NBA playgrounds 2017 screenshot
NBA Playgrounds screenshot featuring Dirk Nowitzki YouTube/IGN

Folks who already have their copy of "NBA Playgrounds" from Saber Interactive are in for a treat because a new patch has rolled out. Patch 1.03 for PS4 (Patch 1.1 for the PC) brings in bug fixes and new features that should make hardcourt challenges a whole lot better. Patches for the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch are expected to follow soon.

Plenty of new content awaits "NBA Playgrounds" gamers with the free patch. While the fixes and tweaks should improve game performance, the inclusion of new players and a new Challenge mode is what most may want to look out for.

The new players on 'NBA Playgrounds'

New versions of retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal have been added to the game, meaning folks can select from among the previous teams "The Diesel" suited up for. But aside from the big fella, there are 15 new players added to the roster.

The new additions to the "NBA Playgrounds" lineup include 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 and "Pistol" Pete Maravich. The new bunch shows a mix of old and new, each carrying a specific skill that should come in handy for team chemistry. All these may factor in once a player tries out the new Challenge mode.

Manning up the 'NBA Playgrounds' Challenge mode

"NBA Playgrounds" players who want to test their teams with others both offline and online can now do so thanks to the new Challenge mode. All a player needs to do is share the challenge codes, after which the games should begin. These games are unranked so players just have to bring their A-game and try to outplay their opponent.

Another key feature is the Toxicity System/ Disconnection Manager. The new feature will force "NBA Playgrounds" players to play fair, meaning purposely abandoning games (presumably when losing) is no longer a safety measure. Players stand to be reprimanded for doing so, though there is no official word on what sanctions will be meted. A possible penalty is a temporary player ban.

The new patch for "NBA Playgrounds" is pretty much welcome, especially for the ones who have already tried out the game. Some may still be struggling with the game, but making the shots have been improved with an optional shot meter. Hence, all one has to do is get the proper timing to make jaw-dropping slams and accurate shots from the outside.