It wouldn’t be the Fall season without follow-ups to popular sports titles. Visual Concepts’ NBA 2K24 releases on September 8th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch. Retailing for $69.99 on current-gen consoles and $59.99 on PC and previous-gen, it offers several new features, improvements and gameplay changes. Aside from the presence of excessive microtransactions, here are 15 things you should know before picking it up.
While last year’s title focused on Michael Jordan, this year is about Kobe Bryant. He’s the cover athlete for the Kobe Bryant and Black Mamba Editions, but this is his fourth time headlining a title in the series, with 24 representing his jersey number. Considering the legacy of the Los Angeles Lakers legend, from winning five NBA Championships to an 18-time All-Star, it’s appropriate, especially with this year’s new Mamba Moments mode.
Like the Jordan Challenges in NBA 2K23, Mamba Moments sees players controlling Kobe Bryant throughout some of the biggest moments in his career. These include 2003, where he scored 12 three-pointers playing against the Seattle Supersonics, and the 2001 playoffs against the Sacramento Kings with 48 points and 16 rebounds. There’s even a head-to-head confrontation against Michael Jordan to look forward to.
A new feature that provides even more realistic animations is ProPlay, exclusive to Xbox Series X/S and PS5 and captured from real-world scenarios. So you’ll recognize signature moves, from Steph Curry’s dribbling or Kevin Durant’s free throws. Whether it’s jump shots, layups and dunks or your average motions, it’s all captured faithfully, adding to the immersion.
The City Returns
Of course, it wouldn’t be a modern NBA 2K title without The City, and this year’s version – exclusive to Xbox Series X/S and PS5 players – is on the beachfront. You can expect streetball, some tropical rays and optional side quests as you climb up the ranks to reach the Hall of Fame. There are more details to come, so it remains to be seen how this improves on NBA 2K23.
The Neighborhood Returns
For PS4, Xbox One and PC players (yes, again, I’m sorry), there’s The Neighborhood. It’s also set on the coast with cliffside sights to discover and “streamlined” quests. You can take on other players, with the MyPlayer system receiving some revamps and improvements. Again, further details are pending, but at least it’s a brand new location instead of venturing on the G.O.A.T. Boat for a third year running.
MyCareer is again the place to create a custom NBA player, and some significant changes have been made. You can now start with a template based on different NBA players. These can be adjusted however you’d like, offering a good baseline for new players. Takeovers are removed from the MyPlayer creation process, and each position has seen its max height/weight updated and much more.
Badges have also seen an overhaul. There are 77 in total, with 24 being brand new to the game (though several, like Limitless Takeoff, Volume Shooter and Bully, are removed). They’re split into S, A, B and C tiers with different attribute requirements, and some levels dynamically change based on usage, though none of them will drop below Bronze. Progression on each badge nets special Perks like Overdrive for increasing badge progression in games or the seasonal High-Risk for accelerated progression in PvP at the cost of losing it faster if you use it less.
The W Mode
The W returns this year with players creating a character and rising through the ranks of the WNBA. You can choose The Prospect to play as the #1 overall draft pick or the MVP from overseas, aka The Undiscovered Gem, each with different starting OVRs. As you play through a season, “In Pursuit of Greatness”, assigns a rival to compete against throughout. You also have 3v3 street games, good for earning Badge Perks or going up against legendary players.
NBA 2K24 still offers Rookie difficulty for new players to jump in and cut their teeth. However, there are also Favorite Plays, comprising up to 16 of the most plays for quick access. 2K SmartPlay also returns and provides a pop-up that advises on the best player and action for a given scenario, thus familiarizing newcomers with the ins and outs of play.
Comp and Substitutions
Do you want full control over your AI teammates? A new Freelance, Comp, is available with no pass or cut actions, and Favorite Plays is on standby. New double-action plays also allow for more combos. You also have new lineups and substitutions, with the AI now keeping scorers on the floor instead of subbing out all players at the same time. Sixth main lineups are also supported, thus ensuring games remain more competitive.
Shot and Layup Timing
Visual Concepts promises more “intuitive” offense for all skill levels, with more forgiving shot timing in Quick Play, MyNBA and MyTeam (though Hall of Fame and the City operate on Green or Miss for more challenge). Shot Timing Release Time is now Shot Timing Visual Cue, allowing you to follow different animation cues as a release point. As for layup timing, it’s enabled from the start and more forgiving, while advanced moves like hop steps, scoops and reverses are more potent.
Paint Play and Dribble Breakdowns
Paint Play is adjusted to allow for going from an offensive rebound to attempting a putback, with Strength and Weight making a difference. Dribble Breakdowns are also interesting, as players can utilize regular breakdowns by pressing up on the right analog stick. However, while sprinting, doing this triggers an aggressive breakdown for signature moves that branch into a drive or allow for separation. More dribble combos like double crosses and hesitation crosses are also included.
As noted earlier, Takeovers have changed. Instead of assigning one from the outset, you now fill the Takeover meter and choose from different categories of the same, like Shooting, Playmaking, Finishing, Physicals and Defense/Rebounding. It allows for adjusting your strategy based on the game. Fill up the second meter for a Double Takeover, and you can choose two categories, with Mamba Mentality boosting all attributes for the same.
If you played NBA 2K23 on PC, then the requirements for NBA 2K24 will look very familiar. All configurations require Windows 10/11 64-bit, DirectX 11 or 110 GB installation space. Minimum hardware includes an Intel Core i3-2100 3.10 GHz or AMD FX-4100 3.60 GHz, 4 GB of RAM and a GeForce GT 450 1 GB or ATI Radeon HD 7770 1 GB. Recommended requirements include an Intel Core i5-4430 3 GHz or AMD FX-8370 3.4 GHz, 8 GB RAM and a GTX 770 2 GB or Radeon R9 270 2 GB.
Crossplay and Cross-Save
Cross-platform play is supported for all modes but only on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. It can also be disabled, though that will likely affect matchmaking times. There’s also cross-progression on the same console family for MyTeam (including Tokens, Cards, MyTeam Points) and the VC Wallet, so players on PS4 and PS5 or Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S can maintain their progress. Of course, you’re out of luck when going from PlayStation to Xbox.