see how your performance compares to friends.

READ MORE: NBA 2K20 Player ratings reveal, WNBA & more

There’s a brand new skill tree that will shape your style and open up abilities as you grow in your role.

Your five starting options are Leadership (L), Diplomacy (D), Insight (I), Finance (F), and Facilities (FC) and these branches should provide a lot of playability as you try to find multiple ways to forge your dynasty.

Leveling has seen a revamp, so are relationships, as well as goals & tasks.

The core menus and user interactions are the same, making it easy for players to find what they need.

MyGM 2.0 sounds like it will bring a new challenge to experienced players and provide them with a reason to keep coming back.

NBA 2K20 Soundtrack

The soundtrack of a sports game is crucial as it sets the tone and tempo for players in the menus. 2K games often have a diverse and superb soundtrack and NBA 2K20 is no different.

You can listen to the whole playlist on Spotify already and 2K will be adding tracks over the year from both mainstream and underground artists, as well as offering unsigned artists a chance to get on the game from August 1.

This years soundtrack already includes:

  • Sandra’s Rose – Drake
  • Wow (Remix) – Post Malone
  • Uptown Vibes (Feat. Fabolous & Anuel AA) – Meek Mill
  • Live Wire – Motley Crue 
  • Legacy (Feat. Travis Scott & 21 Savage) – Offset
  • Whoa (Mind in awe) – XXXTENTACION
  • Play Wit Ya – Dreezy

READ MORE: Predicting LA Lakers 2K20 ratings

Release Date

Starting on August 21st at 12:01 am PT, you can get an early start on your MyCareer while testing out the new MyPlayer builder and hitting the court two weeks ahead of the game’s launch by downloading the NBA 2K20 Demo.

In the NBA 2K20 Demo, you can try out multiple MyPlayer configurations to create the player that best fits your play-style, which will be carried over to NBA 2K20 at launch on September 6th

READ MORE: Everything we need to know about NBA 2K20

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Louis Hutchinson

I am a 19-year-old currently studying at university.

I have had a keen interest for gaming since 2005 back on the PS2 all the way until the present day. FIFA has always been my game of choice and began playing from FIFA 07.

The esports world and gaming community are a huge part of my life and I make sure I am keeping up-to-date with the latest games released by many of the game producing giants including EA, 2K, Ubisoft & more.