Image via 2K Games

As with any other sports game, NBA 2K heavily revolves around strategic gameplay and having high court awareness. Basketball IQ, vision, and passing will all play pivotal roles in your ability to spread the floor and make high-quality basketball plays. With NBA 2K21 being subject to so many new features, many hoop heads are left wondering how to call plays in-game in NBA 2K21.

How to Call Plays in NBA 2K21

When it comes to calling plays in NBA 2K21, there are a few different ways you can go about doing so, depending on the situation. 

  • Quick Play
  • Play by Position
  • Defense

Quick Play

The first method for play-calling in NBA 2K21 is by calling a “Quick Play” in the game. It allows you to react to the opposing defense’s movements quicker and more efficiently, enabling you to divert your energy and focus towards taking the ball to the rack. 

You can call a Quick Play in NBA 2K21 by pressing the Left Directional Button on the D-Pad on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. It is the best way to switch around the formation of the offense in a matter of seconds.

Play by Position

Another option for calling plays is to call a position-specific play. Depending on the play you call, you will give specific instructions to different positions on the court.

You can call a Play by Position in NBA 2K21 by pressing:

  • L1 or R1 on PlayStation
  • LT or RT on Xbox
  • L or R on Nintendo Switch

Each of the buttons presented will allow you to cycle through your entire lineup and find specific plays that match up well with that position. It will enable you to take advantage of mismatches, pressure situations, or if a particular player’s got the “hot hand.” 


You can also use the commands mentioned above to whip out a specific defensive lineup/strategy in NBA 2K21. If you want to add more pressure to your opponent (on or off the ball), you can search for your player and select specific strategies to implement. Doing this can be helpful if you have to react to your opponent’s size, speed, or talent advantage, by enabling you to be more prepared for unorthodox moves or high-pressure situations. Overall, it makes it easier for you to get in the passing lanes, steal the ball and go on the attack.