NBA 2K23 Ultimate Shooting Guide: How to Shoot Better, Shot Stick, Intangibles, More

Want to learn how to get greens and be a lights out shooter in NBA 2K23? Well look no further! We have put together actionable 2K23 shooting tips that you can start using right away, to go from a brick master or average shooter to a walking bucket.

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1) Choose the Right MyPLAYER Build

Deciding on the best shooting MyPLAYER build to get greens is the first thing to figure out and will be a big factor in the success rate of getting buckets. Here’s how to narrow it down:

  • Choose a build that has shooting loaded up as the main skill
  • Choose a build with a substantial amount of Shooting badges
  • Builds should match your playstyle as a shooter. If you’re play style is more of a spot up, catch and shoot, spread the floor type of style, then it’d be more beneficial to go with a more 3PT heavy pure sharpshooter build. If your play style is more of a dual threat as a ball handler and shooter, then having a balanced build of shooting and playmaking would be the best. Shooting Badge setups for builds should also factor in your expected playstyle.

2) Choose the Right Shooting Badges & Badge Stack

As we mentioned before, play style may determine which badges to equip. But overall, the shooting badges below are pretty common and can benefit any build. Check out the full list of shooting badges here.

New to NBA 2K23 are “Core Badges”, which require challenges to be completed before they can be unlocked. To be a sharpshooter, make sure you “core” shooting badges.

“Badge Stacking” is another method to maximize your shooting abilities by combining multiple badges at once — for example, “Catch and Shoot” badge + “Corner Specialist” badge.

3) Earn & Know Your Hot Spots / Hot Zones

Hot Spots and Cold Spots are sections or ‘spots’ on the court that dynamically change based on how well your player shoots from those spots on the court. Shooting from a Hot Spot increases the percentage of shots going in, and vice versa for Cold Spots.

How to Unlock a Hot Zone:

  • 60% in Paint area
  • 55% in Close Shot area
  • 50% in Mid-Range area
  • 40% in 3PT area
  • In your last 25-50 games (MyCAREER, Park, Rec, Pro-AM) with at least 10 shot attempts in each of those areas.

How to get rid of a Cold Zone:

  • Keep shooting in the various court areas and get the percentages up to reach the Hot Spot criteria mentioned before.
  • Wait 25-50 games and don’t shoot at all in that zone

4) Find & Equip the Best Jump Shot for your MyPLAYER

  • Find the Best NBA 2K23 Jump Shots
    • If you haven’t found the right shot yet, try experimenting with different shot bases and releases.
    • Shot Attributes are new to NBA 2K23, which introduce four unique categories that are factored into a jumpshot:
      • Shot Speed – How quickly the shot gets to its ideal release point
      • Release Height – How high the shot is released
      • Defensive Immunity – How effective the shot is against defensive contests
      • Timing Impact – Adjusts shot windows to reward good timing at the cost of an increased penalty for bad timing

  • Use the in-game Jump Shot Creator to create your own shot.
    • The Jump Shot Creator is an in-game tool for creating your own custom jump shot. You can choose from base, release 1 and 2, blending percentage, and release speed.
    • Jumpshot Creator can be found in MyCAREER > Main Menu > MyPLAYER Appearance > Animations > Jump Shot Creator.

5) Learn the Shooting Animation Requirements

6) Master the Shot Mechanics and Shot Meter

You can use the shot button (x/square) or the right shot stick to shoot in NBA 2K23. It’s preferable to turn the shot meter to ‘off’ under controller settings, since it will give your player a boost on shots. If you do use the shot meter, release the ball at the apex of your jumpshot and look for visual cues to go by so that you can consistently time the shot.

7) Practice Practice Practice

We talkin’ about practice! Take advantage of shooting around in the City / Neighborhood, the Gatorade Gym, or an empty Pro-Am arena to work on new jump shots, work out the kinks in your shot, find the sweet spot of when to release the ball, etc.

  • A good general rule is to take the shot at the peak of the jump.
  • Work on all types of shots: off the dribble, spot-up catch and shoot, fadeaways, mid-range, 3 PT, in hot spot areas, etc.
  • Practicing will get you fully familiar with every shot type in the game so that you have a number of shot varieties to attack the defense in different situations.
  • Once you feel comfortable with your shot and jump shot mechanics from practicing, take it to an actual game, whether vs the cpu or online multiplayer modes, to see how your shooting and jump shot performs against actual defense.
  • Be sure to factor in input lag and delay while online and how it may affect your jump shot.

8) Get Your Shot IQ Up / Take Good Shots

A money jump shot can be equipped by any player, but instinctively knowing when to shoot is an intangible that players should know for the best shot success. Here are some tips to improve your Shot IQ:

  • Don’t force bad shots. Having patience, while also recognizing opportunity, is key. The shot clock gives you 24 seconds, so utilize it to the fullest. When you take a bad shot – i.e. heavily contested, rushed, forced, etc – it’s basically a free gift to the defense and let’s your opponent off the hook.
  • Always strive to get good looks of the basket where the defender isn’t close enough to heavily contest the shot.
  • Make sure Shot Feedback is on (under Controller Settings)
  • Adrenaline Boosts and stamina matter more than ever in NBA 2K23. Some shots may fall while your MyPLAYER is fresh, while other may brick when stamina is depleted. Factor this into your shooting as well.
  • Be aware of hot and cold streaks with your MyPLAYER, as this factors into shooting success as well.

9) Movement, Positioning, Spacing

Your objectives as a shooter are many, whether the ball is in your hands or if you’re playing off-ball. Spacing the floor, movement and positioning, timing, and chemistry all factor in to getting good looks to maximize shot success.

  • Moving with the Ball as a Shooter:
    • Create space. If you’re a jump shooter with the ball in your hands, the objective is to create space between you and the defender so you can attempt a good shot. How that’s done is by guaging how the defense is playing you and then react accordingly, and by using various moves to get open (see below)
    • Effective Moves and Plays:
      • Triple Threat Jab/Step-over with a live dribble is a great way to create space and keep the defense off-balance.
      • Stepback Jumper, a la James Harden, creates a lot of space off the dribble.
      • Sprinting towards and shooting from the mid-range baseline vs a trailing defender can be a good spot to shoot before help defense can get there.
      • If your player is a decent ball handler, creating space behind a screen/pick from your big is a great way to free up space.
  • Moving without the Ball as a Shooter:
    • Get Open
      • Your job as an off-ball player is to get yourself open, create an open target for the pass, get your teammate(s) open, as well as to create spacing on the floor. You want to give your teammates driving lanes so they can drive and kick, take it all the way to the hoop, etc. It’s not all about you, so pay attention to the position of your teammates. Give them room to operate. Read your teammates and adjust accordingly.
    • Get in Sync with Your Teammates
      • You want to create chemistry with your teammates, especially in online multiplayer modes. This is done by adjusting positioning, movement, and timing to sync up with the potential passers on your team, as well as give them room to operate if they want to iso. Many times, these nuances are the difference between getting open or not, and winning or losing. The best way to get in sync is to make sure to be an open target for the passer, especially if/when help defense rotates over. This improves team chemistry as well as increase the likeliness of taking open shots if the opportunity between pass and catch and shoot is synced up.
    • Space the Floor / Spread Out
      • One of the best off-ball options for a shooter is to spread out and space the floor, spotting up in the corners or 3PT wing areas. This allows space for the ball handler to drive and kick out to the shooter(s) if the defense collapses.
    • Read and react to the defense
      • Spotting up at the 3 is one way to space the floor, but shooters should always be gauging how the defense is playing them and react accordingly, whether it’s a 5-out, 4-1, motion offense, or any other offense.
    • Utilize pump fakes and backdoor cuts if the defender is playing too tight to keep the defense honest.

10) Know all the Shooting Controls

Getting familiar with every shot type is a great way to become a skilled shooter:

ACTIONPS4/PS5XBOX 1/SERIES X
Jump ShotPress & hold Square then releasePress & hold X then release
Free ThrowPress & hold Square then releasePress and hold X then release
LayupMove & hold RS up (when driving)Move & hold RS up (when driving)
Runner / FloaterMove & hold RS down while driving in close rangeMove & hold RS down while driving in close range
Reverse LayupMove & hold the RS right (while driving along the right baseline)Move & hold the RS right (while driving along the right baseline)
Euro Step LayupDouble tap Square while driving & hold LS towards the off handDouble tap X while driving & hold the LS towards the off hand
Cradle LayupDouble tap Square when driving & hold LS towards the ball handDouble tap X when driving & hold LS toward the ball hand
Hop Step LayupTap Square while drivingTap X while driving
Two-Hand DunkR2 + Move & hold RS up while driving in close rangeR2 + Move & hold RS up while driving in close range
Dominant or Off-Hand DunkR2 + Move & hold RS up, left or right in close range. The RS direction determines the dunking handRT + Move & hold RS up, left or right in close range. The RS direction determines the dunking hand
Normal Skill DunkR2 + Move RS up then quickly release and move and hold RS down. Release RS to neutral to time the dunkRT + Move RS up then quickly release and move and hold RS down. Release RS to neutral to time the dunk
Rim Hang DunkR2 + Move & hold RS down while driving. Keep R2 held to continue hanging, use LS to control swing, and move RS up to pull up on the rimRT + Move & hold RS down while driving. Keep RT held to continue hanging, use LS to control swing, and move RS up to pull up on the rim
Rim Hang Skill DunkR2 + Move RS down then quickly release and move and hold RS down again. Release RS to neutral to time the dunk. Keep R2 held to continue hanging and use LS to control swingRT + Move RS down then quickly release and move and hold RS down again. Release RS to neutral to time the dunk. Keep RT held to continue hanging and use LS to control swing
One-Hand Flashy DunkR2 + Move RS down then quickly move and hold RS upRT + Move RS down then quickly move and hold RS up
Two-Hand Flashy DunkR2 + Move RS up then quickly release and move and hold RS up againRT + Move RS up then quickly release and move and hold RS up again
Pump FakeTap SquareTap X
Hop / Stepback GatherTap Square with LS deflected left or rightTap X with LS deflected left or right
Spin GatherHold R2 + double tap SquareHold RT + double tap X
Half Spin GatherRotate RS in a quarter-circle from right to up then hold while driving with ball in right handRotate RS in a quarter-circle from right to up then hold while driving with ball in right hand
Step ThroughAt close range, pump fake, then press and hold SquareAt close range, pump fake, then press and hold X
PutbackPress Square when attempting an offensive reboundPress X when attempting an offensive rebound
Bank ShotMove and hold RS up and releaseMove and hold RS up and release

Hope this NBA 2K23 Shooting Tutorial helped you step up your game. Be sure to check back here for more NBA 2KW gameplay tips!