OS Scores Explained NBA Live Mobile Overview
Game looks and plays smooth, gameplay is not terrible, a treat for Ultimate Team fans on the go.
Gameplay lacks depth, AI is awkwardly dumb sometimes, if you don't like Ultimate Team you won't like this.
Bottom Line
A game which appeals to Ultimate Team gamers with only average gameplay and no real frills -- perhaps it is a solid new start.
out of 10
NBA Live Mobile REVIEW

NBA Live Mobile Review

When EA reps announced they were going to be focusing on mobile for the NBA Live series, it was not that surprising. Still, I was filled with quite a bit of hope that NBA Live Mobile would deliver a new and interesting mobile sports gaming experience.

However, after a week with the game, I can confidently say that if the future of gaming (and sports gaming) is on mobile, we’ve got a very long way to go.


NBA Live Mobile has the typical mobile sports-sim experience with buttons associated with actions on the right and a digital analog stick on the left side of the screen. For whatever reason, this has become the default way to control players in these types of games, but that doesn’t mean it’s particularly fun or easy to play.

Without physical buttons to push, which is a result more of the platform than of design, it becomes a study in focus to make sure your fingers are in the right spot and ready to deliver the right command.

Things like passing and shooting always need a slight delay to ensure you are pushing the right part of the screen to deliver the command, and oftentimes this results in a pretty jerky feel to the flow of the gameplay. I’m not sure if this could ever be remedied, especially not in the current design.

The other problem with this type of control is that it is incredibly simplistic. In NBA Live Mobile, you have two buttons on defense: a guard button and a block button. On offense you have pass, shoot and drive.

Don’t get me wrong, anything more than this probably would result in an impossible control situation, and the Live Mobile team has done a decent job at establishing some layers of depth.

For instance, holding down the guard button will result in you guarding your opponent, while tapping it attempts a steal. You hold down the drive button and slide your finger up to the shoot button to dunk or lay the ball up.

In all honesty, this is probably something that can be expanded for most of the functions to enable a deeper level of control while also keeping the simple front-end interface.

A big negative of the gameplay is the AI in the game is incredibly simplistic and doesn’t really go beyond the basics. Players don’t move much off of the ball and there’s no way to call for something as basic as a pick and roll.

In short, the foundation in Live Mobile is solid enough for a mobile game, but this in no way replaces your console experience.


NBA Live Mobile is a game built on the Ultimate Team concept, like the other EA Sports games.

With that in mind, you have head to head, live events, seasons, leagues and practice to partake in. All of this is done within the Ultimate Team framework of earning points to buy cards to then make your team better.

Obviously that’s the extent of your experience with Live Mobile, and at this point, you either love the Ultimate Team concept or you hate it -- and it's doubtful your mind changes much from that.

Final Thoughts

We have to keep in mind the price of entry into NBA Live Mobile is free, so you can jump in and give the game a try without much skin in the game.

The gameplay is simplistic and pretty average for a mobile sports gaming experience as the game simply breaks zero new ground. The Ultimate Team mode is something you’ve already made your mind up on, and if you don’t like it, there’s no point in giving the game a try as it won’t change your mind.

Overall, if this is the future of sports gaming, I’m not particularly sure I’m a fan of it. The game itself is slightly above average. NBA Live Mobile does everything solid enough, and the modes themselves seem to work without much of a problem. The AI is kind of dumb, but you’ll find there’s a game here to be enjoyed if only for a short while.

However, the experience and prospects for the future certainly leave me hoping for something completely different in the mobile space soon enough.

Score: 6.0 (Above-Average)

Member Comments
# 1 Trilluminary @ 07/19/16 12:26 AM
Your being very hard on a product that didn't even have have live 5 on 5 gameplay last year. As a 2k Sim gamer i find this live to provide deep and rewarding gameplay with the main downside being the obvious money pooling tactics of all freemium games. While it only has 2 buttons on defense you can press and make the cpu adjust tempo or force a bad shot or go for a steal. The offense is surprisingly fluid if you know basketball, if you space the floor, you get picks, elbow iso's, and post's. So far i've seen about 5-10 different actual sets run. the drive/spin/crossover options work fluidly as well, and even the post game is there. My gripe is the card farming system being unbalanced but hey. I haven't put this game down since i dl'd it. Sleeper players to help anyone starting are dragic and korver. good value till u can get a superstar or 2. porzingas is a monster as well.
# 2 dilladawg4 @ 07/19/16 10:46 AM
Wall away people. Nothing to see here. I tried this game and got absolutely NOTHING out it. Some things just need to stay in there realm.
# 3 dilladawg4 @ 07/19/16 11:07 AM
EA would've been better off releasing this on last gen consoles for free download. At least the "average" gamer (me) who will give any basketball/football game a try will give it a real chance.
# 4 RipCityAndy @ 07/19/16 04:10 PM
I want a Live product to be good. I want it so bad. But this game is not good. I gave it a chance.

In sum, it's a freemium game. You start out with a dumpster fire of a team. I guess I'm supposed to pay to get better players? I would much rather pay $5 for a balanced game experience.

The controls are very loose. I did a "dunk drill" (?) and I couldn't reliably get the player to dunk in an empty gym. The defense is wonky. The passing is wonky. Hell, the shooting is wonky. There's no strategy on either end of the ball.

Play it while you're on the toilet. But it's not worth much more than what you're sitting over. 6/10 is very generous.
# 5 Nemesis Enforcer @ 07/19/16 07:40 PM
Reviewer didn't mention that it has a lot of assets from Live 10 and nice to see that gameplay and animations. While limited in gameplay most free mobile games are more about the tapping on screen, sound effects, collecting and upgrading. However it's still very playable and there is a big learning curve in that it is much harder than live 16 which is welcomed. In time like all mobile games updates will make it better but very good effort so far.

I think it's a win for live just looking at the number of downloads, interaction and positive comments on their Twitter. Hopefully these people will pick up the console version next year.

Also.. If you like Star Trek I highly recommend their timelines mobile game.
# 6 WTF @ 07/19/16 10:52 PM
I'll agree with Nemesis. With each content update the game gets better and better. The amount of animations for a mobile game is impressive. I hate mobile games with a passion, and I hate LUT. I didn't enjoy the game at all for the first few days.

I'm hooked on it now. I haven't spent a dime, but my franchise is already at an 81 rating. I won't spend money, although I know guys who hAve dropped hundreds on packs and bundles.

The depth is pretty decent once you figure it out. Defense is engaging, once you get the hang of it. Sometimes the left stick movement doesn't click the way I want it, but taking my thumb off then putting it back on seems to help with that.

Overall, I really enjoy it. I didn't anticipate liking it at all.
# 7 Macs Power @ 07/20/16 12:46 AM
Just as the above comments have mentioned there's no need to spend money to attain a decent team. I've only played for about 4 days and already have a 70 avg team, with one team near 77 (83 Giannis and 81 KLove)

The modes are fun and there's daily content that is both fairly rewarding and not easy to complete so there's little to argue about. I'm interested to see who they'll add when the seasons arrives
# 8 Fiddy @ 07/20/16 07:34 PM
I'm still having a good time. I play it daily. One thing with games like this though, too much to ask for a season mode with correct teams and rosters?
# 9 The 24th Letter @ 07/20/16 08:20 PM
Game is pretty cool.

Nothing really groundbreaking if you've played mobile bball before but its a nice little diversion. Think the review is pretty spot on.

Think some one mentioned this earlier but i spotted some nice little animations from Live 10 in there as well..
# 10 Mintsa @ 07/21/16 11:28 AM
I really hope this isn't it for Live next year.....

Ok the mobile game is cool and all but its a mobile game......

I know Live isn't the best game around these parts but still, this really really really sucks if its all we get from Live next season.

2 games are better than 1, this will always be true.
# 11 WTF @ 07/21/16 11:37 AM
It's not Minsta. No worries man.
# 12 BiggD @ 07/21/16 06:56 PM
Maybe i'm getting older BUT i can't seem to get into these mobile games... Everything seems to be about power ups and gold coins.
# 13 zrohman @ 07/22/16 04:36 PM
Regardless, when a game puts their focus on their console games for YEARS and they gain virtually no ground, while the other game improves even more so.... And then they suddenly changed their direction to focus on "mobile"... I don't exactly have much more hope for console versions. It gives us fans even less hope than we had. Considering how much money they were already supposedly losing it seems like this will eventually cause them to cut the cord. This coming from someone who bought multiple lives recently and supported them the past couple years... in hopes... but they couldn't even fix basic problems like late game a.i in a matter of three years and basic player movement. RIP. Maybe I will play the mobile version.
# 14 WTF @ 07/22/16 05:47 PM
They are a totally different team. Mobile has no correlation to the console version.
# 15 BiggD @ 07/22/16 10:41 PM
Mobile is money.... I get it.

The console version isn't broken, add ability to edit and create and we would all be on there right now playing with the SUPER teams! (GSW and NYK apparently according to DRose! hahaha)

I said it before but if its a cost thing...then change your model

A product model for the future.

A.2 year release cycle. Release "packs" containing. Uniforms, Courts and logos, Roster(including rookies). Maybe even a added commentary pack and new animations pack.
Charge $6.99 a pack or $20.00 for a all in one

B. ability to edit rosters (and share)

I mean it's not rocket science. These game developers are acting like they are trying to re invent the wheel!. Truth is that we have had all of this in previous consoles and games (some over 10 years old).
# 16 RockyTop1 @ 08/07/16 10:12 PM
Originally Posted by Fiddy
I'm still having a good time. I play it daily. One thing with games like this though, too much to ask for a season mode with correct teams and rosters?
Completely agree. I'm hooked. I would hope/imagine they will update everything around September-ish before the season tips offs.

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.