Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a countdown of the Top 5 unfixed bugs in the Current Gen version of NBA 2K21.
Whenever a new console generation launches, you can guarantee that the version of the game that the existing platforms receive is going to be an afterthought. It only stands to reason that Next Gen is the focus, given the new technology that developers have to work with, and the desire for strong sales numbers that the suits desire. In the best case scenario, the Current Gen version will still be a solid release for gamers that aren’t ready – or this time around, able – to upgrade to the new consoles. It’s certainly not uncommon, however, for the Current Gen release to be a sloppy or subpar one.
That’s exactly how I would describe NBA 2K21 Current Gen. I’m tempted to call it a copy and paste job, except that it lacks the quality of NBA 2K20. Not only does the game feature a myriad of legacy issues that have persisted throughout the generation – or even longer in some cases – but there are new bugs and gameplay problems, too. Furthermore, the post-release support has likewise been disappointing. Although the game has received a number of patches, there are still some major bugs that remain unfixed as of the last update. Please note that I’m only referring to technical issues and not gameplay problems here, as that’s a whole other topic for another time.
5. Missing Pre-Game Stats in The Rec
We’re starting out with a bug that is hardly game-breaking, but nevertheless is an issue that 2K has failed to resolve. When you’re in the locker room before a Rec game, you can see your teammates’ stats just fine. Once you head out onto the court though, everyone’s stats are all zeroes, even if they’ve played hundreds of games in The Rec. This isn’t a huge problem as far as your teammates are concerned, as you’ve already had an opportunity to see what kind of numbers they’ve been putting up. It’s an issue when it comes to your opponents, though. With the names of the builds not always being indicative of a player’s specific abilities, it’d be a handy scouting report.
Beyond that though, this is one of the unfixed bugs that’s worth mentioning as it’s an example of the sloppiness and lack of attention to detail in NBA 2K21 Current Gen. It’s not an issue that prevents you from playing the game, or even enjoying it, but it demonstrates how 2K seems disinterested in fixing even the smallest of bugs. Any feature that’s been implemented in the game is worth implementing properly, and ensuring that it works. I recall this being an issue in NBA 2K20 as well, and it’s the kind of thing that used to get cleaned up; if not in patches, then in the next release. Again, it’s not the biggest problem, but it underscores how the game is sloppily made.
4. Locked & Missing Store Items in The Neighborhood
The Neighborhood was revamped into 2K Beach in NBA 2K21 Current Gen, and while that freshened up the presentation, it appears to have introduced new issues. One of the notable bugs that remain unfixed as of the latest patch is the tendency for items in the NBA Store to be locked, or completely missing. I’ve noticed that it often happens upon visiting the NBA Store after winning a free item on the Daily Spin, but I believe it can also happen at other times. It’s rather ironic that this bug hasn’t been fixed yet, considering that the NBA Store houses several expensive items that we can spend VC on. As I’ll get into a little later on, such issues tend to be addressed quickly.
Fortunately, there is a workaround for this particular bug. If you exit the NBA Store and enter another one, such as the nearby Swag’s Main Street, and then return to the NBA Store, all of the items will be available again. This isn’t a complicated or lengthy procedure, but it’s still less convenient than the NBA Store…you know…working as it’s supposed to. I’m ranking this one lower in the countdown because there is a viable workaround and it concerns unnecessary cosmetic items to boot, but it’s the principle of the matter. It exemplifies a lack of care and quality control, and as I said before, if you’re going to put something in the game, you make sure that it works properly.
3. Shorts Length for Historical Players in Edit Player
Now we’re getting to some unfixed bugs that have a larger impact on usability and the overall experience. Aficionados of roster editing, specifically those who are working with historical players, may have noticed that changing the length of a player’s shorts in Edit Player has no visible effect. No matter which value is assigned, they’ll always appear to be wearing the shortest shorts. On the bright side, this error doesn’t extend to gameplay, as the players’ shorts will be the specified length. Current players are also unaffected by the bug in both gameplay and Edit Player. It’s nevertheless a visual bug and a fairly annoying one if you’re working with the historical teams and players.
You can remember the values, of course, but it’s still an inconvenient issue. Not only is it once again indicative of a lack of quality control and attention to detail, but also how the historical content has become an afterthought; except when it comes to their ability to sell packs in MyTEAM, of course! As Dee4Three has spotlighted, there are several glaring issues with ratings, tendencies, animations, and other data when it comes to the historical players. Many current players have issues with their attributes as well, but there’s a particular lack of accuracy with the retro content. When we try to fix these details ourselves, we need everything about Edit Player to be functional.
2. Sold Cards Still Appear in the Auction House
There are actually quite a few glaring issues with the Auction House these days, and I’d like to cover them in detail at some point. Many of them are conceptual and design related, however. They’re working as intended, but the design principles or outside factors are causing problems. An actual bug that remains unfixed – or perhaps it isn’t a bug, as I’ll discuss in a moment – is that cards that have already been sold can still be located when searching the Auction House. Needless to say, it’s disappointing when you find a reasonably priced card and attempt to place a bid or buy it, only to be told that another user has already snagged it. Yet there it is, supposedly still available.
Obviously, there’s the possibility that data is slow to update on the server, though that in itself isn’t a good look (yet also par for the course for 2K’s servers). However, I’ve also heard that it’s an anti-sniping measure, which would mean that this is something that actually happens by design. To be honest, I’m not sure which would be the worse scenario here: that it’s among the unfixed bugs in NBA 2K21 Current Gen, or that it happens because it’s meant to. It’s not a new issue, so whether it’s a bug or a feature, it’s a holdover from NBA 2K20. Whatever the case may be, it’s a situation that needs to be addressed, as it’s impeding on the intended functionality of the Auction House.
1. Daily Bonus Not Awarding VC
Out of all the unfixed bugs in NBA 2K21 Current Gen as of this writing, the Daily Bonus failing to award VC in MyCAREER is easily the worst. The specific goal doesn’t matter, in my experience. You’ll get the notification upon achieving it and it will be marked as completed in the menu, but when you check your VC balance, you won’t have received the reward. Considering that the Daily Bonus is one of the main ways of grinding for additional VC in MyCAREER, this is a tremendous blow to anyone opting for a No Money Spent approach. It’s almost as if 2K hopes we’ll just give up and pay to skip the grind, since we’re unable to rely on a bit of extra VC daily.
Not only is it the worst of all the unfixed bugs in the game, it’s frankly also a damning indictment of 2K’s approach to issues. When exploits and convenient ways to earn VC on Current Gen were discovered, 2K quickly patched them. When an error with the Next Gen version allowed gamers to farm VC by reinstalling the game, there was a mass ban that Ronnie 2K pathetically gloated about. And yet, the issue with the Daily Bonus – which has been a problem since launch – remains unresolved. If it harms 2K, they’ll fix it ASAP; even on Christmas Day! If it affects our experience, they’ll drag their feet. The contempt that 2K has for us is disgraceful, and it deserves our scorn.
Those are my picks for the Top 5 unfixed bugs in NBA 2K21 Current Gen. Are there any other bugs that belong on the list instead? Have you noticed any similar problems in NBA 2K21 Next Gen? Have your say in the comments below, and as always, feel free to take the discussion to the NLSC Forum! That’s all for this week, so thanks for checking in, have a great weekend, and please join me again next Friday for another Five.