How to score, defend and steal

The NBA 2K series has a reputation for producing some of the best sports games on the market and NBA 2K20 is looking likely to match those high standards.

The new game has plenty to offer both seasoned NBA fans and complete novices, however, with a variety of new features it can be difficult for either group to get to grips with it. To help out, the game’s senior producer Erick Boenisch has given his advice for each aspect of the game.

How to improve your shooting

A change in controls and strategy can drastically improve your shooting

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There are two ways you shoot. When I watch a lot of people they use the X button on Xbox or the Square button on PlayStation. If you look at the pro players they use the right stick to shoot which gives you a little more control – you can choose what hand you go for the lay-up or the dunk with. I’d also recommend going into 2KU to get a feel for the timing of shots. Then when you get into games, strategically you want to get the ball to the open person – they’ll have a much higher chance of making a shot than someone who is closely guarded or contested. Ball movement is key in basketball.

How to dribble effectively

Dribbling in NBA 2K20 is simpler than you think

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The cool thing about dribbling in our game, at its most simple and pure level, is that the left stick moves your guy around and you don’t need to know more than that. But, as you get more experienced with the game, you can start using the modifier to do between the legs dribbles, hesitations, behind the back dribbles and flashy behind the back passes to your teammates. And again, those can all be learned with tutorials in 2KU, where we give you an example of how to do everything in the game. It’s a lot to take in if you run through everything, so focus on a few moves, practise those in a couple of games and then layer on more skills as you go.

The best way to steal the ball

Defending is a little harder because all you want to do is get back on offence, but the best way to do that is to play good defence! Stay between your man and the basket, that’s the first obvious goal. And give yourself space, if you crowd a guy and he’s faster than you, he’s going to blow past you every time. You need to know the person you’re guarding and what they’re good at. If they’re good at shooting you need to get a little closer to them – knowledge will go a long way.

What seasoned players need to get used to in NBA 2K20

You have more control over your players than ever before

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Our gameplay team works tirelessly to make the game different and better every year. This year there’s a brand new motion model in the game on offence and defence; you’ll see the players employ a lot more foot planting – momentum feels a little different. There feels like there’s a lot more control with the one-to-one stick. I feel like personally, in previous years, I would get stuck in an animation – I’d run, flick the stick up and do things before finally changing directions. This year, you will see that foot plants change direction exactly as you asked for, and ultimately I think that makes for a better play experience where you feel like you’re more in control of your players.

Advice for novices in NBA 2K20

Of course, we have 2KU, a tutorial mode which teaches you the basics to basketball if you’re really entry-level because we don’t want to turn away those fans either. I think like anything, practise makes perfect. There are difficulty levels in the game. We default to pro which sounds very intimidating but it’s really not that bad. There is another difficulty level, though, called rookie which is more forgiving – you’ll make more of your shots and the opposing team will miss more of theirs. It will give you a chance to learn the controls a little more while still having fun and being competitive.

The second tip I’d offer is, this year in MyCareer, we have something called the MyPlayer Builder, which is a great way to learn the game too because you can create any player you want – you can design a point guard who’s quick, you can design a point guard who can shoot threes – you can set whatever attribute caps you want. And then once you’ve created your guy, you can set your rating to whatever you want, so you can practise with that player and get an idea of what they’ll be like when they’re fully levelled up. That’s just a good way to play with different types of players and learn to play the game differently.

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