A blog post on the NBA 2K20 development gave us some news as to what is coming to the game, and what gamers can expect from 2K20.

NBA 2K20 Gameplay Changes

NBA 2K Gameplay Director Mike Wang wrote a blog post detailing some of the changes coming to NBA 2K20. These changes include adjustments to the motion engine system, ball handling, read & react in the defensive zone, shot solutions and working off the ball.

Wang wrote that the development team upgraded the motion engine system that has been in place since NBA 2K18. Wang wrote that the old system caused the team to have less control over animation selection, which sacrificed authenticity. The new upgrades to the system will now give players better foot planting, momentum modeling, and motion style variation.

In addition, the motion team looked at the sprint speed of NBA players in order to more accurately tune NBA 2K player speeds, especially in the open court. Also, the 2K team made sure that players can’t continuously sprint on the court. A player on the court will have a stamina bar, and when that bar hits yellow, that player will slow down.

As for ball handling, there will be 27 different ball handling styles in the game. Those styles are:

  • Base
  • Big
  • Power
  • Fundamental
  • Quick
  • Slasher
  • Shifty
  • James Harden
  • LeBron James
  • Magic Johnson
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Jerry West
  • Dennis Johnson
  • John Stockton
  • Allen Iverson
  • Tim Hardaway
  • Steve Nash
  • Jason Kidd
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Chris Paul
  • Damian Lillard
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Kemba Walker
  • Stephen Curry
  • Paul George
  • Kawhi Leonard

In addition to these styles, a new size-up mechanic has been added to 2K20. This mechanic will allow you to “chain standing dribble moves together in a cleaner and more realistic way.”

In the defensive zone, Wang wrote, defensive players will see an arrow under the ball handler. This arrow will indicate where they’re leaning or attempting to go. The purpose of this arrow is to model the “different reaction times between a poor defender and a great one.” Also, the upgrades to the motion engine system should now lead to more predictable 1-on-1 battles, showcasing the differences between a flat-footed defender and a highly-skilled lockdown player.

Ball handlers will also have an indicator ring that will be either a solid circle, or a bunch of broken-up lines. This will indicate how vulnerable a player is at losing the ball, and to further emphasize this, the ball has been re-tuned to be more predictable.

NBA 2K20 will also see re-architected layups and dunks. In addition to this, a new gather feature has been added to the ability to branch from layup gathers to dunk finishes, which was introduced in 2K19. The new feature will allow players to kick off an advanced gather from the floor, read the defense, and then select how you want to finish the play.

The 2K team has also captured hundreds of new in-air collisions, hard fouls and grab blocks to improve the paint defense. And for post scorers, the game will feature new fakes, breakdowns and moves, while defenders will have an expanded post body-up system.

Off-ball play will also see a major improvement. Off-ball juke moves will be in 2K20, and off-ball collisions have been re-worked “from the ground up.” Screens have also been changed, as these changes should allow defenders to have a better chance of getting around them.

Wang also wrote about the advancements in the AI system that were implemented.  The new Dynamic Freelance engine will create more intelligent off-ball motion, from screens to moving in position to score. The changes also include team-specific and player-specific adjustments that will be in effect in 2K20, and this will reflect some of the real-life NBA play.

Lastly, Wang wrote about badges and takeover, as badges have been re-imagined. Over 80 different badges will be available to reflect players’ different strengths. Takeover abilities have also been changed and adjusted as well.

Be sure to keep checking out the SGO site for more NBA 2K news.


Want to talk sports and/or games with the fastest growing community in gaming? Join the conversation by registering at the official Sports Gamers Online Forums, and check out our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our growing YouTube Channel!