NBA 2K21 Gameplay Info (All): Offense, Defense, Animations, Shooting, Dribbling, Badges, Pro Stick, Shot Meter, More

New NBA 2K21 Gameplay and News has been revealed from multiple sources, including shooting, badges, dribbling, Pro Stick, and more. NBA 2KW is tracking any and all gameplay info that is revealed and this page will continuously be updated. We’ve summarized all the new gameplay changes into a NBA 2K21 gameplay list from all the info that’s been revealed. Check it out below!

Also see: NBA 2K21 News Tracker (All)

(UPDATED 8/13/20)

GENERAL

  •  2K’s goal: “Create a game that’s easy to pick up and play for new users while also providing enough of a skill gap for veteran users to really showcase their talent”
  • Rebuilt a robust set of sliders per game mode
  • Everything in the Dev Blog applies to Next-Gen. But there’s a lot more to talk about as well

OFFENSE

Shooting

  • Jump shooting and finishing at the rim were points of emphasis
  • Pro Stick & Shot stick aiming added (improved from 2K17)
    • Pro Stick adds more complexity to shooting
    • When you shoot with the Pro Stick, the shot meter changes from a timing bar to a targeting system.
    • Instead of shot meter timing, you adjust the Pro Stick in real time to hit the ideal center aim point.
    • Target window resizes dynamically based on player ability, shooting range, and how well the shot is contested. Can also shift to the left or right based on the shot’s degree of difficulty.
    • Higher ceiling for getting greens if you master Pro Stick
    • If you can time and aim well, you will give yourself the best chances at making the shot.
    • If you turn off the meter, aiming is automatically disabled and the pro stick works like 2K20 (timing based). You need the meter for aiming because the target is dynamic.
    • Many new shot types added, including Harden’s 1 foot fadeaway
    • Pro Stick with Shot Meter on gets a bigger shooting boost than turning the Shot Meter off and shooting.
    • When you shoot with the Pro Stick , the meter only shows the ideal aiming point which you use the stick to target. You don’t see timing so you have to know your release as if the shot meter was off.
  • You can still use the shot button and be very successful. The Pro Stick just has a wider skill gap.
  • Shot Button will work pretty similarly to 2K20, though a lot of re-tuning has been done
  • You can turn RS shooting and layups off if you want
  • The Jump Shot Creator isn’t gated behind a workout anymore, it’s available from the start
  • By default, you won’t see green lights when playing against the CPU. But you can set the Shot Feedback setting to All Shots if you want to see them like in 2K20.
  • There are more jump shooting fouls when you make contact with the shooter on bad/late contests this year.
  • The goal is for you to have to be at least in the mid to high 70’s to be a decent shooting threat. If people are consistently hitting as a 51, 2K will make a hotfix.
  • Difference between a 99 3pt rating and a 70 3pt rating – there’s a pretty significant difference. Take your avg. 3PT FG% as a 70 and add about 20%.

Finishing, Layups, & Dunking

  • Aiming concept also applies to finishing layups
  • Aiming layups well can help overcome shot contests and help you finish through contact.
  • The key to making layups with the Pro Stick this year = instead of holding the stick to the left or right, hold it the direction you want for a brief moment then quickly rotate it toward 12 o’clock to find the ideal aim point.
  • If WIDE open you can basically ignore timing and aiming and still hit layups
  • Aimed to make a skill gap for Slasher builds. If you can master Pro Stick layups, you’ll have a much better chance finishing at the rim contested and through contact.
  • Dunking with Pro Stick are the same as NBA 2K20

Dribbling

  • Improved Dribbling, greatly expanded arsenal of dribble moves
  • More intuitive control scheme
  • Dribble moves have been overhauled to be much more responsive and chain-able
  • 14 Park and 36 unique NBA Size-ups, added 50 new Size-ups total
  • New customizable escape dribbles
  • Motion Style upgrades
  • Added moving size-up dribbles
  • Dribbling mechanics major components will be identical between Current and Next-Gen, but there are differences which 2K will reveal later.
  • Added several new Signature dribble moves:
    • Harden’s around the leg dribble
    • A new version of Kobe’s ‘dance’
    • Durant’s hesitation crossover
    • Nate Robinson came in to 2K studios to mo-cap unique moves

Post Play

  • (TBA)

Passing

  • (TBA)

Off-Ball Movement (Offense)

  • (TBA)

DEFENSE

  • Expect much stronger presence from bigs in the paint
  • Block targeting has been improved so it’ll be easier to send weak shots back
  • More coverage for contact in the paint to counter OP moves like hop step layup
  • Movement has undergone several on-ball and off-ball refinements, to provide a more consistent and responsive feel on the sticks.
  • Signature defensive motion styles added, list of players you can model your player’s movement after:
    • Giannis Antetokounmpo
    • Pat Beverly
    • Draymond Green
    • Andre Iguodala
    • LeBron James
    • Kawhi Leonard
    • Russell Westbrook

REBOUNDING

  • (TBA)

BADGES

  • Quick Draw Badge removed, shot speed is back in Jump Shot Creator
  • Intimidator Badge has been tuned back / nerfed
  • Pogo Stick Badge is still in the game but it was nerfed
  • Badge upgrade system is returning to NBA 2K21
  • 2K tracked user badge usage in NBA 2K20 to learn more about which badges were being used.
  • Some badges were redesigned and re-tuned

TAKEOVER

  • (TBA)

A.I.

  • (TBA)

ATTRIBUTES

  • (TBA)

BUILDS

  • Point Guards max height has been increased to 6’8″
  • Shot speed is back in Jump Shot Creator
  • The Jump Shot Creator isn’t gated behind a workout anymore, it’s available from the start.
  • MyPLAYER Builds don’t transfer over from Current to Next-Gen (revealed earlier). The Next-Gen MyPLAYER Builds, Badges, and Takeovers aren’t the same as Current-Gen, so the saves aren’t compatible.

PARK / BLACKTOP

  • Park Rep is back
  • Added over 50 new Park Jump Shot landings

PRO-AM

  • Team Pro-Am will use competitive sliders

CONTROLS

  • Re-mapped Pro Stick Controls:
    • Hold RS Down = Jump Shot
    • Hold RS Left or Right = Escape Dribble Moves
    • Hold RS Up = Signature Size-Ups
    • Tap the RS with Sprint held = Quick Momentum Dribble Moves
  • Street Dribble Moves have been moved to a Tap of the Left Trigger

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