How is the Pro Stick changing for NBA 2K21?

Some changes are coming to the Pro Stick.

The Pro Stick has been a staple in the NBA 2K franchise for years, going back to the days of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The Pro Stick will return for NBA 2K21, but according to the franchise’s lead gameplay developer, it will be a bit different from what players have become accustomed to in the past.

In a developer blog post on the NBA 2K Reddit page, NBA 2K Gameplay Director Mike Wang stated that after years of essentially making no changes to the Pro Stick, the development team saw a great opportunity with NBA 2K21 to freshen things up. In previous games, players could flick RS/R3 in any direction to take a shot. Wang stated that this was limiting the NBA 2K team from getting the most of the stick, as it was also used as a “fully featured” dribble stick.

Now, players will have shift RS/R3 down to take the shot. Moving the RS/R3 stick to the left or right will allow players to escape dribble moves. Pushing the right stick up will allow players to access signature size-ups.

Here are the full details on the controls for the new Pro Stick:

  • Hold RS/R3 down – Jump Shot
  • Hold RS/R3 up – Signature size-ups
  • Hold RS/R3 left/right – Escape dribble moves
  • Tap RS/R3 – Quick 1-to-1 dribble moves
  • Tap RS/R3 with spring – Quick momentum dribble moves

According to Wang, not only should dribble moves benefit from the shift but so should jump shooting and finishing at the rim. This year, the shot meter changes from a timing bar to a targeting window when using the Pro Stick to shoot. Now, rather than attempting to stop the shot meter when you reach the perfect window, you can just adjust the Pro Stick in real time to hit the aim point.

And as for layups, Wang recommends that players quick swing the right stick to move the aiming tick to the center of the target. This will, in turn, help players overcome shot contests and also help with finishing through contact.