Latest Courtside Report for NBA 2K21 Concludes Next Gen Details

2K has released its final Courtside Report coinciding with the next gen release of NBA 2K21. The game is due to launch alongside the consoles in November. Mike Wang discusses the changes to the popular game modes in the series along with the AI changes. For starters, the MyPLAYER Builder will be all about customizing your character as the team has considered a ton of feedback over the past few years. For one, there will be no more pie charts. There will be much more control over the the exact type of player you are creating. This starts by granting control over setting each individual rating to the cap you prefer. Restrictions exist based on your vitals and you won’t be able to max everything out.

Badges were given a ton of thought for the re-design for next gen. There are some new ones and some revived ones. The goal will still be to perform well in various categories and apply those points to the ones you choose. Quite a few were retired, as well. You can view the new and returning badges below along with the retired ones.

Fearless Finisher Boosts contact layups and decreases fatigue
Heat Seeker Boosts takeover progress on inside shots
Highlight Film Boosts teammate takeover progress on flashy dunks
Hook Specialist Boosts hook shot ability
Revived Posterizer Contact dunks!
Rise Up Boosts ability to do standing dunks in traffic
Anti-Freeze Harder to get cold and lose takeover meter progress
Blinders Less affected by peripheral defenders when shooting jumpers
Circus Threes Improved ability to hit pull-up and stepback 3’s
Fade Ace Boosts all post fadeaways
Hot Shot Increases takeover meter faster when knocking down jumpers
Deep Threes Dame and Curry range 3 balls
Rhythm Shooter – Boosts shot %’s out of size-ups as well as 1-step pull-ups
Set Shooter Shooting ability gets better the longer you set and wait before pulling
Sniper Boosts the ability to hit shots when using Pro Stick aiming
Stop & Pop Three – for the JJ Redicks who want to pull-up for threes in transition
Bullet Passer Gives you the ability to throw laser dots like LeBron
Relay Passer Boosts the shooter on pass to assist situations
Special Delivery Boosts takeover progress for the passer and receiver off a flashy pass assist
Ankle Braces Makes it tougher for ball handlers to break your ankles
Clutch Defender Boosts your defensive ratings in clutch moments
Hot Stopper Boosts takeover meter for good defensive plays like steals, blocks, and good
contests
And here are the retired badges that were either redundant or didn’t fit in the new design, or the community just didn’t like them: Consistent Finisher, Contact Finisher, Cross-Key Scorer, Fancy Footwork, Fastbreak Finisher, Deep Hooks, Pick & Roller, Relentless Finisher, Showtime, Deep Fades, Flexible Release, Hot Start, Pick & Popper, Pump Fake Maestro, Range Extender, Quick Draw, Steady Shooter, Pass Fake Maestro, Flashy Passer, Lob City Passer, Lightning Reflexes, Moving Truck.
Takeover is the ability to get hot and take over games. Rather than having eight general archetype-based takeovers, these have been expanded to 24 specific abilities. This is now a multi-tier system. Once you setup the ratings caps and vitals for MyPLAYER, you’ll be presented with a new subset list on the type of build you made. One ability will be selected for your primary and another for your secondary. If you’d like, you can put the same ability in both slots if you prefer to double up.
During gameplay, the primary slot will fill first. Players can activate that slot once full, or wait for the secondary to fill and keep both active for a longer period of time. There is now a team takeover meter if players choose to wait beyond the filling of the secondary meter. This will grant user-control over your teammates in MyCAREER games. Lastly, to honor the late Kobe Bryant, upon earning all your badge points, you will receive the Mamba Mentality badge which allows you to change your takeovers whenever you choose. The updated list is below.
Advanced Gathers – Unlocks more effective spin, euro, hop step, cradle gathers
Finishing Moves Able to absorb contact and finish at the rim
Easy Blowbys Enhances ability for slashers to beat defenders off the dribble
Pull-Up Precision Boosts well timed/aimed shots off the dribble
Anklebreaking Shots More anklebreakers off of spin and stepback jumpers
Negative Impact – Reduces defensive impact against pull-ups and other skill shots
Limitless Range Extends your shooting range out to the logos
Spot-Up Precision Boosts well timed/aimed stationary jump shots
Team Ratings Boost Playmakers boost their teammates’ offensive ratings
Team Takeover Boost Boost your teammates’ takeover meter progress
Team Badge Boost Boosts your teammates’ badges up a tier
Extreme Clamps More stone wall and lost dribble body-up resolutions for locks
Perimeter Badge Drop Knocks shooting badges down a tier when you get close
Enhanced Jump Shot Contests Boosts your ability to contest jumpers
Stuff Blocks Unlocks more swat, backboard pins, and grab blocks
Paint Intimidation Boosts your ability to affect shots around the rim
Interior Badge Drop Drops opposition’s scoring badges down a tier in the paint
Boxout Wall Improves ability to seal off opponents for easy boards
See the Future Shows where missed shots are going to end up
Glass Clearing Dimes After rebounds, kick out passes boost your teammate’s shooting
Power Backdowns Easier to push defenders around when posting up
Post Playmaking Boost your teammates’ offensive abilities when passing out of post
Advanced Post Moves Easier to beat defenders with post moves
Post Shot Daggers Increased scoring ability with hooks, fades, shimmy shots, etc.
A lot has also gone into overhauling the AI. Thanks to the improvements in technology, Visual Concepts was able to make a plethora of adjustments. Some are immediately noticeable and others are more nuanced for the hardcore X’s and O’s hoop heads. A breakdown of the AI controls on both side of the ball are listed below.
Defense
New switching logic update: Both on-ball and off-ball screen logic has been rewritten and the
auto-switching logic was refined to reduce bad switching instances. So expect to see fewer cases
of the AI calling for a switch without a screen and leaving a player open.
Adaptive Coaching Engine (ACE) now has the ability to recognize and adapt to different types of
off-ball actions including: Flare screens, Down screens, Back screens, and Handoffs.
Improved logic for CPU defenders to get in position to take charges.
Several improvements to transition defense.
Overhauled the Hedge defensive system for better screen positioning and angle targeting.
The player can now call for help defense by holding L1/LB instead of just calling for a double
team. This is a great mechanic that you can use when guarding the ball; instead of hoping the AI
selects the right time to send help, it’s now under your control with a simple press and hold of the
button.
Improved logic for defenders in avoiding each other when moving around obstacles. This works
handin-hand with the off-ball movement changes I detailed in last week’s blog.
Offense
Next-Gen Game Planning: This is a great new feature that allows players and AI to have more
specific game plans for their teams. In the past, you could choose to run pick & rolls with LeBron,
but the new system allows the AI to target a team’s best players. So for the Lakers, not only will
they run pick & rolls, but you can have them run exclusively with LeBron and Anthony Davis.
There’s a new game plan option in the pause menu. Here, players can select between 8 pre-
selected game plans that they can access in game through the On-The-Fly-Coaching panel
(OTFC). Each game plan has default options already set up for them, so the player can pick a
single option and have all the important details for that game plan ready to go. Here are two
examples of game plans you can choose:
Play Through Star: This game plan will have ACE automatically select the best scorer on
the team and only run scoring actions for them, both via plays and freelance actions. It
also sets the tempo and rebounding choices automatically to accommodate your star’s
playing style.
Pound the Ball Inside: ACE auto selects the best post scorer on the team and will
exclusively run post scoring actions and plays for them.
●Double team counter intelligence: You’llsee the AI using less movement and create more
spacing for shooters spotting up behind the three point line to punish excessive double teaming.
● End of game logic: Improved the AI’s ability to time plays with the shot clock for buzzer beater
situations.
Starters and Bench Favorite Plays: This year we expanded the favorite plays to allow players to
set up one group of plays for their starting unit and another group of plays for the bench units.
Moved player-specific plays and player-specific ball screens back to the L1/LB button. This was
something many people were requesting so they could get quick access to icon pick control
again. Favorite plays are now mapped to the DPAD.
Play and freelance flow: As we have done every year, the play and freelance offensive flow has
been greatly improved moving to next-gen. There are several actions that we just had a hard time
getting to run smoothly in past 2K games, but thanks to the logic upgrades and vastly improved
motion engine, everything flows extremely well in NBA 2K21 for next-gen.
Fixed AI players accidentally positioning themselves out of bounds.
New pick & roll spacing: New spacing code gives some of our pick & roll and isolation sets that
extra adjustment on dribble penetration. It’s much more solid now but expect continued
expansion on this module as the year goes along with our in-season play and AI updates.