NBA 2K23 is making major changes to the gameplay formula, with new tweaks to offensive and defensive gameplay designed to make the basketball court a fairer and more fluid playground. According to 2K Games, the primary focus of the changes is on ‘authenticity’ although many of the upgrades are also to do with the nuking overpowered abilities that plagued NBA 2K22. If you’re looking to win a game, you can no longer stack Badges or exploit Takeovers – instead, you’ll need to actually play ball.
Here’s a rundown of the major changes coming to the next iteration of the NBA 2K series.
NBA 2K23: Offensive gameplay changes
- New Pro Stick Gestures: In NBA 2K23, players will be able to use ‘double throw’ and ‘switchback’ mechanics, which require flicking the Pro Stick, to better guide shooting and handling.
- Upgraded skill dunks: Skill dunks return in this game, but there’ll now be new commands that let you choose exactly how you want to dunk with directional buttons guiding these choices. Up creates a two-handed dunk, up-up is a flashy two-hand, down-up is a flashy one-hand, and so on. Rim hangs are also now controlled using new gestures.
- New layups available: Holding left and right will let players perform new quick scoop layups, which are described as perfect for small guards. There are also new contact layups for larger players which will allow you to plow people in your path – a number of players are getting their own unique layups including Devin Booker, Magic Johnson and Diana Taurasi.
- New dribbling combos available: Switchback gestures in NBA 2K23 will now perform a dedicated combo, with 28 options available via the Moving Crossover signature package. You’ll be able to chain your dribbles, perform rapid throws, and use new ‘attacking size-ups’ to perform greater side-to-side movement.
- Adrenaline boosts: The game’s new ‘adrenaline boost’ feature will prevent over-dribbling, with each player having access to three boosts that aid explosive sprints.
- Authentic shooting: In NBA 2K23, ‘shooting attributes’ and fresh animations will control each unique jump shot. New shot metres will also allow you to control your perfect shot, with 15 to be unlocked through Seasons gameplay.
NBA 2K23: Defensive gameplay changes
- Refreshed on-ball defence: Upgrades to the on-ball defence system will overhaul how players are able to guard, and allow for better body-based movements. There’s also a new defensive shading mechanic that helps to cut off attackers.
- Shot blocking refined: Shot blocking has been tweaked in NBA 2K23, allowing players to block more ‘realistically’ with no more small guards able to pull off ridiculous moves.
- Ball strips improvement: NBA 2K23 will make you a better stealer with quick hands able to nab balls in play, and new sideline awareness for all players.
NBA 2K23: Changes to Takeovers and badges
The major changes that will impact NBA 2K23 players are fairness upgrades to the game’s badges, and the Takeover system. You won’t be able to stack attributes to create the perfect player, and Takeovers will be far more reasonable for everyone on the court.
Here’s what you can expect:
- New Badge System: Players will no longer be able to stack particular Badges to become overpowered. Now, there’s a three-tiered badge system with increasing costs for each level. You’ll need to stack lower-tiered badges before you can stack those higher-tiered options.
- Select badges removed: Players will no longer be able to equip Chef, Hot Zone Hunter, Lucky #7, Mismatch Expert (moved to playmaking), Set Shooter, Sniper, Limitless Spot-Up, Hook Specialist, Bullet Passer, Downhill, Glue Hands, Stop & Go, and Defensive Leader badges.
- Team Takeover redesign: Takeovers in MyPLAYER will now be spread across an entire team, with the system being described as a ‘co-operative team’ mechanic. Each player has an equal portion they need to fill and once the metre is filled, you’ll be able to fire it off for the entire team.
In addition to these changes, NBA 2K23 has made overall improvements to the game’s AI system, making every player more effective and intelligent. The impact of these changes won’t be seen until the game finally launches, but it looks like there’ll be some important tweaks in this game, following feedback on NBA 2K22.
NBA 2K22 releases for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC and Nintendo Switch on 9 September 2022.