It’s no secret that NBA 2K16 is a few leagues ahead of all other basketball sims. From the character models and mechanics, to customization options and games modes, 2K16 offers the most realistic basketball experience of any game. This realism also brings more depth to the game.
Understanding both video game and basketball mechanics will really push your level up on this game. Here are some tips and suggestions to improve your game even further.
Understand the meter
The meter is simple. It starts when you press the shot button, the goal is to release as close to the center as possible. The game will let you know when you release a little too early or too late. Perfectly timing a release will make the meter flash and glow green for a few moments.
But don’t depend on it
The shot meter hasn’t added any new mechanics — it only opens them up to players. By showing how shooting works, players more easily grasp the concept and have something to follow. Shooting mechanics have’t changed much since 2K14.
Game Director Mike Wang revealed the secret to shooting perfectly almost every time:
“We didn’t really change the fundamental way the shot system worked. The shot meter was just a better way to visualize what was [already] happening.”
His advice for attaining a green release regularly? Don’t look at the meter. The secret is watching the character animations during a shot. A jump shot is usually released at the apex of the jump. Every character is a little different. Practicing when you release with each character will help your game. Try shooting with players who take iconic shots — Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry are good examples.
Master defense while on ball
The left analog stick controls your movements around the court while the right controls your more precise movements. When you’re on defense, the right stick can be used in several ways. Just flicking the stick will cause your player to quickly shuffle with his shoulders squared to the net. Stopping most offense plays can be as simple as a quick analog flick.
While on ball, the right stick is your best friend. Use it to pull off all your high-level maneuvers. Cross up by flicking back and forth, or double tap in a direction to change direction. Learning to break the defense will help you set up shots better. Play around with the right stick and find maneuvers that you can deliver on the fly.
Change camera angle
While the default option is reminiscent of live broadcasts, you actually can’t see the full court this way. There are a few options to chose from, but try playing with the camera to the possession team’s back.
Change up the controls
Most players map shooting to square/X exclusively. This frees the right analog for more precise offense and defense. If you feel more comfortable with a control somewhere else on the controller, don’t worry about changing it up.
Don’t be intimidated by 2K16. You really won’t win your first few games. But learning from these losses is the only way this game will open up to you.