NBA 2K19 Gameplay: Offense & Defense, Animations, Shooting, Dribbling, Takeover System, More (Videos & Impressions)


We have new NBA 2K19 Gameplay Impressions & News that’s been revealed from multiple sources. A number of NBA 2K19 ballers / YouTubers / influencers were invited to test out a demo of the game (Warriors vs Lakers) recently – we’ve summarized their impressions below, as well as other NBA 2K19 news and info that’s been revealed. Check it out below:


NBA 2K19 Controls (PS4 & Xbox One)



  • There is now a Shot Meter for layups
  • Shot meter has the option to switch it to NBA 2K17 style.
  • You’ll be able to place the meter around players’ feet, turn on both meters or turn them both off. Like 2K18, you’ll also be able to change meter colors as well.
  • Shooting algorithm has been changed quite a bit. Shot contest detection more sensible now. Bigger bonuses and bigger penalties for open vs. contested as well as good vs. bad timing. Excellent window is smaller but gives bigger boost. ie. shooting will be more skill based.
  • You can’t green heavily contested or smothered shots. It’s not a guaranteed miss but they won’t fall nearly as much.
  • Someone behind you won’t register as a contested shot
  • You can branch to dunks and floaters from euro, cradle, hop step, and spin gathers. Just kick off one of those layup types and keep RT/R2 held.
  • The shot meter will be on for all shots except for dunks. You can disable it for layups if you want.
  • Pump fake draw fouls have been reworked. Much more reliable now.
  • Added new moving layup/dunk fakes. Let off the left stick and tap shoot when driving to the rim OR start a layup/dunk and (very) quickly bail. You won’t be committed to a shot, you’ll instead fake the layup/dunk.

Post Play

  • Post fade/hook success is a focal point. They will be very effective weapons for post scorers this year.
  • New moves in the post to play off the fakes. Spin, drive, jab stepbacks out of hold and live dribble. Effective because you don’t know if it’s a spin, spin fake, spin stepback


  • New Red Blinking Stamina / Fatigue meter that flashes when you over dribble or get repeatedly shut down by a defender.
  • Momentum Dribbling still exists but is harder to do, and if you abuse it, it depletes your dribble stamina a lot.
  • New dribble fatigue model in 2K19. If you overdribble, your ball control will drop and your moves will degrade in speed/effectiveness. So doing too many moves will drop your dribble tier and eventually cause you to fumble the ball. Need to be efficient with the ball this year.
  • Snatchback Dribble (Hold RT + RS back) cheese move has been removed, but there’s still a more realistic way to pull the move off.
  • Can’t cheese the RT/RS right or left standing dribbles. So very few Huge leaps to the side to create unnatural space. Reduced Play/Sharps ability to Hold RT & Tap RS right or left & Super Jump to one side for an open jumper. At least, that’s how it was for NBA players.
  • Signature walking size-ups have been added (by flicking RS)
  • For good ball handlers, dribbling will be more responsive and fluid in terms of branches and combos.
  • New control added: a “stop” / stop-hesitation dribble (by tapping LB / L1) that could be chained into other moves in various ways.
  • “Zig-zag” cheese has been removed via the animation being removed and the attempt to zig-zag change of direction being dramatically slowed. Zig zagging is fixed and the logic around blow bys has been completely overhauled. You can still get them in the right situations (getting to the defenders hip, extreme mismatches, etc.) but if you play good onball defense you should be able to clamp ball handlers pretty easily.
  • You can cause a ball handler to pick up his dribble. The frequency is based on the dribbler’s ball control vs. defender’s onball D rating as well as positioning. It’ll happen more if you cut the dribbler off and jam up where he’s trying to go. Locks can do it easier than other builds especially in ‘Takeover’.
  • L2/LT dribbling is gone. It’s now used for hard stops and hesitations
    If you have a trailing defender, holding LT/L2 will trigger a “hold off,” which is a Chris Paul like crab dribble that will allow you to seal the defender behind you for a bit… great for cutting defenders off and opening up a driving lane to the rim.
  • The cradle layup protects the ball when knifing through traffic. So it’s best for slashers in downhill 1-man breaks, barreling through a crowd, or for avoiding help defender strips. You’re susceptible to strips and contact as you compress to go up so you have to time it right.
  • Between legs cross will be on RT/R2+RS left (when the ball’s in the right hand.) Basically a Turbo-modified cross. Makes it a little easier to pull off consistently. Escape cross (cross to hes) is now a chained move. Tap left twice quickly.
  • The ‘Shammgod’ will be available for tier 3 ball handlers as a hesi+cross combo. Driving w/ ball in right hand, Tap RS right then quickly left.
  • 3 tiers based on ball control. Tier 1 = <70, Tier 2 = 70-85, Tier 3 = 86+
  • When branching out of hop gathers (eg. stepback jumpers) only Tier 3 ball handlers can explode out like last year, Tier 2 will be slower but controlled, and Tier 1 will always fumble.
  • The Kyrie Irving behind the back fake has been added for Tier 3 ball handlers
    If you don’t create enough space with the spin and don’t have a clear lane to takeoff for the dunk, you’ll probably finish with a layup.
  • There are 3 signature size up combos, formerly called rhythm dribbles. Standing, moving, and triple threat. All are triggered by flicking RS Up.
  • You can do retreat size-ups. move LS away from the hoop and tap RS up. They’re a bit quicker than just pulling the LS back in standard dribble movement. Back pedaling has been slowed down quite a bit to fix “walk back” cheese.
  • If you do a jab or a stepover move out of triple threat, you can combo that with a hesitation to the left or right (turbo + RS) to create lateral space for a jumper or a drive to the rim.


  • Our passing and catching team made a ton of improvements. Catch fumbles are basically gone, easier to convert long passes to open guys, and a new catch collision system to help well positioned defenders combat dump cheese.


  • Defense and on-ball defense has been noticeably improved and was a major focus for 2K19. A good Lockdown Defender or Rim Protector is going to be very valuable this year. They will cancel out offensive boosts, get special def. stop resolutions in body ups, unique block content, and more.
  • Contested shots get hammered hard this year
  • The defender can pretty much maintain physical pressure on the ball handlers all the way to the rim if he over dribbles or isn’t good at creating space.
  • Successful steal opportunities are now managed by a new zone system that judges vulnerability, which yields more realistic results when the defender times it right (just like in real basketball).
  • The left trigger ‘auto-contest’ control has been removed, so defenders will need to actively get a hand in the shooter’s face (using RS).
  • Stronger interior defense. There will be more physicality in the paint, contact in the paint will be harder to push through.
  • No more fouls being called after the shot has left the hands anymore… that fixed a lot of bad calls. More leniency on block attempts from behind so it’s not an automatic whistle like it was last year trying to get chasedowns.


  • Only decent rebounders can cover a lot of ground while jumping to make up for a rim bounce that didn’t go their way.
  • If you are controlling a short guard with low rebounding skill, it might be best to play him more like he’d respond in real life to a rebound – instead of immediately mashing the rebound button, keep him on his feet and rush over to the ball once you see where it’s headed.
  • If your player is fast and the ball bounces long, you might be able to pick it up on the run. For skilled rebounders in good position with a ball bouncing off the rim in their direction, the ideal timing for the rebound button in offline modes is right as the ball hits the rim for the first time (a bit later than last year’s timing). A tiny bit before it hits is ok (especially with good attributes), but if you try to jump way too early, you’ll miss the ball quite regularly.
  • Because of the later ideal rebound timing this year, the boxout mechanics will be more important to consider since there’s more time spent on the ground. Of course it all starts with holding the boxout trigger, but what happens once a boxout has started depends on the left stick (relative to the rim) of both the boxer and the boxee (the guy getting boxed out).
  • As a boxee, you can attempt to shove your boxer toward the rim by pushing your left stick toward the rim or try to swim around him by pushing the stick left or right of the rim. The success and speed of your swim attempt depends on many factors including strength, weight, boxout skill, hustle rebounder badge level, and whether either of you are in takeover.
  • You can also attempt to disengage from the boxout by steering away from your opponent and letting go of LT, but a determined, skilled boxer will be hard to avoid unless you really just want to run away
  • As the boxer, you can counter the boxee’s movements if you think you know what he’s going to do. Push your left stick away from the rim to drive him back, or push left or right of the rim to guard against swim moves from that direction, while making yourself more vulnerable in the other direction. You can also choose to push towards the rim, giving up a bit of ground but making it harder for the boxee to muscle around you. If you’re not sure, zero out your stick and you’ll get a balanced resolution for all possibilities.


  • Situational awareness of AI has been improved. AI is more mindful of when they need to protect ball, seeing double teams, looking for cutters, adjusting to user tendencies, and understanding how they are being beaten gameplay-wise.
  • Improved transition game lane principles so players fill the lane appropriately and space the floor during fast breaks.


  • Unique and flashy Streetball moves and taunting have been added to embarass opponent (only available in Park and Blacktop).


  • New ‘Takeover’ System: Each NBA 2K19 archetype has unique ways to exert their dominance during a game. (At this point we don’t know if it will be similar to 2K17’s “Grand Badge” concept). A “takeover” meter will fill up and unlock unique boosts to your archetype (i.e. Dimer boosts to a Playmaker archetype) . Once activated, you will see an ‘on fire’ badge underneath the player on the court, which means the player has unlocked a new tier of special animations and badges that align with their archetype.
  • Takeover boosts will probably be closer to +10 (primary ratings) and +5 (other ratings)
  • Dramatically Reduced Clipping: where limbs, heads, and basketballs morphed through player’s bodies. This has improved the collision detection system.
  • Added new animations, new loose-ball animations
  • 1 on 1 interactions have been reworked to make stick skills matter more, create more of a skill gap between players with good stick skills and those without.
  • Control settings are defaulted to ‘Absolute’ instead of ‘Camera-Relative’. You can change it in the options.
  • There will be 3 broadcast cameras in 19: Broadcast = This is the default camera and changes for each stadium (it’s a hybrid of 18’s Broadcast & Broadcast Zoom). Broadcast Stadium = This will be 2K17’s Broadcast Generic. Broadcast Low = This will be 2K17’s Beluba.
  • 3 in the key timer has been reduced for accuracy
  • Fatigue plays a bigger role. You’ll have a significant advantage if you pick and choose your spots. Should be noticeably tougher to sprint all game long or ball hog.
  • Some moves drain stamina faster than others. You can do a lot of standing size ups before you get hit but repeated stepbacks and hard launches will knock you down quick

via gameinformer.comShakedown2012, ChrisSmoove, @Beluba, @CHoops4Life

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