NBA 2K23 is nearly here, and that means a fresh badge system is upon us. While we can’t yet provide our complete NBA 2K23 badge tier list–we need to play the game for that–we do already know the complete list of new badges, as well as which ones have been removed or combined into preexisting badges in this year’s game. NBA 2K23 introduces a drastically overhauled badge system, which splits the badges into tiers and allows for some additional badge slots for all players. The team at Visual Concepts has also consolidated or outright removed some badges based on telemetry data that helped pinpoint which badges were being used a lot and which ones weren’t really being used much at all.
In this NBA 2K23 badge guide, we’ll share the complete list of new badges, and note how some have changed as well as which will be absent when the game launches on September 8. In time, we’ll update this guide to reflect the complete list of badges and sort them into tiers to help you build your own virtual athlete.
NBA 2K23 badge list
More than perhaps any other sports sim, the customizable MyPlayer system in NBA 2K is really the annual draw, more than MyTeam or season-long modes. With custom players come badges, which grant skills in different areas of a player’s game, such as shooting and defense. This year’s game–on new-gen versions only–reimagines the badge system you may be used to into a three-tier system, with Tier 1 badges costing the least but also providing the smallest boosts. From there, each tier gets more powerful and costly. Visual Concepts says the idea behind this new system “is that you’ll need to equip a certain number of badges in the lower tiers before you can equip badges in the highest.”
This is meant to cause players to make tougher choices when deciding which badges to equip, thus bringing more balance to game modes where many custom players are interacting together, such as in the game’s social hub, The City.
Along with tiers, there are new “core” badge slots that allow you to slot in one badge for each skill area: finishing, shooting, playmaking, and defense/rebounding. Core badges don’t count toward your overall badge points, but can only be placed in a core badge slot once their related challenge is completed.
With that in mind, here’s the full list of 20 new badges, changed badges, and 12 badges that have been outright removed for 2K23.
- Slithery – Makes it easier to gather through traffic, avoiding collisions and strips
- Masher – Increases ability to finish inside layups over defenders
- Bully – Like Giannis and LeBron, able to finish strong by bulldozing through traffic
Removed: Hook Specialist
- Agent 3 – Ability to hit difficult 3PT shots off the dribble
- Middy Magician – Improved ability to knock down mid-range jumpers off the bounce or out of the post like MJ
- Amped – Reduces the shooting attribute penalties when fatigued and when moving excessively prior to shooting
- Claymore – Increases a spot up shooter’s ability to knock down catch- and-shoot jumpers the longer they remain stationary prior to shooting
- Comeback Kid – Improved ability to shoot perimeter jumpers when trailing in a game
- Hand Down Man Down – Makes an outside shooter even deadlier if opponent fails to get a hand in the face
- Space Creator – 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
- Limitless Range – An old favorite returns, making shooters more effective with any shot attempt from deep 3-PT range
Removed: Chef, Hot Zone Hunter, Lucky #7, Mismatch Expert (moved to Playmaking section), Set Shooter, Sniper, and Limitless Spot-Up
- Killer Combos- Improves a dribbler’s effectiveness with size-up dribble moves (Acts as a combination of last year’s Quick Chain and Tight Handles badges)
- Clamp Breaker – Helps ball handlers win more 1-on-1 body bump confrontations (the counter to Clamps)
- Vice Grip – Improves ball security immediately after securing a rebound, catch, or picking up the ball.
- Mismatch Expert – Formerly a shooting badge, this badge now helps smaller guards break down taller defenders when mismatched 1-on-1
Removed: Bullet Passer, Downhill, Glue Hands, Stop & Go
- Anchor – A crucial badge for last line of defense bigs, improves ability to block and contest shots in the paint
- Boxout Beast – Helps rebounders win boxout battles on both offensive and defensive rebounding situations
- Work Horse – The Pat Bev badge that boosts your ability to hustle down 50/50 balls and play hard-nosed defense without getting tired
- Glove – Named after legendary defender Gary Payton, helps you strip players as they gather for shots and poke the ball free from ball handlers
- Challenger – Improves the effectiveness of perimeter shot contests
Removed: Defensive Leader
Though a well-versed NBA 2K player could reasonably deduce the full list of badges in 2K23 based on what’s missing from this list that hasn’t been declared as removed following last year’s game, we’ve refrained from building out such a list for now just in case the team hasn’t landed on a final tally yet. It’s possible more changes are to come, but for now, this is everything we’ve learned from our time chatting with the 2K team. As soon as we’re able to share the full list you’ll find when the game launches on September 8, you’ll see it all right here, so bookmark this page as we get ready for tip-off.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.