2K hosted a developer session with gameplay executive producer Mike Wang on Tuesday, August 2.
During the hour-long session, me and a group of journalists learned about most of the new gameplay features coming to NBA 2K23. Many of the other features were provided to us in a preview of the first Courtside report, which you can read here.
Several potentially significant changes are coming to the game this year. Here are the 10 that stood out the most from the presentation.
Double Pro-Stick Moves
NBA 2K23 introduces new gameplay quests called double throws and switchbacks. Double throws are two quick sequential moves of the right stick (associated with several high-level attacks and actions), and a kickback is a move in one direction, followed by a quick move in the opposite direction. A different set of attacks and actions will be associated with that mechanic.
The new rim-hang command is a double throw, with a down-down command on the rim-hang. For New-Gen, the rim-hangs are physics-based and gamers can control how they hang on the rim. In Play Now, MyNBA, MyGM and career races in MyCareer you can get a technical foul for excessive rim hanging, but not in the PARK or in Pro-Am.
New Layout Pack
This year’s game introduces new multi-player layout packs: Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson, Nikola Jokic, Zach LaVine, Ja Morant, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and more.
James and Antetokounmpo will have power layup moves to simulate their physical drive and finishes.
In an effort to nerf users who abuse dribbling moves and the turbo button for less-than-realistic results, 2K23 introduces the concept of adrenaline boosts.
According to the Courtside Report: “There are three available boosts per player, per possession, shown as three small bars below the stamina meter. Boosts are consumed every time you do a hard start or explosive sprint launch. Once your three boosts are gone, you’ll notice your speed and acceleration drop significantly for the rest of the possession. As with dribbling combos, it’s important to play smart basketball and be efficient with your moves rather than zigzagging back and forth aimlessly to get around the defense.”
This change could be a game-changer in any mode throughout the title.
Signature Jump Shot Ratings
In NBA 2K23, each signature jump shot is rated in four categories:
● Shot Speed- How quickly the shot reaches its ideal release point
● Release Height – How high the shot is released
● Defensive Immunity – How effective the shot is against defensive matches
● Impact Timing – Adjusts shot windows to reward good timing at the cost of a higher penalty for bad timing
Users will have to play and research the jump shots they choose for their MyPlayers and in MYNBA and MyTeam these ratings will have an impact on player effectiveness.
Shot Meters And Feedback
The game features a total of 15 different shot meters, including some from previous versions of NBA 2K. Some of them need to be unlocked in Seasons. Also, the shot feedback comes a little later than in NBA 2K22.
This change was made to avoid killing the drama that exists in real life when a shot is fired and players jockey for the rebound position.
Shot match percentages revised
The mechanic that determines how covered a shooter is has been reworked. According to the presentation, it is much more accurate than in the past.
This year, defenders on the perimeter and in the post have the option to shade their command straight up, left or right. There is a gauge indicating which defensive approach is being taken.
If the ball handler tries to dribble through the defender’s body, they will stop, trip, fumble the ball, or perhaps make an offensive foul.
Comics and Blocks
Blocks have been refined to be more realistic in NBA 2K23. The development team has also implemented a few more comics and poke-away animations that smaller guards can use to keep their opponent down.
New-Gen’s new badge system explained
New-Gen introduces a new layered badge system. According to the Courtside Report, it works like this:
“This year we are switching to a layered badge system. There are 16 badges per characteristic category: eight in Tier 1, four in Tier 2 and four in Tier 3. Tier 1 badges are the least powerful for your player, but also the least number of bathing points. The cost increases as you level up and acquire the more impactful badges. The basic idea is that you need to equip a certain number of badges in the lower levels before you can equip badges in the highest ones. The motive behind this change was to encourage players to make tough choices when creating their badge recipes, make gear more valuable as a feature, and bring a better overall balance to the badge game in general. In addition to the levels, we are also introducing ‘Core’ badges, which are four unique badge slots (one in each attribute category) that can be filled with badges that don’t count towards your badge points. Each badge will have a challenge requirement which, once met, will allow the badge to be placed in a core badge slot.
These are the new badges and the ones that will be removed:
○ Slithery – Makes it easier to collect through traffic, avoid collisions and comics
○ Masher – Increases ability to finish inside layups over defenders
○ Aerial Wizard – Ability to successfully complete alley oops and putbacks
○ Bully – Like Giannis and LeBron, able to finish strong by bulldozing through traffic
○ Removed: Crochet Specialist
○ Agent 3 – Ability to hit difficult 3PT shots from the dribble
○ Middy Magician – Improved ability to knock down mid-range jumpers off the bounce or out of the post like MJ
○ Amped – Reduces shooting attribute penalties for fatigue and excessive movement prior to shooting
○ Claymore – Increases a spot-up shooter’s ability to take down catch and shoot jumpers the longer they stand still before firing
○ Comeback Kid – Improved ability to shoot perimeter jumpers when chasing in a game
○ Hand Down Man Down – Makes an outside shooter even more deadly if the opponent fails to get a hand in the face
○ Space Creator – Previously a game creation badge, it now increases the ability to hit step-back jumpers and hopshots, as well as making defenders more likely to stumble
○ Unlimited Range – An old favorite returns, making shooters more effective on every shot from a deep 3PT range
○ Removed: Chef, Hot Zone Hunter, Lucky #7, Mismatch Expert (moved to playmaking), Set Shooter, Sniper and Limitless Spot-Up
○ Killer Combos – Improves a dribbler’s effectiveness with bigger dribbling moves (basically a combination of last year’s Quick Chain and Tight Handles badges)
○ Clamp Breaker – Helps ball handlers win more 1-on-1 body bump confrontations (Clamps counterpart)
○ Vice Grip – Improves ball security immediately after securing a rebound, catch or pick up. Big badge for big ones!
○ Mismatch Expert – This badge used to be a shooting badge, but now helps smaller guards break down bigger defenders when they don’t match 1-on-1
Bullet Passer, Downhill, Glue Hands, Stop & Go
○ Anchor – A crucial badge for the last line of defense, improves ability to block and contest shots in the paint
○ Boxout Beast – Helps rebounders win boxing fights in both offensive and defensive rebound situations
○ Workhorse – The Pat Bev badge that increases your ability to take down 50/50 balls and play hard defense without getting tired
○ Glove – Named after legendary defender Gary Payton, helps you strip players as they gather for shots and poke the ball free from ball handlers
○ Challenger – Improves the effectiveness of perimeter shot matches
○ Removed: Defensive Leader
New team takeover design
The way Team Takeover is acquired has changed for NBA 2K23. According to the Courtside report:
“For NBA 2K23, Team Takeover operates as a cooperative team system where the entire team shares a single yard. Every player on the team has an equal share that they must fill by performing well on the field and being good teammates. Once each player has filled their share of the meter, Team Takeover is automatically activated for the entire team. The new design makes much more sense and better reflects what it means to be hot as a team and take over the game as a unit.”
When playing the CPU, the AI is designed to use a wider variety of dribbling moves and ways to attack a defense. The AI playcalling is tuned to run the plays that have been the most successful, while leaving those that have been shut down.
On defense, especially in transition defense, the CPU can now identify the ball handler and the ball has stopped at the break, allowing the anchor to achieve its primary defense command.
Also, the “No Threes” setting is said to work as intended.
NBA 2K23 release date and platform availability
Gamers and fans get their hands on September 9 on PS4, PS5, Google Stadia, Xbox Family of Consoles, PC and Nintendo Switch