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NBA 2K21: Beginner’s Guide

Everything to get you started in the game.

NBA 2K21 is here and while the game has a lot common from its previous installments, there are a few major changes in terms of shooting and dribbling. NBA 2K21 is filled with many controls that can overwhelm newbies. In fact, it is challenging even for the experts to know every control in the game and always use it at the right time. But, that’s nothing to worry about, because this guide will take you through all the basic moves that can get you started on in NBA 2K21. Without any further, let’s begin with this NBA 2K21: beginner’s guide.


Beginner’s Guide For NBA 2K21

We have divided this guide into different sections each dedicated to a specific move and action in NBA 2K21. This will give you everything that you need to know about various moves that you can possibly perform in the game.

NBA 2K21 Shooting

NBA Shooting Guide

Watch out for space before going for a shoot

Space is much required when you are thinking about going for a shoot. When you have an opponent covering you, going for a shoot would not be a great option. Instead, you can try passing the ball, which can make the opponent team moving on the field and open up some space for you or your teammates to perform a shoot.


If passing doesn’t help, calling a play should

There are alternatives to open up space in NBA 2K21. One is to perform a drive-by pressing left stick along with RT in Xbox One / R2 in PS4. The second is to use the right stick to perform a spin. Lastly, you can also call a play to beat defenders and open up some space. To call a play, simply hit LB/L1 while dribbling and then press the button corresponding to the set play you want to call.

Going to A3 all the time won’t help

A3 gives you 3 points which is something to brag in NBA 2K21, but going for it always is not a great option. Try attempting A3 only when you are confident enough that you can score from there, or else get the ball inside and be happy with the score you get.


NBA 2K21 Dribbling

NBA Dribbling Guide

Use the right moves at the right time

Dribbling is one of the most basic things you need to perform in NBA 2K21. While it is the most basic, it can also mean the difference between being defended and crossing the defenders of the opponent team. Hence, you should always use some great combo moves that can get you past the defenders. Some of the best ones to use are:


Sprint: Hold right trigger and move the left analog stick in any direction
Triple Threat Pump Fake: Move the right analog stick down, and then quickly release.
Quick 1-to-1 dribble moves: Tap the RS
Quick momentum dribble moves: Tap the RS with Sprint held

Size-up on your team

Using a signature size-up by holding the RS up can easily get you some points. With size-ups, your players will perform some quick dribbling moves making the defenders come close to them. This can leave space to pass the ball to your teammate or rim the ball through the defenders and score.

NBA 2K21 Passing

NBA Passing Guide

Knowing the right time to pass is important

Develop a sense of performing a pass. The best time to pass is when an opposing team’s defender is ribbing right next to you or have his hands in front of your face to prevent a shoot. Timing matters a lot in passing the ball and how your teammate takes the pass.

Try making pump fakes every now and then

Pump fakes are really underrated in the game. You can easily perform a pump fake by tapping Square, or quickly moving and then releasing the right analog stick. Alternatively, you can also attempt a fake pass by pressing Triangle and O while standing still or driving. This will make defenders move in the passing direction giving you space to spin and beat them.

Pass only if your stats are good

If your partner is surrounded by opponent team members, or even if there’s a defender close by him, you should avoid passing. Another thing is that your passing stat should be good enough to perform a pass or else it can counter-attack you.

NBA 2K21 Defense

NBA Beginner's Guide Defense Guide

NBA 2K21 has three different types of defense techniques that can be used. These defense techniques are normal defense, off-ball defense, and advanced defense.

Read your opponent carefully

You will have to closely monitor your opponents’ moves. Just like yourself, opponents will also try to fake passes and pump fake, you need to read them to be able to defend. Knowing your opponent’s next move can come in handy to win the game.

Keep practicing

The defense can be very tricky in NBA 2K21. You might not even be able to notice what just went wrong in defending. But as truly said that practice makes a man perfect, you should keep on trying various defensive moves and master them eventually.

NBA 2K21 Offense

NBA Offense Guide

Rely on pick and roll

Simple passing and shooting won’t help when it comes to offense in NBA 2K21. You will have to use other moves such as pick and roll. To initiate a pick and roll Press and hold L1. Use R1 to choose Roll. Pick and roll allows you to clear the attacking area or simply pass the ball to an opponent who can score easily.

Call for the ball when it’s time

If you see that all the defenders are trying to stop your teammate with the ball and you have some free space, it’s time to call for the ball. You can press X in PS4 or A in Xbox One to have the teammate pass you the ball. This will allow you to easily score some points and achieve victory.

That’s all for the NBA 2K21 beginner’s guide. This should get you started in the game and the rest is on how well you adapt to the gameplay. Remember practice is what required not only by the newbies but also for the advanced players. Along with practice some tips and tricks can also come in handy. You can keep reading our guides section, where we will be constantly posting various tips and tricks as soon as we come to know about them.