Improving the Passing

Talk about NBA Live 19 here. Topics about NBA Live 20 and NBA Live 21 are also in this section.

Improving the Passing

Postby Andrew on Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:33 pm

Passing is right up there with shooting as far as core mechanics that I'd like to see get better in NBA Live 20. As with the topic about shooting mechanics, I have a few ideas of what they should be focusing on.

Speed of Animations & Input

The speed of passing animations is very consistent. Some are unrealistically fast, rocketing from one player to another as if fired out of a cannon. Bounce passes in particular feel like the basketball is a superball. Others are still kind of floaty, or just not fast enough. It makes it difficult to throw quick, crisp passes to players in the right position, and beat the defense with good ball movement.

Fixing the overall velocity of the ball in flight, as well as the speed at which players respond to the pass button being pressed and the passing animations starting to trigger, will go a long way in improving the passing game in NBA Live.


This affects both the passer and the recipient, though more so the recipient. It's difficult to make passes that don't move players out of position, as the passer will go into a heavy and exaggerated passing animation, the pass will cause the recipient to move unnecessarily, or a mixture of both. Obviously there will be times when a player has to move from their current position in order to try to catch a pass, but too often the play breaks down because weird and errant passes move the players around too much.

These mechanics are obviously all related and intertwined, and I feel like the issues with momentum are the result of the speed problems mentioned above, and a couple of other issues I'll get to momentarily. Basically, we need to be able to throw crisp passes between players whose feet are set, without going into out of control passes that force players into difficult catches.

Animation Selection

Kind of an issue with shooting as well, but a bigger problem when it comes to passing. Too often, the wrong type of pass is selected, or there isn't a contextually appropriate pass available given the circumstances. It leads to the heavy momentum passes mentioned above, moves players out of position when there's an unnecessary lob or skip pass, and generally affects the passing game for the worse.

More passing animations, including more subtle animations and ones intended for short passes, would help here. The default pass button needs to choose more contextually appropriate animations, as do the other advanced passing controls.


There are too many blind and easy interceptions. Part of it comes down to the defense having overpowered reactions and awareness, but everything I've mentioned above is a contributing factor. Turnovers don't happen because of bad decision making as much as the game manufacturing them through the issues with animations and momentum, which is frustrating. I think cutting down on the aforementioned issues will reduce the cheap turnovers, but realistic reactions and awareness by defenders are something that also need to be tuned.

Overall, passing needs to look and feel a lot better, with less unrealistic movement and momentum. I believe that focusing on these areas will go a ways in achieving that.
This topic was moved from NBA Live 19 by Andrew on Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:39 pm.
NLSC Webmaster/Administrator
Contact: Email | Twitter
Release Topics: NBA Live 08 | NBA Live 07 | NBA Live 06 | NBA Live 2005 | NBA Live 2004
Story Topics: NBA 2K19 | NBA 2K13 | NBA Live 06 (Part 2) | NBA Live 06 (HOF) | NBA Live 2004 (HOF)
NLSC: Podcast | The Friday Five | Monday Tip-Off | Wayback Wednesday | 25th Anniversary of NBA Live | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Support The NLSC Hosting Fund: Patreon | GoFundMe

Like my work? Want to help out with the NLSC Hosting Fund? Please consider leaving a tip!
User avatar
Year 20
Posts: 111444
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 8:51 pm
Location: Australia

Return to NBA Live 19

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests