NBA 2K21 Sliders: Guide for a Realistic Experience

Find out how to adjust the sliders to create a more realistic NBA experience in NBA 2K21.


As 2K Sports aims to constantly be at the top of the basketball video game food chain, it is paramount that the game designers make the experience as realistic as possible.

From recognizable faces to realistic interactions from body contact, every year gets closer to the real deal.


That being said, it is not uncommon for players to feel differently to the game makers as to how realistic the game experience is in the latest title.

To account for this, NBA 2K21 allows you to adjust the sliders and fine-tune the game to your liking, making gameplay harder, easier, or more realistic as possible.

This guide will teach you how to adjust your sliders and make recommendations on how to get a realistic experience by using the NBA 2K21 sliders.

What are NBA 2K21 sliders?

The NBA 2K21 sliders allow you to manipulate the gameplay. By shifting the sliders for aspects such as shot success and acceleration, you can alter the realism of the games in NBA 2K21, or just make it much easier to crush your foes.


How to change sliders in NBA 2K21

In NBA 2K21, you can find the sliders in the setting menus before heading into a game, finding them in the “options/features” section.

Similar to previous iterations of NBA 2K, you can toggle between the computer (CPU) and user settings. This means that you can make the game easier, harder, or balance it for yourself and your computer-controlled opponents.

What the NBA 2K21 Game Style slider changes

The first step in understanding the slider settings is to grasp the defined difficulties at play here.

The difficulties for game style can be adjusted for each subcategory as follows: Rookie, Pro, All-Star, Superstar, Hall of Fame, and Custom.

The difficulty levels mostly make inherent sense, with Rookie being the easy mode and Hall of Fame being ridiculously difficult.

In the Custom section, you can make exact adjustments to get things just the way that you like, which includes making a realistic experience in NBA 2K21.

How to create a realistic NBA experience with the NBA 2K21 sliders

You can adjust your slider settings however you see fit, but to create the most realistic experience in NBA 2K21 which is similar to the real-life NBA action, use the slider settings shown below.

Realistic offense sliders

This subcategory essentially determines the likelihood of success when players attempt anything on offense. The sliders essentially determine how many points a team will likely score in any given game.

SliderRealistic Slider Range
Inside Shot Success 40-50
Close Shot Success 50-60
Mid-Range Success50-60
Three-Point Success 50-60
Layup Success 40-50
Dunk in Traffic Frequency 75-85
Dunk in Traffic Success 50-60
Pass Accuracy55-65
Alley-Oop Success55-65

Realistic defense sliders

For defense, players will want to adjust these NBA 2K21 sliders to fit the style and flow of that they prefer.

If you want a high scoring game, it would make sense for these to be turned down. If you prefer a more competitive game, turn these up. For a realistic experience, use the slider ranges below.

SliderRealistic Slider Range
Driving Contact Shot Frequency30-40
Layup Defense Strength (Takeoff)85-95
Steal Success75-85
Layup Defense Strength (Release)30-35
Jump Shot Defense Strength (Release)20-30
Jump Shot Defense Strength (Gather)20-30
Inside Contact Shot Frequency30-40
Help Defense Strength80-90

Realistic attributes sliders

These sliders will determine how much of an impact individual player rating attributes will have on the game. It’s a useful setting if you prefer to create a more balanced game or if you want players to feels like gods on the court.

SliderRealistic Slider Range
Acceleration45-55
Vertical45-55
Strength45-55
Stamina45-55
Speed45-55
Durability45-55
Hustle45-55
Ball Handling45-55
Hands45-55
Dunking Ability45-55
On-Ball Defense45-55
Stealing85-95
Blocking85-95
Offensive Awareness45-55
Defensive Awareness45-55
Offensive Rebounding20-30
Defensive Rebounding85-95
Offensive Consistency45-55
Defensive Consistency45-55
Fatigue Rate45-55
Lateral Quickness85-95

Realistic tendencies sliders

This subcategory of sliders will impact the way that non-user controlled players will behave during the game. From more outside shooting to aggressive driving to the rim, these NBA 2K21 sliders can affect the way that players approach the game.

SliderRealistic Slider Range
Take Inside Shots85-95
Take Close Shots10-15
Take Mid-Range Shots65-75
Take 3PT Shots50-60
Take 3PT Shots50-60
Post Shots85-95
Attack The Basket85-95
Look for Post Players85-95
Throw Alley-Oops85-95
Attempt Dunks85-95
Attempt Putbacks45-55
Play Passing Lanes10-20
Go for On-Ball Steals85-95
Contest Shots85-95
Backdoor Cuts45-55

Realistic fouls sliders

Make changes here to the frequency of foul calls and prevent steal-spamming techniques, or allow for a more physical playstyle.

SliderRealistic Slider Range
Over The Back Foul85-95
Charging Foul85-95
Blocking Foul85-95
Reaching Foul85-95
Shooting Foul85-95
Loose Ball Foul85-95

Realistic movement sliders

These sliders impact the game significantly and really allow you to test your gaming reflexes. Movement sliders focus on making players move around the court at faster or slower speeds.

SliderRealistic Slider Range
Speed with Ball (Max Rating)65-75
Speed with Ball (Min Rating)30-40
Acceleration with Ball (Max Rating)65-75
Acceleration with Ball (Min Rating)30-40
Speed without Ball (Max Rating)65-75
Speed without Ball (Max Rating)65-75
Speed without Ball (Min Rating)30-40
Acceleration without Ball (Max Rating)65-75
Acceleration without Ball (Min Rating)30-40

Now that you have the tools that you need to tailor the game just the way you like, feel free to experiment with the sliders to fit your play style, or stick to the slider settings shown above to get a realistic experience in NBA 2K21.


John S

John is a lifelong fan of the NBA and has been playing NBA 2K for more than a decade. As a gamer, writer and overall basketball fan, John is ready to share a wealth of 2K knowledge with all of the site’s readers.

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