Author: NBA 2K HQ

NBA 2K23 MyTeam Cards Tiers and Color

MyTeam is one of NBA 2K23’s most popular game modes, allowing players to construct a team of different players from different eras onto a single team.

You can pair Michael Jordan with Lebron James, Kevin Durant with Shaq, and thousands of other combinations you only dream about seeing on the court together.

Each player comes as a card with an overall rating, individual attributes, badges, and a set of animations. These cards are broken into multiple tiers, or colors, which we will break down in this post.

Gold: 66-79 Overall

Gold cards are the worst cards in the game, ranging from 66 overall to 79 overall. They are usually the worst players in the game, or the weakest version of a decent players, and are thus going to be the cheapest cards.

Although they are pretty much useless outside of specific Limited challenges, they are useful for beefing up your card collection to reach the certain card collector levels in the game.

Emerald: 80-83 Overall

Emerald cards are typically for the role players of past and present. Like Gold cards, they are both cheap and have limited use, but they are typically somewhat effective at the beginning of each new game.

Although there’s little reason to keep any Emerald cards in your collection (unless you’re going for collector rewards), it’s helpful to store a few of the better ones for Limited challenges.

Sapphire: 84-86 Overall

Sapphire cards are beefed-up versions of role players, and may even include the younger versions of former stars. They can be very useful at the beginning stages of the game, but fall off as the months progress.

However, there are typically many Limited challenges throughout the year that require Sapphire cards, so it’s a good idea to stash a few with good badges and animations for those specific weekends.

Ruby: 87-89 Overall

Ruby cards are usually very important in the first month of the game, and retain their importance as budget cards throughout the year. They’re usually cheap, but there are almost always a few gems in the batch.

Many budget teams will feature multiple Ruby cards with good badges and animations, so it’s always a good idea to at least take a quick glance at them during each new drop.

Amethyst: 90-91 Overall

Amethyst cards are usually the lower end of the “good” cards. They’re usually the best players at the beginning of the year, and you’ll find a few great ones for very cheap throughout the rest of the year.

Like Ruby’s, you don’t want to automatically assume these cards stink. Many of the best budget cards of all time are Amethyst’s, and they can usually be had for considerably lower MT than expensive cards.

Diamond: 92-94 Overall

The Diamond cards start off as the best in the game at the beginning, but usually retain some value throughout the year. They are typically reserved for big names and can be very expensive.

As the year progresses, you’ll find some less popular players getting Diamond cards. In these cases, they’re usually going to be amazing cards that are much cheaper than the bigger names.

Pink Diamond: 95-96 Overall

Pink Diamond used to be the best tier in the game years ago, but it is still very valuable despite its new position. Regardless of the time of year, they’re going to be a top tier card. And extremely expensive.

You’ll find many are rewards cards at the beginning of the year, but over time it becomes easier and easier to buy them on the Auction House.

Galaxy Opal: 97-98 Overall

Galaxy Opal cards are some of the best in the games, and the Opal glow when you open packs is something many players dream of. They are usually the top names with the best attributes, badges, and animations.

They are extremely expensive or time-consuming to acquire, but many are worth it. Going against a team with enough Opals will scare many other players to hit pause and quit.

Dark Matter: 99 Overall

The best card tier in the game – the Dark Matter. These cards are 99 Overall, feature a plethora of Hall of Fame badges, and have the majority of their ratings in the 90s.

2K likes to hold out on showing these cards until at least after Christmas. Regardless, any team with a slew of Dark Matter cards is going to strike a ton of fear into any opponent – and probably win.

Do I need Boosts in NBA 2K23?

Boosts are one of the most consistent parts of the NBA 2K series, providing either a boost to specific attributes or your player’s stamina. In this post we break down whether you should buy them for your player.

Skill Boosts

There are six categories of skill boosts, which cost either 200VC for one game, or 1500VC for 10 games. Here are the categories and whether you should spend your VC on them:

  • Jump Shots: Boosts your 3pt and Midrange ratings. We recommend these for most online games, because any boost to the most important part of the game is welcome. Pricey but worthwhile.
  • Ballhandling/passing: Gives a boost to your Speed with Ball, ball handle, etc. Unless you’re an iso-heavy player, these aren’t worth the price.
  • Layups/Dunks: Not really worth it. We haven’t see a situation where you’d actually get a real benefit from these.
  • Steals: May be helpful in steal-happy environments like the Rec, but steals are already overpowered in 2K23.
  • Blocks: Undersized centers are the biggest beneficiary of this boost, but I never noticed anything special while using these on a 7’0″ center.
  • Rebounding: Another boost that I didn’t see that much of a difference while using. They’re nice if you get them for free from the daily spin or events, but otherwise are not worth the VC.

Essentially, we really only recommend Shooting boosts. They work pretty well and shooting is certainly the most important part of NBA 2K23. And you should earn more than 150VC per game, so you don’t burn VC by buying them.

Gatorade Boosts

Gatorade boosts are all for stamina, and are far pricier than skill boosts. At 500VC for one game, or 3500VC for 10 games, they are an expensive accessory. There are three types of Gatorade Boosts:

  • Gatorade Super Shake: Slow down energy loss (RT/R2) by 25%
  • Gatorade Thirst Quencher: Increase energy (RT/R2) by 20%
  • Gatorade Zero with Protein: Recover energy (RT/R2) 25% faster than normal.

Are they worth it? At such a high cost, we don’t believe so in many cases. If you are an iso dribbler, then you’ll want to make the investment. But other positions, who really only lose stamina on defense, probably won’t get a huge boost from something that costs more than most players earn from a park game.

Best Swing Build

Swings are defined as any player between the height of 6’6″ and 6’10”. This post details the best players within this height range, and which badges fit best with this player.

This build is well-rounded and can do a bit of everything, but especially excels at finishing, help defense, and spot-up shooting. It can put the ball on the floor as well, and guard 1-on-1 if necessary.

How to Reach Legend in NBA 2K23

The steps to reach Legend in NBA 2K23 are brand new, and differ from the systems of past games. Before, it was rather straightforward in that you could play a lot and reach the pinnacle.

Here are the ways to reach Legend in NBA 2K23, which seem to be a lot tougher and more gruesome to accomplish. You have to accomplish all four of the following:

  • Score 100,000 points in the City, Pro-Am, or Rec games: At 10 points a game, that is 10,000 games, which is about on par with what it took to reach Legend in past games.
  • Play 500 Games at GOAT Level: This is the purple color behind your season level, and can only be achieved by playing extremely well for extended periods of time.
  • Complete 12 Season Quests: These quests are usually ridiculous and time-consuming, and there are only 4 per season. So it takes at least 5 seasons to get this one.
  • Earn Prizes across 20 Events in the City: The Events are typically sweat-fests, so this is another tough thing to reach.

It seems like 2K wanted to make it harder for people to reach Legend in 2K23. In 2K22, you could just reach Level 40 in four seasons and reach Legend. Before that, you typically had to no-life the game, but the requirements were pretty linear.

Now, the requirements are a bit more surgical and require more thought when you’re playing the game. At least when it comes to the Season Quests and Events. Good Luck to anybody trying, it’s going to be a grind-and-a-half.

Best Dunk Animations

Dunking in NBA 2K23 is heavily reliant on animations, especially with badges like Limitless Takeoff and Posterizer, which require certain packages to get the contact dunks you want. Here are the best dunk animations in NBA 2K23:

Swings and Bigs

These dunk packages are for players taller than 6’5″:

  • Lebron James: The best dunk package that unlocks ferocious dunks. The best part about this package is that there are great animations that pair with the Limitless Takeoff badge, which gives you unblockable dunks.
  • Scottie Pippen: Some of the regular dunks are nothing crazy, but Pippen’s dunk package maximizes the Limitless Takeoff badge and gets you crazy dunks from far away from the basket.

Swings and Guards

These dunk packages are for players shorter than 6’10”:

  • Michael Jordan: Smaller guards will dominate with this package, as you get the free throw line dunk, plus a bunch of other animations that help you dunk on opposing players.
  • Russell Westbrook: Another great package that gives you ferocious dunks. It works great with Limitless Takeoff and Posterizer.

It’s a Cole World Answers & Guide

One of the (too) many quests in the MyCareer mode of NBA 2K23 is the “It’s a Cole World” quest that launches your career as a rapper. It’s a multi-step process, and you’ll need the following to pass it quickly and efficiently.

Talk to Marvin Castleberry at Erick’s Vinyl about PhD Monk

You will be posed with three questions, and these are the answers, in correct order:

  • Lizzo
  • Queen
  • They Reminisce Over You

Head to the Spot on the Map where Rappers Hang Out

You’ll need the following answers in the rap battle. I messed up a few times, so you’ll need to pay attention closely to the answers:

  • I got lockdown defense so don’t try to get mental
  • Check ya I’m with the extras, I’m eurostepping and flexing
  • I’ll break your ankles and probably fix that wart in your foot
  • You don’t have a lift pass you not supposed to ski here
  • End your career, throw a party on your own dime
  • I heard you’re sleeping on me with your stuffed toy Piggie Smalls?

Head to Rita’s and Ask about PhD Monk & Talk to whoever You can find about PhD Monk

Again, you want to pay close attention to all the answers to ensure that you are choosing the correct answer, as some answers will seem similar.

  • Got a little shine now you think you hotter than ovens
  • You are not the type that these other playas are idolize
  • And if you’re hoopin, you’re doo doo I’m poop scoopin’
  • Hope it doesn’t rain, since I caved the roof in
  • I’mma pull up in your face like I know your addy
  • I know you seen me skate I got nothin’ but decks

Head to Dreamer Court to record sounds for PhD Monk

You’ll play a 3v3 game with J Cole on your team, and the key is to win the game. It shouldn’t be too hard, as J Cole is actually really good in the game.

Bring the Sounds You Recorded Back to PhD Monk

This is a session in a recording studio, and there are 12 answers you’re going to need. Once again, you’ll need to pay close attention to the answers, as some of them will look pretty similar:

  • Whenever, wherever. Soon as I tough the leather
  • Like your kindergarten teacher, I’m giving L’s for free
  • And I’mma take the rock like I went in that man’s wallet
  • Crazy how he laced up for the wall of shame
  • And don’t mumble it’s a concrete jungle
  • I call a iso, then I put the icing on
  • Take off from a free throw, take off the durag
  • Cross-over, half-spin, hit ’em with the hop skip
  • How you gonna stop this nah how you gonna top this?
  • 2K, who you’re dealing with? You know I’m a savage
  • The rock ain’t safe, I’ll take the money out your dresser
  • You know who I am I’m a national treasure

Meet Bas at Dreamville

Another studio session, though it will only require 6 lines instead of 12. It’s a pretty easy section and shouldn’t take too long if you input these answers:

  • Leave em frozen when I pull up for the jumper
  • It’s the playoffs, play y’all? Y’all beginners
  • My arm in the rim look at shorty below
  • Like Dr. J’s afro you getting blowed out
  • “Smile for the camera” chill? Yeah, no doubt
  • This that rolling down the window on the flight feel…NEXT!

This is the last big quest you will have to complete, and there are just small quests left after this. None require specific answers and will be pretty quick and easy.

What is the Theater?

NBA 2K23 featured 24/7 matchmaking for the first time ever in the Old Gym, and while that specific game mode has been taken out of the game, a new version has been released in NBA 2K23: the Theater.

The Theater is another 24/7 matchmaking mode with a bit of a twist. Whereas the Old Gym was 3v3 random matchmaking, the Theater has several different game modes.

Theater Game Modes

For example, the first week was 2v2 “No Squads”, 2v2 Squads with bonus points for alley oops, 3v3 with Bonus points for assists, and 4v4. Four different game modes, four different themes.

We expect to see much of the same as the year progresses. Four different game modes, ranging from 1v1 to 5v5, all to 21, with matchmaking. It is unknown how often the events are updated, but there seems to be a mode for everyone.

This game mode has been an awesome upgrade over the Old Gym, and will continue to be so. Whether you have a squad or not, want to get away from the sweats in the Park, or just want instant games, the Theater is open.

Rep in the Theater

You do get park rep in the Theater, although it is lower than playing in your own park affiliation. The games also count towards your park record, although you will not see any progress in your GOAT levels.

The one advantage, at least rep-wise, is that you can get games quickly without a squad. You can play whenever and rack up the rep needed to reach level 40.

What are Core Badges?

Core badges are a new part of the NBA 2K23 badge system that allows you to equip top-tier badges without using badge points. In this post we break down the specifics of this new system and how you can benefit from it.

Quick Breakdown of the Badge System

As of now, the badge system is broken into three tiers for each badge category – Tier 1, 2, and 3. Tier 3 badges are considered the best, while Tier 1 badges are considered the worst. These tiers are dependent on height.

Tier 1 badges cost 1-2-3-4 badge points from Bronze to Hall of Fame, Tier 2 badges cost 3-4-5-6 from Bronze to HOF, and Tier 3 badges require 5-6-7-8 badge points from Bronze to HOF.

You must also equip 10 badge points from Tiers 1 and 2 (the two lowest) before equipping a Tier 3 badge. Thus, you would need at least 18 badge points to get a Tier 3 HOF badge.

How a Core Badge Fits into this System

Once you equip your first Tier 3 badge, a ‘Core Challenge’ will start. These challenges are dependent on the badge, for example, the Core Challenge for Rebound Chaser would be focused on grabbing rebounds.

Once you complete the Core Challenge, you can equip the badge as a “Core Badge,” and the cost of the badge does not count against your badge points. This means that, if you have 18 badge points, you can have one HOF Tier 3 Core badge and another HOF Tier 3 badge.

You get one Core badge per category (Finishing, Shooting, so on), which can be from any tier. Of course, you will want most of them to be from Tier 3, but sometimes you may have to settle for a lesser badge.

The Core badge system is a great idea in that badges are very expensive this year, and this allows you to, at least, get another important badge at no cost. And the progress on any level, say from Bronze, carries over to higher levels as you unlock them.

Which Badges should I make my Core Badges

Obviously this depends on your position and how you play, but here are our recommendations for each position on which are the best badges to make your Core badges:


  • Finishing: Posterizer or Limitless Takeoff
  • Shooting: Limitless Range
  • Playmaking: Killer Combos or Handles for Days
  • Defense: Clamps


  • Finishing: Posterizer or Limitless Takeoff
  • Shooting: Catch and Shoot
  • Playmaking: Clamp Breaker
  • Defense: Clamps

Big Men

  • Finishing: Bully
  • Shooting: Catch and Shoot
  • Playmaking: Break Starter
  • Defense: Anchor or Rebound Chaser

Jumpshot Database

2K killed it with the jumpshots this year, updating a lot of players to their real-life animations. In addition, they added a series of attributes to each jumpshot, which determine their effectiveness. Here is a description of each attribute:

  • 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.

For each category below, we match the jumpshot with a) the minimum 3pt rating needed to unlock the jumpshot, and b) the attributes for each jumpshot:


JumpshotMin 3PT RatingRelease HeightRelease SpeedDef. ImmunityTiming Impact
Nickeil Walker-Alexander63C+B-C-D-
Grayson Allen78DBB+B+
Cole Anthony63D+B+BC+
Ryan Archidiacono77B-A-B+C`
DJ Augustin79B-DAA+
Lamelo Ball80BA+B+C
Lonzo Ball77C-C+B+B+
Dalano Banton72B+B+B-D+
Dick Barnett77D+D-A+A+
Kent Bazemore67CB+C+D-
Bradley Beal81BCAA-
Malik Beasley74BC-A-C+
Patrick Beverley55B-C-D-D-
Eric Bledsoe71B+D-B+B-
James Bouknight74C-D+B+B+
Avery Bradley81D-AAB+
Malcolm Brogdon74AD+AC
Bruce Brown81B-BB+A-
Jalen Brunson85C+AAB+
Jared Butler72A-C+C+C
Facundo Campazzo74DBBB
Jevon Carter78C+C-AB+
Alex Caruso73C+C-B-B+
Chris Chiozza73A+D-BB
Josh Christopher75B-CBB-
Jordan Clarkson78C+BB+B
Darren Collison80B-D+A+A
Mike Conley75DD+A-A
Seth Curry85AC-A+A
Stephen Curry91AA-A+A
Johnny Davis74A-D-AB
Terence Davis76CB-B+B-
Spender Dinwiddie76C-B-B+B
Donte Divincenzo74D+BB-B
Luka Doncic83C-CA+A+
Luguentz Dort69A+C+B-D
Ayo Dosunmu83C-BAA
Anthony Edwards79B+C-A-B+
Carsen Edwards77C+C+A-B
Wayne Ellington82BA-B+B+
Derek Fisher82A+C-A+A-
Malachi Flynn77A-CA-C+
Bryn Forbes80CB-AA-
De'Aaron Fox83C-A+A-B+
Steve Francis78B+D+AA-
Tim Frazier72B-C-B-C+
Markelle Fultz72A-C+B+D+
Darius Garland85D-A+A+A
Shai Gilgeous Alexander82B+B+B+B+
Brandon Goodwin72A+DBC
Eric Gordon76D-C+AB+
Devonte Graham71B+CB+D+
Jalen Green78B-CB+A-
Quentin Grimes75BD-AB+
Kyle Guy81C+B-A+B+
Tyrese Haliburton82D-CA+A+
RJ Hampton80B+C+A-B+
Penny Hardaway83CC+A+A+
James Harden84C+A+A-A-
Gary Harris74C-D+B+A-
Killian Hayes68B+D+B-C-
Tyler Herro81C+C+AA-
Buddy Hield83D+A-A-A
Haywood Highsmith71A+DB-C
George Hill76D+C+B+B+
Aaron Holiday79D-BA-A
Jrue Holiday83D-A-A+A+
Talen Horton Tucker73CB-BC+
Nashon Hyland81C+BA-B+
Kyrie Irving84B-CA+A+
Allen Iverson84ACA+A-
Jaden Ivey76D+B-BB
Frank Jackson80CB+A-B+
Reggie Jackson76CBB-B
Ty Jerome74AD+AC
Isaiah Joe78AB-BB
Keon Johnson73C+C-B-B
Tyler Johnson81D+A-A-A-
Tre Jones73B+CB-C
Tyus Jones80B-C-AA-
Cory Joseph74C+DB+A-
Steve Kerr87A-B+A+A
Jason Kidd84B-B+A-A
Zach Lavine81C+C+A-A
Damion Lee73C-C+BB-
Saben Lee64BCC+D-
Kira Lewis60A-D-B-D-
Damian Lillard85C-B+A+A+
Kyle Lowry80C+BAB-
Theo Maledon73A-C-BC+
Terance Mann78A-A+BC-
Tre Mann76D+C-B+A
Wesley Matthews76D+A-B-B-
Tyrese Maxey80A-C-AA-
Skylar Mays76B-DA-A
Miles Mcbride73B+DBB
CJ McCollum85C-B+AA+
TJ McConnell78B-B+BB-
Jordan McLaughlin72AC-B+C-
Ben McLemore78BC-A+B
De'Anthony Melton70A-CB-D+
Patrick Mills78A-C-B+B+
Shake Milton76C-BB-B
Davion Mitchell76C-BB+B
Donovan Mitchell84BBAA-
Malik Monk78C-BB+B+
Ja Morant82C-AAB+
Monte Morris81CD+A+A
Mychal Mulder73C+A-BD+
Dejounte Murray81B+C+A-A-
Jamal Murray76B-D-A+B+
Steve Nash85BC-A+A+
Raul Neto74CFA+A+
Jaylen Nowell75C+DAB+
Frank Ntilikina78CDA-A+
Kendrick Nunn86C-A+AB+
Josh Okogie69B-DBC
Victor Oladipo76D+C+A-B+
Chris Paul82AC-AA-
Cameron Payne77A+D-A+A-
Elfrid Payton73C-C+BB-
Gary Payton II75CCBB+
Jordan Poole80DB-AA
Kevin Porter Jr76B-AB+C-
Norman Powell79AD-A+A-
Jason Preston71A-DBC+
Joshua Primo76B+A-BC-
Payton Pritchard78B+DAA
Immanuel Quickley76C-ABC
Jahmi'us Ramsey73B-C-BC+
Austin Rivers67CC-A-D
Oscar Robertson88B+B-A+A+
Nate Robinson65BD-BC-
Rajon Rondo78D+BB+B+
Derrick Rose77BBBC+
Terry Rozier82AC+AB+
D'Angelo Russell77B-D+A-A-
Tomas Satoransky81B+A-B+B
Dennis Schroder74C+D-B+A
Collin Sexton71B+FAB
Landry Shamet78A-C+B+B-
Anfernee Simons83BC+A-A+
Marcus Smart74A-C+BC
Dennis Smith Jr72B+C-B+C
Ish Smith83ACAA-
Jaden Springer79A-B+B-B-
John Stockton86CB-A+A
Jae'Sean Tate73C-ABC-
Tyrell Terry77BC-A-B
Cam Thomas75AD+AC
Isaiah Thomas79A+CB+B
Matt Thomas81A+DAA-
Fred VanVleet82CB-AA
Gabe Vincent79C+CA-A-
Dwyane Wade82BC-A+A
Lonnie Walker IV74B+D+BB
John Wall74AB+B-D+
TyTy Washington 76D+C-AB+
Quinndary Washington75A-CBB-
Blake Wesley73CC-BB
Jerry West89C+B+A+A+
Russell Westbrook70AC-BD
Coby White82C-AA-B+
Derrick White73CCB+C
Jason Williams79D+C+A-A
Louis Williams79BBB+B-
Mark Williams43D+C-FF
Cassius Winston78C+CBA
Delon Wright76Cc+B-A-
Trae Young87DA-A+A+
J. Cole78C+CB+A
Dan Rue77A-D+B+A-

NBA 2K22 Badges

Finishing Badges

To view the descriptions of each Finishing badge, please click here.

  • Acrobat
  • Backdown Punisher
  • Dream Shake
  • Dropstepper
  • Fast Twitch
  • Fearless Finisher
  • Giant Slayer
  • Grace under Pressure
  • Hook Specialist
  • Limitless Takeoff
  • Lob City Finisher
  • Mouse in the House
  • Post Spin Technician
  • Posterizer
  • Pro Touch
  • Putback Boss
  • Rise Up
  • Slithery Finisher
  • Tear Dropper
  • Unstrippable

Shooting Badges

To view a complete description of each shooting badge, please click here.

  • Blinders
  • Catch and Shoot
  • Chef
  • Circus Threes
  • Clutch Shooter
  • Corner Specialist
  • Deadeye
  • Difficult Shots
  • Fade Ace
  • Green Machine
  • Hot Zone Hunter
  • Limitless Spot-Up
  • Lucky #7
  • Mismatch Expert
  • Rhythm Shooter
  • Set Shooter
  • Slippery Off-Ball
  • Sniper
  • Stop & Pop
  • Volume Shooter

Playmaking Badges

To view the complete description of each playmaking badge, please click here.

  • Ankle Breaker
  • Bail Out
  • Break Starter
  • Bullet Passer
  • Dimer
  • Downhil
  • Floor General
  • Glue Hands
  • Handles for Days
  • Hyperdrive
  • Needle Threader
  • Post Playmaker
  • Quick Chain
  • Quick First Step
  • Space Creator
  • Special Delivery
  • Stop & Go
  • Tight Handles
  • Triple Threat Juke
  • Unpluckable

Defensive Badges

To view the complete guide to the 2K22 defensive badges, please click here.

  • Ankle Braces
  • Ball Stripper
  • Box
  • Brick Wall
  • Chase Down Artist
  • Clamps
  • Defensive Leader
  • Heart Crusher
  • Hustler
  • Interceptor
  • Intimidator
  • Menace
  • Off-Ball Pest
  • Pick Dodger
  • Pick Pocket
  • Pogo Stick
  • Post Lockdown
  • Rebound Chaser
  • Rim Protector
  • Tireless Defender
  • Worm