Here is the NBA 2K21 Badges Guide & Analysis, organized by the categories of Finishing, Shooting, Playmaking, and Defense/Rebounding.
Click on any of the individual badges to get the full NBA 2K21 Badges breakdown and analysis! This includes a list of best builds for each badge, badge tips which explain the difference between badges, badge info, badge tips, and more.
NBA 2K21 Badges Quick Facts:
- Badges have 4 Tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Hall of Fame
- HOF Badges are only available for primary skill(s)
- You get a higher number for Badge upgrades depending on your archetype and which attributes you choose
ACROBAT – Boosts the ability to hit high degree of difficulty layups. Spin, half-spin, hop step, euro-step, cradle, reverse and change shot layup attempts receive a significant boost.
BACKDOWN PUNISHER – Increases the chances of a player successfully backing down their opponent. Allows players to have more success than normal when backing down a defender in the paint.
CONSISTENT FINISHER – Reduces the penalty for poorly released layups. Penalties for mis-timed layups are reduced, allowing players to make layups more consistently.
CONTACT FINISHER – Improves the ability to convert contact layups and dunks in traffic. Slashers who play below the rim finish contact layups more successfully while dunkers are able to pull off more contact dunks.
CROSS-KEY SCORER – Boosts the shot percentage for layups when moving across the paint. Boosts the ability to make running hooks, layups, or close range pull-ups while driving across the paint.
DEEP HOOKS – Boosts the shot percentage when shooting hooks from a deep distance. Post hooks taken far from the basket receive less of a distance penalty than normal.
DROPSTEPPER – Improves a player’s ability to effectively use dropsteps in the post. Allows for more success when attempting post dropsteps and hop steps, in addition to protecting the ball better while performing these moves in the post.
FANCY FOOTWORK – Improves a player’s ability to beat defenders with an advanced layup or dunk gather. Players get past defenders more efficiently when performing euro, cradle, hop step, spin and half-spin gathers.
FASTBREAK FINISHER – Boosts a player’s Takeover meter when completing a dunk on a fastbreak. Gives an additional boost to a player’s Takeover meter when successfully dunking on a fastbreak.
GIANT SLAYER – Heightens the effectiveness of layups over taller defenders. Boosts the shot percentage for a layup attempt when mismatched against a taller defender and reduces the possibility of getting blocked.
LOB CITY FINISHER – Improves the chances of completing a successful alley-oop dunk/layup. Improves a player’s ability to successfully finish an alley-oop layup or dunk. The shot must be taken before the receiver lands.
PICK & ROLLER – Increases shot percentage as the roller in a pick & roll. When rolling off the pick and roll, a shot boost is applied if the layup or dunk attempt comes within a few seconds after catching the pass.
PRO TOUCH – Gives an additional boost for having good layup timing. Gives an extra shot boost for having slightly early, slightly late, or excellent shot timing on layups.
PUTBACK BOSS – Increases shot percentage when attempting a putback after an offensive rebound. Boosts the shot attributes of a player that attempts a putback layup or dunk right after getting an offensive rebound.
RELENTLESS FINISHER – Reduces the fatigue effects from continually finishing at the rim with contact. Improves a player’s ability to take a lot of contact by reducing the energy lost when attacking the rim for contact shots.
SHOWTIME – Boosts team’s Takeover meters after completing a highlight play. Gives an additional boost to a player’s Takeover meter and his/her teammates, when successfully completing an And-1 or flashy dunk.
SLITHERY FINISHER – Improves a player’s ability to avoid contact when attacking the rim. Increases a player’s ability to slide through traffic and avoid contact during gathers and finishes at the rim.
TEAR DROPPER – Increases the chance of hitting floaters and runners. Improves a player’s ability to knock down floaters and runners.
CATCH & SHOOT – Boosts the chance of hitting a jump shot immediately after a catch. For a short time after receiving a pass, the receiver’s outside shooting attributes get a significant boost.
CLUTCH SHOOTER – Increases the ability to knock down shots in clutch moments. Shot attempts that occur during the final moments of the 4th quarter, or in any overtime period, receive a large boost.
CORNER SPECIALIST – Gives a boost to shots taken near the corner. Deep mid-range or 3PT shots taken along the baseline of the court receive a boost, whether it is off the dribble or off a catch.
DEADEYE – Reduces the impact of a defender who is closing out. Jump shots taken with a defender closing out receive less of a penalty from a shot contest. This includes both mid-range and 3PT shots.
DEEP FADES – Improves the chance of making a post fadeaway from deep range. Post fadeaways taken far from the basket receive less of a distance penalty than normal.
DIFFICULT SHOTS – Improves the ability to shoot difficult shots off the dribble. High difficulty jumpers such as hop steps, spins, stepbacks, and pull-ups receive a shot percentage boost.
FLEXIBLE RELEASE – Reduces the penalty suffered from mis-timed jump shot releases. Shot timing penalties for jump shots are reduced, making it easier to knock down attempts even when releasing early or late.
GREEN MACHINE – Increases the bonus given for consecutive excellent releases. Gives an additional shot boost when consecutively achieving excellent releases on jump shots.
HOT START – Improves player’s shooting ability after making first shot until a miss occurs. For every made shot from the beginning of the game, player receives a shot attribute bonus that lasts until the first missed shot attempt.
HOT ZONE HUNTER – Boosts the shot percentage for attempts taken in a player’s favorite spots. Shots that are taken in a player’s hot zone(s) are given a boost.
ICE IN VEINS – Improves a player’s free throw percentage during critical moments. Free throws taken in the second half of close games or overtime periods are given a boost. Also, the timing window for free throws becomes larger.
PICK & POPPER – Elevates the shot percentage for an attempt taken off a pick and fade situation. Shot attempts that come after setting a screen are given a boost if the shot happens far enough from the rim and within a few seconds after the screen has been set.
PUMP FAKE MAESTRO – Decreases the penalty that comes from shooting after pump fakes. Shortens the timer that determines how long after a pump fake a player can shoot without incurring a shot percentage penalty.
RANGE EXTENDER – Extends the range from which a player can effectively shoot. Adds extra distance to a player’s given shot range for both mid-range and 3PT shots.
SLIPPERY OFF-BALL – Strengthens the player’s ability to get open off the ball. When attempting to get open off screens, the player more effectively navigates through traffic.
STEADY SHOOTER – Reduces the penalties for contested shots and bonuses for open shots. Shot attempts that are contested receive less of a penalty, however shot attempts that are open do not receive as much of a bonus.
TIRELESS SHOOTER – Improves a player’s ability to make shots when fatigued. Shot attributes on jump shots suffer a smaller penalty than normal when fatigued.
VOLUME SHOOTER – Boosts shot percentages as shot attempts accrue throughout the game. After a player has taken a small handful of shots, an additional boost to shot attributes is given for every subsequent shot, whether it’s a make or a miss.
ANKLE BREAKER – Improves the likelihood of freezing or dropping a defender during dribble moves. When performing stepbacks and other certain moves, the defender stumbles or falls more frequently when biting the wrong way.
BAIL OUT – Increases the chances of successfully completing a pass from mid-air. Passing out of a jump shot or layup yields fewer errant passes than normal.
BREAK STARTER – Improves a player’s ability to make effective outlet passes after grabbing a rebound. After grabbing a defensive board, deep outlet passes made up the court are more accurate. Passes must be made quickly following the defensive rebound.
DIMER – Boosts the shot percentage for open teammates on jump shots after catching a pass. When in the half-court, passes by Dimers to open shooters yield a shot percentage boost.
DOWNHILL – Increases overall speed with the ball in transition. Gives a bonus to a player’s Speed With Ball attribute in fastbreak situations.
DREAM SHAKE – Raises the chances that a defender bites when doing fakes in the post. Post move fakes have a higher chance of stunning a defender. Also, shot attempts following post moves and shot fakes have an increased shot percentage.
FLASHY PASSER – Gives an additional boost to player’s Takeover meter after completing an assist with a flashy pass. After completing a flashy pass for an assist, both the passer and the scorer receive an additional boost to their Takeover meters.
FLOOR GENERAL – Teammates receive an offensive attribute bonus when player is in the game. Gives offensive attribute boosts to teammates when on the floor. Also, at the Hall of Fame level, can see teammates` potential shot percentages while on offense.
HANDLES FOR DAYS – Reduces the amount of energy lost when performing dribble moves. A player takes less of an energy hit when performing consecutive dribble moves, allowing them to chain together combos quicker for longer periods of time.
LOB CITY PASSER – Improves the chances of completing a successful alley-oop pass. When throwing an alley-oop pass, an attribute boost is given to both the passer and receiver to improve the chances of success.
NEEDLE THREADER – Increases the likelihood that tough passes can get by the defense. When passing through a tight window between defenders, a boost is given to the player’s passing ability.
PASS FAKE MAESTRO – Increases the effectiveness of pass fakes. Pass fakes become quicker and tighter, making them more useful in baiting the defense.
POST SPIN TECHNICIAN – Improves the ability of a post spin or drive to work effectively. Attempting to do post spins or drives result in more effective moves, and less of a chance to be stripped.
QUICK FIRST STEP – Provides more explosive first steps out of triple threat and size-ups. When driving out of triple threat or after a size-up, ball handlers have access to quicker and more effective launches.
SPACE CREATOR – Improves a player’s ability to create space from a defender. When performing any stepback move or shot, there’s a higher chance of successfully creating separation from the opponent.
STOP & GO – Improves a player’s ability to start and stop with the ball. Allows for the ball handler to start and stop quickly with unique stops and launches exclusive to this badge.
TIGHT HANDLES – Improves a player’s ability to break down their defender. Increases a player’s ball handling ability in size-up situations, making it easier to break down the on-ball defender.
UNPLUCKABLE – Reduces the chances of getting stripped by the defender. When performing dribble moves, defenders have a tougher time poking the ball free with their steal attempts.
BOX – Improves player’s ability to box out opponents. Strengthens a player’s ability to effectively box out opponents in anticipation of a rebound.
BRICK WALL – Increases effectiveness of screens and drains energy from opponents on physical contact. This badge makes it tougher for the defense to get through or around screens. Players hit by contact from a Brick Wall lose more energy than normal.
CHASE DOWN ARTIST – Raises the chances of getting a chase-down block. Boosts the speed and leaping ability of a player when he is chasing down an offensive player in anticipation of a block attempt.
CLAMPS – Boosts the ability to stay in front of the ball handler on the perimeter. Defenders have access to quicker cut off moves and are more successful when bumping or hip riding the ball handler.
DEFENSIVE LEADER – Boosts the defensive abilities of teammates when in the game.
Lifts the defensive abilities of teammates when on the court. Also, at the Hall of Fame level, can see potential shot percentages of opposing players.
HEART CRUSHER – Decreases opponents’ Takeover meters when achieving a highlight play on defense. After successfully blocking or stealing the ball from an opponent, an additional penalty is given to the opposing player’s Takeover meter.
INTERCEPTOR – Increases chances at getting steals in passing lanes. The frequency of successfully tipped or intercepted passes greatly increases.
INTIMIDATOR – Intimidates offensive players causing them to miss shots more often. Offensive players have less success shooting when contested by players with this badge. Also boosts the shot defense ratings when tightly guarding an opponent.
LIGHTNING REFLEXES – Receives an earlier cue on the Read and React system while playing defense. Gives the defender an advantage to read where the ball handler is going in the Read and React system.
MOVING TRUCK – Strengthens a defender’s ability to move people around in the post. Players are more effective pushing opponents out of the post while playing defense.
OFF-BALL PEST – Improves a player’s ability to bump and harass the offense off the ball. Makes players more difficult to get past when playing off-ball, as they can grab and hold their matchup and don’t get their ankles broken as often.
PICK DODGER – Improves a player’s ability to navigate through screens effectively on defense.
PICK POCKET – Improves a player’s ability to steal the ball from a ball handler. Increases the chances of a steal and reduces the chances of a foul when attempting to strip the ball from a ball handler. Also improves the chances of successful layup strips.
POGO STICK – Improves the ability to attempt multiple blocks in succession. Allows players to quickly go back up for another block attempt upon landing.
POST MOVE LOCKDOWN – Improves the defender’s ability to defend post moves. Increases the chances of a defender preventing an offensive post move from succeeding.
REBOUND CHASER – Improves a player’s ability to chase down rebounds. Improves a player’s ability to track down rebounds from farther distances than normal.
RIM PROTECTOR – Improves ability to block shots, gives boost to the Takeover meter for blocker/teammates. Improves player’s ability to block shots, unlocks special block animations and gives boost to the Takeover meter for the blocker and blocker’s teammates following a block.
TIRELESS DEFENDER – Reduces the energy lost when exerting effort on defense. Allows defenders to play defense more aggressively without losing energy at the same rate as a normal player.
TRAPPER – Makes life difficult for the offensive players when trapped. When trapping offensive players, defenders are more effective at forcing pick ups and turnovers than normal.
WORM – Allows rebounders to swim or spin around box outs more easily. When boxed out, rebounders have more success swimming around and getting into successful rebound position.