Yesterday’s NBA 2K21 next-gen trailer is still fresh in our minds. Today, the NBA 2K crew is building on that momentum. In a Courtside Report released this morning, NBA 2K gameplay director, Mike Wang, walks through some NBA 2K21 changes coming exclusively to the next-generation. This is the first of three Courtside Reports breaking down next-gen improvements. Today’s focuses on Fundamentals.

Quick aside, the blog post has a ton of really great side-by-side comparison gifs. They’re not all gonna make it into this article, so I suggest you check out the Courtside Report afterwards to get a look at them.

NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Shooting

The biggest change from previous games to NBA 2K21 are to the Pro Stick. In particular, Pro Stick shooting has changed quite a bit, even since the game’s release. Pro Stick shooting is going to continue to change as we enter the next console generation. Currently, the speed you flick the Pro Stick affects your target release point. In next-gen, it will also affect shot arc as well. Slow flicks will give you a higher arc, while fast flicks will take more shallow shots. Faster flicks will let give you better control over banking the ball off the backboard as well. This will be true for jumpers and for layups.

The shot meter is another NBA 2K21 hot topic. It’s something Wang has said they are committed to tweaking until they get right. True to their word, the shot meter has already gone through changes. The next-gen shot meter will get a new look and play an even bigger role in whether or not a shot sinks. For next-gen, the shot meter will be much easier to read. The make window is now blue, and its size changes dynamically depending on how well the shot’s guarded, and how good of a shooter the player is. There’s a new arrow at the top of the timing marker to make it easier to see visually.

If you land outside of the make window, you miss, simple as that. The black notch inside the blue make window is your ideal timing window. That’s the new green release timing window. There will be new visual effects for the green release in next-gen. You can choose which one you want to see more in Controller Settings.

Other Next-Gen Shot Changes

Wang acknowledges right away that players have struggled to master layup timing in NBA 2K21. In next-gen, layup timing will be disabled on the shot button by default. However, players who want to master layup timing with the sticks will be greeted with a revamped timing system, and an advantage if they can master it. Layups in next-gen will just look better, with less default finishing animations pulling players around the rim unnaturally.

Next-gen hardware allows for things like better 3-point line recognition. Less pull up jumpers with your feet on the line means players will feel less robbed on 3-point shots. Pull-up jumpers are separated into two categories: controlled and high momentum. High momentum pull-ups, performed by holding sprint, will create more separation from the defense but are harder to sink. Key shooters will receive new jump shot packages in next-gen as well.

More Realistic Dribbling and Passing

The Courtside Report details some changes coming to dribbling and passing in next-gen. All Pro Stick dribbling options will be in next-gen, but to an even greater degree. Triple threat will receive some “serious upgrades for next-gen.” You’ll be able to control the speed of your size-up moves based on flick speed. Wang promises new signature dribble moves, and changes to stepback signature moves.

Next-gen NBA 2K21 will feature brand new ball physics. This means that bounce passes will look and feel more accurate. There will be slight changes to the Lead Pass mechanic. Tapping the Lead Pass button will lead a teammate to the hoop or around the 3-point line, for a quick passing opportunity. Additionally, new physics will improve off the glass alley-oops.

Still hungry for next-gen news? Check out our NBA 2K21 next-gen trailer breakdown below. If you want to know how we’ve been feeling about current-gen NBA 2K21, you can check out our review here.


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