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 how quickly you pull down the right stick.

If you pull down the stick quickly, the bar goes to the right. If you pull it down medium speed, the bar is in the middle. If you pull the stick down slow, the area is to the right. In addition, you can press L2 to time your shot and get an extra boost.


  • More time to aim a shot than the shot button
  • Higher green percentage with correct aiming and timing.
  • Easily replicated with consistent stick pull-down speed.


  • Little to no forgiveness on non-perfect releases.
  • Difficult to quickly shot off the dribble or catch
  • Long learning curve
  • Can be modded, hurting non-modder players

As a user of the stick, it’s honestly a lot of fun to play with. But, you must be super skilled with it to truly succeed, which of course takes a bit of practice.

How to master it: Find a consistent speed you can pull the stick down at and aim the stick directly at the green area. Also learn the L2 timing and spend a good amount time practicing in Freestyle/MyCourt.

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.


Add yours →

  1. Reese W.

    Whats the best way to shoot with the stick? I aim middle almost every time but don’t green most of the time.

    • NBA 2K HQ

      Just aiming with the stick seems to be nerfed. We found that you need to also time the shot will L2 to hit consistently.

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