NBA 2K19

There are some important changes coming to NBA 2K19 that should get you excited for its release in September, per Gameinformer.

As someone who logged almost 200 hours in NBA 2K18 on the Nintendo Switch, I was very excited when I read through these changes. NBA 2K18 became 2K Games’ best selling iteration of the NBA franchise, but if you perused the NBA 2K subreddit, you would have thought otherwise.

Hardcore fans were upset with the major clipping issues, awful ball detection and a myriad of other problems. Developer, Visual Concepts, made it a priority to fix these issues and outline eight changes coming to NBA 2K19.

Clipping Issues

Clipping issues were a major problem in NBA 2K18 and Game Director, Mike Wang, had this to say:

“It was embarrassing. There was a bug that we didn’t find until very, very late with the collision detection. That’s another thing that we’re working on right now. We’re spending a lot of time trying to make sure you just can’t go through players and stopping them when you try to run into guys.”

While Visual Concepts is working on their collision detection, there’s isn’t any reassurance that they’ll fix the 2K18 issues.

Revamping The Steals System

Steals in the NBA series has always been a spam-fest when it came to steals. There was no actual “skill” involved, it was more just a button mash. 2K19 looks to change that.

Timing is everything.

Visual Concepts has implemented a zone system that will now judge a ballhandler’s vulnerability. Gone are the days where players can just spam move after move hoping to make your defender fall down. Defenders need a keen ability to recognize a prime stealing opportunity and they’ll be rewarded with their hard work.

Improvements to the Shot Meter

There was nothing more frustrating in NBA 2K18 than getting the “Good/Wide Open” shot meter and clanging the ball off of the rim or backboard.

Visual Concepts worked on the shot meter to make sure that open shots were marked as open and that they’ll land.

Another one of the biggest gripes from NBA 2K18 has also been addressed. Visual Concepts has reworked the lay-up system. Now, there will be a shot meter as well when you go close for a lay-up. The shot meter itself is getting the NBA 2K17 treatment. You’ll be able to place the meter around players’ feet, turn on both meters or turn them both off. You’ll also be able to change meter colors as well.

NBA 2K19

Unique moves for Park/Blacktop

If you’re a park or blacktop player, listen up. NBA 2K19 is implementing Streetball moves that will have you embarrassing your opponent in no time. Do you watch the And 1 Streetball series? Now you can do the same.

New Takeover System

There’s a new way that players can take over a game. Depending on their archetype, players will have unique ways to show their dominance on the court. As a player dominates his opponents, a takeover meter will build up. Once activated, an “on fire badge” will show underneath their name and indicated they can unlock a new tier of animations.

Using the Left-Bumper/L1 button, you can check where every player on your team is in terms of their takeover meter. You can have multiple takeovers activated at once.

AI Improvements

AI has been improved for NBA 2K19. The new steal system means that new enhancements will affect how players interact with the environment. There will no longer be the lackadaisical dribbling from point guards while a play is being set up.

The AI is also going to be more aware of double teams and possible cutting opportunities by the open player. You also won’t be able to spam the same move over and over as the AI will be better at understanding how they’ve been beaten.

Stronger Interior Defense

Lastly, the interior defense has been re-worked to make inside players harder in 2K19. Bigs with the ability to steal the ball like Anthony Davis will now take swipes when your player is in the post.

“Interior defense was really rough last year,” Wang says. “When we went to the new motion system we ended up taking out a lot of the multi-actor animations that we had in the past, so it made it really tough to protect the rim. That’s why there were so many missed lay-ups, it was kind of a band-aid to fix all that because you could pretty much get them at will. That’s a lot better now, and so is the hit detection of when you are actually covered and when you are not.”

One-on-One Skill

“We have to make this game more about bringing back the skill gap and making it about the users, the skill on the sticks to be successful,” Wang says. “It’s all about matching your stick to where the guy’s trying to get to. That’s where you’ll get the set-offs, the brick walls. You’ll get blow-bys if the guy’s stick is the wrong way.”


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Greg Ezell
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Greg has been playing sports video games since Ice Hockey on the NES. Greg is currently working as a Program Director in the non-profit world, but his true passion is hockey. While Madden, various wrestling games and MLB The Show are some of his favorites, NHL remains the go-to sports series. Outside of sports games Greg enjoys J/RPGs, Monster Hunter and Stardew Valley.