28 Sep 2020 11:50 AM +00:00

NBA Live 19: Complete controls guide (Offense & Defense) on PS4 & Xbox One

Though there are only five players on your team and a relatively small court to negotiate, the NBA Live series' always offers an array of different ways to manipulate your player. The basic controls this year don’t differ significantly from previous years and are much the same as in the NBA 2K series, but if you’re new to the game, then this will be a big help. 

For the more experienced players, an ability to master the more advanced moves really enables you to get the most out of this game, so check them all out below.


NBA Live 19 Basic Offensive Controls

Action PS4 Controls Xbox One Controls
Move playerL stickL stick
Dribble movesR stickR stick
Shoot■ (hold and release)X (hold and release)
Layup ■ (hold near basket)X (hold near basket)
PassX (tap)A (tap)
SprintR2 (hold)RT (hold)

These basic offensive controls are necessary to play the game on the most superficial of levels. These controls typically don’t change, even across different consoles and games, and if you’ve played a lot of NBA Live or NBA 2K in the past, then these will all be second nature to you. 

The addition of Real Player Motion to NBA Live 19, however, changes the feel of all of these controls. It means your player movements more closely replicate how a player moves in reality, giving an extra dimension to the game.

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NBA Live 19 Advanced Offensive Controls

Action  PS4 Controls Xbox One Controls
DunkHold R2 + ■ near basketHold RT + X near basket
Alley-oop▲ (double tap)Y (double tap)
Pump Fake Tap ■Tap X
FloaterRelease R2 + Hold R Stick while drivingRelease RT + Hold R stick while driving
Put-backTap ■ while reboundingTap X while rebounding

If you want to take your offensive game to the next level, it's well worth remembering these controls. Some of them are fairly straightforward, like dunking, but being able to add a floater and a pump fake into your game gives you that little extra versatility. Pulling off an alley-oop isn't always easy to do in-game, but when you pull it off, it'll be a memorable highlight.


NBA Live 19 Passing Controls

Action PS4 Controls  Xbox One Controls 
PassX (tap)A (tap)
Self alley▲ (quickly tap), then ■Y (quickly tap), then X
Lob pass▲ (tap)Y (tap)
Backboard alley-oop▲ (quickly tap), then OY (quickly tap), then B
Dribble handoffO (hold)B (hold)
Touch passX (tap while ball is in the air)A (tap while ball is in the air)
Flashy passO (double tap)B (double tap)
Closest to rimR1 (double tap)RB (double tap)
Icon passingR1 + ▲, ■, O or L1RB + X, Y, B or LB
Freestyle passingR1 (hold) + L stick (flick towards intended player)RB (hold) + L stick (flick towards intended player)
Bounce passO (tap)B (tap)

Mastering these controls will give you a huge advantage over your opponents. Every player worth their salt has the basics down - an ability to make regular passes and utilize lobs, basically. If you really want to excel though, and take your game to the next level, work on the other actions in the above list, particularly in the bottom half. Pulling off a good alley-oop isn’t too hard and is incredibly satisfying, while dropping in touch passes and dribble handoffs can make your offense hum like the Warriors’.


NBA Live 19 Basic Defensive Controls

Action PS4 Controls Xbox One Controls
Move playerL stickL stick
Defensive assist/deny ballL2 (hold)LT (hold)
Switch playerXA
Icon switchR1 + ■, ▲, O or L1RB (hold) + X, Y, B or LB

A lot of gamers reject the importance of defense in the NBA Live series, preferring to focus on the more flashy offensive side of the game. Having down these basics, however, is necessary in developing your game to the next level. The controls above are all fairly straightforward, but being able to properly block, rebound, and deflect can save you valuable points throughout the course of a game.

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NBA Live 19 Advanced Defense Controls

Action  PS4 Controls   Xbox One Controls 
Intentional foulO (tap repeatedly)B (tap repeatedly)
Take chargeR stick (hold down)R stick (hold down)
Double teamO (hold)B (hold)
ContestR stick (hold up)R (hold up)
Deny ballL2 (hold near off-ball opponent)LT (hold near off-ball opponent)
Defensive assistL2 LT

The advanced defense controls are largely tactical, and require a little bit of basketball nous to properly execute. Understanding when you’re in a position to take a charge rather than looking to contest a shot is a skill which can only be learned by actually playing basketball in real life, or spending a good amount of time playing  NBA Live 19.

Likewise, knowing when to double team requires an understanding of the players on the opposition and what they’re likely to do. Mastering when to do this can help you prevent the star offensive players of the world from dropping big numbers on you.


NBA Live 19 Defensive Pressure Controls

Action PS4 Controls Xbox One Controls
Pack paint↑ button (double tap)↑ button (double tap)
Star focus← button (double tap)← button (double tap)
Coach default↓ button (double tap)↓ button (double tap)
Pressure shooters→ button (double tap)→ button (double tap)

These defensive pressure actions aren’t going to have a lot of impact on the box score, but they can influence the most important numbers in a basketball game; the actual score. Most players won’t bother with these controls, preferring to focus on more individual aspects of defense rather than working on the team ones. 

Keeping your opponents to a low score, however, depends significantly on understanding when to pressure the outside and when to focus on defending down low, and these controls allow you to effectively execute the more advanced aspects of defense.