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NBA LIVE 19: Court Battles

NBA LIVE 19 is adding even more depth to The ONE with Court Battles – an all-new way to play competitive basketball across a number of custom courts with custom rules, where you go against the NBA Live community and your friends! In Court Battles, you‘ll travel the globe, challenging others in an attempt to take over their customized courts to earn unique bonuses and rewards. In parallel, you’ll also need to make sure to set up defenses on your own customized home court, so that others don’t take it, because they can, whether you are online of off.

The Details on Court Battles

The first thing to know about Court Battles is that each attack and defend phase is split into what we call Campaigns. These Campaigns are a set amount of time where you race against the clock to attack and take over as many courts as possible. Each Campaign has multiple Reward Tiers that can be reached depending on how many courts you are able to take before time runs out on that Campaign. But first, make sure you always own your court, in order to earn the most rewards. If someone takes it, that’s one less court you’ll have in your Campaign, potentially preventing you from moving up a Reward Tier. The higher the Reward Tier, the better the rewards – from new players for your lineup to court customization items, excelling at court battles will help you create a team and court that represents your individual style.

In addition to the rewards you can gain from taking over other courts in each Campaign, you will also be earning Court Hype throughout the mode while attacking and defending courts. Court Hype is a persistent ranking of how successful you’ve been in the mode. Just like with Campaign and Live Run Hype, Court Hype starts you as a Rookie and culminates at ICON status. Not only will ranking up in Court Hype give you a new visual medallion and bragging rights, but every five levels advanced in Court Hype means better rewards can be earned during each Court Battles Campaign. Want the best rewards Court Battles has to offer? Then you’re going to want to achieve ICON status within the mode.

The path to ICON status in Court Battles is no easy journey, so let’s dive deeper into the mode, starting with the most important step of ensuring your court is well protected. Every attack made on your court will earn you defensive Court Hype. The amount of defensive Court Hype earned depends on whether your squad succeeds or fails at defending your court, so you’re going to want to make sure to find the perfect combination of defense to guarantee your victory.


Your Court, Your Lineup, Your Rules

Once you’ve customized your court, you’re going to want to set up your defenses. Users who attack your court will play an AI controlled version of the squad you created, tailored to play the way you set. So, making sure you’ve set them up for success is paramount. You also will earn bonus rewards when successfully attacking someone else’s court when you are in control of your own. Making sure your court is well protected is key.

 Defending your court is broken down into four key areas:

  1. Choosing your court’s Game Rules – We have 38 rulesets at launch to earn and play against, and we hope to add more throughout the year.
  2. Setting your court’s Defensive Lineup – Define the five players best suited for your Game rules and attacker handicap.
  3. Choosing an Attacker Handicap – This is a restriction you put on the attacking team.
  4. Setting your team’s Game Plan – This is when you define how you want your AI squad to play.

Court Ruleset

The first step in defending your court from attacking teams is to select a Game Rule that opponents will have to play within when they try to take your court. On your first login, you’ll be given three randomized “Rookie” tier Game Rules that you’ll be able to choose from. More complex rules will become available as you work your way through Court Battles and climb the Court Hype leaderboards. You’ll also be able to change the active Game Rule on your court at any time with rules you have unlocked.

There are 38 unique Game Rules available at launch, with more being released throughout the year via our Live Services programs. For a detailed look at the rules available at launch, and the Court Hype Tier they are available at, see below:

Defensive Lineup

Next up, you’re going to want to select the Defensive Lineup that will protect your court. By default, you’ll be granted with a subset of players to fill this role, but additional players can be collected in the following ways:

  • Any players you recruit in Streets World Tour mode will be available for use in Court Battles
  • As you upgrade your Court Hype, you’ll begin being rewarded with additional players, or players will become available in reward collections in the in-game store, unlocked by in game RP (Reward Points)
  • Once you achieve certain controlled court tiers within a Court Battles Campaign, players will be awarded
  • Players will be awarded throughout the year across our live services offerings like Live Events
  • Note: Any players earned in Court Battles can also be used in World Tour mode.

Depending on the Game Rule selected for your court, you’ll want to experiment with different lineups that put your squad in the best position to defend your court. Have a rule equipped that awards you with more points the farther away from the basket you shoot? Make sure your Defensive Lineup is comprised of mostly shooters. Have a rule equipped where only dunks count? Add a couple extra slashers to your Defensive Lineup to get to the rim.

To add even more depth to your player collection, you’ll be able to acquire different versions of players throughout the year with unique traits that are representative of their career arcs.

While you will be collecting players that can be used to defend your court (or attack, more on that later), it is important to note that your created One player will not be eligible to be a part of your defending squad. The team wanted to place extra emphasis on your created baller being the Captain of your Attacking Lineup, leading your squad to victory and court conquests across the globe.

Attacker Handicaps

Once you’ve assigned a Game Rule and set your lineup, you’re going to want to assign an Attacker Handicap. These are a collection of lineup restrictions that apply only to the opponent who attempts to challenge your court – your Defensive Lineup does not have to abide by this restriction. Pair these with different Game Rules and Defensive Lineups to create customized challenges that will decrease the chances of your court being taken. Just like with Game Rules, you’ll earn more of these attacker handicaps as you progress through the mode and your Court Hype level increases.

Let’s take a deeper look at how Attacker Handicaps can be used with a couple of in game examples:

  • With the “Outside In” Game Rule that awards more points for 3-pointers (4 points) and mid-range shots (3 points) with dunks and layups just being worth a single point, you would want to set your Defensive Lineup to include shooters and good perimeter defenders. From a handicap perspective, you may want to require your opponent start two centers, which in theory should impact their ability to shoot it deep. The risk here is that your team could be small, which could mean you’ll likely lose the inside game, but the potential advantage is that your team may be able to make enough outside shots to build a big enough lead and mitigate the lack of size and points given up in the paint.
  • Using the “Only Dunks Count”’ Game Rule, you may set a lineup that is filled with slashers with the ability to perform high flying dunks, and a big who can protect the paint. If you reach Legend status in Court Hype (one of the highest levels you can achieve just below Icon), you can equip the Attacker Handicap on your opponent that they must have 2 players with a dunk rating below 80 in their lineup, making it more difficult for them to rattle the rim and score.

A full list of Attacker Handicaps and the Court Hype levels they are unlocked at for launch are the following:

Set Your Game Plan

Once your Game Rule, Defensive Lineup, and Attacker Handicap are set, the final step in defending your court is implementing a Game Plan. This is a unique set of AI behavior that you will determine to set how your defending team plays. It is also the one defensive setting that your opponent will not see when they are looking at courts to attack. Want to keep your attacker off balance and run the triangle? How about telling your players to crash the boards with a Rule Set equipped where rebounds count towards your point total? The choice is yours, provided you have unlocked the respective Game Plan to The full list of game plans and the Court Hype levels they are unlocked at for launch are below

There are hundreds of combinations of Game Rules, Defensive Lineups, Attacker Handicaps, and Game Plans that can be earned while playing Court Battles. Successfully utilizing these to find the perfect mix is what will separate the Rookies from the ICONS when it comes to maintaining control of your court. So, do you have what it takes, or will your court just be another stepping stone on someone else’s quest to for global domination?

The Best Defense is a Great Offense

Now that your defenses are set, it’s time to find other courts to attack to begin your quest for global domination. Taking over courts isn’t just about bragging rights either, as the more courts you successfully attack and control, the better the rewards at the end of the campaign.

Within the Battle Now tile on the Court Battles menu you will see the following options:

  • Recommended: These are teams that are in the same lineup OVR range as your team. As you continue to acquire better players, you will begin being matched with tougher opponents to ensure a level and balanced experience for all.
  • Friends: Here you will see all your friends with a complete win/loss record tracking system for ultimate bragging rights. Never let your friends get ahead of you in the Win column!
  • Defensive History: Quickly cycle through any opponents who have attempted to take your court, and instantly challenge them back.

You will always see a tile on the left in the Battle Now screen that will give you the status of your own court. Should you log in to the mode or return from attacking another court, and find your court has been taken, you will instantly be made aware as this tile will be highlighted in red, and you can instantly action on it to enter into a battle to take your court back.

As you cycle through potential opponents, their defensive lineup, Game Rule, and Attacker Handicap information will be displayed to you on the map, so you know what type of challenge you are facing.

Once you’ve identified a court you want to attack, you’ll be taken to a lineup screen where you will have the opportunity to edit your Attacking Lineup. Your One created player is the captain of your attacking squad and cannot be substituted from your lineup. If you have other players who do not fit into the court’s attacker handicap, they will be denoted by a warning sign, letting you know where you need to make adjustments. Additionally, once you select a player to switch out, there is a filter on the roster page that will only show you players who are valid for the attacker handicap on the court you are attacking.

Once your lineup is locked in you‘ll be given the ability to select a difficulty level. Although playing on Easy will give you the best chance of winning, you will not be awarded control of a court if you win. The harder the difficulty you select the more Court Hype and Reward Points you can earn.

Also take note on the difficulty screen of Opponent Bonuses. These are additional bonuses that can be earned each game depending on the opponent you select. These bonuses are:

  • Opponent Quality Bonus: The tougher the OVR of the team you select compared to yours will increase this bonus, while the weaker the OVR will negate it.
  • Rule Quality Bonus: Each ruleset is rated based on the Court Hype Tier it can be unlocked within. Attacking users with higher quality defensive rules and handicaps will result in higher RP and Hype rewards if defeated.
  • My Court Bonus: If you control your own ONE Court prior to attacking other players you will receive this bonus.

When you challenge an opponent at Normal or higher difficulty and win, you’ll be awarded control of their court. Once you have taken control of a court, your Defensive Lineup and Defensive Rules are left behind to defend that court. This Court will then be added to your total controlled courts number during the campaign, increasing your reward tier. Opponents will then be notified that their court has been taken and will be given three opportunities to take their court back from your defending team. As noted when talking about defending your own court, the stronger your defense, the better your chances are of maintaining control of your opponent’s court and earning rewards. If your opponent is unable to reclaim their court after three tries, they will have to wait for the campaign timer to end, at which point all controlled courts are granted back to their owners, and the cycle begins again.

Should your defense fail, and your opponent takes their court back, that court will be subtracted from the progress you are making towards your current reward tier during the campaign. It is important to note however, that once you reach a specific reward tier, you are locked in to receive those rewards at the end of the campaign, even if you lose control of your courts. So, get out there and conquer as many courts as possible to see just how far up the rewards Tier you can rise.

Opponent States

One final note, around opponents you are looking to attack. As you cycle through various available opponents, you will notice that they can be in different interaction states. These states are communicated on the top of their gamer picture and will let you know if they are able to be attacked or not.

The following is the terminology you can see on each potential opponent, and what it means:

  • Battle Now: Any opponent who can be attacked immediately
  • In Control: Appears above any opponent whose court you're currently in control of
  • Under Control: This state is displayed when the opponent's court is under the control of another player
  • Pending Attack: Appears when you've initiated an exchange against an opponent and you're waiting for them to attack you back
  • Cooldown: This state appears whenever you've completed an exchange with an opponent (both players have attacked each other's court once) and you're waiting for the campaign timer to reset, as you can only attack an opponent's court once per campaign.

Let the Battles Begin

The entire NBA Live team is extremely excited for everyone to get their hands on Court Battles. Whether it’s embarking on a quest of global dominance, trying to achieve the ultimate bragging rights among friends, collecting a lineup of legends of the present and the past, or simply ensuring you defend against all those attempting to take control of your home, Court Battles has something for everyone. Are you ready for battle? See you on the courts.

As always, thank you for your feedback and support.


- Christian McLeod, Associate Producer (Follow Christian on Twitter @CMcLeod_EA)


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