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NBA 2K

14 Oct 2020

NBA 2K21: Next-Gen Gameplay Changes Point to Most Realistic NBA Sim Yet

NBA 2K strives to make a realistic sports sim. With the newly announced next-gen gameplay features and changes, NBA 2K21 will be the most realistic NBA sim yet.

Let's go over the changes, and how they will push NBA 2K21 to the next level.

NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Gameplay Changes and New Features

2K have announced a ton of new gameplay changes affecting shooting, dribbling, movement, and plenty more in the first of three Courtside Report's going over new features.

NBA 2K21 next gen gameplay trailer Stephen Curry 1
NEXT-GEN: Graphics aren't the only thing getting massive upgrades in NBA 2K21 on next-gen

In the newest Courtside Report, the second of three, 2K have gone into further detail on how next-gen hardware has enabled some incredible new developments.

Let's go over each in detail, and how they'll add to the realism of gameplay.

Shooting Control

There are several shooting changes and new features coming for NBA 2K21 on next-gen.

nba 2k21 next gen gameplay foot planting
FOOT PLANT: Next-gen hardware has allowed a rework on footwork, which means where you step matters

Some of the best changes for realism's sake include shot arc control, better layup control (more pullups and floaters, less accidental layups), 3pt foot planting in combination with step back moves, bank shot control, and being able to control the speed of dribble moves like size up.

This will take offensive gameplay away from getting in position for powerful animations and spot up shots. Instead it will mix in more user control and decision making to pull off good shots.

Dribbling Rebuild

NBA 2K have completely rebuilt the dribbling system of NBA 2K21 from the ground up with next-gen technology, retaining only superstar dribble moves.

Dribbling next gen
CONTACT AND MOMENTUM: NBA 2K21 on next-gen totally redesigns momentum and dribbling physics.

This rebuild focuses on realism, responsiveness, and consistency - allowing players to better predict movement and more accurately reflect their intentions when moving with the ball.

This new dribbler will also better simulate weight and momentum, which will reduce speed bursts and animations.

By reworking dribbling for next-gen, NBA 2K21 have completely redesigned the tool players rely on the most online. This will challenge players to make better decisions with the ball as well as with their movement on defense.

Movement Rewards User Control

On and off-ball movement in NBA 2K21 will be a brand new experience for players.

NBA 2K21 next gen defense
MIND YOUR STEP: On next-gen, good defenders can break players that don't out-maneuver them on a drive

Next-gen hardware has enabled the 2K team to redesign movement around contact, momentum, better foot planting, and many common situations.

Body Up Gameplay

For body up situations, 2K have reworked gameplay on both sides of the ball. Players will no longer be able to drive through the chest of defenders, as they will be picked up or receive charge calls more often.

Instead, players will have to user control well to out-maneuver opponents just like in the modern NBA. This means getting past the hips of tricky defenders to minimize riding on a drive.

Setting Screens and Beating Them Out

Defenders will be receiving a new quick step mechanic allowing players to make important adjustments by quickly tapping the left stick. Along with this, players will no longer be sucked into screens like a vacuum.

NBA 2K21 Impact Engine Screen
BRICK WALL: Bledsoe gets tagged by a nasty screen from Gobert, and because of his strength, the screen more realistically throws off his momentum

Players will now properly be able to go under or over screens realistically, and feel the pressure of good bigs.

In-Air Contact Control

The NBA 2K21 Impact Engine, which will rework in-air contact in NBA 2K21, and will revolutionize movement on both sides of the ball in the paint.

NBA 2K21 momentum contact next gen
POSTER: Positioning will be more user controlled on next-gen, resulting in more play to the post game

This will help reduce the effectiveness of general animations and put more pressure on players to properly user control. And will add more realistic playability on offense and defensive.

With so much of modern basketball's offense coming off of the drive, this will perfectly encapsulate the NBA experience.

PS5 DualSense Haptic Feedback

The game will also bring some more emphasis on user control by making players feel more immersed through changes for the PS5's DualSense controllers.

PS5 DualSense
IN YOUR HANDS: New PS5 DualSense controllers bring more options for games to reach players

This includes resistance to holding R2 to sprint when fatigued. There will be some similar resistance to holding L2 to back down opponents in the paint when fatigued. This will vary depending on strength of the opponent.

This will also maximize usage of haptic feedback during contact in moments like backing down opponents, in-air contact, boxouts, off-ball collisions, screens, and more. This haptic feedback will change in intensity depending on the strength of the opponent!

For PS5 players this could be one of the most exciting changes to the game. Everything will feel more intense and immersive with these settings applied. You will be able to feel the game rather than constantly looking for on-screen information like player stamina.