All Difficulty Modes in NBA 2K23 Explained

Not sure where to start? Find out your best option here!

by Shaun Cichacki

If you’re ready to step onto the court for the first time, or returning to the series as a long-time veteran, there are plenty of ways to tweak NBA 2K23 to your exact specifications. You’ll be able to change the difficulty from the moment that you start up the game, so if you’re not the best baller on the market just yet, you’ll be able to work your way up to the big leagues.

But, if you want to make sure that you’re not starting by biting off more than you can chew, you may be wondering what the differences in all of the different difficulty settings may be. Let’s dive right in and take a comprehensive look at all of the difficulty options in NBA 2K23, so you can find out the best way to play! Here’s everything you need to know.

All Difficulty Options Explained In NBA 2K23

Starting on the lowest difficulty option, you’ll be able to start with Rookie if you’ve never really touched a 2K basketball title before. While it may sound appealing to start in Pro right away to flex your skills, this could lead to a lower enjoyment of the game, as Pro is quite hard to handle at first. Until you get used to how the game plays, how the Shooting Gauge works, and how your team reacts, it’s a great way to start your time in the land of 2K23.

Newly introduced this year, the Semi-Pro difficulty will help bridge the gap until you’re fully confident to give the Pro difficulty a try. After you’ve started demolishing your opponents in the Rookie mode, you’ll want to give this a try, as your opponents will give you a little more hassle, and make the game feel much more engaging. You’ll have to make sure that your head is in the game, otherwise, they’ll still be able to overtake you with ease.

Pro difficulty is going to be the Default that the majority of players are going to choose, as you’ll find that the quality of your AI teammates and opponents is now increased quite drastically. If you don’t have much knowledge of the sport, you’ll easily be overtaken, but if you’ve played some of the 2K basketball titles in the past, you’ll find that this is going to be a comfortable middle ground, where you’re going to need to fight to show that you’re ready to make it in the NBA.

All-Star difficulty is where things start to get hectic. You’re going to need to hyper-focus on the game at hand and make sure that you’re calling plays the best way possible, or you’re going to get steamrolled by your opponents. Even if you’re a fan of the franchise, there’s a good chance that this may still be overwhelming, so make sure that you’re jumping into this when you’re finally ready to give it a shot against the big dogs.

Then, there is the Superstar difficulty. This is going to be for the ones that are ready to devote their lives to balling. If you don’t come to this with 100% determination, you’re going to get squashed, and easily. If you’ve played every 2K basketball game before this, there’s still a chance that you’re going to need time to prepare before jumping into this difficulty option. You aren’t going to be able to depend on your team to carry you here.

And finally, there is the Hall of Fame. This is going to be the ultimate test of your skills, where you’re going to have to put everything you’ve ever learned on the line, and if you’re not careful, there’s a good chance that you’re going to lose a controller or two. Imagine if Elden Ring was a basketball game, and you’ve got a small idea of the pain that you’re in for. If you are ready for the ultimate challenge, or just want a good laugh at your skills, give this option a try.

Related: All badges in NBA 2K23 and their effects explained on Dot Esports 

MyCareer Mode Boosts Via Difficulty


If you’re trying to make some extra VC and you feel like your skills are good enough, you’ll be able to change the difficulty for your MyCareer Mode, allowing you to start making some extra bank quickly. Depending on the difficulty, you’ll find that you’ll receive more or less VC and MyPOINTS, which can help you level up your character quicker, as well as get your hands on some excellent cosmetic items.

And that’s everything that you’re going to need to know about the difficulty options in NBA 2K23! If you’re ready to make your way to the court, make sure that you’re checking out our Guide Section for the game, where you’ll be able to learn how to change your on-court appearance, the easiest way to change your city affiliationand how to fix some nasty error codes that could be plaguing your fun!

NBA 2K23 is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

- This article was updated on January 13th, 2023