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NBA 2K21 patch: Shooting update now live, here’s what’s changed

NBA 2K21 hasn’t had the smoothest of launches. Between missing VC, invisible players, and some ice-cold shooting problems, you could say the franchise has seen better days. Thankfully, the game’s development team is hot on the heal to improve and refine the experience, with the latest implementation coming to address widely criticised shooting mechanics in NBA 2K21.

To summarise it, the shooting in NBA 2K21 has been refined — or regressed, however you want to look at it — to prioritise both “realism” from a timing and positioning perspective, but also the usage and spread of appropriate shooting Badges. You can read more about the initial complains and responses related to shooting in NBA 2K21 on this article.

NBA 2K21 Shooting Patch coming to buff ‘newcomers’

You have to admire 2K Sports’ initial intent here: going for realism and aiming for a more “realistic” offering certainly should be applauded to some degree, but the problem ultimately was that the experience had far to steep a learning curve. Simply put, it just wasn’t as fun anymore if you weren’t an absolute NBA 2K superstar.

So with this hotfix there’s clearly an effort to make NBA 2K21 more accessible overall, which suits players like me or float between modes and don’t play the game religiously, but still play it enough over the course of a year to appreciate changes like this.

NBA 2K21 badges

The main drive behind this hotfix is that it will make it easier to make a shot. That’s the simplest, high-level way to explain it. Diving deeper into what the hotfix does and where it’s most impactful, we can see there was a lot more thought gone into it, and clearly the data points to it being more of an issue at lower difficulty levels — and thus, for players with lower skill levels — than for players on the higher skill settings.

At a Rookie, Pro and All-Star difficulty, you should start noticing improvements in shooting. If you stick to more challenging modes and settings, then the shot meter will stick around, and you’ll have to familiarise yourself with the new mechanics.

NBA 2K21 badges

Gameplay director, Mike Wang, reached out to the community shortly after release, following a barrage of frustrated players complaining about the shot meter and difficulty in shooting. He posted some clear tips that, whilst initially convoluted, actually work well if you choose to stick to high difficulties and the initially planned shooting structure.

  1. Tap the left trigger at the ideal release time for a boost
  2. If you’re using the Shot Button, turn off Shot Meter for a boost
  3. Green release is harder this year, be patient
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Additionally, he noted you should turn off Shot Aiming in the gameplay settings if you want Shot Timing on Pro Stick like last year.

What are your thoughts on NBA 2K21‘s shooting, and are you happy with the latest patch addressing community concerns? Sound off in the comments below!

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