NBA 2K21

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NBA 2K21
Cover nba2k21.png
NBA 2K21 Current Gen cover art.
Developer(s) Visual Concepts
Publisher(s) 2K Sports
Series NBA 2K
Platform(s) PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
Release date(s) September 4th 2020 (Current Gen)

Holidays 2020 (Next Gen)

System requirements Minimum:
  • Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
  • Intel® Core™ i3-530/AMD FX-4100
  • 4 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 450/ATI® Radeon™ HD 7770
  • DirectX 11
  • 110 GB available HDD space
  • DirectX 9.0x compatible sound card
  • Dual-analog gamepad

Recommended:

  • Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
  • Intel® Core™ i5-4430/AMD FX-8370
  • 8 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 770/AMD® Radeon™ R9 270
  • DirectX 11
  • 110 GB available HDD space
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • Dual-analog gamepad

NBA 2K21 is an NBA basketball simulation video game by 2K Sports. It is the twenty-second installment of the NBA 2K series, with the Current Gen version being released on September 4th, 2020. The Next Gen version will be available as a launch title for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, during the 2020 Holiday Season. It is the direct sequel to NBA 2K20, and will be followed by NBA 2K22. Damian Lillard appears on the cover of the Current Gen version, while Zion Williamson will appear on the Next Gen cover. The Legend Edition, titled the Mamba Forever Edition, features exclusive Current Gen and Next Gen Kobe Bryant covers.

Current & Next Gen Versions[edit]

As a game released during the launch of a new console generation, NBA 2K21 has both a "Current Gen" and "Next Gen" version. This nomenclature will likely change to "Last Gen" and "Current Gen" respectively once the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been established as the current generation, most likely for NBA 2K22. A breakdown of the Current Gen and Next Gen versions are as follows:

  • The PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia versions, and the PC/Windows port, are Current Gen.
  • The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are Next Gen.

Mike Wang confirmed in an interview that different studios are working on the Current Gen and Next Gen versions.

Cross-Platform Progression & Upgrades[edit]

Gamers who pre-ordered the Mamba Forever Edition of NBA 2K21 (see below for more details) gained access to a copy of the Standard Edition for the other generation in the same console family. In other words, purchasing the Mamba Forever Edition for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One granted access to a free copy to the Standard Edition of NBA 2K21 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Likewise, the Mamba Forever edition for PS5/XSX will include a free copy of the Standard Edition for PS4/X1.

MyTEAM progression will be cross-platform, meaning that cards, MyTEAM Points, Tokens, and all progress from one platform will carry across in the same console family. The VC wallet will also be shared between platforms, meaning any VC earned or purchased in one version will be available in the other. By the same token, spending VC in one version will deplete that amount from your wallet in the other.

Conversely, MyCAREER progress will not be cross-platform in NBA 2K21, regardless of edition or platform.

Development & Features[edit]

The game was officially announced via a teaser trailer at a PlayStation 5 event on June 11th, 2020. The teaser featured Zion Williamson dribbling on an empty court before dunking the basketball, apparently demonstrating new sweat effects, lighting, and physics. A Tweet from the official NBA 2K Twitter account promised "next gen graphics", "next gen load times", and "next gen power" for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One releases.

Current Gen[edit]

NBA 2K21 is a sim-oriented basketball video game, retaining staple modes such as MyCAREER, MyGM, MyLEAGUE, MyTEAM, The Playground, The Neighborhood, and 2K Pro-Am, as well as gameplay elements such as the Pro Stick, and additional content such as the historical and WNBA teams. The Next Gen and Current Gen versions will share staple modes and features, avoiding the stripped-down approach seen in NBA 2K14 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

As noted above, the Current Gen and Next Gen versions feature cross-platform progression for MyTEAM and a shared VC wallet in the same console family. MyCAREER progress will not carry over between platforms, however.

The game's soundtrack was revealed on July 27th, 2020. The Current Gen version featured 52 tracks at launch, including songs by cover player Damian Lillard. The Next Gen version is set to feature a soundtrack with over 200 songs at launch. Both versions will have new songs added post-release.

An interview conducted by Agent 00 for NBA 2KTV revealed some snippets about NBA 2K21. Mike Wang indicated a desire to balance realism and fun to make the game more enjoyable, citing canned turnovers on cherry-picking attempts as an example of something that wasn't fun that they intended to fix. Beluba also confirmed that movement will feel different on Current Gen and Next Gen, and that more is being done with the WNBA side of things on Next Gen. The interview also confirmed the return of Evolution cards in MyTEAM, with more control over how to evolve cards. MyTEAM Unlimited was also confirmed as returning, with "new ways to compete". The concept of playing for "championship rings" in MyTEAM was also hinted at.

NBA 2K21 introduced a new Shot Meter and shooting mechanics, including aiming with the Pro Stick. While shot timing is retained when using the shoot button, by default the Pro Stick requires gamers to deflect the right stick to hit the good release zone/Green release point (though this can be disabled in favour of the traditional timing method). Gamers can hit a trigger to lock in their aim for a boost on non-Green releases, and may use the entirety of the animation to adjust their aim. Shots will miss left or right according to the aim of the stick. A patch later adjusted the position of the good release zone on the meter, depending on the speed at which the stick is deflected.

Dribbling was also revamped with new size-ups, performed by holding the right stick up. Other basic moves such as crossovers and behind-the-back dribbles now require slightly different movements on the right stick.

Seasons have been added to MyTEAM, with each season featuring its own goals and rewards, and running for around six weeks. The rewards system in Triple Threat Offline was revamped to account for the release of better cards later in the year, and a new online mode called MyTEAM Limited challenges gamers to play with lineups featuring set restrictions. Earning the aforementioned "championship rings" allows gamers to claim rewards. The Exchange was also added, giving gamers an option to trade in cards for rewards such as cards and packs.

The Current Gen MyCAREER story focuses on Junior, the son of a local basketball legend. Their story begins in high school, and progresses through college and eventually to the NBA. As with NBA 2K19 and NBA 2K20, it's possible to skip the MyCAREER story and go straight to the NBA (and Neighborhood) on subsequent MyCAREER saves. The Neighborhood also has a new beach-side setting, called 2K Beach.

Cover Players[edit]

On June 24th 2020, the official NBA 2K Twitter announced the reveal of three different covers over the course of June 30th, July 1st, and July 2nd. The first announcement on June 30th revealed the Current Gen (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch) cover player to be Damian Lillard. On July 1st, Zion Williamson was revealed as the cover player for the Next Gen (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X) version. Kobe Bryant appears on the cover of the Mamba Forever Edition - the Legend Edition of NBA 2K21 - with unique covers for the Current Gen and Next Gen releases.

Cover Art[edit]

Pre-Order Bonuses[edit]

NBA 2K21 was made available to pre-order on July 2nd, 2020. At the same time, the pre-order bonuses were revealed, along with the release date of September 4th, 2020 for the Current Gen version. The bonuses for the various editions of NBA 2K21 are as follows.

Standard Edition - Current Gen

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered one a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

Standard Edition - Next Gen

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered one a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

Mamba Forever Edition - Current Gen

  • 100,000 Virtual Currency
  • 10,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Tokens
  • 60 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 30 Gatorade Boosts
  • 40 MyTEAM Promo Packs (10 at launch, then 3 per week)
  • Sapphire Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson MyTEAM cards
  • MyPLAYER Shoe Collection
  • MyPLAYER backpack
  • Kobe Bryant Digital Collection
    • 5 MyPLAYER Shoes
    • 3 MyPLAYER Jerseys
    • Black Mamba MyPLAYER Uniform
    • Rookie Lakers MyTEAM Jerseys
    • Black Mamba custom MyTEAM Jerseys
    • Sapphire Kobe MyTEAM Card (Evos to Ruby)
    • 5 MyTEAM Shoes (Incl. 1 Diamond)

Pre-order to receive the following digital items:

  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

Mamba Forever Edition - Next Gen

  • 100,000 Virtual Currency
  • 10,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Tokens
  • 60 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 30 Gatorade Boosts
  • 40 MyTEAM Promo Packs (10 at launch, then 3 per week)
  • Sapphire Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson MyTEAM cards
  • MyPLAYER Shoe Collection
  • MyPLAYER 72 HR 2X REP Boost
  • MyPLAYER backpack and ball
  • Kobe Bryant Digital Collection
    • 5 MyPLAYER Shoes
    • 3 MyPLAYER Jerseys
    • Black Mamba MyPLAYER Uniform
    • Rookie Lakers MyTEAM Jerseys
    • Black Mamba custom MyTEAM Jerseys
    • Sapphire Kobe MyTEAM Card (Evos to Ruby)
    • 5 MyTEAM Shoes (Incl. 1 Diamond)

Pre-order to receive the following digital items:

  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

Upon launch, gamers who pre-ordered the Mamba Forever edition digitally encountered issues redeeming their bonuses.

Links[edit]






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