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NBA 2K18’s AI Is Too Smart to Follow Orders

NBA 2K18

The AI knows what’s best.

Suddenly got your NBA 2K18 rookie baller matched against Cleveland Cavalier’s LeBron James? Good luck. Apparently, elite shooters will now act more aggressive when paired against an inferior defender and ignore plays called by coaches “if they like their chances of scoring against their current match-up.”

In a lengthy write-up on OperationSports, AI producer Nino Samuel aka Da_Czar disclosed some interesting AI improvements, detailing changes to their tendencies, execution, and motion. While discussions on a game’s AI improvements often take a backseat over reveals for brand new features, NBA 2K18 has made some interesting developments in bettering the AI, which is worth knowing.


As mentioned above, NBA 2K18 has “new isolation tendencies that measure the AI players aggressiveness in relation to the quality of the defender.” “This is essentially code that allows the AI to stare at your digital bench and yell to your coach, ‘They are going to need some help tonight. They can NOT guard me!'” said Da_Czar.

Another big change includes an improvement to the Flow Tech, a system that makes the enemy AI better on offense. Basically, it’s now harder to predict and intercept passes. For example, when an offensive AI-controlled player moves under the basket and notices the player following him, he’ll move to a different location instead of going with the intended play.

AI tendencies have also been improved. Instead of solely considering a player’s stats to decide an intended action, the AI now observes the situation at hand. Simply put, a great three-point scorer will not automatically attempt a three-point shot. Additionally, developer Visual Concepts has fixed a code where the AI would pull back from shooting a two-pointer to shoot a three. This previously frustrated players as the slight movement delay gives the defenders ample time to close in and contest the shot.

Aside from the plethora of AI improvements, Visual Concepts has moved the buttons for play selections and substitutions from the right stick to the back buttons.

It’s best to check out Da_Czar’s post for the full list of improvements, which also has some videos to help illustrate the changes. 2K’s Scott O’Gallagher also wrote a lengthy post about the AI the other day, with one of the many notable improvements include making defending AI players whose backs are turned unaware of the action happening on the floor.

NBA 2K18 launches on September 19, 2017 for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Those who pre-order can get the game as early as September 15. A Prelude demo will also launch in September 8, giving players a chance to experience NBA 2K18’s MyCAREER.

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