NBA Playgrounds Patch Adds Unranked Online Games and More

NBA Playgrounds was lacking one vital feature when it hit digital stores a few weeks back: online unranked games. It was next to impossible to be paired with the people you actually sought to play with, because ranked games needed to be randomly set to keep the league rankings fair. Thankfully patch 1.1 for Xbox One now resolves that major issue among adding or touching up several other features.

The new Challenge Mode acts as the invite-a-friend option but it does require one slight concession from the players. The host creates a one-time use code, which defaults to their gamertag unless they choose to change it, and the other player must enter the code to join the lobby.

15 new players have also been added to the game, including some that seemed confusingly missing at launch, like Larry Bird, Tracy McGrady, and Gary Payton. A shot meter has also been added to the in-game HUD to help players time their shots more effectively, and the shooting system has been “tweaked” all around. The full patch notes can be seen below within the spoiler tags.

New Features:

  • Added: The Challenge Mode feature, which allows you to challenge other players to online matches

  • You can now switch between unranked challenges and ranked games in the online mode

  • To challenge another player, you must switch to the challenge mode in the online menu and define a challenge code. By default, your challenge code is your nickname, but you can change it to your own, personal code. The person you are challenging must enter your code.

  • If you have been challenged, please enter your challenger’s code and press “Accept”.

  • All challenges are unranked and your ranking/ELO will be unaffected by the results of the challenge.

  • Added: Toxicity system/Disconnection Manager, which penalizes players who abandon matches in any other way than surrendering

  • Added: 5 new versions of Shaquille O´Neal in various teams from his career (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic)

  • Added: 15 new players join the roster

  • The following players were added: Dennis Rodman, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Giannis Antetokoumnpo, Kenny Smith, Gary Payton, Klay Thompson, Devin Booker, Tony Parker, Kemba Walker, Seth Curry, Tiny Archibald, John Starks, Tracy McGrady, Pete Maravich

  • Added: A shot-meter was added to help finding the perfect timing for shots, dunks etc.

  • Added: ‘International English’ with metric units was added as default language in case none of the supported languages is the user’s native system language

  • Added: Voice Chat is now enabled

Notable Changes:

  • Adjusted: Shots were adjusted to make the system more accessible and unified throughout all variations

  • Adjusted: Timing for layups and 2-pointers from under the hoop was adjusted. Layups are now easier to perform, and players with low stats for 2-pointers are slightly better than before

  • Adjusted: The steal action was adjusted to better fit the intended gameplay
    – It is now possible to perform a steal action when behind an opponent

  • Changed: The Stars Lottery Pick will only be awarded if a team is at least 6 points behind

  • Changed: 3 pointers no longer fill lottery pick bar

  • Improved: Rebounding accuracy improved

  • Improved: The online matchmaking algorithm

  • Increased: The duration of the 3 points x2 Lottery Pick was increased

  • Increased: The difficulty of 3 pointers was increased

  • Reduced: The duration of the Stars Lottery Pick was reduced

  • Reduced: The number of steals required for the Las Vegas Challenge #2 was reduced to 10 (was 15)

  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the Paris Challenge #4 was reduced to 6 (was 7)

  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the London Challenge #1 was reduced to 6 (was 10)

  • Reduced: The number of 3-pointers needed for the Las Vegas Challenge #3 was reduced to 8 (was 12)

  • Reduced: The inbound time was reduced to adjust it to the overall style of the game

Notable Fixes:

  • Fixed: An issue that occasionally caused the ‘Lighting Ball Lottery Pick’ not to score from longer distances was fixed

  • Fixed: A misspelling of a player’s name was corrected

  • Fixed: An issue that prevented users from seeing off-screen markers sometimes was fixed

  • Fixed: Several desynch issues in bad network connection scenarios were addressed

  • Fixed: A problem where a dunk could score after the match ended was solved

  • Fixed: Several problems that made the ball getting stuck on the top of the backboard were fixed

  • Fixed: A problem that prevented the ball from stop spinning after scoring was fixed

  • Fixed: A problem in which failed dunks could score if the teammate was performing an alley-oop was fixed

  • Fixed: Issues related to the strength of the force feedback effects were addressed

The patch is now live.