All NBA 2K23 difficulty modes, explained

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Nowadays, most games’ best friends are the difficulty modes players can choose from. These provide different experiences for players when they play certain games, and can really test a player’s skill, depending on the available mechanics. 

Some games stick with the usual difficulty mode patterns such as the easy, medium, and hard modes. But some games tend to be creative when it comes to the terms that they use to represent these difficulty modes. 

One of those is NBA 2K23, where a handful of difficulties are available. And the terms they used could really hype up the basketball fans out there.

Here are all the NBA 2K23 difficulty modes, explained to help you choose how hard you want to play your game.

All NBA 2K23 difficulty modes, explained


Just like a new athlete that enters a sports team or league, Rookie is the lowest difficulty option in NBA 2K23. Playing this difficulty could be considered like a tutorial mode, since everything is relatively easy. In Rookie mode, you’ll learn the basics of playing NBA 2K23, ranging from the rules, the moves you’ll need to use (shooting, passing, rebounding, blocking, and stealing), and almost everything a basketball player can do on the court.

The Rookie mode is mostly useful for players who have not yet played any basketball video game, particularly any game from the NBA 2K franchise.


Now from being a Rookie, this is where the challenges of being an NBA 2K player really begins. The Semi-Professional, or Semi Pro mode is the newest addition to the difficulties players can choose from in NBA 2K23. Though it could still be easier compared to the Pro, All-Star, Superstar, and Hall of Fame modes, playing in the Semi-Pro difficulty provides an experience wherein you may not demolish your opponents compared to when you play the Rookie mode. 

Some of the deeper fundamentals of basketball can be learned here, like the different types of offenses a coach uses during a game. But still, if you’re eager to master the game of basketball through NBA 2K23, you can dominate this mode.


Pro is the standard difficulty in NBA 2K23, since those who are up for some real challenges are the best fit to try this. Here, you could feel how the difficulty of playing either the Rookie or Semi-pro modes could escalate, especially given the AIs of your opponents and teammates have really improved, challenging you to play the game as skillfully as possible.

Playing the Pro difficulty is where you’ll have a 50/50 chance of winning games. Unlike the Rookie and Semi-Pro modes wherein your chance of winning could most of the time be bigger than losing, you should always need to prove yourself in every game you’ll play in the Pro mode. 

This is also where what you learned from easier modes can be tested.


With the Pro mode being a challenging difficulty mode already, the All-Star mode is even a harder mode to deal with. If you opt to play the All-Star mode, you should almost consider yourself an expert of the game, since it’s really up to you to strategize and do your team’s plays, as well as creating the best line-up of your team.

The quality of the AIs of your teammates and opponents in the All-Star mode are greatly increased, making every game feel like it’s the playoffs.


In the NBA, you can only be regarded as a “Superstar” if you are showing exceptional basketball skills, like scoring high points consistently, or excelling in a certain specialty like producing a great number of assists or being a defensive specialist. This is also the definition of the Superstar mode in NBA 2K23, wherein you should not just be an expert, but a master of the game.

In layman’s terms, this difficulty is the definition of the difficult mode in games. Your opponents and teammates’ AIs are all geniuses which could really bring out the best in you. You will really need a lot of patience here because, since you would really need to grind to progress in the Superstar mode.

Hall of Fame

Last but not the least is what every NBA player dreams to be when they retire. And in NBA 2K23, the Hall of Fame mode is the holy grail of difficulties. This could be considered as the extremely difficult mode, wherein you should play at your best all the time. Being a master of the game is always a requirement to excel in this difficulty.

Playing in the Hall of Fame mode is recommended for those who have played the NBA 2K games in the past at the highest level possible.

How to change difficulty in NBA 2K23

Changing difficulties in NBA 2K23 is easy to do. The only requirement players need to have in order to set the right difficulty is by creating a profile in the MyCareer mode.

Once your profile is done, go to the MyCareer mode’s Options/Quit bar. Select it and choose the Settings option afterward. Here, you’ll find the Difficulty menu. Finally, choose the difficulty mode you ‘ll want to play in NBA 2K23.

Why change difficulty in NBA 2K23?

The main reason to change your difficulty in NBA 2K23 is to test how much you have improved in playing the game. There is always a high chance you’ll be able to dominate your opponents in the Rookie and Semi-Pro modes. So, stepping up the challenge and fighting harder opponents is advisable, especially since playing a basketball game is the main medium of gameplay in NBA 2K23.

Also, players can get more VC and MyPoints when they change difficulties, with harder ones giving more resources. These can help your character level up, or unlock cosmetic items you could use during games.