Connect with us

NBA 2K21 Modded Controller Debacle - Not Some New Phenomenon

NBA 2K21 Modded Controller

NBA 2K21

NBA 2K21 Modded Controller Debacle - Not Some New Phenomenon

At this point, you’ve either gotten a good grasp of your shot using your preferred aiming/meter/no meter method (at least maybe until the latest patch changed things a bit today), or you’re still struggling to hit shots consistently. To add to the fun (or annoyance) of shooting, is a “new” discovery that has been exposed by and within the 2K community. Some players are being accused of using modded controllers or the Cronus Zen device, which apparently allows players to consistently hit green lights. And I say this is a “new” discovery because this NBA 2K21 modded controller mess is only new in the sense that it’s getting more attention. “Perfect” green releases were able to be accomplished with the shot timing before this as well, but the new aiming method has put a whole new focus on the problem.

What Are The Devices In Question?

I’m going to start by stating that I’m not a game developer, IT mastermind or know-it-all. That being said, I do have a good understanding of various areas in technology, telecommunications and the internet. What we’ve seen in the last couple days have been various videos and clips of people using what has been perpetrated as modded controllers. The community has jumped all over this, and people are running to different resources to try and find these controllers.

I’m personally under the impression that people aren’t usually using modded controllers in a traditional sense, but are in fact using a device called the Cronus Zen, or its older version, the CronusMax. I do believe that there are controllers that could be programmed to record user input, but it’s much more likely that one of the aforementioned Cronus devices is the culprit at play. While I can’t speak to modded controllers, mainly because I only know available mods to be offered to allow for greater flexibility for shooters, I can speak to Cronus devices.

Created by Collective Minds in 2013, the CronusMax USB device was designed to allow users to take whichever controller they owned for their respective console and allowed it to be used on any other console. The real game changer with the CronusMax, however, was the potential it unlocked for controller customization in-game that was completely undetectable. Users could set up anti-recoil, auto-fire and burst fire mods, along with other enhancement mods. You could essentially turn a semi-auto fire weapon into a full auto weapon, or use a pistol almost like an assault rifle.

This device was truly powerful. GamePacks were created for the top-tier games like Call of Duty and Fortnite to simplify various in-game actions, allowing overpowered controls for the user. The CronusMax released two updated devices, discontinuing the CronusMax Plus this year to release the Cronus Zen (seen above in photo).

Released a few months ago, the Cronus Zen again changed the game for controller mods without actually having to modify or alter your controller. Offering the same features as the CronusMax Plus, including controller mods sans physical controller modifications, the biggest feature offered that is now creating dissent in NBA 2K21 is GPC Scripts. This is where cheating comes into play. Without going into a detailed explanation, GPC Scripts allow a user to program a mod right down to the finite detail. In this case, that would be shot timing release points or aim points.

How Cronus Devices Affect NBA 2K21

Before I explain how the CronusMax/Zen is now affecting the 2K community and NBA 2K21, I want to reiterate that I’m not a tech genius, but I’m pretty sure that these devices are the catalyst to this blossoming problem. Physically modded controllers might be out there and could potentially be in use, but I don’t think that they’re leading to what we’re seeing now.

In the tweet above, originating from NBA2KCHN on Twitter, you can clearly see that the person in the clip taps the L1 button and the player in-game shoots a perfectly aimed deep mid-range shot. While it could be argued that he’s holding a modded controller, I think that the controller in use is connected to either a CronusMax Plus or a Cronus Zen. Using a GPC Script, you can program the Cronus device to record your button input so that it captures the timing of said button press, down to the exact millisecond (referred to hereafter as ms).

Combine the ms timing with the recording of aiming perfectly — and the boost the game itself gives for this — and you’ve got a “can’t miss” macro. You can take this data and assign it to any button on the controller in use, which, as repeatedly mentioned over the weekend all over Twitter, seems to be L1. I did a little research and found a script that was created and only required user modification to factor in latency.

It’s no secret that latency has plagued NBA 2K online modes for several years now, and it doesn’t seem like the 2K team has put much interest into addressing the issue. While latency could affect these mods, the fact that you can adjust the timing on the fly cancels out the latency issue. It didn’t take long for the community to post other clips of players they assumed were cheating:

What Does This Mean For The Game?

With this modding issue now in the discussion alongside the issues regarding the shot aim mechanic, and shooting in general, I think it’s fair to say that NBA 2K21 is potentially ruined unless some sort of resolution can be found by the 2K dev team. The shot aim mechanic was brought back to introduce a viable skill gap between players, and this exploit clearly blows that out of the water (as does the old button timing concept for that matter).

In my understanding of how the Cronus products and/or modded controllers work, there isn’t a way for the NBA 2K team to identify that these exploits are being used. Because an emulation of a button press or stick movement is being performed, it would appear on the server side like the user is controlling the game as intended. Remember, these mod devices do not alter the game, the system or code within the game whatsoever. They emulate the action of aiming the shot stick and releasing at the perfect time, and assign that whole process to a singular button of the user’s choice.

Removing the shot aim mechanic and/or its associated boost would most likely be the most logical resolution to get rid of the problem, as suggested by 2K community members:

We can only wait to see what kind of resolution the NBA 2K team comes up with to combat this exploit.

Bottom Line

The 2K modded controller debacle causes issues besides the obvious. On top of the fact that players who have this capability will clearly use it, anybody that has a perfect shooting game percentage in any online mode will potentially be accused of cheating. I’ve definitely had games where I went 3/3 or 5/5 from behind the arc, and I use the 2K20 timing mechanic. I don’t have access to a Cronus device so I can’t use the exploit (nor would I), but I wouldn’t be surprised moving forward if people would make that assumption.

This whole ordeal also has me wondering if I’ve encountered players like this already. I played a Rec game with some friends the other night and encountered a guard who went 8/8 from the 3-point line, and most of the shots were perfect green releases. Did he have a Cronus device that allowed him to hit all his shots without missing? It’s extremely hard to tell, but as I mentioned above, my time with 2K21 in the Neighborhood or in any online modes will be spent sparingly.

Perhaps the endgame here is 2K simply does away with “perfect” releases and the concept of a green light generally meaning a made shot. We argued about the rationale for removing green releases just last week, and it seems even more logical now to take a look at that concept again. Regardless, it’s just not fun when you play against people who have to cheat, especially in a game like NBA 2K, to get the advantage to win.

What do you think about the whole modded controller debacle? Do you think you’ve potentially come up against someone who has used one of these devices to get the upper hand? Would you use this method knowing that it’s virtually undetectable and allows you to be that much more efficient? Leave your comments below.

37 Comments

Leave a Reply

Discussion
  1. Last time I had such a controller was for nintendo. Does that even count as a modded controller where I didn't have to keep jamming on the A button?
    I think i used it for that Konami game where I was a Olympic runner. Man the nostalgia lol
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
    Goffs
    Last time I had such a controller was for nintendo. Does that even count as a modded controller where I didn't have to keep jamming on the A button?
    I think i used it for that Konami game where I was a Olympic runner. Man the nostalgia lol
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
    You cheater Goffs!
    Us we were using a tennis ball on the buttons of the game gear to run faster.
    Sent from my M2004J19C using Operation Sports mobile app
    Vni
    You cheater Goffs!
    Us we were using a tennis ball on the buttons of the game gear to run faster.
    Sent from my M2004J19C using Operation Sports mobile app

    Yeah... How is this only a thing now?
    People have been lighting up the scoreboards since the Sharpshooter class was invented in 17. Even in 16 as an "outside" archetype, there were ways to defend them.
    But hiding behind a screen and shooting green after green has plagued this game for YEARS.
    Enough is enough. Banish the automatic make, PERIOD. Layup or otherwise, NO shot, not even a DUNK should be 100%.
    A two handed dunk still has the chance to rim out on this game. I've encountered it several times even on fast breaks WIDE OPEN.
    How a three has had a higher success rate than a DUNK never made sense to me.
    howardphillips214
    Yeah... How is this only a thing now?
    People have been lighting up the scoreboards since the Sharpshooter class was invented in 17. Even in 16 as an "outside" archetype, there were ways to defend them.
    But hiding behind a screen and shooting green after green has plagued this game for YEARS.
    Enough is enough. Banish the automatic make, PERIOD. Layup or otherwise, NO shot, not even a DUNK should be 100%.
    A two handed dunk still has the chance to rim out on this game. I've encountered it several times even on fast breaks WIDE OPEN.
    How a three has had a higher success rate than a DUNK never made sense to me.

    Man...there's a higher chance of me missing a dunk or getting blocked on a dunk attempt than there is of me blocking the shot of someone who "mastered" their shooting.
    ChaseB

    At this point, you've either gotten a good grasp of your shot using your preferred aiming/meter/no...
    Written By: Joel Smith
    Click here to view the article.
    Great write up buddy!!! I think you covered all the bases!
    That's why I think it's time to do away with the green Releases. Screwed up the game from the get.
    Not very interested in this years game.
    Haha. Thanks for that article. I had no idea that this existed. The CPU can be aimbot on 2 point shots and fts sometimes making every shot contested or not.
    Hopefully this will be the death of the perfect release
    alabamarob
    Haha. Thanks for that article. I had no idea that this existed. The CPU can be aimbot on 2 point shots and fts sometimes making every shot contested or not.
    Hopefully this will be the death of the perfect release
    I really hope it does. I'm tired of seeing it one. And tried of that dominating and a conversation about this game. Like I'd seriously go back to the headband threads. At least they were fighting for something.
    And I do think it's hilarious that people are just learning about this stuff. Feels like when I learned about a lag switch lol
    jeebs9
    I really hope it does. I'm tired of seeing it one. And tried of that dominating and a conversation about this game. Like I'd seriously go back to the headband threads. At least they were fighting for something.
    And I do think it's hilarious that people are just learning about this stuff. Feels like when I learned about a lag switch lol

    Lag switch?
    ksuttonjr76
    That's nothing, Rookie.
    I used a comb to press the buttons to run faster on arcade cabinet game Track and Field.

    Peeps in my arcades were using tape and pencils for Track and Field.
    I've been thinking since long time that introducing these arcade mechanics and mini-games as shooting bars/indicators, green releases to expect to be 100% in and all this stuff was the beginning of the end of this saga. NBA 2k in the past was a simulation oriented NBA game which we used to love, but not anymore...
    And here we are, I didn't know of the existence of these modifiers, but what I know is that current NBA 2k gameplay mechanics encourage people to use them and that "skill gap" is not real anymore... Perhaps it's time to go back to the NBA 2k fundation and erradicate these arcade mechanics?
    I have no issue with having release timing or aiming to factor shooting outcome, but not to this exaggerated extent, I hope NBA 2k team as a whole reacts to this and the orientation of the game go back to basketball fundamentals and ratings and not so focused on arcade mini-games...
    alabamarob
    Lag switch?
    This is back in the day. Look it up. Basically makes your internet connection drop packets. Caveman cheating. I don't think people do it anymore.
    Edit: Super easy to make on your your own. Making your package drop.
    https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-lag-switch-817481#:~:text=A%20lag%20switch%20is%20a,lag%20switcher%20the%20upper%20hand.
    This sort of cheating is easily traceable. The server will have your network stats. That's why you'll see guys. Go from number one never losing a game.To disappearing on the leader board.
    Edit2: That's why lobbies were nice back in the day. You'd see users network stats. With a lag switch you could show you have great network. But once the game got started. Lag lag lag lag......
    jeebs9
    This is back in the day. Look it up. Basically makes your internet connection drop packets. Caveman cheating. I don't think people do it anymore.
    Edit: Super easy to make on your your own. Making your package drop.
    https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-lag-switch-817481#:~:text=A%20lag%20switch%20is%20a,lag%20switcher%20the%20upper%20hand.
    This sort of cheating is easily traceable. The server will have your network stats. That's why you'll see guys. Go from number one never losing a game.To disappearing on the leader board.
    Edit2: That's why lobbies were nice back in the day. You'd see users network stats. With a lag switch you could show you have great network. But once the game got started. Lag lag lag lag......

    I miss lobbies alot. Thats how I ended up meeting people to run leagues with back then.
    I imagine they could run analytics on a player's shots.  These mods must result in a bunch of releases that are very close together in timing, impossibly close for a human.  If someone goes 15 for their last 16 and all the shots are within 5 ms, or whatever, then they have to be using a mod, and ban them.  That simple.
    It's crazy how quick this thing took off. One kid got accused of using it during Ante Up Games. Another kid showed everybody exactly what it was and now the whole community is running around looking for one. You have kids openly admitting or searching for a Cronus Zen while streaming on Twitch.
    The community is just looking bad at this point. The fact that a lot of people have never heard or didn't know about this is kinda wild. You see it often in COD and it's been around for a longggg time.
    Korrupted
    It's crazy how quick this thing took off. One kid got accused of using it during Ante Up Games. Another kid showed everybody exactly what it was and now the whole community is running around looking for one. You have kids openly admitting or searching for a Cronus Zen while streaming on Twitch.
    The community is just looking bad at this point. The fact that a lot of people have never heard or didn't know about this is kinda wild. You see it often in COD and it's been around for a longggg time.

    Personally, I don't play a lot of competitive games. I got the last CoD at launch, but I'm currently still a... Rank 12 or so on multiplayer. I also stopped playing 2K around 17 or 18, before PSN had 19 on sale for 3 bucks.
    To be honest, I've heard of some of the "exploits", but I was never completely sure HOW people did it. I thought it was specific to computers, which I imagine a lot of people did. The video where the guy shows that it's a lot easier than that appears to have opened Pandora's box, though, especially in a community that already tries to get every advantage possible without any regards to how basketball is actually played.
    On the one hand, I'm kinda disappointed because the one competitive game I liked to play is heading in a direction where, if you're not cheesing, you're in the minority. But on the other hand, I'm hoping that this puts 2K in a spot where they need to change. Before, just zig-zagging behind screens was one thing that was just a part of the game. This is on a whole new level, a literal pay-to-win strategy in a community that has no problem with paying to win, anyways.
    But then... maybe 2K will finally be forced to acknowledge the issues that they've allowed to fester all this time, that created this community in the first place.
    zhouprodigy92
    Personally, I don't play a lot of competitive games. I got the last CoD at launch, but I'm currently still a... Rank 12 or so on multiplayer. I also stopped playing 2K around 17 or 18, before PSN had 19 on sale for 3 bucks.
    To be honest, I've heard of some of the "exploits", but I was never completely sure HOW people did it. I thought it was specific to computers, which I imagine a lot of people did. The video where the guy shows that it's a lot easier than that appears to have opened Pandora's box, though, especially in a community that already tries to get every advantage possible without any regards to how basketball is actually played.
    On the one hand, I'm kinda disappointed because the one competitive game I liked to play is heading in a direction where, if you're not cheesing, you're in the minority. But on the other hand, I'm hoping that this puts 2K in a spot where they need to change. Before, just zig-zagging behind screens was one thing that was just a part of the game. This is on a whole new level, a literal pay-to-win strategy in a community that has no problem with paying to win, anyways.
    But then... maybe 2K will finally be forced to acknowledge the issues that they've allowed to fester all this time, that created this community in the first place.

    100% agree with you man. Hopefully this forces a change especially since we're going into Next Gen soon.
    Korrupted
    It's crazy how quick this thing took off. One kid got accused of using it during Ante Up Games. Another kid showed everybody exactly what it was and now the whole community is running around looking for one. You have kids openly admitting or searching for a Cronus Zen while streaming on Twitch.
    The community is just looking bad at this point. The fact that a lot of people have never heard or didn't know about this is kinda wild. You see it often in COD and it's been around for a longggg time.

    It's a shame that people will go out their way to "cheat" in order to win a meaningless game.
    ksuttonjr76
    It's a shame that people will go out their way to "cheat" in order to win a meaningless game.
    Hey man, I love playing this game. It's why my best memories have been playing offline vs my friends. Online you always think something is working against you.
    Just posting in this thread reminds me of a player that is used the step back fade away over and over and over and over again. I think you remember when I posted that video. I remember I did everything to stop him. But looking back now. There is no way he wasn't using something to help him shoot that well. This only works if you have one players timing coded into the controller.
    But overall watching that video was disgusting.
    Korrupted
    Cronus Zen

    Looks at price. Nah I'm good. Gonna need that money for the next graphic card, ultrawide monitor, PS5 and Xbox digital version.
    Seriously though I thought about getting one out of spite lol Knowing 2k though they may patent a controller for you to buy to stay competitive.
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
    Goffs
    Looks at price. Nah I'm good. Gonna need that money for the next graphic card, ultrawide monitor, PS5 and Xbox digital version.
    Seriously though I thought about getting one out of spite lol Knowing 2k though they may patent a controller for you to buy to stay competitive.
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk

    I think 2K Sports will eventually have to address it. With the release of the information (despite being around beforehand), I think more bums will purchase the device. This might be a good time to buy stocks in that company :) .
    If you want to cheat on your own time vs the cpu, do your thing. But taking actions like that online is such a weak move. I play many games online and I don't even own 2k21. But I hope there's a way they can ban their entire console or gamertag from ever playing anything online again.
    Hopefully this makes the dev team look at greens=100% makes. Maybe add more variability in the shot window depending on various circumstances like fatigue, stamina, passer rating etc. Besides, this has been a thing in the PC community for a while
    Such a strange concept to me. The whole purpose of competing in video games is to use your own skill, mind and abilities to beat another player. As much as I hate cheesing, at least it’s within the confines of the game. Using this controller interface removes any sense of accomplishment from winning. It’s like handing your controller to your older brother so they can beat your friend for you. That someone would spend hundreds of dollars for that is crazy to me.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Played a guy in Pro am the other day that went 16/16 on threes - literally wouldn't shoot open twos because the timing is different as he had his modded controller set to auto green for threes only.
    I hope it gets the right exposure for 2k to do something about it, especially we are starting a new gen with ps5 and series s/x.
    This is not just for auto green shots, they also use this for defense in play now online such as "set to zone def, fast switching of players while spamming steal button" this makes it that their AI players are harassing you endlessly even a simple pass would get stolen easily. if they foul too much they will just reduce automated steal button like from 0.3 seconds to 0.8 seconds but still AI would continue to harass you and the auto steal pass.
    In PNO asia server almost 60%+ of players are using this. You get steph and thompson shooting 90% from the 3s is so unreal even you smother the hell out of them. What they do about latency is I think they write your username and record the input delay they needed to auto green. I noticed this when I fought a cronus user who used to auto green me all the time but the time i used a different psn he keep missing and the only thing he does is shoot 3s from the same spot and before the game ended around 3rd quarter he now can't miss a single shot. lol
    I saw in the recent patch notes: "Changes to Shot Aiming system to prevent modded controller abuse"
    So is this properly fixed now to prevent people from abusing/cheating while using these modded controllers to shoot for them or is it still an issue?
    born2playball
    I saw in the recent patch notes: "Changes to Shot Aiming system to prevent modded controller abuse"
    So is this properly fixed now to prevent people from abusing/cheating while using these modded controllers to shoot for them or is it still an issue?

    As long as there is 100% shot input timing possibility its gonna be an issue.
    Vroman
    As long as there is 100% shot input timing possibility its gonna be an issue.

    Yeah played a bit after the patch and I see no difference. You have guys easily draining threes.
    Shooting is just OP, lol
    as Chase stated, modded controllers have and will be in existence regardless....even if 2K does change mechanics.
    Whats funny is people are spending big money on these packs and mods and finding out its not quite they thought.
    95% of Youtubers use them and use them during competitive games
    A dude from the DF clan got caught using one after making a video “just to show how OP the controller is”
    I don’t trust anyone with a modded controller even in their house. There’s no way you won’t bring it out if things get hard
    This is why i can’t stand cheaters
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Housh123
    95% of Youtubers use them and use them during competitive games
    A dude from the DF clan got caught using one after making a video “just to show how OP the controller is”
    I don’t trust anyone with a modded controller even in their house. There’s no way you won’t bring it out if things get hard
    This is why i can’t stand cheaters
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Think I mentioned it before but tyceno took a break when this went viral(he was burned out) 🤔
    Funny thing about this game has always been, if you can take away the 3 most teams have no other strategy. Even so called "comp" teams have been exposed when we played team pro-am and especially in Rec.
    When playing with randoms the basic drive and kick game is difficult because hardly anyone is on the same page.
    We would always have shooters, but our shooters knew how to make the extra pass, or dive when the play called for it.
    Last couple years I've mostly played in the front court. I was never a great shooter, even on marginally good shooting characters. I always needed that finishing as a back up at least. That's why the guard positions ended up being a rarity fir me.
    My defensive playmaking 6'7 SF last year could play the 3 or 4 and even the 5 in spells.
    I would mostly guard the corners and the baseline in the zone. What they were forever unprepared for was me sliding up to grab shooters, or my ability to get stops and rebounds on the weakside.
    That advanced level of defense where you can truly cover ground and shut down a side of the court was what i lived for. Eventually in 20 i made Bigs that could tangle with the 7'3s a bit better. But there was always a good feeling about blowing up someone's offense all game.
    I just wish i could get that feeling more often...
    The way the game is played on extremely high levels is to mitigate any help defense whatsoever.
    That's just hard to replicate without feeling cheated. While NBA teams play 5-out more and more every year, there has to be enough room for human error on offense. As long as shooters can blow the top off any defense, without penalty, the game feels one dimensional. Even the greatest shooting teams in HISTORY, as a TEAM have not shot over .50 on the season. There have been a FEW individual players who have held that mark for a season. But if you get 3-4 players on a team in 2k that have enough chemistry on offense or defense and they all shoot 60-70 percent over THOUSANDS of games together, there's no beating that.
    When the ENTIRE team shoots over .50 percent EVERY GAME, the value of the 2 point score is relatively meaningless.
    The LEAST 2k could do is make the Rec to where if you shot SIXTY percent in a game, that would be a GREAT game.
    If someone takes and makes 6-10 3s in a game, that's 18 points ALONE in a 5 minute quarter game. Not even HALF the league in the NBA averages 18ppg in 12 minute quarter games. Thats over TWICE the amount of time, about THREE times the total shots you get in a REC game, and teams STILL score 100 points in the Rec on regularity.
    That's just absurd. There are teams EVERY YEAR in the NBA that don't average 100ppg FOR THE SEASON.
    Scoring 100 on the Rec is NOT difficult. That means shot percentage is crazy ACROSS THE BOARD.
    Screw "it's a video game". Screw "it's supposed to be fun".
    This is NOT supposed to be a boring game, duh. But there needs to be better balance ALL AROUND.
    Shooting has always been the BIGGEST culprit, but its DEFINITELY not the only thing wrong with the game.
    HOWEVER, it would be very nice to at least have a DIFFERENT CONVERSATION in next gen.

A father, dedicated sports fan and gamer. FIFA, Madden, NHL, NBA 2K are what I play majority of the time. Manchester United runs in my blood. Chicago Bulls and Denver Broncos drape the walls of my man cave. Play hard, or don't play at all.

More in NBA 2K21

To Top