NBA 2K22 is set to up the ante for the beloved basketball franchise, with publisher 2K Sports and developer Visual Concepts aiming to deliver the most comprehensive and finely-tuned iteration the series has ever seen. Before the big launch, here’s everything you need to know about the b-ball simulator:
Release date & platforms
NBA 2K22 launches on 10 September 2021 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch and PC, making it the 23rd game in the long-running NBA 2K franchise.
Which pro will feature on the cover is always a hot topic, and the Standard Edition and Cross-Gen Digital Bundle of NBA 2K22 will feature Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić on the cover. Around Dončić are blue, white, and red brushstrokes, which are a nod to the 22-year-old’s native Slovenian flag. There is also a special edition of NBA 2K22 coming out too to celebrate the NBA’s 75th anniversary, which will feature another Mavericks star, Dirk Nowitzki iconic players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Durant. These special covers are all paintings done by acclaimed artist Charly Palmer, which is pretty cool!
The soundtrack of any NBA 2K game is always an important element, and this year is set to be a banger. The NBA 2K22 playlist will include songs from Travis Scott, Juice WRLD, Jack Harlow, J. Cole, Freddie Gibbs, Gunna, Nas, Metro Boomin, Aitch, Skepta and many more. Players will be able to discover music throughout the year via “First Fridays,” where new songs will be added to the soundtrack on the first Friday of every new Season. Each update will feature a mix of established and growing talents to support music discovery and growth within the game.
It was hard to fault NBA 2K21, but the team at Visual Concepts have refined the gameplay experience of its successor to provide the closest thing you’ll find to NBA other than hitting the court yourself. The goal this year is all about giving players more choices and versatility on both attack and defence, and 2K22 puts “basketball IQ” front-and-centre, allowing you to use left stick dribble skills to break down and bamboozle defenders, along with new signature moves and combos which anyone familiar with the real-world stars will spot. Furthermore, jump shooting has been refined and gives players greater precision when placing shots, better dunking through traffic, and even more skill-based alley-oops to help you string together some stylish plays. Alongside this, they have also added a completely new set of defensive tools which features revamped shot contest and blocking systems.
Seasons will continue to be a big focus of MyTeam and MyCareer, which is essentially a way for Visual Concepts to continue to add new content to NBA 2K22. There will be timed events, allowing you to partake in rare challenge and earn big rewards in order to help level up your players and squad.
Arguably the most popular mode of the game, MyTeam (essentially NBA 2K‘s answer to FIFA’s Ultimate Team) has been given an overhaul too, especially on PS5 and Xbox Series X versions. MyTeam Draft allows you to build a fresh line-up from a constantly updated pool of players, a feature long-requested by fans. Additionally, MyTeam progress and collections can be transferred between consoles of the same brand (ie. PS4 and PS5, or Xbox One and Xbox Series X) along with VC wallet, MyTEAM Point, and MyTEAM Token balances.
One of the most immediately noticeable differences, though, will be in the beloved Neighbourhood feature (where you level up your created player and enter into online matches). The neighbourhood was replaced by ‘City’ in NBA 2K21 on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions, and has received a revamp of sorts in order to be a much bigger, more sprawling area to connect with other online players, shop for items, and take on challenges. The PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC edition will have a new virtual cruise ship as opposed to the City. However, all players will be able to utilise this space to level delve further into their NBA 2K22 careers and battle online.
There’s a lot to look forward to with NBA 2K22, and you can check out more on the upcoming release on the official NBA 2K website.