NBA 2K23 Badges: What's New, Reworked, Removed

NBA 2K23, on both current and next gen, will feature a revamped collection of Badges.
NBA 2K23, on both current and next gen, will feature a revamped collection of Badges. / Image courtesy of 2K

In less than two weeks, NBA 2K23 is set to feature a fresh collection of Badges that includes 20 new offerings on both the current and next-gen versions of the game.

Just as in past NBA 2K titles, it appears Badges will once again be a prominent gameplay factor in the series' latest entry. Badges essentially determine what skills different players are good at. For those wondering what to expect once the game drops on Sept. 9, here's a breakdown of all you need to know about Badges in NBA 2K23.

NBA 2K23 Badges: What's New, Reworked, Removed

In NBA 2K23, there will be a total of 16 Badges per attribute category — Finishing, Shooting, Playmaking, Defense/Rebounding — making for a condensed total of 64.

For comparison, there were 80 total badges in 2K22, with 20 spread across each category.

NBA 2K23 will feature 20 new badges for players to experience:

  • Slithery (Finishing): Makes it easier to gather through traffic, avoiding collisions and strips 
  • Masher (Finishing): Increases ability to finish inside layups over defenders 
  • Aerial Wizard (Finishing): Ability to successfully complete alley–oops and putbacks 
  • Bully (Finishing): Like Giannis and LeBron, able to finish strong by bulldozing through traffic 
  • Agent 3 (Shooting): Ability to hit difficult 3PT shots off the dribble 
  • Middy Magician (Shooting): Improved ability to knock down mid-range jumpers off the bounce or out of the post like MJ
  • Amped (Shooting): Reduces the shooting attribute penalties when fatigued and when moving excessively prior to shooting
  • Claymore (Shooting): Increases a spot up shooter’s ability to knock down catch and shoot jumpers the longer they remain stationary prior to shooting
  • Comeback Kid (Shooting): Improved ability to shoot perimeter jumpers when trailing in a game
  • Hand Down Man Down (Shooting): Makes an outside shooter even deadlier if opponent fails to get a hand in the face
  • Space Creator (Shooting): Formerly a Playmaking badge, it now boosts the ability to hit stepback jumpers and hop shots, and also will cause defenders to stumble more often
  • Killer Combos (Playmaking): Improves a dribbler’s effectiveness with size-up dribble moves (basically a combination of last year’s Quick Chain and Tight Handles badges)
  • Clamp Breaker (Playmaking): Helps ball handlers win more 1-on-1 body bump confrontations (the counter to Clamps)
  • Vice Grip (Playmaking): Improves ball security immediately after securing a rebound, catch, or picking up the ball. Great badge for bigs!
  • Mismatch Expert (Playmaking): Formerly a shooting badge, this badge now helps smaller guards break down taller defenders when mismatched 1-on-1
  • Anchor (Defense/Rebounding): A crucial badge for last line of defense bigs, improves ability to block and contest shots in the paint
  • Boxout Beast (Defense/Rebounding): Helps rebounders win boxout battles on both offensive and defensive rebounding situations
  • Work Horse (Defense/Rebounding): The Pat Bev badge that boosts your ability to hustle down 50/50 balls and play hard-nosed defense without getting tired
  • Glove (Defense/Rebounding): Named after legendary defender Gary Payton, helps you strip players as they gather for shots and poke the ball free from ball handlers
  • Challenger (Defense/Rebounding): Improves the effectiveness of perimeter shot contests 

Longtime NBA 2K players can probably deduce just which of the Badges from NBA 2K22 will be making up the 44 others in NBA 2K23, however, we won't be listing that out just yet since 2K has yet to officially confirm them.

Lastly, here are the 12 Badges that are confirmed to not be returning from NBA 2K22 entirely:

  • Hook Specialist
  • Chef
  • Hot Zone Hunter
  • Lucky #7
  • Set Shooter
  • Sniper
  • Limitless Spot-Up
  • Bullet Passer
  • Downhill
  • Glue Hands
  • Stop & Go
  • Defensive Leader

NBA 2K23 Badges: Next Gen Badge System

Although those on current gen will no longer have to use the pie chart build system, it does appear that there will be another new feature that next-gen MyCAREER players will have exclusively to themselves in NBA 2K23: a tiered Badge system.

In NBA 2K23 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, the 16 Badges per attribute category will be further divided up into three Tiers: eight in Tier 1, four in Tier 2 and four in Tier 3.

The basic idea is that next-gen players will need to equip a certain number of Badges in the lower Tiers before they can equip Badges in the highest.

"When looking at telemetry from previous years," 2K's dev blog post reads, "we noticed that players often gravitated towards the same Badges and, as a result, became a little overpowered by stacking certain Badges together.

"The motive behind this change was to encourage players to make some tough choices when creating their Badge recipes, make loadouts more valuable as a feature and bring a better overall balance to the Badge game in general."

Tier 1 Badges will be the least powerful, but also cost the least amount of Badge Points. Costs go up as players climb the Tiers and acquire the more impactful Badges.

Along with the Tiers, the next-gen version of NBA 2K23 will also introduce Core Badges, which are four unique Badge slots (one per attribute category) that can be filled with Badges that don’t count toward players' Badge Points. Each Badge will have a challenge requirement that, once met, will allow the Badge to be placed into a Core Badge slot.

NBA 2K23 is set to release worldwide for PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PC (via Steam) on Sept. 9, 2022.

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