Category: NBA 2K21 News

Hot Stopper

Hot Stopper is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next Gen and gives an additional boost towards Takeover progress after making plays on defense.

It’s a bit different than Heart Crusher, which gives a Takeover boost to your teammates as well for big defensive plays.

Recommendation: We don’t recommend this badge for any defender, as Heart Crusher does more than Hot Stopper does for you or your teammates.

Clutch Defender

Clutch Defender is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next Gen and boosts defensive abilities during clutch situations.

Recommendation: This badge can certainly be helpful for clutch-time defensive situations, but there are a ton of other defensive badges we’d recommend before Clutch Defender.

Ankle Braces

Ankle Braces is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next Gen and lowers the likelihood of getting ankle-broken by opposing dribble moves.

Recommendation: Ankle Braces is a decent badge for consistent on-ball defenders, but it is far from a necessary for perimeter defense.

Fade Ace

Fade Ace is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next Gen and replaces Deep Fades from current gen. Fade Ace improves your players’ ability to shoot post fades.

To unlock Fade Ace on Next Gen:

  • Gold: 56 Mid Range
  • Hall of Fame: 74 Mid Range

Recommendation: Fade Ace is a decently effective badge that is best equipped on post scorers. Beyond that, there are many other badges to put on your shooter besides Fade Ace.

Deep Threes

Deep Threes is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next Gen that replaces Range Extender. This badge extends the range from which a player can effectively shoot threes.

To unlock Deep Threes for your next-gen MyPlayer:

  • Gold: 77 Three Pointer
  • Hall of Fame: 94 Three Pointer
  • Can not equip or unlock on MyPlayer Centers

Recommendation: This badge is pretty much necessary for any shooter to space the floor and shoot for deep, so we recommend maxing it out on your MyPlayer and your favorite MyTeam cards.

Circus Threes

Circus Threes is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next Gen and gives boost to stepback and other difficult shots from beyond the arc.

To unlock Circus Threes on next-gen:

  • Gold: 71 Three Pointer
  • Hall of Fame: 90 Three Pointer
  • Cannot unlock or equip for MyPlayer centers

Recommendation: Circus Threes is a great badge if your frequently shoot difficult three pointers. It’s certainly an effective badge when used, but there are certainly better shooting badges in the game.


Blinders is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next Gen and allows your player to be unfazed by defenders contesting shots from the side. It replaces Steady Shooter from current gen.

To unlock one of the best badges for your MyPlayer:

  • Gold: 66 mid range, or 66 three pointer
  • Hall of Fame: 84 mid range, or 84 three pointer

Recommendation: It’s one of the best shooting badges in Next-Gen, so we recommend it for your player to block out any chances a defender can contest your player from the side.


Antifreeze is a new badge for NBA 2K21 Next-Gen that makes it harder to get cold and lose your player’s Takeover progress. It is in the shooting category of badges.

To unlock Antifreeze on next-gen:

  • Gold: 57 mid range
  • Hall of Fame: 73 mid range

Recommendation: This isn’t a necessary badge for the Park unless you are really struggling with shooting. It can be helpful for MyTeam, however, to avoid getting cold in modes like Unlimited or Limited.

Shot Stick vs Shot Button: Which is Better for Shooting in NBA 2K21?

NBA 2K21 introduced a new method for shooting: shot aiming with the shot stick. This method allows you to pull down the right stick and move it to the desired area for a “green” release.

In this article, we break down the pros and cons of both methods and ultimately decide which method is better for putting the ball in the hoop in 2K21.

Shot Aiming with the Shot Stick

The Shot Stick is a method that allows you to pull down the right stick and aim the shot for a perfect release. The area is decided by where your player is located on the court.

The further left on the court your player is, the more you will have to pull the stick to 90 degrees left (in the corner). The further right your player is, the more you will have to pull the stick to 90 degrees right (when in the right corner).


  • More time to aim a shot than the shot button
  • Higher green percentage with correct aiming and timing.


  • Little to no forgiveness on non-perfect releases.
  • Difficult to quickly shot off the dribble or catch
  • Extremely Long learning curve
  • 2K changes stick shooting mechanics often

As a former user of the stick, the stick was fun for a long time. But since many players decided to mod their controllers to take advantage of the feature, 2K has made the mechanic pretty much unsuable.

How to master it: Spend a ton of time in Freestyle or the MyCourt learning how to move the stick to the green area. It’s all in the subtlety of your finger movement and tons and tons of practice.

Shot Button

The Shot Button allows you to time your shots by holding down the square or x button to release your shot. You have a specific green window to hit in your timing.


  • Easy to shoot quickly off the catch or the dribble.
  • Less complicated process (only requires you to hold the button down)
  • Easily replicated green releases with practice.
  • More forgiving on non-perfect releases (full whites)


  • Lower green percentage than Shot Aiming/L2 Timing Combo (still very high for higher rated shooters)
  • Susceptible to latency and lag issues

Shot Timing is still the preferred method for competitive players in every mode, and is the easiest method for both casual or new players and competitive players that have been using the button for years.

How to master it: Pick a specific jumpshot and spend some time in the MyCourt learning the timing. However, you will make a ton of non-perfect releases, so perfect timing isn’t required every time.

Shot Aiming vs Timing: Which is Better?

Shot timing is the best method for the large majority of players. It’s easier to learn, most players have been using the button for years, and it’s more rewarding for non-perfect releases.

The only time we’d recommend shot aiming is if you’re trying to be a bit different from the majority of players, because it is harder to learn, harder to use, and less forgiving for non-green releases.

Best Small Forward Builds in NBA 2K21

The Small Forward is typically considered a role player in NBA 2K21, with typically one, maybe two main jobs to help the team win.

However, equipped with a good build, Small Forwards can lead a team to victory in any game mode. Thus, here are the best builds to help you domainte the SF spot:

  1. Perimeter Lockdown (Shooting and Defense): A perfect spot-up that can also lock down the other teams’ guards and forwards. Ok finishing, too, but is perfect for the 3&D role. Here’s how to make it.
  2. Slasher (Finishing and Defending): A monster at the rim and on defense, this build can defend 1-through-5 while dominating in the paint. Can’t shoot, but slashing is OP in 2K21. Watch how to build it.
  3. 2-Way Finisher (Pure Defensive): The lockdown build can shut down 1-through-5 while having decent finishing ability. A truly versatile defender that can single handily win games on the defensive end. Here’s how to build it.
  4. Sharpshooter (Pure Shooting): A pure shooting build that can carry a team’s offense. Gets OK defending and dribbling ability, but this build’s main function is being a lights out shooter. Here’s how to make it.
  5. Slasher (Finishing and Shooting): An offensive-focused build that also has decent enough defense and playmaking ability. Best as an off-ball build for cuts to the basket and spot-up opportunities. This is how you build it.