NBA 2K21 Reveals New Features; Current-Gen Demo Drops Aug. 24 | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

NBA 2K developer Visual Concepts announced Thursday that a gameplay demo for NBA 2K21 on the current generation of consoles—PlayStation 4 and Xbox One—and Nintendo Switch will be released Aug. 24.

Key alterations in this year’s game include a “significant change” to the Pro Stick and its shooting system along with new motion styles and improvements to the badge system.



🎮 Pro Stick Shooting upgrade
🔋 40 new Jump Shot Landings
🏀 Overhauled dribble moves
♟️ 50 new Size-Ups
🚫 No more Quick Draw badge
🙌 6’8″ PGs in MyCAREER

Current Gen Blog:

NBA 2K gameplay director Mike Wang spoke with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, the game’s cover athlete, about ideas he wanted to see incorporated in this year’s edition of the long-running series, and he relayed Lillard’s thoughts in Thursday’s announcement:

“I had the opportunity to jump on a Zoom call with cover athlete, Damian Lillard, a few months back. He is a huge 2K gamer and had a ton of great feedback and ideas for 2K21. But his biggest request? Being able to make an oversized PG in MyCAREER. So, for all you Penny Hardaway wannabes, you have Dame to thank for that as we have upped the max height for PG to 6’8”. Dame continued to share his likes and dislikes of gameplay, which we then added to the running wishlist that we already had from the community. After compiling all the feedback, we came away with a great list of items that we knew the community wanted to see improved (e.g. long passes downcourt sailing out of bounds) and came up with skill-based solutions that would be more fun and fair for everyone.”

Pro Stick’s changes will be the most notable adjustment for longtime 2K fans. It was previously used almost exclusively for taking jump shots, but it’s been reworked to include a wide variety of dribble moves, while pushing it down makes your player take a shot.

In coordination with that switch, the shooting system was reworked to utilize a “targeting system” rather than the traditional timing bar. Gamers will have to hit an “ideal center aim point,” which will vary in size based on the NBA player’s shooting ability, in order to hit the shot.

The announcement noted there will be an option to disable the changes if people want to retain last year’s settings.

2K developers also built on last year’s introduction of signature offensive styles with the inclusion of defensive styles. Movement can be modeled after seven NBA players:

  • Andre Iguodala
  • Draymond Green
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LeBron James
  • Patrick Beverley
  • Russell Westbrook

Finally, the badge system was redesigned based on “telemetry data” collected from last year’s game.

NBA 2K21 is scheduled for a Sept. 4 worldwide release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. It will become available on the next-gen consoles after PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X drop during the 2020 holiday season.

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