5 gameplay changes NBA 2K23 needs

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NBA 2K23’s release is fast approaching, so here are five changes we’d like to see to improve gameplay.

With each new entry into the NBA 2K series comes a whole host of changes including massive roster updates, a new cover athlete, and improvements to game modes like MyPlayer and MyGM.

Although those changes are hotly debated topics none can even come within arms reach of how heated it gets when arguing about what gameplay elements should be changed.

With NBA 2K23 just around the corner, here are five gameplay changes we’d like to see in the upcoming title.

1. Improve teammate A.I.

official NBA 2K23 WNBA Edition cover2K Games
NBA 2K23 is getting a special WNBA cover.

Player A.I. in the NBA 2K series has never felt fully polished. Whether it’s defensive players losing their man in pick and roll situations, or offensive players standing around instead of attacking an empty paint, 2K fans have made public cries to the developers to smarten up the A.I.

2K22 felt like a serious dip in player A.I. as it often felt like players non-character controlled had completely random movements, not reflecting real basketball at all. Improving player positioning would be a big step in the right direction towards nailing the recreation of real high-level basketball.

2. Bring defense back into the light

It feels like offense has been the focal point of NBA 2K over the last few years. And for the most part, it’s completely understandable why players would want a system that favors flashy offensive play. However, 2K23 would benefit greatly if defensive animations, and some of the more important defense badges, received a buff.

Early in NBA 2K22’s lifespan, the auto-steal was patched out, which was a fine and fair change, but afterward made defense feel way less impactful. If they can find a happy middle-ground with defensive abilities, that would improve gameplay a ton.

3. Improve paint defense

Stop me if this has happened to you before: a player with the ball in the paint pump-faked 35 times in a row, leading you to jump around like a chicken with a head to attempt to block it.

There isn’t a negative for offensive players to pull this gimmick, and it would be awesome if there was a viable way for Visual Concepts to change the way players defend in the paint so this problem can be curtailed.

official NBA 2K23 Michael Jordan cover2K Games
NBA 2K23 is getting a special Michael Jordan edition.

4. Remove visible shot and dunk meters for opponents

Over the last few years, players creating contact has been happening less and less often. For the large part, this can be blamed on defenses knowing exactly when to jump for a block on either a jump shot or a dunk since they can see the player meter.

One way to curtail this and bring back some realism is to remove the ability for defenders to see shot meters so they have to start timing defense on pure animation prediction.

5. New animations for player movement

Over the last few years it feels like 2K has reused the same offensive and defensive animations making the game feel blander the more time you put into it. It may be a big ask to create a ton more new player animations so playing both sides of the ball won’t feel repetitive, but it would go a long way in evolving the game into the new generation of consoles.

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