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Hand Down Man Down

Shooting open shots has been one of the most important facets of shooting in recent NBA 2K games, as contested shots almost always result in a miss. Hand Down Man Down aims to boost open shots even more.

What is Hand Down Man Down?

This badge is new for NBA 2K23 and increases a player’s chances of making a shot when their opponent does not put a hand up to contest a shot. Hand Down Man Down is in the shooting category of badges.

Who should equip Hand Down Man Down?

The answer is highly dependent on which tier this badge falls into. It will clearly provide some benefit to shooters, but there may be several other more effective badges for most players.

Agent 3

Players who cant hunt for 3’s off the dribble in NBA 2K are some of the most valuable players in the game. Defending them is almost impossible, too, which means a lot of free buckets if they can time their shots correctly.

In NBA 2K23, the new badge Agent 3 helps these players become even more effective by improving their ability to hit difficult 3PT shots off the dribble. This badge is in the Shooting category of badges.

Who should equip Agent 3?

Agent 3 is the perfect badge for ball handlers and three hunters. Regardless of which tier this badge ends up in, it is going to be a must-have for most shooters who want to take over from beyond the arc.


It’s been frustrating that bigger players get bodied by smaller defenders when going up for a finish in the paint. In NBA 2K23, the Bully badge aims to fix this increasingly infuriating, yet fequent occurrence.

What is the Bully badge?

Bully is a new badge for NBA 2K23 and increases the ability to finish strong in the paint by bulldozing through traffic. It is in the Finishing category of badges.

2K lists Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lebron James are perfect examples of this badge, and while we have to see the effectiveness of the badge during gameplay, we expect to see some sort of benefit provided by this new badge.

Who should equip Bully?

Bigger slashers are the target audience of this badge, as they’ll hopefully be able to finally use their size and weight to their advantage in the paint.

We will know which Tier of finishing badges Bully is in soon, but if the badge is even somewhat effective, it could be one of the best badges for slashers of all kinds.

Aerial Wizard

Whether it’s in the pick-and-roll or the fastbreak, Alley-Oops are an integral part of NBA 2K to get easy buckets in the paint. In NBA 2K23, you’ll get a boost to this ability by equipping Aerial Finisher.

What is the Aerial Finisher badge?

Aerial Wizard is a new badge for NBA 2K23 and increases the ability to successfull finish alley-oops and putbacks. It is in the finishing category of badges.

As of now, it seems like this badge will increase your timing window when finishing either an alley-oop or putback. We will have the official attributes required to unlock the badge in coming weeks.

Who should equip Aerial Finisher?

Bigmen who run the PnR and are thrown lops frequently would certainly benefit the most from this badge, in addition to slashers who cut to the paint. This is most likely going to be a Tier 3 badge, and it may end up being one of the best in this category.


Masher is a new badge for NBA 2K23 and increases the ability for players to finish layups over defenders in the paint. It is in the finishing category of badges.

While we will wait to see which tier of badges Masher is included in, and what level of attributes are needed to equip it, this badge seems like a must for bigs who have struggled to finish in the paint in recent versions of the game.

NBA 2K23 Dunking Controls

NBA 2K23 adds in a bevy of new controls to give you more control over how your player dunks the ball. In this post, we break down all the controls you’ll need to know to master dunking in 2K23.

Note: All of these controls trigger when you are holding down the sprint button (right trigger) when heading to the basket, and you only need to time certain dunks:

  • Two-Hand Dunk: Up on the Right Stick
  • Strong /Dominant Hand: Right on the Right Stick
  • Weak/Non-Dominant Hand: Left on the Right Stick
  • Rim Hang: Down on the Right Stick
  • Flashy Two-Hand: Up-Up on the Right Stick
  • Normal Skill Dunk with Meter: Up-Down on the Right Stick
  • Rim Hang Skill Dunk with Meter: Down-Down on Right Stick

We will have to see which animations are included within each category, but it seems like the safe and simple Two-Hand Dunks are going to reign supreme in 2K23.

MyTeam Season 8 Preview

Season 8 in NBA 2K22 is now upon us, and the following updates were made to the MyTeam game mode, starting with the rewards cards:

  • Level 40 Reward: Endgame C/PG Nikola Jokic
  • “Best Of” Domination Reward: Endgame PG/SG James Harden
  • Unlimited Galaxy Opal Tier: Invincible SF/SG Grant Hill
  • TTO: Invincible PG/SG Pete Maravich
  • 2,000 Triple Threat Wins: Invincible SG/SF Dominique Wilkins
  • Triple Threat Vault: Invincible SG/SF Elgin Baylor
  • Ascension: Invincible C/PF Darryl Dawkins
  • Draft: Invincible PG/SG Jerry West
  • DM Token Reward Market – Invincible SG/SF Julius Erving
  • Level 1 Reward: Invincible PG/SG Isiah Thomas

Some other big changes for this season of MyTeam:

  • 20 Anniversary cards are being released throughout the season that will feature Dark Matter cards with card art from past MyTeam games, with a collection reward of an Endgame option pack.
  • A collection of over a dozen of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal cards will be released throughout the season with card art from past games. They will be Dark Matter cards.

Best Badges to Have on Bronze in Each Category

Many badges are most effective when on Hall of Fame, as they should. But some badges work so well on Bronze that you do not need to spend a lot fo your precious points on them.

The following badges are extremely effective for the cost of only 1 badge point, allowing you to focus on the more important badges while still having a well-rounded style of play.

Best Bronze Shooting Badges

Corner Specialist: Although this badge should be maxed out for corner spot-ups, other catch and shoot players would find it most helpful on Bronze. That way, you still get a slight boost when you find yourself in the corner, but can spend more badge points on Catch and Shoot or other badges.

Clutch Shooter: Although this badge is great if you can max it out, there are far more important badges your player needs. But on Bronze, Clutch Shooter will give you that little extra boost that can help you in clutch situations.

Deadeye: In many cases, Blinders is the better badge to mitigate shot contests. Therefore, you may not have too many points for Deadeye. But on Bronze, Deadeye will give you the slight boosts when a defender jumps in your face.

Best Bronze Defensive Badges

Ball Stripper: A great badge if you typically have to deal with rim running opponents. You don’t ever need to max this badge, but while on Bronze, Ball Stripper will help you strip the ball when someone tries to dunk on you every once in a while.

Chase Down Artist: Chase down blocks are overpowered this year, but you don’t need a high Chase Down Artist badge to get them. While on Bronze, when combined with Rim Protector, you will also be able to get the OP chase down blocks that can change games.

Interceptor: Most guards and wings should have this on a higher level, but big men typically need to prioritize other badges. But big men should have Interceptor on Bronze, as it will allow them to stop passes at a good enough rate to affect games.

Rim Protector: Big men should have this maxed, but most guards and wings may not think about this badge. However, for only 1 badge point, you get a badge that will unlock the ability to get blocks on the perimeter and interior.

Best Bronze Playmaking Badges

Bail Out: It’s never really worth having Bail Out on a higher level, but almost every shooter should have it on Bronze. At this level, you will be able to pass out of most shots and get key assists to teammates.

Glue Hands: A key badge ignored by many, Glue Hands on even Bronze can help you get better catch animations before you shoot.

Needle Threader: It is not super effective on Bronze for 5v5 games, but Needle Threader can be an effective low level badge to help you turn the ball over less in 2v2 and 3v3 games.

Unpluckable: While ball handlers should have this badge on a bit higher level, many secondary ball handlers and other players would benefit from Bronze Unpluckable. You will have fewer stupid turnovers, all for the price of 1 playmaking badge point.

Best Bronze Finishing Badges

Lob City Finisher: Although dunks are a bit difficult this year (at least on Next-Gen), this badge on Bronze will unlock the ability to convert the wide majority of your lobs. It is rarely worth it to have this badge on higher levels.

Pro Touch: Timing can be a bit difficult to master on layups, but this badge will give you a boost if you are able to somewhat time your layups. On Bronze, this will give you enough of a boost to convert many more layups.

Unstrippable: Similar to Ball Stripper, this badge isn’t worth a serious investment of badge points, but works well enough on Bronze. For 1 badge point you will be able to limit the amount of times the ball is taken from you on drives to the hoop.

Playmaking Badges Tier List

S Tier- Necessary for Most Players

Quick First Step: A necessary for any player who will have the ball in their hands, as it allows you to actually move with some urgency with the ball. Should be maxed for most players, perhaps besides big men.

Bullet Passer: Another necessary for the wide majority of players, as Bullet Passer helps you combat the crazy steal animations in this year’s game. Every player should have it, and main ball handlers should think about maxing it.

Handles for Days: This badge needs to be maxed out for ball handlers, or else you won’t be able to do more than a few dribble moves. It’s not necessary out of ball handlers, but it is literally the most important dribbling badge.

Quick Chain: Another necessary badge for dribbling builds, as it will help you quickly transition between dribble moves.

A Tier – Great Badges for Some Builds

Glue Hands: Many scoff at this badge, but playing MyTeam has shown that this badge will help you get great catch animations before shots. You don’t need to max it out, but it works great on even Bronze or Silver.

Hyperdrive: This badge is better for slashing to the hoop, but Hyperdrive helps you speed up individual dribble moves to fool defenders. We recommend it for dribbling moves, but not before Quick Chain.

Tight Handles: Yet another dribbling badge that ball handlers need, as Tight Handles will stun your defender and allow you to get open shots either in the paint or behind the 3pt line.

Unpluckable: An underwhelming badge that most players at least need on Bronze. While we question its ability on higher levels, it necessity puts it on the A Tier level.

B Tier – Good Badges if You Have Extra Points

Dimer: Dimer is one of the most powerful badges in the game, but is really only needed if you have lower rated shooters on your team. Other badges are more necessary, but Dimer can be super powerful in the right situation.

Space Creator: A great badge combined with the Damian Lillard step back dribble move, but the step back is far from the best dribble move available.

Needle Threader: A Rec badge that can counter Interceptor, but is probably best used on Bronze or Silver with your extra badge points. It’s not OP, but it can help you avoid stupid steal animations every once in a while.

Bail Out: Another badge most players should have on Bronze to allow them to pass out of bad shots. It’s not worth having on higher levels, but even Bronze Bail Out will save you countless times.

C Tier – Decent Badges but Limited Usage

Floor General: Like Dimer, Floor General can be helpful in the right situation. However, it is not more powerful than any of the other badges, and should be reserved for those with a ton of playmaking badge points.

Ankle Breaker: This badge can be useful if you chase ankle breakers, but it activates too little to devote serious badge points to it. Tight Handles and Space Creator usually do more to break down your defender.

Stop & Go: Some claim this badge is OP, but we don’t notice much of a speed boost out of quick stops and other stops.

Downhill: With how OP chase down blocks are and also how speed is still unbalanced, Downhill really has limited uses for most builds. It can be helpful in some cases, though, but we don’t recommend it.

D Tier – Avoid These Badges

Post Playmaker: Post Playmaker can work if you mimic Nikola Jokic’s game in 2K22, but given how rare that is, this badge should mostly be avoided.

Triple Threat Juke: We have yet to see consistent results with this badge, and the Triple Threat is still not a great move against anyone but the computer, so we would stay away from this badge.

Break Starter: Full-court passes are still to easy without this badge, so while it may be helpful for rebounding big men on the Bronze level, it is still far from being necessary.

Special Delivery: With how hard lobs are this year, any badge involving them has lost a ton of value. This means Special Delivery, which helps throw lobs, will not see much use outside of players who know how to throw and catch lobs.

Defensive Badges Tier List

S Tier- Necessary

Intimidator: The only badge we recommend to max out for every player, as it helps you defend shots on both the perimeter and in the paint.

Clamps: A necessity to max out for perimeter defenders, as it will help you stop opposing players from getting past you for easy buckets.

Interceptor: Playing passing lanes is overpowered this year, and Interceptor will help you get some crazy steal animations on passes. While every player should have this badge, we only recommend maxing it out for defensive-focused players.

Rim Protector: A necessary badge for every player, but especially needs to be maxed out for big men. Will give you the fire power to block shots and be a top-tier paint defender.

A Tier – Necessary for Some Builds

Rebound Chaser/Box: Both necessary badges for big men, as you won’t be able to get rebounds without both badges. Although big men will need to max Rebound Chaser, Box can typically be equipped one level below Rebound Chaser.

Chase Down Artist: Chase downs are way too OP this year, but you can take advantage of this with Chase Down Artist. You will get some crazy block animations and get some key stops on defense.

Ankle Braces: A good badge to counter the crazy number of dribbling badges this year. It’s only necessary for on-ball defenders, and should be on a higher level in most cases.

Brick Wall: Necessary for builds that set screens, but otherwise useless. Big Men should realistically be the only ones with this badge.

B Tier – Great for Extra Badge Points

Ball Stripper: No one should realistically have this badge on higher levels, but it is great to have on lower levels to get the occasional steal when an opposing player tries to dunk on you.

Pogo Stick: A great badge if you sit paint or defend the rim, and should be close to maxed out in those instances. But otherwise your badge points are better spent elsewhere.

Pick Dodger: Another perimeter defender-specific build, but it is always underwhelming. Honestly it’s probably a good idea to have it, but we are still under the impression there are better ways to defend around picks.

C Tier – OK for Specific Builds

Pick Pocket: Although a bit better this year, you still get too many fouls when trying to use Pick Pocket on-ball. Though it has its uses, we can’t really recommend it for any players at this point.

Menace: This badge looked promising at the beginning of the year, but we have yet to really see it have a noticeable effect in-game. It claims to help you defend on-ball, but we haven’t seen this work in reality.

Tireless Defender: While it does help with your player’s stamina in a game, Park players and even most Rec/Pro-Am players won’t need this badge.

Post Lockdown: While we have seen instances of this badge working very well, it has not been consistent enough in a longer time period to be recommended for most players.

D Tier – Too Specific

Worm: Worm animations can be crazy and help you get some crazy rebounds, but it does not work enough and honestly most players are not good at activating the badge.

Hustler: A good badge to have on MyTeam players, but it isn’t worth having on your player for MyCareer or the online modes.

Defensive Leader: The boosts it gives teammates is nice, but boosts to defensive stats do not have the same effects as boosts to offensive stats. It’s not worth it for most teams.

Off-Ball Pest: Despite claims it helps on Pick and Rolls, Off-Ball Pest is not a strong enough badges when guarding off-ball to justify using badge points.