'NBA 2K21' Shooting Badge Tips: Fast Upgrade Methods and Best Badges

NBA 2K21 has got players griping about its difficult shooting mechanics, but the best way to soften the blow of the new system is to outfit your MyPlayer with a few high-level Shooting Badges. In this no-nonsense guide, we explain a few methods to get Shooting Badges fast and offer some basic recommendations for starter Badges. If you want to start being competitive in the Park, getting Shooting Badges must be a priority.

Shooting Badge Upgrade Tips - Methods to Get Badges Fast

Before offering our picks for the best starter Shooting Badges in NBA 2K21, here are a few tips you should know that will help you get Badges fast. Some of these pointers may be obvious to veteran players, but we're trying our best to ensure any potential newcomers aren't ignored.

nba 2k21 shooting badge settings
'NBA 2K21' requires Shooting Badges to be successful. Set your game to Pro 12-mute quarters to rep up fast. 'NBA 2K21' is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC and Stadia. Visual Concepts/2K Sports
  • Watch your options: In NBA 2K21 there isn't as much of a rep boost for playing on higher difficulties. As such, the easiest way to get any Badges quickly is to play MyCareer games on Pro with 12-minute quarters. This gives you the most time with the mode's dumbest AI, which will help you pull off some of the more specific tricks we'll explain later.
  • Let your Opponents Score: With high playtime in mind, it also helps if you let your opponents score quickly. You may lose the game, but you'll get maximum touch on the ball. That's the cornerstone of any good Shooting Badge grind.
  • Play Bad Teams: If you want the best chance of having the most impact per game, you're best off playing teams with bad defensive stats. Maybe sim games against teams like the Hornets or Spurs, if you're just starting out.
  • Real Player Percentage (Maybe): Especially if you bought the Mamba Forever Edition of NBA 2K21, chances are you probably spent the lion's share of your included VC upgrading your MyPlayer so he's already at a solid overall. If that's the case, it may help to change your Controller Settings to shoot with real player percentage instead of fiddling with the new shot aiming system. This makes shooting pretty boring, but you might make easy buckets this way as a newcomer. If you're starting with a base overall stat, though, skip this method and struggle with default shot aiming.
  • Step-Back: One of the most common Shooting Badge upgrade methods to emerge in the days since launch is the step-back method. Just as a defender sizes you up, pull back on the left stick to do a step-back move. The defender will get confused on lower difficulties, leaving you wind open to green a solid jumper. This works a lot of the time, but there are no guarantees.
  • Outside Hook: Another easy bucket to get is a hook outside the paint. This one may require unlocking the Deep Hook Finishing Badge first, though. Once you have it, simply hold the left trigger and pull the right stick upward. You'll get all the shot credit for your efforts.
  • Mid-Range Corner Shots: Mid-range shots from the corner have a high percentage of going in right now, even with light contact. Take advantage of these in the event any of the other methods fail you.
  • Do Drills: Doing drills inside your Training Facility can be incredibly boring, but they're a really good source of rep. As you get started, use Coach Drills like Pick & Pop. Later on, take advantage of Shooting Drills like Free Throw Golf. These drills are fast, and they offer plenty of rep.
nba 2k21 training facility drills
Training Drills are a great way to rep up any Badge you're looking for. Visual Concepts/2K Sports

Some Good Starter Shooting Badges

As you start to unlock some of your first Shooting Badges, here are a few we'd consider focusing on. Once you rank up a couple of these, start tuning your build closer to your individual playstyle.

nba 2k21 best shooting badges
These are some of the best Shooting Badges worth upgrading first. Visual Concepts/2K Sports
  • Range Extender: Extends the range from which a player can effectively shoot. Adds extra distance to a player's given shot range for both mid-range and 3PT shots.
  • Catch & Shoot: Boosts the chance of hitting a jump shot immediately after a catch. For a short time after receiving a pass, the receiver's outside shooting attributes get a significant boost.
  • Hot Zone Hunter: Boosts the shot percentage for attempts taken in a player's favorite spots. Shots that are taken in a player's hot zone(s) are given a boost.
  • Corner Specialist: Gives a boost to shots taken near the corner. Deep mid-range or 3PT shots taken along the baseline of the court receive a boost, whether it is off the dribble or off a catch.
  • Volume Shooter: Boosts shot percentages as shot attempts accrue throughout the game. After a player has taken a small handful of shots, an additional boost to shot attributes is given for every subsequent shot, whether it's a make or a miss.

That's all you need to know to get started with Shooting Badges in NBA 2K21. For more help with shooting, check out our dedicated shooting tips guide.

NBA 2K21 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC and Stadia.

What do you think of shooting in NBA 2K21 so far? Are there any fast Shooting Badge methods that we missed? Tell us in the comments section!