In NBA 2K21, the shooting system has remained similar to that proposed in previous years. This year, however, you must learn and master some new mechanics if you really want to hold the title of top scorer and make a difference in a match. In this NBA 2K21 shooting guide, I will explain all the fundamentals that you need to know. I will start with the basics and the simplest techniques up to the advanced ones. Get ready to score 3 points!
Like every year, although the present one is decidedly unconventional, the usual new entry in the historic 2K basketball franchise arrived on time. Like every year, this chapter also bears the signature of Visual Concepts. To be clear, this is the same software house behind other historical sports sagas such as WWE 2K and NHL 2K.
For this year, the athletes on the cover are Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Kobe Bryant who passed away on January 26th. The game does not differ too much from the canons to which the series has accustomed us over the years. You can play NBA games as both real and created players. There are several game modes and you can customize many settings.
You can create and use up to 6 expansion teams, with the option of a 36-team league, and any team can be transferred and renamed. For the second time in the series, all 12 WNBA teams are available. 67 classic teams are available, including the Toronto Raptors of 2018-19, the Golden State Warriors of 2016-2017, and the Cleveland Cavaliers of 2015-16.
In addition, My Career mode returns once again, which involves the creation of a totally personalized basketball player with which to face the various matches. There is also the My Team mode, where you can build your own team and make it clash online with that of other real players. With all that being said, below I will start with my NBA 2K21 shooting guide.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF SHOOTING
How to shoot in NBA 2K21? The first thing to keep in mind is that there are different ways of shooting, like dunks, lay-ups, jump shots, post shots, and more. These shots are all very similar to those you had available in previous years. You can shoot with the buttons or with the analog stick.
Whatever your choice, you have a few things to keep in mind. In the first case, you shoot with X on Xbox and square on PlayStation. If you prefer analog, make use of the right stick. When shooting with the buttons and using the shot meter, press and hold the fire button depending on your platform and then hold it down until the marker is aligned with the center of the shot meter.
The closer you get to the center of the shot gauge, the better and more accurate your shot will be. If your shot is perfect, the indicator will flash green to let you know that you have released at a good time. The controller will also vibrate to let you know when is the ideal time to shoot.
The button shooting option is certainly the most immediate and easiest way to learn out of the two methods available. However, analog stick shooting is also not that complicated if you get the hang of it. This time, instead of holding the button down, you must pull the right stick down and then release it.
The more you release the stick near the center of the shot meter, the more accurate the shot will be. These two methods use timing and aim to determine the accuracy of your shots, but there are methods for changing these settings as you will see below.
CHANGING YOUR SETTINGS
Shooting in NBA 2K21 is simple, you just saw it. Note, however, that these listed methods are pre-defined and can be changed. You can change the settings so that the shot will hit or fail automatically, based on your players’ stats. The Real Player % option can be changed in the controller settings in the “Shot Time” section. Set this value to Real Player % if you want your shots to hit depending on how good your player’s stats are.
The settings menus also allow you to experiment with turning the shot meter on and off or changing the shot timing. You can also choose to turn your controller’s vibration on or off. There is no clear path to becoming a perfect scorer in NBA 2K21, so experiment with different settings until you find one you feel comfortable with.
Putting into practice what I told you about shooting in NBA 2K21 is easier said than done. However, there are many feedback tools to use in the game that will probably make you a better shooter. As you learn the basics and timing of shooting, there is a shot feedback tool that will appear at the top of the screen to let you know how good your shot was and what the score was.
Pay attention to this figure which will appear immediately after releasing the button or analog. This can provide you with valuable information in terms of what you did correctly or not at the time of the shot. Shooting in NBA 2K21 is more than just pressing a button at the right time. There are variables that come into play in real time, such as being marked by a player from the opposition team, for example.
These mechanics can ruin the performance of even experienced shooters. In addition, the various players also have favorite areas where they turn out to be better shooters. Knowing them, as well as making good shots and using correct timing and aiming, is the only way to improve your results. Below you will see detailed controls on how to do all the different shots.
- Jump Shot: PS4 – Press and hold square then release | XBO – Press and hold Y then release.
- Free Throw: PS4 – Press and hold square then release | XBO – Press and hold Y then release.
- Layup: PS4 – Move and hold right analogue stick up whilst driving | XBO – Move and hold right analogue stick up whilst driving.
- Runner / Floater: PS4 – Move and hold right analogue stick down whilst driving | XBO – Move and hold right analogue stick down whilst driving.
- Reverse Layup: PS4 – Move and hold right analogue stick right whilst driving along the baseline | XBO – Move and hold right analogue stick right whilst driving along the baseline.
- Euro Step Layup: PS4 – Double tap square whilst driving whilst holding the left analogue towards the off-hand | XBO – Double tap Y whilst driving whilst holding the left analogue towards the off-hand.
- Cradle Layup: PS4 – Double tap square whilst driving whilst holding left analogue stick towards the ball hand | XBO – Double tap Y whilst driving whilst holding left analogue stick towards the ball hand.
- Two-Hand Dunk: PS4 – R2 + move and hold right analogue stick up whilst driving in close range | XBO – RT + move and hold right analogue stick up whilst driving in close range.
- Dominant or Off-Hand Dunk: PS4 – R2 + move and hold right analogue stick up, left or right in close range | XBO – RT + move and hold right analogue stick up, left or right in close range.
- Flashy Dunk: PS4 – R2 + move and hold right analogue stick down whilst driving in close range, release to finish dunk | XBO – RT + move and hold right analogue stick down whilst driving in close range, release to finish dunk.
- Pump Fake: PS4 – Tap square | XBO – Tap Y.
- Hop Gather: PS4 – Tap square whilst dribbling with left analogue stick deflected | XBO – Tap Y whilst dribbling with left analogue stick deflected.
- Spin Gather: PS4 – Hold R2 + double tap square | XBO – Hold RT + double tap Y.
- Half Spin Gather: PS4 – Rotate right analogue stick in a quarter-circle from right to up then hold whilst driving with ball in right hand | XBO – Rotate right analogue stick in a quarter-circle from right to up then hold whilst driving with ball in right hand.
- Step Through: PS4 – At close range, pump fake, then press and hold square | XBO – At close range, pump fake, then press and hold Y.
- Putback: PS4 – Press square when attempting an offensive rebound | XBO – Press Y when attempting an offensive rebound.
Was my NBA 2K21 shooting guide useful or is something missing? Please let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below, or make sure you read my NBA 2K21 Review.