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9 Things to Do Before the NBA 2K21 Release Date

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If you’ve already bought NBA 2K21 or if you’re thinking about picking up a copy, there are some things you should do before it arrives.

2K Games and Visual Concepts have confirmed the next entry in the long-running series and NBA 2K21 is heading to Xbox One, PS4, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia in early September.

A souped-up version of the game is heading to Sony’s new PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X. We don’t have a release date for those versions of the game, but they should drop sometime during the holidays.

NBA 2K21 is currently on sale at several retailers including Amazon and GameStop. There are two versions of the game including a basic version and a Mamba Forever Edition that features the late Kobe Bryant on the cover.

The NBA 2K21 release date is still a few weeks away, but there are some things prospective buyers should do before the game arrives on shelves and we’ll take you through all of them in this pre-order guide.

Decide If You Want to Pre-Order

You might be tempted to pre-order a copy of NBA 2K21, but there are actually some great reasons to put your wallet away and wait.

We’ve put together a guide that will take you through the best reasons to pre-order a copy and the best reasons to hold out for a few more weeks.

Remember, most retailers allow you to cancel a pre-order, free of charge, ahead of the game’s release date.

Buy the Right NBA 2K21 Edition

If you do decide to buy NBA 2K21 make sure you pick the correct edition for your budget and interest level.

Again, there are two versions of the game and each comes with a different set of bonuses. The standard edition is the cheapest option, but it comes with the least amount of additional content.

The Mamba Forever Edition comes with more bonuses, but it’s $100. Before you commit to one or the other, you’ll want to weigh your options.

We’ve put together a guide that will take you through the pros and cons of each NBA 2K21 edition and help you pick the correct one.

Keep Tabs on Your Order

As we push toward September, make sure you keep an eye on your order. This will help you avoid potential headaches.

Make sure your delivery information is up-to-date. If you recently moved to a new spot, you might not have changed your shipping address.

You’ll also want to make sure all of your payment information is correct so that you don’t hit any snags when the retailer charges your card.

Buy an External Hard Drive If You Need One

NBA 2K21 probably won’t be as big as Cyberpunk 2077, but you can still expect it (and subsequent patches) to take up a nice chunk of storage.

If you already have a ton of space on your internal storage, you should be good to go. However, if you’re rocking an older console with limited amount of space, and you don’t want to delete anything to make room, you might want to invest in an external hard drive.

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD is one of our favorites though it can be a bit pricey. If you don’t want to spend a ton, we recommend the WD My Passport 4TB.

Look for NBA 2K21 Deals

If you don’t want to pay full price for a copy, keep an eye out for NBA 2K21 deals as we move through the summer.

NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition - PlayStation 4
  • Please note that this item is not currently eligible for Release Date Delivery, so pre-orders may not arrive on the day of release. Available shipping options can be found on the order confirmation page.
  • Order the NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition for PlayStation 4 and you will also receive NBA 2K21 and 100,000 Virtual Currency for PlayStation 5 upon release.
  • This edition includes 100,000 Virtual Currency, 10,000 MyTEAM points, MyTEAM packs, digital items for your MyPLAYER, and more!

Retailers like Amazon sometimes knock $5-10 off the price ahead of launch so make sure you look around before paying $59.99 or $99.99 for a copy.

Monitor sites like Slickdeals if you need to.

Follow NBA2K on Twitter

We still don’t know a whole lot about the game itself, but we expect 2K to outline those details over the course of the next few weeks.

If you’re interested in the game, make sure you follow the NBA 2K Twitter account for the latest information about the game and more.

Think About Upgrading Your Console

If you’re still holding onto an original Xbox One or PlayStation 4, and you own a 4K television, you should consider buying an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro.

If you want to play the best looking version of NBA 2K21 in September, you’ll need a 4K TV and one of the newer models. If you aren’t familiar with these consoles, we’ve put together guides to buying Microsoft’s Xbox One X and Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro.

There are some great PS4 Pro and Xbox One X deals out there right now and we should see some additional deals popup as we push through the year.

You should also consider waiting for Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 which are slated to arrive later this year. We don’t have a release date for either one, but you can expect them to arrive before the holidays.

NBA 2K21 for next-gen consoles will feature better graphics and faster load times.

If you buy the Mamba Forever Edition for Xbox One or PS4 you also get the NBA 2K21 Standard Edition for PS5 or Xbox Series X, 100K bonus VC , and the Zion Williamson Digital Collection that’s accessible on next-gen.

If you buy the Mamba Forever Edition for PS5 for Xbox Series X, you’ll get the NBA 2K21 Standard Edition for PS4 or Xbox One and the Damian Lillard Digital Collection.

Download the NBA 2K21 Demo

If you’re on the fence about buying NBA 2K21 or you just want to get a head start, keep your eyes peeled for details about an NBA 2K21 demo.

Every year 2K Games provides a short demo that lets you try a small portion of the game before the full version arrives.

Assuming the company doesn’t switch things up this year, you can expect the NBA 2K21 demo to arrive sometime in late August ahead of the global release date.

How to Get NBA 2K21 Early

2K isn’t offering an early release date this year, but you should able to play the game before its September 4th release date if you live in the right time zone or if you’re willing to head down to a store.

If you pre-order a digital copy of NBA 2K21 you should be able to pre-load the game and start playing when the clock strikes Midnight Eastern on September 4th. So if you live in California, that means 9PM on September 3rd.

If you pre-order a physical copy and you want to start playing as soon as it unlocks, you might be able to pickup your copy the night of September 4th.

Best Buy and GameStop typically host launch events starting at 9PM local time giving those who want to play the new game ASAP the ability to do so.

We won’t know for sure until we get much closer to the game’s street date.

3 Reasons to Pre-Order NBA 2K21 & 6 Reasons to Wait

Pre-Order NBA 2k21 to Receive These Bonuses

Pre-Order NBA 2k21 to Receive These Bonuses

If you plan to invest a lot of time into NBA 2K21's various game modes, you might want to pre-order a copy because you'll get some bonuses with your order. 

If you pre-order a copy of the standard edition you get some bonus items that could prove useful. These bonuses include:

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered once a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

If you pre-order a copy of the standard edition for PS5 or Xbox Series X, you get the following items:

  • 5,000 Virtual Currency
  • 5,000 MyTEAM Points
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo packs (delivered one a week)
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5 pair Shoe Collection
  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

If you decide you want to go with the expensive Mamba Forever Edition for current-generation platforms, you get these pre-order bonuses:

  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection
    • Lillard MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Custom Lillard MyPLAYER T-shirt
    • Tissot Chrono XL NBA Watch for MyPLAYER

And if you pre-order a copy of the Mamba Forever Edition for PS5 or Xbox Series X, you get the following bonuses with your order:

  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection
    • Zion MyTEAM Free Agent Card
    • Zion New Orleans Pelicans MyPLAYER Jersey
    • Zion MyPLAYER Dunk Animation Package

Those all come free with a pre-order and they'll give you a pretty good head start if you plan to play 2K's various game modes. 

Last update on 2020-08-14. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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