NBA 2K23 Best Badges for Guards, Forwards, Centers & Any Build (Next-Gen, Current-Gen)

It’s that time of the year again ladies and Gentlemen, NBA 2K has dropped its newest iteration of our favorite basketball simulation 2K23. That means there have been tweaks and removals of certain badges, but NBA2KW has you covered to help you find the best badge layout to dominate your opponents.

Badge Tiers and Core Badges

One big difference in terms of badges in NBA 2K23 is a new feature called “Badge Tiers” which will make you think twice about which badges you equip. The tier system is also going to have everyone budgeting their badge point. Having a tier 3 badge on bronze is going to cost 5 badge points and if you want a tier 3 badge on hall of fame it is going to run you 8 of your badge points. The higher the tier, the more badge points it is going to cost. There is also the implementation of core badges which can give you a free hall of fame badge if you can afford it. Core badges are able to be equipped after you have spent a specific amount of badge points in tiers 1 and 2. This will allow you to equip a tier 3 badge as a core badge for free so long as you have enough badge points to equip it. 

Must-Have: Limitless Range (Wings/Guards/Outside Bigs) 

 One of the more classic badges to ever be featured in a 2K is making its return and will be a necessary badge if you want to stretch the defense out on offense. Having the limitless range badge equipped is going to benefit teams who want spacing and more room to operate and get to the rim. 

Requirement: 74 3pt Rating 

Recommended Level: Gold (PG) Silver (Wings and Bigs) 

Not only is 8 badge points a hefty price to pay for a hall of fame badge in order to be able to equip hall of fame, but you would also need a 99 3pt rating. If you planning to make a guard it is much better to have a 92 3pt rating and be able to play with other attributes. 

Catch and Shoot (Wings/Guards/Outside Bigs)

Catch and shoot is going to be another must-need badge for the offensive end of the floor, as it gives you an extra boost when shooting off a pass from a teammate. Perfect releases seem to be the only shots that drop in NBA 2K23, so any extra boost helps. 

Requirement: 60 3pt Rating

Recommended Level: Gold (6’8″ or taller) Silver (6’7″ or shorter) 

At 6’7 and below the catch and shoot badge is a tier 2 badge and at 6’8 or taller, it becomes a tier 3 badge. As a silver badge at tier 3, it would cost 7 badge points to equip at gold and would give a remarkable boost and allow you to be flexible with other shooting badges. At 6’7 or shorter this badge would cost 4 badge points to have at silver, so it might be more beneficial to make a wing at 6’7″. 

Masher (All Builds 6’5″ or taller) 

The first new badge on our list and is a new finishing badge called “Masher”. The description of the badge goes as follows “Improves a player’s ability to finish well around the rim, especially over smaller defenders.” This badge is going to be necessary in order to take advantage of the mismatch and put your opponent in the basket. 

Requirement: 73 Close Shot

Recommended level: Gold 

The masher badge at gold for bigger guards and wings between 6’6″ and 6’7″ is the sweet spot as it is a tier 1 badge. For bigs that are between 6’8″ and 6’11,” it becomes a tier 2 badge but is still a necessity. For bigs 7’0 and taller, it becomes a tier 3 badge and costs 7 badge points. 

Nice to Have:

Comeback Kid (All Builds) 

The last new badge to be featured in this list is the comeback kid badge and it helps when you are losing games, which if you’re like me that’s most of the time. The badge description goes as followed “Boosts shooter’s mid-range and three-point abilities when trailing in a game” 

Requirement: 50 Midrange rating

Recommended Level: Bronze (All Builds) 

This badge is a tier 1 badge for all builds and will give you a boost when you are losing in a game. It will be nice to have equipped as it will give you a shot to come back in a game you are trailing in. 

Must-Have Badges: (Guards)

Agent 3

The agent 3 badge is going to be vital for any guard this year as the new and improved stamina and adrenaline meter is going to make it harder to get wide-open looks. Having this badge allows you to pull up from deep with confidence and will allow us to take and make shots from beyond the arc that we wouldn’t have in years past. 

Requirement: 68 3pt Rating 

Recommended Level: Hall of Fame 

The benefits this badge will bring on hall of fame include unlocking the offense you and your teammates can run. This badge will allow you to score in different ways and always keep the defender on their toes. 8 badge points is always a lot, but it can be used as a core badge for free. 

Limitless Takeoff

The limitless takeoff badge is back and if you plan on playing with a slashing build it is a must-need. This will allow you to have different animations when going up for the dunk and in instances speed up the animation of your dunk to get by contests from centers.

Requirement: 65 Driving Dunk

Recommended Level: Gold

It would be best to equip limitless takeoff on gold as it is a tier 2 badge for all guard builds, meaning it would cost 7 badge points. Having it on gold will allow you to have flexibility with other finishing badges to make you a nightmare in the paint. 

Acrobat

The acrobat badge is going to aid you with craftier finishes and with the game being focused on breaking down defenders quickly this will help with getting to the bucket and finishing. Being able to maneuver around your defender is so important when it comes to finishing in 2K. 

Requirement: 65 Driving Layup 

Recommended Level: Silver 

Silver is the perfect medium to have acrobat on as it is a tier 2 badge and will cost 4 badge points. This is one of those badges that you pair with other badges and stacks the boosts and benefits. 

Quick First Step

The quick first step badge will always be a must-need badge for guards as long as it’s in the game. It will make your player quicker and faster off the dribble and make it tough for your defender to stay in front of you. It also makes your escapes out of dribble moves much more explosive. 

Requirement: 70 Ball Handle

Recommended Level: Hall of Fame: 

Quick first step is a tier 2 badge which is very helpful as it will cost 6 badge points to equip on hall of fame. This badge is needed at hall of fame in order to be explosive as possible and get to your spots on the court quicker. 

Handles for Days

We previously mentioned the changes to stamina and how over-dribbling will drain your player’s stamina and make it hard to do anything on the court. Having handles for days should aid your player and allow them to chain together more combos before getting tired. 

Requirement: 94 Ball Handle for Gold 

Recommended Level: Gold 

Having this badge on hall of fame is going to be unobtainable for most as you need a 99 ball handle in order to be able to equip. Having Gold is where I recommend you set it to as it will cost 7 badge points and allow you to dribble to your heart’s content.

Blinders

The Blinders badge is going to be an essential badge for any guard or facilitator build in NBA 2K22. Guards in 2K are always going to be the focal point of the offense, and the most taken shot in 2K is the three-pointer. Blinders allow jump shots taken with a defender closing out in their peripheral vision to suffer a lower penalty. It is quite expensive to get on Hall of Fame but if you have a high mid-range or 3pt shot rating it is a must-have as it will allow you the confidence to shoot shots you wouldn’t normally take and make them at a high percentage.

Requirement: 94 mid-range or 97 3pt rating 

Recommended level: Gold/HOF

If you have a build with a high mid-range or 3pt rating, this badge gives an excellent boost on Hall of Fame. If your build does not meet the requirements for HOF, running it at the highest level is recommended.

Bully

Another new badge in this year’s game and it sounds like it is going to be very useful for all slashers. The description of the bully badge is “Improves a player’s ability to initiate contact and get to the rim on layups attempts”. This is going to make it easier to get to the rim and finish. 

Requirement: 82 Strength

Recommended Level: Silver 

As a tier 3 badge for all slashing-type point guards, it would be best to have this on silver and only allocate 6 badge points and focus on the remaining badge points elsewhere. It would be nice to have it as a core badge on Hall of Fame. 

Nice to Have:

Bail-Out

The Bail-Out badge ice badge to have as it allows us to pass shots or drives to the rim without the penalty of throwing the ball away. Sometimes a defender has a great close-out and we need to get the ball out of our hands.

Requirement: 65 pass

Recommended level: Bronze 

Reason for level: Bronze will allow you to pass out of a shot comfortably, however having this badge at Hall of Fame unlocks some pretty fun animations.

Unpluckable

The unpluckable badge is going to help when your stamina is low and you have defenders spamming reach and trying to get a steal. Like vice grip, this will help with unnecessary turnovers. 

Requirement: 75 post control or 75 ball handle

Recommended Level: Silver 

Having the badge on silver will cost 4 points as it will be a tier 2 badge for all guard builds. Silver will be good enough to prevent plucks and bumps from defenders all while still being flexible with other badges. 

Must-Have Badges (Wings and Bigs) 

Menace: 

The menace badge seems to have replaced the intimidator badge this year in NBA 2K23. The badge description for the menace badge goes as follows “While guarding and staying in front of an opponent, their attributes will drop if good defense is being played” This is going to be important for bigs and wings to have equipped as they have the role of being the primary and secondary defenders on defense. With guards not being able to spam dribbles it will be much easier to keep guys in check and win with defense.

Requirement: 77 Perimeter Defense 

Recommended Level: Gold 

At 6’7 menace is a tier 2 badge that will run you 5 badge points and if you are big or wing it will be a tier 1 badge and only cost you 3 badge points. Gold is the best at will allow flexibility to be able to add more defensive badges to your bag. 

Corner Specialist

Much like the catch and shoot badge mentioned earlier, this badge will boost all shot takes from the corner of the court. As a 3 & D wing, the spot you will find yourself the most on offense is the corner, hence why this badge is important. Any chance you can give yourself a boost on a jump shot, you have to take it.

Requirement: 69 3pt Rating 

Recommended level: Bronze

The success rate of well-timed shots goes up significantly when having this badge equipped at gold. Spending 3(tier 2) or 5(tier 3) points to boost your jump shot is a good use of badge points as well as being able to combine it with the Catch & Shoot badge. 

Brick Wall

Whether playing as the 3 in the City or the 5 in Pro-Am and Rec, screens are a vital part of being successful. Brick Wall will not only set up your guard for open looks, but it will also open you for rolls or slips to the rim out of the pick-n’ roll.

Requirement: 94 Strength (Hall of Fame) 76 Strength (Silver)

Recommend level: Bigs (Hall of Fame) Wings (Silver)

If you have a big man build with at least 94 strength it will be best to have the badge on hall of fame as it will allow you and your teammates to get open even if it costs 8 badge points. As a wing, it is most efficient at silver in terms of cost to badge points, as it’ll only cost two badge points and cause opposing players to lose a good amount of energy per screen.

Clamps

The clamps badge this year doesn’t give a boost to lateral quickness like in previous years but it does offer different cut-off animations whilst defending. As lockdown or a big, there are going to be times when you get switched on the ball, and having clamps will make life easier.

Requirement: 92 Perimeter Defense

Recommended level: Gold

The sweet spot for clamps is gold as if your role is strictly providing defense and shooting, you need this badge mixed with menace will completely shut down your matchup. 

Rebound Chaser

Always a staple for big man in 2K the rebound chaser badge will allow you to unlock more explosive animations as you grab offensive and defensive rebounds. Rebounds win games in 2K especially if it’s on the offensive end of the floor. 

Requirement: 93 O Reb/D Reb Rating

Recommended Level: Gold

Due to the higher cost of all badge points, it might be more beneficial to keep the badge at gold, as it will be a tier 3 badge for all center builds. Equipping as a core badge might be the way to go for the rebound chaser badge in 2k23. 

Nice to Have:

Interceptor

Unfortunately with the way the game is programmed and the size of the court, it makes interceptions much more likely. If you’ve watched a Pro-Am game between two top teams there are passes that seem open, but a defender with the interceptor badge is able to teleport in front for the steal. The interceptor badge allows the frequency of successfully tipped or intercepted to greatly increase. Just having the badge allows for certain steal animations to be unlocked.

Recommended Level: Silver

Silver will allow you to save vital badge points for other badges but still allow you to be a valuable defender as it increases steals on passes significantly, with gold only increasing steals slightly more.

Vice Grip (All Builds)

Another new badge that was added to the game and the description of this badge goes as follows “Increases a player’s ability to secure the ball against steal attempts after obtaining possession from a rebound, catch, or loose ball”. This is going to be a necessity for all builds that will help with ball security and prevent flukey turnovers.

Requirement: 57 PC for silver

Recommended Level: Bronze (All Builds)

This badge is a tier 1 badge for all builds 6’6″ and shorter and will only cost 1 point. Builds that are 6’7″ and taller are in the tier category and will cost 2 badge points at bronze. This is one of the badges that should be in every builds arsenal.

There you have it folks, these are the badges that we would recommend for NBA 2K23. Keep in mind it is still very early into the game cycle and as we receive more information, the best badges in the game might look completely different. Until then happy gaming my friends. 


Article contributed by Miles Peters