The next generation of groundbreaking realism and authenticity arrives in NBA 2K24 on PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles via ProPLAY™* technology.
Check out the latest from NBA 2K’s Gameplay Director, Mike Wang to get a glimpse of what’s to come….
Each year, NBA 2K takes a step forward in delivering first-class results using motion capture, but ProPLAY propels the franchise even further with cutting-edge technology to directly translate movements from real NBA games into NBA 2K24 gameplay, marking a historic achievement in sports gaming.
We’ve directed athletes for 20 years on how to recreate their signature moves with mocap, but now we can provide the truest forms of contested step backs, acrobatic layups, and more by translating actual NBA footage.
This year, you'll see and feel the difference in shots, free throws, off-ball offense and defense—it’s present throughout the game for New Gen consoles.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
If you’ve ever imagined and practiced hitting a contested shot over the hands of an invisible defender on the blacktop, in your driveway, or in the gym, you know it’s simply not the same as experiencing it in a real game—and that’s essentially the difference between mo-cap and ProPLAY.
Mo-cap has excelled at getting NBA 2K to this point, bringing players closer to NBA action than ever before, and will continue to serve an important role, but ProPLAY swaps the unnatural technology for peak performance in a natural, and intense, environment.
The shots, motion—anytime the player is moving off-ball around the court—dribbling, rebounds, blocks, passes, and free throws feel different in NBA 2K24 New Gen because they’ve been captured in real-time scenarios. Previous iterations of NBA 2K have featured a variety of dribble packages and unique jumpshots, but capturing a contorting, athletic layup under the basket or an ankle-breaking step back to create separation from a lockdown defender in a pivotal moment of a game hasn’t been possible to this degree.
ProPLAY technology generates authentic movements that can only be made by some of your favorite players. For example, students of the game and avid NBA fans will recognize Kevin Durant’s unique jumpshot and free throw form, Steph Curry’s explosive dribble moves and array of off-dribble jumpers, Nikola Jokić’s methodical moves and feathery touch around the rim, and the list goes on and on. ProPLAY makes the game look and feel more believable, and reduces the amount of breaks in authenticity.
Every aspect of the game receives an added layer of realism that’s visible in every movement and interaction. Here are some of the new animations for New Gen powered by ProPLAY:
- Dribble Moves
- Pass Animations
- Signature Movement (Offense & Defense)
While the primary actions certainly benefit from the ultra-realistic tech, they aren’t the only areas you’ll notice. Casual inbound passes and otherwise unremarkable motions, that aren’t a priority during mo-cap, have now been scanned to cover even the most minute details. The totality of the movements results in an entirely new level of legitimacy; ProPLAY has allowed us to transition from manufacturing actions to fully immersing you in the entire NBA experience from the jump ball to the final whistle.
ProPLAY delivers an immersive and authentic game on New Gen, while the gameplay enhancements we’ve made across all consoles in NBA 2K24 provide an elevated experience for everyone.
When it comes to offense, shooting and dribbling are more accessible and intuitive than ever before, enabling players of all skill levels to flourish on the court, whether you’re a new player, a returning player, or an experienced veteran.
Players who play on Hall of Fame difficulty or in the REC or City, will be playing with Green or Miss shot timing for the ultimate challenge. But team-control based modes like Quick Play, MyNBA, or MyTEAM will see more forgiving shot timing, so you won’t have to memorize every single player’s release to the exact frame to be successful.
The Shot Timing Release Time setting from NBA 2K23 has been converted to a new setting called Shot Timing Visual Cue. Now instead of time-based, you can set your desired release point based on certain animation cues, like the jump or set point or shot release. This makes it much easier to play with players and teams you’re not as familiar with.
Layup timing is now on by default and has also been redesigned to be much more forgiving for easy finishes at the rim, while also rewarding players who master it, with the ability to finish tough circus layups in traffic. You’ll also find that advanced layups like floaters, reverses, euros, hop steps, and scoops are much more effective this year and great tools to have as a slasher.
For dunkers on New Gen consoles, you can now force controllable rim hangs from any two-hand dunk by simply keeping the Sprint trigger held when the dunker grabs the rim. Down on the Pro Stick will give you flashy dunks to get the crowd hyped, and Up/Down or Down/Up double throws will let you attempt contact dunks in traffic with the dunk meter. Meter dunks are Green or Miss on higher difficulty levels now so you have to be precise to finish off the play.
Bigs are going to have a lot of fun dominating in the paint in NBA 2K24. You can now branch out of any offensive rebound to a putback attempt by simply pressing the Shoot button after the catch. Post fades and hop shots are also really effective shots for post players. Strength and weight can definitely be felt in the paint as high rated glass cleaners easily grab boards over smaller players and finish those easy second-chance points.
Shooting has been customized and improved for all the various modes, difficulties and player skill levels, but in order to get high percentage shots, you need to know how to create separation with your dribbling.
One of my favorite elements in NBA 2K24 are the dribble breakdowns. Each player has two versions: Regular breakdowns are done by flicking up on the right analog stick and Aggressive breakdowns are done by flicking up on the right analog stick with Sprint held. This will initiate a sequence of signature size-up moves that you can use to create separation with on their own or branch out of at any time for an explosive drive or other dribble move.
This year’s dribble system features more dribble combos, including signature double crosses and hesitation crosses from a standstill or while moving. With ProPLAY on New Gen, your favorite ball handlers feel more explosive than ever and have unique signature combos and escapes that will put defenders on skates if used properly.
Another major addition to the dribbling arsenal is the blowout dribble. Tapping the Sprint trigger while moving will give you a quick burst of speed where the ball handler pushes the ball ahead to get out quickly in transition. In the front court, the same mechanic can be used for a quick change of pace to quickly blow by unsuspecting defenders.
Adrenaline boosts are back but have been redesigned to make both offense and defense more engaging at the same time. On offense, boosts are no longer lost when pulling off dribble combos or moving short distances, giving elite ball handlers much more freedom to create off the bounce. But boosts will disappear every time the on-ball defender can bump the ball handler on a drive attempt. The cost of losing adrenaline is different this year as well. Instead of dramatically slowing the ball handler’s movement, losing adrenaline will now heavily impact shooting attributes. So if a good defender can clamp the ball handler down and bump them two or three times in a single possession, they’ll have a really tough time scoring if they can manage to get free.
Creating your own shot off the dribble isn’t the only way to get good shots in the game of basketball. Knowing how to operate away from the ball is just as important. NBA 2K24 features in-depth off-ball offense controls to perform right analog stick jukes and other quick explosive moves to free yourself up for a shot or cut to the basket. Just like the ball handler, off-ball offense also supports speed bursts by tapping the Sprint trigger. These will give players a huge burst of speed to find open spots on the floor for spot up shots or easy rim runs for dunks and layups.
Along with the changes to adrenaline, counter moves are BIG in NBA 2K24. Perimeter and paint defense are both more effective and reward players for anticipating and making good reads.
Defensive movement has improved on many fronts, with better responsiveness and less sliding. This helps defenders get where they need to be, and with the much improved body up system, ball handlers will have a tough time getting free against great defenders. The improved contact can also be felt in the paint. Big defensive anchors will have a much easier time putting a body on shooters at the rim and forcing tough shots.
Directional steals are also back, giving locks more tools to pester ball handlers. You need to reach with the correct hand closest to the ball, and avoid reaching across the body, to maximize success and avoid foul calls. You can also use directional steals to play the passing lanes, by flicking the right stick in the correct direction to get your hand in the way and deflect the pass.
NBA 2K24 features revamped contest logic that puts a greater weight on body positioning compared to previous years. The new system addresses the “ghost contest” issues in past games and makes the coverage scores line up much closer to what gamers will expect. Blocking requires more skill this year also. It’s important to read the offense and wait for the correct time and opportunity to attempt blocks. If you’re behind the shooter, jumping too early, biting on fakes, or out of position attempting a late close-out, you’ll quickly find yourself racking up fouls or giving shooters and-one opportunities. Understanding when to act on your defensive instincts could pay dividends for your team in a pivotal moment of the game.
Takeover returns to NBA 2K24 on New Gen consoles, but with a different spin.
In the past, you selected Takeover abilities as part of the build creating process. When you got hot in-game, your Takeover abilities would then activate and improve your player’s abilities in the category you chose. This year, you don’t assign a Takeover during the build phase and instead have the ability to choose whatever you want on the fly.
When you fill up the Takeover meter, you can pull up a menu that lets you choose between Finishing, Shooting, Playmaking, Defense/Rebounding, or Physicals. Activating one of those categories will boost all your ratings in that specific category. So now you have the flexibility to evaluate what’s happening on the court to see what your team needs before deciding how you want to take over. If you delay your Takeover activation and fill up the second meter, you can activate Double Takeover which allows you to select two different categories of ratings to boost. Finally, when you unlock Mamba Mentality, activating Double Takeover will boost all of your attribute categories making you a true beast on both ends of the floor.
COACH WITH EASE
You want the ball in your hands as the clock ticks down, but you need a play to get open. With the return of 2K Smart Play, it’s easy to make simplified play calls while running the offense. After any made or missed shots, New Gen players will notice an overlay that appears and tells you the type of play that will be called. To opt into the play, simply tap L1 or the Left Bumper before crossing halfcourt; that action will then automatically be called for the player with the most relevant play type.
To call your favorite plays, press the directional pad to the left and choose from up to 16 of your preferred actions, where you can call anything from full plays to isolations and give-and-gos. Everything about the offense, defense, and coaching has been streamlined to make NBA 2K24 more enjoyable for all.
Now for those who want to dig deeper into the Xs and Os of NBA 2K24. This year we added a new freelance called Comp. This freelance is for competitive players who prefer to control all the movement of their AI teammates. There are no pass or cut actions in comp freelance. The AI players space the floor in a five out set. All actions are triggered by the user using the 16 favorite plays and actions available on the directional pad left.
To assist players with the comp freelance we introduced five new double action plays. These are mini-plays with two actions combined to create endless quick combos for users to create scoring opportunities. We have Give Flare actions with a hand-off leading to a flare screen. Give fist with a hand-off leading to a ball screen. Fist flare with a ball-screen leading to a flare screen. First screen with a ball-screen leading to an off-ball screen. Screen fist with an off-ball screen leading to a ball-screen.
These plays are fast and effective and can be combined with any of your favorite plays for a myriad of creative options.
To further enhance the comp player's arsenal, we also included a teammate cut-to-basket setting with auto and manual options. Auto allows the AI to cut when they see an opportunity. With manual selected the AI will only cut when the user gives them a cut command. Note this only applies to the freelance and not the AI of specific plays.
This year we also introduce the motion freelance. This is a freelance that was built to create scoring options for players who may not be masters of the playbooks. The motion freelance automatically runs actions based on the best players on the floor. As a user you don’t have to call anything in motion to see your best players get into the best actions to score.
Unlike past freelances this one has no set form. It can morph from 3 out to 4 out to 5 out. It can also be dynamically updated through our roster updates, so we can continue to add new actions for new scorers all year long.
Lastly, NBA 2K24 features a brand new lineups and substitution engine. In the past, our AI would tend to sub all five players out of the game at the same time. This would create an environment that was ripe for scoring droughts from the AI offense. The new system was built around keeping scorers on the floor. The system has data that supports 1 scorer, 2 scorer and 3 scorer lineups. This means the minutes are distributed to keep a scorer on the floor and ensure the starters are in the game at the appropriate times.
The new system also supports 6th man lineups for teams who have a bench player who can carry the load. It also has the ability to replicate situations where teams have a closing lineup that is different from their starting lineup.
Having this system built on the ACE offensive game-plan engine means that the offensive focus can change dynamically with the lineups. This will present a new challenge for users who were able to use the time the AI had non-scoring lineups on the floor to regain or take the lead.
ProPLAY marks the dawn of a new era for NBA 2K on New Gen and we can’t wait for you to experience it for yourself on PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S starting September 8, along with the many Gameplay enhancements.
*ProPLAY™ technology is only available on New Gen consoles.