Ninjas, NBA 2K23 is just around the corner and has gameplay enhancements that increase the intensity of the competition in all areas. For us, the most important pillar of this year can be summed up in one word: Authenticity. The game-by-game team is working hard to create as much on-field parity as possible between Current and New Gen.
- ATTACKING GAME
Defense was the focus of last year's game, but NBA 2K23 is so packed with new features and upgrades on the offensive end that it's the perfect starting point. NBA 2K22 is the year of the perimeter player: small guards have many advantages over their taller counterparts, and outside shooting reigns supreme in online games. Thinking about how we could bring more authenticity to our game, we looked at how virtual games were playing out compared to the real-life NBA, and it was clear that we needed to give more love to slashers who love to finish at the rim. This meant expanding the tools for attacking the basket.
- UPGRADED PRO STICK
The most obvious upgrade is the addition of new gesture combos to the Pro Stick. Internally, we refer to the new mechanics as double throws (flicking the Pro Stick in a direction, letting it go back to center, and then quickly moving the Pro Stick back in the same direction) and switchbacks (flicking the Pro Stick in a direction, letting it center, and then quickly moving the Pro Stick in the opposite direction). These new moves introduce many new weapons for shooting and ball handling. RIM FLEX
For dunks, the timed dunk ability from NBA 2K22 (the ability to force difficult dunks in traffic with the shot meter) returns, but the new commands allow us to expand our dunking controls. a skill you never expected. When you drive to the basket with the Sprint trigger pressed, the new Pro Stick control chart for dunks is as follows:
UP = Two hands
RIGHT = strong hand
LEFT = Weak hand
LOW = suspension rim
UP-UP = Show both hands
DOWN-UP = Flashy one hand
UP-DOWN = Normal Skill Dunk with meter
DOWN-DOWN = Rim Hang Skill Dunk with Subway
In this new map, you'll notice that you have control over a hanging edge. With the new General, we've taken this control to a whole new level with physics-simulated rim suspension! This is an incredibly fun and surprisingly complex technology that has evolved over many years. This allows you to control when and how the rim hangs after the wet. Control is simple. Use one of the new rims mentioned above while driving to the finish, but hold the Sprint trigger when the player gets their hands on the rim. As long as you hold the trigger, you'll hang forever, and you can use the left stick to adjust the momentum of your body's swing, and the right stick to pull yourself over the edge. All of this is done through physical simulation, as opposed to canned animation - it looks and feels great. It's one of the funnest things to do in town (only in New Gen), but if you stick around for NBA games, watch out for the tech.
- FINESSE YOUR WAY TO THE RACK
For slashers who want to finish with a little more finesse, double throw gestures are used for hop-step layups while switchback gestures are used for euro-step and cradle layups, which feels very natural. A simple hold left or right will perform an all-new set of quick scoop layups. These are great, especially for small guards who want to quickly flip the ball up around defenders before they can react and block the shot.
For the bigger/stronger players, you’ll also experience a lot of new contact layup content that properly shows what should happen when players like Giannis Antetokounmpo plow through everyone in their path.
In addition, we’ve added several new layup packages for both New Gen and Current Gen, including Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson, Nikola Jokic, Zach LaVine, Ja Morant, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and more!
For post players, double throws can be used for post drop steps and hop shots. Reverse moves give you swashbuckling shots and hooks. There are also plenty of new signature post photos and hooks to choose from this year.
- COMBINE SKILL FOCUS MOVES
Dribbling in NBA 2K has taken on a life of its own, becoming a game within a game. Ball handlers will enjoy the "combo-up" in NBA 2K23, as new combo moves give you more options for your arsenal. Switch Gestures now create dedicated signature double cross and hesi (hesitation) combo moves that you can assign as part of the Moving Crossover signature pack – which has grown from 15 options to 28. Learning your stick speed and timing your signature animations is extremely important.
By rhythmically shaking the Pro Stick back and forth, you can create a normal, typical size for your necklace. The mentioned new combinations will give you an easy double roll. And moving the Pro Stick repeatedly gives you a set of animations called Signature Combos that are incredible.
Another big change in dribbling is the introduction of "attack size". One of the things we want to improve about dribbling in NBA 2K is that while big moves look great, they aren't very useful. The new attacking partners allow for more lateral movement and are better at forcing defenses to drop and switch, so you can bait them one way and then attack another - something all good ball handlers can do. in real life.
While it's fun to drive your opponents crazy with lots of dribbling, we don't want to encourage players to dribble for hours while their teammates sleep. Energy drains faster when spamming multiple moves at once, so it's important to be efficient and not "play with food" for too long. There is a long list of sizes on paper, but they are all simple and feel natural in practice. Jump into 2KU Freestyle Practice playing with different stick throw timings and you'll get the hang of it in minutes.
- ADRENALINE BOOSTS
Another new feature to prevent over-dribbling is the concept of Adrenaline Boosts. There are three available boosts per player, per possession, shown as three small bars under the stamina meter.
Boosts are consumed every time you perform a hard go or explosive sprint launch. Once your three boosts are gone, you'll notice your speed and acceleration drop significantly for the rest of your hold. As with dribbling combos, it's important to play smart basketball and be efficient with your movement rather than aimlessly zigzagging back and forth trying to get around the defense.
- More AUTHENTIC shooting
Shooting has also received some nice improvements for NBA 2K23. In NBA 2K22, outside success is heavily weighted in coverage. If you can open the view, you can balance the poor evaluation and imprecise timing. This year, we wanted a more authentic shooting model that captures the essence of a great NBA shooter’s capabilities.
The first major change is the addition of shooting attributes. Since the inception of signature jump shots in 2K basketball, animations have been more or less aesthetic but functionally the same. This year, each signature jump shot has unique shooting stats that help determine its effectiveness.
Shot Speed - How quickly the shot gets to its ideal release point
Release Height - How high the shot is released
Defensive Immunity - How effective the shot is against defensive contests
Timing Impact - Adjusts shot windows to reward good timing at the cost of an increased penalty for bad timing
They’re also adding a huge number of shot animations to choose from, over double the amount of any previous version of 2K, and they're much more accurate to each player’s real-life jumper. For MyPLAYERs, shot animations will be gated by shooting ratings, so you’ll have to play around with all the options to figure out what works best for your skill set and playing style. We’re looking forward to seeing a lot more variety in the community’s sig shot selection with this next evolution of shots.
- SHOT METERS AND FEEDBACK
There are also five new shot meters to choose from, with 15 more to be unlocked throughout the seasons over the next year! Some are big, some small, some overhead, some on the side, and some below the shooter. Each meter fills completely at the end, which is your ideal release point, then empty in the last part ala 2K17-2K20. The new shot meter options are a common request from the community, so we're sure everyone will find an option they like and then some. This year you'll also notice a subtle change in how shot feedback works. We use archery bows to tell if you are early (longbow), late (flatbow) or on time (ideal bow), so you can quickly tell when your shot is over by paying attention. When shot feedback is enabled, we'll also delay the timing/coverage overlay and green release animation from coming in until the ball hits the basket. It's a small change, but it really adds a bit of drama that the green light sometimes lacks, and also encourages everyone to play through possessions instead of giving up and going back to the early shift.
This year, on both ends of the court, you’ll see improved gameplay that should translate to more wins, and more seamless actions. We can't wait for the community to experience this year’s gameplay, explore the all-new features, and discover a lot of the hidden things they’ve snuck into the game.