“Defense wins Championships” rings true in NBA 2K23. If your player clamps up your opponent, chances are you’re going to win most games in NBA 2K23.
And to play your best defense in the newest game, you’re going to need the help of the Best Defensive Badges for Guards in the game this year. We broke them into positions and tiers to best fit your player(s):
Skip to: Guards | Swings | Big Men
Guards are typically focused on perimeter defense, and these badge selections reflect this focus:
- Clamps: Guarding opposing guards is tougher with overpowered blowbys off stepbacks, but Clamps is going to be your best bet to stop opposing scorers.
- Challenger: Chances are, you’ll be guarding a lot of 3-point shots. Challenger is going to help amplify your contests and slow down opposing shooters.
- Glove: Some really like this badge, but on-ball steals are still pretty inconsistent in 2K23. If you have extra badge points, this may be worth throwing a few on.
- Pick Dodger: Screens are still extremely effective, and Pick Dodger is still underpowered. Nonetheless, you’re going to need this badge if you want to have any hope of getting around picks.
- Menace: This badge has not been great these past few years, but there aren’t too many great options in this tier.
- Chasedown Artist: This badge is far underpowered compared to last year, but with the dominant playstyle being rim-running, this badge will at least give you some hope.
- Anchor: This, again, is a counter to rim-running. You’re a small player, so don’t expect great results contesting in the paint, but this badge will give you a fighting chance.
Swing players, defined as 6’6″ to 6’9″, have to focus on both a bit of perimeter defense and interior defense. Here are the best defensive badges in each Tier for swings:
- Clamps: Again, this badge is going to help you stop ball handlers. Swing players will probably be helping on ball handlers frequently, so this is still the best defensive badge.
- Challenger: Whether you’re guarding an on-ball or off-ball shooter, Challenger is going to help you contest their jumpshots and stop a barrage of threes.
- Interceptor: Playing passing lanes is perhaps a swing player’s biggest contribution on defense, so Interceptor is a natural fit. You can play without it, but it makes getting steals so much easier.
- Chasedown Artist: Whether you’re playing on-ball or off-ball, this badge is going to help you guard again rim-running. Again, this badge pales to last year’s version, but still helps.
- Anchor: You’re a bit bigger than guards, so this interior defense badge is going to help a bit more. Whether you are on a guard, swing, or big man, this badge will help you guard the paint.
- Rebound Chaser: You won’t be the primary rebounder (hopefully), but having this badge on a lower level is going to allow you to help clean up the boards on long rebounds.
- Pick Dodger: You won’t face a ton of screens as a swing, but this badge will help you in the chance that you do. It’s still underwhelming, but it’s one of few good badges in Tier 1.
Big Men are entirely focused on paint defense and rebounding, and this list of badges is going to help you maximize both skills and help you lead your defense to wins:
- Anchor: Interior defense is a bit odd this year without this badge, so big men should have it on the highest level they can afford. It’s a mix of Rim Protector and Intimidator from last year, so you can see why it’s so important.
- Rebound Chaser: You can get rebounds without this badge, but you are going to be out-boarded, without fail, by centers with this badge.
- Brick Wall: Screens are still an important part of 2K23, and this badge is going to help you set both stronger and more effective screens. ?It’s not necessary, but helpful after you equip the above badges.
- Boxout Beast: Unless you want opposing big men worming around your boxouts, this badge is going to be necessary. It’s pretty cheap and effective, so it’s a definite must for all big men.
- Chasedown Artist: This badge makes another appearance, and it’s just another tool for big men to guard the paint.
- Challenger: Regardless of your defensive scheme, you are going to be switched onto shooters at some point. This cheap badge is going to help you defend against those shots.
- Interceptor: Again, you’ll be playing the passing lanes at some point. This badge is going to maximize your chances of getting a steal if they throw it your way.
Check out our other guides on the best badges in each category: