Category: NBA 2K21 Playmaking Badges (page 1 of 3)

Best Playmaking Badges

Whether it is for dribbling or passing, playmaking badges are an essential part of a ballhandler’s arsenal to effectively dish out assists or create their own shots.

And if you want to effectively do both of these at a high level, you’re going to need the best playmaking badges to help you do so:

The Best Playmaking Badge: Quick First Step. Allows you to get a speedboost by simply clicking the Right Trigger and blow-by your opponent. A must-have for ball handlers.

If You Like Dribbling (and Want to do more than One Move): Handles for Days. Allows you to chain moves without your player going into cardiac arrest after a simple crossover. The higher the level, the better.

To Stop Stupid Steal Animations: Unpluckable. Always underperforms, but still necessary for ball handlers and can sometimes help you out when you get careless dribbling (or your opponent is a steal spammer).

To Help your Teammates Shoot Better: Dimer. Gives a boost to your teammates on catch-and-shoot scenarios. Want your team to shoot better? Throw on Dimer, the higher the level, the higher the boost.

To Get Bailed Out: Bail Out, the aptly-named badge that allows you to pass out of stupid shots or late contests. Works on lower levels, but best on higher levels.

Sticking It to Passing Lane Lurkers: Needle Threader. Allows your passes to bypass passing lane spammers, best for the Rec or other 5v5 modes.

If You Have Too Many Playmaking Badges: Floor General. Gives an attribute boost to all your teammates, helping them shoot better, dunk better, and dribble better. There’s also a goodie for youself, too.

For Dribble Gods: Ankle Breaker and Tight Handles. Eschew all the badges that help your teammates out, am I right? These badges will have you taking ankles and putting you on highlight reels.

While other badges are certainly helpful in different ways, these playmaking badges are simply the best in 2K21.

NBA 2K20 Badges – The Complete List

Finishing

Acrobat: Spin, half-spin, hop step, euro-step, cradle, reverse, and change shot layup attempts receive a significant boost.

Backdown Punisher: Allows players to have more success than normal when backing down a defender in the paint.

Consistent Finisher: Penalties for mis-timed layups are reduced, allowing players to make layups more consistently.

Contact Finisher: Slashers who play below the rim finish contact layups more successfully while dunkers are able to pull off more contact dunks.

Cross-Key Scorer: Boosts the ability to make running hooks, layups, or close range pull-ups while driving across the paint.

Deep Hooks: Post hooks taken far from the basket receive less of a distance penalty than normal.

Dropstepper: Allows for more success when attempting post dropsteps and hop steps, in addition to protecting the ball better, while performing these moves in the post.

Fancy Footwork: players get past defenders more efficiently when performing euro, cradle, hop step, spin, and half-spin gathers.

Fastbreak Finisher: Gives an additional boost to a player’s takeover meter when successfully dunking on a fastbreak.

Giant slayer: Boosts the shot percentage for a layup attempt when mismatched against a taller defender and reduces the possibility of getting blocked.

Lob City Finisher: Improves a player’s ability to successfully finish an alley-oop layup or dunk. The shot must be taken before the receiver lands.

Pick & Roller: When rolling off the pick and roll, a shot boost is applied if the layup or dunk attempt comes within a few seconds after catching the pass.

Pro Touch: Gives an extra shot boost for having slightly early, slightly late, or excellent shot timing on layups.

Putback Boss: Boosts the shot attributes of a player that attempts a putback layup or dunk right after getting an offensive rebound.

Relentless Finisher: Improves a player’s ability to take a lot of contact by reducing the energy lost when attacking the rim for contact shots.

Showtime: Gives an additional boost to a player’s takeover meter and his teammates, when successfully completing an and-1 or flashy dunk.

Slithery Finisher: Increases a player’s ability to slide through traffic and avoid contact during gathers and finishes at the rim.

Tear dropper: Improves a player’s ability to known down floaters and runners.

Shooting

Catch & Shoot: For a short time after receiving a pass, the receiver’s outside shooting attributes get a significant boost.

Clutch Shooter: Shot attempts that occur during the final moments of the 4th quarter, or in any overtime period, receive a large boost.

Corner Specialist: Deep mid-range or 3pt shots taken along the baseline of the court receive a boost, whether it is off the dribble or off the catch.

Deadeye: Jump shots taken with a defender closing out receive less of a penalty from a shot contest. This includes both mid-range and 3pt shots.

Deep fades: Post fadeaways taken far from the basket receive less of a distance penalty than normal.

Difficult Shots: Boosts your player’s ability to make shots off the dribble, in addition to boosting your player’s ability to make moving shots.

Flexible Release: Shot timing penalties for jump shots are reduced, making it easier to knock down attempts even when releasing early or late.

Green Machine: Gives an additional shot boost when consecutively achieving excellent releases on jump shots. 

Hot Start: For every made shot from the beginning of the game, players receives a shot attribute bonus that lasts until the first missed shot attempt

Hot Zone Hunter: Shots that are taken in a player’s hot zone(s) are given a boost

Ice in Veins: Free throws taken in the second half of close games or overtime periods are given a boost. Also, the timing window for free throws becomes larger.

Pick & Popper: Shot attempts that come after setting a screen are given a boost if the shot happens far enough from the rim and within a few seconds after the screen has been set.

Pump Fake Maestro: Shortens the timer that determines how long after a pump fake a player can shoot without incurring a shot percentage penalty.

Quick Draw: The higher the badge level, the faster a player will be able to release all jump shots.

Range Extender: Adds extra distance to a player’s given shot range for both mid-range and 3pt shots.

Slippery Off-Ball: When attempting to get open off screens, the player more effectively navigates through traffic.

Steady Shooter: Shot attempts that are contested receive less of a penalty, however shot attempts that are open do not receive as much of a bonus.

Tireless Scorer: Shot attributes on jump shots suffer a smaller penalty than normal when tired.

Volume Shooter: After a player has taken a small handful of shots, an additional boost to shot attributes is given for ever subsequent shot, whether it’s a make or a miss.

Playmaking

Ankle Breaker: Improves the likelihood of freezing or dropping a defender during dribble moves, especially stepback moves or certain chains of dribble moves.

Bail Out: Increases the chances of a successful and accurate pass out of a jumpshot or layup while mid-air.

Break Starter: Allows rebounders to throw more effective deep outlet passes shortly following a defensive rebound.

Dimer: Gives a shooting boost to receivers in catch-and-shoot oppurtunities.

Downhill: Increases your player’s speed with ball rating on fastbreak opportunities

Dream Shake: Increases the chances that a defender falls for a pump fake in the post. In addition, your player’s shooting attributes increase after post moves or pump fakes.

Flashy Passer: Gives a Takeover boost to the passer and receiver after following a made shot off a flashy pass.

Floor General: Boosts your teammates’ offensive attributes when on the floor.

Handles for Days: Allows playmakers and dribbling builds to lose less stamina when chaining dribble moves.

Lob City Passer: Increases the chances of a successful alley-oop pass and finish. It boosts both your player’s passing attribute and the finishing attributes of your receiver.

Needle Threader: Increases the success of tough passes between defenders. When activated, this badge will boost your passing attributes and help deliver a crisp pass.

Pass Fake Maestro: Increases the effectiveness of fake passes by making them quicker and tighter.

Post Spin Technician: Boosts a player’s post spin or post drive

Quick First Step: Allows players to get more explosive first steps out of the triple threat or size up.

Space Creator: Boosts your player’s ability to create space from a defender on a step back move or shot.

Stop & Go: Allows ball handlers to quickly stop-and-go while dribbling. You also get unique launch animations on stop-and-gos with this badge.

Tight Handles: Boosts your player’s ball handling in one-on-one situations.

Unpluckable: Makes it more difficult for defenders to steal the ball from your player.

Defending and Rebounding

Box: Strengthens a player’s ability to effectively box out opponents in anticipation of a rebound.

Brick Wall: This badge makes it tougher for a defense to get through or around screens. Players hit by contact from a brick wall lose more energy than normal.

Chase Down Artist: Boosts the speed and leaping ability of a player when he is chasing down an offensive player in anticipation of a block attempt.

Clamps: Defenders have access to quicker cut off moves and are more successful when bumping or hip riding riding the ball handler.

Defensive Leader: Lifts the defensive ability of teammates when on the court. Also, at the Hall of Fame level, can see potential shot percentages of opposing players. 

Heart crusher: After successfully blocking or stealing the ball from an opponent, an additional penalty is given to the opposing player’s takeover meter.

Interceptor: The frequency of successfully tipped or intercepted passes greatly increases.

Intimidator: Offensive players have less success shooting when contested by players with this badge. Also boosts the shot defense rating when tightly guarding an opponent.

Lightning Reflexes: Gives the defender an advantage to read where the ball handler is going in the Read and React System.

Moving Truck: Players are more effective pushing opponents out of the post while playing defense.

Off-Ball Pest: Makes players more difficult to get past when playing off-ball, as they can grab and hold their matchup and don’t get their ankles broken as often.

Pick Dodger: Improves a player’s ability to navigate through and round screens while on defense.

Pick Pocket: Increases the chances of a steal and reduces the chances of a foul when attempting to strip the ball from a ball handler. Also improves the chances of successful layup strips. 

Pogo Stick: Allows players to quickly go back for another block attempt upon landing.

Post Move Lockdown: Increases the chances of a defender preventing an offensive post move from succeeding.

Rebound chaser: Improves a player’s ability to track down rebounds from farther distances than normal.

Rim protector: Improves player’s ability to block shots, unlocks special animations and gives a boost to the Takeover meter for the blocker and blocker’s teammates following a block.

Tireless defender: Allows defenders to play defense more aggressively without losing energy at the same rate as a normal player.

Trapper: When trapping offensive players, defenders are more effective at forcing pickups and turnovers than normal. 

Worm: When boxed out, rebounders have more success swimming around and getting into successful rebound position.

NBA 2K21 Playmaking Badges: A Complete Guide

Next Gen Badges:

  • Ankle Breaker: Improves the likelihood of freezing or dropping a defender during dribble moves, especially stepback moves or certain chains of dribble moves.
  • Bail Out: Increases the chances of successfully completing a passs from mid-air.
  • Break Starter: Improves a player’s ability to make effective outlet passes after grabbing a rebound.
  • Bullet Passer: Improves a player’s ability to quickly pass the ball.
  • More Next-Gen Badges coming soon

Current Gen Badges:

  • Ankle Breaker: Improves the likelihood of freezing or dropping a defender during dribble moves, especially stepback moves or certain chains of dribble moves.
  • Bail Out: Increases the chances of a successful and accurate pass out of a jumpshot or layup while mid-air.
  • Break Starter: Allows rebounders to throw more effective deep outlet passes shortly following a defensive rebound.
  • Dimer: Gives a shooting boost to receivers in catch-and-shoot oppurtunities.
  • Downhill: Increases your player’s speed with ball rating on fastbreak opportunities
  • Dream Shake: Increases the chances that a defender falls for a pump fake in the post. In addition, your player’s shooting attributes increase after post moves or pump fakes.
  • Flashy Passer: Gives a Takeover boost to the passer and receiver after following a made shot off a flashy pass.
  • Floor General: Boosts your teammates’ offensive attributes when on the floor.
  • Handles for Days: Allows playmakers and dribbling builds to lose less stamina when chaining dribble moves.
  • Lob City Passer: Increases the chances of a successful alley-oop pass and finish. It boosts both your player’s passing attribute and the finishing attributes of your receiver.
  • Needle Threader: Increases the success of tough passes between defenders. When activated, this badge will boost your passing attributes and help deliver a crisp pass.
  • Pass Fake Maestro: Increases the effectiveness of fake passes by making them quicker and tighter.
  • Post Spin Technician: Boosts a player’s post spin or post drive
  • Quick First Step: Allows players to get more explosive first steps out of the triple threat or size up.
  • Space Creator: Boosts your player’s ability to create space from a defender on a step back move or shot.
  • Stop & Go: Allows ball handlers to quickly stop-and-go while dribbling. You also get unique launch animations on stop-and-gos with this badge.
  • Tight Handles: Boosts your player’s ball handling in one-on-one situations.
  • Unpluckable: Makes it more difficult for defenders to steal the ball from your player.

Unpluckable Badge

The Unpluckable badge is new for NBA 2K20 and makes it more difficult for defenders to steal the ball from your player.

Unpluckable is a solid badge for any player, as it provides helpful protect ball animations. For guards, it’ll help you dribble better on the perimeter, and for big men, it will help you from getting ripped off rebounds and in the post.

Recommendation: Ball handlers should get Unpluckable on a higher level, and big men should get it on Bronze if they have sufficient badge points or frequently get ripped off rebounds.

Another course of action for guards, however, is simply using Unpluckable on only Bronze. Many top-level players, like Tyceno, use it on Bronze for the animation set and protect the ball by avoiding dribbling into their defender.

Tight Handles Badge

The Tight Handles badge is new for NBA 2K20 and boosts your player’s ball handling in one-on-one situations. This badge also makes it easier to chain dribble moves.

The badge is a must have for dribblers, as it allows you to dribble more cleanly, and in some circumstances, freeze your defender from making a play on the ball.

Recommendation: Dribblers need at least Silver Tight Handles, with even more benefits coming from the badge on higher levels. Other builds, including non-dribbling guards, do not need this badge.

Stop & Go Badge

The Stop & Go badge is new for NBA 2K20 and allows ball handlers to quickly stop-and-go while dribbling. You also get unique launch animations on stop-and-gos with this badge.

NBA2KLab determined this badge to be quite useless, and we agree with this sentiment. It’s already pretty easy to stop out of a dribble chain by pressing the left bumper, deeming Stop & Go pretty useless.

Recommendation: We don’t recommend putting any badge points into Stop & Go, as you could put some Playmaking into other dribbling badges that will help you break the defender more efficiently.

Post Spin Technician Badge

The Post Spin Technician badge is back for NBA 2K20 and boosts a player’s post spin or post drive. It is in the Playmaking category of badges.

This badge is basically for big men who play in the post and frequently use the Post Spin. There have been no complaints about the badge so far, so it seems to be effective at this point for bigs down low.

Recommendation: Post Scorers who have a lot of playmaking badge points should get Post Spin Technician on Gold or Hall of Fame, while other bigs with ample playmaking points could put it on bronze or silver for the post spin boost and better animations down low.

Pass Fake Maestro Badge

The Pass Fake Maestro badge is new for NBA 2K20 and increases the effectiveness of fake passes by making them quicker and tighter.

There is no benefit that this badge seems to provide after we conducted multiple tests, so we find it basically useless for the time being.

Recommendation: Don’t waste any badge points on Pass Fake Maestro. It’s not worth it, and here are some videos that agree with our recommendation:

Needle Threader Badge

The Needle Threader badge is new for NBA 2K20 and increases the success of tough passes between defenders. It unlocks a set of animations that allow passes to zip by defenders.

Needle Threader will allow you to make tough passes and, more importantly, bypass passing lane steal-spamming defenders in every game mode.

Recommendation: If you have trouble with passing lane turnovers, we recommend maxing out Needle Threader on your player.

Otherwise, it’s only other value is in Rec, where even solid passers could use Bronze Needle Threader due to the limited spacing in this game mode.

Lob City Passer Badge

Lob City Passer is back for NBA 2K20 and increases the chances of a successful alley-oop pass and finish. It boosts both your own passing attribute and the finishing attributes of your receiver.

With lobs being super inconsistent for players without the Passing or Finishing badge, having Lob City Passer is going to be the one way to throw consistently accurate lobs.

Recommendation: If you throw a lot of lobs, get the badge on Silver or higher. If you rarely throw lobs, it may still be a good idea to get the badge on Bronze if the opportunity of an unguardable lob arises.