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NBA 2K22 best badges: 20 picks for shooting, defense, finishing, and playmaking

Get ready to grind, because these badges are fine.

2K Sports/Vsual Concepts

NBA 2K22 has finally arrived, and that means a new season of MyCareer grind has officially begun. Are you eager to make the most of your MyPlayer now that you’ve got your basic build established? Taking these badges to Hall of Fame should be effective for most archetypes, whether you want to specialize in shooting, defense, finishing, or playmaking.

Obviously, no badge is ideal for every situation or MyPlayer build, but these selections should function as a guide for where you may want to start experimenting. After that, feel free to spend any remaining badge points on silvers or golds in other options you feel most comfortable with.

Best shooting badges in NBA 2K22

Making the most of MyCareer means having a MyPlayer with some great badges. Here are some of the best badges in all of NBA 2K22.2K Sports/Visual Concepts
  • Sniper: In contrast to Flexible Release, which just widens your effectiveness window, this badge actually ensures that slightly early or late shots go in the bucket as long as you’re open. Especially if you’re early in your quest to 99, that little boost can be all you need to score some extra VC in every game.
  • Blinders: This badge removes any degradation your player’s stats may see from nearby vision obstructions. If you’re shooting anywhere near the paint, which will presumably be often, this badge could offer the precise edge you’re looking for.
  • Hot Zone Hunter: As long as your player has Hot Zones, this badge is a really great one to level up. Simply put, it increases your MyPlayer’s effectiveness in Hot Zones. If your three-point stat is really good, you can’t go wrong with this badge.
  • Green Machine: Green Machine was awesome in NBA 2K21, and it’s still pretty essential in 2K22 as well. As its name implies, this shooting badge rewards you for draining consecutive green shots. Get just a few greens in a row, and your window for draining more of them will be absolutely massive. In short, a nice Green Machine run allows the points to pile up very quickly.
  • Deadeye: Defense is extremely powerful in NBA 2K22, so you need a badge that’s going to cut some of that down. This stops contests from getting knocked out, so you might as well use it. It’s a tried-and-true badge.

Best defensive badges in NBA 2K22

Defense got a massive overhaul in NBA 2K22, and with it comes a fairly dramatic update to defensive badge effectiveness. You have a lot of options in 2K22 if that’s how your build is designed, but here are the cream of the crop from what we’ve been able to test.

  • Rim Protector: Blocks are way more effective in NBA 2K22, and this badge amplifies them even more. With this, it’s more likely you’ll get blocks and less likely you’ll be dunked on. It’s a slasher kryptonite.
  • Pick Pocket: The steal stat actually matters this year too, which makes this badge very useful. Simply put, it increases your chances of steals and strips. Paired with the right stats, this badge is unstoppable.
  • Menace: This badge causes attributes to drop when sanding in front of your opponent as long as good defense is happening on the court. In other words, if you’re going up against a Floor General, this badge counteracts it.
  • Clamps: Clamps is a classic, but it’s still good in 2K22. It makes your cutoffs faster, and it's also easier to ride the ball handler too. These are basic advantages, but they’re super essential ones if you’re building a defensive player.
  • Intimidator: This badge is a great pair with Menace, as it makes shots that are contested by you less effective. It also boosts your shot defense ratings when the guard is tight. In short, it’s both a buff for you and a debuff for others.

Best finishing badges in NBA 2K22

Finishers have some really good badges that will help them work around defenders.2K Sports/Visual Concepts
  • Posterizer: Even though this badge can be partially canceled out by Rim Protector, it’s still worth having given the state of NBA 2K22. This increases the chances of dunking on a defender, which is a great buff to have since this year’s game makes dunking way more challenging.
  • Fast Twitch: Animations near the rim were slow in past 2K games, and that’s still true this year. However, this badge counteracts that weakness to a significant degree. If you’re playing in the paint, it’s a nice advantage to have.
  • Fearless Finisher: With all the defensive buffs mentioned above, slashers are going to need a badge that lets them finish through contact. This is a basic but necessary buff for players in the position.
  • Grace Under Pressure: If you have a really big player, this one will help them better perform standing layups. A lot of top-tier MyPlayer builds still skew tall, so this badge works in a lot of situations.
  • Lob City Finisher: Alley-oops have a new skill ceiling in 2K22, and this badge makes them a bit easier to figure out while you learn the ropes of the adjusted timing. It’s possible this badge becomes less relevant over time, but, if you’re just getting started, it’s still pretty good.

Best playmaking badges in NBA 2K22

  • Handles for Days: True to its name, this badge decreases the stamina you lose through dribbles. It’s a nice foundational badge that pairs well with a few others.
  • Quick Chain: This badge is one you should pair with Handles because it makes chaining dribble moves easier than it would otherwise be. If you can chain moves better and lose less stamina, that’s a pretty killer one-two punch.
  • Ankle Breaker: Ankle Breaker is a mainstay that’s still relevant in 2K22. It causes defenders to fall more frequently when biting the wrong way. With all the above-mentioned dribble buffs, this badge can make your opponents look foolish.
  • Unpluckable: Stealing has been reworked and buffed this year, so use this badge to make strips happen less often. It allows you to work on those bounces with a little more impunity.
  • Quick First Step: This badge increases your launch speed after triple threats and size ups. Given how strong defenders are in 2K22, there’s lots of opportunity for a decent counter.

NBA 2K22 is out now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows.

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