The NBA 2K21 release date is just days away which means Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch owners should start prepping for the download.
2K’s annual entry into the long-running NBA 2K series, NBA 2K21, hits current-generation consoles on September 4th. The game is also headed to Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, but we don’t have an official release date for that version just yet.
With anticipation mounting, console and PC owners are starting to plan for the game’s arrival. With that in mind, we want to take you through everything you need to know about the NBA 2K21 download.
From the pre-load to the potential download time for your console, our guide will help you prepare for the game’s release later on this week.
- How Long Will the NBA 2K21 Download Take?
- How to Download the NBA 2K21 on Xbox One
- How to Download the NBA 2K21 on PS4
- How to Download the NBA 2K21 on Nintendo Switch
NBA 2K21 Preload
There are some great reasons to think about pre-ordering NBA 2K21. You’ll net yourself some nice bonuses and if you buy a digital copy, you can download the game ahead of the release date. This will allow you to play right when the game unlocks on Friday.
Right now you can preload NBA 2K21 on the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. While you can download the full game file on your console, you won’t be able to start playing until the game unlocks on September 4th.
NBA 2K21 will unlock at Midnight Eastern on Friday and that means those of you in western time zones will be able to start playing it on September 3rd.
How Long Will NBA 2K21 Take to Download?
According to Microsoft, the approximate size of NBA 2K21 is 89GB. The PS4 NBA 2K21 download is around 87GB which means it’s going to take quite a bit of time to complete.
The file size for Nintendo Switch looks like it’ll be a much smaller 6.7GB.
If you’re running out of space on your internal storage, now would be a good time to comb through your data and delete files and games you no longer need.
If you’re running out of space and you don’t want to delete any files, you should think about investing in an external hard drive for your console. Samsung’s T5 Portable SSD is still one of our favorites and the WD My Passport 2TB is a solid budget option.
If you’re planning to download a digital copy of the game, you might have to wait awhile.
Mileage will vary based on connection speed, but a 80+GB download could take over and hour for a lot of you. For others, it could take multiple hours, especially if you’re trying to download the game the second it’s released.
If you’re curious how long the NBA 2K21 download might take you can use this handy tool to get a read on how long the download might take to finish up.
It might not be exact, but it will help you plan ahead and set realistic expectations.
- 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.
- Physical copies of NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition for PlayStation 4 will include a digital copy of NBA 2K21 Standard Edition for PlayStation 5 in box.
- This edition includes 100,000 Virtual Currency, 10,000 MyTEAM points, MyTEAM packs, digital items for your MyPLAYER, and more
- Note: There will be 2 inserts in PS4 Mamba edition physical product. 1 code is for the Mamba edition content (VC, MyTeam packs, etc.), this slip is titled Damian Liliard & Zion Williams Digital Collection. The second code is for the NG game code and VC, this slip is titled PS4 Digital Items 2K21 for PS5. Both codes can be redeemed through the normal console process
- First party codes are provided and redeemed through their storefronts. PlayStation codes are 12 digits
You might want to run a wired cable to your console for the duration of the download. This will help keep the download speed fast and stable.
How to Download NBA 2K1 on Xbox One
There are a couple of ways to start the installation process on Xbox One.
If you haven’t pre-ordered, you’ll want to select NBA 2K21 edition you want to buy and purchase the game to start the download process.
If you won’t be home, you can still download the game and have it ready to go when you return. Here’s how to do that.
First, make sure your Xbox One has an internet connection. You’ll also need to enable the Always Connected power option in your Xbox settings. Always Connected means your Xbox One goes to sleep instead of turning off.
After you’ve done that, follow these instructions:
- Go to Xbox.com in your web browser.
- Click on the Sign In link in the top-right corner. For this to work you must use the same Microsoft Account that’s connected to your Xbox Live gamertag and Xbox One.
- Type NBA 2K21 into the search box in the top-right corner of your screen.
- Click the blue “Get” button.
If for some reason your console doesn’t download new games and game updates when it’s sleeping, you’ll need to manually download NBA 2K21 whenever you get back home.
How to Download NBA 2K1 on PS4
If you’ll be playing NBA 2K21 on a PS4, here’s how you’ll download it.
If you’re at home, turn on your PlayStation 4 and head into the Store. The easiest way to find the game is via a search for “NBA 2K21.”
If you won’t be home, you’ll need to find a device with internet connectivity and visit the PlayStation Store in a browser. Your PS4 will also need to have Automatic Downloads enabled.
Here’s what you need to do in order to download NBA 2K21 remotely:
- Go to Store.PlayStation.com in your browser.
- Click Sign In in the top-right corner of the screen. For this to work, this account needs to match the account you use on your PlayStation 4.
- Use the search box to look for NBA 2K21.
- Click on Add to Cart and complete the checkout process.
Once you’re home you’ll want to look for NBA 2K21 in your collection of games. If for some reason it’s not there, you’ll need to manually start the download and wait for it to finish.
How to Download NBA 2K1 on Nintendo Switch
If you’ll be playing the game on a Nintendo Switch, here’s what you’ll need to do.
If you’re near your Switch, head into the Nintendo eShop, search for “NBA 2K21,” find the game, and initiate the download.
If you aren’t near your Switch, you can snag the game from your phone or laptop. Here’s how to do that:
- Go to Nintendo.com in your browser.
- In the search bar at the very top of the page, type in NBA 2K21.
- Once you’re on the game page, find the red box that says “Buy digital” and select it.
- When prompted, enter the account information associated with your Switch.
Once you do that, the download should begin automatically.
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:
If you pre-order a copy of the standard edition for PS5 or Xbox Series X, you get the following items:
If you decide you want to go with the expensive Mamba Forever Edition for current-generation platforms, you get these pre-order bonuses:
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:
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 2020-12-15. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API
This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.