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NBA 2K21 Shooting Tips Guide

The developers have changed the way that NBA 2K21 plays quite a lot this year, so learning score can be quite hard – here's what you need to know to come out on top.
Written by Dom Peppiatt
3 min readPublished on
NBA2K21 has made some pretty big changes to how shooting works. If you're coming off playing previous iterations of the game, you're going to notice some pretty spectacular changes. Even veterans of the series may end up whiffing shots or launching the ball into the crowd here – that's how different it is in 2021's version of the title.
The shooting system in NBA 2K21 revolves more around shooting styles, with an emphasis on how individual players actually play the ball. Different styles present different boosts to a player's shot percentage based on how tricky their shooting method is. Read on below for some tips on how to master this almost arcane system.

NBA 2K21 General Shooting Tips

Channel your Stephen Curry and you'll be just fine
Ahead of the launch of the game, NBA 2K21 gameplay director himself, Mike Wang, took to to Twitter to share a few tips about how shooting works in the game (almost predicting how players would react to the big changes). His tips are:
  • Tap the left trigger at the ideal release time for a boost
  • If you’re using the Shot Button, turn off Shot Meter for a boost
  • Green release is harder this year, be patient
  • OR turn off Shot Aiming if you want Shot Timing on Pro Stick like last year

NBA 2K21 Pro Stick Shooting Tips

NBA 2K21
If you're keen on using the Pro Stick aiming options – which are turned on by default – then you'll need to practice and get used to the way this mechanic handles. Learning how the system plays out and responds to your inputs is vital. Here are some key tips:
  • Pull the Right Stick down: the meter starts close to the center, not to the left or right, so correct for that.
  • Once pulled back, nudge the Right Stick left or right a little to correct your angle. Try to make your hands as steady as possible.
  • You don't need to manually shoot – focus on your aim and keeping your hands steady and the player works out the rest automatically.
  • You get it right you get a bigger boost if you time your shot correctly with the trigger.

NBA 2K21 – How to make your shots more consistent

Zion Williamson knows how to make the points in NBA 2K21
Many players have had a lot of trouble making their attempts at the net more consistent this year. Whether you're using Pro Stick or going for the points via another method, it's hard to get the game to consistently respond in the way you want it to. Here's a few things to keep in mind to keep the game fun (and not frustrating).
  • Aim for the Blue Areas (Hot Zones) of the court: from here, your player is going to get a better boost. Practice with your favourite players and figure out where their Blue Zones are and commit them to memory.
  • Don't be afraid to alter the settings – turn off the Shot Meter – and go back to shooting with Square/X. It may be less accurate, but more consistent for how you play.
  • MyCareer players, focus on Shooting badges – these increase your Shooting ability without messing with stats.
  • You can disable shot timing and instead make the game calculate shot chance based on the player's real-time stats.
More than anything else, simply getting used to how the game feels and works in this year's iteration is going to help you in NBA 2K21. Don't be afraid to practice in the relevant modes, and take breaks when it gets a bit too frustrating!