The Theory Behind NBA 2k Difficulties

We hear it everywhere! In every conversation revolving around 2k, people always ask “what difficulty you play on”. How you answer this question will dictate where you are skill-wise when it comes to the game and all you have to say is yes or no. Crazy right? This is an unspoken reality and today I want to shed some light on the types of people who use each difficulty.

What difficulty do you play on?

-Every 2K Player Ever-


Pro difficulty is one of the easiest difficulties in the game and you will find that people gravitate towards Pro in my career if you are sweaty and want to get your badges and overall up. 

Very rarely do you find players who play on this difficulty when matching up and if you do I suggest you put down the controller and go back home. Just trust me.


Categorized as the most entertaining difficulty, tons of gamers love playing on all star and there’s a list of reasons why:

  • They get all the animations they want 
  • Green lights appear just about every time with a poor release 
  • Shots fall at higher rate and no matter how much defense you play it won’t affect anything (kind of like that spin dunk in NBA 2k13 or that euro step)

These are the players who complain when playing on a higher difficulty and say that ‘2k is trash” or that “it’s not even realistic”. Oftentimes these players can’t understand why an NBA player misses a shot and expects everything to fall if they’re open. Hints why this proves my point on why players use this difficulty.


If you are a big MyLeague person then you will see a lot of leagues set to this difficulty. Superstar is a step up and although you may be considered a good 2k player there are still flaws in this difficulty. 

The most known flaw in this difficulty is that any pass you throw is getting stolen and that’s a fact. The CPU jumps on every passing lane, and all you have to do is run your player into the opponent and knock the ball loose and boom you get a fast break layup. 

Players who use this difficulty say the following:

  • HOF is too hard 
  • It’s the most realistic difficulty in the game

It amazes me how many people use Super Star as a safe haven. These are the same people who brag about going undefeated in leagues and against their friends, but when you play them on HOF they fold. Funny right?

Hall of Fame

I don’t care what anyone says, HOF difficulty is the best difficulty in the game. When it comes to basketball, this difficulty makes the game become as real as possible. 

They take real percentages and track performances by players and implement it into the game. For example, if Jimmy Butler had an off game one night and you used the Heat the same day, then you might not get the results you’re looking for. A lot of times we see guys with low overalls in my leagues because of percentages (mostly badges, but these percentages help a bit). 

The whole debate between the realism of the game shouldn’t even be a debate. Just because they are an NBA player doesn’t mean they will make every shot you want. When you come down the stretch and shoot three wide open threes and miss there’s levels to it and most players don’t realize that.

For instance, when you take those threes you’re probably not thinking about the timeliness of the game situation, what team is in the middle of a run, the tempo of the game, and most importantly hot spots. 

If you don’t play with these four things in the back of your mind nine times out of ten you will lose the game. 

People complain about it being “impossible”, but really you either lack IQ, or aren’t really up to speed on how the difficulty actually works. 

Lastly, 2k is a game of runs, and tempo shifts. The game will always lean in favor of one team for a short period of time, but it is all in the stick work. 

2K20 Poll

Let us know what level you play on!




7 thoughts on “The Theory Behind NBA 2k Difficulties

  1. Lol I love how no one’s buying this trashy review, as they shouldn’t 2K is a broken mess on higher difficulties especially HoF

  2. This is a pretty trashy review that just deflects blame on 2k not designing better opponent AI

  3. Nah. This game is sorry. It’s fun until it isn’t. Your teamates will screen you off the guy you’re defending, won’t play even passable defense, while the computers defense has five elite defenders at all times that make very very few mistakes. You are called for so many fouls for trying to stop the ball, while the computer runs wild on you. Nope. I’m done with 2K anything in the future. I’ve had enough of the ridiculously skewed events that I loosely call games. I truly, from the bottom of my heart wish that I could get the developers in a room and beat the snot out of them. These people really ought to be ashamed. I am sure that someone who reads this will say that I just suck at the game. Maybe I do. But I bought the game. I own it. I should have the option to be able to adjust the difficulty level to fit my skill level. Instead, the answer that is most likely is that if I were to have better players, it would be easier. Well I’m not spending money on a game that I already spent money on. T

  4. What idiot wrote this “chit!?” There’s nothing real about NBA2k no matter what year! The game’s logic doesn’t allow for realism because it’s bad logic and complete garbage. The game never plays like real life basketball because it’s not programmed correctly to do so. In NBA2k MyCareer (try nba2k 16 to see this), the cpu will football tackle you when ever you try to drive the ball. I mean they will practically knock you over! In real life, you do not see defenders doing that because that would be a foul in real life, hell maybe even a flagrant foul. Players in the game have no real identity because they do not play according to thier attributes. Players are controlled by the underhood AI and that AI changes some based on where the AI sliders are set. That’s why, in order to hit more threes, you have to move the three point AI slider up but that also allows anyone on your team to hit threes at the same rate so where do attributes come in? They don’t! The game is pure “chit!”

  5. The person who wrote this knows their talking bullshit. Anyone that finds this post is most like dropping 50+ a game on HOF difficulty and losing. So they searched Google to see what the fuck is wrong with it’s creators. There’s no reason we should have to deal with that shit.

  6. I’m sorry but hall of fame is not realistic and hasn’t been fun at all these past few years trust me. I been playing 2k since 2k10 I’ve always played on the hardest difficulty but these past few years I’ve played on superstar. On hall of fame U can’t make a contested layup or an open layup if someone is just standing near the hoop not even guarding u, you miss open mid range and 3s. I’m not talking about the 60-80 percent u can shoot on pro and all star or not realistic shooting like 30-40 percent.if I had Stephen curry shooting mid range and 3s I would be shooting about 0-20 percent on hall of fame. You lose the ball as soon as you come in contact with another player. All this while the cpu makes everything. The only thing realistic about hall of fame is the plays that the cpu does on the opposite team. If your playing another real person they have all these same rules applied to them. It sucks 2k is broken in almost every way and it gets worse every year.

  7. The issue with HOF Isn’t the CPU you play against … it’s the CPU you play with …. they are absolutely no help at all .. will faithfully miss wide open. Shots regularless if your ball movement is within the flow of the game and most importantly in the flow of how your star players actually play . blow opportunities on the break , play with no brain basically .. in my opinion hall of fame isn’t realistic based on the fact that the sliders being 10% over half for the CPU and 10 under for you makes a big difference. Jokic being able to handle the ball like Allen iverson doesn’t constitute a so called real life basketball experience based on the fact that it’s on HOF .. I want players to play at a higher level based on their actual skill set according to how they play in real life . With hall of fame every player on the opposing team can play like micheal Jordan and that ain’t it

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